UTBLICK Nr 3 is finally here!

The first issue of the autumn 2018 is finally here!! In this number we’ve talked about the broad subject of MEDIA.

For more than a decade the press freedom has declined in the world, but at the same time new kinds of media are on the rise.

Recent events have made us wonder about which changes media will go through in the near future (digital revolution?). Since cases such as Snowden’s whistle-blow or Cambridge Analytica, how much do we know about how the data we provide and the data we receive is being handled? Furthermore, could the current state of a decentralized and extremely rapid flow of information have any consequences with practices like biohacking?

But we should not forget the people behind technology, and for instance, how the information is being moderated outside of algorithms; who are the people behind the reporting button?

This leads us to social media and how we interact with it; from the narcissistic use of social media to the unconsented recording of Korea
n women in public spaces. And also fake news, a term that has come up and been discussed all over during the last couple of years. But what exactly is fake news and how does it affect you? We hope you can find some answers with the specific case of Macedonia and how fake news managed to disband the country’s renaming referendum.

We also want to build your hopes up with a very inspiring inte
rview with Swedish news reporter Carina Bergfeldt and her thoughts on the journalistic career, the current politics and how has she managed to do some amazing things such as reporting the KKK from within.
We should also be aware of the role of the more conventional media, by some cases such as Singapore and LGBT rights, performative violence and its treatment by the conventional media and lastly, Spain and its controversial freedom of expression. And on a bigger trend, the tu

rn to illiberalism in democracies. So, to wrap it up, you will be able to find an “authoritarian handbook” :)

You can check the magazine here.

Pleasant reading!

Moa Persson and Ariadna Carrascosa

New issue of UTBLICK out now!!

The second issue of 2018 is finally here!! This time we have explored the theme of elections and democracy in a changing world.

This year we are facing an enormous amount of elections. One of the most important aspects of a democracy is elections, free and fair elections is what gives voice to our societies. Earlier this year we have seen Putin’s reelection in Russia, and also Hungary and Poland’s move towards nationalistic politics and anti-european governments. Since previously we have already witnessed the low Utblick_No2_2018_COVER-1voting participation in France’s elections, Germany’s struggle with building a government, the victory of Trump in the US. But not to forget some positive trends in democracy as the surprisingly peaceful resignation of Zimbabwe’s long ruling leader Mugabe, that now will lead up to a parliamentary election later this year. As well as the formation of new political parties, like the Demokraterna in Gothenburg, who is claiming to be neither left or right and the left wing Podemos in Spain, just to mention a few. So we thought it would be the right time to explore the concept of elections and a myriad of issues entailed to it, especially with the upcoming Swedish election that will be held in September.

We wanted to look at elections in a wider spectrum and from different countries and cultures. So in this number of Utblick we hope you will learn about some of the elections which are taking place this year and some trends we are witnessing in the world right now. Such as the worrying lack of participation of the young generation in elections or the disconnect between society and politicians. This has brought to life alternatives like e-democracy initiatives such as DigidemLab.

This is not to undermine national election issues, such as the coming mexican election, which is believed to shake the country’s policies. As well as the need to critically review parliamentary and presidency laws that might be discriminatory, such as the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Or democratic retreats, like in Cambodia.  

So, in this issue we have compiled these and many more articles and topics that we hope you will enjoy.

You can check the magazine here.

Or grab a copy in different campuses, libraries and cafés around Gothenburg!

Pleasant reading!

Moa Persson and Ariadna Carrascosa

Get to know our contributors!

utblick staff photos together-1

 

Here is a list with all the people that contributed to the first issue of 2018 on FEMINISM and what they did in it. We have also written something they like and something they hate, so you can get to know them a little bit better!

