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politics

When he was 14, Joshua Wong made history. While the adults stayed silent, Joshua staged the first ever student protest in Hong Kong to oppose National Education – and won. Since then, Joshua has led the Umbrella Movement, founded a political party, and rallied the international community around the anti-Extradition Bill protests, which have seen 2 million people – more than a quarter of the population – take to Hong Kong’s streets. His actions have sparked worldwide attention, earned him a Nobel Peace Prize nomination, and landed him in jail twice. Composed in three parts, Unfree Speech chronicles Joshua’s path to activism, collects the letters he wrote as a political prisoner, and closes with a powerful and urgent call for all of us globally to defend our democratic values.⁠ But this is not only a story about Hong Kong. It is the story of fighting against oppression, of rising up against tyranny, and of the demand for democracy and human rights. So looking at the world right now - the rise of authoritarian regimes, the use of police and military forces against their own people, the undermining of democratic systems - all this shows that this book is important for all of us.⁠ Buy...

Die BRD existiert nicht. Angela Merkel ist Hitlers Tochter. Und Chemtrails sollen uns vergiften. Es ist leicht in der ganzen post-truth Debatte auf die USA zu zeigen und belächelnd den Kopf zu schütteln, wenn mal wieder eine abstruse Verschwörungstheorie auftaucht. Das wir aber gar nicht bis über den Ozean schauen müssen um das Gruseln zu bekommen, zeigen Christian Alt und Christian Schiffer.⁠ Auf ihrer Reise durch ein paranoides Land (es ist tatsächlich Deutschland) treffen sie Verschwörungstheoretiker, Aussteiger und Opfer. Sie decken die psychologischen Mechanismen auf, die zu Verschwörungstheorien führen, erklären, warum das Internet nur zum Teil Schuld hat und tragen 23 goldene Regeln zusammen, mit denen wir den Wahnsinn endlich aufhalten können. Ein aufklärerisches Manifest und ein furioser Road Trip – auf dem sie dann aber einen großen Fehler machen: Sie erfinden eine eigene Verschwörungstheorie. Buy ...

In the spring of 1945, at the close of the Second World War, refugees from the Nazi concentration camps arrived with “White Buses” operated by the Swedish Red Cross in Malmö. With public facilities quickly reaching capacity, Malmö Konstmuseum's director Ernst Fischer decided overnight to transform the museum into a refugee shelter, providing hundreds of beds. The event is memorialised in a monumental painting from the same year by the artist Sven Xet Erixson. But it is also recorded in the many drawings left behind by those who found accommodation in the museum, which have remained in the collection ever since. Among them are small works on paper that depict life in the concentration camps, or portraits of other prisoners.⁠ The own history and the recent events let to the exhibition "Migration: Traces in an Art Collection". How have artists related to exile and migration over the past 150 years? From the artworks left behind by the concentration camp survivors to works of exiled Latvian artist in Sweden to works by artists who have firsthand experience of migration but do not explicitly depict it in their art, the publication accompanying the exhibition engages a range of artistic expressions of the migrant experience. It also presents a number of contemporary works that comment on the perception of migration and displacement in a globalised world while examining the museum itself as a site of knowledge production.⁠ Buy...

In Morocco, the only acceptable sexual activity is between a woman and her husband. Where all forms of extra-marital sex, homosexuality and prostitution are not only socially frowned upon but also punishable by law, women appear to have two options: be a virgin or be a wife.⁠ The first work of non-fiction in English from the prize-winning and internationally bestselling author Leila Slimani gives voice to young Moroccan women who are grappling with a conservative Arab culture that at once condemns and commodifies sex. By telling their intimate stories, by breaking taboos, by letting us into their thoughts and struggles, these women do not just break the silence, they also show that their lives and their lust matters. Which makes this book political and a vibrant appeal for the universal freedom to be, to love and to desire. ⁠ Buy...

Where on Earth do you begin a story about the Earth? Earth defined by nature? Earth defined by a higher power? Earth defined by humankind? ⁠After a "Call for Globes" by the ETH Zurich, the responses were wide-ranging, coming from various disciplines. Whether from sciences addressing the subject of climate change, from architecture raising questions about global urbanisation, or from the arts reflecting on planetary transformation - the material gathered does not only open a discourse on how we see the world, but also how our world is constructed of competing narratives. And what better way to show this, than the opening picture of "Terrestrial Tales" showing God as a supreme craftsman bowed over the globe to administer the final touches of his creation, next to a picture of a migrant worker assembling a mass-produced globe between boxes and boxes of big blue plastic spheres in a factory somewhere on planet earth.⁠ Buy...

Yes, we also got some 'How to' books for all the little Tyrants among us – and those who considering to become one...

In October 2014, Lele Saveri was invited to spend a month teaching in China. On his way to take up the post, he made a stop in Hong Kong, where just a few days earlier, one of the first in a series of civil movements had erupted - movements that rocked the status quo in Hong Kong and brought relations between Hong Kong and Beijing into international focus. Saveri spent the whole of his time in Hong Kong documenting this pivotal moment, now known as the Umbrella Revolution. He walked the streets day and night, talking to protestors and taking picture after picture. Collected here are his photographs: of protestors - in masks and helmets, superhero costumes or t-shirts emblazoned with ‚God Save The Queen‘ - of the weird misshapen barricades that began to take over the city’s infrastructure, of tourists and citizens just going about their daily business. Presented alongside a short essay by Hong Kong activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Joshua Wong, this slim volume of striking photographs provides an essential, sometimes disturbing, sometimes alienating document of the beginnings of one of the most important protest movements in modern history - a document made only more powerful in hindsight, as the Hong Kong protests have continued, in the face of ever more brutal retaliation, to demand essential reform of their democratic and human rights. ⁠ Buy...

'Colour has indeed always been a question of taste, not a question of judgement! [...

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wallowing in the past. But when this imaginary state of mind is instrumentalized for political purposes, nostalgia turns into an ambiguous, dangerous weapon. Safar, the bi-lingual Libanese magazine for graphic design and visual culture, does not make a fuss of illuminating the abysses of nostalgia. Far from fetishizing willingly selected histographies - which not seldom turn into superficial trends while promoting reductive interpretations - the latest issue brings a radical honest and critical perspective into play when it comes to the new hype of brutalism, symbolic practices which are primarily used to manipulate cultural identities or, how Beirut-based drag queen RuPaul finally found cultural belonging thanks to the affects of nostalgia. Thinking back, we really missed something on our shelves before Safar #4 dropped in! Buy...

Most likely diagrams and maps radiate a certain matter-of-factness, a narrative that in itself seems to be unquestionable. Not this time! The critical artworks and performances selected by curator Patricio Dávila turn the visualized assemblies of data, often used as an subtle instrument of power, inside out. The showcased projects, accompanied by pictures, diagrams and interviews in the book Diagrams of Power: Visualizing, Mapping, and Performing Resistance convince particularly through the simplicity of the ideas behind them: unmasking diagrams' underlying supposed truth and re-structuring it in one way or another (and there are plenty ways of resistance from within shown here!). Not only this publication by Onomatopee will make Deleuzian hearts beat faster but showing the immense power of grassroots practices for social change. Buy...