Culture


Book reviews

11 February 2010 Public cost and private benefit Global Auction of Public Assets Dexter Whitfield Spokesman, £18 Dexter Whitfield has been one of the most well-informed and effective critics of the whole programme of privatisation of Britain’s public services, begun by Margaret Thatcher and continued by New Labour. He is the director of the European Services Strategy Unit, […]

Anything but background music

31 January 2010 It's often said that flamenco is not political because it dwells exclusively on the individual. That seems to imply a narrow definition of both the political and the personal, writes Mike Marqusee

A friend in court

21 December 2009 Liz Davies reviews Memoirs of a Radical Lawyer by Michael Mansfield QC (Bloomsbury, 2009)

The critical struggle of our time

14 December 2009 Maddy Power reviews (People First Economics) by David Ransom and Vanessa Baird (eds) New Internationalist, 2009

Everyone does everything

7 December 2009 James O'Nions meets two members of the Italian novel-writing collective Wu Ming as they publish Manituana, their 'story from the wrong side of history'

Epic drama

1 December 2009 With a new adaptation of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children at the National Theatre, Steve Platt assesses the legacy of one of the 20th century's greatest dramatists

An ecological manifesto

22 November 2009 The Ecological Revolution by John Bellamy Foster (Monthly Review Press, 2009), reviewed by Derek Wall

Feeding the world

15 November 2009 Instead of GM crops and a new 'green revolution for Africa', the answer to the food crisis and climate change lies in smaller-scale, local 'agroecology'. Reviews by James O'Nions

The other India

21 October 2009 Mike Marqusee reviews Listening to Grasshoppers: Field Notes on Democracy by Arundhati Roy

Enlightened fundamentalism

21 October 2009 Liberal and conservative Europe alike are guilty of a new 'xeno-racism' against Muslims, according to veteran anti-racism campaigner Liz Fekete. Review by Matt Carr

Just say yes

7 October 2009 As the anti-corporate pranksters the Yes Men launched their new film, {Red Pepper} dispatched Brendan Montague to meet them and get the lowdown on their unusual form of activism

Inside the Revolution: A Journey into the Heart of Venezuela

26 August 2009 Derek Wall reviews Pablo Navarrete's new documentary

Singing to a different tune

23 August 2009 Pop stars are swapping guitars for banners to take the power back from the record companies, writes Paul Campbell

Inspirational history, practical handbook

23 August 2009 Ireland's Hidden Diaspora by Ann Rossiter (Irish Abortion Solidarity Campaign), reviewed by Laurie Penny

Grievable and ungrievable lives

9 June 2009 Nathaniel Mehr reviews Judith Butler's Frames of War: When is Life Grievable?

Che Guevara: The Economics of Revolution

9 June 2009 Helen Yaffe explores impact of Che Guevara as an economist and politician

Playing the Great Game

3 June 2009 The Tricycle Theatre's production of The Great Game - 12 plays on the history and contemporary realities of the struggle for control over Afghanistan - brings to the fore what will be one of the central political issues in the coming years. Co-director Indhu Rubasingham reflects on the project

It was 40 years ago today, John and Yoko taught the world to play

22 May 2009 John Lennon and Yoko Ono's 'Bed-In' at the Amsterdam Hilton in 1969 was only a part of their broad-ranging commitment to peace campaigning. Colin Robinson looks back at one of the most famous - and media-savvy - protests of all time

A tale of three Michaels

22 May 2009 He was a pimp, pusher and political activist, with a penchant for the outlandish and an ability to attract support from the rich and famous. Until his murder conviction and hanging in Trinidad in 1975, Michael X was one of the best-known figures of 1960s radicalism. Michael Horovitz reviews a new account of the life of this self-styled black Muslim revolutionary

The message is not the medium

7 May 2009 Radical poetry just sloganises, argues BRIGG57. Good poetry is about much more than its politics

Comrade or brother?

22 April 2009 Comrade or Brother? A History of the British Labour Movement by Mary Davis (Pluto Press, second edition 2009, reviewed by Nathaniel Mehr

Free as in freedom

20 April 2009 Are people freely swapping music, films and other files over the internet undermining corporate control of entertainment and creating a revolutionary culture of sharing and universal access to knowledge? Nick Buxton explores the political edge of the digital piracy and 'free culture' movements

Viva Siva

7 April 2009 Now in his eighties, A Sivanandan remains an important figure in the politics of race and class, maintaining his long-held insistence that only in the symbiosis of the two struggles can a genuinely radical politics be found. By Arun Kundnani

This artist blows

23 March 2009 The young British Muslim artist Sarah Maple has been at the centre of controversy since first bursting onto the art scene at the end of 2007. Interview by Anikka Weerasinghe

Art, truth and politics

23 March 2009 Hilary Wainwright and Ian Rickson pay tribute to the politics, plays and life of Harold Pinter, who died on Christmas Eve 2008

Feminism and war: confronting US imperialism

8 March 2009 Nathaniel Mehr reviews (Feminism and War) and writes that it is essential reading for anyone who is remotely convinced by the feminist pretensions of the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq

No redemption

5 March 2009 Mike Marqusee talks to 'Red Riding' quartet author David Peace about 'GB84', his dark novel on the 1984 miners' strike

Waltz with Bashir is nothing but charade

23 February 2009 The Israeli film considered favorite to win an Oscar for best foreign language film lost out, but Gideon Levy, for one, was not disappointed by this decision

Pitmen painters

8 February 2009 Six days a week they toiled down the mine, making art in their spare time after attending a Workers Education Association art appreciation class. The Ashington Group of miner-artists is the subject of a witty and wise play by Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall, currently showing at the National Theatre, that has much to tell us about art, culture and the working class, writes Steve Platt

Something special

5 February 2009 Laurie Penny speaks to Mary Wilson, the longest-standing member of Motown's most successful group, the Supremes

Radical Motown

5 February 2009 The pioneering black music label, Tamla Motown, marks its 50th anniversary in 2009. Fiona Osler assesses its impact

Impartial or Cowardly?

