With little more than a toothbrush to his name and of ‘no fixed abode’, 19-year-old Rabbit has dedicated his life to small acts of protest against corruption. He spends most nights living out of a tent in an eco-village in Greater London, except when, as captured in the short documentary Small Protests, he’s on a mission to expose systemic abuse and greed. Set in 2009, during the UK parliamentary expenses scandal – in which several members of parliament (MPs) were exposed for misuse of government allowances – the film follows Rabbit and a merry band of fellow protesters as they squat in the ‘primary residence’ of two MPs in Brentford, west London. In doing so, they helped to prove that these MPs weren’t in fact residing at that address, and were therefore misusing public funds. Given the punk aesthetic of Rabbit and his crew, and their spirited, youthful discussions about how to bring down the system, it would be easy to write them off as naive idealists. But, as the UK director Zillah Bowes’s film documents, that would be to underestimate the lived commitment to their ideals and the challenges of a life built on dissent – which has become only more difficult since the government’s proposed restrictions on protest in 2021.
Director: Zillah Bowes
Even in modern secular societies, belief in an afterlife persists. Why?
Design and fashion
The mundane becomes mesmerising in this deep dive into segmented displays
Tour the European architecture that dreamed of a wondrous, fictitious China
Trek alongside spiritual pilgrims on a treacherous journey across Pakistan
Thinkers and theories
Photographs offer a colonialist window to the past – one that must be challenged
Animals and humans
An artist and ants collaborate on an exhibit of ‘tiny Abstract Expressionist paintings’
How a curious question about colouring maps changed mathematics forever
Meaning and the good life
The world turns vivid, strange and philosophical for one plane crash survivor
The rise and fall of Kowloon Walled City, Hong Kong’s infamous urban monolith