Left Alone: On Solitude and Loneliness amid Collective Struggle

Left Alone brings together 13 authors and 6 visual artists from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America to individually and collectively reflect – in words and images – on an urgent psycho-political issue that has not yet been explicitly addressed through a left political lens, that is, Left Loneliness. Combining academic and more personal-political texts, including an interview, poetry, a Rap and a powerful short story, the book explores the contributors personally and/or vicariously lived experiences of Left Loneliness from a variety of genres and left political currents: Marxist, Feminist, Anti-/De-Colonial, Anti-Racist, Queer, Post-Soviet, Anti-Ableist and others. Says Feminist writer Sara Ahmed: “Loneliness might be what we are threatened with if we persist in being or doing what we are being or doing.” In this sense, Left Loneliness is neither a metaphor nor a secondary contradiction and definitely not a type of petty bourgeois “personalism”. Rather, it might be considered one of the rank and file psycho-affective elements shaping and at the same time resulting from our myriad, intersecting, unremitting, yet always fragile and potentially shattering political attempts to revolutionise our inner and outer worlds. Given its (growing?) existence in our everyday left subjectivities, the book argues that Left Loneliness and related states of solitude, isolation and alienation, among others, have both debilitating and productive (epistemic) dimensions, with very concrete psycho-somatic repercussions for Left Mental and Physical Health and hence our capacities to persist and build on “being or doing what we are being or doing”. Given that continuing and deepening our multiple ongoing struggles for liberation will depend on our constant ability to (re-)create, sustain and care for both our individual selves and the communities that we are a part of, the aim of Left Alone is to contribute to the strengthening of these personal collectivities in action in-against-and beyond capitalism, colonialism and heteropatriarchy by inviting the comrade-readers into what will ideally be a deeply stimulating and enabling personal-political engagement with the texts and images hailing from countries such as Argentina, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Guinea-Bissau/Portugal, Turkey/Kurdistan, Jamaica, Italy, the UK, Germany and the USA. As Lena Grace Anyuolo from Kenya puts it, “My sisters and brothers, Come, Let us gather, To lay the structures for a joyous existence.”

ISBN Print: 9781990263705
Publication Date: May 2023
Page Count: 238
Binding Type: Soft cover
Trim Size: 6in x 9in
Language: English
Colour: Colour

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Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichhorn is a German-Bolivian theatre maker, compulsive reader – printed books only – and reluctant writer. Since 2010, he has been feeling at ease in the post-Soviet space, particularly in Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine. After much ideological soul-searching, he…

    Left Alone brings together 13 authors and 6 visual artists from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America to individually and collectively reflect – in words and images – on an urgent psycho-political issue that has not yet been explicitly addressed through a left political lens, that is, Left Loneliness. Combining academic and more personal-political texts, including an interview, poetry, a Rap and a powerful short story, the book explores the contributors personally and/or vicariously lived experiences of Left Loneliness from a variety of genres and left political currents: Marxist, Feminist, Anti-/De-Colonial, Anti-Racist, Queer, Post-Soviet, Anti-Ableist and others. Says Feminist writer Sara Ahmed: “Loneliness might be what we are threatened with if we persist in being or doing what we are being or doing.” In this sense, Left Loneliness is neither a metaphor nor a secondary contradiction and definitely not a type of petty bourgeois “personalism”. Rather, it might be considered one of the rank and file psycho-affective elements shaping and at the same time resulting from our myriad, intersecting, unremitting, yet always fragile and potentially shattering political attempts to revolutionise our inner and outer worlds. Given its (growing?) existence in our everyday left subjectivities, the book argues that Left Loneliness and related states of solitude, isolation and alienation, among others, have both debilitating and productive (epistemic) dimensions, with very concrete psycho-somatic repercussions for Left Mental and Physical Health and hence our capacities to persist and build on “being or doing what we are being or doing”. Given that continuing and deepening our multiple ongoing struggles for liberation will depend on our constant ability to (re-)create, sustain and care for both our individual selves and the communities that we are a part of, the aim of Left Alone is to contribute to the strengthening of these personal collectivities in action in-against-and beyond capitalism, colonialism and heteropatriarchy by inviting the comrade-readers into what will ideally be a deeply stimulating and enabling personal-political engagement with the texts and images hailing from countries such as Argentina, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Guinea-Bissau/Portugal, Turkey/Kurdistan, Jamaica, Italy, the UK, Germany and the USA. As Lena Grace Anyuolo from Kenya puts it, “My sisters and brothers, Come, Let us gather, To lay the structures for a joyous existence.”

    Book Format

    Print Book, PDF

    Customer Reviews

    1-5 of 3 reviews

    • Stevphen Shukaitis

      This is a wonderful and timely book, exploring issues around solitude, solidarity, and loneliness that are not as much discussed as they should be. Reading it reminds me of a wonderful Emma Goldman quote where she says the problem ‘that confronts us today, and which the nearest future is to solve, is how to be one’s self and yet in oneness with others, to feel deeply with all human beings and still retain one’s own characteristic qualities.’ Goldman was wresting this over one hundred years ago, and that’s still very much the issue. Thankfully with this book we get some ways to thinking through that very question.—Stephen Shukaitis

      June 28, 2023
    • Yusuf Serunkuma

      Daraja Press’ recent publication, Left Alone: On Solitude and Loneliness amid Collective Struggle covers commendable ground on this discussion of the subject of loneliness and solitude in struggles supposedly meant to be engaged in collectively. The book is a massive collection of fairly short pieces, but heartfelt, mostly personalised contributions by writers and activists from across the world: Kenya, Argentina, Italy, the UK, the United States, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Germany and several others.  The contributors are from different backgrounds ranging from poets, theatre, academia (with topics such as Marxist political thought, communism, racial discrimination), and general activism. They capture struggles in the academia and public intellectualism, in the trenches of authoritarianism, on the streets of the capitalist world or all of them together at once. The book playfully but powerfully incorporates several genres of literary expression, ranging from poetry, painting to prose writing.—Yusuf Serunkuma, Review of African Political Economy: https://roape.net/2023/07/25/you-are-not-alone-the-quest-for-solidarity/

      July 30, 2023
    • Daraja Press

      “The book raises an important question about what we are living through now, even if the contributors do not all answer it, and in some cases, I feel, avoid the question, wanting perhaps to talk about successes instead of dwelling on failures. This is, however, a good beginning. It is worth reading and connecting with some of the initiatives that help us to see distress and health as matters that are political and personal.” From book review in Asylum: Magazine for Radical Mental Healt and in Anti-Capitalist Resistance.

      September 4, 2023

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