Full Text

Provos Revolt

Gavin Grindon


Subject History
Legal and Political » Political Philosophy
Sociology » Social Movements

Place Low Countries » The Netherlands

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics anarchism, government , revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.01224.x


Extract

Not to be confused with the Irish paramilitary organization, the Dutch Provos were founded by theorist Roel Van Duijn, designer Luud Schimmelpennink, anarchist Rob Stolk, and artist Robert Jasper Grootveld in July 1965. Their name came from Van Duijn's Provo magazine, which adopted as a positive title the negative term for rioting urban youth coined by Dutch social psychologist Wouter Buikhuisen ( Van Elteren 1994 : 127). “Provo” was short for provocateurs: the group employed ironic, playful art-happenings and hoaxes which were intended to provoke authority to reveal its essentially repressive character. Their model of activism was influential internationally for 1960s groups such as the Yippies and Diggers, and can still be felt in the theatrical activism of more recent groups in the global justice movement such as Reclaim the Streets. Declaring in their manifesto a countercul-tural anti-class of the “Provotariat”: “beatniks, pleiners, nozems, teddy-boys, rockers, blousons noirs, hooligans, mangupi, students, artists, misfits.” Provo put “its faith in anarchism … the only admissible social concept” ( Stansill & Mairowitz 1971 : 22). The Provos also published the theoretical writing of ex-Situationist Constant Nieuwenhuis in their magazine, to the extent that some saw him as the movement's official theoretician ( Ross 1997 : 71). His architectural “New Babylon” project, which ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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