Yates McKee

Yates McKee is an art critic based in New York City

  • Sensible Politics

    Sensible Politics

    The Visual Culture of Nongovernmental Activism

    Meg McLagan and Yates McKee

    The interaction of politics and the visual in the activities of nongovernmental activists.

    Political acts are encoded in medial forms—punch holes on a card, images on a live stream, tweets about events unfolding in real time—that have force, shaping people as subjects and forming the contours of what is sensible, legible, and visible. In doing so they define the terms of political possibility and create terrain for political acts.

    Sensible Politics considers the constitutive role played by aesthetic and performative techniques in the staging of claims by nongovernmental activists. Attending to political aesthetics means focusing not on a disembodied image that travels under the concept of art or visual culture, nor on a preformed domain of the political that seeks subsequent expression in media form. Instead it requires bringing the two realms together into the same analytic frame.

    A diverse group of contributors, from art historians, anthropologists, and political theorists to artists, filmmakers, and architects, considers the interaction of politics and the visual in such topics as the political consequences of a photograph taken by an Israeli soldier in a Palestinian house in Ramallah; AIDS activism; images of social suffering in Iran; the “forensic architecture” of claims to truth; and the “Make Poverty History” campaign. Transcending disciplines, they trace a broader image complex whereby politics is brought to visibility through the mediation of specific cultural forms that mix the legal and the visual, the hermeneutic and the technical, the political and the aesthetic. Their contributions offer critical insight into the practices of mediation whereby the political becomes manifest.

    • Hardcover $37.95 £32.00

Contributor

  • Nongovernmental Politics

    Nongovernmental Politics

    Michel Feher

    The past, present, and future prospects of nongovernmental politics—political activism that withdraws from traditional government but not from the politics associated with governing.

    To be involved in politics without aspiring to govern, without seeking to be governed by the best leaders, without desiring to abolish all forms of government: such is the condition common to practitioners of nongovernmental politics. Whether these activists concern themselves with providing humanitarian aid, monitoring human rights violations, protecting the environment, educating consumers, or improving the safety of workers, the legitimacy and efficacy of their initiatives demand that they forsake conventional political ambitions. Yet even as they challenge specific governmental practices, nongovernmental activists are still operating within the realm of politics.Composed of scholarly essays on the challenges and predicaments facing nongovernmental activism, profiles of unique and diverse NGOs (including Memorial, Global Exchange, World Vision, and Third World Network), and interviews with major nongovernmental actors (Gareth Evans of International Crisis Group, Anthony Romero of the ACLU, Rony Brauman of Médecins sans Frontières, and Peter Lurie of Public Citizen, among others), this book offers a groundbreaking survey of the rapidly expanding domain of nongovernmental activism. It examines nongovernmental activists' motivations, from belief in the universality of human rights to concerns over the fairness of corporate stakeholders' claims, and explores the multiple ways in which nongovernmental agencies operate. It analyzes the strategic options available and focuses on some of the most remarkable sites of NGO action, including borders, disaster zones, and the Internet. Finally, the book analyzes the conflicting agendas pursued by nongovernmental advocates—protecting civil society from the intrusions of governments that lack accountability or wresting the world from neo-liberal hegemony on the one hand and hastening the return of the Savior or restoring the social order prescribed by the Prophet on the other.

    • Hardcover $39.95 £32.00
    • Paperback $39.95 £32.00