Showing 1–20 of 22 results

  • Oh, Sorry! Rituals of Forgiveness, crises and social struggles in postmodern capitalism

    In recent years, the apology has become an important feature of politics. States are asking their own citizens or the citizens of other countries for forgiveness. “Oh, sorry that we rounded up people in West Africa, shipped them across the Atlantic and sold them as slaves”. “Oh, sorry that we convicted homosexuals as criminals.” “Oh, sorry that we burnt so many women as witches.” Sometimes the issue arises as a demand for an apology. Thus, López Obrador, the Mexican president, has asked the Spanish government to apologise for the conquista. The zapatistas, on the other hand, said of their recent trip to Spain that they were not going to ask for an apology. How do we understand the rise of the public apology and how do we relate to it politically?

    In a moment of severe social crisis, the institutional acts of apology and forgiveness could be theorised as a specific type of ritual which aims to respond to public anger and to reestablish social cohesion. In doing so, the state legitimises itself as the guardian of society as a Whole, and capitalism as the only alternative.

    We consider that in times of capitalist crisis, class struggle becomes a metonym of revenge. Thus, the act of forgiveness – as a secularised ritual, based on reason – allows the violence of social antagonism to be regulated and reconfigured in order to re-establish the Law and Order through the discourse of reconciliation, and renunciation of revenge as a condition for development. The rituals of forgiveness are being presented as crucial steps for pacifying social tensions and establishing a new social contract, leaving behind the bloody past and rewriting historical memory for the sake of the common future. Violence, anger, guilt, memory, the attempt to pacify discontent and secure the continuity of violence: all of these come into play in the rise of the “Oh, Sorry!”.

    Our project is to understand these rituals of forgiveness in different sociocultural contexts around the world, and to discuss why at this historical moment the states are proceeding in this way, and what is the relationship with capitalist crisis and social struggle.

    Preface

    Introduction

    One

    Rituals of Forgiveness: The Performance of State Violence in the Context  of Crisis by Panagiotis Doulos & Edith González Cruz

    Two

    From Forgiveness to Permission: The State and “the Indigenous” in the Face of Planetary Collapse by Ines Durán Matute.

    Three

    End(s) of Forgiveness by Minas Vlachos

    Four

    The Fierce Dispute for Memory, Truth and Justice in Guatemala by Carlos Figueroa Ibarra.

    Five

    Never Again? A Critique of Narratives of Forgiveness and Reconciliation in Post-dictatorial Chile by Roberto Longoni Martínez.

    Six

    Rituals of Forgiveness as a Political Strategy of the Capitalist State: The Brazilian Case of “O Amor Venceu” in Lula’s Victory in 2022 by Leonardo Carnut, Lúcia Dias da Silva Guerra & Áquilas Mendes.

    Seven

    The No-bodies: Between Forgiveness and Overflow. Notes Against Forgiveness as a Dispositive of Control in Times of Explicit Antagonism by Milena Rodríguez Aza.

    Eight

    The March of Return: Struggle for Palestinian Liberation in the Unfinished Nakba by Nithya Nagarajan.

  • Being Anti-Colonial

    What does it mean to think/be the ‘anti-colonial’ in the present?

    As we know, there is in the current literature and abundance of works that adopt the frames of ‘epistemological decolonisation’, ‘decolonial theory’ etc. Fashionable as these fields of study, and these terms as such, have become, much of this fail to properly engage with the profound meanings that inhere in their invocation, and to engage with the uncomfortable implications, both philosophical and material, that follow. ‘Decolonisation’ as it is overused today has come a far distance from its anti-colonial source; it sits comfortably within the cruelties and absurdities of ‘post-colonial’ normality. It is this frustration, this dissatisfaction with ‘critical theory’, that informs this book. My intention is to take seriously the ‘anti-colonial’ as a radical rupture of colonial-modern philosophy and, following that, to state bluntly its continuing praxiological relevance. The book is divided in two parts.

    Part One undertakes the task of explaining what it means to return the ‘anti-colonial’ to philosophy. It begins with an understanding that the ‘post-colonial’ – both as mythology and ‘World-making’ architecture – is fully the resettlement, and enforcement, of the Reason of global coloniality. The ‘post-colonial settlement’ thus serves as a philosophical manoeuvre that entrenches a ‘methodological post-colonialism’ in thinking the (b)orders of the World; it operates as a closure of imagination that marks the philosophical rupture – as it is designed to do – from the ‘colonial’ pasts of sins and depravity to the present (possibility) of ‘humanitarian’ virtue and ‘justice’. Against this erasure of the ‘colonial’, understanding the present as a (post)colonial resettlement, constituted through the architecture of ‘post-colonial’ World-making, is to be neither entranced by a ‘ruptural’ mythology of the ‘post-colonial’ nor be fixated with simplistic fixations of the continuities of some ‘external’ imperial, so-called ‘neocolonial’, impositions. Instead, we see the (post)colonial clearly as a reconfiguration of (b)ordering and enforcement, a self-reflexive, ever-malleable, and adaptable systemic organisation of coloniality, still, designed as such to maintain a global regime of differentiated subjection, that is, of licence, containment, and abandonement. If the ‘post-colonial’ pushes for a philosophical obscuration of global coloniality, the (post)colonial reopens it fully to view. This is the actual situation from which the perspectives and arguments of this book begin. Against the actuality of the (post)colonial present, the anti-colonial is here reaffirmed as a philosophical situation and praxis of struggle to (re)make worlds from (post)colonial World-making.

