Joe Corré and Claiming Punk

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Joe Corré, co-founder of Agent Provocateur lingerie and son of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, has once again raised the issue of what it means to “claim” punk: in what he has said would be a protest of the Queen of England’s involvement in the plans for the celebration of punk’s 40th anniversary, Corré has threatened to burn his entire punk collection as a demonstration of what punk is really about. That means millions of pounds worth of memorabilia inherited from his parents and gathered during his lifetime, the Guardian reports.

Destroying a significant portion punk’s physical history to protest the fact that the Queen hasn’t understood punk’s history…. If it’s all starting to sound a little cyclical to you, you’re not wrong. And Corré’s announcement begs the question: if you think it’s being true to a movement’s anarchistic ethos to erase its history, then isn’t it a little contradictory to plan that destruction, to begin talking about it almost a year in advance, and to formally present the issue to mainstream media? Just saying, Corré.


Liz Wood is a freelance editor, fiction writer, and current student in the NYU MFA program. More from this author →