Problem and solution

In the spring and summer of 2019, a group of Black and PoC students from Goldsmiths, University of London formed Goldsmiths Anti-Racist Action (GARA) and occupied Deptford Town Hall – a key administrative building on campus – to push back against the institutional racism they experienced in the university. We, two junior academics situated in […]

Destruction styles

I think that I and many others involved with the RhodesMustFall (RMF) movement at the University of Cape Town – and beyond – might have preferred, on the 9th of April 2015, to see: A. cecil’s head explode, blast-site of bronze shards glistening in the afternoon sun, on the sprawling, clambering, continually inaccessible grounds of […]

Neoliberal antiracism and the British university

While debates over race and higher education in the UK have long focused on questions of access, in recent years a host of campaigns have drawn attention to the alienation of students and staff of colour who succeed in entering white-dominated institutions. Their claims, often articulated on social media with the pithiness that hashtags require, […]

Ghosts in fishnets

Elizabeth Otto, Haunted Bauhaus: Occult Spirituality, Gender Fluidity, Queer Identities, and Radical Politics (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2019). 282pp., £28.00 hb., 978 0 26204 329 8 I once heard the artist David Shrigley remark that the reason he became an artist was due to an adolescent fascination with art students, particularly those at the […]

Discriminatory data

Ruha Benjamin, Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2019). 172pp., £60.00 hb., £14.99 pb., 978 1 50952 639 0 hb., 978 1 50952 640 4 pb. If you’ve ever listened to Pod Save America, the voice of centrist Democratic politics presented by a crew of former Obama staff, […]

The theatre of economic categories

Marx prefaces the first edition of the first volume of Capital with a laconic proviso. ‘To avoid any possible misunderstandings’, he writes, ‘a word. I do not by any means depict the capitalist and the landowner in rosy colours. But individuals are dealt with here only insofar as they are the personifications of economic categories, […]

Bodies in space

Weaker now, we mistakenly identify ourselves as our bodies. Ilona Sagar, ‘Correspondence O’, digital video, 2017 I have had twenty-five or thirty souls, with their bodies, at once under my roof, and yet we often parted without being aware that we had come very near to one another. Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854 The last […]

Beware: Medical Police

Cops forcibly removing someone from a bus for not wearing a face mask, arresting people for failure to socially distance on a crowded subway platform, moving people on if they look like they are socialising in excessive numbers, determining who can attend a public event. This is the new reality of policing the virus. The […]