Johns, Emily

Emily Johns
1 December 2021Feature

Emily Johns reflects on her experiences as part of the Hastings group Women's Voice

Just as I was crossing the road to the gathering place for the demonstration, two women passing by asked what was happening. I said: ‘It’s a march against violence against women.’

One said: ‘We’ll come, we’ll come, we’ve just to got to take these bags home. My friend was seriously beaten up by her partner last night and she’s just left him.’

It looked like the bin bags they were carrying contained her possessions.

I found myself at the front, marching down George Street…

1 August 2021Feature

A free window poster

Click on the link below to download a printable version of the poster.

File peoples_vaccine_poster copy.pdf685.56 KB Downloadable poster

20 July 2021Review

www.esb.international AND Civic Leicester; 152pp; £9.99

This winter, I was moved by these two creative responses to colonial history and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Ty Chijioke, the Igbo British rapper, died of COVID complications in May 2020. The huge love and respect for his person and work are evident in the inaugural project of Empire Strikes Back, an international programme for emerging multidisciplinary artists. ESB is putting together a programme of creative events around the world that challenge oppressive legacies in former…

6 July 2021Review

Thames & Hudson, 2020; 320pp; £35 (Lincoln et al) and Jonathan Cape, 2020; 272pp; £20 (Sacco)

The Arctic is our touchstone. We have been looking to it for decades for the physical signs of climate change: the retreat of the sea ice, the starving polar bears, the melting permafrost. We are looking to the North for what climate catastrophe looks like.

The British Museum curators have collaborated with Arctic peoples to create an exhibition (Arctic: culture and climate) and a series of events that could give us temperate dwellers an understanding of their culture and its…

4 July 2021Comment

Emily Johns looks at the ideas behind the Artist Support Pledge

In March 2020, as the COVID pandemic started, artist Matthew Burrows launched the Artist Support Pledge online, on the image-sharing platform, Instagram. It was a forward-thinking response to the economic collapse that artists were about to experience – it works with the principle that generosity is infectious.

The idea is simple: artists post an image of their work on Instagram and tag it with #artistssupportpledge so that the pictures can all be found in the same place. They offer…

4 July 2021Feature

A PN staffer struggles with an anti-racist book

I am white.

My earliest memories of being conscious of race and racism are from when I was 10 years old. 

I remember standing in the school hall and some boys taunting Stephen, calling him a ‘black and white minstrel’. I didn’t know Stephen well and I had never heard of a minstrel show but from the words I worked out that one his parents was black and the other was white and because of this he was being teased. [The Black and White Minstrel Show was a musical variety…

8 December 2020Review

Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE. Tues — Sun until 8 March. Free.

Play Well is a wonderful, joyful, mind-prodding exhibition at the Wellcome Collection in Central London on the importance of play in child development, in mental healthiness and emotional resilience.

It reaches from Rousseau’s treatise on education to computer gaming. The pedagogies of play shaped Paul Klee’s art, Buckminster Fuller’s design, the Bauhaus movement and Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture and from town planning to identity politics toys and psychotherapy.

1 October 2019Feature

Emily Johns celebrates Joan Littlewood's 'university of the streets'

Penny Dimond reading Joan Littlewood’s description of a Fun Palace from a ladder, October 2018, Torriano Meeting House. Photo: NEW FACTORY OF THE ECCENTRIC ACTOR

Imagine a place where the latent genius in all of us becomes ripe, expresses itself and communicates with others.

A place where the human mind and human creativity explore the arts and the sciences for the delight of being alive.

No certificates are awarded at this university, no prospectuses have to…

1 October 2019Feature

A poster for Black history month

Remember Saro-Wiwa by Emily Johns. Linocut, 2005.

On 10 November 2019, it will be 24 years since the Nigerian writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight Ogoni colleagues were hanged by the military government for campaigning nonviolently against the oil company Shell. It is over 60 years…

1 August 2019Review

Sansom & Co, 2018; 128 pp; £25

This beautifully-illustrated book documents the lives of 44 artists who were conscientious objectors (COs) and pacifists in the two world wars.

In a series of monographs, Gill Clarke gives us a valuable insight into lives lived and shaped by political and spiritual objections to killing and the war machine.

She gives us a very particular record of the development of creative lives: how artists made a living; the political and social communities of artists; and the…

17 July 2019Feature

Download, print out and display in your window!

This poster published by Peace News, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DY. Tel. 0207 278 3344

1 June 2019Feature

The shadow collector

Image

The Shadow Collector. On 7 August 1945, the day after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Shogō Nagaoka, a geologist from Hiroshima University, began walking through the city collecting rubble. The A-bomb’s heat burned shadows of vapourised people and objects onto streets and buildings and it changed the formation of rocks. Nagaoka filled his rucksack and then his house with specimens. He believed they were vital to telling the story of…

1 December 2018Feature

New artwork by Emily Johns

Lino etching: Emily Johns Displayed during Peace News’ The World is My Country exhibition in November at Hastings Arts Forum, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex. It is one of the occasional pictures that I have made of my family history and how my personal stories intersect with the century…

1 December 2018Review

Myriad Editions, 2018; 80pp; £19.99

Why make reportage drawings? Graphic artist Olivier Kugler was commissioned by Médecins Sans Frontières (‘Doctors Without Borders’) to travel to Iraq, Kos and Calais to interview Syrian refugees. He took photographs and used translators to record stories. So why not stop at that?

On first viewing, I didn’t like the drawings in this book. I shrank back from lines that didn’t please me, from flat Photoshop washes. But I was curious because something interesting happens in these…

1 October 2018Feature

A special PN poster to celebrate Germany's WW1 anti-war movement

Richard Muller and the Revolutionary Shop Stewards Image: Emily Johns

On 28 June 1916, Karl Liebknecht – Germany’s most famous anti-war campaigner – was put on trial for treason for his opposition to the war. That same day, some 55,000 munitions workers left their workplaces to march in perfect discipline…