A Weapon In The Struggle: The Cultural History of the by Andy Croft

By Andy Croft

For over 70 years, the Communist occasion of significant Britain had a rare influence on British cultural existence, exercise a power really out of share to its dimension or political impression. Many paintings types have been revitalized or profoundly replaced, new ones have been tested or formed via teams and contributors linked to the social gathering. They introduced a dynamism and imaginative and prescient to cultural construction - even if in track, movie, theatre or literature - that helped lay the principles of a brand new radical tradition, a innovative avant garde during which the fight was once to provide a tradition for and of the folk, within the entrance line of the conflict of principles. This quantity recounts the histories of the artists, poets and cultural visionaries of the interval, putting them in a broader historic context and delivering an creation to British social and cultural heritage within the twentieth century.

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We are working closely with the Marx Library and the Workers’ School, we have taken part in strikes and elections, producing mimeographed newspapers on the spot, backed up by cartoons and posters. This will give us the direct experience we need of contact with the masses. We have made contact with revolutionary art groups abroad and plan international exhibits. Among our activities have been posters done for the Marxist Club of London University, preliminary work for an animated film cartoon for the Workers’ Film Movement, drawings and illustrations for the first number of ‘New Challenge’, our new workers’ sports paper; a puppet show to be shown in the streets, etc.

2). At the risk of earning the criticism of ‘miserablism’ frequently raised by Party propaganda theorists, this presumably unemployed sailor (with just a hint of Socialist Realist bodily proportions) ruminates on his fate, enclosed by the foreboding shadows and forms of his backyard. ’ The same method is employed to make a comment on the Royal Jubilee celebrations of 1935. The general view of the left was that this was a pretty transparent attempt by the National Government to whip up some diversionary patriotism in celebration of a less than glorious period of reign.

In 1936 Holland added further testimony to the sense of the new era of economic reality experienced by artists as a result of the slump: Economic crisis killed the active but undiscriminating patronage that the younger English artists had enjoyed since the war. About eight years ago these artists were faced with the choice of a cut-throat competition for what crumbs of patronage remained, continuing to paint until overtaken by starvation, giving up art, or using their abilities to discredit a system that makes art and culture dependent on the caprices of the money markets.

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