Twitter is a great place to practise skills of procrastination. However, in between reading the news or tweets of squabbling academics, sometimes a little gem like this comes along. Before I fully explain what has excited me so much about this website, here is some back ground on the EDL – English defence league.
‘The English Defence League (EDL) is a far-rightstreet protest movement which opposes what it considers to be a spread of Islamism, Sharia law and Islamic extremism in the United Kingdom. The EDL has been described as Islamophobic. The group has faced confrontations with various groups, including Unite Against Fascism (UAF).
I shamelessly admit to pulling this description from Wikipedia. This is not something I would do in academic writing, However EDL’s own description does not describe the organisation in what can be considered a truthful and authentic light.
Opening most newspapers the main reasons the EDL hit the headlines is due to acts of racist violence at their marches or online, or more recently the founder Tommy Robinson attempting to intimidate the editor of a website that openly critiques the EDL by tweeting pictures of his house (that turned out to be the wrong house!).
So to get back to culture jamming and the focus of this piece, the website of the EDL.. English Disco Lovers ‘One world. One race, One disco’
This website sums up in the about me section why it is culture jamming the English Defence League.
For the organisers and followers ‘The English Disco Lovers (EDL) are a pro-equality group, looking to reclaim the EDL acronym and make it stand for something positive’. Standing for the opposite of the English Defence league and by using the humour of disco this site reveals the true nature of what the English Defence League hope to achieve and really how ridiculous it is. The site has been nominated for the National Diversity Awards 2013.
The beauty of culture jamming is that it occurs in many guises. It can be a sticker on a street light pole asking you to reflect on the important things in your life, it can be a billboard at the side of the road that exposes the ugly side of a corporate brand, it can be graffiti in an urban backstreet giving a voice to the silent, or it can be a website that subverts the hatred of a far right movement in to humour that promoted unity and equality in British society. Anybody can culture jam, all it takes is passion, a sense of humour and a will to change society in to a better place.