Rose English looks back at the art of radical 1980s Britain

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Rose English introduces the Tate Liverpool exhibition Keywords, a group show that includes her own performance work alongside other art from 1980s Britain. This was a tumultuous decade in Britain, marked by many forms of oppositional politics which had a direct impact on culture, including the miners’ strike, race riots and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Keywords takes its name from the seminal 1976 Raymond Williams book on the vocabulary of culture and society. His book contains more than 130 short essays on words such as ‘violence’, ‘country’, ‘criticism’, ‘media’, ‘popular’ and ‘exploitation’ providing an account of the word’s current use, its origin and the range of meanings attached to it.

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