In New York and London, gentrification transforms previously low-income neighborhoods into playgrounds for the rich, while foreclosures have pushed scores of Americans out of their own homes. Land grabs for urban spaces inhabited by the poor and disenfranchised worldwide--from the favelas of Rio to the slums of Mumbai--further entrench the vast divide between the holders of capital and the dispossessed.
David Harvey's new book Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution explores the future of this radically unstable world. Unveiling a vision of the city as a social, political and liveable commons, Harvey pinpoints cities as the focus for anti-capitalist resistance, arguing that the definition of the right to the city is itself an object of struggle--and that this struggle must proceed in tandem with concrete efforts to materialize it.
Sujatha Fernades, former emcee and author of last fall's Close to the Edge: In Search of the Global Hip Hop Generation was featured on today's The Takeway in a discussion about the up-and-coming rappers whose voices have rung out against corruption, political repression and economic disenfranchisement in Senegal, Tunisia and Egypt.
Part of The Takeway's special on global protest music, in the segment Fernandes guides Takeaway co-host John Hockenberry through a listening tour of the music that is helping to build solidarity across borders, "shaping a language that allows young people to negotiate a political voice for themselves in their societies." [Fernandes, from Close to the Edge].
Despite the lack of an organized music industry in many locales, these artists are finding ways to get their music heard, speaking not just to their localized situations but to a global consciouness of the oppressed.
Go to The Takeaway to listen to the segment in full.
Marc Lynch named Timothy Mitchell's Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil to Foreign Policy's Best Books on the Middle East, 2011 list. Placing the story of the rise of petrol-based economies at the center of the history of Western democracy, imperialism and empire, Mitchell's book, says Lynch, is
a challenging, sophisticated, and important book that undermines expectations in the best kind of intellectual provocation.
Visit Foreign Policy to read the article in full.
TIME Magazine has announced its much-anticipated person of the year, the protestor, and has included Verso's Intern Nation by Ross Perlin and Welcome to the Desert of the Real by Slavoj Žižek on their list of the movement's "canonical titles." Intern Nation is Perlin's brand-new exposé on the ballooning arena of unpaid internships, while Desert of the Real is Žižek's assessment of 9/11 and the fiasco of the predominant leftist response to the events leading up to, and after.
Other books that made TIME's list: Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, Gramsci's Prison Notebooks and bell hooks' Ain't I a Woman.
From Tunisia to Egypt, Wisconsin, Spain and New York City, the article profiles the viral spread of international activism in the heart of empire and beyond. Add this to the growing list of insightful mainstream media pieces on the new global protest movements.
And check out TIME to read the article in full.
Verso had a very, very good weekend, kicked off Friday by our party with n +1 to celebrate the publication of Occupy! Scenes from Occupied America, the book based on n+1's broadsheet the Occupied Gazette on the movement that has changed the radical landscape and inspired a generation.
Rachel Hurn of The Millions reported on the festivities on the literary site's blog.
The Gazette trilogy was laid out on a side table, distinguished by primary colors — red for the first issue, blue for the second, and green for the third. Scenes from Zucotti Park projected against a white wall. The Occupy! book lay on a different table, on sale for $5 a copy.