The current pandemic is coming to redefine our lives in so many ways, both real and symbolic. It has already changed the way we travel, the way we work, the way we live. And it will continue to have far-reaching effects on all of us for the foreseeable future. In the face of the current re-organization of public and private life on an unprecedented scale, ephemera’s editorial collective has made the decision to cancel one issue and postpone forthcoming issues by three months.
Deep inequality is a well-known characteristic of Latin American nations, founded under European conquest in modern times. The ‘New World’ created extremely hierarchical and violent societies, established through domination and enslavement of both native population and foreigners kidnaped from Africa (Galeano, 2012). Social conflict and the desire for change is an essential part of the continent’s relatively recent history.
Towards the end of this intriguing book (157), David Bell tells us how he fell in love with free jazz, of the improvised and generally impenetrable kind, when he was 17. It took him a while, but when he got it, it was music that opened up onto a world in which form was always being made at every moment, and the players slid and bopped off each other, making something new each time that they played. The musicians augmented each other’s capacities and creativities when they played attentively and sympathetically together.
When sociologist Adam Arvidsson writes about marketing and consumption we should pay attention. His 2005 essay ‘Brands: A critical perspective’ and his 2006 book Brands: Meaning and value in media culture have become seminal pieces in the field I call the critical cultural studies of marketing, which includes scholars from a wide range of academic disciplines such as critical management studies, sociology, history, marketing, media and cultural studies (see e.g. Zwick and Cayla, 2011).
Holding on to alternatives, i.e. always being on the look-out for the other, and by implication another, is rooted in hope and faith. When the hope for something else and better perishes, the alternative dies with it. Far from being (merely) the position of the assumed naïve and energetic teenager engaged in the adolescent’s revolution and emancipation from the parent generation, the search and production of alternative questions and problems is the stance of the believer. However, belief is necessarily accompanied by doubt. Without doubt belief turns into conviction and blindness.