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The material culture of health activism

This workshop, led by Assistant Curator of Medicine Imogen Clarke, will explore the histories, strategies and material culture of health activism.

Health activism has arisen in response to a range of issues including NHS funding cuts, abortion law reform, the provision of mental health care and abolishing the so-called ‘tampon tax’.

Campaigning and protesting for and against these issues and others have proliferated a wide variety of material and visual culture including AIDS quilts, pro-choice badges, placards at junior doctor strikes and contemporary artworks.

This interdisciplinary conference will explore the histories and strategies of health activism along with the material and visual culture of this activity. We will additionally consider the politics and practices of collecting, curating and interpreting health activism in museums and other institutions.

The day will include a keynote lecture by Manon Parry, Professor of Medical History at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, and a short ceremony involving the lotus unfolding of Block 3 of the Dutch AIDS Memorial Quilt introduced by Jörn Wolters from the Stichting NAMENproject Nederland.

Booking will open in May. To register your interest now, please email

Scheduled dates