Culture Itself Will Not Liberate Us: Commune Editions on ‘Literary Activism’ and Politics

Real interesting piece here on the need to think more carefully on the relation between politics and poetry.

‘We fear the displacement of political antagonisms into the sphere of the literary and the cultural has a long history of helping to aestheticize, derail, and defuse past social movements significantly more skeptical about the relationship between culture and politics, or culture and power. Huey Newton’s 1968 assertion “that culture itself will not liberate us,” for example, is almost unimaginable today— politicians and police help to organize speakouts and poetry slams to prevent disruptive protests, riots, and rebellions from erupting in the streets. Empty rituals of cultural recognition and endless stage-managed “dialogue” are continually offered as substitutes for even minimal reforms to state policy, laws, and the economy.’

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/harriet/2015/08/responding-to-what-is-literary-activism/

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