Culture


Review – Tracksuits, Traumas and Class Traitors

21 February 2021 D Hunter's 'Tracksuits, Traumas and Class Traitors' is an exploration of working-class struggle and strength, writes Liam Kennedy

Bank Job directors Daniel and Hilary

Review – Bank Job

20 February 2021 Jake Woodier reviews a new documentary film that brings heist aesthetics to a story of debt activism

Review – Asylum for Sale: Profit and Protest in the Migration Industry

17 January 2021 Siobhán McGuirk and Adrienne Pine's edited volume is a powerful indictment of the modern migration complex writes Nico Vaccari

Review – National Theatre Connections 2020: Plays for young people

30 December 2020 From climate change to the perils of the information era, the collection powerfully explores the struggles facing contemporary teenagers, writes Jordana Belaiche

Gambling with lives

26 December 2020 Betting firms have infiltrated football culture and destroyed lives. James Grimes argues its time to reclaim the sport

Political goals and corporate carewash

20 December 2020 Marcus Rashford is challenging neoliberal framings of poverty. We should call him a hero, argues Siobhan McGuirk – without letting his sponsors off the hook

Love Island stars advertising various products

That’s advertainment: reality TV and product placement

17 December 2020 Sophie Benson explores the insidious role of unethical advertising in reality TV – and in the offscreen careers of its stars

Review – Regicide or Revolution? What petitioners wanted, September 1648 – February 1649 by Nora Carlin

29 November 2020 Norah Carlin's analysis of the Levellers' petitions reaffirms the radical nature of the English revolution, argues John Rees.

Review – I Want to Believe: Posadism, UFOs and apocalypse communism by A M Gittlitz

22 November 2020 Despite its outlandish reputation, A M Gittlitz's analysis of Posadism shows there is value in occasionally indulging in fanciful thinking, writes Dawn Foster.

Review – Terraformed: Young Black Lives in the Inner City by Joy White

21 November 2020 White's book is both deeply personal and political, examining the other side of violence often left out of the mainstream conversation writes Angelica Udueni

Review – Skint Estate by Cash Carraway

20 November 2020 Cash Carraway's memoir is a powerful recollection of working class struggle. Her story is a quiet call to arms, writes Jessica Andrews

Review – No Platform by Evan Smith

19 November 2020 Smith's book demonstrates that the far-right has always played the victim card when it comes to free-speech, writes Houman Barekat

Review – Azadi: Freedom. Fascism. Fiction.

18 November 2020 Roy's latest book helps us imagine the pandemic as a portal to another world, writes Sophie Hemery

Review – Why You Should Be A Trade Unionist by Len McCluskey

17 November 2020 Best look elsewhere if you want to truly understand the need for trade unionism in the 21st century, warn a collective of Unite members

Review – This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga

16 November 2020 The final instalment in Dangarembga's trilogy is a provocative exploration of identity and race in modern Zimbabwe, writes Johanna Russell.

Will the beat go on?

1 November 2020 Gerry Hart reports on lockdown, gentrification and the face of Newcastle's live music

The importance of queer space

30 October 2020 From creating to ‘taking up’ space, Molly Fleming reports on the ongoing efforts to sustain radical queer traditions

Whose streets?

28 October 2020 Public spaces became increasingly valued during lockdown – and increasingly policed. We must continue to reclaim and celebrate it for everyone, says Morag Rose

Project Big Picture? Football needs the state

26 October 2020 Without active protection from the state, the rejected Project Big Picture is a taste of things to come for English football, argues Alex Maguire

Pints, patriotism and precarity

14 October 2020 Oli Carter-Esdale explores the weaponisation of the pint and asks: where next for the hospitality sector?

Power plays: the rise of game worker unions

6 October 2020 Amid global economic crisis, business is booming in the gaming industry. It's time to step up the fight for worker's rights, Emma Kinema tells Marzena Zukowska

The World Transformed: democratising the culture sector post lockdown

4 September 2020 Julie Saumagne and Sam Swann explore the links between worker exploitation and institutional elitism in the culture industry

Ntando Yam: theatre as protest

28 August 2020 Phoebe Kisubi reflects on using participatory theatre as a tool for social and political activism among sex workers in Cape Town, South Africa

Talking back to Shakespeare: theatre in women’s prisons

26 August 2020 Shakespeare’s women can alert us to alternative stories – if we listen to them. In ‘talking back’ to the Bard we can change our own stories, says Charlotte Scott

From dole to gold

24 August 2020 Today’s welfare system is notoriously punitive, but in the 1980s it provided the basis of future Olympic success, argues Peter Goulding

Edinburgh street artists perform in Edinburgh on the last weekend of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2009. This year saw a record number of acts perform representing the best dance, theatre and comedy.

