Counterfutures

Journal

See below for contents and links to articles where available. All content published in the print issues of Counterfutures will be made available online over time. Please check regularly for new online content.

    • Issue 12 emerges from the Social Movements, Resistance and Social Change conference 'Activating Collectivity: Aroha and Power', which brought together people who are envisioning and working towards social change in Te Whanganui-a-Tara in late 2020.
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      The issue begins with a karakia, which you can listen to here or read here.
      • Dreaming Together for Constitutional Transformation, Margaret Mutu and Veronika Tawhai with Tayla Cook and Safari Hynes
        Margaret Mutu and Veronica Tawhai, both members of Matike Mai Aotearoa, the Independent Working Group on Constitutional Transformation, examine what constitutions are, why constitutional transformation matters in Aotearoa, and how we can be actively engaged in imagining and creating change.
      • Caring for Whenua, Pania Newton and Pua Case with Emalani Case and Kassie Hartendorp
        Pania Newton, from the movement to protect Ihumātao, and Pua Case, from the movement to protect Mauna Kea, come together to discuss their efforts to protect whenua and ́āina at home. They reflect on the importance of Indigenous protocols and ancestral wisdom while also speaking to each other, showcasing the power of solidarities.
      • Critical Race Theory and the Law in New Zealand, Dylan Asafo and Litia Tuiburelevu
        Critical Race Theory is at the cutting edge of international struggles seeking to end racism, but how can this theory be appropriately applied in New Zealand? In this ground-breaking article, the authors offer a novel framework for CRT analysis in this country, illustrating its applicability via a reappraisal of the historic 1980 case Tifaga v Department of Labour.
      • Activating Collectivity Through Grounded Positioning
        Four conference participants join together to discuss the practice of critical positioning. They reflect on questions of positionality: who we are, why positioning matters, and how positionality can activate both collectivity and accountability.
      • Ngā Mahi o Rarohenga: Organising Well Means Organising to End Violence, Kim McBreen
        Drawing on the ideal of Rarohenga, Kim McBreen shows how learning to effectively respond to interpersonal violence is a crucial skill for supporting our communities and building effective movements.
      • Tending to the Roots: Collective Visualisations for the Future, Makanaka Tuwe
        Conference keynote panellist Makanaka Tuwe reflects on personal and collective wellness, healing, and social justice. Social change is visualized not just as something we must see, but something we must feel and breathe through.
      • A Recipe for Kai-dness, Natasha Perkins, Bobby Luke, Nan O'Sullivan, Maria Rodgers, Rebecca Kiddle, Kataraina Anaru, Cally O'Neill, Leanna Dey and Dana Fridman
        The ‘Kai-dness Crew’ formed to create co-design interventions and to cater for the conference. They explain the guiding principles behind how they shaped a space of manaaki and whanaungatanga, along with sharing practical ideas for how to foster connections and stimulate progressive social change.
      • Reflections from Kōtare, Catherine Delahunty, Tim Howard and Sue Bradford
        Three veteran community organisers offer their reflections on the conference. How did it compare to previous events of this nature? What was inspiring? And what might future gatherings of this type do differently?
      • Activating Aroha, Brooke Pao Stanley
        Brooke Pao Stanley offers her reflections on the conference, on what drew her to the conference space, on what she learned, and on what she has been empowered to hope for the future.
      • The Night the People Reclaimed You, Nadia Abu-Shanab
        A poem addressed to the Wellington Trades Hall building, the site of the conference party and much else.
    • Issue 11 begins with an editorial on landlordism in Aotearoa, and contains articles on late 19th Century Māori resistance, race in the aftermath of the Christchurch shooting, Christianity and post-fascism, anti-roading campaigns and workplace restructuring. We also feature an editorial on the Green Party electoral victory in Central Auckland, and reviews of two recent books.
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      • The Hokianga Dog Tax Uprising, Catherine Cumming
        An excerpt from Catherine Cumming’s forthcoming book, The Financial Colonisation of Aotearoa (ESRA, 2021). In the 1880s, colonial authorities levied a tax on dogs in order to protect sheep, the central building block of the fledgling colonial economy. Māori resistance to the dog tax, culminating in the ‘Hokianga Dog Tax Rebellion’ of 1898, is told as a story of resistance to the attempted interpellation of Māori as colonial citizen-subjects.
      • Inscriptions and Incantations of Race, Faisal Al-Asaad
        A reflection on the necessity to narrate that was imposed upon Muslims in the wake of the Christchurch massacres. Seeking to escape the organising grammar of race, which fixes the subject in time and place, it is asked how racial destinies might be rewritten.
