23rd July 2014

‘Revolution of the Dwarves’ hat proves that a simple idea can have a big impact

Rachel Kelly

An orange felt hat, part of a new exhibition at the V&A, is a powerful reminder that a simple idea can have a very big impact.


10,000 of these hats were worn at a 1988 protest against communist rule in Poland by members of the Orange Alternative. The ‘Revolution of the Dwarves’ demonstration resulted in the police having to arrest thousands of people in dwarf hats – a spectacle that was captured and shared by the media, gaining widespread support for the organisation. There's a lesson to be learned here – and it's not about the tactics of street activism. A creative approach can help you deliver your message and get attention for your cause. You don't need a big budget or brand awareness – a good idea, well executed, can go a very long way. Talk to us about how we can help – [email protected] – or sign up to our email newsletter. The V&A's Disobedient Objects exhibition gathers together tools of protest from around the world and is open at the V&A until 1 February.