Visual
We Are the Mods!

We Are the Mods!

The Eurozone crisis needs a counterculture. Unable to claim a youth genre for its repertoire, at best, it has been represented by a resurgence of interest in punk. Whether it be mohawk hairstyles for women, studded leather boots from Milan, or Berlin goth-punk groups like Tanzkommando Untergang, a signature is indeed emerging. It’s reach, however, is limited. Surely, there is something with a wider appeal. More»

Age and Occupation

Age and Occupation

At first glance, the flyer might have struck the jaded flâneur as parody. Instead of the crusty punks and hippies that usually festoon images of protest in Berlin, a bunch of white-hairs hold a large banner with the classic squatter’s slogan “This house is occupied.” More»

Whitewashed Russian Journalists

Whitewashed Russian Journalists

Stanislav Markelov, lawyer and journalist for the liberal newspaper Novaya Gazeta, and coworker Anastasia Baburova, anarchist and political activist, were murdered in 2009 in the centre of Moscow by killers believed by many to be Russian ultra-nationalists. More»

FNAC Fashion Nightmare

FNAC Fashion Nightmare

Few chains inspire the kind of attachment that FNAC does. Staffed by salespeople with PHD-equivalent educations in the arts and technology, for the last two decades,  the French retailer has been the single most influential store of its kind in Europe. Whether it’s obscure Glasgow wonky LPs, limited edition Pasolini DVDs, or imported American DJ gear, you’ll find it there. More»

Truth in Argo

Truth in Argo

Pornography isn’t the only cinematic genre with a “money shot.” Historical reenactments like Ben Affleck’s new picture Argo are also keen to demonstrate their authenticity. Except that the proof comes, not in a milky stream of ejaculation, but in the details of a mise-en-scène painstakingly recreated from documentary evidence. More»

Post-Nazi Partisans?

Post-Nazi Partisans?

Radicals the world over continue to make use — some would say overuse — of the terms “Fascist” and “Nazi”, which have demonstrated remarkable staying power in the lexicon of demonization. But there’s no denying that they resonate with special force in Germany. More»

Drug Club Night

Drug Club Night

Club nights are like bands. The better the name, more likely they are to draw a decent crowd. Up the ante by offering free drugs – or at least a safe space to celebrate the most prescribed poppers – and it’ll be a mob scene. Why, then, make adverts for such happenings, more complicated? More»

Blowing in the Wind

Blowing in the Wind

The radical flyers one sees pasted up in European cities frequently try to make up for the blind spots of the postwar Left establishment. That means prioritizing multiculturalism, pro-immigrant policies and a decentralized, anarchistic mindset that repudiates the longstanding belief that achieving a measure of political power in the bourgeois state is a worthwhile goal. This tract photographed in Zurich earlier this year is a fine example: More»

Hard-Knock Life

Hard-Knock Life

To someone who lives in a less intensely intellectual environment than Berlin, the wordiness of the flyers pasted over the city’s walls is surprising. But activists wouldn’t bother to include so much fine print if they thought no one was going to read it. Frequently, the text adds crucial detail to the bold strokes of a flyer’s big-font message, revealing subtlety in its come-hither slogan. More»

Like Paper in Fire

Like Paper in Fire

Wherever walls, fences and windows are plastered with flyers, we know that the pace of daily life slows down there. Maybe it’s a corner where people wait for a bus or train. Maybe it’s a meeting ground, where the impulse to linger overrides the call of the next errand. Maybe it’s simply the sort of empty surface that demands to be acknowledged by those who pass by on foot. More»

Occupy the Film Festival, Part II

Occupy the Film Festival, Part II

Hashtags were prominent, whether in the below screen titles, or in the title of the films themselves. ##12M mai no hem marxat (15Mbcn.tv) provided a birds-eye-view of Plaça Catalunya on the first anniversary of the 15 May protests that launched the Indignados movement (and inspired OWS.) The title means “We have not left.” More»

All Protest, No Porn

All Protest, No Porn

Michelle Fawcett, co-organizer of Occupy the Film Festival said people had asked about the title of the event. Did she mean “Occupy: The Film Festival” suggesting a festival about the Occupy movement, a completely suitable topic for a program taking place in the weekend leading up to S17, the first anniversary of the birth of Occupy Wall Street (OWS)? Or, did she mean, “Occupy the Film Festival”? More»