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'Radicals in Conversation' is a monthly podcast from Pluto Press, one of the world’s leading independent, radical publishers.

Pluto Press: Radicals in Conversation Pluto Press

    • Politik

'Radicals in Conversation' is a monthly podcast from Pluto Press, one of the world’s leading independent, radical publishers.

    'Feminism, Interrupted' with Lola Olufemi, Jade Bentil and Gail Lewis

    'Feminism, Interrupted' with Lola Olufemi, Jade Bentil and Gail Lewis

    Celebrating the launch of her new book, Feminism, Interrupted: Disrupting Power, Lola Olufemi guest hosts this month's episode of Radicals in Conversation.
    She is joined on the panel by Jade Bentil, a black feminist historian and PhD researcher at the University of Oxford, and author of the forthcoming book, Rebel Citizen: A History of Black Women Living, Loving and Resisting (2021); and Gail Lewis, a black feminist and former Reader in Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College.
    Their discussion covers a range of subjects treated in the book, including the history of black feminist organising, grassroots activism, liberal feminism, sex work, the nation state and state violence, gender, trans and queer life, intersectionality, and art.
    Podcast listeners can get an exclusive discount on Feminism, Interrupted and other books related to this episode, at plutobooks.com/podcastreading.

    • 1 tim. 2 min
    Labour: Rebuilding After 2019

    Labour: Rebuilding After 2019

    The more radical orientation of the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership attracted many activists back to the party in 2015. Nearly five years later, with 580,000 registered members, it has become the largest political party in Europe.
    Yet in spite of this groundswell of grassroots support, the 2019 General Election handed Labour its worst defeat since 1935. Dogged by accusations of antisemitism, attacked for its drifting position on Brexit, and failing to offer a credible, clearly articulated vision through its manifesto, Labour was unable to build on the successes of 2017. 
    The Party clearly needs to reflect on what went wrong, in order to rebuild. With the Corbyn project arguably at an end, and with the leadership contest underway, the big question is 'what needs to happen next?'
    Joining us to discuss what went wrong in 2019, and what Labour needs to do differently in 2020, are:
    James Meadway, former advisor to Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, and former chief economist at the New Economics Foundation; Sam Philips, a Labour member who has been active in the party since 2016; and Martin Bowman, a Labour and Momentum member, and Labour for a Green New Deal volunteer, who canvassed in London marginals during the 2019 general election, as well as spending two weeks with Labour Legends in Broxtowe.
    There is 50% off on a number of Pluto books relating to this month's episode, exclusively for podcast listeners. Go to plutobooks.com/podcastreading and enter the code PODCAST at the checkout.

    • 51 min
    Unis Resist Border Controls

    Unis Resist Border Controls

    The ‘hostile environment’  - the anti-migrant policy announced by then-Home Secretary Theresa May in 2012 - has extended border policing into universities, healthcare, schools, and other sectors, forcing workers in those sectors to enforce immigration policy.
    Within higher education, international students and staff now face regular passport checks, and an obligation to report their exact whereabouts daily or weekly.
    Unis Resist Border Controls (URBC) is a national campaign made up of British, EU, non-EU, migrant students, lecturers and university workers opposed to Home Office surveillance and border controls on UK campuses.
    Advocating for free movement and free education, in the belief that all migrants matter, and that borders kill knowledge, URBC has been working to resist these increasingly draconian measures.
    We are joined this month by Sanaz Raji and Caoimhe Mader McGuinness, from URBC, to talk about the impact of border controls in higher education.
    For an exclusive discount on some of our books published on this subject, go to: plutobooks.com/podcastreading

    • 48 min
    Exploring the Radical Politics of James Baldwin

    Exploring the Radical Politics of James Baldwin

    James Baldwin left an indelible mark on the face of Western politics and culture. Novels like Go Tell it on a Mountain, Giovanni’s Room and Another Country were groundbreaking when they were first published in the 1950s and '60s, and Baldwin’s work continues to resonate. The 2018 cinematic release of If Beale Street Could Talk, based on Baldwin's novel of the same name, is the latest testament to his enduring relevance and popularity.
    Our final episode of the year features Bill V. Mullen, author of James Baldwin: Living in Fire (Pluto, 2019) in conversation with Megan Maxine Williams, a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies at Purdue University.
    Bill and Megan explore the evolution of Baldwin's radical politics - expressed both on the page, and in his activism as a public intellectual - and consider his renewed relevance in the context of Black Lives Matter and police violence.
    They consider his early advocacy of an 'indigenous' socialism in the US, his role in the civil rights movement, and his appraisal of Malcolm X, the Nation of Islam and the Black Panther Party. Bill and Megan also discuss Baldwin's sexuality and the influence of Black feminists such as Audre Lorde, Nikki Giovanni and Lorraine Hansberry on the development of his gender politics.
    James Baldwin: Living in Fire is available now from plutobooks.com.

    • 38 min
    Rojava and the Kurdish Women's Movement

    Rojava and the Kurdish Women's Movement

    Few political projects in recent years have been a source of greater hope and inspiration than Rojava - the Kurdish region of north-eastern Syria. Inspired by the political philosophy of Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned co-founder of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Rojava embodies a radical ecology, direct democracy and a deep commitment to gender equality.
    Although always threatened by a hostile regional geopolitics, the Kurdish people’s revolutionary social and political experiment finds itself now under renewed bombardment. On 6th October Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of US troops from the region, effectively giving the green light to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to invade, under the auspices of creating a buffer zone in which up to a million Syrian refugees who had fled to Turkey might live. Just a few weeks on and hundreds of Kurds have been killed, and hundreds of thousands forced to leave their homes.
    On 2nd November we spoke to two activists from the Kurdish women’s movement, Dilar Dirik and Elif Sarican, to discuss the situation in Rojava, and what meaningful action is needed in order to safeguard its future.
    For wider reading on the subject, go to plutobooks.com/podcastreading
    Women Defend Rojava campaign: https://womendefendrojava.net/en/

    • 49 min
    Sex Education Transformed

    Sex Education Transformed

    There are few subjects more personal, and more political, than sex. Sex education, as it’s taught in school, has always been a source of controversy, and amongst the pupils subjected to it, a great deal of embarrassment as well. 
    But while national contexts may differ, it is perhaps the inadequacy of sex education that emerges as its most defining trait. It is often heteronormative in its assumptions; overly biological in approach. Many young people emerge from formal sex education knowing how to put a condom on a banana, but without a full understanding of what constitutes consent.
    In March 2017, the UK government ruled that by September 2020, sex and relationship education will be compulsory. But big question marks remain over what it will look like in practice.
    Joining us this month to discuss how both schools and society could benefit from a radical and inclusive approach to sex education, are:
    Natalie Fiennes, author of Behind Closed Doors: Sex Education Transformed, Lydia Hughes, a trade union organiser, and Bryony Walker, a social justice activist involved in the Level Up campaign to change the UK curriculum around consent.

    • 46 min

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