    At the heart of the ‘anti-colonial’ recovery of imagination is an overturning of the fundamental assumptions of the philosophical situation of the present. Simply stated, this is the opening to question the norm-ality of (post)colonial (b)orders – that is to say the World ­as ‘conventional wisdom’ would name it, know it – fully, rather, as anti-colonial frontlines. This assertion, of reclaiming extant borders as frontlines, is the central philosophical manoeuvre which informs my understanding of anti-colonial praxis. Being-anti-colonial, therefore, is to assert and occupy a location of the frontline where (post)colonial borders are asserted and enforced. The task is both philosophical, and material, of imagination and life-places.

    Part Two then provides arguments of the substantive application of anti-colonial philosophical praxis to some prominent matters of worldly contention. The various chapters that follow suggest, perhaps uncomfortably for some, the implications of extending an anti-colonial philosophy to the presumed norm-alities of the (post)colonial present. Here, we consider such issues as ‘Black-ed’ lives as White-d matter, the Lie of Europe and Postcolony as World-(b)ordering intimate categories of separation-belonging, the on-going colonial situation of Palestine and the problem of Zionist-Israelism, and inevitably, and profoundly, the difficult question of ‘violence’. All, as a matter of reclaiming as anti-colonial frontlines the persisting (b)orders of (post)coloniality.

    Being Anti-Colonial is a work that seeks to return the focus of critical theory to questions of implicatedness and implication as we encounter the pervasive everydayness of coloniality.

    USD $ 25.00
  • Rastafari Movement, The: A Beginners Guide

    Why is this book necessary today?

    Rastafari: A Beginner’s Guide” holds immense relevance due to its unique approach to addressing the complex movement of Rastafarianism. It’s complex nature, encompassing elements of social movements, Pan-Africanism, Afrocentrism, philosophy, and religion, can be overwhelming for new readers. This book serves as an accessible introduction, providing a foundational understanding that caters to both Rastafarians and individuals with limited knowledge of the movement.

    By delving into the essence of the Rastafari lifestyle beyond superficial attributes like dreadlocks and cannabis use, the book helps dispel misconceptions and offers a more accurate representation of the movement’s beliefs and principles. Further, this guide aids in shedding light on the depth and significance of Rastafarianism’s contributions to culture, spirituality, and social thought but also its philosophical challenges.

    The book’s coverage of Rastafarianism’s historical trajectory and foundational values provides crucial context for understanding its development over time. By highlighting its evolution from its origins in Jamaican ghettoes to its expansion into a more inclusive and diverse community that includes professionals and the middle class, the book underscores the movement’s adaptability and relevance in changing societal landscapes.

    Despite existing scholarly contributions, there remains a need for a concise, approachable guide that synthesizes the wealth of information available on Rastafarianism. This book fills that gap, providing readers with a comprehensive yet accessible overview that can serve as a starting point for further exploration.

  • I see the invisible

    Author’s Note

     Truth be told, I never thought I would write another volume of poetry after the last, I will not Dance to Your Beat (2011). The reason was that my previous volumes were reactive to the circumstances of the times. Patriots and Cockroaches (1992) was a reaction to the socio-political corruption that had engulfed Africa and dimmed the enthusiasm that had been built by the years of struggle for independence. Whereas we thought we were stepping into a post-colonial era, what we stepped into was a vicious neo-colonial times. The next collection, Poems on the Run (1995) was a reaction to military autocracy and the repression that followed. The volume was literally written underground. This was followed by Intercepted (1998) all written while detained at Kalakuta Republic of Alagbon Close. We Thought it was Oil But it was Blood (2002) responded to two things primarily – extractivism and the accompanying human and environmental rights abuses in the Niger Delta and elsewhere. The massive erosion of biodiversity and attacks on food sovereignty through the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into our agricultural system inspired I Will not Dance to your Beat.

    What you have in your hands, or on your screens, is a compilation that is largely more meditative than the previous collections. There are moments of reflection on the colonial and neoliberal foundations that permit a willful disconnection from nature and the resultant destructive extractivism.

    Some of the poems came through conversations and poetry writing sessions with Peter Molnar,  Maryam al-Khawaja — Rafto Human Rights laureates and Salil Tripathi, a member of the board of PEN International, in August 2017. The sessions held at a beautifully rustic  location in Celleno, Italy, were documented on celluloid by the duo of Maria Galliana Dyrvik and Anita Jonsterhaug Vedå of SMAU, a multimedia firm in Norway. Poetic relationship with Maria and Anita has continued over the years and their work continues to inspire more and more poems.

