The Trauma of War and Displacement in the Poetry of John Guzlowski

By Marek Sroka

One of the most interesting examples of traumatic experiences of war and displacement are the poems of John Guzlowski, “arguably the most accomplished Polish-American poet on the contemporary scene.”[1]  Guzlowski, who was born in a displaced persons’ camp in Vienenburg, Germany, after World War II, came with his parents and sister to the United States as “DPs” (“displaced persons,’ the term Guzlowski uses to describe their status) in 1951.  Inspired by the wartime experiences of his parents, the author has been writing poems about his parents’ lives addressing the tragedy of war, the trauma of displacement, and the anguish of immigration.  Moreover, the topics he highlights in his poetry did not disappear after World War II.  Instead, new conflicts erupted that resulted in massive displacement of populations in various parts of the world, including present war in Ukraine.                                                                                                                    In one of his most powerful poems, “Landscape with Dead Horses, 1939,” Guzlowski introduces audiences to the Polish experience of Nazi Germany invasion of Poland in 1939 and confronts them with tragedy of all wars.  Here is the opening verse:

War comes down like a hammer, heavy and hard

flattening the earth and killing the soft things:

horses and children, flowers and hope, love

and the smell of the farmers’ earth, the coolness

of the creek, the look of trees as they unfurl

their leaves in late March and early April

(from Echoes of Tattered Tongues)[2]

Another poem worth mentioning is “Cattle Train to Magdeburg,” in which Guzlowski recreates the experience of his mother’s deportation to Nazi Germany where she would work as a slave laborer.  The poem deals with the universal and often lifelong trauma of displacement caused by wars.  Here is a fragment:

My mother still remembers

The long train to Magdeburg

the box cars

bleached gray

by Baltic winters


The long twilight journey

to Magdeburg-

four days that became six years

six years that became sixty


And always a train of box cars

bleached to Baltic gray

(from Lightning and Ashes)[3]  

Guzlowski’s poems are emotionally powerful and are anchored in his parents experience as forced laborers and country-less refugees.  Yet, his poetry has universal relevance giving voice to countless refugees displaced and traumatized by wars in the past and current centuries.

Cover of John Guzlowski’s book of poetry “Echoes of Tattered Tongues” (2016)

[1] Thomas Napierkowski, “Lightning and Ashes: The Poetry of John Guzlowski,” Polish American Studies, no. 1 (Spring 2008): 86-93.

[2] John Z. Guzlowski, Echoes of Tattered Tongues (Los Angeles, California: Aquila Polonica Publishing, 2016).

[3] John Z. Guzlowski, Lightning and Ashes (Bowling Green, Kentucky: Steel Toe Books, 2007).




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From Charybdis to Scylla. Personal Reflection on the UIUC Library Hangouts.

By Atoma Batoma

Communication is not what we start out with, it is what we get to.
Françoise Armengaud

