The Long 1980s

The Long 1980s considers the significance of the 1980s for culture and society today. It revisits this pivotal decade via a collection of micro-histories from across Europe, spanning the fields of art, culture and politics. Central to the stories in this book is the changing relationship between ideologies, governments and their publics, the effects of which have shaped the contemporary condition of Europe and beyond. Artists, writers and activists were responding to and articulating these changes in myriad ways: in the streets and through words, images, objects and actions. At the same time, new subjectivities were emerging at the intersection of race, class, gender and sexuality, all voices that were demanding to be heard.

Comprising newly commissioned essays by leading thinkers alongside seventy case studies, including images and archival material published for the first time, this publication offers an invaluable and alternative reading of the recent past, and assesses the decade of the 1980s as a turning point in political action: identity politics, political shifts between east and west, and the start of neoliberalism.

Part of the programme ‘The Uses of Art: The Legacy of 1848 and 1989’, this publication extends the discussions begun during eleven exhibitions, two conferences, two publications and one MA seminar, drawing on the accumulated knowledge and speculations of the many artists, curators, writers and institutions involved.

L'Internationale with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union

Logos L'internationale + Cofinanciado por el programa Europa Creativa de la UE

This publication is part of the programme 'The Uses of Art: The Legacy of 1848 and 1989', co-financed by the Culture Programme if the European Union and developed by L'Internationale together with KASK School of Arts University College Ghent,. Liverpool John Moores University, Middlesbrough Insitute of Modern Art and the University of Hildesheim.

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Technical details

Publication date:
Editorial category:
Essay books

Publisher: Valiz with L'Internationale, 2018 | supported by L'Internationale, KASK School of Arts, Gent, Mondriaan Fund, European Union, Culture Programme

Eng 978-94-92095-49-7