Tom Hickey

Taiwan and China: promise and threat

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An island then of 6 million people, Taiwan was the last refuge to which the Nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) army and government fled after their defeat in the civil war by the Chinese Communist Party in 1949. Today, it is an island state of 24 million that is economically, socially and technically on a par with the world's most advanced economies, and with a GDP per head of 41,500 dollars. It is the world's 20th largest economy.

Israel: the growing campaign for boycott

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Following Stephen Hawking's historic decision to boycott a conference in Israel, Tom Hickey looks at the growing campaign for BDS.

It has been an "annus horribilis" for Zionism and for Israel's apologists. The world's most famous physicist, Steven Hawking, joined the boycott of Israel. Noam Chomsky, long-time critic of Israel but opponent of the boycott, and the world's most famous philosopher of language, supported Hawking's decision. The Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) declared for an academic boycott. The Asia-America Studies Association (AASA) declared support for a boycott.

Disorienting Art

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Review of Observations, Christopher Stewart, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool

Who watches the watchers? How mundane can a place of violence be? What does a politic of fear, in a war without end, look like?

These are the kinds of questions that are posed by Christopher Stewart's work. In his previous exhibition, Insecurity, were photographs of fleeting and nervous figures who were engaged in security practices which became their opposite, and where even the assassins appeared beatific while sleeping.

Their Struggle Belongs to the World

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From June 1956 to October 1957 the Algerian liberation struggle was fought in the capital, Algiers. Tom Hickey looks at the history and its representation in The Battle of Algiers.

The Battle of Algiers represents one of the pivotal moments in the Algerian war of independence. Directed by Gillo Ponticorvo, it captures the social and political conditions of the nationalist revolution: the rationale for the use of terror by the nationalist forces, the logic that drove the French army of occupation to use torture, and the relationship between political and military considerations in conditions of war.

Sound of the Underground

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Asian Dub Foundation is one of the most radical and vibrant bands to have appeared on the music scene over the last decade. In May they premiered an original soundtrack to the classic film The Battle of Algiers. Pandit G, founding member of ADF, spoke to Tom Hickey and Ian McDonald about their project, music and politics.

Why did you choose to do a soundtrack to The Battle of Algiers?

Obituary: Arrested Development

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Tom Hickey examines the key works of veteran left wing economist Paul Sweezy.

Consider the position of socialists at the end of the Second World War. The Cold War between East and West was congealing. It would devour millions in its bloody consequences in the decades to follow, in Vietnam and Indonesia, in Hungary and Czechoslovakia, across Africa and in Latin America. This could be avoided, many believed, because the system of capital that would spawn this barbarism could not survive. But survive it did. Indeed it flourished, growing faster in the next two decades than at any time in its history hitherto. How was this to be understood?

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