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William Morris

William Morris

NEWS FROM NOWHERE CLUB: 2015 PROGRAMME

Patron: Peter Hennessy                                                                      

‘Fellowship is life and the lack of fellowship is death.’ William Morris

 

PROGRAMME 2015

VENUE  Epicentre, West St. Leytonstone E11 4LJ

TIMES 7.30 Buffet: please bring something, 8.00 Talk and questions/discussion

TRAVEL Leytonstone or Stratford tube, 257 bus or Leytonstone High Rd overground and short walk

All welcome, just turn up. Free. Donations welcome. Car park.  You need to walk to the front of the building – back door is usually locked. Quiet kids welcome.

Enquiries:   0208 555 5248 or 07443 480 509   info@newsfromnowhereclub.org.

 

Saturday 10 January 2015: Bollington: Utopia in Cheshire? And Letchworth Garden City: Health of the Country, Comforts of the Town

Speakers: Jim Hoyle & William Armitage

Jim moved from Birmingham to Bollington in 2012, having fallen in love with it. He has not been disappointed. His talk will consider every aspect of this unique Cheshire town. Its history, rich cultural life, demographics and campaigns will be covered in a witty presentation……. In 1898 Ebenezer Howard, Letchworth’s founder, had a vision: through careful planning we could elevate many of the desperately poor living & working conditions in towns & villages.  Today Letchworth remains close to its original ideals. William, Board Member of Letchworth Heritage Foundation, was Managing Director of David’s Bookshop in Letchworth for 40 years.

 

Saturday 14 February 2015: The Bethnal Green Tube Shelter Disaster

Speaker: Joy Puritz

One evening in March 1943, 173 people, including 62 children, were crushed to death trying to enter a station shelter. This talk is a description of the circumstances which led to the worst civilian disaster of WWII in this country, whether it could have been avoided & if anyone was to blame. Many have thought there was a cover up. Poignant anecdotes will be related. Joy has been closely involved in the Bethnal Green Memorial Project, an oral history project organised by the University of East London & has studied witness statements taken for the Government enquiry in 1943, interviewed survivors, shown visitors around the memorial sculpture & written texts for the project’s archive & guidebook.

 

Saturday 14 March 2015: The Life of Bees

Speaker: Ian Nichols

Ian, a local beekeeper and active member and Trustee of Essex Beekeepers Association, initiated, as Annual Conference Chair in 2013, a forum on ‘Plants, Pollinators and Pesticides’, with lectures by leading experts. He has worked with prominent figures in the bee world, has done much to promote awareness of the plight of bees in the wider community & was delighted with the award of First Prize and Best in Show for his honey & photography at the Essex Show in 2014. He will give his high speed talk covering: A Short History of the Honey Bee, Life inside the Hive, Bee Products, Danger & Threats to Bees. He will also be selling his award winning honey.

 

Saturday 11 April 2015: ‘The most lovable figure’: George Lansbury and East End politics

Speaker: Professor John Shepherd

‘The most lovable figure in modern politics’ was how A.J.P. Taylor described Christian socialist and pacifist, George Lansbury. At 73 the former rebel in 1932 took over the helm of the Labour Party of only 46 MPs in the Depression years. Throughout a remarkable life, the immensely popular Lansbury remained an extraordinary politician of the people, associated with a multitude of crusades for women’s enfranchisement, social justice and universal disarmament. He was twice jailed for his political beliefs in 1913 over ‘votes for women’ and during the 1921 ‘Poplar Rates Revolt,’ when 30 Labour councillors willingly went to prison in defiance of the government, the courts and their own party leadership. Lansbury never sought personal wealth, travelled everywhere by public transport and made his family home in impoverished East London. His final years were spent in a tireless international crusade, including visits to Hitler and Mussolini in 1937, to prevent the drift towards another world war.

