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UAL Research Online

Austerity pasts, austerity futures?

Bramall, Rebecca (2014) Austerity pasts, austerity futures? In: Futures in Question, 11-12 September 2014, Goldsmiths, University of London.

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Bramall, Rebecca

This paper was presented as part of a panel titled 'Digging for the Future', organized by Rebecca Bramall.

Since the financial crisis of 2007-8, the mobilization of the historical era of ‘austerity Britain’ as an analogy for the current conjuncture has both opened up and closed down possibilities for social change. A wide range of social actors – from policy institutes and cultural organizations to artists and community projects – have drawn upon the 1940s to imagine and describe alternative and often more sustainable ways of living. Wartime slogans such as ‘dig for victory’ and ‘make do and mend’ have informed this imaginary, as has an iconography of bunting, ration books, enamelware, and muddy carrots. As the implications of the coalition government’s spending cuts play out, emergent meanings of austerity have made it harder to make the environmental case for ‘less is more’, and a vociferous critique has emerged of ‘austerity nostalgia’, ‘poverty voyeurism’, and the (classed) politics of thrift. This paper reviews the factors that have constrained the articulation for progressive social change of austerity past to austerity present, and considers the possibilities for alternative future-making that this comparison may yet hold.

Official Website: http://www.austerityfutures.org.uk/conference/
Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: cultural economy, cultural studies
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: 12 September 2014
Event Location: Goldsmiths, University of London
Projects or Series: Austerity Futures
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2015 14:54
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2023 04:46
Item ID: 8267
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/8267

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