Badges and Identity

I was at the Trump protest in London and took a photograph of a man whose badge made me smile because of the use of the word quite. I tend to use the word quite myself – I was quite upset or quite angry – it’s very tempered, understated and moderate.  I love the British humour of the badge with its rather absurd contradiction:

Recently I have worn stickers that have been handed out to me by campaigners rather than badges. Although they share similar concepts they do not have the longevity of badges as objects.

The above photo was taken in 2016 on the day of the Brexit vote; you can see the sticker was already curling up at the edges and destined for the bin at the end of the day.

However I have some of my vintage badges from childhood, teenage and student years. The oldest one is probably the Manchester United one, possibly from the late 60s. Then the Art in Revolution badge was from an exhibition held at the Hayward Gallery in 1971. Free Angela Davis is also circa 1971. The anti-Nazi, Gay Liberation and Jewish student and peace badges were from my time at the University of Sussex and the anti-nuclear FORSA TOMICA ? NO GRASSIE  is in Venetian dialect, dating from 1980 when I studied at Ca’Foscari University in Venice:

 

I came across an old photograph of myself wearing one of these badges –  the Gay Liberation is our Liberation badge. It was taken in the grounds of Sussex University at some point during the late 70s. I’m sitting with Jem Green:

At the 2017 Women’s March in London I noticed a woman in Old Compton Street, Soho whose manifest protest was fused with her sense of  style. Her beret was also adorned with badges, including one saying Votes for Women, contributing to her retro look:

And just the other day I was at a Bar Mitzvah ceremony in Muswell Hill.  It also happened to be the birthday of one of the women in the congregation.  She was wearing a badge and I asked if I could take her photo. This is Jennifer, a happy, youthful and proud 60 year old:


Also published on Medium.

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