Showing 1–20 of 46 results

  • I see the invisible

    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.

  • “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, novelist, playwright, film critic and screenwriter.

    USD $ 18.00
  • 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.

  • Lines of Fire: Poetry of the Afro-Asian Writers’ Movement

    “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

    Description (2188 / 2500)
    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.

  • Domains of politics and modes of rule/ Sphères politiques et contrôle étatique (en/fr)

    This work consists of 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 that 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.
    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 nation

    USD $ 1.00USD $ 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 $ 1.00USD $ 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.

  • Slave King: Rebels against empire: A Novel

    In thirty chapters, the narrative develops the incredible story of how a boy (Younis/Eunus/Euno) captured as a slave in Afamia, Syria challenges the Roman Empire in Sicily, circa 140-132 BCE. The chapters dramatize the circumstance of his capture, his experiences as a tutor, the growth of his prophetic and magical abilities, events that fomented the uprising (cruelties, rapes, crucifixions), the role of female characters, connections to other historical events (e.g., the destruction of Carthage), as well as scenes of an exorcism, an ancient marriage ceremony, a play performed outside a besieged city, and several battles against the Roman legions. An epilogue by an imagined contemporary narrator, who explains why she wrote the novel, ends the work. In the chapters and epilogue, while using ancient sources to some extent (sparse and biased as they are), the work departs from them to resolve contradictions, fill in gaps, and present an alternative narrative of historical and cultural issues. It’s intended to remedy the neglect of this story in both ancient and modern sources, reverse the demonization explicit and implicit in them, and remedy the imbalance in the dominant constructs. It promotes the event as significant, certainly just as important as (if not more than) the Spartacus rebellion seven decades afterwards, or others that are commonly recounted. A significant aspect of this revolt comes from the fact that Younis was able to forge a coalition of slaves, farmers and herders that defeated Roman armies and established an independent entity on more egalitarian principles. The novel also touches on a range of topics, such as prophecy, magic, languages, the construct of Western civilization, representation of regional cultures, customs, and mythologies. An idealized statue of this rebel stands today in Enna, Sicily, along with an inscription that seems designed to appeal to tourists, yet Younis’ rebellion contradicts the dominant notions promoted in Italy and throughout the West, especially the identification with imperial Rome. This novel is intended to remedy his legacy. A fictionalised account of a slave rebellion in Roman Sicilia more than sixty years before Spartacus, it tells the story of the slave Younis from Afamia (now in Syria), a mystic and seer who led a great uprising sustained much longer than Spartacus’.

  • Homestead, Homeland, Home

    This is a collection of observations and meditations by 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.

  • 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 Iberia and British-colonized Ireland with an economy based on land sales and enslaved African labor, an implementation of the fiscal-military state. Both the liberal and the rightwing versions of the national narrative misrepresent the process of European colonization of North America. Both narratives serve the critical function of preserving the “official story” of a mostly benign and benevolent USA as an anticolonial movement that overthrew British colonialism. The pre-US independence settlers were colonial settlers just as they were in Africa and India or like the Spanish in Central and South America. The nation of immigrants myth erases the fact that the United States was founded as a settler state from its inception and spent the next hundred years at war against the Native Nations in conquering the continent. Buried beneath the tons of propaganda—from the landing of the English “pilgrims” (Protestant Christian evangelicals) to James Fenimore Cooper’s phenomenally popular The Last of the Mohicans claiming settlers’ “natural rights” not only to the Indigenous peoples’ territories but also to the territories claimed by other European powers—is the fact that the founding of the United States created a division of the Anglo empire, with the US becoming a parallel empire to Great Britain, ultimately overcoming it. From day one, as was specified in the Northwest Ordinance, which preceded the US Constitution, the new “republic for empire,” as Thomas Jefferson called the new United States, envisioned the future shape of what is now the forty-eight states of the continental US. The founders drew up rough maps, specifying the first territory to conquer as the “Northwest Territory.” That territory was the Ohio Valley and the Great Lakes region, which was already populated with Indigenous villages and farming communities thousands of years old. Even before independence, mostly Scots Irish settlers had seized Indigenous farmlands and hunting grounds in the Appalachians and are revered historically as first settlers and rebels, who in the mid-twentieth century began claiming indigeneity. Self-indigenizing by various groups of settlers is a recurrent theme in story of settler colonialism, white supremacy, and the history of erasure and exclusion about which I have written elsewhere.

