Why capitalism wants us to stay single

Ewan Morrison: what I’m thinking about … why capitalism wants us to stay single

‘Now that the market is cashing in on the buying power of single people, the radical choice is to get married’

Photograph: Alamy
We like to think we’re free in the free market; that we’re beyond the forces of advertising and social manipulation by market forces. But there is a new social trend – the rise of ‘the single person’ as model consumer – that presents us with a paradox. What we one though of as radical – staying single – may now be reactionary.
The long-term relationship, like the job-for-life, is fast being deregulated into short term, temporary arrangements with no promise of commitment, as sociologist Zygmunt Bauman has been warning us for over a decade. It’s hard for two people to be self-employed, with no promise of a stable future, together. Capitalism now wants us to be single. Continue reading “Why capitalism wants us to stay single”

Images of Change

Shahidul Alam: Images of Change

By Peggy Roalf   Monday July 9, 2012
Journalism in this age of conflict continues to be biased towards a western and white point of view when, in fact, most of the current conflicts and unrest occur in regions that are non-western and non-white. Even the terminology for these places has evolved along lines that have little to do with realities.
For example, Mao Zedong?s term ?the Third World,? coined when he proclaimed the Peoples? Republic of China in 1949, but later viewed by journalists and policy makers as somewhat restrictive, became ?Less Developed Countries,? or LDCs. It was subsequently modified to the more exclusive ?Less Economically Developed Countries,? or LEDCs, to signify the most impoverished. When it comes to the people who live in these countries, however, the terms are irrelevant except to organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank, whose work requires monetizing the circumstances of poverty.
It seems that the imbalance, at least in terminology, has a chance to be reset with the emergence of the Majority World Photo Agency in London. It was founded in 2010 by the Bangladeshi photographer, journalist, and writer Shahidul Alam, who long ago began advocating for the term ?majority world? to replace LDC; in his words, “it defines the community in terms of what it is, rather than what it lacks.” Continue reading “Images of Change”

The Majority World Photo Agency and The Guardian partner for Insider, Outsider? in London

Photo Show ? The Majority World Photo Agency and The Guardian partner for Insider, Outsider? in?London

Insider, Outsider? Photography that challenges perceptions of the developing world?runs until 22 July at the Guardian Gallery in London. It isMajority World?s first UK exhibition featuring 17 emerging photographers from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

Photos above ? Shadi Ghadirian and below ? Farzana Hossen
?Whilst ?insiders? locally, many photographers from the developing world are ?outsiders? on the global image market, remaining under represented as storytellers about their own countries.
?Local photographers have an insider perspective that is unique, reflecting on and revealing previously untold stories around them ? critical, thoughtful and intimate stories close to home. Their privileged access enables them to develop an intimate understanding of their subjects and theme.? Press release.
It?s also interesting to see that staged work by Shadi Ghadirian (image above with yellow rubber glove) is included in this show as her work will also be included in the upcoming show?Light From the Middle East?at the V&A, see previous?Hotshoe Blog post.?This raises the question of the types of work on show and I?m wondering whether Ghadirian?s work is the only work that is staged in this show, rather than coming from a documentary tradition.
Majority World Photo Agency?supports these photographers by making their work visible, and by enabling them to earn money by selling globally. In so doing, it also contributes to a greater diversity of voices and viewpoints describing the developing world. The chairman is photographer, writer and human rights activist?Shahidul Alam.
See over for a list of all the photographers included and a couple more images?

? Andr?s Lofiego, El Ojo a Cuerda

Featuring images taken by:
A. M. Ahad, Bangladesh
Aaron Sosa, Panama/Venezuela
Adolphus Opara, Nigeria
Andr?s Lofiego, Argentina
Andrew Esiebo, Nigeria
Daniel Pati?o Flor, Ecuador
Dominic Sansoni, Sri Lanka
Fabrice Monteiro, Benin
Farzana Hossen, Bangladesh
Kishor Sharma, Nepal
M?rio Macilau, Mozambique
M. Anisul Hoque, Bangladesh
Neo Ntsoma, South Africa
Samar Hazboun, Palestine
Shadi Ghadirian, Iran
Shankar Sarkar, India
Tammy David, Philippines

? Shahidul Alam,

Majority World Photo Agency is ?an innovative social enterprise that works with talented photographers from the developing world. We specialise in high quality imagery that provides unique insights into local cultures, development issues, environments and contemporary lifestyles in these diverse continents. We also work with clients to commission assignments with our experienced photographers who understand the language, the culture, and the locality because it is their own?. From the press release.

Insider, Outsider?

Photography that challenges perceptions of the developing world

‘Insider, Outsider?? is Majority World?s first UK exhibition?featuring 17 photographers from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East sharing critical, thoughtful and intimate stories close to home.The exhibition is open for 3 weeks from July 3-22. E invite to show (please RSVP).

What makes a photographer different??Camera manufactures would have us believe?it is their latest model, perhaps a fancy lens.?Others will cite prestigious awards, or?acceptance in galleries. A grandmother in a?village in Bangladesh, a teenage rapper in?South Africa or a tin miner in Bolivia will?differ. These accolades will have little?meaning to them. Surprisingly, not even the?photographer?s nationality, or the colour of?her skin, or the language she speaks will?greatly affect their judgment, though all of?these will matter. Continue reading “Insider, Outsider?”

Frank Miller and the rise of cryptofascist Hollywood

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300 film still and writer frank miller

‘A mindless, propagandistic storytelling medium’ ? The film 300, left, and its writer Frank Miller. Photographs: Allstar/AP
A sturdy corollary emerges in the wake of?the graphic artist?Frank Miller‘s recent diatribe against the?Occupy Wall Street movement (“A pack of louts, thieves, and rapists ? Wake up, pond scum, America is?at war against a ruthless enemy”), available for perusal atfrankmillerink.com). That corollary, of which we should be reminded from time to time, is this: popular entertainment from Hollywood is ? to greater or lesser extent ? propaganda. And Miller has his part in that, thanks to films such as?300 and?Sin City.
Perhaps you have had this thought before. Perhaps you have had it often. I can remember politics dawning on me while watching a?Steven Seagal vehicle, Under Siege, in 1992. I was in my early 30s.?The film was without redeeming merit ? there’s no other way to put it ? and it was about a “ruthless enemy” and the reimposition of the American social order through violence and rugged individualism. Why had I paid hard-earned money for it? Good question. Before Under Siege, I had a tendency to think action films were?funny. I had a sort of Brechtian relationship to their awfulness. And I was?amused when films themselves recognised the level to which they stooped, as Under Siege assuredly did. Continue reading “Frank Miller and the rise of cryptofascist Hollywood”