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Variant 32 Summer
Front & back covers by:
'New social art school, free daze!'
front: pdf back: pdf
Notes on the front cover
The Left Hand and the Right Hand of the State
Pierre Bourdieu interviewed by R. P. Droit & T.
Bourdieu conjures up the useful metaphor and with it he illuminates the
devastating impact of neoliberalism on social democracy. The key issue
remains, how the public interest and the common good can be manifested
under the conditions of corporate and financial globalisation, even as
proponents of competitive nationalism launch manifestos for cultural
rejuvenation in the global marketplace.
The New Bohemia
Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt
Detailed, insightful article, based on academic study undertaken at Strathclyde
University, revealing the controversial creation of Culture and Sport
Glasgow (CSG) - the private company set up to take over the running of
culture and sport from Glasgow City Council.
of Culture and Sport Glasgow structure:
Craven New World
A refreshing class-analysis of recently screened British sci-fi films
- Taking Liberties, Faceless, Children of Men, The Last Enemy, Exodus,
Polly II - where Jennings "seeks signs of hope in ... dystopian
visions that reflect prevailing trends in biopolitical divide and rule."
Comic & Zine Reviews
A survivalist summer school that takes in shed-fetishists and kitchen
screen printers. Your emergency rations include: MOLLSUK #04, Sheds,
Do-It-Yourself Screenprinting, A C Dickson’s Guide To eBay Powerselling,
The Garden Sketchbook, Omskbook, Ratio - Pan-Dimensional Film Guide.
Structural Greed: The ‘Credit
Detailed assessment of the origins and consequences of the much fetishised
financial 'crisis'. "What needs explanation is how the crisis had
an impact greater than the relative amount of money involved." Barker
turns the spotlight on a self-confidence endemic of structural greed.
Reading is an argument:
Althusser’s commandment, conjecture and contradiction
Liam O’ Ruairc
In reassessing the 'dead dog' of Althusser, can "No revolutionary
... afford to ignore the weapons of scientific criticism put at [their]
Sense & Knowledge
Jewesbury contrasts two recent documentary projects: 'Projecting Migration'
- "an anthology presenting work that transgresses multiple boundaries",
with "materials produced by visual anthropologists, ethnographers,
documentarists and film and video artists... engaging with themes of
diaspora, migration, and representation, between and within cultures
and in various forms"; and Melanie Friend's 'Border Country' - a
book of photographs (devoid of human subjects) documenting spaces in
'immigration removal centres' around Britain, accompanied by an audio
CD of interviews with detainees. He asserts that it's essential that
artists continue striving "to discover new ways of looking; and
through that, new ways of knowing."
Hindutva, Modi, and The Tehelka Tapes:
The Communal Threat to Indian Secularism
Following the Tehelka expose of Hindutva - "...a communalist
Hindu Nationalist ideology seeking to equate the very idea of ‘Indian-ness’ with ‘Hindu-ness’..." -
in the context of "... neo-liberal advocates and boosters, fronted
by the bought media worldwide ... busy extolling the ‘competitive’ and ‘dynamic’ virtues
of India’s de-regulated economy...".
version of this article is available here.]
Propaganda Compliant Society
Through the prism of interlocking networks of civic elites, Law reviews
'A Century of Spin', where "David Miller and William Dinan plot
with scholarly care the real extent and corrosive nature for democracy
of the public relations industry", and Nick Davies' 'Flat Earth
News', who "dissects conspiratorial theories that purport to explain
away the degradation of the craft of journalism by recourse to the dubious
character of individual journalists." While "the unseen influence
of ideology, where journalists share the same narrow political and moral
worldview, might account more adequately for media distortion" the
danger is "it becomes divorced from the workaday institutional reality
that journalists find themselves caught, day in and day out..."
Muhammad Idrees Ahmad
An extensive article on the existing and escalating militarisation of Britain,
drawing together the many otherwise fractured strands of research and information
so as to make clear the scale of events unfolding. A truly encompassing
article that documents, exposes and critiques the further militarisation
of ostencibly public institutions and space against a backdrop of privatisations
and the expanding industry of a state of permanent war.
Nationalism and Neoliberalism
"...The difficulty here is a deeper one. Because nationalism is such an
inescapable aspect of capitalist development, the first response to intolerable
conditions is to seek to establish a new nation-state, although this is usually
only possible where some level of national consciousness already exists, as it
does in Scotland. In other words, neoliberalism may require nations, but it does
not require particular nations..."
End of Tolerance
'The End of Tolerance' by Arun Kundnani describes the fundamentally racist
nature of British state policy in a host of areas over the last decade,
mapping trends in government policy and rhetoric concerning immigration,
asylum, multiculturalism, war, terrorism, globalism and aid. Jewesbury
evaluates the importance of Kundnani's work at a time when the most basic
conceptions of citizenship and rights are under threat, and argues that
only with the aid of Kundnani's broad picture of global relations and
British state thinking can we generate an effective, contemporary anti-racism.