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society

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 ...

At a time when mental health concerns are increasing and people are worried about their jobs, their lives and their loved ones, it may be easier to distract yourself with something light. But Dummy decided to talk about suicide. To be correct, the issue was actually already finished when the Corona pandemic hit Europe hard. So what now? Wrong time to talk about suicide? In Germany about ten thousand people end their lives every year - that's the population of a small German town. As difficult as this subject is, it is important to report on it. Especially in these times. Because we have to live with this topic.⁠ 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...

When Antti Tuomola wanted to open a restaurant in Helsinki back in 2011, he found himself caught up in bureaucracy that did not leave any space for innovation. So he gathered some friends to find a solution to enrich Helsinki's culinary scene without the troubles to open a permanent restaurant and may it be just for one day. As a result 40 people turned their private homes into temporary restaurants for "Restaurant Day", inviting strangers into their kitchen. By 2016 "Restaurant Day" turned into a worldwide cultural event.⁠ But this book is not about "Restaurant Day". "Restaurant Day" is solely exemplary for most of the 18 social design practices and tools explained in this book such as bottom-up, social-city, and smart-citizens. And like in any good cookbook author Attila Bujdoso does not only explain the ingredients and seeks to inspire you, but also gives you the recipes on hand to successfully create your own social projects.⁠ Buy...

"Saving the planet begins at breakfast" states the subtitle of "We are the Weather", the latest book of Jonathan Safran Foer. And while we chew on our Sunday brunch, we might initially take a defensive state - Really? Now Foer tells us that even our most favorite Sunday habit is a threat to life? - But stay calm, this book is not about food and eating habits. On the other hand it is also not meant to calm you. So we take that back.⁠ In the first part of the book, titled "The Unbelievable", Foer tells shortly historical turning points and personal stories, which all lead to the suspicion that the human mind is unable to emotionally engage with something that is terrifying by the facts but invisible in every day life and therefor not shaking our emotions. Like the climate crisis. "Our alarm systems are not built for conceptual threats." Which seems one of the reasons why we know about climate change and the threat it is to human life but are unable to take actions. And even though Foer just concluded that we are somehow immune to the devastating facts, he presents us with them nonetheless - through bullet-point lists. Arranged in small size bites and still far from being easily digestible.⁠ ⁠But instead of now presenting us with tools or action plans, what one might expect, to overcome our paralysis, we will read impressions and anecdotes of what means "Home" followed by a inner monologue titled "Dispute with the soul". And latest now it dawns us. What the hard facts are unable to do, Foer is trying (and succeeds at) - he emotionally shake us.⁠ ⁠ May that be the wake up call we all needed to finally take the steps necessary to safe our biotope, our home.⁠ Buy ...

Duty Free Art composes 15 essays of the media critic Hito Steyerl, recently named the most influential person in the art world by the international art magazine ArtReview. She begins her reflections with a truly absurd institution of the art market: Freeports. The depots for luxury goods at the airports of Geneva, Singapore and Luxembourg, store works of art free of custom duties and at the same time withdrawn from the public. Rumor has it that the Freeport in Geneva is home to thousands of Picassos but due to intransparent documentation the actual number is unknown. However, there is no doubt that the inventory can compete with any large museum. Therefore this luxurious no-man’s-land is assumably one of the most important art locations right now. Technically, the goods are in transit, but in fact this legal vacuum is increasingly becoming a permanent residence for accumulated wealth. The freeport is thus a permanent transit zone and in some way a secret museum. But Hito Steyerl does not stop there. She sees our time as a global hell of indefinite civil wars - through social media delusional populations, capitalism floating on seas of debt, algorithmically guided missiles killing thousands of civilians. And somewhere in all of this is the art world: broken, corrupt, complicit, idiotic, with perhaps just a hint of value to rescue itself out of the wreckage. Maybe. Buy...

"Kritik ist auch nur eine Form von Eskapismus." Mit der Erkenntnis, dass der Kapitalismus alles vereinnahmt, selbst Kritik verschlingt und in Form von Büros mit Tischtennisplatte, Hobby zum Beruf machen, Bioprodukten und Slowfood wieder ausspuckt um sich seine Taschen zu füllen, kommt auch die Erkenntnis, dass Kritik demnach nicht die Verhältnisse erschüttert sondern selbst zum vermarktbaren Produkt avanciert. Mindstate Malibu gibt als Antwort eine Form von Gesellschaftskritik, die sich einer klaren Haltung entzieht (da diese vermarktbar wäre) und sich irgendwo zwischen "Hyperironie", Widersprüchlichkeit und surrealen Kommentaren in Twitter-länge bewegt. Unklassifizierbare Anti-Kritik ganz im Sinne des Dadaismus zwischen Grindgoal und Performance-Kunst. In Zusammenarbeit mit dem Institut für moderne Kunst Nürnberg. Buy...

As the promises of liberalism in its Western shape have taken their toll on the Eastern front, the need for new narratives about reality has never been more pressing. This second issue of Kajet is based on the supposition that people in Eastern Europe have been “tricked into distrusting the existence of an alternative modernity”, hence the question of whether there’s still room for utopia after the utopia of the communist era. Idealism in mind, Kajet writers resurface the spirit of revolt, focusing on rebels, insurgency and visionaries in order to reintroduce a new face of utopianism. They explore the topic through the prism of time, architecture, imagination and futurism. Buy...

Founded in 1968 in South East India by Mirra Alfassa, Auroville was perceived as the city of the future - a new society thriving on new, spiritually guided principles. Christoph Draeger & Heidrun Holzfeind revisit the community to investigate the origins of the project and whether the people currently involved in it share the enthusiasm of its early days. With archival research observations and interviews with some of the 2000 people currently living in Auroville, they examine whether the standards of the the city of the future have been met, whether common ownership, life-long learning and research into the spiritual are still the basic principles guiding the community. But foremost there’s a clear focus on the architectural aspect in Draeger and Holzfeind’s book, which they display with photographs, archival blueprints and documents about the original city plans. Buy...