LISTEN/WATCH – recent Centre for Cultural Studies’ events: Report on May 22 Brazil Workshop at CCS (mostly in Portuguese language)
In conjunction with Mute: Slave to the Algorithm – including CCS PhD candidates Inigo Wilkins and Bogdan Dragos
The Matter of Contradiction Conference – Josie Berry Slater, Process Processed
At the ICA
 – John Hutnyk in conversation with Anthony Gormley and Hugh Brody
At Tate Modern – John Hutnyk on the theme of new cultural cartographies
Goldsmiths: ‘Double Evil’ – a talk with Matthew Fuller, Andrew Goffey and Eyal Weizman
Goldsmiths: Sylvia Federici public lecture
Goldsmiths: George Caffentzis’ public lecture
On BBC Radio 3: The Essay Scott Lash on ‘Liquid Modernity’


More sentences that did not make the cut (from chapter two of Panto Terror):

The insurrection in the suburbs is not directed against the theoretical posturing of the self-regarding masters, but where the street demands something more than theory, bad theory is tolerated only so long as it does not succeed. Unfulfilled as yet, there is a threatening promise here. A lumpen justice storms the stage. Critics superfluous, Adorno applauds.

These might be reflections and critiques of the more or less prejudicial ways codes are filtered and sequenced in the psychological structures of the authoritarian personality today There is always the possibility of extending the study to account for historical differences in the way authoritarianism takes differing forms in different periods. Exactly that missing theory of mediation for which Adorno berated Benjamin’s Arcades assemblage might also displace the tendency to think in terms of vision not sound, and to accept the old methods forever, the old masters, and new – as if the once radical theorists retain critical intensity for all times.

There is a battle for attention and the production of images on all sides is just a part of the workings of an ‘attention economy’ or an ‘attention theory of value’ (Beller 2006:201). I want this value to illustrate and be illustrated in the workings of this writing, the ways writing works…

This is an old story – music and politics back in the day: in the 1970s a band called ‘The Lumpen’ were a cultural offshoot from the Black Panthers: “comrades who liked to harmonize while working Distribution night in San Francisco to ‘help the work go easier’ (another tradition). We had all sung in groups in the past, Calhoun having performed professionally in Las Vegas, and it just came naturally. I don’t remember just how it came about, but Emory Douglas, Minister of Culture, suggested that this could be formed into a musical cadre. Elaine Brown had already recorded an album of revolutionary songs (‘Seize the Time’) in a folk singing style, and this quartet singing in an R&B or ‘Soul’ form could be a useful political tool. Some folks don’t read, but everybody listens to music”

More recent work on Chinese urban street culture continues in a similar manner. Michael Dutton’s great book Streetlife China applauds the organised creativity of lumpen criminal subcultures struggling to survive in the informal and black economy as China advances its new capitalist regime, with deformed Deng-ist characteristics (Dutton 1999).

Back to Paris in 1848 then. In his book on that city, economist geographer David Harvey spends very little time with Marx on the streets, and rarely mentions the Eighteenth Brumaire, perhaps reluctant to draw anything but the most general macro conclusions. Conversely, but similar, his critique of readings of Benjamin cannot relate fragments of the Arcades project to the whole – echoes of Adorno but without the close comradely involvement or ‘Arcades orthodoxy’ (Adorno to Benjamin 10 November 1938, Benjamin/Adorno 1994/1999: 284). Nevertheless, Harvey shows that after the revolutionary disturbances of 1848 came Baron Haussmann and his wider streets project, which has to be understood as the policy response of the ruling class (Harvey 2003:3). Of course this was not simply straightforward – even if the roads, the new boulevards cutting through working class areas, were. In a somewhat hyperbolic mode, Harvey writes of 1848: ‘Before, there was an urban vision that at best could only tinker with the problems of a medieval urban infrastructure; then came Haussmann, who bludgeoned the city into modernity’ (Harvey 2003:3). This for Harvey: ‘Tradition has to be overthrown, violence is necessary, in order to grapple with the present and create the future’ (Harvey 2003:15).

Harvey points to a ‘greater degree of spatial segregation, much of it based on class distinctions’ in the wake of Haussman’s remodelling of the city (Harvey 2003:239).

The point is not to perfect a history of 1848 or 1871, but to explore ways in which the events of that time might help us think differently about our own. I am thinking then of the boulevard as ramparts, and the way this offers a perspective marked by class and militarism. What is it to look along the vista of the new Paris in the 1860s? Just as today the view of New York has been remodelled in significant ways, as Joel McKim argues in his studies of memorial and architectural competition over the Twin Towers site (McKim 2008:83). Indeed, what was it to look up at the planes as they hurtled into the twin towers, or, equally, as they fly far above, the planes that drop what Habermas calls ‘electronically controlled clusters of elegant and versatile missiles’ (in Borradori 2008:28). To get New Yorkers to stop and stare was significant, but it is also a privilege compared to those who do not have the time to do anything but run for cover.

