Greetings from The Wire HQ
Like so many others in the global underground music community, The Wire has been left shell shocked and distraught by the result of the UK's EU referendum. Beyond all the political and economic arguments over whether the EU is a benign or malignant organisation, an incubator of freedom and democracy or an agent of neoliberal capitalism, the emotional, spiritual and psychological impact of the referendum result on anyone who values and draws strength from the kind of cultural border crossings and plurality of artistic expression that The Wire has always looked to reflect and represent has been profound.
Whichever way you look at it, the Leave vote is regressive, reactionary, isolationist and divisive. It should go without saying that The Wire rejects it and all that it implies (but we want to say it anyway, if only for our own peace of mind). It does not represent our beliefs, it does not reflect our reality.
The Wire has been based in London for more than three decades. But that fact has increasingly felt like an accident of birth. More than half our readers and subscribers live outside the UK; ditto our roster of writers and photographers. Over the years the office staff has been made up of workers from France, Greece, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, India, Ethiopia, New Zealand, the US and elsewhere. Likewise, so many of the musicians, artists, organisations, activities and initiatives that we report on or collaborate with are located on the European mainland or beyond – just look at the contents of any issue of the magazine over the past three decades for evidence of that.
The point here is that The Wire has always drawn strength and succour from the fact that it is not an isolated dot on a monocultural island, but an integrated component in a vast and mercurial global network of musical subcultures that is diverse and inclusive, and that does not define itself or discriminate on the basis of nationality, race or economic status. We feel it is important to restate that fact at this moment, as an expression of solidarity with all our international readers and subscribers.
The referendum result is a hammer blow to all of us in the UK who are active participants in the international underground music community. But it has also had a galvanising effect, reinforcing our commitment to that community and its core values, which are rarely stated out loud, but which implicitly embrace difference and celebrate connectedness. Long may they continue.
Publisher, The Wire