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Tag Archives: Poltics

Taking to the Streets

RETURN TO THE STREET

27-28 June 2012
Goldsmiths, University of London

A two day conference exploring the shifting role of the street as discourse and real physical space in the context of contemporary culture and politics

Identity formation and public debate do not simply occur online or through new media technologies. As the recent excessive imprisonment of those involved in the UK riots this summer demonstrated, the control and regulation of real bodies within real spaces is still very much at stake. Within the context of riots, protests and occupations in the UK and worldwide – the street appears to have become once more the space where people gather to be heard and counted. Considering this ‘return’ (although it is questionable whether we every really left the street) how might a line be drawn between the type of discourse which pays lip service to banal, neoliberal fetishised notions of street as site and object of subversive cool – incorporating graffiti, fashion, skateboarding, hiphop – and a more critical and engaged examination of processes of exclusion, confrontation and violence which constitute the everyday reality of life on and in the street. The street is and should not simply be flagged up as a site where power relations are toyed with as part of an ongoing Damien Hirst-meets-Banksyesque flirtation between public and private space. Such fetishisation ignores or glosses over notions of territory, surveillance and fear.

Yet at every moment attempts to challenge existing power structures from within the space of the street are at risk of being recuperated in the service of bourgeois, neoliberal modes of consumption. The return to pedestrianised zones in major European cities is frequently part of gentrification processes and occurs within privately owned spaces with the aim of encouraging consumerism rather than increased social interaction precluded by motorised city spaces. The festival atmosphere at protests and occupations might also be considered not simply as a means of creating greater solidarity amongst participants but as embodying a Bakhtinian form of carnival in which the political impetus of the event or movement exhausts itself in a media circus of spectacle and rhetoric staged between protestors and law-enforcement. Similarly, how does the crowd or the collective end up reproducing existing forms of exclusion in claiming to speak for the masses as a homogeneous whole? Those whose access to the street is already restricted due to race, gender or disability must frequently concede their voices to those for whom the street is taken for granted as usable, occupiable and negotiable space. At the same time, a more critical stance is needed towards both the romanticisation and demonization of the crowd in public space. It is, for example, naive to think that issues such as the systemic street harassment of women in Cairo disappeared completely during the occupation of Tahrir Square yet this was the rhetoric widely presented. Conversely, how might the pervasive politics of fear which posits the crowd as unruly mob or herd, keeping people off the streets, through the imposition of curfews and devices like the mosquito be redressed? What needs to be done to encourage greater mobilisation on the street from different groups and individuals?

The aim of this conference is to rethink the street both in terms of its radical potential as site where dissent, critique and change can all be achieved whilst remaining critical as to the limits of such radicality. Where does the street lead us and what happens off the street? How might we avoid the dead ends and turf wars involved both in conceptualising and using the street? How might we set about building a new politics of the street? We welcome proposals for papers, discussions, short films, mini-workshops and other interventions engaging with the above issues and questions.

Topics might include but are not limited to:
– street as fetish object
– societies of discipline and control
– inclusion/exclusion/exchange
– street as site of resistance/containment
– subversive potential/impotential of street art and fashion
– hiphop struggles and activism
– surveillance – cctv and self-mapping apps
– politics of the crowd
– negotiating the street – strategies and tactics
– territory/circulation
– politics of fear
– living and working on the street
– off the street

Abstracts/proposals of 300-500 words should be sent to: S.Fuggle@gold.ac.uk by 3 February 2012.

Programme will be confirmed in early March 2012.

Organised by the Centre for Cultural Studies with the generous support of the Department of Media and Communications, PACE and theGraduateSchool, Goldsmiths.

**END**

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

‘Stagnant’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

‘The Lamb’ by William Blake – set to music by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw3VloKBvZc

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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The Island

THE COMMONWEALTH IN THE WORLD

The Commonwealth in the world: governance, resistance and change

Occasional Seminar Series
Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Commonwealth Advisory Bureau (CA/B) and Université Paris Diderot

Pascal Bianchini:    Anti-colonial scholarship: (re) discovering Jean Suret-Canale

Tuesday, 1 November, 12:30-14:30
Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Senate House – Room ST275

How it is possible to lead two extraordinary careers in a same life? Jean Suret-Canale was a politically commited intellectual and a pathfinder in African history (though he was in fact a geographer). He could be compared to Basil Davidson with whom he had epistolary exchange. As Davidson, Suret-Canale was involved in the Resistance during the Second World War and tried to disentangle African history from its colonial bias.

Suret-Canale published some major volumes read by generations of African intellectuals and militants in the 1960’s and the 1970’s and many of them were translated into several languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Russian, Japanese and even Chinese…) His correspondence reveals that he was in contact with some major intellectual and political figures from Africa (Ruben Um Nyobe, Sekou Toure, Mongo Beti, Mario de Andrade…) or with major academic figures working on Africa (Melville Herskovits, Walter Markov, Henri Brunschvig…).

Though Suret-Canale played a major role as a founding father in African studies, he was only appointed by a French university at the age of 57 and ended his academic career in the relatively junior position of assistant professor. This paradox is a major clue to a non-French audience about the reality of French African studies. Suret-Canale, in the interview he gave to Pascal Bianchini, (Suret-Canale.  De la résistance à l”anticolonialisme) explained his setbacks in the French academe by his membership of the Communist Party (he was a member of the Central Committee and assistant director of Centre for Marxist Studies and Research in the 1960’s) and his official status of geographer while his main work was in African history.

