raise the bar

Part of the School of Speculation residency at the Design Museum and South London Gallery

SOS is an independent and nomadic critical design school that aims to challenge current models of delivering higher education. SOS_19 was the programme’s first year, where 22 students developed individual projects addressing and critiquing an array of subjects. These projects were exhibited at the South London Gallery at the end of the course, as well as at a WIP show at the Design Museum.

Alcohol prohibition has been in effect in parts of India since its independence in 1948. The law has colonial roots, when alcohol was heavily taxed by the British and Gandhi encouraged nonconsumption as a form of protest. Today, it is often used as a political tool that fuels corruption and sustains underground markets and unsafe production. Adding to the hypocritical and paradoxical nature of the law and its enforcement, some prohibitionists continue to leverage Gandhi’s ideologies to justify its relevance today.

Raise The Bar subverts this by imagining a Malt March – a fictional demonstration against the hypocrisy of the prohibition law. Referencing Gandhi’s 1930 Salt March, the idea for a Malt March was conceived by anti-prohibition activists years ago, but never garnered enough support to actually take place.

This series of images describe the final part of the March, set in a particular distillery that operated pre-prohibition. It has been created using a pastiche of visual material from Gandhi’s Salt March, photos from when the distillery was in operation, and images of the site today to build a narrative about social reform, grassroots protest, and civil disobedience.

Malt March 2019 flyers, programme of events and cocktail menu

Work In Progress exhibition at the Design Museum, constructed with A0 prints mounted on honeycomb cardboard.

Final exhibition at the South London Gallery