From Watts to Wall Street: a Situationist analysis of political violence

Lang, Martin (2020) From Watts to Wall Street: a Situationist analysis of political violence. In: Art Activism and Political Violence. Routledge, London. ISBN UNSPECIFIED

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From Watts to Wall Street: a Situationist analysis of political violence
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Abstract

This chapter applies ‘The Decline and Fall of the Spectacle-Commodity Economy’ – the Situationist account of the Watts Rebellion (Los Angeles, 1965) – to the August riots (England, 2011) and the global Occupy movement that followed. It draws two conclusions: that both May ‘68 and Occupy were formed by the political violence that preceded them; and that, although the Situationist essay makes problematic claims about race, its assessment of the Spectacle-Commodity Economy remains valuable. In fact, if combined with intersectional theory, it can provide a useful counterbalance to identity politics that can prevent what Alain Badiou calls an ‘immediate riot’ from becoming a ‘historical riot’ by fragmenting mass social movements and undermining unity.

Keywords:situationist international, Watts Rebellion, August Riots, 'Occupy' movement, May 1968, Alain Badiou, Race and Class, Cultural Appropriation
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V350 History of Art
L Social studies > L200 Politics
W Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Fine Arts)
ID Code:37205
Deposited On:15 Nov 2019 08:47

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