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Punk – but not as we know it: Punk in post-socialist space

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In this introductory article, the rationale for considering punk in a particular spatial and temporal setting (post-socialist societies) is outlined. It is argued that such an enterprise is more than a process of filling in the ‘local colour’ of punk studies; the study of punk in places usually considered marginal to its inception and development can disrupt established canons of knowledge in a productive way. In this vein the article considers the relative usefulness of classic understandings of punk (as aesthetic movement and as site of ‘semiotic guerrilla warfare’) in the socialist and post-socialist context and explores key tropes in understandings of punk (punk and politics, authenticity and mimesis, and subcultural and everyday life) in relation to the particular expressions and lived experiences of punk in post-socialist societies. The article also introduces the project on which contributors to this special issue collaborated and the case studies (in Russia, Croatia and eastern Germany) from which the empirical material in the articles is drawn.

Keywords: authenticity; everyday life; politics; post-socialism; punk; subculture

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Manchester

Publication date: November 16, 2012

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  • Punk & Post-Punk is a journal for academics, artists, journalists and the wider cultural industries. Placing punk and its progeny at the heart of inter-disciplinary investigation, it is the first forum of its kind to explore this rich and influential topic in both historical and critical theoretical terms.
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