Bastards of Utopia (2009 – Maple Razsa and Pacho Velez)

Three Croatian activists struggle to change the world. As children, they lived through the violent collapse of Yugoslavia. But now, amid the aftershocks of socialism’s failure, they fight in their own way for a new leftism. In the middle of the struggle, a skeptical American is won over by their cause and even goes to jail with them. The activists, whether clashing with police or squatting in an old factory,  risk everything to live their politics. But as the setbacks mount, will they give up the fight?  The film, shot during years of fieldwork with a Croatian anarchist collective, applies EnMasseFilm’s unique blend of observation, direct participation and critical reflection to this misunderstood political movement. Its portrayal of activism is both empathetic and unflinching—an engaged, elegant meditation on the struggle to re-imagine leftist politics and the power of a country’s youth.
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THE ANARCHISTS IN LONDON 1935-1955. A personal memoir by Albert Meltzer eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

The anarchists in London 1935-1955. A personal memoir by Albert Meltzer

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Interview with Octavio Alberola

Octavio Alberola

The Anarchist News Agency recently interviewed  Spanish anarchist activist Octavio Alberola about his life and his role in Defensa Interior, the clandestine planning body responsible for co-ordinating the attempts  on the life of the dictator General Franco in the 1960s, and in the Cuban libertarian movement from the mid-1950s through to the present day.
Click here to read an interview in PDF format

Noam Chomsky on anarchism

Noam Chomsky on anarchism 1 (BBC – 1974)

Noam Chomsky on anarchism 2 (BBC – 1974)

Arena 2 – Anarchists in Fiction

But down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid ...’

ARENA 2 – Anarchists in Fiction 142pp (230mm x 153mm), ISBN-13:9781873976-42-5. Read & Noir/ChristieBooks, £7.95

In this second issue of Arena we aim to provide general insights into the role of the anarchist in fiction, both as protagonist (as angels and demons, but mostly demons) and author. Obviously, there will be writers whom some readers will think I have unjustifiably missed. All I can reply to such complainants is that you can’t please everyone and that there will be other opportunities in future issues. Meanwhile, it is best to allow the articles here included to speak for themselves, without comment.

David Weir’s essay ‘Anarchist Fiction, Anarchist Sensibilities’ focuses on the progenitor of anarchist fiction, William Godwin’s Caleb Williams, a highly political novel, published in 1794, that demonstrated, in fictional form, the pressing need for the utopian system he described in the first systematic elaboration of anarchist philosophy, Enquiry Concerning Political Justice. ‘Epic Pooh’ is a newly updated revision of a 1978 article by Michael Moorcock (later published in his 1989 book Wizardry and Wild Romance) reviewing epic fantasy literature for children, particularly J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.While researching early twentieth-century French anarchist plays translated into Italian, Santo Catanuto discovered interesting information on the literary side of the indomitable Communard Louise Michel, indicating that she was the author of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea. Strapped for cash, she reputedly sold the manuscript to Jules Verne for 100 francs. Stephen Schwartz, a longtime critic of the detective novel, evaluates the arc of French writer Leo Malet from anarchist to arabophobe and, in ‘Between Libel And Hoax’, counters Miguel Mir’s libellous depiction of the Spanish anarchist movement Entre el roig i el negre. In Stephen’s extended essay, ‘Reading the Runes’, he also takes a fresh look at the archival and related research on the historiography of the Spanish Civil War since the death of Franco.
In his discourse on B. Traven’s first full-length novel, The Death Ship, Ernest Larsen looks at the intractable modern problem of identity. Larsen’s short story ‘Bakunin At The Beach’ is about Mr and Mrs Bakunin holidaying at Lake Maggiore under the watchful eyes of Inspector Dupin of the Swiss Department of Justice and Police. Joseph Conrad’s short story ‘An Anarchist. A Desperate Tale’ is republished here from A Set of Six (1908), originally published in Harper’s Magazine in August 1906. ‘Anarchists in Fiction’ is a collection of idiosyncratic reviews of books in which anarchists are portrayed as an eclectic group of villains and criminal degenerates. Finally, we conclude this second issue of Arena with an article by our cinema editor Richard Porton on Dušan Makavejev’s playful, allusive 1971 film WR: Mysteries of the Organism.

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