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Left Alone: On Solitude and Loneliness amid Collective Struggle
Edited by Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichhorn and Patrick Anderson
Daraja Press / Softcover / Jan 2023
9781990263705 (ISBN-10: 1990263704)
Social & Political Issues / Psychology
price: $38.00 (may be subject to change)
252 pages
Not in Stock, usually ships in 7-10 business days

Left Alone brings together 14 authors and 6 visual artists from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America to individually and collectively reflect - in words and images - on an urgent psycho-political issue that has not yet been explicitly addressed through a left political lens, that is, Left Loneliness. Combining academic and more personal-political texts, including an interview, poetry, a Rap and a powerful short story, the book explores the contributors personally and/or vicariously lived experiences of Left Loneliness from a variety of genres and left political currents: Marxist, Feminist, Anti-/De-Colonial, Anti-Racist, Queer, Post-Soviet, Anti-Ableist and others.

Says Feminist writer Sara Ahmed: "Loneliness might be what we are threatened with if we persist in being or doing what we are being or doing." In this sense, Left Loneliness is neither a metaphor nor a secondary contradiction and definitely not a type of petty bourgeois "personalism". Rather, it might be considered one of the rank and file psycho-affective elements shaping and at the same time resulting from our myriad, intersecting, unremitting, yet always fragile and potentially shattering political attempts to revolutionise our inner and outer worlds. Given its (growing?) existence in our everyday left subjectivities, the book argues that Left Loneliness and related states of solitude, isolation and alienation, among others, have both debilitating and productive (epistemic) dimensions, with very concrete psycho-somatic repercussions for Left Mental and Physical Health and hence our capacities to persist and build on "being or doing what we are being or doing".

Given that continuing and deepening our multiple ongoing struggles for liberation will depend on our constant ability to (re-)create, sustain and care for both our individual selves and the communities that we are a part of, the aim of Left Alone is to contribute to the strengthening of these personal collectivities in action in-against-and beyond capitalism, colonialism and heteropatriarchy by inviting the comrade-readers into what will ideally be a deeply stimulating and enabling personal-political engagement with the texts and images hailing from countries such as Argentina, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Guinea-Bissau/Portugal, Turkey/Kurdistan, Jamaica, Italy, the UK, Germany and the USA. In short, in the words of one of the book's authors, Lena Grace Anyuolo from Kenya, "My sisters and brothers, Come, Let us gather, To lay the structures for a joyous existence." Yes, let's.

About the Editors:

Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichhorn is a German-Bolivian Theatre of the Oppressed practitioner, compulsive reader - printed books only - and reluctant writer. In recent years, he has dedicated himself to publishing activist books and in spite of his ever-deepening Left Loneliness he is still toying with the idea/desire of opening a leftist bookstore-cum-dancehall in the not too distant future. As a result, he has been obsessively hunting red kitsch, aka Communist memorabilia, to eventually be exhibited and worshipped in the store. So, if anyone wants to get rid of their Lenin busts, Angela Davis posters or Che Guevara beret, please do get in touch.

Patrick Anderson is a lifelong student of language and people, conflict and harmony, relationship and solitude. He has an admiration bordering on reverence for words, written and spoken, and the profound, at times circuitous yet always unbroken, lines of revelation and meaning they preserve. Cryptic crosswords and etymological databases unsurprisingly number among his chief sources of pleasure. Having lived, worked and studied in five continents, and with an MA in Conflict Resolution, his professional life largely consists in supporting individuals, organisations and diverse communities to navigate the world with courage, purpose and levity.

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