Left Alone: Loneliness, Collectivity, Struggle

Left Alone brings together 14 authors and six 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 revolutionize 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. In short, in the words of one of the book’s authors, Lena Grace Anyuolo from Kenya, “My sisters and brothers, Come, Let us gather, To lay the structures for a joyous existence.” Yes, let’s.

This book is a gem. In a short period of time, some of the most generous and creative revolutionary activists of various generations have come from the high expectations that another world is possible to the deep frustrations inflicted by the violent and insidious neoliberal discipline imposed on bodies and minds, often compounded by the internal conflicts among revolutionary movements. Left Loneliness is the outcome. An outcome which, rather than as an ending, must be read as a new beginning. The texts included in this fabulous book bear witness both to the scars of defeat and to the unshakable belief that there are alternatives and that the struggle must go on. In the background, we can hear Samuel Beckett whispering in one ear: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” And Rosa Luxemburg whispering in the other: “Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein”. — Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Author of The End of Cognitive Empire 2018 and Izquierdas del mundo, únanse! 2020

The contemporary left talks of solidarity, but all too often parcels itself out into bubbles and cliques, communicating in caricatures or simply not communicating at all. The effect of this is everywhere obvious – a deep disconnection. These writings against loneliness register that lack, and show some of the ways we can transcend it, together. Owen Hatherley, Writer and Editor

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…

    Edited by Hjalmar Joffre-Eichhorn and Patrick Anderson

    Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichhorn is a German-Bolivian Theatre of the Oppressed practitioner, compulsive reader – printed books only – and reluctant writer. In recent years, he has dedicated himself to publishing activist books and in spite of his ever-deepening Left Loneliness he is still toying with the idea/desire of opening a leftist bookstore-cum-dancehall in the not too distant future. As a result, he has been obsessively hunting red kitsch, aka Communist memorabilia, to eventually be exhibited and worshipped in the store. So, if anyone wants to get rid of their Lenin busts, Angela Davis posters or Che Guevara beret, please do get in touch.

    Patrick Anderson is a lifelong student of language and people, conflict and harmony, relationship and solitude. He has an admiration bordering on reverence for words, written and spoken, and the profound, at times circuitous yet always unbroken, lines of revelation and meaning they preserve. Cryptic crosswords and etymological databases unsurprisingly number among his chief sources of pleasure. Having lived, worked and studied in five continents, and with an MA in Conflict Resolution, his professional life largely consists in supporting individuals, organisations and diverse communities to navigate the world with courage, purpose and levity.


    Lena Grace Anyuolo is a writer and a poet from Kenya; Nina Bagdasarova has a PhD in Educational Psychology and works as a professor at the Psychological Department of the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; Ismail Beşikçi is a Turkish sociologist, philosopher, revolutionary, and writer; Derefe Kimarley Chevannes is a native from Jamaica. He holds a PhD in Political Science. Chevannes primarily specializes in political theory and is also trained in the field of public law. His research focuses broadly, on Africana political theory, with an emphasis on Black liberatory politics; alejandra ciriza is a feisty feminist activist and human rights defender. She currently leads the master’s program in feminist studies at UNCuyo, Argentina, supporting the emergence of new researchers in this field; Sevgi Doğan gained her doctorate degree from Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. She is currently a precarious pos-doctoral researcher at the same university, where she also collaborates with the Scholars at Risk Network (SAR) – Italy. Her doctoral thesis, Marx and Hegel: On the Dialectic of the Individual and the Social, was published by Lexington Books (2018); Richard Gilman-Opalsky is Professor of political theory and philosophy in the School of Politics and International Affairs at the University of Illinois at Springfield. He is the author of many articles and book chapters and six books, including The Communism of Love, Specters of Revolt, Precarious Communism and Spectacular Capitalism; Jane Anna Gordon is Professor of Political Science with affiliations in American Studies, El Instituto, Global Affairs, Philosophy, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Connecticut; Giulia Longoni is a Ph.D. student in Philosophy at the University of Pisa. Her research interests focuses on the concepts of gender, class and “race” as theorized by the philosophical current of Marxist feminism, with particular attention to Rosa Luxemburg’s work; Georgy Mamedov is a curator, artist and activist based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Georgy co-authored and co-edited several publications including “A Book on Happiness for Young (and not so) and LGBT (and not only) People” (Bishkek, 2020), the pioneering Russian language collection of feminist and queer science fiction, Utterly Other (Bishkek, 2018); Queer Communism is Ethics (Moscow, 2016); and Bishkek Utopian (Bishkek, 2015). He teaches history and theory of modern and contemporary art at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek; Bruno Sena Martins is a researcher at the Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra (CES/UC). His research interests include disability, human rights, racism and colonialism. He is co-coordinator of the Doctoral Program “Human Rights in Contemporary Societies” and  lectures in the Doctoral Program “Postcolonialisms and Global Citizenship.”; Lena Stoehrfaktor is a Berlin-based rapper and hip hop artist; Leo Zeilig is a writer and researcher. He has written extensively on African politics and history, including books on working-class struggle and the development of revolutionary movements and biographies on some of Africa’s most important political thinkers and activists. Leo is an editor of the Review of African Political Economy – the radical African-studies journal founded by activists and scholars in 1974 – and an Honorary Research Associate at the Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP) at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.


    In Lieu of a Prologue:
    Spelling Out Left Loneliness
    Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichhorn

    Alone Together – The Singing Veins of Left Loneliness
    Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichhorn

    How the world works (Poetry)
    Lena Grace Anyuolo

    The Practicality of Utopianism: Capitalist and Communist Forms of Life and Loneliness
    Richard Gilman-Opalsky

    A Red Rooster Does Not Give Up – Subjectivity and Politics. Notes on Defeat
    alejandra ciriza

    Bridging the Gaps (Rap)
    Lena Stoehrfaktor

    The Eurocentric Left and the Loneliness of Colonial Legacies
    Bruno Sena Martins

    A Reasonable Doubt – Should I Stay Alone?
    Nina Bagdasarova

    “Solitude is Freedom (Yalnızlık özgürlüktür)” – An Interview with İsmail Beşikçi
    Sevgi Doğan

    It is going to be alright (Poetry)
    Lena Grace Anyuolo

    “A Lonely Warrior”: Left-wing Isolation in the Early Adult Life of Ida B. Wells
    Jane Anna Gordon

    The Problem of Pathology: Meditation on Race, Disability & Loneliness
    Derefe Kimarley Chevannes

    A diabolo, qui est simia dei
    Georgy Mamedov

    Left Loneliness and Feminist Love
    Giulia Longoni

    2084 (A Short Story)
    Leo Zeilig

    Bloom (Poetry)
    Lena Grace Anyuolo

    Customer Reviews

    There are no reviews yet.

    Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.