Beauty and militancy: on post-Soviet feminism

Photo: Ghenady

“Visitors to Russia are always surprised to see that Russian women look like they are going to an Oscar night gala dinner even if they are just going to the grocery store or to throw away garbage,” begins Chapter 7 of Russia Survival Guide, an alternative guidebook, which undertakes to provide foreigners with a privileged… Continue Reading ➤

Silent Partners – How to do things with the uncanny

[source: Wikimedia]

The current exhibition “Silent Partners” at the Fitzwilliam Museum charters the history of the artist’s mannequin. From Walter Sickert’s corpselike dummy to Alan Beeton’s androgynous muse, propped up at a writing table in the gallery just as it appears in Beeton’s oil paintings, the exhibition reflects on mannequin’s shift from a functional stand-in for the… Continue Reading ➤

2014, the year of the quenelle? An analysis of the Dieudonné Affair

The Quenelle gesture [source: MoTH4FoK]

Last January one could not switch on a French TV station, read a French newspaper, or have a conversation with a French person without the name of French comedian, Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, coming up. Even amongst Cambridge’s French student community, all our gatherings that month ended in heated discussions of what had become known as… Continue Reading ➤


Lana Del Rey [source: petercruise]

“Indie” is a cultural punching bag. Everyone loves to hate indie people and almost nobody would self-identify as one, though they might admit to being a fan of the genre. The steady drumbeat of magazine articles and blog posts dismissing the indie outlook as content-lessand paradoxically conformist is proof enough of this,  although relatively few… Continue Reading ➤

David Shrigley: Artist of the Absurd

I'm Dead

In his landmark book The Theatre of the Absurd, Martin Esslin argues that a cluster of playwrights from the 1960s dramatized the theories of Camus and Sartre more coherently than they had expounded them themselves. Beckett, Ionesco and Genet didn’t just describe the absurdities of the human condition, they made them palpable, evacuating characters of… Continue Reading ➤

The Hunter-Uploader Society: Lights, Camera, Obsession

facebook uploader

“Quick! Take a picture!” “Get a snap!” “Film this!” “Hurry and record!” “You’ve gotta put that on Facebook!” Sound familiar? Well it should, because these are the stock phrases of the photo-mad digital world in which we live. Recording events on iPads before we think to breathe them in, snapping pictures with people we barely know… Continue Reading ➤

Old Front, New Façade


The magazine Minute is not in the business of playing devil’s advocate. As the unadulterated mouthpiece of the French extreme-right, it is regularly and deliberately embroiled in controversy. Its most famous debacle came in the run up to the 2006 FIFA World Cup, when it ran an article by politician Georges Frêche posing the question, ‘are there… Continue Reading ➤

Uruguay’s Clasificadores

Source: GlobalRec, Comunicado de Prensa: Una nueva Marcha de Carros de la UCRUS, September 5 2012

It’s a typically chilly July afternoon. Traffic on one of Montevideo’s busiest streets is gridlocked by dozens of horse-drawn rubbish carts. Pulling up outside the Palacio Municipal, home to Montevideo’s regional government or Intendencia, the rickety carros and their drivers cause quite a stir. These clasificadores steer their carts through the streets of Montevideo, collecting rubbish from households and more often… Continue Reading ➤