With a little delay, we are happy to introduce you to the a new issue of our journal, a proud result of our Alternautas journey off the beaten path! Here you will be able to download our new journal issue, open and free for everyone.
Since 2013, the steadily expanding Alternautas family has been engaged in discussing development-related issues in Latin America by publishing and translating cutting-edge work around the continent of Abya Yala. We are convinced that much of its intellectual contributions are timely and well fit for addressing some of the profound problems our world is facing today. Alternautas continues therefore to strive to expand, reaching new audiences and exploring new horizons.
The year 2015 has been an extremely productive one for us and we are pleased to share here a collection of pieces that we have published since July. We are also delighted to introduce our new book review section! However, our work has been at the same time clouded by tragic events and therefore a particular editorial note seems justified. 2015 has been a year of widespread grief, terror and fear, and we do not want to leave these terrible events, happening around the globe, unaddressed. The deadly attacks carried out in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Russia and the United States leave their scars and traces in all societies. Profound political changes are also taking place in Latin America with the failure of the Bolivarian experiments and in many cases the return of more conservative and sometimes violently repressive forces. Globally, there has been a resurgence of fascism, mass-surveillance, disenchantment, individualization, repression and a stubborn resistance to self-criticism among intellectual and political leaders. Despite recent advances with regard to international climate governance, political leadership, it seems, is in deep trouble: no radically new answers can be found to terrorism, to global climate change, mass migration, urbanization, overpopulation and dramatically growing inequalities. As a consequence, lives in the global North have turned to virtual simulacra, observing the new worldwide conflicts with detachment and helpless cynicism.
These undoubtedly political questions, when they are raised at all, leave out crucial dimensions with which Latin American critical thinking has long been concerned. If the contributions presented in this issue do not directly deal with these troubling questions, they do so indirectly by presenting valuable examples of two interrelated dimensions: In the first place, discussing how the current unbalanced system plays out in various contexts, documenting its effects, and secondly, how concrete alternatives may impact societies (and vice versa); in this way, they contribute to the quest for new models (political, social, cultural, etc.) for a future that must be actively imagined and constructed today.
2016 will be a crucial year for both Abya Yala and Alternautas, aiming at expanding and sustaining what has begun as a highly fruitful exchange. For 2016, we are particularly interested in contributions on Venezuela and Colombia, two regions that have been underrepresented on the blog so far. But as always, we are open to receiving any new contributions that critically engage with development thinking from Latin America, without geographic limitations.
Finally, some exciting new initiatives: We are working on transforming our online posts into downloadable, consecutively numbered and citable articles, and ultimately hope to become indexed as a peer-reviewed open source publication. In addition, Alternautas is organizing various new platforms of exchange and collaboration, so please stay tuned! We hope that readers will be encouraged to explore the diverse discussions presented in this issue and further engage with Alternautas in commenting and sharing. We look forward to new horizons of academic reflections that contribute to the global fight for making visible new voices and the creation of new worlds.
Below, you can see the Journal in PDF, click here to download it directly or here, to read it in isuu. We will be very happy to see this volume shared far and wide.
Happy reading and best wishes for 2016!
- The Alternautas Editorial Board