Room 8 Pop Crowd

The 1960s saw direct political action taking place across the world, and the image of protesters pouring onto the streets would become symbolic of the decade. The crowd is also the counterpoint to advertising strategies that apparently appeal to the individual consumer's unique taste, while in fact reaching out to multitudes.

Images of collective action by Claudio Tozzi and Equipo Crónica suggest the potential of the protesting crowd to rescue the individual from dictatorships, while Nicola L’s Red Coat turns eleven individuals into a single unit liberated from distinctions of class, gender or ethnicity. The crowd is not always synonymous with freedom. Jozef Jankovič proposes an alternative to the enforced uniformity of obligatory marches through Bratislava with citizens holding portraits of Lenin or Stalin.

Pop art did not only represent the protesting crowd. Pop aesthetics also featured on political placards held aloft by activists across the world – from the Black Panthers to the Viet Cong.