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Clifford Harper

Clifford Harper

Overview
Clifford Harper is an illustrator and militant anarchist. He was born in Chiswick, West London on the 13th of July 1949. His father was a postman and his mother a cook. Expelled from school at 13 and placed on 2 years probation at 14, he then worked in a series of "menial jobs" before 'turning on, tuning in and dropping out' in 1967. After living in a commune
Commune
Commune may refer to:In society:* Commune, a human community in which resources are shared* Commune , a township or municipality* One of the Communes of France* An Italian Comune...

 in Cumberland
Cumberland
Cumberland is a historic county of North West England, on the border with Scotland, from the 12th century until 1974. It formed an administrative county from 1889 to 1974 and now forms part of Cumbria....

, he started a commune on Eel Pie Island
Eel Pie Island
Eel Pie Island is an island in the River Thames in England at Twickenham, in the Borough of Richmond upon Thames, London. It is situated on the Tideway and can be reached only by footbridge or boat...

 in the River Thames near Richmond, Surrey in 1969.
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Encyclopedia
Clifford Harper is an illustrator and militant anarchist. He was born in Chiswick, West London on the 13th of July 1949. His father was a postman and his mother a cook. Expelled from school at 13 and placed on 2 years probation at 14, he then worked in a series of "menial jobs" before 'turning on, tuning in and dropping out' in 1967. After living in a commune
Commune
Commune may refer to:In society:* Commune, a human community in which resources are shared* Commune , a township or municipality* One of the Communes of France* An Italian Comune...

 in Cumberland
Cumberland
Cumberland is a historic county of North West England, on the border with Scotland, from the 12th century until 1974. It formed an administrative county from 1889 to 1974 and now forms part of Cumbria....

, he started a commune on Eel Pie Island
Eel Pie Island
Eel Pie Island is an island in the River Thames in England at Twickenham, in the Borough of Richmond upon Thames, London. It is situated on the Tideway and can be reached only by footbridge or boat...

 in the River Thames near Richmond, Surrey in 1969. In 1971 he took part in the All London Squatters organization, squatting
Squatting
Squatting consists of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied space or building, usually residential, that the squatter does not own, rent or otherwise have permission to use....

 in Camden
Camden Town
-Economy:In recent years, entertainment-related businesses and a Holiday Inn have moved into the area. A number of retail and food chain outlets have replaced independent shops driven out by high rents and redevelopment. Restaurants have thrived, with the variety of culinary traditions found in...

, North London
North London
North London is the northern part of London, England. It is an imprecise description and the area it covers is defined differently for a range of purposes. Common to these definitions is that it includes districts located north of the River Thames and is used in comparison with South...

, then Stepney Green, East London
East End of London
The East End of London, also known simply as the East End, is the area of London, England, United Kingdom, east of the medieval walled City of London and north of the River Thames. Although not defined by universally accepted formal boundaries, the River Lea can be considered another boundary...

 and Peckham
Peckham
Peckham is a district in south London, England, located in the London Borough of Southwark. It is situated south-east of Charing Cross. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London...

 in South East London
South East (London sub region)
The South East is a sub-region of the London Plan corresponding to the London Boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lewisham and Southwark. The sub region was established in 2008. The south east has a population of 1,300,000 and is the location of 500,000 jobs...

, all while being very active in anarchist circles. In 1978 he settled in Camberwell
Camberwell
Camberwell is a district of south London, England, and forms part of the London Borough of Southwark. It is a built-up inner city district located southeast of Charing Cross. To the west it has a boundary with the London Borough of Lambeth.-Toponymy:...

 where he has lived ever since.

In early 2006 Harper survived a heart attack and in 2008 was diagnosed as diabetic. He is currently writing and illustrating an entirely new version of his book Anarchy: A Graphic Guide which will be published in 2011 by PM Press
PM Press
PM Press is an independent publisher that specializes in radical, Marxist and anarchist literature, as well as crime fiction, graphic novels, music CDs, and political documentaries...

