A month of music Mondays: Camaron de la Isla

Camaron de la Isla: En Algeciras Solea Por Bulerias

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Published in: on August 2, 2010 at 12:11 pm  Comments (2)  
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Orwell turning in his grave?

The Municipality of Barcelona - Zone under surveillance

The Municipality of Barcelona – Zone under surveillance

Published in: on April 29, 2010 at 6:34 am  Comments (16)  
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25 April 1974

Photo

Published in: on April 25, 2010 at 11:35 pm  Comments (2)  
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Two Cries of Freedom

[José Serrano: ‘Soleá’]

From Two Cries of Freedom: Gypsy Flamenco from the Prisons of Spain (ROIR, 1998), feat. José Serrano and Antonio “El Agujetas”.

Dedicated to Paul ‘Jock’ Palfreeman, a 23 year old Australian currently in prison in Sofia, Bulgaria. He is undergoing trial on charges of murder and attempted murder after an encounter with a gang of 16 far-right football hooligans. The gang were assaulting two Roma (Gypsy) men when Jock intervened in their defence.

More bloggery below the fold. (more…)

History is made at night in Catalunya

Read this great post: Homage (from a beach) in Catalonia. Illustrations extracted below.

CNT sticker in Catalonia last week

Image from the Franco period (I found this on a 1975 Calendar)

Poster in Girona last week promoting musical and other events ‘per la Independencia i el Socialisme’

1922

From Locust St.:

We hailed “Good morrow, mother!” to a shawl-covered head,
And bought a morning paper, which neither of us read;
And she wept, “God bless you!” for the apples and pears,
And we gave her all our money but our subway fares.

Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Recuerdo,” collected in A Few Figs From Thistles.

Published in: on September 9, 2009 at 3:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ay Carmela

Just noticed that my Ay Carmela post has lost its embedded YouTube videos and they won’t stay in, so I have hyperlinked instead. Apologies to the Tendency and the Brigada.

Published in: on August 25, 2009 at 11:08 am  Leave a Comment  

In the cause of freedom

From Coatesy:

¡Ay, Carmela!

Last night because  there was crap on the telly I watched my old video of ¡Ay, Carmela!

What a brilliant film.

Apart from the fact that it has like my favourite actress in the world, Carmen Maura there. If anyone wants to understand the Spanish fight  against fascism, this is a must see. When she stands up for the brave Poles who fought for the International Brigades. Well…

¡Ay Carmela! ¡Ay Carmela!
prometemos combatir, ¡Ay Carmela! ¡Ay Carmela!

From On A Raised Beach:

Names

Norwich North was no surprise, though the Tories, duck-houses, moats and all, should have come in for a greater caning than they did. Good to see the Greens beat the fash and, best of all, to see the Libertarians get all of 36 votes. It looks as if the good folk of East Anglia aren’t yet ready for John Galt [not, if it comes to disambiguation, the author of the still very amusing 1820 novel The Ayrshire Legatees]. The name ‘libertarian’ in this context means 70% Stirnerite, 20% Poujadiste and 10% foumart. OK, the quantities can be re-arranged to suit all tastes. Whatever way you mix the components they are not ‘libertarians’ in the sense that would be recognised by the FIJL, Federación Ibérica de Juventudes Libertarias, the youth wing of the Spanish anarchist movement in the 1930s. They were part of a movement that was against the state all right, but also against private property, fiercely anti-clerical, for self-managed collectives and for direct democracy. Oh, and they turned the Ritz Hotel in Barcelona into a workers’ canteen. As a help to confused parties a real libertarian is pictured above.

Below the fold, some music and movies. Not sure why the YouTubes embedded have failed to appear. Have hyperlinked instead.
(more…)

Blog notes

I don’t recommend Fatal Paradox often enough. This post is very, very interesting and very pertinent to the issues this blog covers. Extract:

Reading Mark Derby’s book Kiwi Compañeros (which compiles a wealth of primary source material detailing the involvement of New Zealanders in the Spanish Civil War) recently I was struck by the disjunction between the confused and often demoralising experiences of the some of the participants whose stories were reproduced in that volume and the traditional leftist narrative according to which the Spanish Civil War was the most glorious hour of the Popular Front and the struggle against Fascism.