    We have also had time to ponder on the criminalization of environmental defenders and the burdening of victims with survival struggles with no life boughs. The poems were written over a wide span of time and require some pondering as poems often demand, of course. Although written over a broad time spectrum, they fall into identifiable themes. The harsh times that birthed the earlier volumes were blunted with doses of humour as poetry is largely therapeutic and contributes to our wellness and well-being.

    In our communities, poetry and song are key tools for exposure of ills in our societies, for education and for rebuke. Poetry is an indispensable cultural tool with which we laugh at the wicked and add the needed bounce to our steps as we march on to end ecocide and give our people and other beings a chance to retain our being.

    The call of this volume is that we must ensure that we see the invisible and hear the inaudible.

    Nnimmo Bassey

     

    Contents

    Dedication

    Author’s Note

     OUR SOUL

     Mother Earth our Teacher

     Scarified and sacrificed 

    The Womb of the Earth

    Choked by Convenience 

     I’m Not Afraid

    I come from the future

     Recent Ancients Foretold

    Horizon

    The Other Side

    I like those bridges 

    Rising Smoke

    Secured

    Static Drip

    Aloof

     

    OUR INSPIRATION

     Love

     Gratitude

     There is beauty

     Twilight

     Duty Bound

     I Have Been in Motion

     Barricades

     Hill Huggers

     Swamp buggies

     Bumping into the Wind

     Mangled Mangroves

     Rainbows on the Sea

     Stilts and Wiggles

     The Stump I So Loved

     Contemplation

     Beads of Inspiration

     Time Comes

     Astonished monkeys

     Seducing the Bees

     The lands we fight to own

     Tenants of Furious Times

     

    OUR SIGHT

     I see the invisible

     Power!

     Portals of Greed

     Looter’s Boulevards

    Cast a Vote

    Political Will

     This hate does not define us

     

     

    OUR TIME

     We Planted a Flag

     Welcome to the age of paradox

     Encrypted

     By Me We Spoke

     After Oil We Flourish (The Niger Delta isn’t a ticking ecological time bomb)

     A Dirge for Fossil Capitalism

     Return to Being

    Python songs

    Becoming Clearer

     Riding the Waves of Time

     When You Clock 6 and 2

     Rainbows Through the Tears

     Climate Debt Long Overdue

    Poetry in the time of pandemic

    We must breathe again

     Net Zero Comes to Zero

     Dreadful Liars On Heartless Shores

     We are Seeds

     Living Earth

    We can plant a seed

     In the Shadows of the Future (For Jay Naidoo & Stephen Pittam)

    What is in that Barrel?       

    No More Sins to Confess

    Pavements of Shame

    Dawn in Celleno

    Lago di Bolsena

     

    OUR MIND

     Ubuntu 

     Cloud

     No vantage points

     Memories

     I Catch Myself

     Holding my Peace

     Dreams Dissolved

    Traps Sold on Lies

    Wicked Genes

    Sinsibere 

    If the Sun Slept

  • “Not Bad for a N—, No?” / «Pas mal pour un N—, n’est-ce pas? »

    Written during the seventy-fifth anniversary celebrations of the publication of Frantz Fanon’s Peau noir, masques blancs (“Black Skin, White Masks”), “Not Bad for a N—, No?” offers reflections on the circumstances of the publication of this classic work with Fanon’s insights on what he called the attempted “murder of man” and the urgent need for humanity to become “actional.”

    Écrit lors des célébrations du soixante-quinzième anniversaire de la publication de Frantz Fanon de Peau noir masques blancs, «Pas mal pour un N—, n’est-ce pas? » offre des réflexions sur les circonstances de la publication de cette œuvre classique avec les idées de Fanon sur ce qu’il a appelé la tentative de «meurtre de l’homme» et le besoin urgent que l’humanité devienne «actionnelle».

  • Partitions of the Heart: Unmaking the Idea of India

    In Partitions of the Heart: Unmaking the Idea of India, human rights and peace worker Harsh Mander takes stock of whether the republic has upheld the values it set out to achieve and offers painful, unsparing insight into the contours of hate violence. Through vivid stories from his own work, Mander shows that hate speech, communal propaganda and vigilante violence are mounting a fearsome climate of dread, that targeted crime is systematically fracturing our community, and that the damage to the country’s social fabric may be irreparable. At the same time, he argues that hate can indeed be fought, but only with solidarity, reconciliation and love, and when all of these are founded on fairness.

    ‘At last a book that turns a powerful searchlight on the evil tide of hatred and violence stalking our country, where our minorities live in fear, and Muslims among us are killed under a government that has declared war on Islam.’ —Nayantara Sahgal, journalist, author of Day of Reckoning: Stories (2015).

