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UAL Research Online

Austerity pasts, austerity futures?

Bramall, Rebecca (2014) Austerity pasts, austerity futures? In: Lectures on the Post-Carbon Society: Better with less? De-growth, Austerity and Wellbeing, 6-8th October 2014, University of Valencia.

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

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 in the UK ¬– 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, spades and muddy carrots. As the implications of the UK 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.

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: cultural studies cultural economy environmentalism
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: 7 October 2014
Event Location: University of Valencia
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2015 16:17
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2023 04:46
Item ID: 8268
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/8268

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