List of the monographs, films and original documents purchased or donated recently to www.explosivepolitics.com and subject to future full review. At the top of the pile of this month’s noteworthy books received is Surviving Images: Cinema, War, and Cultural Memory in the Middle East (2015) by Kamran Rastegar, the now classic Liberation, Imagination and the Black Panther Party (2001) by Kathleen Cleaver and Geroge Katsiaficas and the first edition of The Police and Civil Liberties (1966) by Stuart Bowes. www.explosivepolitics.com also received the latest film from Göran Hugo Olsson, Concerning violence (2014) released in DVD in January.
Surviving Images: Cinema, War, and Cultural Memory in the Middle East (2015) by Kamran Rastegar (Oxford University Press, ISBN: 978-0-19-939017-5 (Paperback), 248 pages. In Surviving Images Kamran Rastegar explores the prominent role of cinema in the development of cultural memory around war and conflict in colonial and postcolonial contexts. It does so through a study of three historical eras: the colonial period, the national-independence struggle, and the postcolonial. Surviving Images aims at illustrating cinema’s productive role in contributing to the changing dynamics of cultural memory of war and social conflict in the modern world.
Affiche-Action: Quand la politique s’affiche dans la rue (2013) collective volume edited by Béatrice Fraenkel and published by Gallimard [in French]. Affiche action (Political poster and Action) is the catalogue of an exhibition held at the Bibliothèque de documentation internationale contemporaine (Library of Contemporary International Documentation, BDIC) and at the Hôtel national des Invalides in Paris, between November 2012 and February 2013.
The Memory of State Terrorism in the Southern Cone: Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay (2011) edited by Francesca Lessa & Vincent Druliolle (Palgrave, ISBN: 9780230110144). Through various lenses and theoretical approaches, this book explores the contested experiences, meanings, realms, goals, and challenges associated with the construction, preservation, and transmission of the memories of state repression in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay. The book both illuminates and questions the politics of memory that have been unfolding in these countries over the past three decades. It is one of few volumes written in English to be dedicated specifically to the study of the memory of state terrorism in the Southern Cone. Its contributors, both recognized and emerging scholars, come from Europe, the United States, and Latin America.
Liberation, Imagination and the Black Panther Party: A New Look at the Black Panthers and their Legacy (2001) co-edited by Kathleen Cleaver and George Katsiaficas, published by Routledge. Liberation, imagination and the BPP is primarily a collection of essays on the Black Panther Party, its influence in the USA and abroad. It includes several contributions on the daily activities and politics of the movement of the Black Liberation struggle including an assessment of the Black fighting formations, a review of Emory Douglas’ artwork for the Panther newspaper but also an interesting take on the story of the Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention of 1970. The edited volume also addresses the role of women in the BPP and the inevitable FBI war against the Black Panther Party.
The Police and Civil Liberties (1966) by Stuart Bowes and published by Lawrence & Wishart (London) is now a classic. It is the very first comprehensive study of the conduct of the British Police in violation of civil liberties. The data and information gathered are certainly outdated yet the analysis has lost nothing of its relevance: “when intercepts form part of secret police dossiers, they cannot be corrected by the parties concerned. When they are admitted as evidence the impression they convey is almost impossible to challenge” (p.135)
Concerning violence (2014) is the latest film from Göran Hugo Olsson. Narrated by Ms Lauryn Hill, Concerning Violence is both an archive-driven documentary covering the most daring moments in the struggle for liberation in the Third World, as well as an exploration into the mechanisms of decolonization through text from Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth. In the middle of the Cold War, radical Swedish filmmakers set out to capture the anti-imperialist liberation movements in Africa first hand. With their 16mm footage, found in the Swedish Television archives, filmmaker Göran Hugo Olsson draws on his experience making The Black Power Mixtape (2011) to create a visual narrative from Africa – images of the pursuit of freedom, the Cold War and Sweden. Swedish filmmakers, with their sense of solidarity with anti-imperial and socialist struggles around the world at the time, created images and stories which still resonate today, and can change and deepen our impression of the globalized world we live in.