Showing 1–20 of 55 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
  • Aufbruch in Jackson [German edition of Jackson Rising: Black self-management and solidarity economy]

    Translated from English by Michael Halfbrodt & Michael Schiffmann, with a foreword by Mason Herson-Hord

     

    How black activists are building liberation practically from below: Departure in Jackson documents the history of one of the most exciting revolutionary experiments in the USA Present.

    Since the 1970s, black liberation movements in majority-black Mississippi have taken change into their own hands. The Deep South should become the center of their independence – “Free the Land!” In the 2010s, the election of Chokwe Lumumba as mayor in the capital Jackson took an important step towards implementing the vision of assembly democracy, solidarity economy and an end to racial inequality. Lumumba dies unexpectedly in 2014, but his son Antar and the Cooperation Jackson continue to move forward.

    We learn about the pitfalls of radical local politics and struggles for housing and land, democratic economic models and ecology, internationalist solidarity and the parallels to the Rojava Revolution and the Zapatistas, about encouraging experiences in which different concerns go hand in hand.

    USD $ 24.00
  • Banana Girls, The

    The Banana Girls chronicles 2003 days in the lives of two bosom friends, Rehema and Fatuma, and millions of days in the existence of the banana, the fruit which, eaten either ripe or cooked, the girls at some point determine will be the only solid component of their daily diets. The banana becomes not only the symbol of ideal nutrition but also, by turns, of social engineering and neo-imperialist exploitation. …Rehema and Fatuma are Tanzanians by nationality and brainboxes by genetic coding, with an enduring monopoly of either the first or second position in any examination for which they sit. They excel in Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics particularly and are always the first two to solve any mathematical or scientific challenges that are presented to their successive year groups and, by extension, to readers of the book.

    … As the days go by, Rehema and Fatuma abandon junk food forever, they also adopt wholesome tastes in what they watch and what they listen to, and they make a good friend, Alice, who, unlike them, is from a rich family but who is adequately informed to join them as committed activists in the BLF, the Banana Liberation Front. Their activism lands them in jail. All three girls see through the machinations of their own government to oppress their own people and of global capitalism to bring about régime change, the better to sustain a stranglehold over poorer economies and to prop up aptly named ‘banana republics’. One malevolent operator is pointed out by name: he is President Ronald Grump of the United States of America.

    … Karimi Hirji’s three heroines in The Banana Girls certainly lead young minds to confront, intellectually, the problems which need to be confronted for our societies to progress, with integrity and selflessness as defining features, and to become adequately mobilized, again intellectually, to consider themselves tasked by fate to provide viable solutions to those problems in the future. —John Sibi-Okumu
    _____________________
    Karim F Hirji is an award winning retired Professor of Medical Statistics who has published many statistical and biomedical research papers together with articles on education, politics and other issues, eight nonfiction books and one novel.
  • 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

  • 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
  • Some Of Us Are Brave (Vol 2): Interviews and Conversations with Sistas in Life and Struggle

    A society born of white supremacy and patriarchy must, by definition, ignore the voices of Black women. We know that unfortunately, such an attitude will also naturally seep into every stratum of that society

    Part of the contribution to correct that was the centering and airing of Black women’s voices through Some of Us Are Brave: A Black Women’s Radio Program that aired on Pacifica’s Los Angeles radio station  (KPFK) from 2003 until 2011.

    The program covered a myriad of issues by amplifying the voices of a broad cross-section of Black women. Some of those voices have been preserved here in this volume. In addition to capturing various moments in time with a ­variety of women, this is also a means of taking the intellec­tual production of and about Black women out of the hands of institutions that are both fundamentally ­anti-Black and anti-woman. 

    Volume 1 contains interviews under the headings The Shoulders on Which We Stand and Black Lives Have ­Always Mattered.

    Volume 2 covers Black Women’s Health, Bruthas on ­Sistas, and Sistas in Struggle.

  • Some of Us Are Brave (Volume 1): Interviews and Conversations with Sistas in Life and Struggle

    This is the literature of liberation! The truth. It waters the roots of a strong and timeless tree and bears the fruit of freedom. In the tradition of Ida B. Wells, Thandisizwe Chimurenga writes for the people because she is the people, and she loves the people. The interviews and conversations in Some Of Us Are Brave include Black women and Black men on Black women. This book will educate, inspire and strengthen the mind and spirit of Black women and those that love them. —Dr. Alice Nicholas, Africologist, Assistant Professor, Poet

    Some of Us Are Brave is a courageous exploration of Black feminism within the Black left, offering invaluable insights and igniting much-needed conversations. It is a must-read for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of this vital aspect of our history and the transformative power of Black feminist thought. In a media landscape that often falls short when it comes to representing the voices of Black feminists, this series is a breath of fresh air. — Piper Carter, Detroit-based Arts & Culture Organizer
    Host of “Beyond Breaking Barriers” podcast on Black Power Media


    A society born of white supremacy and patriarchy must, by definition, ignore the voices of Black women. We know that unfortunately, such an attitude will also naturally seep into every stratum of that society

    Part of the contribution to correct that was the centering and airing of Black women’s voices through Some of Us Are Brave: A Black Women’s Radio Program that aired on Pacifica’s Los Angeles radio station  (KPFK) from 2003 until 2011.

