Well, 1969 was taken. If reality killed the Sixties dream at Altamont in 1969 the decade that followed was a dark sobriety, a hangover that made the world angrier and sore. The quote above was from Michael Lydon, a writer surveying the Altamont landscape and it occurred to him that perhaps the era of Woodstock was really coming to a close. It is also the perfect two lines of introduction to the 1970s a decade that returned the US to a conservatism of the ‘Silent Majority’. In Northern Ireland the ‘Troubles’ exploded and in Britain the optimism that fuelled the post-war era was getting strangled by recession.
1979 in particular saw the rise of the philosophies that would dominate the early 21st Century. In Iran the Shah was overthrown and replaced by Ayatollah Khomeini and a hardline politico-theocracy established. China through Deng abandoned Maoist principles and began the embrace of capitalism and Russia invaded Afghanistan putting in motion events that would eventually lead to 9-11 and alter the direction of the 21st Century. In Britain, Margaret Thatcher was elected and changed the political landscape forever. In 1979 in Derry a boy failed the 11-plus.
1979 was the threshold onto the laboratory of our modern age. This website originally was host to the 1979 Project: the creation of an online textual research ‘laboratory’ for the work of editor and curator Gregory McCartney. It featured essays (Tales) and shorter considerations (Notions) discussing relevant subjects and interesting tangential topics from poetry/art worlds and beyond. We have added Abridged Ecologies which will feature Gregory McCartney and Susanna Galbraith. See the Ecologies page for information
This project was made possible by support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland through its ACES programme.