Chris Alton: English Disco Lovers (EDL)

HMKV Video of the Month

On view 1 – 31 March 2016

This is subversion at its best: English Disco Lovers (EDL) is a multifaceted protest movement that aims to reclaim the EDL acronym of the English Defence League, an extremist organization commonly associated with racism, Islamophobia, and violence.

Chris Alton founded the the English Disco Lovers in an attempt to respond to the growing presence of right-wing extremism in the UK. English Disco Lovers (EDL) exists in numerous forms, including online occupations, street protests, talks, photographs, videos, social media posts, news articles, and as a shared idea.

Edith-Russ-Haus Award for Emerging Media Artists of the Sparda-Bank 2015.

Chris Alton is a 24 year old artist and Quaker. In September 2012 he founded English Disco Lovers (EDL), a subversive social movement looking to reclaim the EDL acronym, most commonly associated with the English Defence League. His intention was to make the three letter abbreviation more synonymous with disco than ‘defence’, supplanting negative connotations with positive ones. Through their deployment of radical joy, in opposition to contemporary intolerance in the UK, the English Disco Lovers (EDL) have built at UK-wide network of collaborators and followers. Over the past three years they have occupied various spaces online and participated in street-level demonstrations up and down the UK and in 2013 they were shortlisted for the National Diversity Awards. The group currently run a series of club nights, where they spread their “Don’t Hate! Gyrate!” message and raise money for numerous causes, including; anti-racism, LGBT and refugee charities.

Since graduating from Middlesex University’s BA Fine Art course in 2014, Chris has received a number of awards for his practice, including; the Edith-Russ-Haus Award for Emerging Media Artists of the Sparda Bank 2015, the Lewisham Arthouse Graduate Studio Award 2015 and the Collyer Bristow Graduate Award 2014. Recent and upcoming exhibitions include; Under the Shade I Flourish, xero, kline & coma, London (2016); Outdancing Formations, Edith-Russ-Haus, Oldenburg (2015); each other, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridgeshire (2015).

In the series HMKV Video of the Month, HMKV presents current video works by international artists for the duration of one month each – selected by Inke Arns.

Chris Alton
English Disco Lovers (EDL): Let The Machines Do The Work - "Let Me Be The One"

2013, Video, 3:48 Min.

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