Antonio Berni, Manifestación (1934); Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA), Buenos Aires, Argentina
Recently, there has been an increase in mistrust regarding the political establishment. Forms of expressing this disconformity have been at the centre of public and academic discussion. Countercultures, as attempts to find an alternative to social conformity, are central to these expressions of dissent. Books like Angela Nagle’s Kill All Normies: Online culture wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the alt-right (2017) highlight the resurgence of youth subcultures in the last decade. Correspondingly, counterculture movements on both sides of the political divide have seen their numbers multiplied.
Art, fashion, literature, cinema and music have historically been vehicles to express and disseminate dissent. From the murals of Diego Rivera to those of Banksy, and from the Romantic Jacobins to the South African EFF, dissenting and countercultural movements have used the arts to stand against powerful social institutions. Likewise, countercultural movements have found their way into the politics of those who want to preserve the existing social structures. Donald Trump’s promise to ‘Drain the Swamp’ while reinforcing conservative values appealed to a large mass of US voters who saw the rise of the left as a menace to their lifestyle. In this context of anti-establishment sentiment, large corporations, too, have made use of the aesthetics of dissent for private gain, as was the case with Pepsi Co.’s controversial Kendall Jenner ad.
Issue 26 of FORUM engages with a range of disciplines that engage with the notions of counterculture and dissent.
Editors: Maria Torres-Quevedo and Valentina P. Aparicio
Review Team Autumn 2017: Enti Arends, Tamara Browne*, Rachel Chung, Richard Elliott*, Miklas Fahrenwaldt, Kiefer Holland*, Anna Kemball, June Laurenson, Dorothy Lawrenson, Kyriana Lynch*, Beata Migut, Aija Oksman, Alycia Pirmohamed, Vivek Santayana, Julie Sorokurs, Marianne Tyvand, Toni Velikova, Article editors are marked with a (*).