Provo: The playful rebellion of the 1960s:
Against bomb and Autocrats
Enne Koops and Robert Gorter, MD, PhD
Between May 1965 and May 1967, Amsterdam, and also the national and international press, was under the spell of the playful actions of the Provo’s. Famous names from this resistance movement of young people were Roel van Duijn (who took place a few years later for the “De Kabouters” -Dutch: “gnomes”- party in the Amsterdam City Council), the ‘anti-smoke magician’ Robert Jasper Grootveld, Rob Stolk and Irène van de Jeterising. The Provo’s protested in a playful way against the atomic bomb, the Vietnam War, authority, organized religion, and environmental pollution. In the in-depth, beautifully designed book Provo. The playful rebellion against bombss and regent deck of historian Marko Otten does not remain detail of this youth movement.
White bicycles in De Hoge Veluwe National Park
The book logically and well structured. Marko Otten has built up the argument in three parts, with a fourth concluding part that contains literature and attachments. In the first part, he sketches the critical atmosphere of the 1960s, with a start-up from the 1950s. Provocations and challenging authority already started – OTTEN is convincing – in the 1950s. Artistic movements such as COBRA, the literary club of the fifties and the “prosaists” shocked and provoked (via) the media, to astonishment of foreign journalists and to annoyance of the established social order.
Otten also deals with early youth cultures such as the Zazous, the Nozems and Provo’s, discusses the criticism of the Dutch royal family around the Greet Hofmans affair and the person of Claus von Amsberg, while also the White Bicycle Plan (from July 1965) was part of the Provo movement. Part Two argues that Provo, despite its ‘Provokaasies’ (provocations), can be considered to be a primary pacific organization as a primary pacificatory organization. Provo was not just an emancipation movement of young people. With this, Otten corrects a fairly dominant picture from the existing literature:
“The historic value of Provo in regards to its strong peace movement has been undervalued by main stream press and historians alike.