    ‘Harsh Mander’s is the voice of Kabir come alive in our violent times. We can hear it to our redemption, ignore it to our peril.’ —Gopalkrishna Gandhi, former administrator and diplomat, Governor of West Bengal 2004-2009

    This book is absolutely mandatory reading. You owe it to the much-vaunted “motherland” which is being abused so shamelessly.’—Kiran Nagarkar,ovelist, playwright, film critic and screenwriter.

    A riveting documentation of the unmaking of India.’—K.R. Meera, Indian author and journalist, who writes in Malayalam

    ‘Harsh Mander chillingly unravels the grotesqueness of today’s India. If this book does not awaken you to the horrors of divisive politics propagated, nothing can.’—T.M. Krishna — Indian Carnatic vocalist, writer, activist, author and Ramon Magsaysay awardee

    USD $ 24.00
  • Claim No Easy Victories: The Legacy of Amilcar Cabral (NEw & Expanded edtion)

    “Never has it been more certain that our victory depends principally on our own actions. Tell no lies, claim no easy victories . . .” —Amílcar Cabral On the centennial of Amílcar Cabral’s birth, and fifty years after his passing, Claim No Easy Victories brings to life the resonance of his thought for today’s freedom movements. World-renowned revolutionary, poet, liberation philosopher, and leader of the anticolonial independence movement of Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde, Amílcar Cabral’s legacy stretches well beyond the shores of West Africa. His profound influence on the pan-Africanist movement and the Black liberation movement in the United States and the English-speaking world spans the ages—and is only growing in an era of renewed anti-imperialist internationalist struggle. In this unique collection of essays, radical thinkers from across Africa, the United States, and internationally commemorate Cabral’s life and legacy and his relevance to contemporary struggles for self-determination and emancipation. Claim No Easy Victories serves equally as an introduction or reintroduction to a figure and militant history that the rulers and beneficiaries of global racial capitalism would rather see forgotten. Understanding Cabral then and now sheds light on the necessity of grounding radical change in the creation of theory based on the actual conditions within which movements develop. The depth and dimension of Cabral’s theoretical ideas and revolutionary practice of building popular movements for liberation are assessed by each of the authors and critically reanimated for a new generation of freedom fighters. The book features contributions by: Kali Akuno, Samir Amin, David Austin, Jesse Benjamin, Angela Davis, Bill Fletcher Jr, Mireille Fanon-Mendès France, Lewis Gordon, Firoze Manji, Asha Rodney, Patricia Rodney, Olúfémi Táíwò—and others.

    USD $ 26.00
  • Afro-Asian Poetry that Changed the World

    “It is unclear when ‘Lotus’, a literary magazine of progressive Afro-Asian writers largely funded by the USSR, published its last issue after a successful run spanning two decades (1968-1991); but it was certainly a voice of the Palestinian people.

    Professor Tariq Mehmood Ali teaches English at the American University of Beirut and is an award-winning novelist and a documentary filmmaker. A few years ago, he launched a project to restore the magazine’s legacy. The project involves curating, saving, preserving, and digitizing old issues, offering historical depth to the Palestine movement and potentially making the magazine accessible to a new generation of readers from Palestine and the rest of the Global South.

    “‘Lotus’ resolutely opposed Zionism, seeing it as a racist tool of imperialism,” says Prof Ali, who has pored over innumerable issues of the magazine. He suggests that Palestinians would not have had such a raw deal if the publication was still in circulation.

    ‘Lotus’ championed the cause of the Palestinian Liberation Operation (PLO) and even passed a resolution on Palestine at its third Afro-Asian conference held in Beirut (1970-71). These and other details find mention in Prof Ali’s book ‘Afro-Asian Poetry that Changed the World, scheduled for a spring 2024 release.

    ‘Lotus’ was a trilingual quarterly magazine published in Arabic, English and French – and then translated into numerous languages of formerly colonized countries.

    “The writers of ‘Lotus’ as well as the journal itself had a huge cultural impact at the time, affecting tens of millions of people. This was the first time writers of Africa and Asia were able to talk to each other, across their vast continents, outside the prism of their colonial and imperial usurpers,” says Prof Ali, who is currently busy digitizing and archiving the magazine. …

    Some of the prominent writers who contributed to ‘Lotus’ included Youssef El Sebai, Abdel Aziz Sadek, Edward El Kharrat (Egypt), Mouloud Mammeri (Algeria), Mulk Raj Anand (India), Hiroshi Noma, (Japan), Dr Soheil Idriss (Lebanon), Sononym Udval (Mongolia), Faiz Ahmed Faiz (Pakistan), Mario De Andrade (Portuguese Colonies), Mohamed Soleinian (Sudan), Alex La Guma (South Africa), Anatoly Sofronov (USSR), Adonis (Lebanon) and Mahmoud Darwish (Palestine).

    The magazine instituted the Lotus Prize and among its recipients were Pakistan’s Faiz Ahmed Faiz and India’s Harivansh Rai Bachchan (whose son Amitabh is a well-known actor). Translation bureaus were launched in many countries of the two continents – so that people could read each other’s works.

