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Subcultural and social innovations in the campaign for nuclear disarmament

McKay, GA 2004, 'Subcultural and social innovations in the campaign for nuclear disarmament' , Peace Review: Journal of Social Justice, 16 (4) , pp. 429-438.

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    In times of war and rumours of peace, when ‘terrorism’ and ‘torture’ are being revisited and redefined, one of the things some of us should be doing is talking and writing about cultures of peace. In what follows, I ask questions about the place of culture in protest by considering the cluster of issues around the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) from its founding in London in 1958. I look at instances of (sub)cultural innovation within the social and political spaces CND helped make available during its two high periods of activity and membership: the 1950s (campaigning against the hydrogen bomb) and the 1980s (campaigning against U.S.-controlled cruise missiles). What particularly interests me here is tracing the reticence and tensions within CND to the (sub)cultural practices with which it had varying degrees of involvement or complicity. It is not my wish to argue in any way that there was a kind of dead hand of CND stifling cultural innovation from within; rather I want to tease out ambivalences in some of its responses to the intriguing and energetic cultural practices it helped birth. CND was founded at a significant moment for emerging political cultures. Its energies and strategies contributed to the rise of the New Left, to new postcolonial identities and negotiations in Britain, and to the Anti-Apartheid Movement. In what ways did it attempt to police the ‘outlaw emotions’ it helped to release?

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: The published version in the journal also contains a number of images: a jazz band on an Aldermaston CND march, Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp poster, Crass 'Nagasaki nightmare' record sleeve, Glastonbury CND Festival programme cover.
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; cultural resistance; Aldermaston march; anarcho-punk; Greenham Common; Glastonbury Festival
    Themes: Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
    Subjects / Themes > M Music and Books on Music > M Music
    Subjects / Themes > D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
    Memory, Text and Place
    Subjects outside of the University Themes
    Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Arts & Media > Communication, Cultural & Media Studies Research Centre
    Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences
    Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Arts & Media
    Journal or Publication Title: Peace Review: Journal of Social Justice
    Publisher: Routledge
    Refereed: Yes
    ISSN: 1040 2659
    Related URLs:
    Depositing User: Prof George McKay
    Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2009 10:46
    Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 16:59

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