Thursday, 20 August 2009

Is the left ready for Mutiny?

It's always refreshing when left wing or activist groups adopt creative approaches to political discussion, education or awareness raising. It is so easy (and so boring) for long-established groups to get stuck in somewhat stale routines, going through the motions - or unthinkingly organising in precisely the same way they have done for years.

I'm therefore impressed by the brand new Mutiny events, which I've learnt about via the wonder of modern technology that is Facebook. The accompanying blog still appears to be in the development stage, but for now you can join the Facebook group and check out the details for the first Mutiny event (I'll post details of the blog when it's up and running).

The publicity promises 'Politics like you've never seen b4' - I'm a liberal-minded English teacher so am willing to accept, if a little nervously, the use of 'b4' - and 'Revolutionary performance politics with audience participation - plus art exhibition, interactive poetry wall, DJs, dancing and discussion'.

Now, I don't need to explain to anyone familiar with the routines of left-wing meetings that this is a million miles from the conventional. And a very good thing too: there's a whiff of the dynamism and inventiveness (and perhaps eccentricity) of 1968, or maybe Rock Against Racism in the late 70s, that is - right now - exactly what we need.

Even the venue's name has a revolutionary feel to it: Resistance Gallery (A quick Google search reveals it recently hosted some Japanese rope bondage, so the name could have a double meaning). The first event - titled 'Money on Trial' - is on 24 September and will explore music and money (can music be used to build a political movement?), environment and money (can we solve climate change in a world with money?) and democracy and money (can we live in a world without money?).

The topics are familiar, but my impression is that they'll be explored in more imaginative and diverse ways than we tend to get on the left, with video, art and music all prominent. Hopefully they will reach the parts (and the people) other left-wing events don't get to.

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