Washed away by matialonsor

“…all of the credit is due to Allah. Only the mistakes have been mine.”

yutopiatropiko: Московская элегия / moscow elegy (alexandr sokurov, 1988)

Edward Said called him “the shrewdest and most original anti-imperialist analyst of Asia and Africa.” Born in Bihar in the early 1930s, Eqbal Ahmad lived a life that criss-crossed the globe; he was a journalist, an activist, and in the words of Noam Chomsky, a “counsellor and teacher.” He arrived in the U.S. in the ’50s as a fellow at Occidental College, later earning a Ph.D. at Princeton. Throughout his life, Ahmad was at the center of key moments in anti-imperialist history. As a young man, he traveled to Algeria, joining the FLN (National Liberation Front) with Frantz Fanon. He was also arrested in France and established a cultural centre in Tunis.

In the ’60s, Ahmad became a powerful voice in opposition to the Vietnam War and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Ahmad, alongside several anti-war Catholic activists, was arrested on charges of conspiracy to kidnap U.S. National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, a case that ended in a mistrial in 1971. Ahmad would go on to hold several teaching positions in the U.S. at the University of Illinois-Chicago, Cornell, and Hampshire College. When asked by the journalist David Barsamian on what he tells his students, Ahmad responded: “I don’t tell them anything. I think that my life and my teachings all point to two morals: think critically and take risks.”



Stuart Hall on the 2013 reprinting of Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State and Law & Order, among many other topics—the political edge of critical thinking; questions of race (in higher education, in cultural studies, in the British social formation); the changing, long, and sometimes boring cultural studies project; conjunctural analysis; Gramscian ideas; the move from the welfare state to neoliberalism; the surprise of Thatcherism; and being right.

Worth the twenty minutes.


Wandering love, I come back
with this heart both fresh and wearied,
belonging to water and sand,
to the dry spaces of the foreshore,
to the white war of the foam.

from Here, There, Everywhere, Pablo Neruda

Articulating the past historically does not mean recognizing it ‘the way it really was.’ It means appropriating a memory as it flashes up in a moment of danger. Historical materialism wishes to hold fast the image of the past which unexpectedly appears to the historical subject in a moment of danger. The danger threatens both the content of the tradition and those who inherit it. For both, it is one and the same thing: the danger of becoming a tool of the ruling classes. Every age must strive anew to wrest tradition away from the conformism that is working to overpower it. The Messiah comes not only as a redeemer; he comes as the victor over the Antichrist. The only historian capable of fanning the spark of hope in the past is the one who is firmly convinced that even the dead will not be safe from the enemy if he is victorious. And this enemy has never ceased to be victorious.

Walter Benjamin, “On the Concept of History” (1940), trans. Harry Zohn, in Selected Writings, vol. 4, eds. Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003), 391. (via erkjhnsn)

I have love and admiration for Hazrat Isa (alaihis salaam); I wish we knew more about him.

flwrbmb: Do Women have to be Naked to get into the Met. Museum? Guerilla Girls. 1989, 2005, 2012.