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Artistic Utopias of Revolt


Artistic Utopias of Revolt

Claremont Road, Reclaim the Streets, and the City of Sol
Palgrave Studies in Utopianism

von: Julia Ramírez Blanco

95,19 €

Verlag: Palgrave Macmillan
Format: PDF
Veröffentl.: 13.03.2018
ISBN/EAN: 9783319714226
Sprache: englisch

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Beschreibungen

This book analyses the aesthetic and utopian dimensions of various activist social movements in Western Europe since 1989. Through a series of case studies, it demonstrates how dreams of a better society have manifested themselves in contexts of political confrontation, and how artistic forms have provided a language to express the collective desire for social change.The study begins with the 1993 occupation of Claremont Road in east London, an attempt to prevent the demolition of homes to make room for a new motorway. In a squatted row of houses, all available space was transformed and filled with elements that were both aesthetic and defensive – so when the authorities arrived to evict the protestors, sculptures were turned into barricades. At the end of the decade, this kind of performative celebration merged with the practices of the antiglobalisation movement, where activists staged spectacular parallel events alongside the global elite’s international meetings. As this book shows, social movements try to erase the distance that separates reality and political desire, turning ordinary people into creators of utopias. Squatted houses, carnivalesque street parties, counter-summits, and camps in central squares, all create a physical place of these utopian visions
1. Introduction: Art as Language, Utopia as Discourse

2. Activism as a Place: The British Anti-Roads Movement and the Squatted Street of Claremont Road

3.  The Reclaim the Streets Protest Parties in London

4. Interlude: The Globalization of the Aesthetics of Protest

5. Disobedience as an Urban Form: The Acampadasol in Madrid

6. Notes Towards a Conclusion

Chronology of Events

Glossary

Index
Julia Ramírez-Blanco is Lecturer at Barcelona University, Spain. Her work revolves around the relationships between art, utopia and activism. Researching in various institutions in Europe and the USA, her publications have appeared in English, French, Italian and Spanish in various co-authored books and journals.
This book analyses the aesthetic and utopian dimensions of various activist social movements in Western Europe since 1989. Through a series of case studies, it demonstrates how dreams of a better society have manifested themselves in contexts of political confrontation, and how artistic forms have provided a language to express the collective desire for social change.The study begins with the 1993 occupation of Claremont Road in east London, an attempt to prevent the demolition of homes to make room for a new motorway. In a squatted row of houses, all available space was transformed and filled with elements that were both aesthetic and defensive – so when the authorities arrived to evict the protestors, sculptures were turned into barricades. At the end of the decade, this kind of performative celebration merged with the practices of the antiglobalisation movement, where activists staged spectacular parallel events alongside the global elite’s international meetings. As this book shows, social movements try to erase the distance that separates reality and political desire, turning ordinary people into creators of utopias. Squatted houses, carnivalesque street parties, counter-summits, and camps in central squares, all create a physical place of these utopian visions
Examines expressions of utopian ideals by social activists in Western Europe since the late twentieth centuryAnalyses the aesthetic components of utopian space through a series of case studiesArgues that the fall of the Berlin wall has significantly impacted the political and cultural imagination of Western Europe

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