The Fist Of Charm

Gender politics, anarchy, activism and aesthetics...Things of interest by Richard John Jones

From the Biosphere to Paradise: Cafe Visionaire and Choose your own adventure club nite

28th Feb. 2012

There are two separate events this week which are really exciting from two artists who have both been involved in several project produced by Auto Italia but most recently starred alongside each other in Auto Italia LIVE Episode 3: C2C P2P.

This Wednesday 29th at 7pm, Julia Tcharfas presents CAFÉ VISIONAIRE: Digesting the Biosphere at Limazulu. The RSVP only event takes the Biosphere 2 experiment as its starting point. This fascinating project saw 8 “biospherians” live in huge sealed greenhouses in a totally closed ecological system. The project was an example of the conflation of biological science with progressive (perhaps new age) sociological projectionism. Reflecting on a pizza that was consumed by the biospherians and made entirely from ingredients produced inside the sealed biomes, the dinner will be an opportunity to discuss notions of life-experiments, countercultural idealism, high-tech Edens, survivalism and sustainability, creating new worlds for the future, cults, space colonies, and/or pizza.

Cafe Visionaire from Grisha on Vimeo.

On Thursday 30th in the evening at Visions Video Bar in Dalston, London- Leslie Kulesh welcomes you to “Choose your own adventure club nite” – Check the video promo here – I’m upgrading to karaoke BTW. Can’t wait!

Choose Your Own Adventure Club Nite from Eva by Heart on Vimeo.

BASH THE BITCH - HUNTY Revisiting Homocult’s aggressive...

7th Feb. 2012


Revisiting Homocult’s aggressive 90s campaigns - perhaps a little too subtle, the one criticism I would have of Homocult is that the messages were often too abstract to grasp straight away - the vitriol deeply embedded but not immediately apparent…!

While googling Homocult for appropriate blog fodder I especially liked this quote…

"I didn’t know anything. Whiney, pushy, shallow queens were still exotic and endearing to me; radical lesbian feminists were still worthy of my fear and respect; and alcoholic, ugly, dullard, identikit bar dykes were my ultimate desire. Ah, halcyon days!" - Charlotte Cooper

Shut the fuck up…

20th Oct. 2011

Shut the fuck up…

Let’s not assume the journalists are on our side…

14th Aug. 2011

I have put together a series of different links to address the language used to describe rioters and justify police brutality, racism within the press, institutional racism and then from an international perspective considering how events in other countries have been covered and dealt with by journalists and politicians. I think that most of the language used to describe and justify what I consider to be outrageous abuses of power and aggressive and oppressive acts of racism, nationalism and neo-colonialism makes this quite clear and therefore an uprising, insurrection or destabilisation of civil society could be seen as worthy of analysis (whatever the age, motivation and occupations of rioters that may have been profiled by the press). Historically, events like these lead into a growing far-right, nationalism, racism, economic depression and inequality - also war. In an unstable Europe whose economic fragility will lead to its imminent collapse (not even Germany can bail out all the governments left bankrupt from bailing out the banks) this becomes an ever more pressing and ominous concern. Apocalyptic? Perhaps, but isn’t that the character of our contemporary moment? The answer? “We have our own concept of Time and Motion” at Auto Italia… more info HERE (LOL)

But first, here is a lead in from Nina:

“Those condemning the events in north London and elsewhere would do well to take a step back and consider the bigger picture”

“Let’s stop assuming the police are on our side”

From Aljazeera, interesting in terms of how attempts to address ‘causes’ is seen to condone the action or ‘divert’ the attention away from the need for justice: “Any discussion about the potential causes of the riots become indistinguishable from excusing those who carried them out, and those who attempt to analyse become apologists.”

This one is a bit bombastic and I’m not sure I agree but I think that this is an interesting part…

“Commentator after commentator has described the rioters as “animals” and “feral rats”. The videos of these statements are repeated perpetually on news channels. The message: these rioters are not humans. The demand: that they not be treated as human.”

This point is echoed here but also adding this which I liked…  “If we are lucky, we will have commissions and reports to say all over again what was said of Brixton and Toxteth in the Thatcher years. I say ‘lucky’ because the feral instincts of the current Prime Minister seem more attuned to turn on the water cannons, to call in the tear gas brigade and use the rubber bullets while pontificating unctuously about the loss of moral compass, the decline of civility and the sad deterioration of family values and discipline among errant youths.”

The video of the interview with Darcus Howe whom the racist and under informed news reader referred to as Marcus Dowe throughout while asking him whether he condoned the violence as he was ‘no stranger to rioting’ obviously with no understanding of the civil rights movement and the role he has played in campaigning for equality for most of his life.

For more on this tactic of changing the places of aggressor and victim here is the interview with well known journalist and activist Jody Macintyre, where he actually calls out how ridiculous the newsreader’s angle is and how blatant the attempt is to silence those who are most vulnerable and victimise the police who in actuality attacked a disabled protestor, dragging him out of his chair. This may be from ‘way back when’ but I think is completely relevant nonetheless…

For more on the police and their approach to policing I only need to draw on Ian Tomlinson’s death and the recent phone hacking scandal.

Institutional racism “we should have seen it coming"- the figures: “In 1981 we could look at the disenfranchisement and despair among large sections of London youth. In education there was a 20 point-gap in achievement between Black and White youth. In Haringey schools this year that gap had increased to one of 35 points.
In 1981 we could highlight the levels of youth unemployment - which reached as high as 45%. Currently 20% of White young people are unemployed, 40% of Pakistani youth and half of all Black youth.”—-a-tragedy-we-should-have-seen-coming.html

Internationally, from Iran, an interesting twist to the story on this news site: “Iran has called on the British police to exercise restraint against people”

This is followed up here: "Iran is ready to send paramilitary volunteers to Britain to help “establish security and stability" in the wake of widespread rioting, Iranian media reported on Friday."

Considering the threat of far-right vigilante groups on a nationalist, moral crusade, an article about how ‘Muslims’ become ‘Asian’ when they become victims rather than terrorists (another example of institutional racism within mainstream british press):
“”When accused of terrorism we are Muslims, when killed by looters, we become Asian”, a Muslim student explained to me. He was commenting on the media reportingof the death of three young Muslims in Birmingham on Tuesday night.”

From Homocult’s ‘Queer with Class’

5th Aug. 2011