photo by SG

Monday, July 14, 2008

White Bicycles

Just finished Richard Kempton's really cool Provo: Amsterdam's Anarchist Revolt. Fascinating. I'd only heard about the Provo's in passing, mostly in Rosemont and Radcliffe's fucking sweet Dancin' In The Streets!: Anarchists, IWWs, Surrealists, Situationists & Provos In The 1960's. (Despite the title, the Provos are mentioned in only one short piece.)

Important observations about the role of creativity and joy in movements. I continue to read about these fantastic creative protests in the '60s, and I can't help but wonder where are their contemporaries today? The Provos and their allies threatened the power of the Dutch state while engaging in absurd antics. Today, absurdity is dismissed as being "out of touch". Instead, radicals seem to try to emulate the bourgeois "professionalism" of the politicians or fulfill media stereotypes of subcultural ghettos haunted by the

Anyone have any ideas? Where is the socially conscious avante-garde? Where are the working class poets? 'Cause inspired as I am by the joyful resistance of the Provos and their contemporaries, I can't find their traces present in our movement these days.

Bonus point: In a true anarcho-fanboy moment, I emailed David Graeber a question today and I'm excited to hear back from him. I've gotta start realizing that our movement is too small for me to be nervous reaching out to people who've written good books.

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