The Battle of Orgreave
Battle of Orgreave
17 June 2001
Orgreave, South Yorkshire
In 1984 the National Union of Mineworkers went on strike. The dispute
over a year and was the most bitterly fought since the general strike
of 1926 marking a turning point in the struggle between the
government and the trade union movement.
On the 18
June 1984 there occurred at the Orgreave coking plant one
of the strike's most violent confrontations, begun in a field near to
plant and culminating in a cavalry charge through the village of Orgreave.
Jeremy Deller's The Battle of Orgreave was a spectacular re-enactment
what happened on that day, orchestrated by Howard Giles, historical
expert and former director of English Heritage's event programme.
The Battle of Orgreave was filmed under the direction of Mike Figgis
Artangel Media and Channel 4, and was aired on Sunday 20th October 2002.
Dramatic photographic stills from the clashes in 1984 are intercut
with footage of the clashes re-enacted in 2001, teasing out
the truth behind this bitter struggle.
Mac McLoughlin, a former miner and serving policeman on the field that
reveals details about the build-up within the police force prior to
the stand-off; David Douglass (NUM) talks about the meaning
of the confrontation in relation to the trade union movement
in England and Stephanie Gregory (Womens' Support Group)
reminisces about the effects on family life in a series of
moving and powerful testimonies.
Tony Benn talks about the media's role in covering up the truth about
strike in 1984 and Jeremy Deller contextualizes this event and
highlights its contemporary cultural relevance.
Born in 1966, Jeremy Deller studied art history at the Courtauld Institute
of Art. Much of his work involves collaboration with individuals and
groups of people.
‘Acid Brass’ was a series of concerts and a recording by
the Williams Fairey Band
playing Brass Band interpretations of classic acid house anthems
and ‘The Uses of Literacy’ was an exhibition of writing
made by fans of the rock band The Manic Street Preachers.
Deller and artist Alan Kane have recently initiated Folk Archive, an
project that aims to investigate the state of contemporary
folk art in the United Kingdom
The Folk Archive was first exhibited at Tate Britain last summer.
Jeremy Deller has exhibited throughout Europe and America and publications
‘Life is to Blame for Everything’ (Salon3/Arts Council,
‘A True Revolutionary is Motivated by Great Feelings of Love’
(CVA Cardiff, 2000)
‘The Uses of Literacy’ (Book Works, 1999).
Deller home page