Art, Politics and Magic: The Kibbo Kift Kindred

  • Image : Kibbo Kift Kindred, men and boys on camp parade with totems, 1925

    Kibbo Kift Kindred, men and boys on camp parade with totems, 1925

Past Event

This event was on Sat 6 Feb, 11.30am–6pm

Art, Politics and Magic: The Kibbo Kift Kindred is a day-long symposium bringing together authors, academics, Kibbo Kift descendants and members of related groups. Through presentations and conversations, the event examines the contexts and legacies of the radical, utopian movement.

Exploring all aspects of the Kibbo Kift, from their politics, to their craft and magic, the event also looks at the continued relevance of the group’s style, ethos and ambition. Speakers include design historian Tanya Harrod, Cathy Ross, Honorary Research Fellow at Museum of London,and Philip Carr-Gomm, author and head of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids.

Programmed to coincide with Intellectual Barbarians: The Kibbo Kift Kindred in the Archive Gallery, the symposium is led by Annebella Pollen, the exhibition’s co-curator and Principal Lecturer in the History of Art and Design for the Faculty of Arts at The University of Brighton.




What was Kibbo Kift? Introduction by Annebella Pollen, author of The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift: Intellectual Barbarians and co-curator of Whitechapel Gallery Kibbo Kift exhibition.

Part 1: Kibbo Kift contexts

Art: Tanya Harrod, design historian and author of The Crafts in the Twentieth Century, examines the meaning of hand-making between the wars.

Politics: Andrew Flinn, Reader in Archival Studies and Oral History at University College London, explores 1920s and 1930s youth movements.

Magic: Philip Carr-Gomm, author and head of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, discusses contemporaneous English spiritual experiments and traditions.

Q&A discussion


Part 2: Kibbo Kift legacies

Welcome back with Annebella Pollen.

After Kibbo Kift: Cathy Ross, Honorary Research Fellow at Museum of London, explains the shift to economic reform in The Green Shirts and the Social Credit Party.

A Kibbo Kift life: Hazel Powell and Jon Tacey, adult children of Kibbo Kift members, reflect on being born into a campaigning and camping community.

From Kibbo Kift to Woodcraft Folk: Paul Bemrose, Woodcraft Folk group leader of more than 25 years, examines connections between the groups.

Inspired by Kibbo Kift: Author Matthew de Abaitua links his Kibbo Kift archival research for The Art of Camping to his new science fiction novel, If Then.

Round table discussion between participants, plus Q&A.

About Annebella Pollen

Annebella Pollen is Principal Lecturer in History of Art and Design at the University of Brighton. She is the author of The Kibbo Kift Kindred: Intellectual Barbarians (Donlon Books). Other publications include Mass Photography: Collective Histories of Everyday Life (I. B. Tauris) and Dress History: New Directions in Theory and Practice (Bloomsbury).