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Mute

NEW BLOG ON SOCIAL NETWORK UNIONISM

Social Network Unionism Blog: http://snuproject.wordpress.com/

About the SNU Project

Social Network Unionism Project is not only about the rise in the recent developments in P2P technology, the phenomenon called Web 2.0, and conceptualising the transformatory impact of these technical developments on unions at national and international levels, and labour movement in general. Besides defining the concept of SNU, by looking closely to the existing practices within and without established unions and labour organisations, the project also aims at promoting a new type of working class organisation that takes online and real world social, peer to peer networking principles into the core of its existence.

The idea is based on the premise that the development in the mentioned communication and media technology since 2004 onwards has created new organisational capacities for networks. There are already astonishing experiments taking place in the field, from whose successes and failures we can learn and upon them we can build new models; not only to grow in members and fight back stronger but also to form wider alliances and start building new social, economic and political norms and cultures bottom up.

Based on these insights our objective is to explore further on the potential of SNU concept, in terms of reaching out the unorganisible, activating organised rank and file, making direct democracy a reality, and bridging as much transformatory social forces as possible through this blog. We hope to such concept and effort would contribute to the global process of union revitalization and may be further to the general emancipation of labour from ‘work’, as feed for the greed for private profit and power.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Revolution

THE (IM)POSSIBILITY OF REVOLUTION

Chris Knight, Hillel Ticktin and William Dixon debate:

THE (IM)POSSIBILITY OF REVOLUTION

Thursday 21st January, 7.15pm, Room B102, Brunei Gallery, SOAS, University of London, Thornaugh Street. WC1 (Russell Square tube)

At the next election millions will vote for pro-capitalist political parties that offer little except cutbacks and austerity. Despite economic crisis, climate chaos and disastrous wars, people see no alternative to capitalism – and revolution seems, at best, an impossible dream.

Yet all three speakers at this debate believe this situation cannot last indefinitely. Their differing interpretations of anthropology, economics and history each show that a 21st Century global revolution is a real possibility – not just a dream.

Could they be right? Come and join the debate.

Chris Knight is an anthropology lecturer, sacked for his involvement in the G20 anti-capitalist protests, and author of Blood Relations, Menstruation and the Origins of Culture.

Hillel Ticktin is editor of Critique, a Journal of Socialist Theory.

William Dixon is a Mute magazine contributor.

(The speakers’ names link to interesting articles.)

Check the Critique and Radical Anthropology Group websites in 2010 for further meetings in London.

Please publicise widely, thanks.

 Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Mute

IT’S BECOME OUR CRISIS

Kirsten Forkert has a well-crafted and disturbing article on how the current crisis of capital is unfolding in higher education.

It can be found at ‘Metamute’: http://www.metamute.org/content/it_s_become_our_crisis

Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

2009102016401brazilmid2[1]POLITICS, POETICS AND POPULAR EDUCATION IN BRAZILIAN CINEMA, 1962-1979

‘Stronger are the powers of the people’: politics, poetics and popular education in Brazilian cinema, 1962-1979

December 4 (6.30pm – 10pm) 
December 5th and 6th (2pm to 10pm)

At No-w-here, First Floor, 316-318 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 OAG

Full programme and further information: http://www.no-w-here.org.uk/index.php?cat=1&subCat=docdetail&&id=212

The late 1950s and early 1960s were a period of intense social and economic transformation in Brazil. It was also a period of political upheaval, curbed by the 1964 military coup, and one in which the relations between politics, poetics and popular education, the role of the cultural producer, the vanguard-popular-mass culture nexus, were absolutely central to the cultural and political debate.

‘Stronger are the powers of the people’, a programme of films and debates curated and presented by Brazilian philosopher, artist and political activist Rodrigo Nunes, uses Brazilian films from 1962 to 1979 as ‘monuments’ whose animating forces can be put again into play to understand how the problems posed by the period are expressed in the aesthetic and political choices of filmmakers.