I managed to miss this post at Boffy’s blog, introducing some of Comrade Bough’s favourite blogs, including, I am pleased to say, this one, and I find myself in fine company indeed. Not sure, though, I agree with Serge’s Fist’s analysis of the United Front and Popular Front, but need to read it more carefully. (And certainly I would endorse Trotsky’s excellent advice to the ILP. It is not unlike the advice I would give to the AWL in its foolishly positive response to the SWP’s sham unity letter, but that’s for another place.) Again, it’s a bit off the topic of this blog, but Arthur has some good posts about Iran.

I have other favours to acknowledge: Peter Storm for Vrije landen tegen Che en Obama, TNC for Friday round-up, Bob for Remembering Steve Cohen, Martin for Balancing beatitude and Loach, Garaudy and the reactionary left, Histomatist for In Defence of Leon Trotsky.

Talking of Ken Loach, here’s Norm on Loach’s strangebedfellows, the Chinese totalitarian regime. And, staying with Norm, on another topic I’ve covered here: Marx and politics, Kolakowski notwithstanding

And some other Histomatist posts of note: Sheila Rowbotham on the Tolpuddle Martyrs, Homage to John Saville and Hubert Harrison on how to review books. John Saville also got a lovely appreciation from Doreen Massey and Hilary Wainwright in the Gruaniad. Hubert Harrison features in this ISJ review.

Finally, also in ISJ, this is important: Luke Stobart’s review of Michael Eaude’s Triumph at Midnight of the Century: A Critical Biography of Arturo Barea. Barea is a vastly underrated person in the English-speaking world.

Arturo Barea

Arturo Barea: This drawing originally appeared with An Honest Man (March 6, 1975)

Poumahoola

Alternative presents:

Galician metal workers on the barricades. Interview with Venezuelan anarchists of El Libertario.

Tragic presents:

Antisemitism, Human Rights and Acceptable Jews in Buenos Aires.

Alternative histories:

Yugoslav “self government” by Dan Jakopovich. Otto Bauer on film. Notes on the Portuguese revolution. A little theory by Malatesta.

Iconography/iconoclasm:

Lenin’s butt remodelled. The equivalence of totalitarianisms: no Che on Polish t-shirts.

Fascism and anti-fascism:

SlackBastard writes:

Don PalabraZ is a Subversive Historian. mister word’s latest post recalls the day in 1938 Joe Louis defeated Max Schmeling for the heavy-weight boxing title. Curiously, despite being championed by a dead incestuous coprophiliac dicktator, and acting as a mouthpiece for the Nazi regime, Schmeling was:

Compassionate and Modest
…On Kristallnacht, Schmeling took an enormous risk and hid the two teenage sons of a Jewish friend in his Berlin hotel room. The boxer claimed to be sick and did not allow any visitors. When the opportunity presented itself, Schmeling smuggled the two boys out of the country. Henri Lewin, who became a Las Vegas hotelier, credits Schmeling with his life; characteristically, the modest Schmeling made no mention of this episode in his own autobiography.

Below the fold – From the archive of struggle, no.24: (more…)

Anti-Stalinism/Hitchery/Bloggery

Anti-Stalinism

Anne Applebaum on the KGB in America. Enty on John Saville. The secret life of Victor Serge.

The Hitch

Christopher Hitchens on Abraham Lincoln’s centenary. Hitchens on Hemingway’s libido. Hitchens on Edward Upward. Hitchens on Karl Marx.

Bloggery

This blog – The Fatal Paradox – is new to me. I found it via Phil and will be visiting again! (Phil: “one of those blogs that defy easy categorisation. Hailing from New Zealand, it offers commentary on history, art and theory with a slight Spanish tinge to proceedings. Well worth checking out.”) We have Moriscos, Un chien andalou, Juan Goytisolo on Genet, Pablo Neruda: what more could one want?

Another blog new to me is Workers Self Management, an blog. Includes a bit of english history to be proud of, and a link to a WSA article on solidarity unionism that talks about the landless movement in Brazil and Spain in the 1930s.

Poumatic

Orwellia:

Hitchens on Orwell and 1984. Truth tellers. Rosie’s flowers.

Ken Loach ad absurdum:

Principia Dialectica on the Ken Barlow of film again

Marxist theory:

Moishe Postone/Paul Mattick.

