Netflix’s ‘Sex Education’ is an accidental elegy for post-industrial Wales

Throughout his writing, the late Mark Fisher refers to the concept of ‘hauntology’ to describe the way in which traces of the past maintain a ghostly presence in the artworks of today. We often observe this phenomenon in texts that evoke a feeling that the horizons of political possibility have contracted: that ‘not only hasContinue reading “Netflix’s ‘Sex Education’ is an accidental elegy for post-industrial Wales”

Y cyfryngau amgen: ceffyl pren Troea?

Waeth i ni gydnabod un gwirionedd sylfaenol ar y dechrau un: nid oes unrhyw beth cynhenid Gymreig am y cyfryngau cyfrwng Saesneg yng Nghymru ac ni cheir ychwaith y fath beth â chyhoeddfan neu fywyd cyhoeddus penodol Gymreig trwy gyfrwng y Saesneg. Mae difrifoldeb y sefyllfa hon a’i goblygiadau ar ein cyfer yng Nghymru eisoes wedi caelContinue reading “Y cyfryngau amgen: ceffyl pren Troea?”

Anti-Welsh bigotry isn’t just symbolic: it’s a crisis of British capitalism

It’s been almost impossible to ignore the recent rise of anti-Welsh bigotry in the UK’s popular consciousness. It’s detectable as a ‘structure of feeling’ in post-Brexit discourse, a cultural expression that’s palpable but not fully articulated. As Ifan Morgan Jones has written, ‘it’s clear that in the name of post-Brexit unity the Westminster government isContinue reading “Anti-Welsh bigotry isn’t just symbolic: it’s a crisis of British capitalism”

Eight Weeks That Transformed British Politics

Of all the strategists, ideologues and ‘outriders’ involved in Labour’s 2017 UK General Election campaign, you could be forgiven for being unaware of the contribution of Steve Howell, who served as Jeremy Corbyn’s Deputy Executive Director of Strategy and Communications. Compared to the attention (and, inevitably, right-wing smears) given to the likes of Seamus Milne,Continue reading “Eight Weeks That Transformed British Politics”

The independence movement can’t afford to be ‘apolitical’ if it wants to create a better Wales

With the appetite for Welsh independence apparently gaining traction, there are growing calls to depoliticise the movement in an effort to broaden the discussion and ‘widen the debate’. While the desire to foster a greater interest and enthusiasm for independence is commendable, this can’t come at the cost of neglecting the political, social, ethical problemsContinue reading “The independence movement can’t afford to be ‘apolitical’ if it wants to create a better Wales”

History as precarity

There’s a curious passage towards the end of the first episode of The Dragon Has Two Tongues, an oddly-structured 1985 documentary that tells the history of Wales through the bickering of historian Gwyn Alf Williams and liberal broadcaster Wynford Vaughan-Thomas. Having spent the entire episode hitherto articulating their own (usually opposing) visions of a Welsh historiography,Continue reading “History as precarity”

The future is asemic

The most pressing issue of alternative politics today is how to establish even the possibility of conceptualising (and later actualising) a different way of organising society. When neoliberal capitalism has successfully assimilated into itself all means of cultural production, it becomes almost futile to articulate an alternative. This is why futurist, utopian thinking becomes soContinue reading “The future is asemic”

Politics and art in a post-factual age

This is, we are told, a ‘post-factual age’. The EU referendum has seen myth collide with fact, and myth has won to devastating effect. It has been said that the UK has ‘had enough of experts’, and such a situation has proven to be fertile ground for a politics based on untruth. (Full article available via WalesContinue reading “Politics and art in a post-factual age”

Memorials without mimesis: Abstraction and intertextuality in William Basinski’s The Disintegration Loops

On September 11th 2001, the composer William Basinski completed The Disintegration Loops, a work documenting the slow decay of recorded tape loops he had unsuccessfully attempted to salvage. That same day he witnessed the attacks on the World Trade Centre from the roof of his Brooklyn apartment, his new composition providing the soundtrack to thisContinue reading “Memorials without mimesis: Abstraction and intertextuality in William Basinski’s The Disintegration Loops”