or “in search of the Holy Grail”

Image source: Daily Bruin

“… And as she entered, on their tail,

And bearing in her hands the grail,

So great a brightness shone around…”

The following lines, written by de Troyes (2019, lines 3206–3208), allude to Perceval’s search for the Grail, a mystical object miraculously capable of providing unbounded felicity. Future generations began interpreting this Arthurian myth as a quest for an unachievable ideal, through which the sacred verity of its impossibility dawns along the horizon of enlightenment. Despite this fable’s literary domain, can its moral still be applied in the realm of politics?

The continuous…


“Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past” (1984, p. 40).

Image credit: Aisen Romanov

It can be argued that Orwellian narrative appears multifaceted, projecting a general critique towards the communist ideals through the hyperbolised prism of a dormant future. However, the concept of the omnipresent systemic control embodies one of the most prominent societal threats of today. Despite the technological advances which led to the greater socio-economic interconnectivity, society became operated by the incarnation of the Big Brother in the form of the media. …


orJanus of Modernity”

Photo credit: Brett Carlsen / Getty

Introduction

“Two-faced Janus, god of Time!

Be my Phoebus while I rhyme”

(Swift, 1726)

The following lines incorporate the allusion to the God of Janus, who in Rome mythology represented a gatekeeper between life and death. Throughout time, the notion of Janus became embedded within linguistics as a metaphor of duality — the incessant struggle between antonymous concepts amongst different institutions. Particularly, if the aperture of politics is widened by applying the Janus myth, the duality between globalisation and populism can be observed, with the ‘populist face’ of contemporaneity condemning the fallacies of the globalizationist past.

According…


or “The Titanomachy of Paradigms”

Image credit: PBS NewsHour

“So they, with bitter wrath, were fighting continually with one another… for ten full years.”

The following lines, introduced by Hesiod (700 BC, line 617) in his epic “Theogony”, allude to the Titanomachy, in other words, ‘Titan War’ between old and new gods. The future generations started interpreting this myth as a subset of metaphorical doctrines utilised to depict human nature’s metaphysical laws, with the Titanomachy incarnating the inevitability of evolution. Nonetheless, can such a moral be applied in the political sphere, and particularly in the realm of international relations?

One of the prevalent features…


The Taming of the Contagion

Image credit: Christina Baeriswyl

Exposition

“Such duty as the subject owes the prince,

Even such a woman oweth to her husband.”

The following lines were introduced by Shakespeare (2014, p.173) in his comedy “The Taming of the Shrew”. The narrative resembles the socio-economic traditions of the time marked by the inherent sexism and intrinsic absence of gender equality, as the women were seen as ‘subjects’ obedient to a male-dominated society. The protagonist of Katherina falls under the gravity of the cultural conditioning, hence becoming ‘tamed’ through the process of gender identity demolition. Nowadays, the Shakespearean piece falls under the category…


Whiteness provided a “glass floor below which the white citizen could see but never fall”

BLM protester near the White House on May 31, 2020 / Photo credit: Miki Jourdan

Political scientist, Joel Olson, in his article expressed a resonating point of view on the optimal condition for success in the US, as he argued that Whiteness provided a

“glass floor below which the white citizen could see but never fall” (p. 708).

This article was published in 2008, however, Olson’s words agonizingly pulsate in the veins of the current polarized social organism.

It can be argued that Olson’s interpretation of the racial inequality may seem populist, with a clear appeal to the marginalized minorities. Nevertheless, in 2016, the median White family net worth was $171,000, whereas Black family shareholders’…


To what extent does “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” adhere to Marxist genre theory?

Image credit: Sputnik / Science Photo Library

Marxist criticism literature explores the issue of social class and power and the treatment of lower-class people (Lisman, 1988, p.73). Within the novel, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, written in 1962, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn encompasses Marxist genre theory to express his socio-political criticism against the Stalinist era by portraying the social differences within the labour camp with the emphasis on the prisoners’ lives. The novel depicts one day in the life of the GULAG camp prisoner Ivan Denisovich Shukhov accentuating the atrocities of the prisoner’s life, depicting the division of power within a society and the treatment of…


“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” — Oscar Wilde

Courtesy of Neon

If by the very definition, identity is the notion of being self-conscious of your individuality, then why do social constraints frame our opinions of selfhood? Why do we need to be compared on the scale of an optimal ”appropriateness” to embrace our uniqueness?

Did Brandon Cronenberg make a good film?

In general, the work of Brandon Cronenberg epitomizes a visionary revolution. Each frame is verified to the ferula of sublimity, the colours were selected following the palette, and if blood splatters occur — they must be on a white background: fashionable sneakers or a white shirt. If the filmography of Cronenberg Sr. gave birth to its own…


The malevolent herbs of authoritarianism contaminate the soil of humanity.

Image credit: Fernando Llano/AP

“Today, democracy, liberty, and equality are words to fool the people. No nation can progress with such ideas.”

The following lines are proclaimed in the political satire “The Great Dictator” (1942), painting the direct comparison to Hitler’s sadistic dictatorship on the canvas of forgotten morality. Nowadays, the Nazi historical residue is stigmatised as the redundancy and a garish showcase of democratic progress. Nonetheless, what if under the veil of this putative conviction, the malevolent herbs of authoritarian rule or, as Wahman et al. (2013, p.19) …


“No death, no doom, no anguish can arouse the surpassing despair which flows from a loss of identity.” — H. P. Lovecraft

Wunmi Mosaku and Sope Dirisu / Courtesy of Netflix

The racism that underlies the slave trade is not a specter of the past. Likewise any virus, racism mutated into the new disgusting form of cultural conditioning, when the immigrants are forced to abandon their cultural identities in a blinding attempt to become “welcome”.

Did Remi Weekes make a good film?

While developing his debut film, Remi Weekes wanted, according to him, to do two things — shake up the horror genre and reflect the experience of coloured people in predominantly white Europe, as he claims, “When I, coloured, grew up in London, all the talk around was only about assimilation: how much you have to show…

Kirill Bedenkov

PIR student at University College London

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