I became interested in images of burning police cars when the government made a concerted effort to divorce any dissident symbolism from the reality of the 2011 riots that we watched on TV. Noel Gallagher’s made up looters mantra: ‘what do we want? Casual wear!’ perfectly captured both the party line and prevailing media wisdom that the riots had nothing to do with protest but ‘were inspired by greed pure and simple’.
I found Tishfa within British Fashion – see Tisha FDC by DRB.
Paul Smith et al appropriate the image of the mini car in order to exploit its currency as a symbol of ‘Cool Britannia’ (fashionable Britishness) – here I’m just reflecting that back but exactly as it appeared to me.
Only later did I discover Tishfa in an ancient 2000-year-old text * (pre dating the arrival of Jesus) about a populace who having endured terrible injustices began spontaneously crowding around and shouting at anyone riding a horse. And in that moment I realised what an extraordinarily old and potent symbol this actually is.
*ARABIC ISLAMIC CONQUESTS – IN THE CHRONICLE OF SAINT MICHAEL THE GREAT – Archbishop George Saliba – American Foundation For Syriac Studies, syriacstudies.com
“During this period Hebrew year 1124, 813AD, there appeared many rebels in the Muslim state like Nasr and Omar. Nasr and Omar went to Tarsanin and Bazbidi and Bmarin and Tishfa they plundered and burnt until they reached the village Chadiq and found in a small monastery outside the village a hermit who gave them all his possessions and those of his ilk, they then set fire to him and his hut. Omar went to Shmishat and built its fortress and lived there, but Nasr proceeded to Sarooj and imposed the tribute on it. The people in the Muslim state would gather around any man riding a horse and shout loudly. It was also like this in the Greek kingdom.”