A Photo Essay: "Ghostly Communism—Provocative Documents for Thought" written for "Culture Matters"

Children playing in Cambridge
In recent weeks a new website has gone live called Culture Matters which is concerned to explore the links between art, culture and politics and I was very pleased to be asked to contribute a photo essay to it entitled: 

Ghostly Communism—Provocative Documents for Thought

It is, as you will see, a reworking of my essay called simply Ghostly Communism that appears on this, my own, blog.

I think the whole Culture Matters project is a good one and, to encourage you to take a spin over to their site here is an extract from their "About" page:

Culture matters. The arts can help develop us and liberate us. They please the senses, stimulate the mind, arouse our emotions, and inspire us. Culture includes most if not all of our thinking and activities, including sport, religion, science and technology, eating and drinking etc. Considered politically, all these cultural activities are sites of domination and acceptance, struggle and resistance, envisioning and transformation.

Let’s work out how this happens, and join in the cultural struggle for liberation.

Culture matters. The arts and culture are linked to politics in many ways. A capitalist market economy creates enormous potential and possibilities for creation, criticism and communication. But at the same time, the drive for profit and the associated ideological drive to dominate ways of thinking and feeling, constrain the free creation and consumption of art and culture.

Let’s work out how this happens, and change it.

Culture matters. The arts and culture can resist, oppose and overcome constraint, alienation and oppression. They can promote awareness, arouse indignation, and envision alternatives. Blake’s ‘mental fight’ against the appalling social and political consequences of early capitalism is the same as our cultural struggle now, linked to our economic and political struggle against late capitalism.

Let’s learn how to resist and oppose dominant meanings, and create new ones.

Culture Matters. Let’s be creative, and imaginative, and help build a more democratic, equal, and socialist society, a ‘new Jerusalem’, in the green and pleasant land not only of England and not only of Britain, but of the world.
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