ONE FOR ALL AND ALL FOR ONE
TERRY S. HARDY
Consisting of 25 participants, “One for all and all for One” was an organized group of non-violent protesters carrying signs, handing out brochures and fiercely chanting nothing. All printed matter was blank and all chanting was silent.
When developing this project for the Northern Beaches of Sydney, I borrowed four rituals from historical marches: the human shield, the die in, the human boundary circle and long silent lines. Through these recognized rituals, we addressed current issues without any information and addressed the freedom of speech non-verbally.
The Australian marches were focused on calling attention to the recently elected Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, and his antiquated policies and ideas. His office was located along the protests route. As the protest commenced, the visual element of the blank signs drew immediate public response and confusion. We were often met with hostility and tension, though we remained silent and offered no explanation while noting the public reaction to our non-action. After each protest, I dissected the public responses and encounters based on the following: time spent at various checkpoints, type of ritual performed, pace of marches, protest routes and locations of interest.
“One for all and all for One” offered a strong visual presence while cultivating public dialogue in my ongoing exploration of public protests. In many incidents, the underlying political intent was lost in the need for immediate insight and understanding.