Published by Infinity Land Press in January 2018:
‘In THATCHER’S TOMB, Stephen Barber has journeyed to the Heart of England’s Darkness, then and now, sifting through an archive of ash and bone, melding the entrails and fragments into an incantation which will haunt you long after you have tried to close the book.’ – David Peace
We must all reflect profoundly, on England’s madness…
In an alternative narrative of Thatcher’s 1979 rise to power – in which her regime unrestrainedly carries through the razing of resistant cities and the extermination of all opposition – forces of insurgency have to adopt aberrant strategies and inhabit subterranean, occluded spaces to combat that regime. One insurgent cell, in the North of England, conducts a dangerous adventurous journey through decimated and depopulated lands, via such sites as the Queen’s Hotel Leeds, the Denge Acoustic Mirrors and the Hinkley Point Nuclear Reactors, in order to summon up the means to sustain their insurrection of the subsequent decades, until all of England has been transformed into the form of a mausoleum of itself, created and abandoned by Thatcher and her successors, and ‘the problem of England’ in its cruelty and banality takes on an outlandish life of its own.
In this mythical, barbed retelling of England’s recent existence – from the late-1970s punk-rock frenzies and urban disintegration of the moment of Thatcher’s ascendancy, through to the upheavals of the contemporary moment – Stephen Barber explores the language needed to render England, and to reimagine it.
The archive of England is now closed...
With images by Martin Bladh and a dialogue with Steve Finbow.