Mapping underground London: the cultural politics of nature, technology and humanity

Rycroft, Simon (2003) Mapping underground London: the cultural politics of nature, technology and humanity. Cultural Geographies, 10 (1). pp. 84-111. ISSN 0967-4608

Full text not available from this repository.


An understanding of the geographies of resistance benefits from an exploration of alternative geographical imaginations. A focus on the London based counter-culture of the 1960s illustrates this point. The oppositional geographies of the counter-culture can be mapped using the London underground press as both source and object. In doing so, the underground’s peculiar constructions of the relationships between nature, technology and humanity can be traced. The (‘new’) leftist movements of the 1960s are not of primary interest here. Rather, the less conventional forms of cultural politicking from that period are the focus. Factions who were engaged in a range of activities, from the seemingly esoteric production of light-shows, through the ‘weekend hippy’ up from the home counties, to the editors of radical underground papers, attempted to operationalize a range of contemporaneous social, cultural and media theories in their project to redefine the discourse of dissent. In doing so, claims to primordial naturalness were made on the basis that new electronic technologies were extensions of the natural human self and could, if correctly utilized, reinsert nature into culture and consciousness. This same geographical imagination was used as a tool to avoid appropriation. By focusing upon the discursive aspects of resistance it is possible to draw a more nuanced account of the relationship between power and dissent that renders it less polarized and more symbiotic.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General) > G0001 Geography (General)
Depositing User: Simon Rycroft
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:13
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2012 08:38
📧 Request an update