Cool Britannia and Multi-Ethnic Britain: Uncorking the Champagne Supernova

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Cool Britannia and Multi-Ethnic Britain: Uncorking the Champagne Supernova attempts to move away from the melancholia of Cool Britannia and the discourse which often encases the period by repositioning this phenomenon through an ethnic minority perspective. In March 1997, the front page of the magazine Vanity Fair announced 'London Swings! Again!' This headline was a direct reference to the swinging London of the 1960s - the English capital which became the era-defining epicentre of the world for its burgeoning rock and pop music scene, with its daring new youth culture, and the boutique fashion houses of Carnaby Street captured most indelibly by the Mods, Rockers, and psychedelic hippies of the time. In the 1990s this renewed interest in the swinging 60s seemed to reinvigorate popular culture, after a global period in the 1980s which would see the collapse of traditional communism and the ending of Cold War, while ushering in the beginnings of a new technological age spearheaded by Apple, Microsoft, and IBM. The dawn of the 1990s meant that peace and love would once again reign supreme, with Britannia being at the forefront of 'cool' again. Godfathers of the Mancunian Rock scene New Order would declare 'Love had the world in motion' and, for a fleeting period, Britain was about to encounter its second coming as the cultural epicentre of the world. Although history proffers a period of utopia, inclusion, and cultural integration, the narrative alters considerably when exploring this euphoric period through a discriminatory and racialised lens. This book repositions the ethnic minority-lived experience during the 1990s from the societal and political margins to the centre. The lexicon explored here attempts to provide an altogether different discourse that allows us to reflect on seminal and racially discriminatory episodes during the 1990s that subsequently illuminated the systemic racism sustained by the state. The Cool Britannia years become a metaphoric reference point for presenting a Britain that was culturally splintered in many ways. This book utilises storytelling and auto-ethnography as an instrument to unpack the historical amnesia that ensues when unpacking the racialised plights of the time.