10TAL’s new issue — #7 Dialogue & Revolt
10TAL’s first issue of 2012 is rife with culture, contemporary art, dialogue and the reality of revolution.
What kind of reality lies behind the idea of an “internet revolution”? Lina Ben Mhenni, author of the blog A tunisian girl, cyber activist and one of the foremost online voices of the Arab world, writes of a struggle where Twitter was an important tool but thousands of people lost their lives or ended up imprisoned. The exile blogger Afrah Nasser of Yemen, who now lives in Stockholm, contributes her story of how surreal it was to arrive in a culture where she was suddenly encouraged to be outspoken. In an essay, Dan Jönsson questions the actual importance of the Internet for the success of the Arab Spring. How many people in Egypt and Tunisia were actually online during their revolutions? An explanation where media forms are seen as vastly more important than anything else is usually popular among journalists, since it strengthens the idea of the power of news. Were the software giants involved? Mia Gröndahl’s photography from Tahrir Square in Cairo sharpens the edge of the text.
Other voices claim poetry has been a more important medium of communication in the process of revolution than Twitter or Facebook. To demonstrate the inherent strength of poetry and its potential to incite change, the magazine showcases some of the most groundbreaking voices of Romanian, Lebanese and Polish poetry today: Ioana Nicolaie, translated by Inger Johansson; Joumana Haddad, translated by Vendela Engblom; and Tadeusz Dąbrowski interpreted by Irene Grönberg. All three poets visited Stockholm’s International Poetry Festival in November.
Maria Lind tells of a free-falling reality in her essay on the art of Magnus Bärtås and Hito Steyerl. Lind reads the function of narrative in Bärtås’ spectacular works and Steyerl’s political video essays. Clemens Altgård visits Viktor Rosdahl in his studio and writes of Rosdahl’s dark, black metal-inspired paintings that depict Sweden’s transition from welfare state to liberal governance, without veering away from the strongest emotions and experiences.
How well does literature communicate with its readers? The essays of John Swedenmark, Jan Henrik Swahn and Malin Nauwerck tell us about the commodification of literature and how it sometimes lacks a connection with its readers, as well as of the metamorphosis of blog to book (the “blok”).