Saturday, February 21, 2015

More Podemos, more gentrification



A bit slow on the update here - remember there's more regular updates on my Tumblr and Twitter.

So, Podemos are about nine months away from changing everything. In October I went to Madrid for Newsweek to cover the Podemos founding conference, a mass-participation "citizens' assembly" in the Palacio Vistalegre (above, before the citizens arrived). The sense of destiny was palpable - that they would overturn la casta, the 'regime of 78', was deemed both necessary and inevitable. I began my dispatch:
To celebrate his 36th birthday last weekend, Pablo Iglesias declared war on the Spanish establishment. “Heaven is not taken by consensus,” the de facto leader of Podemos declaimed to a raucous reception in Madrid’s Palacio Vistalegre bullring, “it is taken by assault”.
One week later, they were leading in the polls for the first time.

I've since written this for The Guardian, a piece on how the late philosopher Ernesto Laclau paved the way for a new left-wing populism, rescuing it from is many detractors, like, er, the people writing The Guardian leader.

Some more pieces on gentrification:

A long piece on a series of painfully bad, painfully revealing property developer videos for VICE. ~Urban villages, bursting with creatives~ - that kind of thing.
* Also for VICE, I spent some time with the wonderful charity Z2K who are helping London's forgotten victims of gentrification: the homeless 'poverty exiles' who are pushed further and further out when the developers and artisan bakeries move in.
My cover story for the Review supplement of The National about how the super-rich will be the death of democracy in the cities of the future.

Some other bits:

* A column on why Adam Curtis wears the emperor's new clothes for openDemocracy.
A review of Disobedient Objects at the V&A for The National.
A review of a compilation of the music of the quilombos for The National - Brazil's escaped slave communities.
* A review of some golden-age Khmer pop music for The National.
A travel piece on Sicily's literary heritage for The National.
* A review of Conflict.Time.Photography at the Tate Modern for The National.

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