The intellectuals, sociologists and commentators want a more inclusive France. The meaning of the former is secured by the latter – the secret dependence of democratic politics upon nationalist enjoyment takes varied forms, whether it be the novelty of the ‘third way’ politics, the love-thy-neighbour posturing of multicultural tolerance, or ‘radical’ reforms – drop the debt campaigns perhaps – even ‘Struggles for cultural recognition … [are] secretly supported … by compliance in deed, if not in words, with nationalistic rituals’ (Boucher 2004:160). The best these modes of ‘politics’ can claim is to be the human face of the obscene enjoyment generated by the capitalism-nationalism nexus. Žižek points to the need to break from these supplements to destroy the logic of their excessive unconscious attachments – discursive unity is secretly supported by venal enjoyment (Žižek 2004b:164) and he would have done with this kind of ‘rainbow coalition’ against populist fundamentalism in order rather to ‘aggravate’ class difference into class antagonism (Žižek 2004b:186).

In 1972 Eldrige Cleaver wrote:

“The real revolutionary element of our era is the Lumpen, understood in its broader sense. What is lacking is a Lumpen consciousness, consciousness of the basic condition of oppression being the Lumpen condition and not the proletarian condition. In order for the revolutionary movement to progress, the Lumpen must become conscious of themselves as the vast majority, and the false proletarian, working class consciousness must be negated.” (Cleaver 1972)

Meanwhile, across the river… The End of the World Cinema is Nigh… in E2 9QG

The first End of the World Cinema double feature kicks off this Sunday, 7pm at The Common House.

The films are Schwarzenegger’s The Running Man (1987) and The Hunger Games (2011), two necrotic reality TV shows set into the not too distant future. Door’s open at 6:30pm, with The Running Man starting at 7pm. See you there!

The End of the World Cinema
The end of the world will come, no doubt, with a whimper and not a bang. But the disappointing reality of catastrophe, its everyday-ness, it’s lack of entertainment value, leaves us cold. Which is why in place of the slow violence of the end, The End of the World Cinema presents a monthly double feature of some of the best (and worst) apocalyptic films to ensure your final days are nothing less than spectacular.

Apocalypse, the end of humanity and the world, disaster, catastrophe, and popcorn.

Film Schedule
July 28th: Running Man vs The Hunger Games
August 25th: Mad Max 2 vs The Quiet Earth
September 29th: I am Legend vs Monsters
October 20th: Soylent Green vs Delicatessen

Where: The Common House, Unit E, 5 Pundersons Gardens, E2 9QG

The Resistance of Others

Some films just need to be made. You may want to support this project is to complete the edit of a cinematic feature documentary on the struggles for justice by families of those who have died in state custody in the UK.
Migrant Media is a group of radical film-makers with a focus on work about resistance, race and class. We function as a creative collective and have been visually documenting experiences in various communities since 1989 in television and cinema production. We have a strong community grounding with an international reputation for challenging and innovative work. Our prize-winning films have been recognised by many national and international awards at major film festivals. We produced ‘Injustice’a feature length documentary about deaths in state custody that we spent seven years making and the past ten years screening across the world. A recent article by Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian is here. ‘Injustice’ directly challenged the those responsible for these deaths and helped to force reform of the Police Complaints Authority and the review of the Crown Prosecution Service. We also recently produced ‘Who Polices The Police’ .
The time has come to complete ‘The Resistance of Others’. Since records began in 1969, there have been over 2000 police custody deaths. The film will be a creative exploration of why there has never been a successful prosecution of police officers and why these human rights abuses continue despite overwhelming evidence. ‘The Resistance of Others’ will include updates on the cases featured in ‘Injustice’ and will also cover strategic new cases and current developments. It will use narrative poetry and intimate cinema verite filmed over the past decade to make a moving and compelling film.
Current status: ‘Injustice’ took 7 years to make ‘The Resistance of Others’ has also taken 7 years. Research and production of the film began in 2005 and was funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, the Churches Commission for Racial Justice, the Lipman Miliband Trust and private donations. The film has now been shot and is in need of post-production finance. Completion date will be September 2013.
Budget: Funds are required to complete post-production on the film and initial distribution. Migrant Media is run on a non-profit basis and does not receive any form of regular funding. All our work is supported through appeals and project specific grants allowing us to retain a high level of creative and cultural independence.
What people said about ‘Injustice’:
“One of the most powerful films ever made” The Guardian
“Moving and militant” The Gleaner
“A rousing hymn to united struggle” Time Out – Critic’s Choice
Donate right now here:

Sharpies (Melbourne Sharps)

a little bit of nostalgia – what was in when I started secondary school. Holidays in Frankston (!). Suzi Quatro was compulsory listening on a portable cassette player. A connie was a kind of cropped woollen cardi. Staggers were madly wide jeans (wide from the thighs down), bought from Epsteins. The knuckles game shown here towards the end… and the elbows… the dancing… indicate a little of the undercurrent of anger… Remember Lobby Lloyd, but also Hush…

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 12.20.52

More background =

It was all downhill after this. traded in the treads (woven sandals with car-tyre soles) and Skyhooks took over, and AC/DC (originals – Bon Scott era), and then later on The Radiators through to Loaded Dice at the Sarah Sands.