MAYDAY: Hannah Sawtell x TURC Archive

1 May – 5 May 2023, 18:00 - 20:00

Join us and celebrate May Day as an international commemoration of workers rights and solidarity with the ongoing struggles present in global workplaces.

MAYDAY brings together five minutes of grainy Super 8 film footage – found in the TURC Video library by worker Marian Hall – with MAYDAY: RADIO RAUM (2022) an audio mix by Hannah Sawtell, for which fifty collaborators were asked to respond to what the word Mayday means to them, and to do this through sound.

The film captures a historic moment: The Grunwick Dispute. In the summer of 1976 in north-west London, a group of working class South Asian women took to the streets to protest the poor conditions at the Grunwick film processing factory. Led by Jayaben Desai, eventually more than 20,000 people joined in the protest. One of the most bitter disputes in UK industrial relations, the issues raised by Grunwick are strikingly relevant today:  worker exploitation, insecure work, the widespread use of zero-hours contracts. Grunwick reminds us of how migrant workers have fought to improve the rights of all workers in the UK, and how critical intersectional action is.

“Everyone can lend their voice where protest is needed”.

The Grunwick Dispute galvanised trade unions and activists from across the UK to march and protest. The scale and significance of the dispute is centred on solidarity – a theme firmly centred in the practice of artist Hannah Sawtell and mirrored through the many different voices present in the sound work.  Originally broadcast on May 1st 2022 by Montez Press Radio in Berlin, notable contributors include Mick Lynch, General Secretary of the RMT and Food Not Bombs.

The work also includes contributions from artists connected to Vivid Projects including current and former Black Hole Club members .

Collaborators : ATM Kreutzberg, automat, Blak Tony, Black Hole Club, Cash for Gold, James Crossley, Marcia Carr, Dale Cornish, Darcus Howe Legacy, Keith Dodds, Food Not Bombs, J Hügel Geist, Harvinder, KEIZ, Lauren Flax, Esther Leslie, Mick Lynch, Ms Bioland, Marc Mac, McDaid, Lisa Mckenzie, Mel Mullings, Nathan Carter extrastereo, Eleni Poulou, Antonio Roberts, Oliver Romoff, Rap Saunders, Raumer, Jas Singh, Sylvie Lee, Robin Stewart, Giant Swan, Cathy Wade, Kühle Wampe, Tony F Wilson, Women Within RMT, Working Class Collective, Matthew Worley, Lady Brat Wurst and Walworth Choir.


Each contribution was originally edited and mixed live by Hannah Sawtell.

Thanks to Marian Hall, Hannah Sawtell and Montez Press.