Wednesday, April 09, 2014

2014! Asturias, mass graves, regeneration, pop-up shops, the fight for the city, Afrobeats and Stuart Hall

Okay, a long overdue (but not overly long) update. The Village Against The World's doing humblingly well in hardback, in reviews and in the Spanish version. Paperback out through Verso June 2014. Some excerpts and reviews here - oh and it's 50% off on the Verso website right now.

Otherwise, I wrote the London Review of Books Diary about my time chasing the past in Asturias, about the legacy of Franco and the Fascists' mass graves, about the coal mines and the legendary dinamiteros, and the remarkable story of the 1934 workers' revolution in Spain's beautiful northern region. LRB subscribers can read the essay here.


I've also written three pieces about gentrification, regeneration and the physical language of neoliberalism in the ever-changing city, all for VICE. More to come.

1) On the campaigning of the Focus E15 mums: single mothers being told by the Olympic Borough of Newham to leave London, because there's just no room for them here.

2) On the meaning of Elephant and Castle's pop-up shipping container mall, aka the piece that went viral as 'Fuck Your Pop-up Shops' (eye-catching headline, cheers VICE).

3) On the demolition of Glasgow's Red Road flats as part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony. Aka regeneration as live TV entertainment.


Here's an essay for The National's weekly Review section on Woody Guthrie's remarkable 'government recordings', and what being the voice of the people really means.

And a longer Review cover story about the exploding size of world cities (3bn new city-dwellers by 2050!) and the ever-more-vital battle to be able to protest - and to party - in public space. Did you know they removed an entire roundabout in Bahrain, because it was a politically provocative roundabout? Fuck ur neo-Hausmannisation, basically.

Joining the dots, here's a piece for FACT where I interviewed Fuse ODG about what it means to feel alienated in London and in Ghana, and how this contributed to his dazzling, uniquely 21st century pop music. Finally, and relatedly, given the challenges and benefits of diasporic multiculturalism and the joy of collective culture, here is a short piece for the New Statesman in memory of the late, great Stuart Hall. What a terribly long shadow he casts; what a reminder his death is that we must think, fight and play harder, together. Innit Fuse.