In addition, his personal story reveals that his consistent anti-colonial commitment had prevented him from making a career matching his international influence. Unfortunately, since the 1980’s, he has been rejected and/or forgotten by contemporary French Africanists. He has also been criticized by African militants for his alleged support to Sekou Toure, the leader of independence in Guinea where Suret-Canale worked and lived from 1959 to 1963.

However, whatever criticism can be levelled at his political positions, his intellectual contribution to the decolonisation process is important and echoes through to the ‘postcolonial debate’ that occurred in the recent years in France. Suret-Canale’s name remains completely unknown to a new generation.

Attendance is free but contact Dr Leo Zeilig (leo.zeilig@sas.ac.uk) and Dr Mélanie Torrent (melanie.torrent@univ-paris-diderot.fr) if you would like to attend.

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

Punk

INTERFACE – VOLUME 3 ISSUE 1 (MAY 2011)

Interface: a journal for and about social movements

Interface: http://interfacejournal.net

Volume three, issue one (May 2011): Repression and social movements Issue editors: Cristina Flesher Fominaya, Lesley Wood http://www.interfacejournal.net/current/

Volume three, issue one of Interface, a peer-reviewed e-journal produced and refereed by social movement practitioners and engaged movement researchers, is now out, on the special theme “Repression and social movements”. Interface is open-access (free), global and multilingual. Our overall aim is to “learn from each other’s struggles”: to develop a dialogue between practitioners and researchers, but also between different social movements, intellectual traditions and national or regional contexts.

This issue of Interface includes 296 pages with 20 pieces in English and Portuguese, by authors writing from / about Angola, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, Guatemala, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Palestine, South Africa, the UK and the US.

Articles include:

Cristina Flesher Fominaya and Lesley Wood, Editorial: repression  and social movements
Theme-related articles:

Peter Ullrich and Gina Rosa Wollinger, A surveillance studies perspective on protest policing: the case of video surveillance of demonstrations inGermany

Liz Thompson and Ben Rosenzweig, Public policy is class war pursued by other means: struggle and restructuring in international education economy

Kristian Williams, Counter-insurgency and community policing

Fernanda Maria Vieira and J. Flávio Ferreira, “Não somos chilenos, somos mapuches!”: as vozes do passado no presente da luta mapuche por seu território

Roy Krøvel, From indios to indígenas: guerrilla perspectives on indigenous peoples and repression in Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua Action / practice notes and event analysis from:
    • Musab Younis, British tuition fee protest, November 9, 2010
    • Dino Jimbi, Campanha “Não partam a minha casa”
    • Mac Scott, G20 mobilizing in Toronto and community organizing: opportunities created and lessons learned
    • Aileen O’Carroll, Alessio Lunghi, Laurence Cox, “I’m in the news today, oh boy”: smear tactics and media bullying

Other articles:

Eurig Scandrett and Suroopa Mukherjee, Globalisation and abstraction in theBhopalsurvivors’ movement

George Sranko, Collaborative governance and a strategic approach to facilitating change: the South East Queensland Forest Agreement and the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement

John Agbonifo, Territorialising Niger Delta conflicts: place and contentious mobilisation
 

This issue’s reviews include the following titles:
    • Laurence Davis and Ruth Kinna, Anarchism and utopianism
    • Fiona Dukelow and Orla O’Donovan, Mobilising classics: reading radical writing in Ireland
    • David Graeber, Direct action: an ethnography
    • Nathalie Hyde-Clarke, The citizen in communication: re-visiting traditional, new and community media practices in South Africa
    • Gabriel Kuhn, Sober living for the revolution: hardcore punk, Straight Edge, and radical politics
    • Alf Gunvald Nilsen, Dispossession and resistance in India: the river and the rage

A Call for Papers for volume 4 issue 1 of Interface is now open, on the theme of “The season of revolution: the Arab spring” (submissions deadline November 1 2011).

We can review and publish articles in Afrikaans, Arabic, Catalan, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Maltese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Zulu.

The website has the full CFP and details on how to submit articles for this issue at http://www.interfacejournal.net/2011/05/call-for-papers-volume-4-issue-1-the-season-of-revolution-the-arab-spring/

Volume 3, issue 2 on “Feminism, women’s movements and women in movement” is due to be published in November 2011. A Call for Papers for volume 4 issue 2, on “The global emancipation of labour: new movements and struggles around work and workers” will shortly be published (deadline May 1 2012 for publication in November 2012).

Interface is always open to new collaborators. We need activists and academics who can referee articles in Chinese, Indonesian and Russian in particular, and translators to help with our multilingual project more generally. We are also looking for people willing to help set up regional groups in East Asia and Central Asia. We are also looking for collaborators for our existing groups, particularly but not only the African, South Asian, Spanish-speaking Latin American, East and Central European, and Oceania / SE Asian groups. More details can be found on our website: http://interfacejournal.net

Please forward this to anyone you think may be interested.

 

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

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com