5 February 2009 Keith Somerville gives a journalist's view of the BBC's rejection of the DEC Gaza aid plea

Pitmen painters

29 January 2009 Six days a week they toiled down the mine, making art in their spare time after attending a Workers Education Association art appreciation class. The Ashington Group of miner-artists is the subject of a witty and wise play by Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall, currently showing at the National Theatre, that has much to tell us about art, culture and the working class, writes Steve Platt

Led Zeppelin needs to come back in black

12 January 2009 Mark LeVine says at their core Led Zeppelin were a black band and need to look outside the 'white rock 'n' roll box' if they change their mind about not reforming

Thank you, Harold

26 December 2008 Hilary Wainwright wrote the following note about Harold Pinter's involvement with Red Pepper for a collection published by Faber to celebrate his 70th birthday

In words and silences

26 December 2008 Hilary Wainwright reflects on Harold Pinter and Red Pepper

On Adrian Mitchell’s Answerphone

23 December 2008 On Adrian Mitchell’s answerphone – bells ring, birds sing, saxophones swing! On Adrian Mitchell’s answerphone – Blake works a miracle, Big Ben sounds hysterical, the world waxes lyrical! On Adrian Mitchell’s answerphone – the passwords sigh, the terrorists cry, the children fly! On Adrian Mitchell’s answerphone – leave plenty of love – after the tone! […]

The patron saint of sandal-wearers

10 December 2008 Matthew Beaumont welcomes Sheila Rowbotham's biography of Edward Carpenter

Well versed

1 December 2008 From publishing translations of the only known female poet whose work has survived from Roman times to editing a successful poetry column in the Morning Star, the anarchist-communist John Rety is well respected in the poetry world. Here he describes his long involvement with poetry and chooses four poems from his new book Well Versed, an anthology of his Morning Star column, to share with Red Pepper readers

At the crossroads

1 December 2008 I built the best of England With my brain and with my hands. Liberty Equality Fraternity – That’s where I took my stand, And the people called me Old Labour The brave heart of this land I walked out of the smoky streets To enjoy some country air, But when I came to the crossroads, […]

Inside

1 December 2008 Day breaks, at a pace that makes the face ache and just for his faith’s sake, he tries to stay calm he looks down at his young man’s hands and at his arms and remembers a time when they seemed so much smaller outside it’s grey and as the rain beats a rhythm on the […]

The lamplighter (extract)

1 December 2008 Scene 1: Interior fort The noise of the sea slapping against the walls of Cape Coast Castle. The sound of many different African languages, talking fast, scared. ANNIWAA: I am a girl. I am in the dark. I don’t know how long I’ve been kept in the dark. High above me, there is a tiny […]

Something worth fighting for

14 November 2008 A poem by Carol Ann Duffy has been removed by a school exam board. Michael Rosen thinks poets may have a battle on their hands

A cultural revolution

14 November 2008 Poet and writer Andy Croft talks to Neil Astley, the founder and editor of Britain's most important poetry publisher, Bloodaxe Books, about putting the politics into poetry

The generation gap

14 November 2008 Extracts of What's Going On by Mark Steel (Simon and Schuster)

Drawing back the curtain

14 October 2008 Wherever he has found himself - with the freedom fighters in the mountains of northern Iraq, as a prisoner in an Iranian jail, and now filling a whole room at the Imperial War Museum - Osman Ahmed has always gone on drawing. He spoke to Amanda Sebestyen about his passionate journey to make his art bear witness for the hidden people of Kurdistan

Carrying on from the Chartists

13 October 2008 Can poetry provide a means for change? Dave Toomer, Christina McAlpine and John G Hall, the editors of Citizen 32 magazine, believe it can. Here they explain the importance of combining poetry and activism The contemporary black American poet Amiri Baraka declared that ‘art should be used as a weapon of revolution’, and indeed poetry […]

Grist to the radical Mill

20 September 2008 John Stuart Mill: Victorian firebrand by Richard Reeves (Atlantic Books), reviewed by Anthony Arblaster

Big art and Perspex panels

15 August 2008 From graffiti and street art to massive corporate-funded structures such as the Ebbsfleet Landmark (the size of the Statue of Liberty, twice as tall as Antony Gormley's Angel of the North), public art has never been more in vogue. Steve Platt, a reformed 'graffitist', surveys the artistic landscape

Manu Chao, the neighbourhood singer

15 August 2008 Manu Chao could be the most famous singer that many English speakers have never heard of. Yet he is to the alter-globalisation movement what Bob Dylan was to peace and civil rights in the 1960s. Oscar Reyes caught up with him by a campfire at Glastonbury, where he created a little 'neighbourhood of hope'



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