Arts and culture
Arts workers getting organised
Elyssia Bugg

The sculptural silver exterior of the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Bilbao Museum is notable for its monumentality and architectural significance. For one hour last December it was also notable for the 12 members of museum cleaning staff standing silently at the top of the enormous staircase in front of the Museum’s entrance. Wearing t-shirts with the question “Is everyone’s work equally important?” printed on them, the workers were collaborating with artist Lorenzo Bussi and the

Dadaism in Berlin: Art and revolution
Dadaism in Berlin
James Plested

“We took an oath of friendship”, wrote French poet, writer and performer Tristan Tzara in his account of the origins of Dadaism, “on the new transmutation that signifies nothing, and was the most formidable protest, the most intense armed affirmation of salvation liberty blasphemy mass combat speed prayer tranquillity private guerrilla negation and chocolate of the desperate”. Today, unfortunately, Dadaism has suffered the ultimate fate of all major aesthetic movements under capitalism.

‘Flames cast against the darkness’: The radical poetry of Thomas McGrath
The poetry of Thomas McGrath
Liz Ross

Crises tumble around our world, challenging certainties, destabilising regimes and shaking-up people’s understanding of society. Out of the disruption comes political analysis and organising, a battle between left and right—liberation or barbarism. Alongside the organisers and agitators are the writers, poets, filmmakers, photographers and artists whose work documents our world of change, forging iconic images that provide fuel for the struggle.  

Poetry of the Russian revolution
James Plested

Where society is riven by sharp tensions and conflicts, we can expect a similar fracturing in the world of art. Such was the case during the Russian Revolution of 1917—an event that truly shook the world, not just in politics, but also in art.

Percy Bysshe Shelley
James Plested

Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky, in Crime and Punishment, wrote, “The darker the night, the brighter the stars”. Few people have personified this more than Percy Bysshe Shelley. Born in 1792, Shelley died in a boating accident in Italy in 1822. His all-too-short adult life coincided with a particularly dark time in British and European history. By the first years of the nineteenth century, the great hopes for change aroused by the French revolution of 1789 had all but been extinguished, and a new period of reaction had set in.

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