. Although suffering poor health, Harper continues to work as an illustrator.

Beginning in the early 1970s he became a prolific illustrator for many anarchist, radical, alternative and mainstream publications, organisations, groups and individuals including Freedom Press
Freedom Press
The Freedom Press is an anarchist publishing house in Whitechapel, London, United Kingdom. Founded in 1886, it is the largest anarchist publishing house in the nation and the oldest of its kind in the English speaking world. It is based at 84b Whitechapel High Street in the East End of London...

, Undercurrents
Undercurrents (magazine)
Undercurrents magazine was started as a medium for radical views on scientific and technological subjects; it was published in England between 1972 and 1984: 63 editions altogether. For much of that period it appeared every two months and the circulation peaked at 7,000 in the late 1970s...

, Respect for Animals, BIT Newsletter
BIT
BIT was an information service, publisher, travel guide and social centre founded, in 1968, by John 'Hoppy' Hopkins. It pre-dated the internet as a free service that would try to find any information asked for and derived its name from the smallest unit of computer information.-BIT:BIT was...

, Arts Lab Newsletter
Arts Lab
The Arts Lab was an alternative arts centre, founded in 1967 by Jim Haynes at 182 Drury Lane. Although only active for two years, it was influential in inspiring many similar centres in the UK and continental Europe, including the expanded I.C.A...

, Idiot International, 1977 Firemans Strike, Libertarian Education, The Idler
The Idler (1993)
The Idler is a yearly British magazine devoted to its ethos of 'idling'. Founded in 1993 by Tom Hodgkinson and Gavin Pretor-Pinney, the publication's intention is to return dignity to the art of loafing, to make idling into something to aspire towards rather than reject.The magazine combines the...

, Radical Community Medicine, Anarchy Magazine
Anarchy Magazine
Anarchy was an anarchist monthly magazine produced in London from the early 1960s until the early 1970s. It was published by Freedom Press and edited by its founder, Colin Ward.- External links :...

, Black Flag
Black Flag (newspaper)
Black Flag is the name of a number of anarchist periodicals, most notably the British anarchist bi-annual magazine Black Flag, mainly known for its coverage of international anarchist politics as well as supporting "class war" prisoners....

, Anarchy Comix, Common Ground, Industrial Worker
Industrial Worker
The Industrial Worker, "the voice of revolutionary industrial unionism," is the newspaper of the Industrial Workers of the World . It is currently released ten times a year, printed and edited by union labor, and is frequently distributed at radical bookstores, demonstrations, strikes and labor...

, Aberlour Distillery
Aberlour Distillery
Aberlour is a distillery of single malt Scotch whisky, located on Aberlour town, Speyside, Scotland at the confluence of the rivers Lour and Spey near Ben Rinnes. The Speyside region is the most prolific whisky producing region in Scotland, accounting for over half of all of Scotland's distilleries...

, Country Life
Country Life (magazine)
Country Life is a British weekly magazine, based in London at 110 Southwark Street, and owned by IPC Media, a Time Warner subsidiary.- Topics :The magazine covers the pleasures and joys of rural life, as well as the concerns of rural people...

, Graphical Paper and Media Union, The Times Saturday Review, Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival
Tolpuddle Martyrs festival
The Tolpuddle Martyrs' Festival is an annual festival held in Dorset, England, which celebrates the memory of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. The event is a celebration of trade unionism and labour politics organised by the Dorset Committee of the National Union of Agricultural and Allied Workers now...

, New Scientist
New Scientist
New Scientist is a weekly non-peer-reviewed English-language international science magazine, which since 1996 has also run a website, covering recent developments in science and technology for a general audience. Founded in 1956, it is published by Reed Business Information Ltd, a subsidiary of...

, Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...