In particular, it examines one of the most neglected experiences of that time – the Popular Culture Centres (CPCs) – as a central node of the practical and theoretical articulation of those debates. With this, the programme addresses them not only in their historical situatedness, but above all in relation to those problems that animate artistic and political practice in the present, when so much is made of the intersections between politics, art, and pedagogy, and there is a growing interest in recovering past experiences of this convergence – above all, from the 1960s, and increasingly, from peripheral countries such as Brazil. What can the problems of those years teach us regarding what we are or would like to be doing today? How can the proposals emerging in this field then – Paulo Freire’s pedagogy, Liberation Theology, Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed,tropicalismo, Helio Oiticica’s, Lygia Clark’s and Lygia Pape’s researches, cinema novo – resonate with us today?

The programme includes the rare collective work Five Times Favela, the only CPC-produced film, and the first film for many of that generation’s directors; Glauber Rocha’s internationally acclaimed Land in Anguish and Antonio das Mortes; Ruy Guerra’s The Guns and its sequel, The Fall; and Leon Hirszman’s ABC of the Strike.

Rodrigo Nunes has a PhD in philosophy from Goldsmiths College, University of London, where he prepared a thesis on immanence and philosophy in Foucault and Deleuze with a grant from CAPES – Brazilian government. As an organiser, popular educator and artist, he has been involved in many political initiatives in Latin America and Europe, including the organisation of the first three editions of the World Social Forum. He is a member of the editorial collective of Turbulence (http://www.turbulence.org.uk). His work, as writer and translator, has appeared in such publications as ephemera, Mute, Transform, and he has forthcoming papers in Radical Philosophy and Third Text.

This project is supported by Raven Row, the Brazilian embassy in London, and No.w.here.

Films

Cinco vezes favela (Five times favela), various authors, 1962: The only film the Popular Culture Centre (CPC) brought to completion, it comprises five episodes directed by Miguel Borges, Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, Caca Diegues, Marcos Farias and Leon Hirszman, and was responsible for a split between the CPC and the cinema novo group. Some of the key figures in the CPC reportedly considered the film both a commercial and a political flop, and filmmakers such as Diegues and Arnaldo Jabor (though not Hirszman) left after decrying a narrow, instrumental conception of the relation between aesthetics and politics. With a cast including many of Augusto Boal’s colleagues from Teatro de Arena (and, most notably, CPC founder Oduvaldo Viana Filho), it captures a group of young filmmakers grappling with the same problems – how to create a form adequate to the specificity of Brazilian content? How to do so in a way that reaches beyond a middle-class audience, and plays a role in the transformation of Brazilian society from below? What is popular culture, and how must the artist deal with it? – while working through a host of influences, from Russian revolutionary cinema to neo-realism. Joaquim Pedro de Andrade’s Couro de gato (Catgut) was included in a list of the 100 best shorts of all times selected by the Clermont-Ferrand Festival.

Os Fuzis (The guns), Ruy Guerra, 1964: One of the greatest achievements of the first crop of cinema novo – alongside Nelson Pereira dos Santos’ Vidas secas (Barren lives) and Glauber Rocha’s Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol (Black God White Devil) (1964) –, it showcases many of the period’s defining traits: the rural Northeastern setting, the use of location, natural light and non-professional actors. At the same time, in its plot about the existential and moral crises undergone by a group of soldiers sent to a small town to stop the starving victims of the draught from attacking a food warehouse, it provides in arguably the clearest way the keys to reading some of the political limitations of cinema novo at this stage. It won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Festival.

Terra em transe (Land in anguish), Glauber Rocha, 1967: Part roman à clef about the Joao Goulart government and the 1964 military coup, part schematic description of the dynamics of the post-colonial world, part baroque allegory about the destiny of Latin America, part gauntlet thrown at the right and left of post- coup Brazil: one of Rocha’s most celebrated films, it finds the effects of his ‘epic-didactic’ cinema all the more effective because its target is much clearer. A whole generation at a crossroads appears in the vacillations of the main character, his multiple allegiances to social transformation and to his own class, to aesthetics and to politics, to utopia, the heat of the struggle, and his professional situation as a hired pen; the choice for armed struggle, which the film suggests in ambiguous fashion, was already brewing as it was produced. Nominated to the Palme d’Or at Cannes, best film at the Havana Film Festival.

