Monthly Archives: June 2012

More Olympiss Action

A MEMORIAL IN EXILE

Press Release June 27 2012

Orbits of Responsibility for a War Crime from a Bosnian mine to London’s Olympic Park

[PDF] 2 July 2012 Event Press Release

[PDF] Opinion Piece by Susan Schuppli

Download Images of Omarska

On July 2 2012 London’s Olympic tower — the ArcelorMittal Orbit — will be reclaimed as A Memorial in Exile by survivors of the Bosnian concentration camp at Omarska, now a fully-functional mine operated by ArcelorMittal. Iron ore and profits extracted from Omarksa have been used to manufacture London’s newest landmark.

 

Keep reading here - http://www.forensic-architecture.org/explorations/a-memorial-in-exile-orbits-of-responsibility-for-a-war-crime/

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The banal in psychoanalysis

In Paris overnight, asleep in a hotel room on Rue Daguerre, right next to the cemetery in Montparnasse, I dreamt I was taken to meet de Beauvoir and Jean Paul Sartre himself. I get him to sign an old first edition copy of a book called Ego and Literature. He crosses out an ancient dedication to Anne (my mother’s name) and lectures me on being caught up with all too obvious interpretations. 4:47am 23.6.2012

Plan C and Quebec solidarity actions

An invitation to an evening in support of CLASSE (Quebec) // 7pm Friday 22nd June // Centre for Possible Studies

7pm Friday June 22nd, 2012 

Centre for Possible Studies
21 Gloucester Place
Marble Arch
London
W1U 8HR

In response to an urgent appeal for support from CLASSE in Quebec – due to
mounting legal costs because of the massive student strike and rebellion -
Plan C London is hosting an evening of support and solidarity with films and
discussion.  The urgent appeal from CLASSE can be found here:

—————————————————————————————-
Solidarity with Quebec students on strike
Called by: Education Activist Network & Defend the Right to Protest Supported by: Disabled People Against the Cuts, Plan C London
4pm Sunday June 24th, 2012
Canada House,
Trafalgar Square
London
Following the call-out for international solidarity with Quebec students on strike, we have decided to call a demonstration in London, UK.

The last solidarity demonstration brought more than 300 people into the streets. Let’s make sure that this demonstration strengthens the determination fof students in Quebec to continue the fightback against the Charest government.

We invite all organisations and individuals to sign the call to support the solidarity demonstration on Sunday June 24:

http://educationactivistnetwork.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/events/153410228127030/

Downing Street. Detain the Detainers.

Stephen Turner at Goldsmiths 26.6.2012 at 5pm

New post on University For Strategic Optimism

The Indigenous Commons // 26/06 5pm // Goldsmiths

by flashbank

EVENT: The Indigenous Commons

26th June // 5pm // RHB 251 // Goldsmiths, University of London

Dr. Stephen Turner (University of Auckland)

In association with Centre for Cultural Studies and Centre for Postcolonial Studies 

No registration necessary, Drinks to follow

 

The Indigenous Commons of Aoteroa New Zealand

In the context of the worldwide Occupy movement, what does it mean to occupy an already occupied country?  It suggests a recovery, however temporary, of common space, which in Aotearoa New Zealand is inseparable from a notion of an Indigenous commons. The basis of such a commons is the long history of Maori inhabitation of the country, which encompasses the short history of non-Maori (Pakeha) occupation.  The ontological substrate of long history, encompassing multiple lands, peoples and histories, asks everybody to consider the grounds on which they stand.  At base, these are grounds of Indigenous right which cannot be extended by the nation-state, whose authority is questioned on the still-existing grounds of long history.  Based in reciprocity rather than rights, relations not entities, attributes not properties, Maori sovereignty suggests a right way and right-of-way – tikanga. Tikanga (tika means ‘right) does not imply human rights but the right way to go about the place, in terms of which the ordinary people of the place (‘Maori’ means ordinary) consider that they flourish.  The idea of an existing law that would, and did in retrospect, secure that ‘right’ is what I call ‘first law’, following Maori commentators; its latter-day expression is the possibility of a ‘full law’, which binds material and spiritual worlds in the mind-heart of Maori community. The mind-heart of place-based community, and the host-guest relation that initiates strangers, is what non-Maori (Pakeha) are asked to subscribe to as second-comers.