    The program covered a myriad of issues by amplifying the voices of a broad cross-section of Black women. Some of those voices have been preserved here in this volume. In addition to capturing various moments in time with a ­variety of women, this is also a means of taking the intellec­tual production of and about Black women out of the hands of institutions that are both fundamentally ­anti-Black and anti-woman. 

    Volume 1 contains interviews under the headings The Shoulders on Which We Stand and Black Lives Have ­Always Mattered.

    Volume 2 covers Black Women’s Health, Bruthas on ­Sistas, and Sistas in Struggle.

    “This latest offering from journalist Thandi Chimurenga is something that Florida Governor Ron DiSantis would ban in a heartbeat and try and create a law banning Thandi and the powerful women she features in this book. To put it simply, this book is fiya and will cause a lot of discomfort to those who hate Black women and want to see Black history and Black liberation be erased. This won’t happen on Sister Thandi’s watch. She’s the Ida B Wells of our time who carries keen insight, unapologetic love for our people and lots of receipts to  chin check haters and institutional racists.”—David “Davey D” Cook, Professor, Africana Studies, San Francisco State University. (Host, Hard Knock Radio, KPFA, Pacifica-Berkeley)

    Watch Shaunelle Curry Founder, Media Done Responsibly

     

    USD $ 23.00
  • Singing to Liberation: Songs of Freedom and Nights of Resistance on Indian Campuses

    Student activism and cultural activism go hand in hand on Indian campuses. Over the last few years, especially after 2014, student movements in the country against social injustice have increased in numbers and tenacity. Cultural modes of expressing dissent have played a key role within this new wave of student movements that have gripped the nation. This book takes the reader through a journey into the ways cultural activists analyse cultural modes of protest, especially in the context of student movements in the Global South. The book delves into the political and ideological contours set by organisations such as the Indian Progressive Theatre Association (IPTA) and the Progressive Writers’ Association (PWA), and by figures such as Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Habib Jalib, Hemanga Biswas and Safdar Hashmi. The book locates them within the contemporary wave of cultural protests, analyses their continued relevance and argues for a revival of theoretical and practical engagement with the early progenitors of the progressive cultural movement in India.

    It would be difficult to capture in mere words the … joy of seeing young faces beaming with excitement and joy, the sense of community and togetherness as people sing together. The myth of a people so bamboozled by religion that they could not appreciate poetry, music, and performing arts lay shattered before our feet. And the myth that the people were too ground down by poverty to appreciate art and literature proved to be nothing but an elitist prejudice. We sang, we laughed, we danced, we joked with the people. We felt the walls of class, caste, privilege and hatred crumble in those moments of ecstasy. — Taimur Rahman, Associate Professor, Lahore University of Management Sciences and Lead Guitarist and Spokesperson of the Marxist Band ‘Laal’

    This book is a reminder that we need to turn towards each other in revolutionary siblinghood. It is a call to revive a rich tradition of cultural activism across India and a celebration of emergent critical vibrant grassroots, people-centered student movements. Very importantly, this is also a book in the art of revolutionary dreaming, of embracing new possibility. —Ndindi Kitonga, Professor, Longy School of Music of Bard College, New York


    Singing to Liberation is a highly provocative and timely work by Suddhabrata Deb Roy. The struggles, crises, violence, and resistant movements inside the university campuses in India have been openly spoken out without any unnecessary jargon and rhetoric. Each and every page of this book is a powerful archive of sociopolitical crises, censorships, and bloodshed that India is currently experiencing” – Sayan Dey, Author, Green Academia (Routledge) and Performing Memories and Weaving Archives (Anthem Press)

  • 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.

