Radical Intersections

The rise and repression of the free festival movement in the UK and some intersections with radical anti-politics.

This article is based on a series of talks held in Basel, Berlin, Graz and Rome in 2007, and has been revised for this issue of datacide.
It doesn’t attempt to present a definitive history, but follow some tracks of contamination and inspiration. Some readers will already be familiar with some of the described historical frames, others not at all. It was written in a way that should be accessible without prior knowledge in terms of the facts and factoids, but under the assumption of an understanding of the validity of counter cultures as possible antitheses to the capitalist culture industry.
It also leaves out many other strains that contributed to this antagonism, such as left communism, surrealism, lettrism, the situationists, communes, sexpol, anti-psychiatry, neoism etc, as it focusses on the festival.

“The festival is apt to end frantically in an orgy, a nocturnal debauch of sound and movement transformed into rhythm and dance by the crudest of instruments.” (Roger Caillois, 1938) [Read more →]

YOU MUST HELP YOURSELF:

NEO-LIBERAL GEOGRAPHIES AND WORKER INSURGENCY IN OSAKA

“I realize as the train pulls in that the station is on fire. The platform is aflame and below the streets are empty with people running past occasionally. Something is happening. I pick up some rocks and start throwing them at a police line.”
-anonymous rioter at Kamagasaki

“You must help yourself.”
-Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS

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October 2nd, 1990. The day started as any other does in Osaka’s Nishi-Nari ward, men lined up around the yoseba employment center, in the thousands, waiting for work. If it came, they would load into the cars of construction contractors in groups, with parachute pants and wrapped heads. For eight hours they might wave light wands ‘guiding pedestrians’, dig concrete roads, re-pave highways or variously break their backs in the sun. This proletarian fate was ceded by the city’s bourgeoisie over a period of thirty years of continuous unemployed unrest; all the union officials touted it as labor ‘won’ from an inhuman system. After all, without work, one does not eat, and once conditions have worsened to the point that this phrase becomes dictatorial, one works in a fervor; for work leads to ‘independence’. Work might one day lead out of the slum.
[Read more →]

TEK IT UP

This is a report from the frontlines of this year’s Czech teknival, held the first weekend of August. It is an updated and elongated version of an article that first appeared the week after teknival in ‘Scandaloso’, a free party zine produced in English and translated into as many languages as possible where applicable.
To get copies etc, contact: scandaloso24@yahoo.co.uk
The vibrancy of the culture and the beauty of the country have had party-heads coming to CzechTek since 1994. The culture and music festival has grown from small beginnings; two years ago at the largest CzechTek so far there were around 30-40,000 participants including dozens of sound systems.
[Read more →]

ROMA RIOT

A little bit of splendour and inauspicious history.

“People asked me questions about tomatos robbing the vine and rotting on the vine and I had no idea what I was thinking about and abided in blank ecstasy”.
“The only cure for morphine poisoning is more morphine”.
[Jack Kerouac – Mexico City Blues 1959]

roma-riot
The ROMAN context doesn’t breathe quite well. It’s blocked up by the habit of a routine which offers almost the same, approximate, superficial stuff.
In spite of the indefatigable activity of a small part, we have to notice that Rome lived other periods, even short, distinguished by a deep, rebel, stired up spirit. In those periods all the people involved did the best to lead their attitudes and behaviours, honestly inclined to the transformation and the global mutation of everything around our existence and “resistance”.
The social control in its most marked issues (see the fortunately faulted attempts of police to stop the raves) has been able to refrain the intentions of many, but at the same time made harsher the intentions of the few, as us, which never gave up the fight to claim actions, facts and events filled with emancipation and freedom.
[Read more →]

RECLAIM THE STREETS – NYC

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RTS NYC began under the auspices of a giant iron hand- disembodied and reaching out blindly from the side of a hulking office building at union square- and a huge digital clock laid out like a racetrack across the same building, with green numbers that were increasing exponentially; at 2 pm the crowd was gathering, swelling closer to a critical mass. having anticipated a movement south towards the village, a heavy contingency of nypd thugs had taken up glaring positions along 14th street. i would have loved to see their faces once RTS whistles started blowing and the crowd turned north instead and poured down into the union square subway station, where a smiling girl handed out free tokens at the turnstile. thanks to the mta, party-goers, protesters, and assorted culture-jammers were transported quickly and (relatively) coplessly uptown, to that center of fucking consumer culture, TIMES SQUARE.
[Read more →]

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