Lost In Translation
New Paradigms by the Arab Spring
Following the much-publicized self-immolation of Muhammad Bouazizi on December 18, 2010, a tempestuous succession of demonstrations, revolutions and civil wars swept the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. These events, collectively referred to as the “Arab Spring” spread contagiously throughout the Middle East and the Maghreb. However, for autocratic states, instead of ushering in tidy transitions of power, the revolutions and uprising descended into chaos, greatly complicating the task of analysts and historians attempting to make sense of the events. Has the Arab Spring brought much-needed change to the Arab people or will instability and turmoil preserve a perpetual state of “Arab Winter”.
Publisher: Folio Books
Publishing date: July 2018
Communist Internationalism in Colonial India
by Ali Raza
In this engaging and innovative history of the communist movement in colonial India, Ali Raza reveals the lives, geographies and anti-colonial struggles of Indian revolutionaries and how they sought to remake the world. Driven by the utopian visions of Communist Internationalism, Indian revolutionaries yearned and struggled for a global upheaval that would overthrow European imperialisms and radically transform India and the world. In an age marked by political upheavals, intellectual ferment, collapsing empires and global conflicts, Indian revolutionaries stood alongside countless others in the colonised world and beyond in their desire to usher in a future liberated from colonialism and capitalism. Drawing from a wealth of archival materials, Raza demonstrates how Communist Internationalism was a crucial project in the struggle for national liberation and inaugurates a new approach to the global history of communism and decolonisation.
“Written with great flair, and refreshingly nonpartisan, Revolutionary Pasts will shift the paradigms of studying the Left in South Asia. Ali Raza embraces and acknowledges the complexity and dissonance he encounters in his archive, unpacking its agendas and offering them up to the reader with astute analysis, restoring race to histories of leftist activism.”
-Kama Maclean – University of New South Wales, Sydney
“Ali Raza captures the utopian imaginaries and the global itineraries that shaped Indian Communism, and brought Marx to the subcontinent in this beautifully written, meticulously researched book. His is a signal contribution to global intellectual history and to studies of Left thought and praxis.”
-Anupama Rao – Columbia University, New York
Publisher: Folio Books
Publishing date: January 22, 2021
Rights: South Asia excluding India
Navigating activism, politics and modernity in Pakistan
Edited by Sherry Rehman
As we enter a new century, with its promise of change, women in Pakistan often emerge as its best face forward. At the same time, a persistent and growing trendline of disadvantage and discrimination throws up a harsh counterfactual to the motivating success stories. Knitting these skeins together is the complex, long, often untold tale of women who think, speak, act and give up a part of their comfort zone to push the rights agenda, to take on the architecture of patriarchy and extremism or to call out resurgent misogynies. This is a book about these women, by these women, for the women who struggle to find a voice.
This anthology of essays attempts to do two things. It seeks first to provide testament and context to women’s activism through the lived experience and voices of pioneers who not just headlined the rights struggle in Pakistan, but also gave it intellectual meaning and moral quest. In this endeavour, this book looks to capture a repository of important voices in order to create a slice of memory. The second idea motivating this collection is to probe the connection between the fairly coherent movement of the 1980s to the post-millennial activism that is challenging norms and pushing the boundaries of patriarchy today. Without forcing a grand narrative on the essays, a selection of younger writers uses this space to grapple with persistent barriers reified by the state, while speaking to new problems that tag on to new opportunities. These young women seek to add their voices to the changing face of women’s activism in contemporary Pakistan, while building a new vocabulary to address emerging challenges.
“This book is a must-read. It shines a light on the potential of Pakistani women. I am awed and inspired by the sheer range of innovative thought and by the commitment to activism demonstrated by this anthology.”
-Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Prize Laureate
“Combining powerful voices from the multiple arenas, histories and strategies of the women’s struggle in Pakistan, Sherry Rehman has curated an original and enabling resource for everyone working for women’s rights and dignity across the Global South.”
-Ahdaf Soueif, Author, Cairo: My City, Our Revolution
“Like a loudspeaker, this book has amplified the voices of all kinds of women, involved in all kinds of struggles. This book is saying loudly and clearly that Pakistani women, be they rural or urban, economically poor or rich, will not stop thinking, speaking and challenging injustice.”
-Kamla Bhasin, Feminist, Poet and Author, Exploring Masculinity
“Wide-ranging and illuminating, this collection is a necessary read for anyone who wants to understand Pakistan and/or the tug of war between patriarchal oppression and feminist resistance.”
-Kamila Shamsie, Author, Home Fire
Publisher: Folio Books
Weight in kg: 0.5
Release date: March 28, 2021
Covid-19 Shakes the World
by Slavoj Zizek
Rs. 795 Rs. 399
As an unprecedented global pandemic sweeps the planet, who better than the supercharged Slovenian philosopher, Slavoj Žižek to uncover its deeper meanings, marvel at its mind-boggling paradoxes, and speculate on the profundity of its consequences, all in a manner that will have you sweating profusely and gasping for breath?
We live in a moment when the greatest act of love is to stay distant from the object of your affection. When governments renowned for ruthless cuts in public spending can suddenly conjure up trillions. When toilet paper becomes a commodity as precious as diamonds. And when, according to Žižek, a new form of communism may be the only way of averting a descent into global barbarism.
Written with his customary brio and love of analogies in popular culture (Quentin Tarantino and H.G. Wells sit next to Hegel and Marx in these pages), Žižek provides a concise and provocative snapshot of the crisis as it widens, engulfing us all.
Slavoj Žižek is one of the most prolific and well-known philosophers and cultural theorists in the world today. His inventive, provocative body of work mixes Hegelian metaphysics, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and Marxist dialectic in order to challenge conventional wisdom and accepted verities on both the Left and the Right.
“An impressive feat… [Žižek] at his most powerful.” —The Guardian
“Passages of beauty… a hire-wire juxtaposition of far-left political theory and pop culture, held together by the force of [Žižek’s] rumpled charm.” —BuzzFeed
“Žižek leaves no social or cultural phenomenon untheorized, and is master of the counterintuitive observation.” —The New Yorker
“The most dangerous philosopher in the West.” —Adam Kirsch, The New Republic
by Faraz Talat
A diabetic microbiologist turns 73 in a world that rejects the elderly, denying them healthcare in accordance with the draconian ‘Second Chance’ laws set in place after the Great Pandemic. When an opportunity arises to challenge this rule, her brother does whatever he must to make sure she lives to see her next birthday.
“A post pandemic story written way before the pandemic. A haunting little book about second chances, last days and human relations that survive the unsurvivable.”
Mohammed Hanif, author of A Case of Exploding Mangoes
“Any culture’s science fiction is its dream of what its future could be. Now we live in a global culture, and Faraz Talat’s Seventy Four shoots right to the heart of all our current fears and hopes. It’s an intense experience, poignant and memorable.”
Kim Stan Robinson, author of Blue Mars
“Scientists become saviors in times of plague, but their attempts to exert control over pathogens and politics go awry in Faraz Talat’s science fiction novella Seventy Four. Razia Ntikoladze, eminent scientist and Pakistani emigree, is locked in a race against a deadly new contagion and her own mortality; before she can save the world, she has to escape the colloquium’s merciless eugenics project. A daringly brilliant literary experiment which pits humanity against its own worst enemy—itself.”
Bina Shah, author of Before She Sleeps