Thee present moment increasingly imposes itself on consciousness as a moment in These extended crisis, with one happening piling on another’, writes Lauren Berlant in
‘Cruel Optimism’. We had a similar feeling at the King’s Review and decided to compile our summer issue around the topic of crises. Our contributors address crises not just in the more prominent realms of politics and economics, but in everyday experience too. Science and art should also gure in any wide-ranging account of contemporary turmoil.
is obviously does not mean neglecting the news-weathered crisis covered by Tanya Zaharchenko in her piece on Russian speakers in con ict-ridden Ukraine (page 2) or what Nancy Fraser from the New School had to say about the financial and ecological crisis (page 22).
But beyond the great theatre of political economy more intimate crises are blazing and burning out around us. ere are substantial identity-crises such as the one described by Polly Dickson in her essay on Richard Ayoade’s lm ‘ e Double’. Dickson portrays replaceability as one of our most urgent, constant fears. Alison Fornell interrogates a moment of post-crisis in her piece (page 6), setting out in search of the source of the urge to visually fetishise Detroit’s post-industrial landscape. Joshua Oware brings us back across the Atlantic to an ordinary town in England and visions of its indeterminate future (page 30).
While Dickson, Fornell and Oware contemplate the experience of those forced to live through crisis, there are always others able to stand at the edge of the storm, tracing its origins and predicting its trajectory. It was impossible not to mention Thomas Piketty’s grand diagnosis of economic inequality and Nicholas Mulder has produced a book review linking Piketty’s theses to tax havens and the promise of a smarter tax state (page 35). Elizabeth Dzeng has produced a jewel of a conversation with Nobel Laureate Sydney Brenner, in which he angrily denounces the current short-term thinking and obsession with publication that pervades scientific research in academia (page 16).
Alongside words, this issue also carries visual content that captures crisis in its various forms. Richard Mosse, who just won the 2014 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, as well as Becca Voelcker and Owen Holland contributed wonderful images of vivid violence in Congo, the fear of adultery in Tokyo and demonstrations in London.