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The Integration Spectacle

Migration, politics, and multiculturalism in a Finnish suburb

Ville Laakkonen

Migration politics in Finland are centered around “social integration” and “multiculturalism.” While the stated aims of such politics are equality and social mobility, the results are often contradictory, perpetuating the hierarchies and inequalities they propose to overcome. Utilizing Guy Debord’s notion of the “society of the spectacle,” I argue that there is a neoliberal Integration Spectacle that projects the appearance of societal change but is, in reality, an immobilizing force that works to obscure a particular racialized social order. I draw on my fieldwork in and around Varissuo, an international working-class suburb on the edge of Turku, western Finland, to analyze how both migrant residents of the area and the professionals within the so-called integration economy engage with, reproduce, and deal with this discrepancy.

Open access

The Permeable Olympic Fortress

Mega-Event Security as Camouflage in Rio de Janeiro

Dennis Pauschinger

security apparatus that spreads death and destruction in the favelas ( Alves 2018 ; C. Cardoso 2014 ; Nascimento 1989 ; Vargas 2012 ). Conceptually, I develop my argument around the notion of spectacle for both Rio de Janeiro's everyday public security

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Actualising History

Responsibilities with Regard to the Future in Arthur Miller's The Crucible

Aamir Aziz and Frans Willem Korsten


Whereas prior studies have focused on Arthur Miller's play The Crucible in relation to the Puritan past of the United States of America, this article looks at the play's present in relation to a future. If, as is the case, the play is an intervention in its contemporary circumstances, this is obviously with the aim of moving towards a better future. The question then becomes: how does the play deal with the past in the way that the Salem trials (1692) relate, by means of a theatrical intervention, to a future? In the twentieth century the relation of theatre, and of theatricality in general, with the future was paradigmatically explored in the work of Bertolt Brecht. In his view, the role of theatre was to produce a distance, not an unreflexive and emotional involvement in a plot. This distance or alienation was necessary to make people see behind the scenes of the socio-political and economic system, as a result of which they would start to think and become able to act in order to change the course of history. This appears to be an essential strategy as well if we think about the powers of spectacle, as they have been dealt with in previous studies in performance research, and a possible theatrical response to them.

Free access

Giving Aid Inside the Home

Humanitarian House Visits, Performative Refugeehood, and Social Control of Syrians in Jordan

Ann-Christin Wagner

. Conflicting Performances and the Spectacle of Suffering Alleviating the physical, and increasingly also the psychological, suffering of others is at the heart of humanitarianism and sets it apart from related endeavours like “development,” which focuses on

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Mark McKinney and Hervé (Baru) Baruleau

This is the second portion of an interview with Hervé Barulea, or Baru, one of the most accomplished French cartoonists living today, conducted at his home in France on 15 July 2011. The first part of the interview was published in European Comic Art 4.1 (fall 2011), 213-237. Baru talks here about a broad range of important topics, including autobiography, the roles of work and leisure in his comics, boxing (his focus in two comics), the society of the spectacle, representations of women and minorities in comics, the heritage of classic French and Belgian comics (series such as Tintin, Yves-le-Loup ['Ivan-the-Wolf'] and Spirou) and the clear-line drawing style, experimentation by Oubapo, space, his drawing style and techniques for making comics, his current and future projects, his former teaching position in the Ecole des beaux-arts in Nancy, and the relationship of comics to fine art.

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Chaos, Conspiracy, and Spectacle

The Russian War against Chechnya

Jakob Rigi

During the winter of 1995, I spent time with Chechen and Russian activists jointly campaigning against the first Chechen war, which was then in full swing. They demanded the immediate end to the war as they held rallies and handed out leaflets in public squares, factories, and schools. What was striking in the Chechen activists’ analysis was that they considered the war to be one fought by bandits. In their conception, it was a war between the bandits in Moscow and the Chechen bandits, and they depicted both Yeltsin1 and Dudaev2 as godfathers. They argued that they and the Russians belonged to the same Soviet people and that Chechnya should enjoy autonomy within Russia. They said that plunder was the main motive for war on both sides, and that the war had created its own economy from which both sides benefited. Neither the Chechen fighters nor Yeltsin were motivated by concern for the welfare of their constituent publics. In fact, Yeltsin was simply trying to gain political popularity and divert people’s attention from the misery his neoliberal reforms had created in Russia. More striking was the absence of any enthusiasm for the war among the majority of Russians. The chauvinists were a considerable minority, and most Russians opposed the war. They considered the war to be a domestic tragedy that had been triggered by the opportunistic politics of Yeltsin. Journalists, who at that time could still report freely on the events in Chechnya, harshly criticized the incumbent government (Gall and de Waal 1998).

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"La Politique Spectacle"

A Legacy of the French Revolution?

Yann Robert

Matthew S.Buckley, Tragedy Walks the Streets: The French Revolution in the Making of Modern Drama (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006).

Paul Friedland, Political Actors: Representative Bodies and Theatricality in the Age of the French Revolution (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2002).

Susan Maslan, Revolutionary Acts: Theater, Democracy, and the French Revolution (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005).

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Monsters and Spectacles

A Lesson to Learn and Remember

Carla Calargé

This essay analyzes a three-volume graphic novel series titled Kia Ora that was published by Vents d'Ouest between 2007 and 2009. The essay is divided in two parts. In the first part, I show how the series' authors retrace the episode of human zoos in the West through a rigorous historical documentation that allows them to examine the mechanisms of 'monstrification' of the colonized subject. The graphic novel series shows how the shaping of a collective and national identity takes place through the exposition/exhibition of the 'abnormality' or (so-called) monstrosity of the Colonized. The second part of the article discusses the series as a contemporary French popular cultural product. It examines questions such as the extent to which Kia Ora explores the (problematic) colonial past of France, how it represents it, and whether it avoids delving in uncomfortable (forgotten) zones.

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Richard Kirkland

Few aspects of Northern Irish political culture are as denuded as those that attempt to locate and understand the terrorist act. From the exasperation of Margaret Thatcher’s outburst at the time of the Hunger Strikes that ‘it is not political, it is a crime’, to the exhausted freedom fighter/terrorist binary opposition recently pressed back into service by Peter Mandelson, terrorism has consistently been perceived as an act that defies the realm of civic discourse. Indeed, it has been the traditional role of language in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist atrocity to present itself as unable to capture the overwhelming materiality of the event itself. What, so the argument runs, can words offer in the face of such violence? Understood as such, every terrorist outrage becomes unspeakable.

Open access

Xandra Miguel-Lorenzo

the colonel, equalising the power of the genders in this context. The cholita walked away from the wrestling ring, concluding the spectacle before her male opponent recovered ‘consciousness’ so he could not retaliate. The spectacle, supposedly