, Penguin Books
Penguin Books
Penguin Books is a publisher founded in 1935 by Sir Allen Lane and V.K. Krishna Menon. Penguin revolutionised publishing in the 1930s through its high quality, inexpensive paperbacks, sold through Woolworths and other high street stores for sixpence. Penguin's success demonstrated that large...

, Times Educational Supplement
Times Educational Supplement
The Times Educational Supplement is a weekly UK publication aimed primarily at school teachers in the UK. It was first published in 1910 as a pull-out supplement in The Times newspaper. Such was its popularity that in 1914, the supplement became a separate publication selling for 1 penny.The TES...

, London Anarchist Bookfair, Public and Commercial Service Union, The Sunday Times Magazine
The Sunday Times Magazine
The Sunday Times Magazine is a supplement to The Sunday Times newspaper. It was launched in 1962 and was redesigned in November 2008.-References:...

, Catholic Worker
Catholic Worker
The Catholic Worker is a newspaper published seven times a year by the Catholic Worker Movement community in New York City. The newspaper was started by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin to make people aware of church teaching on social justice...

, Soil Association
Soil Association
The Soil Association is a charity based in the United Kingdom. Founded in 1946, it has over 27,000 members today. Its activities include campaign work on issues including opposition to intensive farming, support for local purchasing and public education on nutrition; as well the certification of...

, The Bodleian Library, New Statesman
New Statesman
New Statesman is a British centre-left political and cultural magazine published weekly in London. Founded in 1913, and connected with leading members of the Fabian Society, the magazine reached a circulation peak in the late 1960s....

, Cienfeugos Anarchist Review, Headline Books, The Financial Times, Resurgence
Resurgence
Resurgence is a British bi-monthly magazine which has been described as the artistic and spiritual voice of the green movement in Great Britain. Resurgence was founded in the 1960s by John Papworth....

, Scotland on Sunday
Scotland on Sunday
Scotland on Sunday is a Scottish Sunday newspaper, published in Edinburgh by The Scotsman Publications Ltd and consequently assuming the role of Sunday sister to its daily stablemate The Scotsman...

, Town and Country Planning Association
Town and Country Planning Association
The Town and Country Planning Association is England's oldest environmental charity. It was founded as the Garden Cities Association in 1899 by Ebenezer Howard, initially to promote the development of Garden Cities...

, Movement Against A Monarchy, Nursing Times
Nursing Times
Nursing Times is a magazine for nurses in the United Kingdom. The magazine and its website nursingtimes.net publish original nursing research and a variety of clinical articles for nurses at all stages in their career....

, John Hegarty
John Hegarty
John Hegarty was elected 43rd Provost of Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland in 2001 for a ten-year term.-Life:He was born in Claremorris, County Mayo, and was educated locally at St Colman's College...

, The Listener, Zero, McCallan Whisky
The Macallan
The Macallan is a brand of single malt Scotch whisky first distilled in 1824 at The Macallan Distillery near Easter Elchies House, at Craigellachie, in Moray...

, Solidarity
Solidarity (newspaper)
Solidarity is a socialist newspaper published by the Alliance for Workers' Liberty .The paper was founded as a monthly in the mid-1990s, as Action for Health and Welfare, by the Welfare State Network , a campaign supported by the AWL, the International Socialist Group and others.The paper became...

, New Society, News from Neasden, House & Garden
House & Garden (magazine)
House & Garden was an American shelter magazine published by Condé Nast Publications that focused on interior design, entertaining, and gardening....

, The Tablet
The Tablet
The Tablet is a Catholic international weekly review published in London. Contributors to its pages have included Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Paul VI ....

, Radical Science Journal, Royal Mail
Royal Mail
Royal Mail is the government-owned postal service in the United Kingdom. Royal Mail Holdings plc owns Royal Mail Group Limited, which in turn operates the brands Royal Mail and Parcelforce Worldwide...

