Fei chang yi han or So Sorry (Mandarin, English Subtitles, 55 minutes)
As a sequel to Ai Weiwei’s film Lao Ma Ti Hua, the film “So Sorry” shows the beginnings of the tension between Ai Weiwei and the Chinese Government. In Lao Ma Ti Hua, Ai Weiwei travels to Chengdu, China to attend the trial of the civil rights advocate Tan Zuoren, as a witness.
In So Sorry, you see the investigation led by Ai Weiwei studio to identify the students who died during the Sichuan earthquake as a result of corruption and poor building constructions leading to the confrontation between Ai Weiwei and the Chengdu police.
Tang Shui’en, mainland left-libertarian musician and activist, recounts his path from childhood in 1980s rural Hubei to participation in Wuhan’s pioneering punk scene since the late 1990s, interaction with overseas radicals, and experimentation with independent media and an “autonomous youth center.”
Among the common masses, how many of us are aware of the oppressive forces that push us to society’s margins?
Apart from a small minority, most people – even if at every moment they feel discomfort – are unable to determine the source of this pain. The word “marginal” itself is so abstract that it can only serve as a code of recondite academia and mass media. As the radical Brazilian educator Paulo Freire has shown, the masses are the “object” of development. We do not exist within the active process of naming things, but only within the theories of education and behavior created by our oppressors, which have fostered a “culture of silence” among the people.
by Antidote’s Laurent Moeri“When the battle is over and the martyrs sleep, the cowards emerge from the alleys to tell us of their heroism.” – Graffiti in Homs, Syria
Prelude – Mission Impossible
What follows is an attempt at the impossible: a critical review of the situation in Ukraine, the involvement of Putinʼs Russia, and the international Leftʼs capacity (or lack thereof) to respond to social uprisings without repeating prescribed narratives. It is written on one sole premise: that the victims of an eventual military escalation in Ukraine will predominantly be ethnic minorities such as the muslim Crimean Tatars, marginalized groups such as the Sinti and Roma, and the working class—while bureaucrats in Brussels and the Czar and his clan in Moscow will continue to further their respective interests. To highlight the likelihood of this prediction, a comparison will be made between events in Chechnya and Crimea.
AntiNote: We are pleased to present the first in a limited run of selections from the brief life of the Smiley and West podcast, which has kindly given us the nod to print portions of their work.
One of the last interviews they did was with Princeton professor Jeffrey Stout. A longtime colleague of Cornel West, he shared some ideas from his own work examining the structures of social movements and the dynamics of domination.
His comments about movements’ fundamental duties—to engage in long processes of face-to-face organizing, as well as to develop and adhere to broad visions of the world they are fighting to create (one free of domination)—touch on topics of major concern to the AntiDote Writers Collective.