Against the great defeat of the world

Against the great defeat of the world


Written by: IRR News Team

John Berger, internationally recognised as one of the most influential writers of the last fifty years, is appearing in London next week to give a rare and exclusive reading from his new novel: From A to X.

The event, hosted by Race & Class, is taking place on Thursday 4 October at the New Theatre, London School of Economics. Berger will read extracts from his new fiction, which consists of love letters by a woman to a political prisoner serving a life sentence. The reading will be followed by open discussion, to be chaired by A. Sivanandan, political activist, writer, founding editor of Race & Class, and the director of the Institute of Race Relations. Berger hopes the event will move people to talk about a number of issues, including migration, globalisation, frontiers, terrorism, asymmetrical war, resistance and storytelling.

Berger has been a reader, supporter and occasional contributor to Race and Class for over thirty years. The journal is the foremost English language title on racism and imperialism in the world today, and one of few journals to appeal to both academics and politically aware publics alike. Recent contributions by Berger have covered issues on Palestine and globalisation. Other recent topics in the journal include analysis of the revolutionary movements in Bolivia and Venezuela, the forced marriage debate in Britain, and the plight of prisoners during Hurricane Katrina.

Speaking on his involvement with the event, Berger commented ‘The Journal represents what I most respect in Britain, in terms of openness and resistance. Race and Class, in what it testifies to and argues for, is exemplary in its resistance to the old and new forms of barbarism. Quoting myself from my last book, “when people are honest with themselves, they gain the advantage of surprise, an incomparable tactical advantage in any insurrection. It’s the lies that we will tell ourselves that make us repetitive!” Race and Class obstinately challenges this.’

‘. . . we’re going to take up again the struggle/ again we’re going to begin/ again we’re going to begin all of us/ against the great defeat of the world.’

Juan Gelman

No more tickets are available for this event.

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Notes: John Berger is a novelist, painter, writer, story-teller, poet and essayist. His works have been translated in many languages. His book, Hold Everything Dear: Dispatches on Survival and Resistance has just been published by Verso. A. Sivanandan is a political activist, writer, founding editor of Race & Class and the Director of the Institute of Race Relations. His novel When Memory Dies is reissued this month, published by Arcadia Books.

The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

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