Culture Matters

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Culture Matters is a website affiliated with the Communist Party of Britain.

Communist beginnings

Towards the end of 2015, the opportunity arose to put some of these ideas into practice, through a website focusing on art, culture and politics. Mike Quille, Convenor of the Culture Commission and Arts Editor of Communist Review, and National Organiser Ben Stevenson co-edited the development of a site called Culture Matters, occupying Communist Party webspace but with its own domain name (the website address is The site aims to apply a broadly Marxist perspective to the arts and to cultural activities generally. Specifically, it aims to: • Cover all the arts e.g. poetry, theatre, film, visual art, and music • Interpret culture widely, to include most learned human activities, e.g. sport, science and technology, religion, eating and drinking, clothing and fashion, TV, radio and the internet etc. • Dissolve the barriers between ‘high’ culture and popular culture • Rescue, retrieve, unearth and promote interpretations and meanings which challenge and subvert dominant cultural discourses, and which envision and express progressive alternatives in an accessible and attractive manner

The site was launched in December 2015, with some assistance from the Morning Star, and has since increased rapidly in size and variety.

It has an arts hub and a culture hub, and each hub has been divided into sections which have been populated by a broad range of articles, sent in by a large number of contributors. The contributors include Morning Star writers and reviewers, poets, artists and creative writers, academics and political activists. There are currently over 130 contributors, mostly from Britain and the US, and over 200 pieces – articles, essays, poems, artworks, reviews etc., with numbers still increasing rapidly. The number of ‘hits’ on individual articles varies, but gradually rises over time. Some articles have been visited several thousand times.

The site clearly fills a need, and in general has been warmly welcomed, but there is still a lot of work to do. Currently, the editors are: • Seeking contributions on topics which have not yet been adequately covered • Making links with the labour movement, in order to publicise the site, attract more contributions, develop a presence at union events, and join in various other kinds of partnership project • Planning to develop the site further to make it easier to access and use • Making some tentative moves into publishing. \ The site has no budget and is entirely dependent on voluntary contributions and voluntary labour. Mike Quille continues to research, edit and upload all content, and Ben Stevenson has now been replaced by Chris Guiton. Chris manages the technical and web design issues, social media presence (Culture Matters has a Facebook page and tweets at @Culturesmatter), advises on general project development, and manages our growing links with the labour movement. The overall aim is to put into practice the approach to artistic and cultural activities which is outlined in the BRS. [1]