The Second Sitting: an updated visual history of anarcho-punk in the UK 1980-84

Research output: Non-Textual OutputDigital or Visual Media


Panel Presentation presented to: 3rd Annual Punk Scholars Network Conference and Postgraduate Symposium: The Art of Punk, The University of Northampton, 25 November 2016.

‘Punk’ as a cultural force, was considered by the music press in the UK to have ceased around the late 1970’s. This project is an exploration and documentation of the subsequent rise of the UK ‘anarcho-punk’ movement in the 1980’s. This video document represents the culmination of the single-filmmaker approach developed through my earlier research projects but takes the DIY ethic further through exploration of the production, postproduction and eventual global distribution of a documentary work about this particular subject. As with earlier projects, the research ambition is to pursue a truly independent approach to documentary video production work and in this project similar themes and conventions are explored using archive video, stills photography, interview and music video approaches in the facilitation of a ‘documentary narrative’.
The original aim was to document materials then produce a DVD that highlighted the impact of ‘anarcho-punk’ in UK during the 1980’s and this version is an online update available worldwide via the PSN website. As a narrative, the ambition was to explore the tensions and complexities of arguably the most significant and influential of contemporary cultural and political movements which give birth to preceding subcultures (rave etc.) and is still manifest politically through the activities of the ‘Anti Globalisation Movement’ with spectacular counter-interventions during the 'G' summits worldwide. The three key research questions addressed in this project were:
What documentary representations and other materials exist which detail the complex nature of this movement?
How can such a diverse cultural and political movement be represented using the constraints of video/DVD?
With further developments in digital technologies, is it possible to produce and distribute documentary work globally outside of traditional media industry constraints?
This video ‘paper’ seeks to explore the question ‘How can the politics of early Anarcho-punk still have impact in a digital age?’
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBirmingham
PublisherVideo Essay Org
Media of outputFilm
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2016
Event3rd Annual Punk Scholars Network Conference and Postgraduate Symposium: The Art of Punk - The University of Northampton
Duration: 25 Nov 2016 → …

Bibliographical note

An updated version 2016 of the original made in 2006 reflecting additional key participants in the anarcho punk movement and includes definitive section on the history of the Warzone collective in Belfast.

From this presentation I wrote a chapter for the PSN conference proceedings published by Intellect


  • Video Essay
  • Documentary
  • Punk
  • anarcho punk
  • DIY video
  • Crass
  • ethnography


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