This is an entirely new edition of the author’s 1984 study (originally published by South End Press) of radical media and movements. The first and second sections are original to this new edition. The first section explores social and cultural theory in order to argue that radical media should be a central part of our understanding of media in history. The second section weaves an historical and international tapestry of radical media to illustrate their centrality and diversity, from dance and graffiti to video and the internet and from satirical prints and street theatre to culture-jamming, subversive song, performance art and underground radio. The section also includes consideration of ultra-rightist media as a key contrast case. The book’s third section provides detailed case studies of the anti-fascist media explosion of 1974-75 in Portugal, Italy’s long-running radical media, radio and access video in the USA, and illegal media in the dissolution of the former Soviet bloc dictatorships.
Italy: Three Decades of Radical Media
I talian political history since Mussolini, and especially since the end of the 1960s, has been tremendously complex. For many casual observers, only the fact that Italian governments have tended to come and go with amazing rapidity has really caught their attention, along perhaps with occasional spectacular stories of the Sicilian Mafia, evoking the Godfather movies. And so, Italy remains a sun-drenched tourist trap dripping with ancient and medieval history, pasta con sugo, … and the Pope.
Let us complicate this picture a little, just enough to set the scene for the daily newspaper (Il Manifesto) and the two radio stations (Radio Popolare, Milan, and Controradio, Florence) that we shall be studying.1 These three radical ...