Politics

21st August 2020

A Monumental Servitude: reflections on the objects of the capitalist city
by Hussein Mitha

Abolish restaurants, statues, bars, mirrors and painting -the lot? The bourgeois desire to be served is inescapable in our urban contexts which consolidated in the 19th century city - the ideological hothouse of capitalist modernity. Hussein Mitha reflects on the glut of materials crowding the urban consumer.
14th August 2020

The Hollow Victory over Losers
by Johnny Rodger

Walter Benjamin's work is said to have much influence over contemporary thought. What has been the quality of that influence? And what could he possibly have to say about current winners and losers? Johnny Rodger looks at Benjamin in the context of some more recent work by Ahmed, Butler, Preciado and others.
11th July 2020

The Power of Ten:
A New Turn(er) of Events
by Neil Cooper

For the second year in a row The Turner Prize takes a lurch towards acknowledgment of the collective. Is this democracy in action? Is it a definitive change? Should we rejoice? Or is the change dictated merely by temporary circumstances? Neil Cooper looks at the history and some contemporary realities.
9th July 2020

Imagination in the Contemporary Society of the Spectacle by Jacob Lund

We are currently witnessing some fundamental changes in the conditions and the status of images: More and more images are networked; cameras and screens (portable or fixed) are everywhere; image data is geotagged; databases can be navigated in real-time; the prevalence of the phenomena of operative images and "machine vision" detached from human control and sense-perception rapidly increases, etc.
7th June 2020

On Peoples’ Palaces
by Hailey Maxwell

Having quietly endured almost twenty years of managed decline, writes Hailey Maxwell, it is crucial that we consider the possibility that the Peoples’ Palace on Glasgow Green – a valuable civic asset and monument to Scottish history and working-class life may presently be at real risk of being neutralised, misappropriated and entirely co-opted into a neoliberal agenda. Spaces and places which were once public are being repurposed and reimagined not for the benefit of the citizen but for the property developer, the multi-national corporation and the tourist.
29th May 2020

Recovering Reality: Fact-Checking the Traveller… (tether your scapegoat here…)
by Candace G. Thomas

In part two of her extended essay on the prejudices and stigma still faced by contemporary Travellers, Candace Thomas challenges the callousness both casual - and causal - of media and policy makers in a way very recently, proven to rattle those in power: checking the facts and recovering reality.
25th May 2020

Judith Butler’s ‘The Force of Nonviolence’ by Johnny Rodger

How long will the patriarchy last? -How long have you got? The universal quality of Butler's work demands, ironically, that you find it, not as some pristine, independent, already perfected example, but as situated in the relational context of, and with all the potential of, your own local world.
9th May 2020

Traveller crime – or a crime to Travellers?
by Candace G. Thomas

It's a story very familiar to anyone from a Traveller culture; with depressing familiarity sections of the British media dust off every shopsoiled prejudice and trope to demonise a culture already far off on the margins. But as researcher and activist Candace Thomas explains, Travellers are no longer inclined to suffer in silence.
1st May 2020

NO ALTERNATIVE or NEVER THE SAME AGAIN?
by Johnny Rodger

Some apparent tendencies and possibilities in political thinking have already emerged in the pandemic situation –as seen by current commentators in blogs, opinion columns etc – can they be viewed a broader political and historical context yet?