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The effects of a nuclear bomb attack on London. Lithographs after Peter Kennard and Peter Gladwin, 1985.

Kennard, Peter.
  • Pictures

About this work


A set of photomontage prints, published by the Greater London Council in 1985, satirising the British Government's civil defence publication 'Protect and survive' (London 1980). The prints contain quotations from 'Protect and survive' which are contrasted with quotations from other, less optimistic, publications, such as O. Greene et al., London after the bomb (Oxford, 1982, which printed some findings of the government's own exercise Operation Square Leg); a report on the likely consequences of a nuclear strike by the Royal College of Nursing; the BMA's report 'The medical effects of nuclear war' (Chichester, 1983); accounts of the Hiroshima bomb, etc. For example, 'Inferno' (no. 11) sets advice from 'Protect and survive', "If you have a home fire extinguisher – keep it handy" against a quotation from 'London after the bomb': "Individual fires may join together to form one huge fire – a fire storm or a conflagration. In a fire-storm, such as those experienced in Dresden, Hamburg, and Hiroshima in the Second World War, hurricane force winds are sucked in by the fire. Temperatures of 1,000C or more can be reached, sufficient to melt glass and some metals. People are incinerated or suffocated. In a conflagration the fires spread outwards until there is nothing left to burn, killing those trapped in houses or too badly injured to escape"


London (room 613, South Block, County Hall, London SE1 7PB) : published by the Greater London Council ; [London?] : Distributed by Turnaround Distribution, 1985.

Physical description

18 prints : lithographs, printed in black and white and colours ; sheets 42 x 29.6 cm and (nos. 3, 4, 5, 10, 14, 15) 29.6 x 42 cm


Target London. A set of photomontage posters on civil defence in London by Peter Kennard

Terms of use

"Photomontage © Peter Kennard 1985" -- lettering on each sheet


Wellcome Library no. 2117747i

Creator/production credits

"Design: Peter Gladwin. With thanks to: Ed Barber, Judy Barker, Victoria Francis, Paul Harris, Gill Keep, Ramsey Margolis"--back of box
Kennard had previously produced another set of anti-nuclear photomontages: 'No nuclear weapons : the case for nuclear disarmament. photomontage by Peter Kennard ; text by Ric Sissons', London : Pluto : Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, 1981

Lettering note

"Peace is the most important issue facing us all. The Greater London Council has a duty to ensure the safety and protection of all Londoners. These posters present in an easily accessible form, factual information on Civil Defence, the possible effect of nuclear war on London and the GLC's policy of making London a Nuclear Free Zone" (introduction)
Bears logo on box: GLC working for London and peace (hands snapping a bomb into two pieces)

Exhibitions note

Target London 15 exhibited in "War of Nerves: Psychological Landscapes of the Cold War" at The Wende Museum, Culver City, USA, 16 September 2018 - 13 January 2019


Target London 1. London?
Target London 2. Introduction
Target London 3. Power of the bomb
Target London 4. Aircraft carrier UKA
Target London 5. Cruising on London
Target London 6. Protect and survive
Target London 7. World War III
Target London 8. The blast
Target London 9. Life indoors?
Target London 10. Who cares?
Target London 11. Inferno
Target London 12. Back to normal!
Target London 13. Doomsday
Target London 14. An alternative
Target London 15. Against bulls eye London
Target London 16. For Londoners' safety
Target London 17. Swords into ploughshares
Target London 18. Which way London?


  • English

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