Global Radicals: The Transnational Imagination of Australian Sixties Activists

Third World Bookshop. ©Russ Grayson,
Third World Bookshop. ©Russ Grayson,

Jon Piccini
University of Queensland
Follow on Twitter @JonPiccini

Ever since 2009, when the so called ‘Green Revolution’ in Iran mobilised disenchantment over rigged electoral processes via social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook, pundits have marveled at the ‘hashtag revolutionaries’ of the 21st century. Hashtags such as #BlackLivesMatter and #RhodesMustFall have come to define movements for African American dignity and the decolonisation of higher education, while the media have awarded popular ‘tweeters’ such as Deray Mckesson spokesperson positions in these otherwise leaderless movements.

However, some dispute the level to which these websites and social media celebrities were central to protest organisation, and broader questions of temporality are equally posed. The marvelling in Twitter’s spontaneous and instantaneous communication leaves little allowance for previous forms of transnational communication that, while perhaps not as quick or easily mediatised, created global movements long before the internet.

My book, Transnational Protest, Australia and the 1960s, published by Palgrave MacMillan shines a light on the processes of global political engagement that made the 1960s a transnational decade. It explores how Australian activists sought out, engaged with, experienced, and translated global ideas – from anti-colonial struggle in Vietnam to the Black Power movement in America and student-worker politics in France. Continue reading “Global Radicals: The Transnational Imagination of Australian Sixties Activists”