A major new exhibition at the V&A seeks to encapsulate a monumental time, both in British culture and internationally: the late 1960’s. You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Revels 1966-1970 is a comprehensive and connective show that highlights the movements in civil rights, multiculturalism, environmentalism, consumerism and neoliberalist politics, assessing how the period has shaped today’s society.
An undoubtedly explosive time for arts, culture and everything in between, a radical revolution was coming into place alongside a communal sense of liberation and shifting consciousness. For the Western world, day to day life was on the cusp of change, and the structures of society set to follow suit.
This diverse show seeks to recreate the growing sense of optimism and idealism, with over 350 exciting objects. Photography, literature, music, design, film, fashion and artefacts are all important ephemera that track the counterculture which was rising in the next generation, and are displayed for the general public until February 2017.
Notable pieces in the various collections include underground magazine from Oz to the International Times, a shopping list written behind barricades during the 1968 Paris student riots, a moon rock on loan from NASA and the suits worn by John Lennon and George Harrison for the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Leaving no cultural or political stone unturned, this acclaimed show promises to tell the narratives of people who responded to the reordering of their world. As Martin Roth, Director of the V&A, states: “This seminal exhibition will shed new light on the wide-reaching social, cultural and intellectual changes of the late 1960s which followed the austerity of the post-war years, not just in the UK but throughout the Western world.”
You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Revels 1966-1970, V&A, London, until 26 February 2017.
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1. Anti-Vietnam demonstrators at the Pentagon Building, 1967,Photo by Bernie Boston / The Washington Post via Getty Images.