Hardcore Politics


As discussed by Cathy J. Cohen and Joseph Kahne, participatory politics involve “interactive, peerbased acts through which individuals and groups seek to exert both voice and influence on issues of public concern.”  (Jenkins, 2012)

This new form of social and political interaction represents a shift from traditional forms of activism towards that of a modern era. Social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have been utilized as important tools in numerous campaigns such as the Skydancer Project undertaken by Australian hardcore band In Hearts Wake.

Occurring in October 2013, the Skydancer Project was created as an explicit response towards the plight of indigenous cultures within modern society. In recognition of the band’s increasing success, In Hearts Wake attempted to utilise their position in order to appeal towards underground music communities and portray these individual beliefs and concerns. This refers to Jenkins’ (2012) comments that popular culture may be used to portray social issues in order to appeal to a broader audience.

This campaign adopting clicktivist notions employed both Facebook and Twitter, demonstrating mass ‘spreadability’.  Supporting artists and fans (specifically a large youth demographic) in distributing the Skydancer webpage and ambiguous eagle icon (seen within the header) generated significant social media traffic, causing an influx of interest towards related issues. This also refers to Strauss’ (2011) claims that political movements such as this must appeal towards youth culture in order to generate success.

During the 30 day campaign, In Heart Wake released their new single “Skydancer”. Sold on a ‘pay what you want basis’, 100% of profits generated were received by grassroots organisations relevant to the cause (see below)

The SkyDancer project in this sense acted as a “gateway towards more traditional forms of politics” (Jenkins, 2012).  Movements including this social media support had developed into traditional, political action, generating over $3000. However this was only half of their success “Money’s 50 per cent of what’s being given to these organisations, but the other 50 per cent of it is raising the awareness. If anything that counts for more than the money itself.” (Taylor, 2014)


Anonymous,  2014, ‘In Hearts Wake: ‘Shout It’’, the Brag , Unknown, accessed 10 May, < http://www.thebrag.com/music/hearts-wake-shout>

In Hearts Wake, (2013), Skydancer, UNFD, accessed 10 March

Jenkins, H (2012). ‘ Clicktivism- The New Political Commons’, Options Politiques, November, accessed 10 May, < http://www.irpp.org/fr/options-politiques/rassemblons-nous-/clicktivism-the-new-political-commons-fr-ca/>

Strauss, J (2011), ‘Youth movement in a culture of hopelessness’. Aljazeera.com, October 08, accessed 10 May <http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/spotlight/occupywallstreet/2011/10/2011107172820297149.html>

Anonymous,  2014, ‘In Hearts Wake: ‘Shout It’’, the Brag , Unknown, accessed 10 May, < http://www.thebrag.com/music/hearts-wake-shout>

Related organisations:

Red Dust

Hardcore Help

 Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous People



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