Issue 21 | June 2024

Welcome to the June 2024 edition of The Miaaw Monthly which provides a few pointers to things you might like to explore, including (but not limited to) our podcasts.

These represent one way to have (hopefully) interesting conversations about some of the things we care about. Please spread the word as widely as you can, and encourage people to subscribe to The Miaaw Monthly.

If you have anything that you want to include in The Miaaw Monthly, or discuss in the podcasts, then please email us at and we will be happy to collaborate.


This year whenever we stumble into the fifth Friday of a month we will look around us and find a podcast that interests us.

This episode, the second of the year, brings you Episode 69 of a podcast called Free as in Freedom, which The Software Freedom Conservancy originally released on Tuesday 12 November 2019.


Every Friday a podcast appears at approximately 12:12 Helsinki time (which you may like to think of as 10:12 UTC).

Sometimes we get so eager that they appear an hour or two early to allow for any lag across the internet. Mostly they arrive on time. With that in mind, here are the podcasts that will arrive in June.

Friday June 7: Meanwhile on an Abandoned Bookshelf | Episode 21

For the next three months we return to the Abandoned Bookshelf for some summer reading.

We begin with A Guide for the Perplexed, the book that E. F. Schumaker wrote in 1977 and considered his most important work. Should we read this instead of Small is Beautiful?

Let’s find out.

Friday June 14: Ways of Listening | Episode 8

This month, sound artist and composer Simon James reflects on his recent project with young people in Whitehawk, initiated as part of the Class Divide campaign – fighting against the educational attainment gap in East Brighton.

Sounds recorded during workshops, both on the Whitehawk housing estate and on an adjacent archaeological site, formed part of the exhibition Neolithic Cannibals: Deep Listening to the Unheard.

Simon reflects on the process of the project, and how listening was central throughout.

Friday June 21: A Culture of Possibility | Episode 41

In Culture of Possibility #41, Arlene Goldbard and François Matarasso interview Nati Linares, whose focus is the solidarity economy for artists. She explains its resist/fight and build model: calling attention to what’s wrong, and the possibility of experimenting with alternatives.

They talk about Nati’s grounding in the music business, which has led to an understanding of capitalism and how it works or doesn’t for artists. Finally, they explore the research she and her colleagues have done on alternative models for financing artists’ work.

Friday June 28: Common Practice | Episode 35

Sophie Hope has a summer surprise for you. We would like to tell you all about it but if we explained it here it wouldn’t be a surprise, would it?


All our podcasts are available from Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Overcast, RadioPublic, Soundcloud, Spotify, and Stitcher.

You can also listen to them at the website where you will find additional links, notes, and references accompanying each episode.

You will also find a full archive of all the previous podcasts there.


Conference Time!

The GAP ART SUMMIT 2024, presented by Globe Art Point in collaboration with Luckan Helsingfors, will take place on August 15th 2024 at Luckan Helsingfors and virtually on YouTube. You may not want to travel to Helsinki for it, but you might join for all or part of the day on YouTube.

GAP ART SUMMIT 2024 will explore the critical theme of “censorship,” offering a platform for actionable discourse and inclusive workshops aimed at empowering artists, cultural workers, and creative professionals in Finland and beyond. The summit will feature panel discussions, presentations, artistic performances, and interactive workshops led by experts and practitioners in the field.

You can find the full programme online here.

Jail on Wheels

Mariame Kaba is an organizer, educator, librarian/archivist, and prison industrial complex (PIC) abolitionist who is active in movements for racial, gender, and transformative justice.

Half Letter Press say that “Whenever Mariame asks us to work on a booklet together, we can hardly contain our enthusiasm. This is her second collaboration with writer and historian, Jacqui Shine, that we have published”.

With Mariame’s Foreword and Jacqui Shine’s detailed essay, this booklet takes an in depth and illustrated look at the mobile pedagogical nightmare called the Jail On Wheels, which sought to reduce crime by scaring people into obeying the law. The Jail On Wheels is a precursor to the more damaging, and equally ineffective, Scared Straight programs that followed.

The Stuff of a (Well-lived) Life

In the latest edition of his newsletter LM Sacasas discusses the mini-furore around Apple’s recent advertisement for their new iPad, in which they showed “an assortment of creative tools and media artifacts—piano, guitar, metronome, paints, pencils, trumpet, games, television, record player, books, etc.—being crushed by an enormous hydraulic press. When the press retracts, we see in the place of those instruments and artifacts a slim, sleek iPad.”

He discusses this in the context of the work of Albert Borgmann, a German-American philosopher of technology. He says that

In an effort to understand the dominant technological patterns of the age, Borgmann identified what he called the device paradigm. The logic of the device paradigm is pretty straightforward. It describes the tendency to hide the complex machinery of a technology below a slick, commodious surface that makes the output of a device available to the user with minimal effort. The goods a device offers its users are “rendered instantaneous, ubiquitous, safe, and easy.”

“A commodity is truly available,” Borgmann writes, “when it can be enjoyed as a mere end, unencumbered by means.” Apple products have long been leading exemplars of the device paradigm.

But this is only part of the picture. Borgmann opposed devices to what he called focal things. Focal things demand something of us. They require a measure of care, practice, and engagement that devices do not. Our use of them induces our focus, which they invite by design. “The experience of a [focal] thing,” Borgmann also notes, “is always and also a bodily and social engagement with the thing’s world.” There are, in other words, embodied and communal dimensions to the use of a focal thing. They involve our bodies, and they involve us in relationships to a degree that devices do not.

He actually says a lot more, all of it interesting. But you should subscribe to the newsletter, or at least read the post.

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