Swarthmore Lecture 2018 to be given by Quaker artist and activist

By agency reporter
February 12, 2018

The 2018 Swarthmore Lecture will be given by Chris Alton a life-long Quaker, artist and activist.

The lecture presentation on 5 May 2018 at Friends House in London will make use of music, video and visuals, as well as words. A book to accompany the lecture will be available later in the year.

The Swarthmore Lecture is part of the work of Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre. The lecture is one of the associated events traditionally held around Yearly Meeting, the annual decision-making meeting of Quakers in Britain.

Through his lecture 'Changing ourselves, changing the world' Chris Alton will share how he seeks to challenge people and create change through his art and how art can be an act of witness. He will address the challenges in a changing and increasingly violent and fractured world, while considering how he as an artist and how Quakers might respond creatively, and offer subversive alternatives.

Terry Oakley, clerk of the Swarthmore Lecture Committee said, "The committee is really excited that Chris will be giving this year's lecture and sharing with Friends (as Quakers refer to each other) how he witnesses to his faith through his art. Chris gives testimony to his Quakerism through his art, which speaks an important message to the Quaker community and beyond".

Chris Alton's art involves images, videos and music. He is possibly best known as the creator of the English Disco Lovers, a multifaceted protest movement and act of artistic musical resistance, which sought to reclaim the acronym EDL from the English Defence League. In 2017 the London Evening Standard highlighted him as one of ten young British artists to look out for, stating that "his ability to make protest fun while rendering his targets ridiculous means he may be the artist we need right now."

*Quakers are known formally as the Religious Society of Friends. Around 23,000 people attend 478 Quaker meetings in Britain. Their commitment to equality, justice, peace, simplicity and truth challenges them to seek positive social and legislative change.

*Quakers in Britain http://www.quaker.org.uk/

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