{ DIY }


The do-it-yourself (DIY) ethic promotes the idea that anyone is capable of performing a variety of tasks rather than relying on paid specialists. It requires that the adherent seeks out the knowledge needed to complete a task.
This ethic emerges in correspondence to punk subculture: is tied both to punk ideology and anti-consumerism. Its central point is the empowerment of both individuals and communities, encouraging the employment of alternative approaches when faced with bureaucratic or societal obstacles to achieving their objectives.

DIY culture originated in the late ’60s and early ’70s in the form of the free festival movement, mutating through protest camps, thus incorporating elements of the first radical tendencies such as beat and peace movements, and into punk through bands such as Crass.
In the 1990s, DIY became a somewhat recognised movement in the UK, where the protest (the direct action) and party (the festival) converged. The prime example of this movement was the Exodus Collective. This development constituted a significant cross-pollination of pleasure and politics, resembling the anti-disciplinary politics of the 1960s.

During the 1990s, this DIY activism became more prominent, demonstrating the desire for an economy of mutual aid and co-operation; the commitment to the non-commodification of art; the appropriation of digital communication technologies for free community purposes; and the commitment to alternative technologies such as biodiesel or renewable energy.
Nevertheless, from 1991–1997 the UK’s Conservative government cracked down on squatting, animal rights activists, greens, travellers, as well as raves, parties and dance culture.

Despite this repressive wave, it is relevant to note that, because of internet expansion, the DIY ethic found a channel to spread and make knowledge more accessible. Indeed, accessibility, and therefore self-sufficiency, are the advantages of this bottom-up way of conceiving society.


Marco Cechet