Aberystwyth Transitions Reading Group Blog

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Making is connecting: follow up

We loved the extracts of the Making is Connecting book so much, we went and read the whole thing! Bongo has written up some of our thoughts on the Flowering Elbow blog : http://www.floweringelbow.org/2014/makers-community/thoughts-on-making-is-connecting/

Also, if anyone wants to take up the ongoing offer of a practical making session, this weekend is the perfect time as we’re having an open day at the workshop on Saturday – all welcome to come along, it’s wood-themed this time. http://www.floweringelbow.org/about-us/open-days/

Happy making!


The geography of the Disuniting Kingdom

Having heard or read a few interesting items lately, I realised and put them together as a a quirky time-slice portrait of the ‘United Kingdom’ – which I thought I’d share. Most are freely accessible materials, but to read the articles on Scotland requires subscribing to Red Pepper (which would be good because it’s always worth reading and it desperately needs subscribers!)

Wales: The Welsh M1:  Cerys Mathew on the A470 which runs nearly two hundred miles through the heart of Wales from Llandudno to CardiffBay. It was created to connect north and south of the country yet it takes four hours – sometimes more – to make the journey. It’s certainly not the fastest road in the UK but to drive the A470 is to truly understand the landscape, history, culture and language of Wales.



England: It was 20 years ago today… How has England changed? In 1994 Will Self wrote a long essay about English culture: how has the nation changed since then? And do the old cherished ideas of Englishness bear any resemblance to reality?


Scotland: At the crossroads: A new-born star – Roz Paterson sees new political alignments and vibrancy on the left; Imagining a better nation – Creating a different Scotland is beginning to galvanise radical thinking, argues Jim Johnson; More views on independence – Katy Clark MP, Philip Stott and Carolyn Leckie. Step backward, leap forward – Scotland is resistancing global capitalism, writes Tom Nairn 


(for an earlier version of Tom Nairn’s essay see New Faces of Nationalism


Northern Ireland: Excluded and silenced: Women in Northern Ireland after the peace process by Margaret Ward


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Planetary boundaries

Here’s an interesting set of readings on planetary boundaries that might be interesting for a future or interim bit of reading (surely there can be no transition – no change – in planetary boundaries?)
Also, a reminder that we’re meeting at 6pm tomorrow in the Glen to discuss media transitions (or not). I found the Media Reform Coalition website’s ‘about’ sections really useful – media pluralism, ethical journalism, and investigative and local journalism. I also thought Indymedia’s mission statement would be worth referring to http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/static/mission.html


Winter ‘semester’ readings

Unless we change particular events for any reason, in general we’ll meet in the Glen (Glengower Hotel) on the seafront in Aberystwyth at 6pm

17 January: The Media

Three short readings from The Media Reform Coalition

1. A transcript of John Pilger’s statement on ‘Is the media now just another word for control?’ from the P.J. Harvey edited Today programme on Thursday 2 January 2014 http://www.mediareform.org.uk/blog/media-now-just-another-word-control-john-pilgers-today-programme-statement

2. Our cut-out guide to press freedom in an age of surveillance http://www.mediareform.org.uk/blog/press-freedom-brief-guide

3. Our dossier on the relationship between press and politicians, much of it taken from evidence to the Leveson Inquiry http://www.mediareform.org.uk/blog/politicians-press-year-leveson-anything-changed

14 February: War and Peace

In case we didn’t know, the centenary of World War One starts in 2014 and lasts until 2018. Reportedly, the BBC is planning around 2,500 hours of television, radio and online programming on the topic over four years! Be prepared:

Kuhn, F. P. (2012) The peace Prefix: Ambiguities of the word peace. International Peacekeeping. 19(4), 396 – 409.

And if you need more bedtime reading, there’s this classic article:

Keen, D. (2000) War and Peace: What’s the difference? International Peacekeeping. 7(4), 1-22.

14 March: Democracy

 1. Russell Brand’ss New Statesman editorial http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/10/russell-brand-on-revolution

2. Stefanie Krasnow (Adbusters) No-Mo Manifesto https://www.adbusters.org/magazine/110/nomo-manifesto.html

3. Roberto Unger: The Labour Party and the British Alternative http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJq8VImEBTc&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PLNdEBvVYMvsC3-vpYQRy_myLYbTKKAmUQ

11 April: Climate

Chatterton, P., Featherstone, D. & Routlege, P. (2012) Articulating Climate Justice in Copenhagen: Agonism, the commons and solidarity. Antipode 45(3), 602-620.

9 May To be announced