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Punk: So What? Conference


11-11.30am: Opening – UK punk in its political and social context

By historian Professor Lucy Robinson

11.30am-12.30pm: ‘Poly Styrene: I am a cliche’ – film trailer and panel discussion

As the frontwoman of X-Ray Spex, Poly Styrene was and remains one of the most original and important figures in punk in terms of incisive lyrics, performance and attitude. Celeste Bell (Poly’s daughter, a film maker), Zoe Howe (writer and film maker) will be on the panel, which will be chaired by John Robb.

12.30-1.30pm: Rock Against Racism

Punk and politics came together in various ways. The alliance between certain punk acts and Rock Against Racism remains one of the most important legacies of punk. Talk led by Lois Wilson (Mojo magazine), Daniel Rachel and Rhoda Dakar (The Bodysnatchers/The Special AKA).

12.30-1.30pm: Documenting Punk

Dunstan Bruce, director of This Band is So Gorgeous: Sham 69 in China, and the forthcoming Chumbawumba film

Dennis Morris, Sex Pistols photographer, Basement 5 singer and PiL Metalbox designer.

1.30-2pm: Lunch

2-3pm: Glen Matlock – Sex Pistols talk and performance

3-3.45pm: Sounds of the faraway towns: the importance of local scenes and empowerment

While discussions of punk tend to revolve around London, activities outside (from bands to punk nights to fanzines) were an important influence on punk as a whole and were empowered by it. Talk led by Dunstan Bruce and John Robb.

4.30-5.15pm: Punk fashion

Punk fashion, whether designed by Vivienne Westwood or handmade by fans, provoked shock and disgust. 40 years on its look and attitude still exerts its influence. Talk by Pam Hogg (fashion designer/musician) and Sam Knee (fashion and subculture author).

5.15-5.45pm: Closing – The beautiful people are ugly too: The Clash as my ‘true fiction’

Professor Martin James’s reflections on running away from home at the age of 14 to follow The Clash.