Iberica/Judaica:

Barack Obama, Moses Maimonides and Roger Garaudy in Cordoba. Asymmetrical parallels between Is/Pal and republican Spain.

From the archive of struggle, no.21:

Hal Draper: How to Defend Israel (1948)
Hal Draper: Karl Marx and Simon Bolívar (1970)

Max Farrar: The Libertarian Movements of the 1970s. What can we learn (1989, pdf)

Obituaries/appreciations:

Entdinglichung plays dub for Walter Rodney. Adam Kirsch on IF Stone on Zionism and Communism.


World revolution (and Portuguese saudade)

Another extraordinary post from the great music blog Locust Street, going chronologically through the twentieth century and now up to 1919. Go read and listen – here’s some of the illustrations to whet your appetite – and there’s some lovely lusophone music below that.


IWW headquarters after Palmer raid, NYC, 15 November 1919.


El Lissitzky, Beat the Whites With the Red Wedge.


Women protesting during the Egyptian Revolution, Cairo, 1919.


Before the band broke up: Kamenev, Lenin and Trotsky at the 8th Party Congress

Interlude: scenes from the mayfly countries


The Bavarian Soviet Republic (April-May 1919)


The Hungarian Soviet Republic (March-August 1919)

The Slovak Soviet Republic (16 June-7 July 1919)

Beckmann, The Night.

Meanwhile, Martin in the Margins, who I’m thanking for this, has some reflections on the word “saudade” and YouTubes of gorgeous Portuguese-language songstresses Cesaria Evora (from Cape Verde) and Mariza (from Lisbon).

Published in: on June 2, 2009 at 11:10 am  Leave a Comment  

Notes

Orwellia: Rosie compares notes with George Orwell. Max Dunbar on why Richard Seymour should have won the Orwell Prize (not).

Iberia/Anti-fascism: Portugal’s cultural revolution 35 years on. Franco has only got one ball. Hearing Emma Goldman’s voice is justification enough for the internet. Hans Fallada’s Alone in Berlin.

North African diaspora/music and dance: Barcelona Maghrebi music. Dancing: for Visteon, in Spain, and in the Paris Commune.

Obituaries: On the passing of Chris Gray. On the passing of Ernest Millington: from Roy Roebuck, Graham Pointer, Around the Edges, Yorkshire Ranter, Hopi Sen.

Poumerouma

The libertarian socialist tradition

New blog: Big Flame, on the history of this UK radical group of the 1970s.

Why Philosophy? Why Now? On the Revolutionary Legacies of Raya Dunayevskaya, CLR James and Anton Pannekoek, By David Black at The Hobgoblin

Andre Gorz, or the Ecological Demand, by Serge Audier at Principia Dialectica.

Anarchist Studies: Perspective 2009. On the legacy of Murray Bookchin.

Poster art, folk song and historical memory

More from BCNDesign: The everyday comes to Santa Coloma: Local things for local history. Graphic design in 1930s Spain.

History Today: The Mexican suitcase. British volunteers and Republican posters.

Rio Wang: Russian poster design and the war on coca-cola. Carlos Gordel and the zorzal.

George Szirtes: Fado da Tristeza.

Polish gentile, Jan Jagielski, chief archivist at the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, to receive the Irena Sendler Memorial Award from the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture.

The extraordinary anti-Nazi photo-montages of John Heartfield.

Scoop Review of Books: Kiwi Compañeros: NZ’s anti-Franco volunteers. See more in TNC‘s comment here. Which led me to these two great older posts: Fieldtrip to the International Center for Photography (Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, Francesc Torres and poster art). ¿Viva la Insurgencía?: The Spanish Civil War and the Legacy of the Totalitarian International Brigades. There’s plenty more TNC posts on memory and archives and on Communism.

Watch Land and Freedom at A Complex System of Pipes.

