2016 was the year we feared would come but were never willing to accept. It was the year in which people across the post-industrial world became painfully aware of their position in history. Although it remains far too early to prophesize the end of neoliberalism, we can say with incredible discomfort that we have reached the dark ages of globalization.
The accumulation of anger, confusion and disillusionment that had been bubbling under the surface since the 2008 economic crisis had finally come to light in 2016. The initial optimism that a new political order was possible, following the political victory of Barack Obama and successive movements including the Arab Spring, the Iranian Green Revolution, and Occupy Wall Street, has morphed into a nightmare of disorientation, dread, and stupefaction. Slavoj Žižek summarized 2011- when this initial optimism hit an apex – as “the year we dreamed dangerously”. Perhaps he will now reflect on 2016 as the year in which the true perversion of the masses’ dreams became evident.
For us to come of age during the post-2008 years, our political outlooks have increasingly become devoid of aspirations for a society built upon equality, fairness and tolerance. It is not that the social safety net that previous generations have enjoyed has been dismantled. It is not that near catastrophic damage has been inflicted upon our environment that promises to re-alter our lives for the worse. It is not that our employment is increasingly less democratic and fulfilling but more precarious and alienating. Rather, it is that the constant state of anxiety and exhaustion resulting from all the above has rendered an existence where all matters of power have become dangerous and all certainty is fraught with ambiguity.
Although this period of horror and confusion appears unique to us living within the modern, post-industrialized world, it in many ways mirrors the emotional landscape in Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Much like the current circumstances that the western world and beyond are now finding themselves in, the fall of the Soviet Union was initially met with hope and optimism among the majority of society. The collapse of a truth regime in the various former Soviet states however, quickly brought about economic stagnation, kleptocracy, civil wars, religious and national fetishization, and more than anything, a destabilizing anxiety among the civilian population. Reflecting on this era in the early 1990s, one of the interviewees in Svetlana Alexievich’s seminal text on the collapse of the Soviet Union, Second Hand Time, laments the uncertainty of the time. She states that the Soviet people used to read Pravda (the former official Communist Party newspaper) for assurance, but once the Soviet state was dismantled, they found themselves destabilized by the various competing truths of the new media outlets. It is upon this post-Soviet inspiration that Post-Pravda emerges.
Post Pravda is a weekly online magazine, which is produced by a collective of young, talented writers, artists and commentators from around the world. We aim not to provide a counter-narrative to the endless dread and horror that our generation must face, but also to assess the collapse of the current truth regime by emphasizing the crucial intersection of art, politics, and travel. As such, we intend to do the following:
- Detail how young people contend with both anxiety, hope, and indifference and introduce new strategies, counter-narratives, and beliefs to construct positive social change
- Explore spaces of resistances around the world, such as café, bars, co-working spaces, clubs, and venues
- Develop the conversation regarding places, identities, and concepts that un-entrench them or subvert them from prevailing narratives and prejudices
- Untangle the modes of oppression that litter our work, love, pleasure, and impulse for a future that reflects a desire for change
- Showcase how art, sport, travel, and other cultural outlets are used globally to detail or resist division and/or oppression.
Despite both the Soviet theoretical and naming influences, our interest is far beyond the ex-Soviet Union. Our aspiration is to be able to provide a platform for polyphonic voices that are contending with their struggles through a hybrid of mediums. We look to encourage writers, artists, and thinkers from both inside and outside the Anglophone sphere, despite English being the modus operandi. We believe in working collaboratively to create a literary labour of love. Fuck style guides. In doing so, we hope that hope will be recovered for a dream that is more just than our current station.