Culture


Gender, class and cliché in the BBC’s Normal People

26 May 2020 Normal People shows the complexities of class mobility, but can’t avoid class and gender stereotypes, says Frances Hatherley

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

Solidarity with publishers: reading alone, together

31 March 2020 Radical publishing houses are under existential threat - just as people look for ways to fill their time. Siobhan McGuirk and K Biswas select lockdown reads from our favourite booksellers

Review – The Far Right Today by Cas Mudde

30 March 2020 The far right thrives on 'economic anxiety and cultural backlash' argues Dawn Foster in a review of Cas Mudde's latest book

Spring culture preview

25 February 2020 Siobhan McGuirk picks out culture highlights for February - May 2020

Review essay – ‘Clear Bright Future’ and ‘Fully Automated Luxury Communism’

17 December 2019 Two well-known voices on the British left, Paul Mason and Aaron Bastani, have outlined what they see as the revolutionary potential of technology. K. Biswas reviews their visions

Football’s Race Stain

9 December 2019 Racism marred the Manchester derby this weekend. This blemish on the game is an echo of our Prime Minister’s words, says Remi Joseph-Salisbury.

Review – This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook

2 December 2019 Suki Ferguson reviews the XR guide to climate activism

Review – Decolonial Communism, Democracy and the Commons

22 November 2019 A collection of essays which could be a key resource for those seeking to create economic alternatives, edited by Catherine Samary and Fred Leplat. Reviewed by Derek Wall

Review – We Need New Stories: Challenging the Toxic Myths Behind Our Age of Discontent

21 November 2019 A book that systematically unpicks the myths that are spread in order to preserve the status quo, written by Nesrine Malik. Reviewed by Leah Cowan

Review – Letters of Solidarity and Friendship: Czechoslovakia 1968-71

18 November 2019 Letters between Leslie Parker and Paul Zalud, edited by David Parker. Reviewed by Mary Kaldor

Image by Jade87 from Pixabay

Streaming across borders

4 October 2019 Siobhán McGuirk considers the role of companies like Netflix in widening access to the TV we consume

Still from the BBC series Fleabag.

How television informs our ideas about class

3 October 2019 From Jeremy Kyle to Fleabag, popular television profoundly shapes our ideas about class. It’s time for alternative visions, both behind and on our screens, argues Beth Johnson.

The structural imbalances of an impartially racist broadcaster

2 October 2019 The Naga Munchetty affair has prompted debate over how the BBC applies its balance and impartiality guidelines. Liam Shrivastava describes an institution that is unable or unwilling to understand its role in elite racism

BBC Norwich building. Photo: Elliott Brown.

BBC: the case for reform

1 October 2019 Perceptions of bias at the BBC are on the rise. Natalie Fenton, chair of the Media Reform Coalition, puts forward the case for reform.

A still from the film Bait

Film review: Bait and switch

12 September 2019 Alex McDonald reviews new British film Bait, a socially engaged drama that uses lyricism to devastating effect.

Lowkey: Soundtrack to the struggle

10 August 2019 Ashish Ghadiali interviews British-Iraqi rapper Kareem Dennis, aka Lowkey, about viral videos, power in the community, the Grenfell fire and writing lyrics at the cutting edge of political debate

Whose history? Why the People’s History Museum is vital

5 July 2019 In recent months, high-profile figures have claimed museums should be ‘neutral’ spaces. Thank goodness, then, for the People’s History Museum, writes Danielle Child

Building a Museum of Dissent

5 July 2019 Lisa Kennedy and Donata Miller suggest five ways museums can be sites for dissent

Rewriting history: museums and ‘neutrality’

5 July 2019 Museums are socially vital precisely because of their political nature, says Siobhan McGuirk

Review – Finding a Voice: Asian women in Britain

8 June 2019 Finding a Voice: Asian women in Britain, by Amrit Wilson, reviewed by Maya Goodfellow

Austerity starves our culture

16 May 2019 Museums – and museum workers – have been hit hard by austerity policies and cuts. Clara Paillard outlines some of the key battlegrounds and considers what an alternative cultural policy might look like

Chav Solidarity

24 April 2019 Ewa Jasiewicz reviews the new book by D Hunter

Higher! Further! Faster! More!

