Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Lecture by Prof. Gyanendra Pandey 2015 – Politics of Indifference

What is the meaning of politics and democracy at any time?  I think that these are questions that need to be asked. It is not self evident but they are being treated today as though we already know what we are talking about ... a shift from the level of policies good bad, indifferent to the question of power and privilege in our societies. I suspect it would lead us very quickly to recognise a really quite new ethos that surrounds our political and governmental discourses in the late 20th and early 21st centuries ... a politics of indifference … I suggest first that there is a politics that you can see in the politics of callousness and you can see in  bureaucratic obstacles presented all of the time, procrastination, process that will take forever sometimes. An indifference that might be called apathy, disinterest, callousness … I suggest to you that much modern governmental and political practice is marked by that. We know this perfectly well its just something we ought to remind ourselves its something that we need to mark … My second concern is with indifference to difference to the very condition of plurality of different ways of being of different ways of thinking, of different views of different practices of life.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Jute Mill Song

This song is probably one of the most famous & lovely folk songs ever out of Dundee (already represented here in some very beautiful & interesting versions on youtube !)  (as far as I know though, this particular version of the song has not been posted until now) I think this  rendition by Lowland Folk which I took off my precious vinyl record 'Coorse & Fine',is certainly one of the best recordings ever of this song and deserves to be accesible to the audience which youtube provides. Most people would know that the famous words were written by that remarkable Dundonian woman, Mary Brooksbank who had a complete knowledge of what she was talking about as she herself spent her earliest working days (from age 13) slaving in the mill. In putting together the visual images for this I couldn't help noticing how the photos  I found  bore witness to Mary's poignant lyrics about the social conditions in those days. For example, one of the explanatory captions on the photo of the two wee bairns on a Dundee street, mentioned that one of them already had  bow legs due to rickets...

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Horses Sing None of It – Peggy Seeger

Legendary feminist songwriter, folksinger, multi-instrumentalist & sister of Pete & Mike; 45 years of concerts, 20 solo & over 100 joint recordings

Smithsonian – Listening to the Earth Breathe

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Paul Robeson to Woolmet Colliery near Edinburgh 1949

Extract from Mining Review 2nd Year No. 11 (1949)

The highlight of this 1949 issue is the visit of American actor and singer Paul Robeson to Woolmet Colliery near Edinburgh. Robeson was also a renowned (and often persecuted) left-wing political activist and he made several visits to British mining communities. On this occasion he sings "I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night" for miners in the canteen, a song about an American trade unionist who was allegedly framed on a murder charge and executed in 1915. Robeson had long been something of a hero to the British mining community, ever since he starred in the film Proud Valley (d. Pen Tennyson, 1940) as an American sailor stranded in Cardiff who finds work in a Welsh colliery (the newsreel opens with a short clip from the film).