Last spring, our annual series of debates May Days was one of the casualties of COVID-19. But that didn’t stop BOZAR and We Are Europe from pondering Europe’s future. The result is here: Mayday Magazine & Podcast. In times of crisis like the one we are living through, questions about the future are more pertinent than ever, and we delve into the past to try to get a grip on our uncertain present. Mayday Magazine does exactly that, in words and images, with illuminating stories, thoughtful opinions, and striking illustrations and photography.
The magazine takes a critical look at the term nationalism, loaded with historical baggage and considered by many to be a ‘dirty’ word. But is ‘nationalism’ really the preserve of the political right? Climate change is an existential threat to humankind. In Reversing Climate Change: Do We Have The Technology?, Scott Snowden takes a critical look at how technology could play a role in averting the worst of it and highlights some surprising successes. An extensive interview with Edgar Morin provides a glimpse into the mind of one of sociology’s greatest thinkers. Morin gives his views on the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, and reflects on “the fight ahead between the powers of regression and the powers that try to work towards something better. Not to a fantastic new world, but to a slightly less terrible world.”
The Black Lives Matter Movement, which is forcing European countries to reckon with their colonial pasts, is the focus of several Mayday Magazine articles. Amanda Coakley reports on how history teachers across the continent are demanding more inclusive curricula—and in many cases, are taking on governments bent on rewriting historical narratives. In Decolonizing Development Natasha Livingstone looks at the future of European development schemes in Africa, and how a better remembering of the past is key if Europe is to do good in Africa in the future.
There’s an in-depth review of The Light that Failed by Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes (2019), “arguably one of the finest ruminations on the crisis of modern liberalism written to date.” Award winning illustrator Judith Vanistendael writes and draws her way through the weird spring of 2020 in Within the Walls, a mini graphic novel that charters life during corona in her Brussels neighbourhood.
There are plenty of treats for photography fans too. For Together We Find Apathy, a powerful series of digital photo-collages, Alexandra Howland searched for words like ‘war’, ‘naked’ and ‘lesbian’ on open sources image banks, as well as certain prominent hashtags: #blacklivesmatter or #yesallwomen. The result speaks of our obsession with images and how they can be misappropriated. Photographer Sam Gregg travels to Southern Italy and takes Goethe’s famous words ‘See Naples and Die’ as a starting point for a portrait of the city that goes way beyond the stereotypes of gangs and glamourised violence. Meanwhile, Erika Larsen heads North to take you – quite literally – Walking with the Reindeer with the Sámi people.
This and much, much more can be found in this exceptional paper edition of Mayday Magazine, available at the BOZAR BOOKSHOP and online. In addition to the magazine there is a series of free podcasts, in which activists, experts and entrepreneurs delve into topics such as basic income, racism and decolonisation in Belgium, and whether eating meat is really killing our planet. You can listen to them on Spotify.
The magazine was launched during a live event at BOZAR on October 10th. Relive it here:
In collaboration with Evens Foundation, Bertelsmann Foundation, Are We Europe and Open Society European Policy Institute