On the 22nd of February 2018, The University and College Union (UCU) began industrial action over proposed changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS). Striking lecturers from all over the country remained absent from their university classes and lectures. At the heart of the dispute was a fight against considerable cuts to the pensions of university lecturers. First and foremost the attack on staff pensions was understood as a further lunge towards the totalising nature of neoliberalism on education and the ever-intensifying reaction was evidence of this.
The idea behind having both a zine and a website interlinked, stemmed from the process of change that was seen within the strike zine, Picket Realism. The notion of having a zine seemed prefigurative of many of the concepts paramount to the strike, whilst so too did the idea of having something dematerialised such as a website. Throughout the strike 'Picket Realism' transformed from a physical pamphlet into a solely digital medium by the third and last edition. This evolution highlighted a practical change, ie outreach and financial costs. However, it also embodied a theoretical and social element which was thematic to the strike at large. Much like the zine, the snowballing of political demands during the strike was reliant on a dematerialized and nonstatic conception of space. Producing a zine felt right in giving the legacy of the strike some physicality and hopefully a non-static circulation may continue of this materialized component. I posit that much like the editions of picket realism, the success of both the website and the physical zine are dependent on the opposing medium as a binary. The online links to web sources in the zine create a nonstatic characteristic to my representation of the strike. Whilst the same could be said for the website in that the zine creates a notion of the information being physically circulated.
Below are albums taken from specific events or places during the period of strike.