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society

You know what they say: if you remember the 90s, you weren’t there. Cult German novelist Rainald Goetz was, though, and he revisits the rave scene of the Nineties in dazzling style. Fragments of sensation, impressions, scattered moments build up to conjure the dizzying highs and the thumping lows of techno culture’s legendary era. Buy...

Eighteen international writers respond to the open-ended period of social distancing, closures, and illness caused by Covid-19. Meditating on notions of distance and closeness, sameness and alterity, extinguishing and kindling, Tools for Extinction considers how a common pause might give rise to new modes of domesticity and shift experiences of time. What gestures and actions are we willing to perform to make ourselves, and each other, feel at ease – or at work? What tools and objects are useful, or unprecedentedly useless, to us in the process? And as our species’ trademark proclivity for projecting ourselves into the future is disrupted, might we come to see the buildings, animals, and plants around us in a new light? The anthology takes its name from Steven Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog, a 1960s counterculture compendium of product reviews, essays, and articles on the themes of self-sufficiency, ecology, and alternative education. By giving “access to tools”, a new social order and a more sustainable Earth was imagined. Buy...

Society disables sick people by not considering their needs in structures or the build environment. So having sick people in creative teams would be a huge asset and is grossly underestimated. But a common barrier for chronically ill people who want to work in the creative industries is the one-size-fits-all structure of office work and the frequent subconscious assumption that all employees are able-bodied. ⁠Sick is a magazine to elevate the much needed voices of sick and disabled people. It is entirely created by sick and disabled writers, poets, designers, and artists. An illustration by Hayley Wall adorns the cover of the second issue.⁠ Buy ⁠...

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 ...