Bringing together archived photography and social history, Exist To Resist: Activism, History and Having It… is Matthew Smith’s diverse snapshot of resistance and rebellion.
Looking at the presence of protest in British rave culture, Exist To Resist is a documentation and celebration of the grassroots initiatives that formed through hedonism and celebration in the UK between 1989 and 1997.
Smith’s Kickstarter project has been attracting rapid support and he is looking to achieve overfunding to facilitate not only the book, but an immersive launch exhibition and the pre-production of a rave culture feature film.
In the ubiquitous world of photography today Smith is all too aware of that photographers are all too disposable a commodity.
The whole idea behind the Kickstarter is to pursue a level of investment funding that will grant some future artistic independence. If you pledge towards funding the project, rewards range from books and documentary access right through to handmade prints, hoodies and a dining and discussion experience.
For a number of years, these images have been housed on a popular Facebook page run by Matthew. This page has become his research board – gathering shots and information to form this compendium of revolt. Once the project gets funded, the photos will only exist in the book.
As the Kickstarter page notes, “The action of time on these images is crucially important. In the years since the criminalisation and enclosure of this culture, it has become the UK’s most successful creative industry and most sought after marketing platform during massive recession and austerity.”
The telling thing about all these vignettes of demonstration is how historical they feel despite only being – in some cases – only 10 years old. One of the aims of the project is to send complimentary copies to every photography degree course library as an educational resource. To help support Smith’s goal of creating a photo-led anthology of music-centred counterculture, visit the Kickstarter here. Follow Matthew on Instagram and Facebook and check out his website.
Check out a selection of shots below.