In order to ensure the continuation of the library’s work during the pandemic, Dean Wilkin organized in March 2020 weekly “Library hangouts,” online meetings for the library community that provide an opportunity for librarians to share their experience of the lockdown. These are still going on, but on a monthly basis since September 2020. I suggest that when a full record of this unique experiment is written and properly catalogued, two of the many tags we will attach to it as descriptors will be “education” and “dialogue” or, perhaps more appropriately, education through dialogue. In what follows, I will elaborate on the reasons these tags will serve us well; but first, let me give you a brief window into how these hangouts work.
To an outside observer, these digital hangouts might have the appearance of an online substitute for regular library meetings rendered impossible due to the pandemic and the related lockdown; but for me and, I suspect, my colleagues as well, they feel more like family reunions with two parallel tracks. One track is a laser-focused and solution-oriented discussion of serious issues, including those thrust upon the Library by Covid-19. The second track is a more relaxing one, a quasi-festive use of the chat space to stream the more personal experiences of the pandemic and the lockdown. My colleagues generously shared their personal experiences here, and I have always looked forward to this with pleasure and excitement. It is here that I have discovered what I would never have known otherwise. My fellow librarians possess a huge array of personal skills and hobbies. They are seasoned gardeners, amateurs of animal husbandry, and experienced cooks with a wide variety of their own recipes. I even learned some interesting tips, such as how to entrust your haircut to your significant other during the lockdown, and what corner of the house leads to the best results. Those chats revealed to me a spirit of goodwill, open mindedness, and generosity I had never had the occasion to see in my colleagues.
These librarians I work with are involved in vast and amazing research areas, and this became apparent to me a few years back when I sat on the Faculty Review Committee. However, I had never had the opportunity to be privy to the world of their extra-professional activities and hobbies. The hangouts gave me a glimpse of this profoundly human aspect of their lives. Not only did I discover their multifaceted worlds, I also genuinely felt invited into their homes to share their meals, pick flowers in their gardens, virtually pet their beautiful animal companions. Clearly, this was one silver lining of the Covid-19 pandemic and web conferencing technology. I wondered how we could harness and keep this friendship and warmth that permeates these hangouts. How could we continue to cultivate goodwill and genuine human sentiments within the academic structure that our institution desperately needs to function?
In his June 3, 2020 email to the Library, Dean Wilkin shared sentiments that were heart-felt and compassionate in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. He concluded by inviting us to think about steps forward to create an open and inclusive environment for our colleagues and for ourselves. At the June 9th hangout the following Monday, participants responded enthusiastically to this invitation by suggesting educational activities in the form of informal hangouts, reading lists, and discussion groups. Informal hangouts would be designed for us to get to know one another on a more personal, non-academic level, in order to foster a more friendly atmosphere within the library’s workspace. The reading lists would be created to keep us informed and updated on the problems of racism and related social issues. Discussion groups would be a place for us to share our understanding of the issues and, eo facto, ground our individual or collective engagement. Other suggestions were added during subsequent hangout sessions.
As someone who studied both Latin and Greek in high school, when I heard the expression “educational activities” it brought to mind ‘education’ in its quasi- etymological sense. To educate (from Latin ex ducare) is to guide, to lead from one place, say point A, to another place, point B. In childhood education, it is to guide a child from the innocent state of infancy toward the more complex and mature state of adulthood. In humanities in general, it is to lead from a place of confusion, of intellectual uncertainty or insecurity, to a place of less confusion, more clarity or intellectual safety. Whether in child rearing or humanities in general, human experience teaches us that sometimes point B becomes evanescent, becomes a new point A and vice versa. Although this process might look like a Sisyphean task, I see it as merely the manifestation of the unfinished business of the Enlightenment project. Education thus understood offers us pointing arrows and guidelines more than guides. Moreover, education often transforms educators into those being educated and vice versa. In other words, it puts educators and those being educated in the same boat, but a kind of Neurath’s ship that gets reconstructed on the open sea as its sailors go along, unable to start afresh from the bottom.
Our Library-ship, like the ships of other institutions around the world, has been jostled back and forth between the Charybdis of Coronavirus and the Scylla of racism and police brutality. Our Library has nonetheless withstood this jolting in great part thanks to the conversation that animated the weekly hangouts. I believed that these conversations, if maintained and carried forward dialogically, would help guide our institution towards firmer and more prosperous shores.
A lot has been achieved since the beginning of the hangouts, particularly on the front of the struggle against Charybdis: the constant sharing of information, the mutual moral support and encouragement among colleagues, the discipline with which the guidelines and instructions have been followed, all this outcome of the weekly and then monthly conversations has allowed the library to carry out its main tasks. Also, new programs and individual initiatives such as discussion groups and outreach activities have come to light. The results of the hangouts and the decisions made as well as their implementations, are recorded in the minutes and accessible on the library’s employee website. I wish to elaborate here on the less tangible, but not less important aspect of the desiderata of the hangouts, notably the interpersonal communication through dialogue.
We know instinctively and perhaps empirically that dialogue is a core component of the educational process. At the June 9th hangout following Floyd’s murder, several participants shared their experience of encounters with colleagues perceived as micro-aggressions, and which made them feel uncomfortable. Commenting on this, the Dean said, “I hope that when that happens, that there is a dialogue.” Here is the crux of the matter, the “hope” and the “dialogue” in the Dean’s response are inseparably linked, and that link defines the complexity of dialogue as the essential aspect of human communication and the most difficult to achieve. The word ‘hope’ points to the value of the desired thing to obtain or action to undertake, and the possibility of its future achievement. It also expresses an appeal to the mediation of human agency without which the achievable cannot be achieved. The difficulty of achieving authentic dialogue is twofold. On the one hand, it depends on the empirical situation in which the encounters occur, and on the other hand, it hinges on the socio-cultural identities of the those involved in the encounter.
The experiences recounted during the hangout took place in face-to-face encounters. In such situations, the spontaneity of the encounters can provoke rough emotions and, consequently, create obstacles to an accurate assessment of the sincerity of the feelings as well as the intention behind the verbal or physical expressions of the partners of the encounter. Although emotions should not be shoved aside and ignored, for they are one of the vital signs of our existential fabric, interpersonal or social contexts require us to maintain some control over their expression. What we can, and should do in such situations, is be open to other people’s reactions to our words or deeds, and if these turn out to be negative or hurtful, be ready to take them back; honest retraction of our words in emotion-charged or conflict-laden situations is the clearest indication of our good will.
Dialogue is difficult to achieve for a second reason related to the fact that, as stated by several sociologists and philosophers of communication, we never take part in communicative encounters as pure disembodied subjects, but as situated individuals with socio-cultural backgrounds and biographical trajectories. This multifaceted dimension of our identities can influence our viewpoints and impact our perception of others as well as our attitude toward them. In a multicultural community like the U of I community with its multitude of viewpoints and perspectives, this can be a challenge. But if we become aware of it through dialogue, it can be an opportunity for education and growth, for the aim of authentic dialogue is not to reduce this multitude of viewpoints to a common cultural or ideological denominator; the aim of authentic dialogue is to understand where the partners of a conversation come from so that they can search for consensus and build together an inclusive and vibrant community, a microcosm of humanity. As Chancellor Jones reminded us in his October 7, 2020 email, “the diversity of our community and the perspectives, talents, and life experiences reflected within it fuel our creativity, advance deep, critical thinking, as well as the innovations needed to address racism and social disparities to improve the world and lives”.
As suggested above, authentic dialogue may be also defined as a communicative search for consensus, that is, a communicative process by which we try to reach agreement on a set of propositions or claims, be they factual, value, or policy claims. But, as Simone Goya-Fabre warns us, the path to consensus is bumpy and offers no guarantee of success: “even when expressed with alacrity and ductility, the communicative discourse is rarely a linear discourse. It never runs like a quiet river. It is a constant debate” (my translation). But despite its uneven and bumpy nature, dialogue as search for consensus is worth undertaking, for as Francis Jacques puts it, “our conflicts are profound but the search for consensus can have a heuristic value (my translation).”

