In the summer of 2007, the Imperial War Museum London ran an allotment project with The Royal Parks, setting up a ‘victory garden’ in St James’s Park, London. The rationale for the project rested on a perceived relationship between the priorities of Britain during the Second World War years, as epitomized by the ‘dig for victory’ campaign, and the ‘things that we are concerned about today - having access to fresh healthy food, being active and living sustainably’ (Imperial War Museum London, 2008: 1). This project typifies an articulation identified in the introduction to this book as a particularly critical one, namely the drawing of a connection between sustainability politics and austerity, via the historical period of ‘austerity Britain’. It is not an isolated example, but one of many projects, texts and contexts in which ‘dig for victory’ has been activated in recent years. In this chapter, I consider this conjunction of austerity, history and sustainability. I take the injunction to ‘dig for victory’ as a starting point for a consideration of the place of historicity in environmental and anti-consumerist politics. Focusing in particular on the urban agricultural projects with which ‘dig for victory’ has become associated, I consider how austerity discourse might inform British consumers’ understanding of agricultural systems, and the role it might play in the constitution of consuming subjects.
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- Dig for Victory! Eco-austerity, Sustainability, and New Historical Subjectivities
- Palgrave Macmillan UK