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The Great Refusal Exhibition at Southbank Centre

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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Go Your Own Way

After years of austerity and the constant fear of being bombed, post-World War Britons were tired of rations and living on a tight budget. But things were not going to change back to normal overnight. The Second World War may have ended in 1945, but rationing continued until 1954. Although it was a time of celebration, there was still a lot of social unrest, and people were sceptical of politicians and government (what's changed?).

As consumer wealth began to grow, people wanted to live a little. A new generation, who never experienced wartime, were fed up with current policies, and thus a counter culture was born.

The Great Refusal is an exhibition at the Southbank Centre that examines the counter culture of the 1960s to 19180s. It opens on the 12th October and includes posters, photography, and ephemera dating between the 1940s-1980s. The art on display provides in sight as to the methods young people used to protest: drugs, consumerism, riots, revolution, and satire were all ways in which a new counter-culture emerged.
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Why? Fun for art lovers
When: 12th Oct - 5th Jan
Phone: 44 (0)20 7960 4200
Where: Southbank Centre
Cost: Free
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