Playing Politics – full programme announced

14 June 2014, Playing Politics, Chile Solidarity Campaign banner @ People's History MuseumWe are excited to announce full details of Playing Politics our Politics in Sport festival on Saturday 14 June.

To commemorate the anniversary of ‘the match of shame’ between Chile and Scotland on 15 June 1977 and to celebrate the start of the World Cup in Brazil, we will investigate when the worlds of politics and sport have come together.  Join us for our day long festival of talks, displays, object handling and political fun and games.

All day

  • Enjoy some political fun and games, including Spin Doctors, Toppling Tyrants and Democratic Darts.
  • Our friends at the National Football Museum will be displaying some of their intriguing political collections.
  • Object handling table

Drop in, no booking required

1.00pm – 3.00pm

Use your head!

What happens when the worlds of sport and politics collide?  Find out in this interesting series of talks.

From the Factory to the Field: The story of Dick, Kerr Ladies FC

Peter Marsden, trade unionist and activist

Dick, Kerr Ladies FC attracted over 900,000 paying spectators to 67 charity games during 1921. How did a team of working class women from a Preston munition’s factory spring to national and international prominence? Why later that year did the FA ban them from playing on any affiliated ground? Peter Marsden explores a unique story and a sexist decision which stymied the development of women’s football in Britain for almost half a century.


“Carriers of the Dream” – Tennis Radicals of the 1960s and 1970s

Peter Marsden, trade unionist and activist

How did the radical politics of the 1960s – the civil rights movement, the anti-Vietnam demonstrations, the Paris and Prague uprisings and the Women’s Liberation Movement – influence sport, particularly a conservative one like tennis? Peter Marsden focuses on two key sporting heroes and their lasting legacies; Arthur Ashe and his opposition to apartheid and Billie Jean King and her campaign for women’s equality.


“Football without the fans is nothing” The Green Brigade at Celtic: An example of left-wing football fandom?

Michael Lavalette, Liverpool Hope University

The Green Brigade (GB) fan group are a vibrant presence at Celtic matches. Their displays are entertaining and political. Their politics are explicitly republican and socialist but this has brought them into conflict with the authorities and increasingly the club. This talk with pictures will look at the GB and explore what it tells us about modern fandom.


Passion and Transformation, Order and Progress – The essence of Rio 2016

Chris Parkes and David Hindley, Nottingham Trent University

‘A pre-match’ analysis into how Brazil and the Rio De Janeiro 2016 Organising Committee aims to frame and use the Olympics to advance their political aspirations. The presentation, which is underpinned by primary research, will explore the messages and language that intends to prove they are an emerging nation ready for a more influential position on a global stage.


Pirates, Punks & Politics: FC St. Pauli – football’s radical club.

Nick Davidson, author of Pirates, Punks & Politics

FC St. Pauli is based in a working class district of Hamburg only a few hundred yards from the infamous Reeperbahn. In the mid-1980s punks and anarchists began to watch games. In the years that followed, the number of fans with left-leaning political ideals swelled. Join Nick Davidson as he looks back over 25 years of politics in the stadium and describes how fans of the club continue to battle against fascism, racism, sexism, homophobia and the creep of commercialism in modern football.


Chile Fights: The Match of Shame and Pinochet’s Regime

Josh Butt, People’s History Museum

In 1973 General Pinochet led a military coup in Chile.  Foreigners, trade unionists and anti-Pinochet protesters were rounded up and taken to detention camps.  One such camp was the National Stadium in Santiago, where several detainees were tortured and executed. Four years later, with Pinochet’s regime in place, the Scottish Football Association (SFA) arranged a friendly against Chile, which took place in the National Stadium on 15 June 1977.  Josh Butt will look back at the events and display images from our collection.

Booking required for our Use Your Head! programme of talks via Eventbrite –



IMG_3385IMG_3387This month we’ve been working on some programming that explores the often complicated relationship between fashion and protest.  We’ve got an exciting new pop-up exhibition in the foyer and The Left Bank cafe bar from Labour Behind the Label called Made in Cambodia and you can sample life as a garment worker at their Race for a Living Wage: educational exploitation for all the family! event this Sunday.   The exhibition details the lives of Cambodian garment workers producing sportswear goods in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics. The photography exhibition follows one day in the lives of a group of women garment workers who work in the Shen Zhou garment factory in Phnom Penh, making products for Adidas’s 2012 Olympics range. Their stories speak of poverty pay, excessive working hours, job insecurity and lack of union rights. Many work 11 hour days and survive on a basic wage of £39 a month, forced to share small rooms in factory-owned apartment blocks. The photos are taken by Will Baxter.

IMG_3398Our Learning Officer, Lisa Gillen, shares the story of her personal fashion/protest object:

I was given the protest clothing ticket by a friend during the summer of 2012. She was distributing these to ask people to get involved in a protest against the poor wages paid to people involved in making adidas goods in other countries.

Adidas was one company receiving a lot of coverage for the Olympics that summer.  The protest involved putting the protest tickets in stores that sold adidas goods. I really liked how the protest was a simple idea, but also quite effective in raising awareness of the issue with people who may be buying adidas goods.  I keep this pinned by my desk to remind me of the creative and inventive ways that people can protest and how methods of protest can comes in many different forms.