, The Co-ops Fairs, Picador Books
Picador (imprint)
Picador is an imprint of Pan Macmillan in the United Kingdom and Australia and of Macmillan Publishing in the United States. Both companies are owned by Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group....

, Pluto Press
Pluto Press
Pluto Press is a radical, progressive, independent publisher based in London. Pluto Press specialises in "progressive, critical perspectives in politics and the social sciences", and describes itself as "one of the world’s leading radical publishers". It has published authors such as Noam Chomsky,...

, Working Press, Anarchismo, Insurrection, Our Generation
Our Generation
Our Generation was an anarchist journal published in Montreal, Canada. and edited by Dimitrios Roussopoulos. It was founded in 1961 as a journal of the problems of achieving world peace...

, Ogilvy & Mather
Ogilvy & Mather
Ogilvy & Mather is an international advertising, marketing and public relations agency based in Manhattan and owned by the WPP Group. The company operates 497 offices in 125 countries with approximately 16,000 employees.-History:...

, Vogue
Vogue (magazine)
Vogue is a fashion and lifestyle magazine that is published monthly in 18 national and one regional edition by Condé Nast.-History:In 1892 Arthur Turnure founded Vogue as a weekly publication in the United States. When he died in 1909, Condé Montrose Nast picked up the magazine and slowly began...

, Radio Times
Radio Times
Radio Times is a UK weekly television and radio programme listings magazine, owned by the BBC. It has been published since 1923 by BBC Magazines, which also provides an on-line listings service under the same title...

, National Union of Teachers
National Union of Teachers
The National Union of Teachers is a trade union for school teachers in England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. It is a member of the Trades Union Congress...

, Faber & Faber, Pimlico
Pimlico
Pimlico is a small area of central London in the City of Westminster. Like Belgravia, to which it was built as a southern extension, Pimlico is known for its grand garden squares and impressive Regency architecture....

, Trades Union Congress
Trades Union Congress
The Trades Union Congress is a national trade union centre, a federation of trade unions in the United Kingdom, representing the majority of trade unions...

, Transport and General Workers Union, Serpents Tale, Compendium Books
Compendium Books
Compendium Books was an independent bookstore specialising in experimental literary and theoretical publications.-History:It was founded by Diana Gravill and Nicholas Rochford and was located at 240 Camden High Street, London and opened in August 1968....

, Poison Girls
Poison Girls
The Poison Girls were an English anarcho-punk band. The female singer/guitarist, Vi Subversa, was a middle-aged mother of two at the band's inception, and wrote songs that explored sexuality and gender roles, usually from an anarchist perspective...

, Yale University Press
Yale University Press
Yale University Press is a book publisher founded in 1908 by George Parmly Day. It became an official department of Yale University in 1961, but remains financially and operationally autonomous....

, The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

, The Independent
The Independent
The Independent is a British national morning newspaper published in London by Independent Print Limited, owned by Alexander Lebedev since 2010. It is nicknamed the Indy, while the Sunday edition, The Independent on Sunday, is the Sindy. Launched in 1986, it is one of the youngest UK national daily...

, Elephant Editions, Intelligent Life
Intelligent Life (magazine)
Intelligent Life is a quarterly cultural magazine from the publishers of The Economist. It was launched in September 2007 as a quarterly publication, having previously been a summer annual, and describes its coverage as "the arts, style, food, wine, cars, travel and anything else under the sun, as...

, Landworker, Zounds
Zounds
Zounds are an English anarchist band formed in 1977 from loose jamming sessions around the Reading area. Originally they were part of the cassette culture movement, releasing material on the F**k Off Records label, and were also involved in the squatting and free festival scene...

, Honey
Honey
Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans...

, New Musical Express, Knockabout Comics
Knockabout Comics
Knockabout Comics is a UK publisher and distributor of underground and alternative comic books.-History:It was formed by Tony Bennett and Carol Bennett in the 1980s to distribute Gilbert Shelton's Freak Brothers titles as well as British work from creators such as Hunt Emerson and Bryan...

