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4+ Værker 151 Medlemmer 2 Anmeldelser

Om forfatteren

Lola Olufemi is a black feminist writer and organiser from London. She is the co-author of A FLY Girl's Guide to University (2019).

Værker af Lola Olufemi

Associated Works

Claudia Jones: A Life in Exile (2000) — Forord — 12 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse

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20th Century



A book from the London Review of Books list of 100 books to read in the next ten years, which was selected by Ali Smith. Lola Olufemi is a young black feminist writer and thinker who says near the beginning of her treatise

"I am trying to shake you so that you wake up ready. You are going to have to give something up and it will not be easy. Some of us are not ready for narrative disruption. We will have to be pulled kicking and screaming, from this world and its falsities."

An anti-fascist, anti-capitalist political essay that was like a breath of fresh air (or perhaps even a cold shower) after my usual reading selection which is based on Elizabethan literature or books published in 1951 - you know literature written mostly by dead white males.

This is a book that is looking towards the future and attempts to break away from the past. The archive of past history and literature shapes our future thinking to such an extent it fixes us in a groove from which it is difficult to extricate ourselves. Olufemi intersperses her thoughts with anecdotes of struggles against oppression and authority, mainly struggles of the very recent past for example the squatted self management centre at 121 Railton road in Lambeth, London where the squatters were eventually evicted after a long struggle. Olufemi shows a sketch of an incident during the confrontation and asks what do we see? How was it reported in the press?

A clue to the book is the word experiments in the title. There are lists, poems, redacted copy, spaces for the reader to write their own thoughts, but above all it is the freshness of the thinking, a positiveness in the face of the world that in Olufemi's view needs revolutionising: she wants us to imagine otherwise. She tells an imaginary tale near the end of the book of a group of children who grow to a certain age and then transform into birds and fly away. This group rebel against that prospect, but doing nothing is not the answer because they always transform into birds. They attempt to transform into other animals and have some success, but eventually they transform again into birds. One particular girl perhaps more determined than the rest has worked hard against transforming, but when the time comes feathers start to grow on her body. The other girls group around her holding her down, but it was no use. In desperation they torched their school, burn down the workshops and challenge their commitment to the Boss, The Law, The State and it was only then that the girl fell back to earth, because they had cut their ties. A theme throughout the book is that a collective approach to change is a possible way forward. Individualism is closely linked to the capitalist world structure and the last thing that is needed is more leaders. There should not be one voice, but many voices which should be heard.

Other themes that flow throughout the text are: art and culture, equality, activism and climate change, but it is above all a challenge to the way politics suppresses lives and feelings. The author says:

I keep reminding myself that this book is not finished; I could always add something to it. I could always pick the stitches and seams until the thing falls apart, ready to be assembled again.

It is that kind of book, one that can be dipped into, perhaps one that the reader can pull apart and add their own thoughts. Well worth a read if you have the slightest interest in the future of this planet. 4 stars.
… (mere)
baswood | Mar 23, 2024 |
A thoughtful and challenging review of the process by which the dominant/dominating patriarchal/capitalist structures seek to, and to a large degree have, subsumed radical opposition, incorporating dissenting narratives into the mainstream to perpetuate systems of oppression through liberal feminism, gender-critical 'feminism' and white West-centric feminism. Olufemi centres radical feminist efforts to move global society towards a collective non-authoritarian position in which national boundaries are dropped, resources are shared, and people come together in solidarity rather than in a dog-eat-dog scramble for dominance.… (mere)
Michael.Rimmer | Jun 3, 2022 |


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