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Daily Archives: September 2nd, 2011



The Open University, Milton Keynes
29 – 31 March 2012

Association of Art Historians (AAH) Conference: Aesthetics and Politics (Again?)

Session Convenors:

Alexander García Düttmann, Goldsmiths College,

James Hellings, Teeside University

34 years ago New Left Books published Aesthetics and Politics, collecting together ‘the key texts of the classic debate within German Marxism’ by Adorno, Benjamin, Bloch, Brecht and Lukács. The collections editors (Rodney Livingstone, Perry Anderson and Francis Mulhern), assembled texts with coherent (if almost entirely antagonistic) inter-relationships – in what they refer to as an incomparable ‘tradition of major aesthetic debate’, held between the 1930s and 1950s in ‘Germany (…); the classical land of aesthetic thought inEurope’. The editors subtitles are fantastically revealing of perceived conflict; ‘Bloch against Lukács / Lukács against Bloch’, ‘Brecht against Lukács’, subtle condemnation; ‘Adorno on Lukács’, ‘Adorno on Brecht’ conviviality; ‘Benjamin with Brecht’, and conciliation; ‘Adorno to Benjamin / Benjamin to Adorno’.

Ideological differences over art (and its histories: Realism, Expressionism, Modernism) were the order of the day. But what’s happened to political aesthetics, Marxist or otherwise, since this golden age? Can we still speak of an ‘aesthetic field’ conditioned by ‘the two recurrent poles of all culture still subject to capital’, being either ‘autistically advanced or collusively popular’.

In recent years, Rancière has done most to ‘widen participation’ by opening up Left aesthetics to encompass the people and places who disrupt this either/ or – but (speaking with Eagleton) ‘how are we to receive and appropriate these polemics today?’ Potential contributors are asked to address the tenor of contemporary inter-relationships of aesthetics and politics by re-interpreting the ideas and authors of this past. The panel-session seeks to stage a dialectic of (dis-)agreement.


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Karl Marx


*Reading Group Proposal Grundrisse – the Rough Draft of Capital by Karl Marx*

Start Date: beginning of October 2011

Regular Meetings: fortnightly, mid-week (Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday), evening (c.6.30 pm—c.8.00 pm)

Location: centralLondon, semi-formal, easy access to refreshments

For details and to register your interest, go to:




Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

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The Ockress:

Rikowski Point:


Anarchist Bookfair


We have now booked the venue for the 2011 Book Fair. We will, for the fifth year running, be holding the event at Queen Mary College, University of London, on the Mile End Road.

The date for the 2011 Book Fair will be SATURDAY 22nd OCTOBER from 10am to 7pm.

If you or your group are involved in anything connected with anarchist theory or practice and want to book a stall or meeting we will be taking bookings from about June/July onwards. Please visit us again then for a booking form. 

This year, apart from the wide variety of anarchist groups and individuals having meetings, we are hoping to have a few surprises. 

We need help publicising the Bookfair far and wide this year. We want to get more people along to find out what we all do and say. We want to aim at those who may not have heard much about anarchism, apart from the rubbish on the TV.

We want to continue to make anarchism a threat again. So, if you can help by taking leaflets or posters to distribute (especially in London) please email us at letting us know how many you want and we will get them to you.

A big thank you to everyone who helped make last year’s bookfair run smoothly.  Last year we have nearly 60 meetings, over 100 stalls, an all day cabaret starring assorted ranters, poets, singers and comics; all day film showings and, two kids spaces. We are planning more of the same in 2011.

Due to building works at the university we will be holding the bookfair in a different part of the venue – but still on the same site in Mile End Road. All the activities will now be in one building rather than spread out over a number of building. This will be much better especially for parents and kids as the crèche and older kids space have been quite a way from the rest of us before.

It will also mean all the meeting rooms are now totally accessible for wheelchair users. If you have any other access requirements, please let us know in advance if possible so we can meet your needs. If you are Deaf and require BSL interpreting and/or speech-to-text provision, please give us as much notice as possible and we will do our best to organise these. To discuss any specific access needs, please contact us at
We will be having loads going on – so check the website, for a run down of the meetings and other events nearer the time. More will be added the nearer we get to October. 

This is all organised by a small collective – so any help before or on the day is very much appreciated. We always need your help to break even – so, any donations or funds from benefit gigs would come in very handy.

If you missed last years Bookfair, listen to the audio clips below to get a flavour of how things went. The first clip is a pre-Bookfair interview by Robert Elms with one of the organisers. The second is an interview during the Bookfair between another organiser and the journalist John Pilger.

Finally there is a link to the London Indymedia site where there are a number of audio links to talks and meetings as well as some video interviews with some of the 2010 bookfair speakers:

Robert Elms interviewing Tony Wood

Jane Ferrie interviewing John Pilger

2010 Anarchist Bookfair talks and interviews

Please note, our new email address is now mail [@]

Getting to the venue: The venue is Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS.

If you are coming by public transport the following buses stop near the college on Mile End Road: 25; 205; 339.

If you are coming by tube the two nearest stations are Mile End (central line / Hammersmith & City line or District line) or Stepney Green (Hammersmith & City line or District line). From Mile End tube come out of station and turn left. Walk along Mile End Road until you get to Harford Street and entrance to venue is opposite Harford Road. From Stepney Green tube come out of station and turn left. Walk along Mile End Road and venue entrance is on your left opposite Harford Road.

See: map of the venue and surrounding area. 

Last Word

Anarchists all over the UK are putting on successful events – bookfairs in Bristol, Manchester, Bradford, Norwich, Oxford, Sheffield and Durham as well as Newcastle’s Projectile festival. No-one can say that anarchists can’t organise. These are great social events and a real opportunity to spread anarchist ideas as well as debating them. 

We know anarchist politics aren’t only about organising a bookfair. All of us in the Bookfair collective would choose a big, effective, militant anarchist movement over a successful bookfair. Let’s use these events to take things forward.

Anarchist Book Fair:

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