Riding Down the Hard Road: DIY approaches to documenting punk as political resistance [Video Essay]

Research output: Non-Textual OutputDigital or Visual Media


‘History is always in the making, not in the past but in the present’ Antonio Gramsci (Prison Notebooks 391), a ‘call to action’ by Gramsci to use this potential while it still exists, perhaps to archive and document punk across the globe? This is a core ambition of the Punk Scholars Network and myself as academic researcher in these areas.

In this paper I will argue that, the overarching Grand Narrative concept of the modernist period may prove useful in a ‘post-modern’ era as a significant challenge to the fragmented, banal and often redundant relativism of the post-modern documentary characteristic. The construction of a documentary narrative necessarily requires a ‘structure’ even if this is an ‘anti-structural’ approach. To deny this universal element of documentary construction may be regarded as a means to de-politicise the potential of documentary to motivate collective action which is the central element to the anarcho-punk DIY ethic. To ‘document’ then can also be regarded as a ‘political’ act.

I will argue that DIY documentary works around PUNK faced numerous challenges and resistance both internally and externally, that few other types of underground cultural production processes in the late twentieth century had to face in the archiving of its own history. In this paper I will discuss my research and why I believe this is a unique and essential DIY activity.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationPorto
PublisherKISMIF: Keep it Simple, Make it Fast
Media of outputOnline
Size12m 55s
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2018
EventKISMIF: Keep it Simple, Make it Fast: Gender, Differences, Identities and DIY Cultures - University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
Duration: 4 Jul 20187 Jul 2018


  • Punk
  • DIY
  • anarcho punk
  • Documentary
  • Video Essay
  • Belgium
  • Portugal


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