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New Media We Recommend

December 5, 2012

Below is a list of new materials that we have read/watched in recent weeks. The comments are not a “review” of the material, instead sort of an endorsement of ideas and investigations that can provide solid analysis and even inspiration in the struggle for change. All these items are available at The Bloom Collective, so check them out and stimulate your mind.Picture 1

Power, by Todd May – This short zine is an excellent introduction into the concept of power and it part of the Institute for Anarchist Studies Lexicon Series. Todd May does a good job of defining power and making it clear that there is power over and power with, meaning that power can be used for repression or creation. What I found so useful about this zine was the author’s critique of neoliberalism and the promotion of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are seen through this analysis of power as individual agents that rely on a system where more and more of society is privatized. Counter to this notion is collectivism and the idea that we can solve problems by sharing ideas, resources and skills in order to create a power structure that is based upon mutual aid and direct democracy. May says that too often the left thinks of power exclusively in a negative way and that we need to reclaim the power from below or the power with possibilities for society. Highly recommended.


Territories in Resistance: A Cartography of Latin American Social Movements, by Raul Zibechi – This new collection of essays by Uruguayan scholar Raul Zibechi is a fabulous investigation into the current social movements in Latin America and their relation to the State. Zibechi covers a great deal of territory in these essays, which are organized in very interesting sections, some of which deal with social movements and spaces, communities of resistance, urban resistance and indigenous movements. The section on the movement’s relationship to the State is well thought out and provides good lessons on how social movements can deal with State power. Zibechi documents that there have been different approaches in dealing with state power and that is what makes this collection of essays so power, in that they do not dictate a singular path. Territories in Resistance is not only a wonderful contribution in understanding the current political dynamics in Latin America, it is a useful tool for anyone who wants to explore how social movements interact with the State.9781781250167

Occupation Diaries, by Raja Shehadeh – With the recent Israel assault on Gaza, one of the most important things we can do is to humanize the Palestinians. This is exactly what Raja Shehadeh does in these wonderful entries in his diary from 2009 through May 2012. Beautifully written, Occupation Diaries is at once a window into the daily realities of Palestinians living under occupation, along with the beauty of a people and their land. Shehadeh will in one sentence be talking about Israeli check points and in the next the beautiful wildflowers along the side of the road. What makes these beautiful reflections on life in Palestine so beautiful is the sharp sense of history the writer has. This injection of history helps the reader be reminded of the context of the Israeli occupation and what it has meant for Palestinians over the past several decades. Highly recommended.


The Last Mountain (DVD) – The mining and burning of coal is at the epicenter of America’s struggle to balance its energy needs with environmental concerns. Nowhere is that concern greater than in Coal River Valley, West Virginia, where a small but passionate group of ordinary citizens are trying to stop Big Coal corporations, like Massey Energy, from continuing the devastating practice of Mountain Top Removal. The citizens argue the practice of dynamiting the mountain’s top off to mine the coal within pollutes the air and water, is responsible for the deaths of their neighbors and spreads pollution to other states. Yet, regardless of evidence supporting these claims, Big Coal corporations repeat the process daily in the name of profit. Massive profit allows Big Coal to wield incredible financial influence over lobbyists and government officials in both parties, rewrite environmental protection laws, avoid lawsuits and eliminate more than 40,000 mining jobs, all while claiming to be a miner’s best friend. As our energy needs increase, so does Big Coal’s control over our future. A passionate and personal tale that honors the extraordinary power of ordinary Americans when they fight for what they believe in, THE LAST MOUNTAIN shines a light on America’s energy needs and how those needs are being supplied. It is a fight for our future that affects us all.

One Comment leave one →
  1. SitInvertn permalink
    December 5, 2012 11:46 pm

    Well the power one sounds interesting, but that’s an oversimplification on the entrepreneurial analysis. Not every economic action supports the oligarchy, and if those acquiring wealth do so in a manner that doesn’t oppress or reinforce existing oppressions, but has counter active effect against these traits, and moreover seeks to use the wealth created to combat domination. Art will always be created, and not equally might I add, there is such a thing as organic pricing mechanisms. Anyway here’s something that caught my eye in happy fun camp.

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