Radical Brisbane: An Unruly History
Vulgar Press, $50 pb, 329 pp
Brisbane’s unruly rioters and Melbourne’s enemies within continue the Vulgar Press’s excellent series of city guides. By interpreting familiar places in Melbourne and Brisbane from within a tradition of left-wing activism, the guides emphasise a different environmental heritage. Where city planning seems bent on transforming daily life into those sanitised displays that can garner tourist dollars, these collections speak to far more challenging and imaginative traditions. Sadly, and this seems especially the case in Brisbane, the buildings around which radicals fought and dreamed have, for the most part, disappeared. Photographs in Radical Brisbane present the reader with bland offices, mundane glass and concrete façades and the occasional freeway flyover. Modern city planning has efficiently purged the landscape of any radical intrusion.