The Trenches between Languages and Nation-building

This inaugural issue of The Sparkplug reflects on the impact of mining on displacement, land division and the loss of language. Languages are living fields of experience, embodying the eternal human challenge of being liberated through communication, and restricted by finite terms. The shades and tones of innumerable human languages are precious, conveying to us entirely new… Continue reading The Trenches between Languages and Nation-building

The Meaning of Words (or, Democracy by Any Other Name)

The previous issue of The Sparkplug examined the impacts of neo-colonial extractivism and nation-building on the disappearance of Botswana’s Indigenous Khoisan languages. The current issue picks up this thread from a different angle: the disappearance of speech itself under Eritrea’s despotic regime, which has plunged the country’s youngest generations into a brutally imposed silence. This issue welcomes… Continue reading The Meaning of Words (or, Democracy by Any Other Name)

Of Purity and Autonomy: A Nation for Whom?

This third issue of The Sparkplug considers the challenges and contradictions that are entangled in Kashmir’s pursuit for self-determination. Included is a conversation with author and human rights lawyer Nandita Haksar, based around her research on how the nationalist movement in Jammu and Kashmir intersects with the socio-economic challenges that in turn face migrants to Northeast India. Accompanying the… Continue reading Of Purity and Autonomy: A Nation for Whom?

Pesticides and Poverty: The smoldering legacy of Bhopal

This edition of The Sparkplug commemorates the legacy of the tragic gas explosion that shook Bhopal on December 2, 1984, and critiques the role of neocolonial development by corrupt governments and corporate cronies. Featured in this issue is an interview with Montreal-based playwright and theatrical director Rahul Varma, who wrote the events into a play called Bhopal (premiered in… Continue reading Pesticides and Poverty: The smoldering legacy of Bhopal

Acceptable Censorship: The extradition farce and media silence on Julian Assange

When do we ever hear about “responsible journalism”? When is morality ever evoked as the guiding tenet of this work? The reference to “disobedient, moral journalism” at the top of the printed issue is borrowed from John Pilger’s article this past September, “The Stalinist Trial of Julian Assange”. Pilger invokes “the exceptions, the dissidents …… Continue reading Acceptable Censorship: The extradition farce and media silence on Julian Assange