 

Saturday 9 May 2015:  Permaculture: Working with Nature

Speaker: Ros Bedlow

Take a walk in Epping Forest. Trees, grasses, fungi, birds, insects, squirrels, foxes, all going about their business. Things change, but the forest keeps going: sustainable in the true sense of the word. What is it about an ecosystem like this that keeps it going & can we learn anything from it? Permaculture, developed in Australia in the 1970s as a response to agricultural practices which were degrading the land, was based on observation of nature & provided a framework for designing sustainable food growing systems. Ros has taught permaculture since the 1980s  & is particularly interested in the way permaculture ethics & principles can be applied to groups, communities, indeed to any system, to increase their sustainability.

 

Saturday 13 June 2015:  “It’s the Monarchy, Stupid”: Why the Crown is the Biggest Obstacle to Constitutional Reform

Speaker: Graham Smith

The monarchy is the keystone of the British constitution & the source of political & royal power, the wellspring of the establishment’s culture of pomposity & authority.  Yet it is wrong in principle, wrong in practice & bad for British politics, the antithesis of the democratic spirit that drives ever-growing demands for reform & the biggest obstacle to the radical reform Britain needs.  Arguments about devolution, localism & city mayors miss the point: the democratic revolution must happen in Westminster first. Without a seismic shift in our political system’s  foundation, all else is tinkering at the edges of a fundamentally flawed system. Graham is the Chief Executive Officer of Republic campaign.

 

Saturday 11 July (part of the Leytonstone Festival): “All’s Well”: A Musical Journey to Antarctica

Speaker/ Performer: Jake Wilson

In 2012, guitarist & songwriter Jake Wilson released “All’s Well”, a collection of songs marking the centenary of the deaths of Captain Scott & his polar party on their return journey from the South Pole. In 2013, Jake received unique permission to travel to Antarctica & perform his songs in the actual hut where Scott & his team lived & worked before setting out for the Pole. Jake will be talking about Scott & his companions, performing his songs & discussing his own extraordinary musical expedition to Antarctica.  For more information:  http://www.jakewilsonmusic.com

 

Saturday 8 August 2015:  ‘It Happened Here’

Speaker: Kevin Brownlow

Kevin Brownlow, the British film restorer, historian & director recently awarded an honorary Oscar for lifetime services to cinema, will talk about his first film It Happened Here, co-directed with Andrew Mollo when both were teenagers: a counter-factual history of Britain under Nazi occupation in the closing year of World War Two. Often described as the best amateur film ever made, superb in its authenticity & attention to period detail, it contained scenes in which genuine British Nazis were allowed to expound their views, leading to its being misinterpreted & condemned by many as pro-Nazi.  Kevin, who visited Hamburg in 2014 for the film’s first public showing in Germany, will talk & show us excerpts of his film.

 

Saturday 12 September 2015: James Pound, Rector of Wanstead, Natural Philosopher and Astronomer

Speaker: Dr John Fisher

In 1707 James Pound survived a massacre at an outpost of the East India Company near Cambodia. He navigated a small ship through pirate-infested waters. In 1709 he was appointed Rector of Wanstead by Sir Richard Child. Pound, a Fellow of the Royal Society, sought a solution to the problem of determining the longitude at sea, before the Longitude Prize was instituted. From 1710 Wanstead became a leading centre of scientific research. Pound worked with Edmond Halley and Isaac Newton. Pound’s nephew, James Bradley, became the first to demonstrate that the Earth was in motion. The work at Wanstead led to the solution of determining longitude at sea. Dr John Fisher lives in Forest Gate, was a factory worker without any educational qualifications, was one of the first Open University students and later lectured in the history of science at Imperial College, London.

 

Saturday 10 October 2015: Walking with Passion: A One Way Ticket to Jarrow

Speaker: Carole Vincent

Journeying from Jarrow to Trafalgar Square, a group of people from all walks of life came together in August 2014, planning to walk an historic route first taken by the Jarrow March for Jobs on 2 October 1936. However, this was the first of its kind to enlighten communities on route of the devastating privatisation of our NHS & to muster support for the ‘Call999fortheNHS’ Campaign. Carole tells her story of those three weeks & why she walked the 300 miles.

