Radical media, politics and culture.

"Under Fire " From South Africa's <i>Critical Arts</i>

"Under Fire"

Critical Arts:
A Journal of South-North
Cultural and Media Studies

The post-millennium world has seen a rapid escalation of violent conflicts in the Middle East, West, Central and some areas of Southern Africa, and ongoing civil wars and human rights abuses in a variety of other regions across the world.

In keeping with its interpretation of cultural studies as a form
of praxis, of experience, and of strategic intervention, in which
individuals find themselves caught up in broader process over
which they may have little or no control, Critical Arts has
instituted a new Section, "Under Fire". The aim of this section
is to invite short theorised autobiographies and dramatic
narratives of what it is like living under fire, of the relevance
of cultural studies in such circumstances, and how it could be
deployed to challenge such conditions. (Length: anything up to
2000 words.) How does one explain the contradictions, the
opposing ir/rationalities, the fracturing of logics which so
brutally feed political solidarities at any cost?

This Call emanated from a number of unsolicited submissions we have been receiving from colleagues in Palestine and Zimbabwe, letters from friends in Israel, and marginalised groups in South Africa, amongst others. The exigencies of being under fire make it hard to find the discursive space in which participants can catch enough breath to speak the truths of their own participation. When does a culture of resistance lose focus,
becoming a culture of violence as an end in itself? At what
point can one recognize when legitimate defence against violence has suddenly become indistinguishable from the Warsaw Ghetto? How can we turn war-talk into justice-talk, without provoking war-mongers to renewed efforts? In a world with a global view of even the most local eruption of violence, how can those under fire on opposite sides of the street, the valley, the river, the and dune find enough space to escape the solidarities of occupation, of resistance, and develop a language of restitution, restoration, Reformation, in the face of corporate and state reaction?

"Under Fire" hopes to become such a space, and we do not expect to define what will make submissions acceptable or not. The object is for those who have had enough, to speak in the ways they believe those across the camp or the river might attend to them. We'll consider these submissions as and when they are received, and where appropriate publish them in successive issues of the journal. Where necessary we will moderate inputs, but will avoid managing them.

E-mail your narratives to:

Keyan Tomaselli



Critical Arts

A Journal of South-North Cultural and Media Studies

c/o Graduate Programme in Cultiral and Media Studies

University of Natal, Durban 4041, South Africa

Fax: + 27-31-260-1519

Web site: Critical Arts