[1] Expression coined by the Austrian philosopher of science Otto Neurath and popularized in American philosophical literature by the American logician and philosopher of language Willard Van Orman Quine through his x book Word and Object. See also his y autobiography titled The Time of my Life.

[1] As Robert C. Solomon puts it in his book titled True to our feelings. What our emotions are really telling us, “our emotions are engagements with the world, not mere self-enclosed feelings” p.  204

[1] I am not oblivious to the fact that, as the French say, no one is deafer than he who does not want to listen (il n’y a pas plus sourd que celui qui ne veut pas écouter).

[1] Goya-Fabre, Simone. De l’Interrogation ou philosopher autrement. Paris : Les Editions du Cerf, 2011.  « Le discours communicationnel, quelles que puissent être en lui l’alacrité et la ductilité de l’expression, est donc rarement linéaire : il ne coule jamais comme un fleuve tranquille. Il est un constant débat ». P.126.

[1] Jacques, Francis. Consensus et conflit: une réévaluation. In Herman Parret, La communité en paroles: communication, consensus, ruptures. Liège : Pierre Mardaga, 1991. « Nos conflits sont plus profonds et notre recherche du consensus peut avoir une valeur heuristique… ». P. 120.

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The Impact of the 2021 International Studies Research Lab

Through the International Studies Research Lab (ISRL), the Center for Global Studies—in partnership with the International and Area Studies Library and collaborating centers—leverages the campus’ expertise and vast library resources to support the development of international and area studies programming in community colleges across the country, providing access to important US Department of Education Title VI resources to institutions and regions without direct access to these important grant funds. Programs like the ISRL constitute a true national resource that benefits community college students throughout the US.

A map showing that institutions in fourteen states have been impacted by the ISRL.The 2021 ISRL, which took place this past summer, marked the lab’s sixth consecutive year. Following the precedent set in 2020, the 2021 ISRL was completely virtual. It was hosted by the Center for Global Studies (CGS) in collaboration with the International and Area Studies Library; co-sponsors included the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies; the European Union Center; and the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center.

What is the ISRL? In a nutshell, it is an opportunity for community college educators to access the University Library’s vast collections—the largest of any public academic institution of higher education in the United States—and to consult with subject experts. Armed with these resources, ISRL participants join the lab with the intent to expand global studies curricula, improve their language programs, broaden the scope of their library collections, or further develop international education programs at their home institutions. The length of the ISRL has varied in the past, but this year, it lasted from May to the end of July. At the end of the lab, participants submit a final project. The projects take many forms; this year, participants submitted white papers, syllabi, teaching units, and bibliographies for library collection development.

