Please Repeat

Please Repeat
Alan Brown, 2014

In September 2013, a group of Greenpeace activists and journalists, come to be known as the ‘Arctic 30‘, were arrested by Russian authorities when trying to scale an offshore oil rig in the Russian Arctic.

While held in a Russian prison, the protesters managed to communicate with each other by tapping out messages on a pipe.

In an interview with The Guardian (David Batty, 29 November 2013), British Greenpeace activist Alex Harris said:

“There was a radiator pipe that ran all the way through the prison. So we got out a pen or a spoon and tapped on it.”

“One tap was A, two taps was B, and three taps was C. Sometimes it would take 10 minutes to say something and someone would go, ‘Please repeat’ and you’d go, ‘Oh no!’.”

Please Repeat mechanically taps out tweets from @GreenpeaceUK, using the code by the Arctic 30. Contrasting modern digital forms of communication with this rudimentary technique, it brings to mind ideas about regimes of power and censorship and the implications for human communication and freedom of speech.

Please Repeat