19 March 2019 Captain Marvel is Marvel's first blockbuster with a female lead. Miriam Kent asks what we should make of it all these female superheroes taking over the big screen.

Rout and rebellion

15 January 2019 Until the bicentenary neared, generating a successful campaign for a memorial, Peterloo had little purchase on popular memory, writes Tom Hazeldine. Mike Leigh’s new film will help change that.

Review: Witches, Witch-Hunting and Women

31 December 2018 Witches, Witch-Hunting and Women by Silvia Federici, reviewed by Jessica White

Love, power and the politics of survival in Pawel Pawlikowski’s ‘Cold War’

12 October 2018 Ewa Jasiewicz explores the complex interplay of class and gender in Pawlikowski's stunning new film.

‘Do not resign, the mandem need you’: The story of #grime4corbyn

5 June 2018 In April 2017, Theresa May called a snap general election to destroy a crisis-hit Labour Party. The grime scene had other ideas. An extract from 'Inner City Pressure' by Dan Hancox

‘Reforming has done nothing. That’s why I’m an anarchist.’ An interview with Benjamin Zephaniah

10 April 2018 Benjamin Zephaniah speaks to Anu Shukla about poetry, policing, the ongoing fight against racism.

“Utopia is all around us”

7 April 2018 Jonny Gordon-Farleigh of STIR magazine talks to Ruth Potts about the power of utopian thinking in an age of crisis.

It’s time for a cultural renewal of the left

27 January 2018 Andrew Dolan writes that we need to integrate art, music, films and poetry into our movement, creating spaces where political ideas are given further room to breathe.

A master-work of graphic satire

22 December 2017 American Jewish cartoonist Eli Valley’s comic commentary on America, the US Jewish diaspora and Israel is nothing if not near the knuckle, Richard Kuper writes

Where did it all go wrong, Morrissey?

2 December 2017 He was once a radical icon, but now he's a mouthpiece for racism and nationalism. Time to get off stage, writes Michael Calderbank

The first Brexit documentary shows a Britain at war with itself

3 November 2017 Ethan Race reviews Timothy Kelly's hard-hitting documentary 'Brexitannia'

Review: No Is Not Enough

6 October 2017 Samir Dathi reviews No Is Not Enough: Defeating the New Shock Politics, by Naomi Klein

Marx’s Capital at 150: an invitation to history

30 September 2017 Radhika Desai says Capital by Karl Marx is still an essential read on the 150th anniversary of its publication

Acid Corbynism’s next steps: building a socialist dance culture

24 September 2017 Matt Phull and Will Stronge share more thoughts about the postcapitalist potential of the Acid Corbynist project

Working class theatre: Save Our Steel takes the stage

18 September 2017 A new play inspired by Port Talbot’s ‘Save Our Steel’ campaign asks questions about the working class leaders of today. Adam Johannes talks to co-director Rhiannon White about the project, the people and the politics behind it

Art the Arms Fair: making art not war

13 September 2017 Amy Corcoran on organising artistic resistance to the weapons dealers’ London showcase

Real stories with real people: the films of Sanjay Kak

7 September 2017 Dipesh Pandya speaks to documentary film-maker Sanjay Kak, who for 30 years has been working outside the mainstream to tell a story rooted in the struggles of those excluded by India’s militarism and its narrative of neoliberal growth

What is Acid Corbynism?

2 September 2017 Jeremy Gilbert on how radical Labour politics can be inspired by the utopianism of the counterculture

Imagining a future free of oppression

25 August 2017 Writer, artist and organiser Ama Josephine Budge says holding on to our imagination of tomorrow helps create a different understanding today

A musical fightback against school arts cuts

15 August 2017 Elliot Clay on why his new musical turns the spotlight on the damage austerity has done to arts education, through the story of one school band's battle



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