The writers

Rebecca Hartill hartill.rebecca@gmail.com – Burmese cats / Bullshit

Moa Persson – moa.persson@utblick.org – Snow/ Peanut butter

Ella Petrini – ella.petrini@gmail.com – Broad City/ Getting up before 8 am

Egil Sturk – egilsturk95@gmail.com – Irony/ Infants on airplanes

Shakira Mills – shakira.n.mills@gmail.com – Cheesecake/ Scary movies

Lisa Sutton – gussutli@student.gu.se– Vulnerability/ The patriarchy

Reka Paul – rebeccapaul@hotmail.de – The smell of old things/ People cutting in line

Maximilian Weik – maxweik@hotmail.com – Bulk waste furniture/ Cold hands

Viktor Warg – viktorerikwarg@gmail.com – Good friends we have/ Good friends we’ve lost

The graphic designer

Ahyoung Kim- guskimah@student.gu.se – Sour jelly/ Blood

The illustrators

Ibou Gueye – hej.ibou@gmail.com – Cake/ Trump (and all he stands for)

Charlotte Gunnarsson – charlotte_gunnarsson@hotmail.com Racoons/ The sound of cutlery against teeth

Jenny Lundin Johansson – jenny.lujo@hotmail.com – Heavy rain/ That Blue song by Eiffel 65

Elisabeth Pavon – elisabeth.p.r@hotmail.com– To get in the shower/ To get out of the shower

The proofreader for English articles

Brea Pluta – brea.pluta@gmail.com – Long walks on the beach/ Small talk about the weather  

The editors

Moa Persson – moa.persson@utblick.org – Snow/ Peanut butter

Ariadna Carrascosa -ariadna.carrascosa@utblick.org – Sunset/ White asparagus

 

First Utblick of 2018 out now! FEMINISM

HEJ HEJ!

This issue has been carefully curated and edited by yours truly, Moa Persson and Ariadna Carrascosa, the new editors of UTBLICK magazine for this coming year 2018. We are very excited and glad to offer you this issue focused on feminism that we hope you enjoy as much as we did putting it out together!

You can grab a copy in different campuses, libraries and cafés around town but you can also read it HERE if you prefer.

This is the beginning of an incredibly exciting and promising year in UTBLICK magazine and we hope you will come along with us.

We wish you a pleasant, critical and feminist reading,

Moa and Ariadna

moa.persson@utblick.orgariadna.carrascosa@utblick.org

Link to the magazine: 1st Issue 2018 FEMINISM

Utblick nr 4 2017 out now!

25189544_10203841689920222_1891558650_oPower is a complex concept. What is power, who has it and what are the consequences of power being exploited? None of these questions can be immediately and easily answered; they require careful analysis and critical thinking on the ever-changing rules of power. In this last issue of 2017, we try to shed some light on these faces of power. Some of the covered aspects are the power of discourses, the role of money, and the authoritarian state mechanisms of disciplining the masses. These are however only scratches on the surface, yet we hope they give some insights and trigger some thought about the role of power in a modern society.

So feel free to pick a copy of the magazine in a university campus or library, or read the online version here!

 

We wish you a pleasant read,

Axel and Mikael

Utblick nr 3 2017 out now!

Dreams and nightmares of politics is no new thing. Used as a rhetoric tool, as means of analysis and subject of comparison, utopias and dystopias has from time to time been an influential ingredient of public debate. Carrying hope and dreams of a better future, utopias also come with the risk of oppression – if the ends justify the means, hope might quickly turn into despair.

Utblick3_2017_fram2The third issue of Utblick 2017 examines these topics in greater detail. Covering subjects like (but not limited to) the state of contemporary politics, the role of social media, and the former colonial capital of Great Britain, we hope to provide some interesting reading for most of you. Pick up a copy of the magazine in a university campus or library nearby, or read it as PDF here.

 

Pleasant read,

Mikael and Axel

Utblick nr 2 2017 out now!

Utblick2_2017_framhelTime goes by and soon the spring semester will end. Dominated by the French elections, this spring has brought a lot of interesting matters of international policy. In this the second issue of Utblick 2017, we offer a mix of exciting topics, including but not limited to geopolitics in the Arctic, Islamic terrorism (and the practice of othering) and a few angles on capitalism. Read it online here – or pick up a copy of the magazine at Campus Haga or a library nearby, crash in a chair on a warm summer’s day and enjoy!

Pleasant read,

 

Mina and Axel

Utblick nr 1 2017 out now!

