Filmmaker Ken Loach on populism, the gig economy, and the importance of transnational solidarity in his movies and beyond.
The British film director Ken Loach is one of the most celebrated cinematic voices of our time. A deeply engaged artist and one of a handful of directors to have been awarded the prestigious Palme d’Or twice, Loach’s work often takes up social and political themes. His oeuvre has spanned the Spanish civil war (Land and Freedom), the Los Angeles janitors’ strike (Bread and Roses), the occupation of Iraq (Route Irish), the Irish war of independence (The Wind That Shakes the Barley), and the coercive side of the welfare state (I, Daniel Blake). While the so-called “populist revolt” has triggered much debate on the role of economic inequalities and social exclusion, Ken Loach has been one of the greatest narrators of working-class consciousness and its transformations under neoliberalism.
In this conversation with Italian writer and political activist Lorenzo Marsili, Loach looks at the role of art in moments of political transformation, the evolution of the working class, the meaning of class struggle today, and the left’s failure to inspire radical change.
The interview was recorded during the shooting of DEMOS, a forthcoming documentary in which Lorenzo Marsili travels across Europe investigating transnational solidarity 10 years after the financial crisis [ . . . ]
Musician known for work with Mekons leads show that will raise funds for green space commemorating ’32 Ford Hunger March
Standing on a barren patch of grass in the shadow of the Marathon refinery, Paul Draus is a man with a vision.
Here in the city’s Oakwood Heights neighborhood, along the banks of the Rouge River in the middle of Michigan’s most polluted ZIP code, Draus looks past Southwest Detroit’s scarred industrial landscape and sees a diamond in the rough.
In the wake of Marathon’s multi-billion-dollar expansion and its controversial home-buyout program here, Draus and his colleagues in the Fort-Rouge Gateway Partnership envision a greener future where the grass is transformed into a small, but strategic green space, a critical link in the Iron Belle bike trail and a buffer zone amid a sea of gray. And this weekend, their goal is getting some assitance from a famed Welsh punk rocker.
“I come from Newport in South Wales, and violent struggle against social injustice is writ large in the history of that town,” says Langford, known for his work with groups like Mekons and Waco Brothers. “The Chartists were gunned down in numbers there in 1839 for asking for democratic reforms that we take for granted today.”