THE WORLD MADE FLESH

In Peckham a new city has been born. An arched bank of metal on struts covering a shallow stretched flight of steps for gospel singers and pissheads to air themselves on holds off the sky, turns it into barometric colour readings via floodlights, broken. An all slabs and no benches piazza; then the twin homes of the new heartland. Peckham Pulse, a sport and fitness centre and on the other side, the Library and Information Centre.

Libraries in South London are gothic barns with shambolic towers and crumbling steps dished out by Victorian philanthropists like Carnegie and Tate, working class men made good, making good. The new Peckham library is different, this minute’s last word in civic architecture [Read more →]

More Trouble in the Balkans

The Kosovo war was also an information war that was led surprisingly successful considering how many ‘facts’ had to be made up or twisted. Let’s once again reiterate: In the Yugoslav province of Kosovo there had been an armed insurrection of a nationalist group called the UCK (in the US and UK usually referred to as KLA) with the aim of secession from the FRY (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) and possibly/ultimately the creation of a Greater Albania. The UCK was supported by the German secret service BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst) and otherwise financed by “taxes” levied from the Albanian diaspora and by selling Heroin in Europe (already at the end of 1999 Hashim Thacis gang controlled 40% of the European heroin, according to German Unmik police). When the banking system in Albania itself collapsed in 1997 there were widespread riots [Read more →]

Terror Against Terror

On September 11, 2001, 8.45 am, an American Airlines plane with 92 passengers on board crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Centre in New York City. 18 minutes later, as thick smoke started rising towards the sky, the news of several simultaneous hijackings started making the rounds, as camera teams started assembling and people started fleeing from the burning building, a second plane crashed into the south tower causing a huge fireball as the approximately 40 tons of kerosene in the freshly tanked plane ignited.
The images were replayed thousands of times over the following weeks: less than two hours later the landmark of New York City [Read more →]

REFUGEE SUBJECTIVITY ‘Bare life’ and the geographical division of labour

In the border country
They’ve done it all
We kept watch
As they smashed the wall

Swell Maps, “Border Country” (1980)

While trans-national institutions like the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO clear the way for capital to move freely across the globe, European States are barricading their borders as if they expected a foreign army to invade.
In most of continental Europe this means the Schengen agreement, which suspends monitoring of borders between participating countries but gives immigration authorities unprecedented powers of surveillance, search and detention everywhere in the territory, not just at frontiers and ports of entry. Britain, meanwhile, is playing its part with the 1999 asylum Act, quietly pushed through by the Labour government under cover of the ‘anti racist’ Stephen Lawrence Inquiry. (A Home Office Green Paper explicitly links the two initiatives.)
The term ‘asylum seeker’ suddenly replaced ‘refugee’ in media and parliamentary language around the time of last Tory immigration act, finally passed in 1996. Wheras ‘refugee’ implies an active attempt [Read more →]

Bifo in Osaka

Franco Berardi, better known as the Italian media theorist Bifo, was in Osaka, Japan last week as part of a tour that brought him to the protests against the G8 meeting in Hokkaido. He gave a talk on media activism at an event organized by Remo, a local media collective, where he discussed not only his own activity in Italy but posed some critical questions to the audience about the situation in Japan.
He began by playing a short documentary on Telestreet, a pirate television project organized around Italy that seeks to create self-media and challenge the existing media monopoly held by [Read more →]

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