 

Saturday 14 November 2015: Trauma, Grief and Resilience in Gaza

Speakers: Dr Mohamed Altawil and David Harrold

What does it means to be a child in Gaza? You may be surprised by answers from Dr Mohamed Altawil & David Harrold of Palestine Trauma Centre (UK) who work with a trauma centre in Gaza helping children & families. The situations are often harrowing; but the people, especially the children, can be inspiring. Mohamed & David will show the work of the trauma team, recite some poetry & discuss future prospects for these wonderful children who have experienced eight years of siege & four brutal invasions.

 

Saturday 12 December 2015: The Direct Path to Enlightenment

Speaker: Vanaraji

How can we live in a better world? Changing our mind changes the world. The teachings of the Buddha help us change how we think & give us a new perspective on life that leads  to freedom from suffering, for ourselves & others. Vanaraji, an Ordained Buddhist in the Triratana Buddhist Order, will give an overview of Buddhist principles & practices that free us from mundane consciousness & help us experience more vividly the Enlightened world.

 

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

 

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Ghosts

ON HAUNTOLOGY \ CAPITALIST REALISM – TWO TALKS BY MARK FISHER

THE COLLOQUIUM FOR UNPOPULAR CULTURE AND NYU’S ASIAN/ PACIFIC/ AMERICAN STUDIES PROGRAM present:

TWO TALKS BY MARK FISHER

What are grey vampires and how do they retard the insurrectionary potential of digital  discourse?  How does Derrida’s notion of hauntology contribute to an understanding of dubstep artist Burial?  Is ‘Basic Instinct 2’, routinely derided as a cine-atrocity, a Lacanian reworking of Ballard, Baudrillard and Bataille in service of the creation of a ‘phantasmatic, cybergothic London’?  What is interpassivity and in what ways has it come to define the corporatized incarceration of modern academia?

Over the last decade, Mark Fisher has established a reputation as one of the exhilarating cultural theorists in Britain.  A co-founder of the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit (CCRU) at Warwick University ­and described by Simon Reynolds as the academic equivalent of Apocalypse Now’s Colonel Kurtz ­ he brings together psychoanalysis, political analysis and speculative fiction to create an extraordinary body of rogue scholarship, a theory-rush with few parallels.

Fisher is the author of ‘Capitalist Realism’, the editor of ‘The Resistible Demise of Michael Jackson’ (both Zer0 Books, 2009), and writes regularly for Sight and Sound, Film Quarterly, The Wire and Frieze, as well as maintaining a well-known blog at http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org.  He teaches at the University of East London, Goldsmiths, University of London, and the City Literary Institute.

The Colloquium for Unpopular Culture and NYU’s Asian/ Pacific/ American Studies program are pleased to be hosting Fisher’s first talks inAmerica.

See ‘ The Metaphysics of Crackle’, at: http://pontone.pl/pontones-special-guest-mix-k-punk-the-metaphysics-of-crackle/

***

MARK FISHER, THESE ARE NON-TIMES AS WELL AS NON-PLACES: REFLECTIONS ON HAUNTOLOGY
 
WHEN: Wednesday 4 May 2011, 6:30pm
WHERE: Room 471, 20 Cooper Square [East 5th and Bowery]
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

”Through their generic and transient qualities ­ workstations devoid of personal effects, relations with colleagues as fleeting as those with passengers on a commuter journey ­ many workplaces now resemble non-places, either literally, as in the case of a hotel, corporate coffee chain or out-of-town supermarket, or symbolically, in the form of temporary assignments for faceless employers (dis)located in anonymous buildings, where the worker-commuter then follows the same global timetables, navigates the same software applications and experiences the same sense of placelessness, the feeling of being mere data in the mainframe.”