The 2021 ISRL hosted 11 scholars from across the country in 2021—as far east as New York, as far west as Washington, and as far south as Texas. Their projects were all designed to benefit students at the scholars’ home institutions. For example, Dedric Lee created a teaching unit about the relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia. He plans to integrate the teaching unit into courses he teaches at Jefferson College in Missouri. Dr. Isabel Scarborough wrote a review about open-access textbooks at community colleges; she plans to use the findings to promote student success at Parkland Community College and develop an open-access Global Studies text. Stacye Fraser Thompson, drawing from her years of experience at Jefferson State Community College, composed a white paper about internationalizing curricula at community colleges. She hopes the paper will help administrators and educators around the US to prepare students for success in an increasingly globalized world.

In total, 9 finished projects were submitted for the 2021 ISRL. These are in addition to projects submitted from past labs, all of which are free to download from IDEALS, the university’s institutional repository. Through IDEALS, ISRL projects are discoverable through various search platforms, including Google Scholar and the University of Illinois’ online catalog. In total, ISRL projects have been downloaded over 18,000 times, and the number only continues to grow.

A graph showing that ISRL materials have been downloaded nearly seventeen thousand times through IDEALS.During the 2021 lab, CGS provided ISRL scholars with more opportunities to connect with each other than in the past. Some participants regularly attended a weekly “coffee hour,” and others communicated via email after meeting during the lab orientation or the final workshop. CGS hopes to optimize the lab’s structure in the future to continue encouraging these interactions. Future plans include reintroducing an in-person component while still offering opportunities for virtual-only participants.

Despite the abrupt transition to a virtual lab format in 2020 and 2021, ISRL scholars continue to voice positive feedback about their ISRL experiences. In this year’s anonymous post-lab survey, one scholar wrote, “This was a great program, and I learned a lot from the other programs and ideas that other participants presented. It was exciting to see the robust ideas circulating among community college faculty.” Another said, “The course [I] designed in the ISRL has expanded our Global Studies Program and has shown the administration that not only is there support, but desire for additional Global Studies curriculum in the faculty.”

More information about the ISRL, along with a list of 2021 ISRL fellows, is available on the CGS website. For notifications about announcements about next year’s lab, please subscribe to the ISRL mailing list. If you have any questions, please email the Global Studies Librarian, Dr. Steve Witt, at

The International Studies Research Lab is made possible through Title VI funds provided by the US Department of Education.

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Curing Academic Homesickness at UIUC

By: Vismaya Jayakumar, Master of Urban Planning 

Along with igniting tremendous trauma in millions of people around the world, COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted various inequities in access to health, education, food, mobility and more. The impact of the pandemic on vulnerable populations has brought to light several previously overlooked issues. One of the most vulnerable groups is international students, yet their issues are often overlooked by decision-makers.

Over the last several years, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has proudly housed thousands of international students (with an average growth rate of 4.6%). International students currently make up more than 22% of the student body at the university (more here), bringing new cultural ideas and prosperity. Amidst the chaos of the pandemic, travel bans, airport closures, rising unemployment rates, overseas money transfer struggles, ICE’s alarming notices, racism and xenophobia, and a feeling of isolation in a foreign country, one other issue the pandemic has underscored is the alienation of international students in academia resulting in, what I call, Academic Homesickness.

A photo of the COVID-19 walk in testing sites at Illinois

COVID-19 testing site at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Source: Chicago Tribune (

Coming from a particular educational context, having read a different set of scholarship all through our educational careers, in our initial semesters here, many of us sit and stare at an assigned reading for a class and wonder how different it is. While this variance in perspectives undoubtedly adds to our knowledge, it also reduces opportunities for us to effectively bring our own ideas with confidence. In parallel, we who travelled thousands of miles looking for better education, some for a better life, often find ourselves in a complex state of cultural and educational bereavement. We are either constantly thinking about ways of giving back to the people and place we come from, or feeling guilty about not thinking of home enough. Including familiar scholarship can open up avenues for us international students to chase our dreams in a foreign place while still feeling at home.