 

Collective well-being, now inscribed in the Indigenous-minded constitutions of Bolivia and Equador, depends more deeply on a sense of injury and lack of care than a violation of more instrumental human rights. In New Zealand the deficits of settler ignorance are threefold: a constitutional deficit, due to an acknowledged but unenforceable nineteenth-century Treaty; an historiographical deficit, where long history is read in terms of short history of a nation-state coming-to-be; and an existential deficit, where majority Pakeha act out of dread and, more recently, terror, in the face of Indigenous claims to independence. As against an economistic political economy of settler identity, where property and individual rights follow the nation-state’s self-assertion, I pose the challenge of consubstantial sovereignty, and post-capital politics. Occupy in New Zealand recalls an already occupied country, an Indigenous commons, today shared by others, but rent by parliamentary enclosure and representative segregation. Granting Maori an ontological alterity is insufficiently attentive to this commonly shared place, and to the non-state grounds of its political constitution. Nor does collective well-being oppose capital as such, but rather opposes settler-centricity and claims to co-equal indigeneity. I thereby consider the political, cultural and economic implications of attribute- rather property-based Indigenous rights.  And because the constitution of the state refuses the ontological substrate of long history, which is its whole human inhabitation, I consider the possibility of constitutionalising non-state Indigenous relations, as a means of exit from the compulsory nationalism of settler-colonialism.

Stephen Turner

University of Auckland

 

Part of the Postgraduate Conference: Taking Up Space

Taking up Space  — Cultural Studies Postgraduate Event 
25th – 26th June 2012

Centre for Cultural Studies (CCS) / MA in Cultural Studies

A one/two day conference exploring the meaning and understanding of space in its physical manifestations as well as in its discursive forms; through which identity, meaning, value and authority can be mapped in particular ways.

http://takingupspace2012.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Goldsmiths location and campus map: http://www.gold.ac.uk/find-us/

Enquiries: john.hutnyk@gold.ac.uk

flashbank | June 16, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/p1dbfG-h7

 

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Gonjasufi

This is a set worth seeing twice. They are heading next to Ireland, then in London on Saturday at village exp in Shoreditch.

 

 

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Go Demons!

erm, first win of the year, but over Essendon, so all the better – 16 wins in a row and we contend for the flag.

Zurker the Zucker(berg) punch…

Still a lot to be worked out but OK, why not gamble on FB not even being here in 8 years (as reported in the SMH today) and join this other (maybe nicer) pyramid scheme social networking site. I’m happy enough to say my invite is from Stewart Home – so get in early enough and it might not fall over on you – link page here: http://www.zurker.co.uk/i-226925-yvgyvoykwn

Voodoo trinkets available at heathrow

Something to poke in the eye with a sharp stick

(thanks Carlo for spotting this trinket).

See also: http://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/no-olympics/

‘Earth Shattering Fact’ – you cannot measure education…

Via Marcus and the SMH.

I like journalists whose three word sentences do not hide their contempt for bean counters. Even if the comparison with mining flies in the face of the actual convergence of schools and industry, still…:

For a start, schools are complex environments. They are full of people. They aren’t mines. This might be seen to be stating the bleeding obvious but you can’t measure schools and the people in them in the same way you measure iron ore. The human variable affects everything that happens in a school. Good teaching is impossible to measure. Examination results might be easy to measure. They tell us that students at well-resourced schools will do better in examinations than students at poorly resourced schools. Isn’t that incredible? Examination results will also suggest that students from comfortable middle-class backgrounds will get better marks than students from less privileged backgrounds. Another earth shattering fact.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/baillieu-has-no-idea-how-teachers-work-20120605-1zu5x.html#ixzz1wzy3dgnR

Bombing of Poems in London 26.6.12

Beyond Borders book in the shops soon… here is the postcard.

Immigration themed Op Ed from India that should be noticed.

This Op Ed appeared in The Statesman newspaper in Kolkata, and skewers the madness of Tory immigration/xenophobia/economic jingoism on this boggy Isle. The writer is a staffer on that paper – jolly good to see that the rest of the world notices your crap Cameron. ‘Independent ethics advisor’ my arse – he is called Sir, which means he’s hardly independent, nor ethical. And anyway, as an advisor, his job is to tell Cameron what he can and can’t get away with. Not a brake, more an alibi.

The moral netherland

2 June 2012

UK’s increasing non-EU visa restrictions and requirements are symptomatic of a country that has not yet found the means or the will to articulate its ever-decreasing position in the world pecking order, writes lara choksey

Of all the things that the Leveson Inquiry into the ethics of British Press has exposed, perhaps one of the most remarkable is that British Prime Minister David Cameron has an ethics advisor. Responding to the possibility of being called up in front of the Inquiry, Mr Cameron said that should any evidence against him suggest the breaking of ministerial codes, he will call in Sir Alex Allan ~ his independent ethics advisor ~ for consultation.

On one level it seems sensible to have someone in or around Downing Street who can determine the ethical dimensions of political quandaries. On another, it is disturbing that the leader of a country that has not ceased promoting itself as a moral leader in the world needs someone else to distinguish between right and wrong.

