Day Of The Dead: From The Other Side


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Photo essay by Aliya Alwi. Article by Adriana Medina.

[Editor’s Note: While many celebrated  “Día de Muertos” by painting their faces and boozing it up in the aftermath of Halloween’s debauchery, the significance behind the tradition goes beyond the cultural appropriation we have witnessed in such cities as New York, London, and even Cairo. In some ways, it seemed like an excuse to continue the festivities from the night before. Yet, the tradition has long outlived its various appropriations throughout history and continues to be practiced as an indigenous ritual in Latin America where homage is paid to those who have passed away, whether by resurrecting their memory through dance as seen in Toronto, or from Quito’s cemeteries where families share their long-lost loved ones’ favorite dishes. Here we offer a more nuanced reflection on what “Day of the Dead” is with a photo essay by Aliya Alwi exploring the phenomenon in Quito along with a dispatch from Adriana Medina, who took part in the tradition in Toronto, away from Colombia, her home country.] Continue reading

Russell Brand’s Revolution

When reviewing Revolution, by British comedian turned revolutionary Russell Brand, many fair-minded critics have allowed their writing to degenerate into ad hominems, portraying Brand as naive, hypocritical, or worse. Hadley Freeman for one should have her line, “all credit to the man for making politics seem sexy to teenagers,” carved in gold letters in a backhanded compliments hall of fame somewhere.

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Designing The Revolution: Occupy Central With Visual Artist Kacey Wong

[Editor’s Note: “Designing the Revolution” is a multiple article series on the role of designers in social movements, uprisings, and revolutions. Whether engaged visual artists, intrepid graphic designers, or conceptual innovators redesigning quotidian living, though typically an unidentifiable melange, their role in visualizing, constructing, and remixing cultural production and social interaction has been crucial to the sustainability of the movements they are a part of. It is our hope that this series will offer insights and visions for you to engage with wherever you find yourself. Without further ado, we present to you our first installment in the series, an in-depth look at Hong Kong-based artist and utopian provocateur Kacey Wong.]

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Politika: Art & Local Power In Manchester, UK

While the dominance of London in British political, social, cultural, and economic life is beyond question, the UK’s disputed second city of Manchester holds its own as a city of firsts, with current discussion following the Scottish referendum that it could become England’s first devolved city. With further devolution promised to Scotland, there are widespread calls from Manchester’s leaders and citizens to have control over the region’s taxes and public spending. Greater Manchester has a population of almost 3 million and an economy larger than Wales, yet full financial control and decision-making of the region’s and country’s affairs remains centralized in London. Manchester council leader Sir Richard Leese recently wrote: “Comparable cities in Europe, the likes of Munich and Barcelona, have far greater autonomy. The current position [for Manchester] is untenable.” Continue reading

Rio Favela Media Building The Future In The Present

At 8 am on a weekday, the favela of Jacarezinho in the industrial North Zone of Rio de Janeiro is buzzing. Small traders selling everything from fresh fish to printer cartridges to enormous gold earrings line the favela’s main road. Residents heading to work and the community’s installed military police officers stand drink strong, sweet coffee and buttered bread at the lanchonete snack bars. One of Rio’s largest, and most stigmatized, favelas, Jacarezinho wakes up early. Continue reading