Who’s laughing now?

22 August 2020 As venues tentatively reopen post-lockdown, Siobhán McGuirk surveys the impact of the pandemic on comedy, theatre and the cultural sector

A little more action: theatre, disability, and Elvis

20 August 2020 Elizabeth McGuirk interviews Claire Cunningham, the internationally acclaimed disabled artist, about taking risks, engaging audiences beyond our own bubble, and the enduring power of The King

Shake it up: class, theatre and politics

16 August 2020 Political theatre should ask questions – and prompt us to challenge the status quo. Evie Manning explains the Common Wealth approach

Immigrants stand up

15 August 2020 With casual xenophobia a comedy circuit blight, No Direction Home is a welcome tonic. Here, five troupe members explain the uses and power of laughter – and tell us some jokes

Lower league football needs democratic ownership, not a salary cap

12 August 2020 It is only through fundamental reform of how clubs are owned, bought, and sold that we can begin to return football to the fans argues Jonty Leibowitz

The rise of comedian politicians

6 August 2020 As more and more comedians find success in the political arena, Rhian Jones lists some of the most prominent examples of satirists turned statesmen

Bedding down in the shadows of Belfast’s bonfires

4 August 2020 The bonfires of Belfast have a raw relevance. Pádraig Ó Meiscill reflects on an annual controversy.

Woke jokes

1 August 2020 There’s nothing radical – or funny – about right-wing comedy, says Jake Laverde

Boris Johnson on Have I Got News for You (BBC via The Guardian)

How Corbyn unmasked comedy

31 July 2020 Juliet Jacques argues that the way comedians treated Jeremy Corbyn demolished their anti-establishment credentials

Review – Steal as Much as You Can by Nathalie Olah

4 July 2020 Anna Clayton reviews Natalie Olah's book, which explores how upper middle-class pop culture has affected British politics

Lockdown live: ‘Race Today’

24 June 2020 Join Red Pepper editor K Biswas and guests Paul Gilroy, Lola Olufemi, Ciaran Thapar and Joy White to discuss marginality, inequality, creativity and belonging in Britain

Review – Abolish Silicon Valley by Wendy Liu

22 June 2020 Suchandrika Chakrabarti reviews Wendy Liu's proposals to reclaim technology's potential for the public good

Review – One Man’s Terrorist: A Political History of the IRA by Daniel Finn

17 June 2020 Connor Beaton reviews Daniel Finn's account of the politics and personalities which drove the IRA

How to make comedy in the time of Corona

16 June 2020 Comedian Elf Lyons discusses creative innovation and rebellion in a dystopian age

'The Murder of Count Helfenstein' during the German Peasants' Revolt (Credit: WikiCommons)

It’s after the end of the world: inequality and doomsday

9 June 2020 As apocalypse rhetoric spreads during Covid-19, James Hendrix Elsey explores what 'the end of the world' really means under racialised capitalism – and what comes next

Gender, class and cliché in Normal People

26 May 2020 The BBC hit drama shows the complexities of class mobility, but can’t avoid class and gender stereotypes, says Frances Hatherley

Review – Mask Off: Masculinity Redefined by J J Bola

14 May 2020 Mask Off offers a toolbox of explanations and arguments to question and challenge toxic masculinity, writes Huw Lemmey

Hidden labours: how capitalism shapes gaming culture

29 April 2020 Paolo Ruffino looks beyond the myths of the video game industry to its contemporary neoliberal realities

Lockdown live: ‘Can video games change the world?’

28 April 2020 Globally, 2.5 billion people play video games. Is the left in danger of overlooking their immense power and influence? Join the debate live on April 30, 6pm

The spoils of playing war

28 April 2020 Video games play a key role in sustaining the global military-industrial complex, writes Marzena Zukowska

Making gaming great again

27 April 2020 With pop culture increasingly a political battlefield, Marzena Zukowska asks Carolyn Petit of Feminist Frequency how the left can leverage the momentum of video gaming

All to play for: video games are for everyone

26 April 2020 Don't believe the stereotypes, says Sher Jamal Stone. Video games are for everyone

Political plays: the radical potential of video games

26 April 2020 Siobhán McGuirk introduces our series on the politics of video games ahead of our April 30 live debate: 'Can Video Games Change the World?'

Routes to working-class solidarity

19 April 2020 In this second of a two-part series, D Hunter and John-Baptiste Oduor discuss socialism, conservatism and pathways to solidarity within and between working-class communities

Who are ‘the working class’?

17 April 2020 In this first of a two-part series, D Hunter and John-Baptiste Oduor discuss the presence and representation of working-class voices in British culture and politics



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