US folksinger deemed threat to national security

Under the US Freedom of Information Act, a massive file on folksinger Pete Seeger has been released to the Mother Jones news website. It documents that the FBI spied on the composer of such classic songs as ‘Where Have All the Flowers Gone?’ for over two decades. The campaigning musician first caught the attention of … Continue reading

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Ahora Almodóvar: Spanish filmaker calls for radical political change

Filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar is among the 120 leading cultural figures who have signed an open letter calling for political change in Spain. Praising the 15-M movement that saw thousands of people from the grassroots occupying the main squares of Spanish cities in 2011, the signatories have called attention to the electory victories of Ahora Madrid… Continue reading

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Prince and Peace

After weeks of protests and unrest after the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray in police custody, thousands turned out to hear Prince at his Rally 4 Peace concert. Envisaged by the organizers as a ‘catalyst for pause and reflection’, the concert was replete with political statements as well as songs. Prince called for members of… Continue reading

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Celebrity Politics and Nuclear Weapons

This week brings another example of prominent figures from the world of entertainment using their power of visibility to influence political outcomes. In an open letter published in the UK’s Observer newspaper, Mercury prizewinning band Young Fathers, Massive Attack and comedian Frankie Boyle are among those who have expressed concern that both main parties have… Continue reading

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Game of Thrones and the Revolution

Every now and then, a film or television series comes along that sparks a slew of papers  and intensive discussion at academic conferences because of what it says about politics and our own world. Game of Thrones is one such cultural phenomenon. Writing in The Guardian recently, journalist Paul Mason – who has famously referred… Continue reading

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