  • Heroes of the African Revolution: Colouring Book

    We made this coloring book in order to expose African children to their authentic history. Malcolm X told us decades ago that we had to take responsibility for our children’s education because he understood that our people had been intentionally robbed of their true history. We can no longer rely on institutions to educate our children and must take it upon ourselves to equip our children with the truth so that they can bring a positive contribution to our people’s struggle for justice and freedom. This book highlights some of the key figures within the struggle to achieve Pan-Africanism which is the total liberation and unification of Africa. All of the brave women and men featured in this book were Pan-Africanists. They understood that people of African descent throughout the world faced the same issues and therefore had to unite in order to overcome those issues. We hope this book can inspire the next generation of African children to become Pan-Africanists and to join the struggle to liberate and unite Africa.

     

    USD $ 11.50
  • 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.

     

  • Política e cultura no pensamento emancipatório africano

    A atual ausência de uma visão emancipatória para a África está no centro dos nossos problemas políticos relacionados à opressão racial capitalista e colonial. Qualquer tentativa de repensar a emancipação política no continente africano deve ser capaz de localizar uma concepção universal de liberdade no interior das experiências culturais singulares que as pessoas vivem. Quando esteve baseada nas tradições populares, a política emancipatória exibiu tais traços dialéticos, independentemente da maneira específica na qual cada luta pela liberdade foi pensada em diferentes contextos históricos. No entanto, apenas alguns intelectuais militantes compreenderam a importância dessa dialética no pensamento. O presente volume esboça e discute dois pontos de vista particularmente importantes sobre o papel e a relevância da cultura popular na política emancipatória em África. Cada um deles resulta de formas distintas de exploração capitalista e colonialista: o primeiro viu a luz do dia em um contexto colonial, enquanto o segundo é diretamente confrontado pelo estado neocolonial. Todas as políticas emancipatórias são desenvolvidas em confronto com o poder estatal, e todas começam com um processo de discussão e debate através do qual um sujeito coletivo começa a se formar. No continente africano, a construção de tal sujeito político coletivo tem sido informada, de maneira fundamental, pelas culturas populares. Os dois autores cujos ensaios estão aqui incluídos entenderam isso e colocaram a cultura popular no centro de suas políticas. O primeiro, Amílcar Cabral, aborda o papel central da cultura popular na luta pela independência da Guiné-Bissau nos anos 1970; o segundo, Ernest Wamba-dia-Wamba, aborda a centralidade da cultura popular africana para uma política emancipatória endereçada à atual República Democrática do Congo. Apesar das décadas que os separam, tanto Cabral como Wamba-dia-Wamba desenvolvem, no centro de sua política, uma dialética que ativa os universais da cultura no presente. É essa característica que confere às suas visões uma importância central para o pensamento emancipatório contemporâneo.

  • Politique et culture dans la pensée émancipatrice Africaine

    Au cœur de nos problèmes politiques issus d’un capitalisme racial et d’une oppression (néo)coloniale en Afrique aujourd’hui se trouve l’absence de toute vision émancipatrice véritable.  Toute tentative de repenser une politique émancipatrice en Afrique doit pouvoir situer une vision universaliste de la liberté parmi les expériences culturelles singulières que les gens vivent. Les politiques émancipatrices quand elles existaient, bien que pensées dans les luttes pour la liberté ayant lieu dans des contextes historiques particuliers, mettaient toujours en vue une dialectique de ce genre quand elles étaient vraiment basées parmi les traditions populaires. Cependant, seulement une minorité de dirigeants intellectuels et militants comprenait l’importance d’une telle dialectique pour la pensée et l’action.

    Ce petit livre trace le contour et discute de deux points de vue très importants sur le rôle de la culture populaire dans la politique émancipatrice en Afrique. Chacun d’entre eux émane de formes d’exploitation capitalistes coloniales distinctes : le premier a vu le jour dans un contexte colonial classique tandis que le second est directement issu d’un contexte étatique néocolonial.  Toute politique émancipatrice est développée vis-à-vis le pouvoir d’état et toutes commencent avec un processus de discussion ou est formé un sujet collectif.  Un tel sujet politique doit être fondamentalement informé par et conçu en relation avec les cultures populaires.

    Les deux auteurs ci-inclus ont compris ce principe et mettent la culture populaire au centre de leur pensées politiques.  Le premier, Amílcar Cabral se réfère au rôle principal de la culture dans la lutte contre le colonialisme au Guinée Bissau dans les années 1970 ; le second, Ernest Wamba-dia-Wamba insiste sur le rôle central de la culture populaire pour une politique émancipatrice dans la République Démocratique du Congo aujourd’hui.  Malgré la distance temporelle qui les sépare, tous les deux développent au centre de leurs politiques distinctes, une pensée dialectique qui déclenche des pensées universalistes depuis la culture populaire dans le présent.  C’est pour cela que leurs points de vue sont d’une importance capitale pour la pensée de la politique émancipatrice en Afrique aujourd’hui.

  • 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.