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'Undercurrent affairs': radical environmentalism and alternative news

  • Ecology
  • Geography
  • Political Science


This paper is set in the context of the increased prevalence of environmental direct action in the United Kingdom. After delimiting 'radical' enviromentalism, and briefly describing the impetus for this turn to direct action, I focus on the radical environmental movement's use of different media. Thus parallel to the increase in direct action has been the emergence of a variety of radical environmental news texts (in both video and print form). These texts carry different representations and cultural - political mappings of the rural and rurality. Three themes of such a depiction are described: the rural as 'nature's refuge', as a local space but potentially global in its consequence, and a space of a radical history of Englishness. In the second half of the paper I draw insight from actor - network theory to argue for a relational - materialist approach to the production and consumption of these texts. By taking this approach I describe a 'moment' wherein it becomes difficult and problematic to separate these two processes. The notion of chains of production - consumption is suggested in order to overcome this difficulty.

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