As part of a collaborative project organised in conjunction with the STUC and the Conforti Institute, Hack Aye engaged a group of young people in a creative project to design and construct a banner for May Day 2015. High School students interested in the theme of social justice were invited along to the event, which featured a range of other participatory activities, including a workshop with the Poverty Alliance and a creative writing project.

For the Hack Aye element of the day, visual artist Catherine Weir challenged participants to consider identity representation in the context of protest. A number of images of people involved in activism were presented, in particular showing protesters holding banners. Participants were asked to consider the merits and drawbacks of being represented using a banner.

The young people present then collectively decided whether or not they wanted to use the medium of a banner to represent themselves on May Day. Having decided that they would, they then discussed what the theme of their banner would be. Via a mock campaign, participants were encouraged to focus their banner on a positive representation, i.e. to try to make it about something they did want rather than something they didn’t want.

Working in small groups, participants sketched ideas on a few themes, some dafter than others, from football to chocolate and beyond. The group as a whole then voted on the pictures they had worked on, choosing one to represent them – the theme was gender equality. This banner was then created, and appeared at the May Day parade in Glasgow.

May Day Banner