Skip down to main content

OxDEG Virtual alternative worldmaking? New Travellers online

With Freya Hope
Date & Time:
15:30 - 17:00,
Tuesday 2 May, 2023
61 Banbury Road
How to attend:
Book now


According to David Graeber, ‘The ultimate hidden truth of the world is that it is something we make and could just as easily make differently’ (2015: 89). In the face of environmental and humanitarian devastation, and ever-encroaching neoliberalism, the crucial question, however, is how? This presentation focuses on New Travellers in the UK, who responded to this by forming as a mobile, anarchist, off-grid community from 1960s and 1970s countercultures onwards. In doing so, they produced novel practices, values and relations. I will explore how this now largely sedentarised group partially maintain this ‘alternative worldmaking’ in online space, this will include New Travellers’ various ways of ‘archiving’ their own history. Though materials produced by both ‘in’ and ‘out’-siders are for public use, they are nevertheless engaged with in intimate and everyday ways. In turn, memorialisation of the dead, though intimate, is also produced in documentary-style formats for public dissemination. I will explicate the concerns of both group members and insider archivists within these processes – protecting what are known as the ‘family secrets’ of this marginalised group, whilst presenting them as they see themselves – through the lens of my own virtual exhibition-making.



Freya Hope

DPhil candidate in anthropology , University of Oxford

Freya's research focuses on the alternative worldmaking of New Travellers, through which she engages with the anthropologies of anarchy, freedom, endurance and nomadism.