Friday, June 9, 2023

Can Punk Change the Way We Think About Law?

I just discovered this blog, Critical Legal Thinking (“CLT”), and my curiosity has certainly been piqued.

Over the next week there will appear on Critical Legal Thinking a series of posts on the theme “Punk, Law, Resistance”. According to CLT, “the idea for this series was inspired by some of the highly creative forms of protest that have recently taken place in the UK, such as the Book Bloc and the UK Uncut read-ins. But why Punk? Wasn’t Punk just some flash in the pan music scene from the 1970s? What relevance could it possibly have to the critique of law and politics today?” Here are some of their thoughts on the importance of punk on law.

[Deirdre] King [argues] that the “spirit of Punk” exists today in the “aesthetic-political form of protest”, particularly political art expressed through slogans on placards, posters and t-shirts. She gives the example of creative thinking by anti-war protestors in 2005: arranging public tea parties and holding up blank placards in an attempt to get around the government prohibition on demonstrations in and around Parliament Square. King notes that the blank placard was such a courageous and witty representation of political silencing that it influenced Mark Wallinger’s Tate Gallery installation “State Britain”, which, according to its website, “raises challenging questions about issues of freedom of expression and the erosion of civil liberties in Britain today”.

This is what CLT has coming up. First, the power of Punk as an ‘event’ characterized by a reversal of perspective. Then, an essay analyzing the Russian radical art group “Voina” and their encounters with the law. Finally , Punk as the transgressive politics of boredom.

You can read more on this and CLT here. Looks like worthwhile reading.


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