, Trickett and Webb, The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

, See Sharp Press, Countryside Commission
Countryside Commission
The Countryside Commission was a statutory body in England and Wales, and later in England only...

, Industrial Common Ownership Movement, BBC Worldwide
BBC Worldwide
BBC Worldwide Limited is the wholly owned commercial subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation, formed out of a restructuring of its predecessor BBC Enterprises in 1995. In the year to 31 March 2010 it made a profit of £145m on a turnover of £1.074bn. The company had made a profit of £106m...

, Stop the War Coalition
Stop the War Coalition
The Stop the War Coalition is a United Kingdom group set up on 21 September 2001 that campaigns against what it believes are unjust wars....

, The Folio Society, Unison
Unison
In music, the word unison can be applied in more than one way. In general terms, it may refer to two notes sounding the same pitch, often but not always at the same time; or to the same musical voice being sounded by several voices or instruments together, either at the same pitch or at a distance...

, Anarchist Studies
Anarchist Studies
Anarchist Studies is a biannual academic journal on anarchism. It takes an interdisciplinary approach, examining the history, culture, and theory of anarchism...

 and many others. In 1992 he won a W H Smith
W H Smith
WHSmith plc is a British retailer, headquartered in Swindon, Wiltshire, England. It is best known for its chain of high street, railway station, airport, hospital and motorway service station shops selling books, stationery, magazines, newspapers, and entertainment products...

 Illustration Award and in 2002 he was the winner of the Trade Union Press and PR Award for Best Illustration.

His early drawing style was typically exemplified by the utopian 'Visions' series of posters, for the Undercurrents 1974 anthology Radical Technology. These were highly detailed and precise illustrations showing scenes of post-revolutionary self-sufficiency
Self-sufficiency
Self-sufficiency refers to the state of not requiring any outside aid, support, or interaction, for survival; it is therefore a type of personal or collective autonomy...

, autonomy and alternative technology in urban and rural settings, becoming almost de rigueur on the kitchen wall of any self-respecting radical's commune, squat or bedsit
Bedsit
A bedsit, also known as a bed-sitting room, is a form of rented accommodation common in Great Britain and Ireland consisting of a single room and shared bathroom; they are part of a legal category of dwellings referred to as Houses in multiple occupation....

 during the 1970s. Of these posters Harper writes:

Heavily influenced by George Grosz
George Grosz
Georg Ehrenfried Groß was a German artist known especially for his savagely caricatural drawings of Berlin life in the 1920s...

, Félix Vallotton
Félix Vallotton
Félix Edouard Vallotton was a Swiss painter and printmaker associated with Les Nabis. He was an important figure in the development of the modern woodcut.-Life and work:...

, Fernand Léger
Fernand Léger
Joseph Fernand Henri Léger was a French painter, sculptor, and filmmaker. In his early works he created a personal form of Cubism which he gradually modified into a more figurative, populist style...

, Eric Gill
Eric Gill
Arthur Eric Rowton Gill was a British sculptor, typeface designer, stonecutter and printmaker, who was associated with the Arts and Crafts movement...

 and, most of all, the narrative woodcut
Woodcut
Woodcut—occasionally known as xylography—is a relief printing artistic technique in printmaking in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with the surface while the non-printing parts are removed, typically with gouges...

s of Frans Masereel
Frans Masereel
Frans Masereel was a Flemish painter and graphic artist who worked mainly in France. He is known especially for his woodcuts. His greatest work is generally said to be the wordless graphic novel Mon Livre d'Heures . He completed over 20 other wordless novels in his career...

, Harper's style evolved in the 1980s in a bolder, expressionist direction, with much of his later work resembling woodcut, although he mainly works in pen and ink, and watercolour.

