Revolutionary Tourists: Australian Activists, Travel and 1968

  • Jon Piccini
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Social Movements book series (PSHSM)


The 1960s saw a great mobility of social movement activists around the world. The birth of a mass tourism industry in the 1960s saw movement across borders at a rate never before seen during peacetime, ensuring that many Australians participated (sometimes unintentionally) in the decade’s political and social ructions. Activists travelled for a variety of reasons—education, experience, or as a protest in and of itself—and this chapter asks how and why activists felt that they were having an authentic revolutionary experience, utilising the work of anthropologist Victor Turner to analyse this travel through the frame of the “pilgrim”. Additional questions are raised regarding the way in which those pilgrims who had been to radical hotspots like China, Vietnam, Czechoslovakia, or France articulated their ideas and observations upon return, engaged and dealt with the tourist/traveller dichotomy, as well as how authenticity provided a discourse in which critics could challenge these newly uncovered gospels.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jon Piccini
    • 1
  1. 1.University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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