From the archive of struggle, no.14 (below the fold) (more…)

Dark is the room where we sleep

Art News

Artium Presents the Exhibition Dark is the Room Where We Sleep, by Francesc Torres



“Whilst doing only what is possible is healthy and reasonable, it is also dreary, and life is short anyway. Maybe for these reasons I am determined to win the Spanish Civil War”. These words were uttered by the Catalonian artist Francesc Torres (Barcelona, 1948), talking about his installation Dark Is The Room Where We Sleep, which has provided the title for the exhibition presented at ARTIUM. He went on to explain what he meant by his statement. Winning the war “consists, no more and no less,” he declares, “of preventing people from mistaking those who are in the right historically for those who are not. It involves never putting the innocent and the tyrants in the same basket. It consists of recovering the victims of a sinister regime so that everyone may know that they were indeed the victims and, once the fire is out, abandon weapons.”

one city: Painting as an act of compassion

“Painting is a medium in which the mind can actualize itself; it is a medium of thought…Painting is…the mind realizing itself in color and space.”  – Robert Motherwell

On Friday May 1st, the ID Project Arts Group went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to visit one of Robert Motherwell’s paintings from his series of “Elegies to the Spanish Republic”.  He made over one hundred and seventy of these paintings which were a lament for the people and the culture that died in the Spanish Civil War. Motherwell, who was only 21 at the time the Civil War broke out was struck by the realization “that the world could, after all, regress.”

Orwellia
Cervantes on Orwell on Jura

The locals knew him by his real name of Eric Blair, a tall, cadaverous, sad-looking man worrying about how he would cope on his own. The solution, when he was joined by baby Richard and his nanny, was to recruit his highly competent sister, Avril. Richard Blair remembers that his father “could not have done it without Avril. She was an excellent cook, and very practical. None of the accounts of my father’s time on Jura recognise how essential she was.”

Will Self on Jura:

George Orwell wrote 1984 on Jura. Did you think about him much?
Yes, particularly when I went up to Barn Hill. The people there now are the same people who rented the house to Orwell, so there’s that continuity. The house is unchanged since he was there. I found it oddly moving – which is not like me. The consciousness of how ill he was and how driven he was to work under those circumstances, what a grim time it was in the post-war period.

Coque

Obituaries

José María Martínez Castillo, ‘Koke’
1926 Cabredo-  2009 London

Word doc from Children of ’37

Paul Larkin on Jack Jones, Martin McGuinness and Bob Doyle.

Below the fold: anarchist history from Australia, Pittsburgh, Russia and Italy, council communist texts on-line, Karl Korsch, Franklin Rosemont… (more…)

In the Mexican suitcase

Robert Capa’s “Mexican” Suitcase.  photo © Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Gerda Taro, Air Raid Victim in the Morgue, Valencia, 1937.

Highbrow

Lowbrow

Folkish

Churchillian

Activist

Obituary

May 1

Read Terry (1,2)

Poumarama

Blog notes

YourFriendinTheNorth: Ending the silence (on the demons of the Spanish Civil War). Max Dunbar: Where to begin? (on the right wing claim that Britain is close to Orwell’s Oceania). Norm, like Trotsky before him, is aging. Orwell’s Diary reaches a new high.

Biographies and obituaries

* Hoang Khoa Khoi (1917-2009): death of a Vietnamese Trotskyist.
* Gustav Doster, aka Gustl, 1904-1977: German anarchist and veteran of the Erich Mühsam and Sacco-Vanzetti Centuries in Spain.
* Alberto Meschi, 1879-1958: Italian syndicalist and anti-fascist, active in exile in Argentina and France, founder of the Antifascist Concentration and of the Italian League of Human Rights, and veteran of the Rosselli Column in Spain.
* Albert De Jong, 1891-1970: Dutch syndicalist and anti-Nazi resistance fighter.
* Heinrich Friedetzky, 1910-1998: German anarchist, anti-fascist hero and Spanish civil war fighter.

From the archive of struggle, no.10: multilingual edition [below the fold] (more…)

Poumtastic

In no particular order:

Coatesy: The Spirit of Factions and Sects

Jewish Socialist: Review of Rick Kuhn on Henryk Grossman [pdf]

Steve Fraser in the LRB: on Emma Goldman [subs]

Norman Geras: on Orwell on Dickens; Winston Smith in the shower.

The Normblog profile: Jim Denham

The Daily Maybe: Alexandra Kollontai

Airforce Amazons: Sketches of Mallorca

HarpyMarx: the Matchgirls

David Semple: Hobsbawm’s unmarxism.