    By Lamat Hasan, an independent journalist based in Delhi.

  • The revolutionary ecological legacy of Herbert Marcuse – 2nd Edition

    This new edition includes an Afterword by Nnimmo Bassey: System Change Will Not Be Negotiated.

    The author appeals to the energies of those engaged in a wide range of contemporary social justice struggles such as ecosocialism, antiracism, the women’s movement, LGBTQ rights, and antiwar forces. As the dialectical counterpart of Marcuse’s Great Refusal, the book, which culminates with the ‘EarthCommonWealth Project’ is keyed to what we are struggling for, not just what we are struggling against. The author argues that regressive political forces must be countered today, and this is best accomplished through radical collaboration around an agenda recognizing the basic economic and political needs of diverse subaltern communities. System negation must become a new general interest. The author discusses core ethical insights from African philosophical sources, indigenous American philosophy, and radical feminist philosophy. Humanity’s first teachings on ethics are to be found in ancient African proverbs. These subsequently served also as a critique of colonialism and neocolonialism. Long-suppressed indigenous American sources supply a philosophical and political critique of Euro-centric economic and cultural values. They also offer an understanding of humanity’s place in nature and the leadership of women and attest to modes of cooperative and egalitarian forms of community. Feminist anthropology furnishes an historical context for understanding the origins of patriarchy and how to move beyond dominator power to new forms of partnership power. The book envisions the displacement and transcendence of capitalist oligarchy as such, not simply its most bestial and destructive components. This is a green economic alternative because its ecological vision sees all living things and their non-living earthly surroundings as a global community capable of a dignified, deliberate coexistence. It is searching for a new system of ecological production, egalitarian distribution, shared ownership, and democratized governance, having its foundation in the ethics of partnership productivity with an ecosocialist and humanist commitment to living our lives on the planet consistent with the most honorable and aesthetic forms of human social and political fulfillment.

     

  • Sphères politiques et contrôle étatique : Les structures politiques de 
l’état néocolonial en Afrique

    Il s’agit d’une brève tentative d’orienter l’étude de l’État néocolonial en Afrique à travers une évaluation de la manière dont il gouverne son peuple.  On soutient que l’État produit différents modes de contrôle étatique en déployant différentes politiques sur différentes parties de la population. De cette manière, il peut combiner une règle véritablement démocratique à l’image de l’Occident sur certains tout en soumettant la majorité à des formes coloniales de domination.  Les subjectivités politiques importées de l’Occident et son obsession du discours sur les droits de l’homme sont largement réservées à une sphère de la société civile dans laquelle le droit d’avoir des droits est conféré aux citoyens.  Dans les domaines de la société incivile et de la société « traditionnelle », le droit aux droits n’est pas respecté par l’État, de sorte que différentes subjectivités, y compris régulièrement la violence, régissent la manière dont les problèmes politiques et leurs solutions sont abordés à la fois par l’État et par le peuple.  En conséquence, des subjectivités politiques distinctes prévalent dans la conceptualisation de la résistance populaire dans chacun des trois domaines, et il devient difficile de rallier des préoccupations et des conceptions aussi différentes au sein d’une lutte anticoloniale nationale.

    “Une dissection concise, dense et éclairante des rouages ​​de l’État africain post-indépendance qui trace également une voie vers l’imagination et le travail pour une véritable politique de libération.” — Ndongo Samba Sylla, chercheur principal, Fondation Rosa Luxembourg.

    USD $ 10.00
  • Politics of Turbulent Waters: Reflections on Ecological, Environmental and Climate Crises in Africa

    For the past 10 years, the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) has been on the front line of the struggle for environmental justice, climate justice and food sovereignty in Africa and the globe. It has been a decade of non-stop probing of the exploitation of resources, peoples and nations, which has given rise to numerous environmental and climate injustices. HOMEF has had a decade of witnessing and standing against the injustice, the powers and structures (industries and policies) suffocating the rights of the people to a healthy environment and standing with the neglected to take charge of their once self-managed food and agricultural systems. The struggle has necessitated the reawakening of communities’ consciousness to the injustices that besiege them and to their ‘people power’ – power to be utilized in seeking the desired change.mPolitics of Turbulent Waters is a compendium of selected articles in the 36 issues of the Eco-instigator published from 2013 to 2022. The Eco-instigator is yet another tool used by HOMEF to pull together thoughts and reports of activities that advance environmental justice and food sovereignty. Issue by issue, these thoughts and reports flow from within HOMEF and other environmental/climate justice and food sovereignty advocates from across Africa and the globe.They form this rich assemblage (Politics of turbulent waters) to commemorate HOMEF’s 10th anniversary. The title of the book is one of Nnimmo Bassey’s (the director of HOMEF) numerous articles that have graced some pages of the different issues of the Eco-instigator. The article cum title encapsulates the messages that the book intends to convey to you, the reader. It crystallizes the dire condition of Africa and its waters and the power imbalance together with the spatial disposition that plunged the continent into the calamitous environmental situation it faces. It speaks of the politics of economic development and market fundamentalism that avows to maintain the status quo in terms of destructive exploitation of Africa’s marine and other natural resources.

