Freedom News

Introducing Freedom’s new Cultural Editor

As the new culture editor at Freedom, I wanted to introduce myself and the focus of this new venture. For the past twenty years, I’ve been a poet, performer, and anarchist, and over the years, I’ve added author, sound artist, and reviewer to this repertoire. A recent move to London has proved creatively inspirational, and I’m grateful to my Freedom comrades for welcoming this new space.

Yes, I’ll be talking about anarchic punk and protest art, they’re a staple of the anarchist scene, but anarchic values are surreptitiously woven throughout a plethora of creative endeavours, and so I hope to tease these out with the aim of examining the ways in which elements of anarchic philosophy flash across The Arts, even if not always attributed to the anarchic canon.

It has been mentioned to me that some view the creation and appreciation of art as solely the enclave of the bourgeoisie – an unnecessary affectation that bears no resemblance to the struggles of the working classes. But dismissing all art simply because of this perceived classism would mean ignoring the creativity at the very heart of human existence.

From folk music and storytelling around fires to creative adaptations of constantly evolving technology to the internet’s democratisation of the dissemination of art, when people have the opportunity to make beautiful things, they do.

I agree with the argument that the middle and upper classes’ stranglehold on the arts is solely due to their excess of finances and time to create, which then breeds an exclusive culture.

Art is something the working classes are expected to consume, or, lacking the money, contacts, and nuanced understanding of how to navigate The Arts World, are forced into Battle Royale style shows like X-Factor in the hopes of generating artistic recognition.

Even this savage arena within which the working classes must compete, contrasted with the ease with which the bourgeoisie navigate such spaces, does not negate the value of art.

This behaviour proves that when time and headspace are available (which is what money buys – cue my continued championing of the universal basic income), people’s natural creativity, curiosity, and inquisitive and playful nature come to the fore. This immersion in the sandbox of the imagination is the state we return to when not being ground into fragments by the capitalist machine. So, I aim for this new culture section to offer a platform for anarchist artists whose work perhaps doesn’t fit elsewhere and examine more mainstream art through an anarchic lens.

I’m open to publishing and reviewing across all genres of anarchist art, music, theatre, literature, and film, as well as interviewing anarchic creators when I feel this will be of significance. I am especially interested in anarchic art (poems, novels, art, music, theatre, film etc.) by creators from working class backgrounds.

If you have an anarchic creation you feel would fit or want to be reviewed, drop me an email at editor@freedompress.org.uk  with the subject heading: Culture [+ title of piece]. If you are a reviewer and have an idea for a piece, please also get in touch. Submission guidelines can be viewed here.

Final note – I am currently a team of one, and as such, there is no guarantee your work will be reviewed or featured, but I hope that this journey of creative discovery is something we can all embark on together.

~ Sophie McKeand


Image: Oneslutriot

Discover more from Freedom News

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading