We were standing in a group and chatting in College Square. It was a not-so-cold winter evening in Kolkata, in mid-January. The ‘little magazine’ fair was being launched with a series of performances – from plays to poetry recitations to songs. We were discussing how there were many such ‘alternative’ cultural events lined up at this time of the year, from the present event to the upcoming film festival organised by the People’s Film Collective that overlapped partially with the fair, and the People’s Literary Festival subsequently in February. One comrade in the group, who was amongst the organisers of the little magazine event, joked – you see, everyone in Kolkata remembers the “people” suddenly in winter, no one cares for the rest of the year; if only Kolkata had more of a winter, we’d probably have seen a revolution by now!Read More »
In the first part of this article I’d discussed a little magazine festival and the People’s Literary Festival, and in this one I turn to the People’s Film Festival – to report on a number of events this winter in Kolkata, that mobilised and laid claim to a figure of the people. Weaving a report of the festival with brief reviews of some movies screened there, and quickly contextualising them within both the People’s Film Collective’s overall project, and their location within a politics of the people in Kolkata, I look at how alternative cultural formations are often thriving here, albeit with limitations. To what extent and how might such alternative spaces be ritualistic? What can be the power of such ritual performances? And where might they be exceeding familiar bounds? These are some questions I carry over from the earlier piece.Read More »
Throughout all my formal studies, I continued to be an artist model and it wasn’t until I began teaching in college that the paths of teaching and modelling crossed in irreconcilable ways. My first teaching gig was at New College of California in 1988, teaching Soviet Personality Theory, a course that I made up. About the second week I was teaching there the booking secretary of the Model’s Guild offered me a modelling job in the New College Art Department. The possibility of students in an art class turning up in my Soviet Personality Theory class was not a prospect I wanted to consider. At that point I realized that I was at the end of the line of my modelling life. From that point on, while I was expanding my part-time teaching work, I also took part-time work as a psychological counselor, working in halfway houses for two years. Throughout it all I continued to read about two hours a day, come hell or high water.Read More »
On the morning of May 25th, a large group of people’s organizations of Haiti mobilized in the capital, Puerto Principe, demanding the fulfillment of an extension agenda of demands from the State and the president Jovenel Moïse.Read More »
Celebrators have poured out into the streets of Iraq in response to announcements of preliminary unexpected results. With 95% of votes counted, preliminary results of the Iraqi elections indicate that the secular anti-establishment and anti-imperialist coalition of the Iraqi Communist Party and Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has come in first in the Iraqi elections. The Iranian backed slate of Shia leader Hadi al-Amiri is coming in second. Hadi al-Amiri literally fought on the side of Iran during Saddam Hussein’s U.S. backed war against Iran. Both defeated the sectarian Shia U.S.puppet regime of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi whose bloc is coming in third. Earlier security and commissions sources had earlier said al-Abadi was the winner.
I attach an article I wrote and put out the day before the election which, I’m happy to say, got high recommendations from Iraqis themselves.Read More »
UFC Women’s bantamweight fighter Leslie Smith isn’t just training for her next bout in the octagon, she’s also getting ready for a fight against UFC’s bosses. | Photo courtesy of Leslie Smith
In the era of the Roman Empire, a more “civilized age” for hand-to-hand combat sport, gladiators would enter the breathtaking Colosseum and engage in a bloody spectacle before thousands of awed Romans. With their wit, physical strength, and commitment to an honorable fight, the gladiator inspired acclaim and admiration.
For over a thousand years, gladiatorial games captivated fans and imaginations.Read More »