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

    We hear for the first time from the internationalist secretly working 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 tons 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. The internationalists reveal what motivated them as volunteers, not mercenaries: they gained nothing for their endeavours save for the self-esteem in serving a just cause. Against such clandestine involvement, the book includes contributions from key people in the international Anti-Apartheid Movement and its public mobilisation to isolate the apartheid regime. These include worldwide campaigns like Stop the Sports Tours, boycotting of South African products and black American solidarity. The Cuban, East German and Russian contributions outlined those countries’ support for the ANC and MK. The public, global Anti-Apartheid Movement campaigns provide the dimensions from which internationalists who secretly served MK emerged. Edited by Ronnie Kasrils. 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.

    USD $ 27.00
  • Unearthing justice: How to protect your community from the mining industry AFRICA EDITION

    ONLY AVAILABLE IN EASTERN AND SOUTHERN AFRICA

    We are pleased to announce that Daraja Press will soon be making Unearthing Justice, originally published by Between The Lines, available in Africa through our partners at Zand Graphics Ltd (throughout East Africa and the Horn) and Sherwood Books (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland).

    Originally published in 2019, this new edition has an Introduction by Yao Graham, TWN-Africa. The author, Joan Kuyek, is a community-focused mining analyst and organizer living in Ottawa. She was the founding National Co-ordinator of MiningWatch Canada from 1999–2009 and continues to do work for MiningWatch and for a number of communities affected by mining.

    The mining industry continues to be at the forefront of colonial dispossession around the world. It controls information about its intrinsic costs and benefits, propagates myths about its contribution to the economy, shapes government policy and regulation, and deals ruthlessly with its opponents.

    Brimming with case studies, anecdotes, resources, and illustrations, Unearthing Justice exposes the mining process and its externalized impacts on the environment, Indigenous Peoples, communities, workers, and governments. But, most importantly, the book shows how people are fighting back. Whether it is to stop a mine before it starts, to get an abandoned mine cleaned up, to change laws and policy, or to mount a campaign to influence investors, Unearthing Justice is an essential handbook for anyone trying to protect the places and people they love.

  • Life Histories from the Revolution: Three militants from the Kenya Land and Freedom Army tell their stories

    In the early 1970s, Donald Barnett — who worked with Karari Njama to produce Mau Mau From Within (published by Daraja Press) — also worked with three militants of the Kenya Land and Freedom Army to enable them to tell the story of their experience in fighting for freedom and against British colonialism. These rarely acknowledged militants were Karigo Muchai, Ngugi Kabiro and Mohamed Mathu. Their stories were published in 1973 by LSM Information Center (Richmond, British Columbia, Canada) as part of a series entitled Life Histories of the Revolution, as The Hardcore: The Story of Karigo Muchai; The Man in the Middle by Ngugi Kabiro; and The Urban Guerrilla by Mohamed Mathu.

    As part of its mission of Nurturing reflection, sheltering hope and inspiring audacity, Daraja Press is please to republish the three booklets as a book that will help a new generation of activists — Kenyan and international — reflect on a history that might inspire audacious struggles to continue the struggle for freedom that was the goal of the Kenya Land and Freedom Army.

    Donald Barnett’s introduction to each booklet contained the following text:
    The life histories in this series have been recorded and prepared as historical documents from the revolutionary struggles of our time. The techniques and methods employed at each stage of the process, from initial contact to final editing, have therefore been chosen or fashioned with the purpose of guaranteeing the authenticity and integrity of the life history concerned. These stories, then, to the best of our ability to make them so, constitute a body of data and testimony as revealed by a few of those history-makers normally condemned to silence while others speak on their behalf.

  • Racism, Capitalism, and COVID-19 Pandemic

    he COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp relief the deep structural problems affecting nonwhite racialized workers in the core and periphery. Yet, many social scientific analyses of the global political economy, at least in the pre-COVID era, are race neutral or willfully indifferent to the persistent racial pattern of global inequalities. This pamphlet explains how the unremitting super-exploitation of Black and other nonwhite racialized labor in the core and the periphery persisted throughout the COVID-19 crisis through the lens of Black radical scholarship on racism and capitalism.
    Edwards not only captures how people of African descent have been disproportionately impacted by COVID, but also the historical, sociological and structural roots of the inequalities that affect vulnerable groups across the world, tied to what she has described as the architecture of the global economy linked to race and gender. She represents a refreshing voice in our time and part of a Caribbean radical tradition in the spirit of Claudia Jones, Eric Williams, Oliver C. Cox, and C.L.R. James, from her native Trinidad, as well as Guyana’s Walter Rodney and Andaiye.

