The Busker: Writing Occupy, Politics, and Protest



Bell LM (2015) The Busker: Writing Occupy, Politics, and Protest. New Writing, 12 (2), pp. 185-192.

The protagonist of my second novel, The Busker, is a singer-songwriter who seeks to use the Occupy LSX movement as a way of promoting his protest songs. In this paper, I will examine the ways in which folk music allows singers to “say whatever needs to be said... at the time when it needs to be said” (Guthrie in Jackson, 2007:40) and how this character provided the frame to investigate the Occupy movement, which David Graeber describes as “changing the national debate to begin addressing issues of financial power, the corruption of the political process, and social inequality” (Graeber, 2013:141). By analysing the structures and themes of the novel, I aim to show how the narrative explores the contradictions, diversity of opinion and lasting impact of the Occupy movement on our society and our politics, whilst also exploring the potential pitfalls of appropriating a mass movement for individual gain.

Contemporary; Fiction; Creative; Occupy; Protest; Music

New Writing: Volume 12, Issue 2

Publication date31/12/2015
Publication date online21/05/2015
Date accepted by journal27/03/2015
PublisherTaylor and Francis

People (1)


Dr Liam Bell

Dr Liam Bell

Senior Lecturer, English Studies