O Dragão da Maldade contra o Santo Guerreiro (Antônio das Mortes), Glauber Rocha, 1969: Rocha’s first international co-production, first film in colour, and first using direct sound. He would often refer to it as ‘my western’, but, despite some nods at John Ford and Howard Hawks, it is clear that the oeuvre in question here is above all his own. Like a revision of his two earlier films that relaunches its questions, but also seems to run out of answers, it already points towards some of the procedures (such as the long, semi-improvised takes) that would characterise his work in the exile that immediately follows it. The plot finds Antônio das Mortes, the gunman hired by landowners to kill cangaceiros (highwaymen), brought out of retirement for one last job which, once executed, causes him to question the side on which he has fought over the years. Won best director and a nomination to the Palme d’Or at Cannes.

A Queda (The Fall), Ruy Guerra, 1976: An accident at a construction site, resulting in one death, sets one worker off on a struggle for justice that exposes the mechanisms of exploitation and the class relations of a country that had undergone one decade of fast-paced ‘conservative modernisation’ at the hands of the military. As a sort of sequel to the classic The Guns (1964), following the fate of those characters as they move from enforcers of exploitation to exploited, it offers more than a snapshot of the period: the correspondent time lapses in fiction and reality capture the passage of a chunk of Brazilian history between the two films, and, therefore, also the transformations in cinematographic approaches to the social and political between the two moments. Equally daring in content and form, and in the originality of the adequacy of one to the other, it won the Silver Bear at Berlin.

ABC da greve (ABC of the strike), Leon Hirszman, 1979-91: While preparing the cinema version of groundbreaking 1957 Teatro de Arena play Eles não usam black tie on location in the ABC (the auto industry belt around São Paulo), Hirszman has the opportunity to document the most powerful strikes in over a decade of Brazilian history. The latter would become a catalyst and a convergence point for the opposition to the military regime, intellectuals, artists, returning exiles, eventually leading to the creation of the Worker’s Party – whose biggest leader, Lula, was the president of the metalworkers union who led the strikes. Running into problems with the regime’s censorship because of the material, Hirszman dies in 1987 leaving the film unfinished until 1991, when his two daughters and son eventually release a final cut. The narration and text are provided by Ferreira Gullar, poet, who was president of the CPC at the time of the military coup.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

The Incident

The Incident

HOUSMANS

 

Housmans – a radical bookseller since 1945

I went to Housmans in Caledonian Road last Wednesday. It’s my favourite bookshop in London. The atmosphere more than anything else grabs me. Of course, I bought some books! I invested in Zones of Proletarian Development by Mastaneh Shah-Shuja (OpenMute, London, 2008) and the classic A Vindication of the Rights of Man by Mary Wollstonecraft.

If my readers come from outside of London and visit the capital, yes, you can visit the British Museum, the London Eye etc., but I would recommend a visit to Housmans too!

The web site for the bookshop is: http://www.housmans.com/

Wednesdays at Housmans: On Wednesdays at the bookshop there are free weekly talks and book signings. Check the website for details.

Housmans Bookshop & Stationers, 5 Caledonian Road, King’s Cross, London N1 9DX, tel: 0207 837 4473, email: shop@housmans.com 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Capitalist Decline, Financial Crises and Revolutionary Prospects

 

 

 

Capitalist Decline, Financial Crisis & Revolutionary Prospects
A talk by Hillel Ticktin – organised by Mute

 

Hillel Ticktin’s reinterpretation of Marx’s ideas enabled him to foresee the disintegration of Soviet Stalinism years before it occurred. Since then he has argued that capitalism itself is in a state of inexorable decline. During the 20th century, world wars, reformism, Stalinism and recently the credit boom successfully maintained capitalism by keeping the working class passive. But does the end of the credit boom mark the end of capitalism’s survival strategies? Will the coming recession spark a new working class movement? Come and join the debate.

 

Saturday 29 November, 4pm
The Whitechapel Centre
85 Myrdle St
London, E1
Nearest tubes: Whitechapel & Aldgate East

 

For a variety of views on the crisis see:
http://sites.google.com/site/radicalperspectivesonthecrisis/
And

Mute Vol 2 #6 – ‘Living in a Bubble: Credit, Debt and Crisis’
More info:
+44 (0)20 7377 6949
http://www.metamute.org

 

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Rikowski web site, The Flow of Ideas is at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk