Lack of Diversity in Policy and Media has Consequences

Transcribed from This is Hell! Radio’s 12 April 2014 episode and printed with permission. Listen to the full interview here.

Argun, Chechnya, 2002. International Women’s Day. 12 Chechen women showing portraits of their missing male relatives. Source: Thomas Dworzak via Fotojournalismus (Tumblr)

Argun, Chechnya, 2002. International Women’s Day. 12 Chechen women showing portraits of their missing male relatives. Source: Thomas Dworzak via Fotojournalismus (Tumblr)

“The mistake people make is to say that there’s violence in Chechnya because Chechens are violent. Politics is what motivates ethnic conflict. Ethnic conflicts don’t happen because a particular ethnicity is inclined to violence.”

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Bosnian Basics

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Transcribed from This is Hell! Radio’s 22 March 2014 episode and printed with permission. Listen to the full interview here.

“It’s misleading for the international community to say the citizens of Bosnia need to take ownership of their own issues, but then when they take that phrase literally, say, ‘oh, that’s not what we had in mind.’”

Chuck Mertz: We are speaking with Edin Hajdarpašić. He teaches history at Loyola University in Chicago; he is the author of the forthcoming book entitled Whose is Bosnia? Political Imagination and Nation Formation in the Modern Balkans, and wrote an Al Jazeera article recently on what’s going on in Bosnia right now.

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New World Water

AntiNote: The following is an extended excerpt of a radio interview, edited for readability.

On 5 April 2014 Chuck Mertz of This is Hell! Radio (Chicago) interviewed author and activist Maude Barlow about developments and challenges in the ongoing struggles around the accelerating but widely ignored water crisis.

Her observations about the ‘extreme energy’ frenzy in North America, mobilizations against it, and the need for a focus on water rights within this issue immediately caught our attention when the interview first aired; printing them has been on our back burner for a while. But the news out of Detroit this week heightened our sense of urgency.

Let the record reflect that Barlow’s remarks about Detroit’s coming water cutoffs came almost three months ago. We can only hope that the predictions she shared regarding the complete depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer within our lifetimes prove less accurate. Well, hope is one thing. We could also fight.

“These struggles are coming to communities near you, and the more fracking and extreme energy threaten our water sources, the more we need to band together.”

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Unschooling, the Sixties, and Today’s Left

Transcribed from This is Hell! Radio‘s 3 June 2006 episode and printed with permission.  Listen to the full interview, replayed in March 2014 (due in equal part to Astra Taylor’s prescient statements and her recent reappearance into sociopolitical discourse; more on that soon), here.

1999 is between 1969 and 2006, numerically speaking

1999 is between 1969 and 2006, numerically speaking

“I’m fascinated by the way the Right has appropriated the methods of the 1960s Left.”

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Reading ‘World Systems Analysis’ in Tehran

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Transcribed from This is Hell! Radio‘s 22 March 2014 episode and printed with permission.  Listen to the full interview here.

Image source: Culture Bites blog

Image source: Culture Bites blog


“Immanuel Wallerstein resonates in Iran because he not only combines all the great intellectual traditions of European and American social science, but he uses them to challenge the status quo.”

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An Assault on the Mind

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AntiNote: The following is an extended excerpt of a radio interview, edited for readability.

On 8 March 2014,  Chuck Mertz of This is Hell! Radio (Chicago) talked to educator and author Henry Giroux about neoliberalism’s role in the gradual perversion of public and higher education as well as of the dominant media culture.

“I don’t think we need to educate people to simply abide by the rules.  We know where that goes.”

For the first time since embarking on this project of providing print versions of podcast interviews—something we view as filling two crucial needs of a still inchoate alternative media landscape: putting collaboration before competition (for we will not overcome dominant media culture by imitating it), and amplifying voices nearly unheard outside of a niche but revolutionary format—we have received specific transcription requests for this interview.

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1989: Not the ‘End of History’ in Venezuela Either

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AntiNote: The following is an extended excerpt of a radio interview, edited for readability.

On 8 March 2014,  Chuck Mertz of This is Hell! Radio (Chicago) talked to educator and author George Ciccariello-Maher about the current dynamics in Venezuela. 

Protest movements and struggles waged by dissidents against state prerogatives, wherever they happen, are always more complex than we are typically given to understand.  But the ongoing cases of Ukraine and Venezuela seem to have reached, for a great many, new heights of incomprehensibility.  Roles appear to be reversed, with reactionary forces engaging in tactics we are used to associating with revolutionary movements.  Questions of legitimacy, authority, democracy, and violence nag at all participants.  The temptation is strong to zoom out, chalk everything up to global realpolitik, and simply declare everyone a bastard. Continue Reading