In terms of the international Press, there are two stories dominating discussions of the UK. The first is the Leveson Inquiry, which started off as a simple matter of investigating the hacking of celebrity phones by itinerant news agencies, and which has now begun to expose the sordid nature of Downing Street’s relationship with the Murdochs under the Cameron, Brown and Blair leaderships.

This in itself is nothing new; anyone who has watched an episode of Yes, Minister! would expect nothing more. But when placed parallel to the second story circulating across the globe ~ that of implemented and threatened restrictions on UK visas for those who do not meet specific economic requirements ~ the hypocrisy and shortsightedness at Westminster’s rotten core becomes ever clearer.

There are two issues at stake here. The first concerns Downing Street’s idea of Britain as a moral leader in global politics. The second concerns Downing Street’s idea of what constitutes Britain’s nationhood. The discursive frame through which Mr Cameron and his ministers frame Britain domestically and internationally reveals a central administration willfully ignoring the economic and cultural heterogeneity of the population under its control, as well as the hypocrisy of its justifying its actions to the rest of the world on the grounds of moral superiority.

Above any other nation ~ in terms of pure numbers ~ India is the country likely to be most affected by the UK’s increasing non-EU visa restrictions and requirements. According to the International Passenger Survey, Indian nationals made up the largest percentage (11.9 per cent) of immigrants granted entry to the UK in 2010-11. Of these Indian nationals, a large number entered the UK on student visas. Those entering in 2010 would have been granted a two-year post-study work visa.

Fast forward a year, and there has been more than a 30 per cent drop in the number of Indian nationals applying for student visas, with many choosing the United States, Australia and Canada as alternatives. This is partly because the post-study work visa was scrapped this April, and partly ~ according to some British university professors ~ due to the increasing hostility and suspicion shown by the UK border agency towards non-EU students, particularly those from South Asia. This observation is compounded by the fact that the total number of student visas granted by the UK to non-EU residents dropped by 62 per cent in the first quarter of 2012.

We could easily leap to charges of xenophobia, and speculate about a small island closing its borders as a four-year recession refuses to budge. The residual prejudices of post-9/11 homeland security become an increasingly convenient justification for reinforcing national borders. Yet, this logic ignores the pre-Olympic pro-investment road show that various British foreign diplomats have been charged with promoting in their respective countries over the last 12 months, encouraging non-EU businesses to invest in the UK.

In February, the UK immigration minister Mr Damien Green announced that from 2016, people not from the EU and not earning at least £35,000 will not be able to apply to be a permanent resident in the UK. The message is clear: the UK welcomes big business and high salaries, regardless of ideology or investment ethics. Diversity is embraced, as long as it comes with a thick cheque book. In return, multinational companies benefit from tax evasion and low borrowing costs on international financial markets. It is undeniably ~ at least for the moment ~ a mutually beneficial arrangement. Prosaic questions of ethics are put out of the window ~ Britain is in a recession, and dog will eat dog.

Why does this matter to India? Apart from the fact that Britain is still considered to be a desirable place to visit, study and live (although this view is undoubtedly changing), this matters because Britain is behind the times. Specifically in the context of India’s increasing importance on the world stage ~ both economically and diplomatically ~ Britain’s restrictions on non-EU immigration seem ridiculous. Such restrictions are symptomatic of a country that has not yet found the means or the will to articulate its ever-decreasing position in the world pecking order.

For the sake of argument, let us just speculate that Britain once had a right to claim moral superiority over other nations (we need not go very far back in history to look at the violence of such a claim). But as the Cameron government decimates the welfare structures that might have once allowed Britain to claim a certain moral superiority with regard to providing the infrastructure (if not always the materialisation) of holistic care for its population, the claim becomes increasingly fragile.  A national heath service, financial support for people at the bottom of the food chain, and ~ perhaps most pertinently in the context of the visa discussion ~ open borders for economic migrants and political refugees: these are some of the structures that might convincingly constitute the discourse of moral superiority.

Yet, in the last twenty years, these structures have become dirty words in Downing Street, replaced by privatisation, austerity and border security, seemingly in direct spite of the increasing scale of global poverty and warfare: so many people have never been so poor, and genocide has never been simpler. India should take heed: there is a fast-appearing vacancy in the global moral high-ground market that needs prompt filling. In an interview published in The Daily Telegraph on 25 May, 2012, British home secretary Ms Theresa May responded to a question on curbing immigration by saying: “The aim is to create here in Britain a really hostile environment for illegal migration.” We might ask, what constitutes an illegal migrant? The term suggests an international law preventing movement between countries. However, while the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights decrees that a country should grant entry to its own citizens, there is no international law that prevents a person from entering a country in the first place.