      • Christianity Without Guarantees, Chamsy el-Ojeili
        Scrutinising Hannah Strømmen and Ulrich Schmiedel’s The Claim to Christianity, Chamsy el-Ojeili untangles the prevalence of Christian identitarianism in the thickening post-fascist atmosphere. Might Christianity be providing moral and spiritual energy to the presently unsystematised ‘museum of fragments’ that is post-fascism?
      • Populist and Institutionalist Logics of Anti-Expressway Campaigns, Morgan Hamlin
        An examination of the campaign against the Kāpiti expressway yields insights into the limitations of individualistic and institutionalist modes of political action. It is shown that emphasising shared interests between local opposition groups and nationally focused activists is essential in building effective campaigns on environmental issues.
      • Workplace Restructuring and its Discontents, Warwick Tie
        Through an engagement with Marx’s notes on methodology, this article considers the role of the commodity fetish, the fetishisation of intellectual labour, and the fetish of knowledge-without-consequences in the debate over the restructuring of the College of Sciences at Massey University.
      • Chlöe Swarbrick’s Auckland Central Victory, Huw Morgan
        What can the socialist left learn from Swarbrick’s unexpected victory in Auckland Central? A veteran of the campaign explores the practical lessons of this success for movement-building and political engagement in Aotearoa New Zealand.
    • Beginning with an editorial from Jack Foster and Sue Bradford on expectations for Ardern's Labour for the next three years, issue 10 has articles on community organising, militarism and the historian Dick Scott, an interview with Roland Boer on Christianity and the Left, interventions from Auckland and the wider Pacific, responses to the pandemic, and reviews.
      Click here for a PDF of contents, contributors and publication information.
      To purchase copies, see our web store.
      • Community Organising, Mohan Dutta and Sue Bradford
        Two veterans of community organising discuss their work co-constructing voice infrastructures at the margins. A critical interrogation of the tensions that emerge in the relationships between communities, activists, and academics, and lessons in the role of community organising in building socialist futures.
      • Keywords: Militarism, Emalani Case
        A treatment of militarism in the Pacific, tracing its interconnections with the structures of settler colonialism and white supremacy. Against the steady advance of US-led imperialism, Indigenous temporalities are positioned as the keystone of demilitarised futures.
      • The Weapon behind the Woodpile, Mark Derby
        A retrospective on the life and work of the late historian Dick Scott, author of the ground-breaking Ask that Mountain: The Story of Parihaka. Instinctive outsider and refuter of the high-polite style, a historian who relentlessly unearthed well-buried episodes from Aotearoa New Zealand’s past.
      • The Christian Question, Roland Boer
        An interview with distinguished professor Roland Boer on his five-volume epic On Marxism and Theology. In a wide-ranging discussion, Boer illuminates the myriad connections between Marxism and Christianity and considers the contemporary struggle over the Christian legacy.
      • Auckland's Inner-City Monuments, Murray Edmond
        A fast-paced dérive through Auckland’s inner-city monuments. What messages do the monuments of Aotearoa New Zealand’s metropolis send out, and how can the frequency of these transmissions be altered?
      • Towards a Left Secretariat for the Pacific, Tim Bryar
        Prey to global warming, geopolitical competition, and class divisions, the Pacific Islands region is united by a shared experience of economic dependency and vulnerability. What might a Left secretariat in the Pacific offer?
      • Welcome Home, Prodigy, Murdoch Stephens
        In light of a great repatriation, what emotional states might be provoked by returning New Zealanders? Written during lockdown, Murdoch Stephens looks to the history of the ‘coming home’ essay and song for clues as to how returnees could be productively drawn back into the collective.
      • The Team of Five Six Million, Richard B. Keys
        Chantal Mouffe’s reading of ‘Schmitt against Schmitt’ is employed to discuss the politics of the returnee. In an era punctuated by global crises, what does the figure of the returnee tell us about citizenship, sovereignty, and globalisation?
      • Imagining Beyond Decolonisation, Simon Barber
        Review of Bianca Elkington et al, Imagining Decolonisation. An ‘ethic of restoration’ as a third way between Fanonian rupture and the exclusionary performativity of Pākehā overtures to decolonialisation.
      • Making Socialism within Capitalism, David Neilson
        Review of Jonathan Boston, Transforming the Welfare State. Techno-welfarism as a solution to Aotearoa New Zealand’s decaying social security system.
      • Faustian Politics, Colin Barton
        Review of David Renton, The New Authoritarians. With the intellectual exhaustion of conservatism and the mainstreaming of far-right ideologies, how should the Left respond?