With a politically turbulent winter behind us, there has been no shortage of subjects to choose from when creating this first issue of Utblick 2017. Covering topics like the possible case of a Catalan state, the Dutch elections, automation in the global economy, and many more, we hope you will find some interesting reading in the International Machinery issue.

You can find tUtblick1_2017framsidaRätthe magazine in University of Gothenburg campuses, as well as in various libraries and cafés around town – and of course here on our website.

 

Pleasant read,

Mina and Axel, Editors-in-chief

New Issue of Utblick: (In)security

What is security? The field of Security Studies has various bids; some argue that it is a form of value that stands in proportion to an actor’s material well-being. Others claim that it is impossible to formulate a definition that satisfies every country, every culture, every people and every religion – in this view, security is a subjective concept defined by circumstances.

The matter is complicated even further when the topic is global security – different countries, cultures, peoples and religions have different ideas of what security is. While Americans may perceive US military presence in the Middle East as a reassurance of national security, the people living in that region may regard the very same thing as a cause of insecurity. In the same way, the individual goal of radicalization among Muslims may be to achieve individual social security. However, the result of that pursuit will inevitably endanger the security of others. Evidently, global security is an eternally multi-faced concept for which a single definition will never be enough.

The final issue of the year deals with some of the issues on the contemporary global security agenda, with the goal of providing a detailed and enlightening view of the problems facing our world today, and with the objective of shedding light upon conflicts that have ended up outside the public spotlight.

You can look for this issue of Utblick at coffee shops, libraries, museums, movie theatres and university faculties all across Göteborg, or read it online here.

The West Bank Barrier – Security or apartheid?

Written by Selma Aalachi

With a third of the world’s countries constructing barriers along their borders, the promise by Donald Trump to build a wall along the border between US and Mexico isn’t precisely a new idea. As a matter of fact, mankind has from early history to modern times built barriers with the aim to protect and demarcate. When the Berlin wall was demolished in the year of 1989, there were approximately 16 border fences around the world. Today, more than 40 states have built barriers against their neighbouring countries. Some of them are completed, while others are still under construction. One such example is the Israeli West Bank barrier.

As an attempt to prevent Palestinian terrorists from entering Israel, the Israeli government began constructing a barrier in 2002. The barrier divides the West Bank and is a network of concrete walls, fences and closed military roads. In some places, it is as high as 8 meters, making it twice as high as the Berlin Wall (the average height of the Berlin Wall was 3.6 meters). The West Bank barrier is also expected to reach at least 650 kilometers in length, making it not only twice as high as the Berlin Wall, but also four times as long. The Barrier will also be more than twice as long as the internationally recognised Green Line, which was supposed to outline the border between Israel and West Bank.

The Israeli government argues that the Barrier has a pivotal defensive purpose. They indicate that the number of Palestinian attacks have decidedly decreased on their soil since the beginning of its construction, as proof of its effectiveness. To emphasize its association with security, its proponents terms it the “Security-,” or “Anti-Terrorist Fence”. The term “fence” is ostensibly less correlated with dictatorial power, but rather with the belief that “good fences make good neighbours.”

On the other hand, for the opponents of the Barrier it is the “Separation-,” “Colonisation-,” or “Apartheid Wall,” as it infringes Palestinian territory, restricts freedom of movement and demolishes communities. The phrase ‘wall’ evokes negative connotations equated with dictatorial power and perpetual segregation. Additionally, because 85 per cent of the Barrier runs inside the West Bank, many consider it to be an impediment to the desire of establishing a viable state of their own. The international Court of Justice (ICJ) has stated that the wall should be dismantled, because it is constructed on occupied Palestinian territory. According to international law, no country has the right to act outside its sovereign territory. Therefore, in compliance with the fourth Geneva Convention, the Israeli West Bank barrier is illegal. Yet, the wall is expanding, just like the rest of the walls around the world.