Many of us move to the United States after two to three decades of living and studying in our home countries. With that deep-rooted influence, often times we try to bring our global perspectives to classrooms, be it social sciences, business, engineering, public health or art. We ponder on the relevance of previously learned things, and failing to connect them to our work here, we give up and give in to merely meeting graduation requirements. As an Indian student studying Urban Planning here, I believe the COVID-19 pandemic has only highlighted this disconnect in times of quarantine separation from our families, especially for us South Asians who may feel that they have little to no relevance in the academic setting.

With over 15% of the international student population being South Asian, and many of them being doctoral students and researchers, the Illinois Dissertations on South Asia at the International Area Studies library showcases the important past work of our fellow South Asians, and provides the rest of us with much needed inspiration. This collection of more than 140 dissertations and theses has been organized by country and topic for ease and convenience.

Beyond just the South Asian dissertation collection, the International and Area Studies (IAS) Library has an extensive focus on African Studies, East Asian Studies, European Studies, Global Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Middle East and North African Studies, Russian East European and Eurasian Studies. More broadly, IAS provides monographs, articles, research journals, and digital content in various languages to support research. Due to the pandemic, many library resources including popular materials and other e-books and digital content are available online. For materials not available electronically, hard copies can be made available upon request (more here). Apart from the wide-ranging collection, the IAS library offers personalized orientation sessions for International students, both in-person and online research consultations, bibliographic training sessions, citation verification requests, one-on-one instruction sessions with subject specialists, and. Click here for more information on research consultation services and to contact subject specialists.

The pandemic and current political crises have heightened a sense of dislocation and isolation for many international students. The university is a microcosm of the real-world and with such diverse collections at our fingertips through the Library’s collections, we have tools to bridge intellectual distances, and foster innovative global research. This access cannot only remedy this feeling of academic homesickness, but also give us the confidence to go out and make real change.

Here is the IAS’s Illinois Dissertations on South Asia – Remedy to Academic Homesickness at the U of I.

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Of Fish and Yams Meets Small Axe

Of Fish and Yams is a film series and discussion about Africa and the Black World

Small Axe, Amazon

Of Fish and Yams is a platform created by the outreach program at the Center for African Studies, in collaboration with the Africana section of the International and Area Studies Library at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Its goal is to offer a forum for the presentation and the discussion through films of cultural, historical, and political issues related to Africa and the Black world in general. Fish and yams are widely eaten in African, African American, and African diasporic cuisine. They are used here as a metaphor for stable food for the spirit of Black people around the world.

During the academic year 2019-2020 Of Fish and Yams showed four films: Rafiki, directed by Wanuri Kahiu is a Kenyan drama film portraying a lesbian romance set in Kenya, a country where homosexuality is forbidden by law; Nigerian Prince, directed by Zakariya, is a Nigerian suspense thriller drama film in which a stubborn Nigerian-American teenager is sent against his will to Nigeria by his mother, and gets involved in an internet scam, trying desperately to return to the US; Dirty Pretty Things, the social thriller film directed by Steven Frears and written by Steven Knight tells the story of the struggle and survival of two immigrants in London’s secret underworld: a Nigerian doctor and a Turkish chambermaid; Sudani from Nigeria, directed by Zakariya is a sport film set in a rural town in Kerala. Beyond the unparalleled passion for soccer, the film shows how human suffering and feelings such as compassion, care, and love can be communicated despite language and culture barriers.

The disruptive effects of Covid-19 pandemic and its related lockdown and the availability now of conferencing technology led to our decision to change the format of the forum. Instead of showing an entire film, we will, from now on, invite two or three guests to watch the film and to lead the discussion during the event. The guests will show a select number of scenes that they consider relevant to the theme of the film and have a conversation among themselves. Following this conversation, they will open up the discussion to all the event attendees.

The first experience of this new approach took place last month, on March 25 with the discussion of Small Axe, a British film anthology created and directed by the British film maker Steve McQueen. Small Axe is a 5-film series that depicts the life of the London based West Indian community between the late sixties and the late eighties. The theme that unites the whole series is the racial and ethnic discrimination and police brutality against that community, and the community resistance through protests, activism, and other community-organized movements, including cultural events such as music, reggae music in particular. As McQueen explained in an interview with RPR host Michel Martin, the series title Small Axe comes from an African proverb that says, “If you are a big tree, we are the small axe”, proverb popularized by Bob Marley in his 1993 eponym song. The title signals, without doubt, the determination of the Black community to resist and be resilient.