    USD $ 20.00
  • Domains of politics 
and modes of rule
: Political structures of the 
neocolonial state in Africa


    “A concise, dense and illuminating dissection of the workings of the post-independence African state that also charts a path towards imagining and working for a true politics of liberation.”Ndongo Samba Sylla, Senior Researcher, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.


    This is a brief attempt to orient the study of the neocolonial state in Africa through an assessment of the manner in which it rules its people.  It is argued that the state produces different modes of rule by deploying different politics over different parts of the population.  In this manner, it can combine a genuinely democratic rule in the image of the West over some while subjecting the majority to colonial forms of domination.  Imported political subjectivities from the West and its obsession with human rights discourse are reserved largely for a sphere of civil society in which the right to have rights is conferred upon citizens.  In the domains of uncivil society and ‘traditional’ society, the right to rights is not observed by the state so different subjectivities, regularly including violence, govern the manner political problems and solutions are addressed both by the state and by people.  In consequence, distinct political subjectivities prevail in the conceptualization of popular resistance in all three domains, and it becomes difficult to rally such different concerns and conceptions within an overall anti-neocolonial struggle.

    USD $ 10.00
  • Anticapitalist Economy in Rojava: The Contradictions of Revolution in the Kurdish Struggles

    This book looks at the anti-capitalist economy and the organization of social relations in the context of the revolution and autonomy of Rojava (Kurdistan-Syria). It questions both the limitations and the historical problems of the phenomenon of revolution, and the conflicts and contradictions that emerge in this process. It also draws from the conflicts and contradictions the author has consistently felt as a “political subject” who wants to change the world, especially through her experience in the Kurdish struggle and the Kurdish Movement. For this reason, every question she raises and attempts to answer in this book—about the Kurds, Rojava, and the world in general, involves what she says is her own subjectivity.

    The idea and dreams of revolution have existed since humans created systems of domination. Indeed, revolution, meaning the liberation from systems of domination, has undoubtedly been one of the most discussed subjects in history. There have been moments when the possibility of revolution has been clearer, and there have also been certain agreements on what it is and how to get there, but it has never been something completely definable. This continues to be true today. This book does not intend to define this great phenomenon, rather it looks at the revolutionary practices that create emancipating realities and embraces revolution as an undefined, contradictory and dynamic process. Although the rulers have traditionally written history, the history of social struggles has been and is still being created by many revolutionary and transformational processes. The future is being shaped based on desired revolutions and the struggles that, in turn, transform their actors, the people. Therefore, the desire and quest of the Kurdish people for liberation from the colonial rule of the nation-states of the Middle East—the subject of this book—has always been directly linked to the phenomenon of revolution.

  • White Saviorism in International Development: Theories, Practices and Lived Experiences

    This captivating volume dives into the complexities of racism and White Saviorism in North/South relations. With contributions from 19 experts across the Global South, this book examines its prevalence within Western initiatives for international development. Through a blend of theoretical topics, testimonies, stories and personal experiences these contributors shed light on implicit as well as explicit forms of White Saviorism – all with sensitivity to broaden an understanding through multi-dimensional approaches that truly transcend borders.

    Edited by: Themrise Khan, Kanakulya Dickson, Maïka Sondarjee

    Combining praxis-informed theorization and accounts grounded in authors’ own experiences in the White Savior Industrial Complex, these succinct and accessible chapters bring the realities of racial capitalism in international development to life. I was both educated and enraged! — Alana Lentin, author of Why Race Still Matters

    This is a must-read book for anyone who wants to understand how many people contribute to upholding an oppressive White supremacist global system. — Amiera Sawas, Researcher and Advocate

    This is a terrific work of deep unmasking and engagement with the proverbial but the always invisible elephant in the room of international development, that of the White gaze—correctly rendered here as the “industrial-colonial-patriarchal-White savior complex.” Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, author of Epistemic Freedom in Africa: Deprovincialization and Decolonization

    White Saviorism in International Development unveils the hypocrisies undergirding development projects led by the Global South for the Global South. … It examines the intimate linkages between coloniality, development, and White Saviorism.— Jairo I. Fúnez-Flores, Texas Tech University

    White Saviorism in International Development is an important and timely book that should be read by all international development students and practitioners. — Dylan Mathews, CEO Peace Direct, Chairperson CIVICUS Alliance

  • Episodes from a colonial present

    Postcolonial critique deconstructs global inequality in its epistemic and material dimensions. This collective comic project illuminates everyday life’s coloniality as well as the decolonising potential of everyday struggles in the spaces, discourses and practices of so-called ‘global development’.
  • Homestead, Homeland, Home