In 1987 Anarchy, A Graphic Guide, which Harper wrote and illustrated, was published by Camden Press: This has become a definitive and popular introduction to the subject, combining a thorough and inclusive overview of anarchism with his distinctive illustration. England's principal radical illustrator, Harper remains a "100% committed" and engaged anarchist activist, involved with the organisation of the UK's annual Anarchist Bookfair
Anarchist Bookfair
The Anarchist Bookfair is the name of several annual anarchist book fairs.The British Bookfair started in 1983, and it has become the largest anarchist event in the British calendar, and is a combination of stalls, talks and workshops by anarchist groups and campaigns.Most British anarchist groups...

, re-designing Freedom newspaper in 2005, producing books, pamphlets, posters, book covers, postcards and drawings for, and supporting, anarchists everywhere. Drawings by Clifford Harper have been used and reproduced by anarchists and others in nearly every country of the world. He has produced a book of anarchist postage stamps "For after the Revolution" and created his own small publishing project Agraphia Press. He does a great deal of work for the Trade Union movement in Britain and his work appears every week in the British newspaper The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

. A book of Harper's collected illustrations for The Guardians regular Country Diary
Country Diary
Country Diary is a daily natural history column in the English newspaper The Guardian, first published in November 1906. It is also now freely available on the newspaper's website. Past and present contributors include Pete Bowler, Arnold Boyd, Mark Cocker, Thomas Coward, Harry Griffin, Jim Perrin...

 column was published by Agraphia Press in 2003. Graphic Anarchy, an exhibition of his work, was held in 2003 at the Newsroom Gallery, London.

Books by Clifford Harper

  • Class War Comix - New Times (Epic, 1974 & Last Gasp, 1979)
  • Radical Technology - includes 6 'Visions' and other drawings by Clifford Harper (edited by Peter Harper, Godfrey Boyle and the editors of Undercurrents, Wildwood House, 1976)
  • The Education of Desire - The Anarchist Graphics of Clifford Harper (Annares Press, 1984)
  • Anarchy, A Graphic Guide to the History of Anarchism (Camden Press, 1987)
  • The Unknown Deserter - the Brief War of Private Aby Harris in Nine Drawings an A6 chapbook (Working Press, 1989)
  • An Alphabet an A6 chapbook (Working Press, 1989)
  • Anarchists: Thirty Six Picture Cards (Freedom Press,1994)
  • Prologemena to a Study of the Return of the Repressed in History (Rebel Press, 1994)
  • Visions of Poesy - an Anthology of Anarchist Poetry (co-edited with Dennis Gould and Jeff Cloves, Freedom Press
    Freedom Press
    The Freedom Press is an anarchist publishing house in Whitechapel, London, United Kingdom. Founded in 1886, it is the largest anarchist publishing house in the nation and the oldest of its kind in the English speaking world. It is based at 84b Whitechapel High Street in the East End of London...

    , 1994)
  • Stamps: Anarchist Postage Stamps for after the Revolution (Rebel Press, 1997)
  • Philosopher Footballers: Sporting Heroes of Intellectual Distinction (Philosophy Football, 1997)
  • The Guardian Country Diary Drawings (Agraphia Press, 2003)
  • The Ballad of Robin Hood and the Deer (Agraphia Press, 2003)
  • The Ballad of Santo Caserio (Agraphia Press, 2003)
  • The City of Dreadful Night by James Thompson (Agraphia Press, 2003)
  • What Is Government? by P.J. Proudhon (Privately published, 2008)
  • Children's History and Colouring Book (National Union of Teachers, 2011)

External links

  • An article about Harper's art appears in the Anarchist publication Organise!
    Organise!
    There have been several anarchist groups in Ireland that have used the name Organise since 1984.- Organise! :Formed from the Antrim anarchist group.- Organise!-IWA :...

    here
  • Agraphia Clifford Harper's official website: redisigned with over 100 image slideshows.
  • Interview with Lasthours.org.uk
  • Drawings for the new Anarchy-A Graphic Guide can be seen on Facebook.