So writes Ivor Southwood in his analysis of precarious labour, ‘Non-Stop Inertia’ (2011). In the last decade, the proliferation of corporate non-places has been accompanied by the spread of cyberspace-time, or Itime, a distributed or unpunctuated temporality. It’s no coincidence that, as this unmarked time increasingly came to dominate cultural and psychic space, Derrida’s concept hauntology (re)emerged as the name for a paradoxical zeitgeist.  In ‘Specters of Marx’, Derrida argued that the hauntological was characterised by ‘a time out of joint’, and this broken time has been expressed in cultural objects that return to a wounded or distorted version of the past in flight from a waning sense of the present. Sometimes accused of nostalgia, the most powerful examples of hauntological culture actually show that nostalgia is no longer possible.

In conditions where pastiche has become normalised, the question has to be: nostalgia compared to what? James Bridle has recently argued that ‘the opposite of hauntology … [is] to demand the radically new’, but hauntology in fact operates as a kind of thwarted preservation of such demands in conditions where – for the moment at least – they cannot be met. Whereas cyberspace-time tends towards the generation of cultural moments that are as interchangeable as transnational franchise outlets, hauntology involves the staining of particular places with time – albeit a time that is out of joint. In this lecture, Fisher will explore the hauntological culture of the last few years in relation to the question of place, using examples from music (Burial, The Caretaker, Ekoplekz, Richard Skelton), film (Chris Petit, Patrick Keiller) and fiction (Alan Garner, David Peace).

MARK FISHER, DEPACIFICATION PROGRAM: FROM CAPITALIST REALISM TO POST-CAPITALISM

WHEN: Thursday 5 May 2011, 6:30pm
WHERE: Room 471, 20 Cooper Square [East 5th and Bowery]
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

”It would be best, perhaps, to think of an alternate world – better to say the alternate world, our alternate world – as one contiguous with ours but without any connections or access to it. Then, from time to time, like a diseased eyeball in which disturbing flashes of light are perceived or like those baroque sunbursts in which rays from another world suddenly break into this one, we are reminded that Utopia exists and that other systems, other spaces, are still possible” (Fredric Jameson, ‘Valences of the Dialectic’).

In his 2009 book ‘Capitalist Realism’, Mark Fisher started to explore some of the affective, psychological and political consequences of the deeply entrenched belief that there is no alternative to capitalism. After 1989, capital seemed to enjoy full spectrum dominance of both global space and the unconscious. Every imaginable future was capitalist.  What has been mistaken for post-political apathy, Fisher argued, was a pervasive sense of reflexive impotence in the face of a neoliberal ideological program which sought to subordinate all of culture to the imperatives of business. The subject of post-Fordist capitalism is no passive dupe; this subject actively participates in an ‘interpassive’ corporate culture which solicits our involvement and encourages us to ‘join the debate’.

As Fisher argues in the book, education has been at the forefront of this process, with teachers and lecturers locked into managerialist self-surveillance, and students induced into the role of consumers.

In the eighteen months since ‘Capitalist Realism’ was published, the neoliberal program has been seriously compromised, but capitalist realism has intensified – with austerity programs pushed through on the basis that it is unthinkable that capitalism should be allowed to fail. At the same time, this new, more desperate form of capitalist realism has also faced unexpected challenges from a militancy growing in Europe, the Middle East and even in the heartlands of neoliberalism such as the UK and the US. Now that history has started up again, and Jameson’s ‘baroque sunbursts’ flare brighter than they have for a generation, we can begin to pose questions that had receded into the unimaginable during the high pomp of neoliberal triumphalism: what might a post-capitalism look like,
and how can we get there?

Fisher will argue that the Left will only succeed if it can reclaim modernity from a neoliberal Right that has lost control of it. This entails understanding how the current possibilities for agency are contoured and constrained by the machinery of what Deleuze and Foucault called the Control Society, including cyberspace, the media landscape, psychic pathologies and pharmacology – failures to act are not failures of will, and all the will in the world will not eliminate capitalism. It also entails recognising that neoliberalism’s global hegemony arose from capturing desires which it could not satisfy. A genuinely new Left must be shaped by those desires, and not be lulled, once again, by the logics of failed revolts.

Queries: ss162@nyu.edu

***END***

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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