Immigration laws are national laws, coded by national interests and national understandings of who should be allowed entry. Thus, we learn much about the way in which a country understands itself by the way in which it categorises those who arrive on its shores. In the UK, the terms of ‘illegal migration’ are clear: it has everything to do with economic status. Those who are not considered fit to make a significant economic contribution to the UK, quite simply, become illegal ~ outside legitimacy ~ and vulnerable to any form of physical or mental subjugation. The right to claim access to Britain is based on purely economic terms: this is the new model of national belonging.

Downing Street has thrown off the mantle of social responsibility, both domestically and internationally. Internationally speaking, its participation in Libya on the grounds of humanitarian intervention is laughable when we consider that there is a British Ambassador ~ Nicholas Ray ~ permanently stationed in Khartoum, Sudan. His purpose is to perform diplomacy with the al Bashir government, an administration currently carrying out ethnic cleansing operations on its borders. Domestically, the British government’s claim to provide for its population (as opposed to its citizens) is being made forfeit by the systematic destruction of structures built on the ideas of a common right to life, and the responsibility of government to provide for its population. The Cameron government’s policies are regressive to a Dickensian degree, and increasing internal unrest ~ characterised by last year’s riots ~ will only be kept at bay by Jubilee morale boosting for so long.  With the removal of welfare structures, Downing Street would model Britain as nothing more than a vast, transnational bank, complete with hordes of the hungry standing outside. From an international perspective, this is the only form of diversity Cameron’s government is currently interested in promoting.
The writer is on the staff of The Statesman

 

[10.6.2012 Lara adds: Clarification: I take it for granted that ‘morals’ are socially-inscribed codes, whereas ethics - broadly speaking - are a means of defending concepts of right and wrong actions. My use of the phrase ‘moral superiority’ is therefore performative - the description or impression of a national discourse, as opposed to ‘ethical behaviour’. A longer piece might make this distinction clearer, but I did not feel it was necessary to point out the ethical importance of, for example, the NHS etc.

To clarify my argument and take it forward: firstly, that Britain’s claim to moral superiority is being made forfeit not because it ever had a right to make this claim in the first place, but because the infrastructure supporting this claim (class/gender/race equality and equal opportunities and so on) is being dismantled: the discourse, or performance, can no longer support itself.

Or so it would seem from one perspective. However, taking this forward, I would suggest that if Britain maintains its performance of ‘moral superiority’ on an international stage, then the discourse (and infrastructure) of ‘moral superiority’ is now based on codes of economic viability. To be ‘moral’, in the context of Downing Street’s national aspirations, one must be financially solvent. Foreign investors are invited to buy a stake in moral superiority.]

Marx Trot 2012 – July 7

Notice. The date has just been announced – The Marx Trot this year will be on July 7. Hurrah! Leaving from Archway tube 2:30 pm, then to Highgate Cemetery Marx’s Grave about 3pm – heading across the Heath to the old man’s local on Grafton Terrace – and onwards to Engels’ house, then to the pub – now crappy cocktail bar – where the Manifesto was adopted by the Communist League, and much more… All welcome.

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Last year’s trot (and links to previous) here: http://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/marx-trot-29-5-2011/

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Pics of the houses: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/photo/london/index.htm

Marx Trot 2012 – July 7

Notice. The date has just been announced – The Marx Trot this year will be on July 7. Hurrah! Leaving from Archway tube 2:30 pm, then to Highgate Cemetery Marx’s Grave about 3pm – heading across the Heath to the old man’s local on Grafton Terrace – and onwards to Engels’ house, then to the pub – now crappy cocktail bar – where the Manifesto was adopted by the Communist League, and much more… All welcome.

,.

Last year’s trot (and links to previous) here: http://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/marx-trot-29-5-2011/

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Pics of the houses: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/photo/london/index.htm

Palestine Place London

Go to this. http://palestineplace.wordpress.com/

 

Fuck the Jubilee

The jubilee, recessionary Britain, and and Johnny Rotten staging controversy in the newspaper again, it may all seem a bit like old money for ropey old jingles, but look – at least the advertising for the event in New Cross on Sunday is up!

So I will be heading along to the New Cross for the “Fuck the Jubilee Street Party” – event details via our friends on you know where (even FB’s share-price is having a Thatcherite austerity moment):

http://www.facebook.com/events/207617176019542/

They say: “Goldsmiths students and New Cross inhabitants alike, join us at [a yet undisclosed location] in celebration of an alternative to the flag waving queenie-idiolising jubilee celebrations.

MORE DETAILS ANNOUNCED CLOSER TO THE DATE”

 

so see the FB site or just hang around in NX looking a little bit 1977 England’s dreaming.

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