The presenters of this first virtual film discussion event were Inka Davis, the CAS outreach coordinator, Atoma Batoma, African Studies Librarian, and Roger Noel, Creative writer and musician based in New York. We had initially planned to present the whole series but due to an inadequate management of the time, the discussion centered almost exclusively on Mangrove and Lovers Rock, the first and the second films of the series.

Described by Amon Warmann as “the fiercest and finest Small Axe chapter”, this first film of McQueen’s anthology tells the story of the trial of nine Black Londoners arrested in 1970 and charged with inciting a riot. The trial became known as The Mangrove Nine. The arrest occurred during community organized protests that followed the police raid of Mangrove restaurant. Located in Notting Hills, Mangrove restaurant was opened in1968. It was a haven for activists, intellectuals, and other locals from diverse ethnic backgrounds who were “literally inventing the British-Caribbean identity” (St. Felix). The London Metropolitan Police saw this as an encroachment on the British way of life and, after launching a campaign of harassment against the restaurant and its owner, they decided to raid the establishment, which led the community to take to the street.

The nine people put on trial included Frank Crichlow (Shaun Parkes), the owner of the restaurant; Darcus Howe (Malachi Kirby), an activist who convinced Frank to organize the protests; and Altheia Jones-LeCointe (Leila Wight), the British Black Panther leader. Although the trial did not result in a total happy ending, it did lead to “the British court system acknowledging, for the first time, that there was “evidence of racial hatred” in the nation’s police practices (Collins).

In addition to recounting the story of the trial stricto sensu, the film showcases the identity of London-based West Indian community through food, songs, and dance (Warmann). Reggae music that punctuates the story is undoubtedly an important dimension of the narrative; it is an expression of joy and hope, but also an inspiration for resistance and resilience. “Pressure Drop,” the song by the reggae group Toots and the Maytals that closes the film, captures this spirit.

Lovers Rock
Unlike the other Small Axe films that are based on real life figures, Lovers Rock is a fictional story that describes a magical night of pure music and dance, a pouring and sharing of emotions and feelings among young West Indians in London. The West Indian community and the Black Londoners in general did not have access to British clubs during that period, so they came up with their own sound system, dominated by Reggae music. McQueen did not seem particularly concerned with plot in this film described as a “plotless fresco (St. Felix), but it has been said that what Lovers Rock “lacks in narrative, it makes up for with mood” (Warmann). Indeed, the mood of Lovers Rock is electrifying, contagious, a “pure intravenous atmosphere,” as Peter Bradshaw describes it in The Guardian. “All of a sudden, you are no longer watching a movie, but are part of one. Your body is moving alongside those onscreen, even if you are sitting still,” writes Collins in Rolling Stone.

In addition to its festive and joyful dimension, Lovers Rock is also an expression of resistance and survival. As Justin Chang said so pertinently on NPR’s Fresh Air program, “Joy itself can be an act of defiance, an expression of a community’s life force and its will to survive.” The resistance and defiance shown in the film are not based on backward-looking strategies; they are forward-looking, creative. For instance, the Reggae music played in this film “carried an element of pop that was very different from roots reggae. But it held its own, and this is what was genius about it” (Dennis Bowell, quoted by Jeremy Gordon in New York Times).
We plan to revisit Small Axe in the near future to discuss the remaining three films, notably Red, White and Blue, the melancholic complement to Mangrove as Doreen St. Felix characterizes it (St. Felix), Alex Wheatle which tells the real life story of the amazing transformation of an orphan Black child, and Education, the episode that exposes the racially and socially segregated school system in London and which is the episode that feels most personal to McQueen (Warmann).


Sources Consulted:

Bradshaw, Peter. Lovers Rock review—Steve McQueen Throws the Best Party Ever, The Guardian, September 17, 2020.

Chang, Justin. (Heard on NPR Fresh Air program) ‘Small Axe’: A searing Portrait of Racism and A Community’s Will to Survive. National Public Radio, November 20, 2020.

Collins, K. Austin. The Danse Floor is Always at the Center of Steve McQueen’s ‘Lovers Rock’., November 28,

Gordon, Jeremy. The Beat at the Heart of ‘Lovers Rock’, New York Times, November 29, 2020

Martin, Michel with Steve McQueen on NPR All Things Considered, Dec 5, 2020

St. Felix, Doreen. The Sensuality and Brutality of Steve McQueen’s “Small Axe”, The New Yorker, November 30, 2020

Warmann. ‘Small Axe’: Steve McQueen’s Landmark Anthology, Ranked. Variety Review, December 13, 2020

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