    This is a collection of observations and meditations by Ghanaian Professor Emeritus (York University, Toronto) and philosopher Ato Sekyi-Otu on events, issues, people and ideas culled from recent history and the world, from the US and Canada to Ghana. If there is a persistent thread in these entries, it is this: Virtually all of them testify to the ironic truth of the saying that there is no place like home, no place, that is to say, which looks like the lodestar called home or comes close to approximating its promise of being a just space of human flourishing. Most of the entries are, therefore, harsh, particularly those on the USA. That is because that nation, in his view, has, in recent history, made a major contribution to rendering the world and every homestead we inhabit unhomely and sabotaging attempts to better it. But no one or place is spared, certainly not the author’s native land, Ghana. Canada appears intermittently in these pages in rather fragmentary and contrastive observations. That paucity of comments may be taken to be the complement the author pays to Canada as a place of relative civility and glimmers of decency in a mad and cruel world. It is a short work of predominantly gloomy pictures. But there are a few countervailing images and invocations of hope here and there. There are 166 entries of unequal lengths arranged around 14 headings. These epigrams are contrapuntal variations on the philosopher’s searing imprecation and visionary invocation: unfinished ode, resounding with intermittent fury, to the dawn of human existence set free from all tyrannizing enclosures.

    This is the work of an unusually awesome intellect and flawless scholarship. As Ato himself may agree, if our scholars and writers have to do their work using the English language, then we of the neo-colonies are doing that language a whole lot of good. If the book was about nothing else than Professor Sekyi-Otu’s merciless dissection of the wretched story of the life and career of Kwasi Kwarteng, an arch-conservative member of the British Conservative Party, that alone makes the book a compelling read.

    — The late, Ama Ata Aidoo,
    author, poet, playwright and academic, author of
    Changes: A Love Story and Dilemma of a Ghost

    More precious, untimely observations from the most important black political philosopher writing in English. Read, learn, savor, be provoked, read again, repeat.

    Paul Gilroy,
    author The Black Atlantic

    The echoes of Fanon pervade this incisive analysis that spares no one, refuses any postulation of idyllic longings, and interrogates our responsibilities in every aspect of the histories that live within us. This work offers a powerful and incisive reflection on human freedom and responsibility in an affirmation of dignity that can only fully emerge upon recognition of the cruelty of the inhumanities that pervades our histories and their geographies.  It is an existential call to lay bare so that we might understand the biting complexity of indignity and reach through its morass to discover the depths of our humanity no matter how deeply that humanity is assaulted.  Homestead, Homeland, Home charts this journey with biting clarity and takes irony as a “vital organ of truth and justice” to the apogee of its power.

    Jacqueline M Martinez, Professor of Communication, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts

    Arizona State University,
    Vice-President, Caribbean Philosophical Association

    I lost count of the number of times I laughed out loud reading this book and the number of times I had to put it down in chest-tightening anguish. Ato Sekyi-Otu long ago demonstrated that he was a first-rate scholar. With these meditations, though, these ‘peeves’ as he hilariously describes them, he reveals himself a member of an even more remarkable group – those who dare attempt to rouse a world lost in shadow gazing. Homestead, Homeland, Home dissects global society and reveals a malignant inhumanity. It is a challenge and resource for those who can be shaken and a damning indictment on those who will not. It is bracing, severe, funny, heartbreaking, brilliant and very, very cool.’

    Bryan Mukandi, Senior Research Fellow,
    School of Languages and Cultures, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia

    This is a book of peeves well worth peeving about. It is testimony from a great elder of political thought whose heartfelt commitments to dignity, freedom, justice, and humane existence irritate his soul as a witness to the continued cruelty, degradation, and double standards unleashed against the Damned of the Earth; it is erudite outrage at so many ignored opportunities to make good on political responsibility to build a better world, a world otherwise. Every sentence, every paragraph, every page, every chapter is a Sankofic demand against historic amnesia and an encomium to re-member and, in doing so, courageously embrace our shared responsibility to build institutions for the urgent repair of nothing short of humanity’s homestead in which we are, in Sekyi-Otu’s words, “compelled to recognize that only we can save ourselves.”

    Lewis R. Gordon, author of
    Freedom, Justice, and Decolonization and
    Fear of Black Consciousness

    Homestead Homeland Home: Critical Reflections is political-philosophic tour de force by Ghana’s leading public intellectual Ato Sekyi-Otu. Each chapter brims with insight, irony (humorous and often indecent, like the George W. Bush highway in Accra), and analytical precision as he subjects the homesteads, Canada and the USA and the homeland, Ghana, to his partisan universalist critique. Ee weaves his reflections with the thoughts of philosophers, thinkers, and sages of the human condition and the poets, songwriters, and dreamers of human liberation.

