note_11 Standing not drowning; I’m Green, you’re Green, we’re all Green | 3 May 2018

Guy Mannes-Abbott candidate webpage thumbnail copy

I am standing as a Green Party candidate in local elections in the North Walworth Ward where I live -and where once I articulated or ‘led’ what became a community campaign to rescue an urban forest and its unrecognised commons value. A campaign (2010-2013) which achieved ‘major development’ planning precedents (now in the new London Plan), a redrawn Masterplan around retained trees, removed roads and a park (albeit not yet* public), and the replanting of about 1600 trees all around the Elephant and Castle (albeit not yet* linked closely enough to it).

I agreed to stand with no illusions Continue reading “note_11 Standing not drowning; I’m Green, you’re Green, we’re all Green | 3 May 2018”

notes from a biennial -appendix [ii] in conversation with aisha khalid

click IMAGE to link to notes from a biennial – appendix [i] in conversation with aisha khalid

Aisha Khalid & I

by Guy Mannes-Abbott

Conversation at Sharjah Art Museum Sharjah UEA March 2011

Guy Mannes-Abbott [gma]

Let’s begin with your piece hanging in the entrance foyer of the Sharjah Art museum, Kashmiri Shawl [2011]?

Aisha Khalid [ak]

There is a whole story behind this piece I did, this shawl. Continue reading “notes from a biennial -appendix [ii] in conversation with aisha khalid”

on appetite and a mystic chef, george steiner essays, new statesman 1995

George Steiner August 2008

Or; If Kafka were Hindu…

Every now and then I wonder about George Steiner. Mostly it’s positive wondering but something bugs me about him and it’s not what seems to bug most people I know or read that have met him or committed their view of him to print. Much of the latter is merely a distaste for overt intellect, especially a passionate ‘continental’ mind as well as distrust of the whole dynamic of translation, literally and metaphorically.

There are pedagogic and vulgar ego issues when it comes to Steiner but let me say in brief that I dissociate myself from the cynical Brit approach to him. What continues to bug me is essentially what bugged me when I committed myself to print 15 years ago [in the New Statesman, see below]; I hate it that he won’t credit Kafka, Mozart, even little me with the capacity -effort, hours/years of silent striving and error, the beauty of the attempt- to invent.

Instead, it wasn’t Kafka or Mozart it was “god”. Who? you might say. Religious faith is one thing [later, in Errata, he described himself as a “messianic agnostic”, which is anticipated in what I wrote below], but to misrecognise the grand smallness of human effort, endeavour and appetite is wrong as well as pitiful.

Steiner is a man with a good brain and that brain has famous and all too real appetite but it strikes me therefore as worse that he closes it all down when he approaches a peak to indulge in ‘god’-whistling instead. Such vacuity is the opposite Continue reading “on appetite and a mystic chef, george steiner essays, new statesman 1995”