A Visual Alternative: The Aesthetics of TWT 2018

How do aesthetics reflect ideology? What does the formation of an alternative narrative look like? The recent The World Transformed (TWT) festival in Liverpool visually revealed the establishment of a new hegemony on the left. The Black-E TWT was primarily split between two main locations – The Black-E space and the Hinterlands venue. The Black-E […]

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Was the Bernie Sanders campaign populist?

The term populism colloquially evokes a negative connotation. Yet as Ernesto Laclau argues in On Populist Reason (OPR), populism refers to a social logic and not a predetermined ideology. Through utilizing Laclau’s text and theoretical approach, one can gain a greater understanding into the mechanisms behind the formation of a populist movement. In a brief […]

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The Jolly Roger

Marcus Rediker, in conversation with Fiona Jeffries in Nothing To Lose But Our Fear, deconstructs the symbolism behind the Jolly Roger pirate flag. The conventional narrative concerning the flag maintains that it was used to send: “a clear message: surrender or die. The symbolism worked. When the Jolly Roger went up, the men on the […]

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Perfunctory Cover-Ups

Sometimes a memory hits you, triggered by a momentary sensation. Today, while washing my hands in a small public sink, where you have to have one hand constantly pressed down on the faucet to keep the water running, I was reminded of a visit to the former Nazi ghetto and concentration camp in the Czech […]

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No Need for Translation

Have you ever listened to a piece of music in a language you do not understand, yet are profoundly moved? One does need to understand Spanish, to comprehend the suffering that the children separated from their parents at the US Mexican border are facing. One does not need to understand Arabic, to recognize the plight […]

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The Moments in Between

“The major effect of the Panopticon: to induce in the inmate a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power. So to arrange things that the surveillance is permanent in its effects, even if it is discontinuous in its actions; that the perfection of power should tend to render its […]

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Humour

When recognizing the confines of our human rationality, our automatic and mechanized daily routines, as well as our sometimes empty internal thought processes, it can be easy to enter into a dark pit of nihilism. Yet, as Camus maintains in The Myth of Sisyphus, a recognition of the absurdity of the modern human condition, can also […]

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iLanguage

In our age of nearly constant communication – whether it be through the mass media, advertising, or perpetual group chats and text messages – has language lost its content? Is language in our modern era, as Martin Esslin explains in the The Theatre of the Absurd, “devoid of real meaning?” It seems that as methods of communication […]

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Metadata – 21st Century Power

When the wall came down in 1989, one of the most haunting moments was when people peered into their Stasi files. Some realized that those they had loved were spying on them, that intimate details of their life were tracked, recorded, and organized without their knowledge. Some opted not too look, for fear of being […]

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Tomorrow’s Glory

Tomorrow I will post something spectacular, it’s going to be a lovely day. Update from ‘tomorrow’: As Bill Withers predicted, the weather today is certainly lovely. Yet, as I sit inside Senate House Library, reading sections of Vaclav Havel’s Letters to Olga, a series of letters that he wrote to his wife from prison between 1979-1983, […]

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