Border walls and fences may not be a new phenomenon, but the rate at which they’re coming to being is assuredly anomalous; as it is the fastest rate since the Cold War. But Israel is not only separating themselves from the West Bank, it is also building a concrete wall along the Gaza Strip. The country is additionally planning to wall itself off from the surrounding Arab states, becoming a fortress-like nation. The Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has described the surrounding Arab states as ‘wild beasts’, which Israel needs to protect itself from. Moreover, let us not forget about the Egypt-Gaza barrier or the barbed-wire fence that India is constructing around Bangladesh. Turkey is building a concrete wall along its entire border with Syria. Hungary is planning to construct a second wall on its southern border with Serbia, while the Estonian government has approved the building of a fence along its border with Russia. Europe will shortly have a greater amount of border barriers than what it had during the Cold War.

The perception of boundaries performs a leading role in the conflict of nation building, territory and resources within Middle East. The reasoning behind this view is based on the concept of the nation-state, where every population should have their own territory and where no foreigners are allowed to intervene in their internal affairs. In the opinion of realism, the dominant school of thought in International Relations theory, states are central actors which operate in an anarchic system. Because states desire to guard their sovereignty, the primary motive is state survival. States will endeavour to gain power at the expense of their rivals. If Israel is to become more powerful, that necessarily means the loss of land for Palestine. This explains why the wall has shifted the borders. It can be argued that Israel is building the Barrier with the purpose of offering their people protection from the ravages of an insecure international system; especially being the only country in the world with a Jewish majority.

Nevertheless, there are those who argue that walls and border fences don’t work. Because terrorist groups, for example, have the resources to enter by safer methods, they are not affected by walls. They are able to shoot rockets over the fence or to dig tunnels under it. They also manage to trespass by using fake documents. West Bank Palestinians still manage to enter Israel on a daily basis in hopes of work, to harvest their fields, to visit their families or to attend prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

So if the West Bank barrier doesn’t stop terrorists or undocumented workers, nor outlines a substantial border – then what is it for?

Security theatre could be one explanation. The phrase refers to actions taken by the government with the purpose of making citizens feel safer by seeing something being dealt with; even though that action generates a negligible contribution to the general efforts of truly keeping the population safe. Security theatre provide the sense of security, not actual security. The state, by demonstrating sovereignty, simultaneously reifies authority over that territory and defines the limits of the people that are situated there. This differentiation stimulate more passionate feelings of belonging to the in-group, as well as the separation from the other on the outside. The creation of an ‘us’ can only exist by its separation of a ‘them’. By creating distinct territories, when dividing the two populations, it demonstrates what Israels is and what it is not.

Many argue that the Barrier’s real raison d’être is to create facts on the ground, or what is better known as expansionism. Without delving into the complicated, notwithstanding interesting, past, a vital fact is the close correlation in Israeli history between ideological goals and the advanced practical actions. When the Zionist movement began to promote Jewish resettlement of Palestine in the nineteenth century, the settlement policy had three primary goals: the establishment of conterminous sections of settlement, the purchase of rural land and the expansion of the territory that would help to delineate the future boundaries of the state.

Invariably, border fences and barriers are justified in the language of security. It has long been a toon in regulating, or attempting to regulate, human passage and defending territory by the construction of walls. But wasn’t this supposed to be a new era in global affairs? An era in which the national borders were softened because of international financial interdependence? Globalization was supposed to tear down barriers and bring people of different ethnicity together, not to create new walls.

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, every human being has the right to life, freedom and legal security. The Berlin Wall became an emblem for state violence, oppression and denial of human rights. Even though the West Bank barrier has made it more difficult for terrorists to reach their target, and Palestinian attacks have almost entirely disappeared since the construction begun, correlation doesn’t necessarily equal causation. Even though a wall offers more security than no wall, they do little to address the roots of insecurity and migration. The West Bank barrier, in its current aggressive route, may severely harm the peace process and stimulate terrorism. It has destroyed Palestinian neighbourhoods, restrained the economy and illegally occupied land. So whether we choose to see the West Bank barrier as simply a security matter or as a symbolism of modern apartheid, the Barrier is sure to play a vital role in the complex process of territorial negotiation related to the Israel-Palestine conflict as a whole.