THE NORWICH RADICAL IN 2018

by Alex Valente

This past year has seen a global increase in horrible news stories. From the victory of the extreme right-wing in Brazil with Bolsonaro, to Italy’s rising black wave of fascism, to Russia and Turkey competing in totalitarian games, to the US and UK’s attempts to dehumanise the trans* community and migrants (no, there is no crisis), and the constant influx of horror that are the Trump administration and the Brexit shambles, we’re at a dangerous, terrifying, angering moment in history – and most mainstream media is complicit or silent.

I started one of our monthly emails in a very similar vein, back in October, and I’m sad to notice that not that much has changed since.

Here at the Norwich Radical, however, we have tried to counter those narratives, through a variety of external contributions and new regular writers, including on the editorial team; we’ve been discussing the status of the publication and how to move forwards based on the feedback gathered and debate held at War of Words 2018; we’ve been, and still are, planning the fourth progressive media conference War of Words 2019 (here the Facebook event); we’ve organised a live music and readings night in Norwich, to help us with covering the funds of the event too – find us at Gringos on 18th January!

war of words lprogressive media event

We have also attempted to make sure that environmental issues, be they protests, activism, consequence or crises, are covered and reported on globally; as new movements such as Extinction Rebellion appear, the pressure to change how we act and to affect change upon companies – rather than individuals – has increased.

What I’ve collated below is a list of the top ten articles that you, our readers, most looked for and looked at in the past 12 months on The Norwich Radical. Some date back to 2016 and 2017, most are from 2018 proper, and there is a significant – and welcome – increase on the situations faced by the GRT community in the UK and across Europe.

We’re reported on the failings and successes of student papers, of the skewed powers and platforms of the local press and mainstream media; we’ve covered the local and national arts scenes through previews, reviews, interviews – be it books, films, theatre or music.

‘New year, new life’ says a topical adage from Italy, my home country and current residence. Stepping into 2019, I come to acknowledge how there is still so much – so dauntingly, overwhelmingly much – to do. We as The Norwich Radical, and as individuals, are working towards changing the tide, and making the most of the life of this publication and our own as people. Will you join us?

 

TOP 10 ARTICLES IN 2018

#10 AN OPEN LETTER TO VICE CHANCELLOR DAVID RICHARDSON AND THE UEA EXECUTIVE

We chose to come to UEA in large part due to the fantastic staff we have on campus, many of whom are young academics at the start of their careers pioneering important and valuable research. The current proposals to change their pensions and reduce their retirement income by £10,000 a year on average are dangerous.

#9 BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER: A REPRESSED SUPERPOWER, PART I

Bolstered by my experience working with some excellent therapists, and continued exploration of the state through my MA studies and beyond as an inquisitive journalist, I will now extensively list some commonly experienced signifiers of Borderline Personality Disorder, but this time presenting the alternative lens of minutiae and admirable qualities alongside the common judgements and traditional shallower readings.

#8 IMMIGRATION: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

Perhaps we can resolve the conflict in a way that allows us to stay true to both but, if we truly wish to tackle the morass of issues that underpin the immigration problem, we need to start by uttering the words themselves. I do not know where to go from there, but what I do know is that we’re going precisely nowhere if we continue to treat problem as if it exists solely on the economic plane.

#7 THE DOUBLE DECEPTION OF THE UEA EXPENSES SCANDAL

They should be calling for lecturers undervalued by their institutions to be given a fairer deal, instead of suffering on low pay while the fat cat executives take the largest slice of the pie and then pour a bucket load of cream on top in the form of these outlandish expenses. We cannot continue to put up with being deceived about what our money is being spent on

#6 SORRY ANDREW SELOUS MP, BUT GYPSIES & TRAVELLERS WILL NOT BE ASSIMILATED

Sorry Andrew Selous MP, but we will not accept your draconian, assimilatory Traveller laws proposed under the disguise of humane judicial reform. We will not be taken in by your supposed wisdom derived from a conservative slice of Bedfordshire, at the complete disregard for repeated calls from civil society for more sites, and more engagement in negotiated stopping.

 


#5 THE CALL FOR MEASURED DEBATE ON GRA IS DISINGENUOUS

The ‘concerns for women’ crowds have stated they are being ‘silenced’ by trans people, but have taken out massive billboards, £40k ads in national newspapers, and sent endless letters to online news sources. As well as this, the newspapers are flooded with anti-trans articles every week. It is certainly a clever tactic to claim that one is being silenced whilst also having all the media power. It is also disingenuous.

#4 A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO ANTIGYPSYISM

Unfortunately, there is a lot more to it than a few nasty words and some garishly tacky costumes. In order to fight this phenomenon in our society, you need to understand how deep the rabbit hole really goes.

#3 SEXY FILTHY GYPSIES

In popular perception and in film and literary clichés, there are two overriding stereotypes of ‘the Gypsy’ which are utilised often simultaneously and in various modes. These being: the dirty scoundrel, and the romantic free spirit.

#2 DECOLONISE WALES: I

The Welsh language, even today, seems to irrationally infuriate the Anglo-Imperial mind. It’s close geographical proximity, yet irritatingly alien sound is an assiduous affront to all that is English. The oldest language of this island, its very existence is exasperating, and the most condescending attitudes towards it can be traced back to the Victorians.

#1 AN OPEN LETTER TO STEVE DOWNES, EDP

And I am fucking proud that I live in a city where people come out and show up to provide the care and support they do. I am fucking proud that I live in a city where enough people give enough of a shit that there’s hot food available every night of the week. I am fucking proud to live in a city of soft touches, and fuck you if you’re not.

 


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