Can America ever truly face its racism – both past and present – for what it truly is? Or is the history of forced migration, bondage and slave labor, legal apartheid, incarceration and horrific state violence too much for it to survive such a revelation? Can it endure the psychic shock and endeavor in some kind of pursuit of truth or reconciliation? Or will it simply implode, come apart at the seams and make way for something new? Something which, hopefully, would not have genocide running through its veins? Langston Hughes tells of a man urging us to “let America be America again,” but Hughes is not so sure such an America ever existed. Neither should anyone today.
In this place
of radiator heat
of knife wounds
of totems like broken teeth
The playwright Bertolt Brecht, in his polemics with the theorist George Lukács argued: "Even those writers who are conscious of the fact that capitalism impoverishes, dehumanizes, mechanizes human beings, and who fight against it, seem to be part of the same process of impoverishment: for they too, in their writing, appear to be less concerned with elevating man, they rush him through events, treat his inner life as quantité negligeable..."
Red Wedge is proud and humbled to be the only English language publication examining all the arts from a Marxist viewpoint. Our second issue, “Art Against Global Apartheid”, dropped in May, and we want you to come celebrate it with us. We will have copies of RW2 available for purchase, as well as other cool items (posters, pamphlets, etc). If you're new to the publication, a long time reader who wants to show support, or just want to come talk art and radical politics, we expect to see you there.
The model of “self-taught genius” ignores the social genius of Darger’s Child Slave Rebellion. After all, Darger’s work was shaped by the very real instructors of his life; his kind father, his brutal treatment as a ward of the state of Illinois, the “dead-end” proletarian job that awaited him in adulthood. It is no accident that Darger’s epic illuminated manuscript is, at its core, about a rebellion of child-slaves. Nor are his transgender heroes necessarily a mere accident of individual genius or naïveté. Maybe they are glimpses of the future emancipation that could not yet be articulated.
Red Wedge lost a friend and supporter this past week when Matthew Caygill died. Matthew was a longtime fixture in the British socialist movement and most recently was involved in Left Unity. He was a keen thinker and well-known as a warm and dedicated comrade. His nearest and dearest have our sincerest condolences.
Matthew was also someone fascinated with the intersection of arts and radical politics. When those of us with RW first encountered him, it was on panel at the Historical Materialism conference in London where he spoke on the connections between the Beatles and the left of the 1960’s, a topic far too often unacknowledged past the most general discussions of John Lennon’s post-Beatles days. In fact, it was the topic of culture and the Left in the Sixties to which he was dedicating his PhD studies.
Consumer Grade Film is a U.S. Midwestern collective of filmmakers focusing on low-budget, socially-conscious projects. Our current works in progress include the short, Ubercreep, the feature length film, In Circles, and the YouTube channel, VHS Girl. We are open to collaboration with other filmmakers focusing on similar content.
The experimental hip-hop group clipping. have a new E.P. out. It’s called Wriggle. The group’s M.C. Daveed Diggs has recently become nothing short of a Broadway celebrity lately since winning a Tony for his role in Hamilton. The man is a phenom, an insane talent on the microphone. There’s no question about this. Diggs’ more usual fare with clipping. is, however, of a somewhat different fare. As I’ve put it previously, he’s far more Marquis de Sade than Lafayette, and clipping. fit right in with the insurgence of “industrial hip-hop” we’ve seen over the past few years that also includes the likes of Death Grips. Here’s the title track and lead single from the new E.P.
A collection of anti-racist activist and photographer Syd Shelton’s work from Rock Against Racism has been collected together for the first time. Is this book a nostalgic trip to the bad old days of 1970s racial conflict or does it have something to offer a new generation fighting the changing face of racism in the 21st century? Maybe both?
Shelton’s starkly black and white photographs portray the sharp contrasts in 1970s Britain. National Front marchers and anti-racist crowds, the police and the youth on the street, the punks and Rastas, Sikh pensioners and black and white kids, the bands and the audiences.
I have always believed that art and magic were the same thing. In magic, you can manifest power by manipulating objects. These objects (such as images, symbols, and signs) could be utilized to induce activity on the forces of nature and create different mystical phenomena.
This is the main reason why the majority of my works are expressionist ink sketches with figurative representation of resistance against capitalism, patriarchy, racism, imperialism, and other backward manifestations. I believe expressionism is a product of resistance against impressionism and academic art; an art movement charged by emotions, spirituality, and mysticism.