By Andy Croft
For over 70 years, the Communist get together of serious Britain had a unprecedented impression on British cultural lifestyles, exercise a power particularly out of share to its measurement or political impression. Many paintings varieties have been revitalized or profoundly replaced, new ones have been validated or formed by way of teams and participants linked to the get together. They introduced a dynamism and imaginative and prescient to cultural construction - no matter if in tune, movie, theatre or literature - that helped lay the rules of a brand new radical tradition, a revolutionary avant garde within which the fight was once to provide a tradition for and of the folk, within the entrance line of the conflict of rules. This quantity recounts the histories of the artists, poets and cultural visionaries of the interval, putting them in a broader old context and delivering an creation to British social and cultural background within the twentieth century.
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Additional resources for A Weapon In The Struggle: The Cultural History of the British Communist Party
The very word, ‘individual’ means inseparable. If we succeed in singling out and imitating a man’s expression or way of walking, we have destroyed this individuality. ’7 Nevertheless, Boswell did undertake topics for which satirical derision would not be appropriate as the dominant tone. In the October 1935 issue of Left Review he deals with the Italian invasion of Abyssinia in a format which could be seen as a response to Socialist Realist criticism, by attempting to combine both the exhortatory and the caricatural mode within the one image: the massively built industrial worker, in cap and braces, restrains in his giant hands the absurd, ugly and diminutive figure of Mussolini, in the manner of a parent holding back a small child in the middle of a tantrum.
He found an outlet for his radical views when he agreed to join the staff of the Daily Worker in 1936, adopting the pen name of ‘Gabriel’. Friell’s upbringing was indelibly marked by poverty and parental unemployment in Glasgow, a city famous for its culture of political radicalism; during the 1930s his professional ambition was centred exclusively on the production of the political cartoon, whereas the case of Boswell, Fitton and Holland is historically indicative of a new tendency for intellectuals and cultural workers to be increasingly attracted to the Communist Party as members or sympathisers during that period.
It proclaimed: The International Unity of Artists against Imperialist War on the Soviet Union, Fascism and colonial oppression. It is intended to further these ends by the following practical measures: 1. The uniting of all artists in Britain sympathetic to these aims, into working units, ready to execute posters, illustrations, cartoons, book jackets, banners, tableaux, stage decorations, etc. 2. The spreading of propaganda by means of exhibitions, the press, lectures and meetings. 3. The maintaining of contacts with similar groups already existing in 16 countries.
A Weapon In The Struggle: The Cultural History of the British Communist Party by Andy Croft