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As all that is solid melts to air and everything holy is profaned...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Nor a situationist


What is counterculture?

A countercultural action or expression communicates disagreement, opposition, disobedience or rebellion. A counterculture rejects or challenges mainstream culture or particualr elements of it.

This might mean:

  • Protesting against a particular situation or issue
  • Rebelling against the accepted or acceptable way of doing things
  • Struggling for liberation when you are oppressed or marginalised
  • Finding new ways to represent yourself when you are misrepresented or simply not represented
  • Creating your own culture when you are dissatisfied with the culture that is made for you

In the 20th century, countercultural points of view were commonly expressed as action. The countercultural pamphlets, flyers, posters, newsletters and independent newspapers, fanzines or magazines are therefore the ephemera or 'remains' of a larger active expression. Often they were originally meant to serve immediate, sometimes urgent, purposes: to promote action, gather support or inspire change.

The 'unacceptability' of any countercultural expression is always short-lived. Sooner or later avant-garde aesthetics are embraced by the producers and consumers of mainstream culture and abosrbed into the 'normal'.


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