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DIY OR DIE! Do-It-Yourself, Do-It-Together & Punk Anarchism


Edited by Jim Donaghey, Will Boisseau & Caroline Kaltefleiter, Active 2024

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SKU: AD-5804 Categories: , Tag:


Edited by Jim Donaghey, Will Boisseau & Caroline Kaltefleiter

A5 Book,  596 pages

The phrase ‘do-it-yourself’, often bandied about in discussions on cultural and political activism, is another of those key terms that has been borrowed (or stolen) from elsewhere. Just as ‘anarchist’ and ‘punk’ were appropriated (in the 1840s and 1970s, respectively), ‘DIY’ has likewise been recontextualised (first appearing in the context of home improvement in the 1910s, and applied to musical and political contexts from the 1950s onwards). But these terms are adopted for a reason, and their original meanings have continued significance – there is an ineluctable strand of radicality that runs through do-it-yourself, stemming from: its basis in action and doing; its emphasis on freedom of expression; its ties to material and cultural production; and its blurring of the supposedly distinct roles of producer and consumer. Taking the domestic roots of DIY as a stepping-off point, it is evident that this core of amateur ‘tinkering’ resonates through its evolving application in the contexts of anarchism and punk. But this radical kernel is always under pressure from consumerism and entrepreneurialism, and these same tensions persist in DIY-informed punk culture and anarchist activism.

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Weight 0.780 kg