    Nigel Gibson, author of
    Fanon: The Postcolonial Imagination

    Raging against the solitary confinement of despair into compartmentalized finitudes and possessive particularisms, Ato Sekyi-Otu continues in these epigrammatic reflections to put his unmistakable mixture of resentment and fury at the service of a new principle of hope. In search of a place to call home, untethered to any exclusionary metaphysics of difference, he makes short shrift of the willful amnesia surrounding the criminal junction of capitalism, slavery, colonialism, and anti-black racism, with their interlocking systems of subjugation; refuses the preaching of collective guilt and abject misanthropy alike; and instills in the reader a concrete utopian belief in freedom from the dominion of race, egalitarian self-determination, and partisan universalism as common sense. These fragments of a vision of humanity unbound will leave no one untouched by their relentless tarrying with the world’s prose and intermittent poetry.

    Bruno Bosteels, author of The Actuality of Communism

    For those familiar with Sekyi-Otu’s work, Homestead, Homeland, Home is another instalment of what are gift offerings of his extraordinary mind and intellect. And for those not familiar, they better start reading these reflections right now, and don’t stop until you are fully done with them. Here is something to arouse the consciousness with beauty, poise, and quiet brilliance.

    Ato Quayson, Jean G. and Morris M. Doyle Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Stanford University


  • Settler Colonialism

    Settler Colonialism examines the genesis in the USA of the first full-fledged settler state in the world, which went beyond its predecessors in 1492. The text originates from Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (2021) “Not A Nation of Immigrants: Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, and a History of Erasure and Exclusion.

  • MATHARE: An Urban Bastion of Anti-Oppression Struggle in Kenya.

    History is written by the victors of any war.  But what happens when the victors forget to write down their history or omit the cog of the struggle? This is the untold story of Mathare Slum that has never been told to the world: of the role it played in anti-colonial struggle and the planning ground for the Mau Mau struggle which culminated with the fall of the British Colonial Empire in Kenya in the midnight of December 12th 1963. Mathare has also played a critical role in anti-oppression struggle against the four regimes that we’ve had since independence and continues to do so up to date. This history has not been documented and has only been done piecemeal. This has overtime eroded the rich history of Mathare and led to a distorted history of once a planning ground and a bulwark of Kenya Land and Freedom Army (KFLA). The current generation are not cognizant with the critical role Mathare played in the independence of our country.

    Presently, Mathare is majorly known for all the negative reasons and its proximity to Mathari Mental Hospital has contorted its image to the outside world. My story tries to re-tell the history of Mathare from an informed insider perspective by threading the struggles from the colonial era to the present day and the role it has played in agitating for social justice.

    My story brings to view the past history of this informal settlement in the heart of Nairobi, the present struggle and the promising future through community organizing.

  • International Brigade Against Apartheid: Secrets of the People’s War That Liberated South Africa

    Edited by Ronnie Kasrils with Muff Andersson and Oscar Marleyn.

    First published by Jacana Media (Pty) Ltd in 2021, ISBN: 978-1-4314-3202-8, this Daraja Press edition is available in North America and East Africa

     

    I thought I had a pretty good understanding of the global anti-apartheid movement until I read this extraordinary collection of essays. This book blew my mind!
    Robin D.G. Kelly

    We hear for the first time from the international activists who worked secretly for the ANC’s armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe(MK), in the struggle to liberate South Africa from apartheid rule. They acted as couriers, provided safe houses in neighbouring states and within South Africa, helped infiltrate combatants across borders, and smuggled tonnes of weapons into the country in the most creative ways. Driven by a spirit of international solidarity, they were prepared to take huge risks and face great danger.

    USD $ 27.00
  • Politics and Culture in African Emancipatory Thought

    The current absence of any emancipatory vision for Africa lies at the heart of our political problems of racial capitalist and colonial oppression. Any attempt to rethink political emancipation on the African continent must be able to locate a universal conception of freedom within singular cultural experiences where people live. Irrespective of the specific manner in which such struggles for freedom were thought within different historical contexts, emancipatory politics always exhibited such a dialectic when it was based within popular traditions. Yet only some militant intellectual leaders understood the importance of this dialectic in thought.

    The present volume outlines and discusses two particularly important views concerning the role and importance of popular culture in emancipatory politics in Africa. Each is the product of distinct forms of colonial capitalist exploitation: the former saw the light of day within a colonial context while the latter is directly confronted by the neocolonial state. All emancipatory politics are developed in confrontation with state power, and all begin with a process of discussion and debate whereby a collective subject begins to be formed. The formation of such a collective political subject has been fundamentally informed by popular cultures on the African continent.

    The two authors whose essays are included here understood this and posit popular culture at the centre of their politics. The first, Amílcar Cabral, addresses the central role of popular culture in the independence struggle of Guinea Bissau in the 1970s; the second, Ernest Wamba-dia-Wamba, addresses the centrality of African popular culture in an emancipatory politics for the current Democratic Republic of Congo. Despite the distance in time that separates them, both Cabral and Wamba-dia-Wamba develop a dialectics at the core of their politics which activates the universals of culture in the present. It is this that makes their views of central importance to emancipatory thought today.