Trinketization gets a museum treatment…

HKW | Sharon Macdonald, Tony Bennett & Arjun Appadurai – THING

© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ethnologisches Museum, Martin Franken, Maya-Ausstellung 2007
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ethnologisches Museum, Martin Franken, Maya-Ausstellung 2007
Museums stage objects as testimonies of specific narratives. How do these museum things articulate the global order and supplant alternative narratives? What meanings do they adopt in the context of the dynamics of globalization and decolonization? At one of the last events at the Dahlem location of the Ethnologische Museum, Arjun Appadurai, Tony Bennett and Sharon Macdonald will explore the “thing”: its subtexts, its tenacity and its political dimension.

Using selected objects from the collections, three experts probe the narrative styles of “things.” Arjun Appadurai, Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, examines the migration of things and asks how they become legible as bearers of aesthetic knowledge. Tony Bennett, Research Professor in Social and Cultural Theory at Western Sydney University, presents the evolution of seeing in museums and the fixation on the viewer’s perspective. The cultural anthropologist Sharon Macdonald, Alexander von Humboldt Professor at the Institute for European Ethnology at Humboldt-Universität, combines the two theoretical approaches with the latest developments in Berlin’s museum landscape. How do things become signifiers in the museum space? How do societies handle problematic aspects of cultural heritage? What processes of learning and unlearning are necessary in order to decipher hegemonic narratives and geopolitics?

Tags: Art Thing

Begging Wars: Nottingham Police’s dodgy Prince tribute 

update 1 October 2016 – banned by the advertising standards agency. Took long enough, and only 4 out of 5 of them were banned, dunno what the other one was, but think whoever thought this whole lot up ought to get a free ride to the job centre

Source: Begging Wars: Nottingham Police’s dodgy Prince tribute 

Immigration Corbyn

How does JC superstar reconcile this week? Is it that he is crafting soundbites for different audiences (or as preparation for conference did he finally read ch 25 of Capital about how the reserve army is used to keep wages down etc?) and do these statements have consequences? Do they ‘impact’ support? Electability? Political credibility?

Please compare the photo quote from the conference speech and this blaming migrants quote from a recent interview:

“The other issue, which is the one that caused the most concern is the undercutting of wages and conditions and the impact of migration on some communities. So the migrant impact, trying to deal with that, but also the question of the undercutting of wages, bringing people in on lower than local wages, destroying local conditions. So for example, in Lincolnshire there is a average wage rate that is considerably lower than the rest of the country, and that applies in other place.”


Orientalism for kids – again

Orientalism for kids – again

Am gearing up for another round of kiddy tv and hoping there are new programmes since the mind worms of Iggle Piggle and Peppa Pig did their damage. This time Theodor and I are reviewing the options for Annabel’s rapidly arriving toddler indoctrination sessions. First exhibit on review is Nicklodious’s ‘Shimmer and Shine’.

Flying carpets, shalwar kameez, wayang kulit shadow puppets, princesses and dragons (with bad breath). The two genies have 3 wishes an episode to bestow, of course wishes go astray, are wasted frivolously, but a lesson is learned. Nothing new then, and some pretty standard 1001 nights fare, along with a geography-hopping sampling of almost any magical tradition anywhere. Ok, not so worried about that, but there is a dad who eats popcorn – very suspicious. He may work in films. Big eyed anime influence, suburban values and cinema in-jokes. Does the obvious fun they had making this mean the stereotypes are somehow undone? Nope, but a popcorn munching genie is better than that 60s comedy dream of Barbara Eden. 

Oh damn, there’s a prince in it, daft boy in specs – and now sitar fusion cartoon songs. I preferred the Beatles cartoon trip to India bit posted on my film course blog. 
This is what we do on Sunday mornings…

Marx Trot Sunday August 14, 2016 #Marx #walkingtourlondon

This year the Marx Trot is planned for August 14, 2016

Meet 1pm Archway Tube.

bring enthusiasm, vox pop speechifying, money for drinks, drinks, sunscreen (we hope we will need suncreen).


Pic above is from the Maidan, in the area near Rani Rashmoni Avenue, Lenin Sirani, S.N.Banerjee Rd,  Kolkata, West Bengal.

Previous Marx Trot itinerary (roughly followed each time): We will again be leaving from Archway tube, then to Highgate Cemetery Marx’s Grave – heading across the Heath to the Lord Southampton pub which was the old man’s local on Grafton Terrace [they also sell juice] – then onwards to Engels’ house, then to the pub where the Manifesto was adopted by the Communist League, – now a crappy cocktail bar, so we prob won’t enter – and more… All welcome (kids could surely come for the first couple of hours – but warning, its a longish walk across the heath between Highgate and the Grafton Terrace House BYO libations for the first part).

[word to the wise: bring some tinnies in a bag at the start – and sunscreen, umbrella as weather dictates and dosh for dinner (if interested in Mao’s favourite London place late on). The early part of our route involves considerable walking – on the heath – kids are very welcome for the first few hours but after 7.00 it possibly gets a bit adult oriented – well, I mean we visit pubs Marx used to haunt – gespenst-like – mostly harmless]


Sort of part of this course in Nottingham:



Pics of the  Marx/Engels houses:

Other links:

The Marx Trot is Party agnostic and non sectarian, except against Tories, other social fascist parties, brexit-racist pogrom enablers, and the majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party, with 40 or so exceptions.

Previous trots were = here:


The Great Windmill Street venue is where Liebknecht says the Manifesto was adopted by the League of the Just/German Workers Educational Association/Communist League – but some say it was at the White Hart in Dury Lane. In any case Marx lectures on Capital at Great Windmill Street, but see here:

For Leninists – a diversion on the trot might take in Charing Cross station, and areas near Kings Cross and Pentonville:

Dancing the first international!

A pub crawl with Karl

Grunwick +40 – 22.7.16

Event not to be missed:

Grunwick and Lucas 40 Years On: Union Rights, Workers’ Control
Screening of The Year of the Beaver and The Lucas Plan, with discussion and brief talks by Kierra Box (Grunwick 40) and Solfed.

22nd July 7pm at LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, E1 (nearest tubes Whitechapel, Aldgate East.)

Organised by Breaking the Frame, Grunwick 40 and North London Solidarity Federation. FREE/donation.

1976 was a high tide of workers’ struggle and the year it all began to change. Giving the lie to racist and sexist myths that Asian women were submissive and would work for a pittance, workers at the Grunwick plant in Willesden rallied the left behind their struggle for the right to join a union. At the Lucas Aerospace arms company, the Shops Stewards’ Combine Committee took the fight to the bosses, with their workers’ Alternative Plan for socially useful production.

In 2016 we are still facing the fiction of ‘foreigners taking our jobs’. In the face of climate change and militarism, we again need industrial conversion, from fossil fuels and Trident to renewables, and to stop the bosses replacing our jobs with robots. Join us for 2 films and discussion, showing how workers’ rights and ideas are crucial to facing those challenges.