Socialist Worker

Cold War Steve creates nonsense scenes of liberal contempt

Issue No. 2677

‘The Winter of Discontent, Hatching from the Secretory Glands of Children Not Yet Born’

‘The Winter of Discontent, Hatching from the Secretory Glands of Children Not Yet Born’ (Pic: Christopher Spencer)

These photo collages by Twitter user Cold War Steve are said to hide meaning in their absurdity.

In a way, that’s true. What on the surface look like send-ups of right wing politicians turn out to be full of liberal prejudice. Boris Johnson, Theresa May and Nigel Farage rub shoulders with Jeremy Corbyn in what the publishers call “Brexit-era landscapes.”

Scenes that apparently typify the drudgery and misery of life for working class Brexit voters are used for ridicule.

Here they are in a pub or outside Gregg’s. There they are on a bus or an estate. Look at them wallow in this backwards mess, it says.

Add to that the casual sexist insults and you have something that, if it came from the left, would be scorned by reviewers from, say, the Guardian or the New Statesman.

But this is satire for the liberal centre, and they think it’s genius.

Nick Clark

A Prat’s Progress by Christopher Spencer. Published by Thames&Hudson, £12.95

A chance to watch a banned South Korean film

Struggle at the forge

Struggle at the forge

Chang Younhyun’s The Night Before the Strike depicts the struggles of factory workers against their employers.

The film was banned in South Korea on its release in 1990.

But it found immense popularity through unofficial screenings, becoming one of the most-viewed independent Korean films of the time.

Fighting against low pay and hostile treatment, the main characters—the core workers at the forge welding department—attempt to form a trade union.

A conflict arises, triggered by those who are afraid of potential consequences.

And to break their spirit managers recruit a spy to blacklist and intimidate the would-be union members.

The Night Before The Strike. Showing at the London Korean Film Festival, 3 Nov. Tickets from £11 Go to

When the Snow Melts

Nearly four million Indians were volunteers in the British Army during the two World Wars. Yet they are often ignored or forgotten in Britain.

This exhibition charts the stories of Nottingham’s Muslim communities involved in the Second World War. It also describes revolts against the British Empire in India during the same time period.

It draws from the personal histories of Muslim families from Nottingham. And it uses archive material to pose questions about the process of remembrance and empire.

New Art Exchange, Nottingham. Until 31 December. Free entry

August Sander

Discover August Sander’s monumental project, People of the Twentieth Century, for the very first time in Wales.

The exhibition presents over eighty photographs by August Sander drawn from his profound and ambitious project, People of The Twentieth Century.

Sander sought an honest portrayal of German society by photographing people of all ages and backgrounds—from farmers, policemen and politicians to bricklayers, secretaries and artists.

The result is an ambitious body of work that captures, above all, the humanity of his subjects. The exhibition is drawn from a major collection of over 170 modern prints, produced from the original plates.

National Museum Wales, Cardiff, 26 Oct—1 Mar 2020. Free entry

The Street Where the Stories Live

The Street Where the Stories Live is a show about the places we call ours, what they mean to us, and what happens when we have to leave them.

It’s about migration, hostile environments and seeking sanctuary among shaky foundations.

Make. North Docks, Liverpool 1 Nov—2 Nov. £2.50



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Tue 22 Oct 2019, 13:06 BST
Issue No. 2677
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