  • Kenyan Organic Intellectuals Reflect on the Legacy of Pio Gama Pinto

    This booklet on Pio Gama Pinto has been produced in the tradition of ‘looking back, in order to move forward’ to not only salvage history but also to use it as a mirror to reflect on the current political, economic and social conditions in Kenya. The essays, dubbed reflections, that appear in the booklet are a product of the efforts and dedication of young women and men under the banner of the ‘Organic Intellectuals Network’ in Kenya. We use the concept of ‘organic intellecutal’ as developed by Antonio Gramsci.
    Members of the Organic Intellectual Network selected the book Pio Gama Pinto: Kenya’s Unsung Martyr 1927-1965 by Shiraz Durrani (Vita Books, 2018) as a basis for discussion for celebrating and remembering the life of Pio Gama Pinto, Kenya first Martyr, a dedicated and selfless individual in the struggle for freedom in Kenya.

  • Politics, Democratization and Academia in Uganda: The Case of Makerere University

    As the oldest (and arguably best-known) university in Uganda and the wider eastern and central Africa region, Makerere University looms large in the history of higher education on the continent. Alma mater to presidents, public intellectuals and pundits of all disciplines, Makerere has attracted considerable scholarly and popular attention, both in respect of its prominence and achievements, and well as with regard to its failures and foibles. The proposed book focuses on a particularly understudied aspect of the place of higher education in the African context, i.e. the relationship between a public university of unique historical importance and the contestations over democratization that have taken place both within campus and outside of it. It is built around the late-1980s struggle by the Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA) for improved living conditions against the backdrop of the early programs of structural adjustment and economic reform that the National Resistance Army/Movement (NRA/M) government adopted soon after taking power in 1986. Although seemingly introverted in focus, in many respects the MUASA action represented the earliest forms of political struggle against a regime of governance that promised a great deal, but disappointingly delivered considerably less.

    The focus on MUASA provides a critical entry-point to a wider debate about the place of organized democratic action by academics in a post-conflict context where the traditional institutions of political and civil society, i.e. political parties and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have either been severely compromised or discredited, or where they are too weak and inorganic to provide any form of significant counter-juxtaposition to the government in power. By organizing the first strike by academic staff in the sixty-seven (67) year history of the university, for a time MUASA became the focal-point for democratic organizing against a regime that was yet to fully expose its nefarious and anti-democratic colours. The book examines the broader issues concerning the relationship between organized academic action and democratization; the place of the Media in reviewing these struggles; the position of students as a critical component of academe; “big P” and “small p” politics affecting female academics, and finally, the paradoxical role of the School of Law in both aiding and inhibiting the struggle against dictatorship in a country which has enjoyed

  • Revolutionary Hope vs Free-Market Fantasies Keeping the Southern Africa Liberation Struggle Alive: Theory, Practice, Context

    John S. Saul, born and first educated in Toronto, Canada, moved to Tanzania almost sixty years ago and, since then, has also taught in Mozambique and South Africa as well as back in Canada at York University. In Tanzania, he discovered the centrality of the war for freedom from white rule and global capitalist dictate then taking shape further south – in Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa. Both his scholarly interest and his activist bent drew him to support and to seek to better understand the struggles in these nations-in-the-making, a political choice that now culminates in a final trilogy of books under the general title, The Rethinking Southern African Liberation Trilogy. The first volume of this trilogy, On Building a Social Movement: The North American Campaign for Southern African Liberation Revisited, was published by Africa World Press / Fernwood Books (2017). The present book is the second in that trilogy, with a third volume entitled Class, Race and the Thirty Years War for Southern African Liberation – A History set to conclude his work to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2022.

    Here, Saul’s extended first chapter lays out the broad premises of the thinking that has guided his endeavours, ideas that takes the core reality of economic production and exploitation centrally but that are alive to the tangible impact on outcomes of a wide range of other social realities, including class, race, gender, sexuality, nationalism, the environment, politics and the state. A second section covers the essential unity of theory and political practice that underpins Saul’s findings. And a third and final section paints illuminating pictures of some core aspects of the diverse regional contexts — sites of both recolonization and continuing struggle, and all contexts whose trajectories will be further explored in his forthcoming third volume.