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Discordia: Six Nights in Crisis Athens
 
 

Discordia: Six Nights in Crisis Athens [Kindle Edition]

Laurie Penny , Molly Crabapple
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

DISCORDIA is a story of courage and collapse in a country and a culture struggling to map out its future. A short ebook combining a 24,000-word essay with 36 detailed drawings, DISCORDIA is a feminist-art-gonzo-journalism project conceived at Occupy Wall Street and created in the summer of debt and doubt after the euphoric street protests of 2011-2012.



In July 2012, artist Molly Crabapple and journalist Laurie Penny travelled to Greece. There, they drew and interviewed anarchists, autonomists, striking workers and ordinary people caught up in the Euro crisis. DISCORDIA is the result. In an impassioned climate where 'objective' journalism is impossible, Penny and Crabapple offer a snapshot of a nation in the grip of a very modern crisis where young and old see little reason to go on, the left is scattered and the far right is assuming greater power and influence. Along the way they drink far too much coffee, become hypnotised by street art, and somehow manage not to get arrested or mugged.



DISCORDIA is an experiment in form, using the illustrated ebook format to its fullest extent to tell a story unique to the wordlength and digital platform involved. Crabapple's intricate, Victorian-inspired ink drawings lend a timeless quality to what is a conscious foray into a new kind of journalism - inspired by the New Journalism of the 1970s, in particular the art-journalism collaborations of Hunter Thompson and Ralph Steadman, but reworking that tradition for a 21st century world where young women must still fight at every turn to be taken seriously.



DISCORDIA weaves together the personal and political, picking out those elements of the Greek crisis that are recognisable across the West to a generation struggling to articulate its purpose in a world of spiralling unemployment, democratic collapse and civil unrest. The solutions to the failure of modern neoliberal statecraft are very different to the 'tune in, turn on, drop out' ethos of the sixties: these days the drugs are worse and rock 'n' roll can't save us. The future is a question in search of an answer.



Available only digitally, with a foreword by economic journalist and writer Paul Mason, this beautifully illustrated ebook is part-polemic, part-travelogue and part-paean to the birthplace of civilization brought to its knees. Part of the Brain Shot series, the pre-eminent source of short form digital non-fiction.



'This is the Next Big Thing in journalism: digital, visual, intelligent, heartfelt, post-political, female, alarming, and engaging. It's both an honest chronicle of one corner of the collapse of a civilization, and an inspiring demonstration of the kinds of thinking, craft, and collaboration that might yet get us through.' Douglas Rushkoff, author of LIFE INC.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3281 KB
  • Print Length: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (1 Oct 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009HVQ1JW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #154,123 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By zemblya
I liked this very much-the writing is unashamedly personal, passionate and opinionated, with cracking illustrations by the wonderful mollycrabapple. If you follow Laurie on twitter (and you should) you will recognise her style. If George Orwell had visited Athens in 2012 he would have written something like this. It's good to see real travel writing done well again (it reminds me a little of Dervla Murphy and Eric Newby's works). I like reading about "Driving over lemons" and so on as much as anyone else, but travel writing shouldn't just be about how lovely the world is. Sometimes you need a writer like Laurie Penny to turn over the stone.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By AnnaS.
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Discordia struck more than one chord. As a Greek who studied in Athens under the junta in the 70s and lived through the student uprising and all the hope that followed the collapse of the dictatorship, it is heartbreaking to see now Athens in such peril. Discordia chronicles events and the voices of people on the ground with honesty and integrity.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Insight 24 Oct 2012
By Nick
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In a world where so much news is sanitised and cleaned up before it hits the mass media this short book / long essay bucks the trend. It feels more John Steinbeck than John Snow. It takes the reader right into the heart of the serious issues found in modern Greece through a seres of vignettes. It reminded me a little of Michael Herr's Dispatches Dispatches (Picador).

The theme throughout is how the people of Greece are suffering and adjusting from the aggressive austerity measures. They are very real stories of immigrants, artists and journalists and others, set to the background of the rise of the violent far right.

The illustrations bring the stories to life in a very personal way that would likely not be achieved through photography.

Why only 4 stars.

In the middle of the essay the story becomes slightly self-obsessed, which felt to me at odds with the rest of the writing. The second reason is there could have been a little more analysis as to the rise of the right. Indeed it would have been interesting to have heard the views of the right wing activists as well as the sympathisers.

However while written through the left-wing eyes of Laura Penny that should not put you off if you politics don't match, sometimes it is good to step out of the echo chamber.

Laura Penny has been involved with and an observer of the rise of the Occupy movement. A book in the same style, with a little more analysis would be a great book indeed.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great & sad 2 Oct 2012
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Some writers write as if watching from outside and you watch with them but with this book you feel more like you are inside the events. Laurie Penny (and Molly Crabapple) is not a bystander here and it is clear that this matters to her, this is not cold journalism but very personal.

Her style is casual yet articulate and in places comic, as much as the subject allows, it is a sad story of a nation declining while the rest of us are busy with our own worries, it is a picture of where we could be going if we don't wake up.

The illustrations also added to the whole in a way that simple photos would not have managed.

If you are interested in politics an are in any way doubtful that we are on the right course this is worth reading.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eye-opening piece of journalism 31 Oct 2012
By Curiosity Killed The Bookworm TOP 500 REVIEWER
Laurie Penny and Molly Crabapple journey to Greece to cover the state of the nation following financial collapse. Discordia reports on the struggle of normal people who have gone from living comfortably to the other side of the poverty line. They look at the failings of the government and austerity measures that are making things worse and the rise of fascism and violence towards immigrants.

It's an eye-opening look at a country many of us wouldn't hesitate to go to on our summer holidays. Perhaps it is a little one-sided but it's a side we don't really get to hear about. My heart goes out the people of Greece whose lives have been ruined by economics and the innocent who are blamed in the backlash. It's also quite critical of traditional press, both in Greece and at home, looking at the natural evolution of reporting in the digital age but Laurie also explains how it's hard making a living as an independent journalist. Sometimes she is not welcomed on either side of the picket line.

Of course, what sets Discordia apart from other pieces of journalism is Molly's wonderful illustrations. The ink and pencil drawings are the perfect medium for ebooks, something that the eInk renders well. I will admit to reading it on my iPad for the subtleties of colour but really, they don't need to be seen in colour to be appreciated. They are a mix of sketches on ruled notebooks, made on the spot, and more considered drawings done from photos and memories. Laurie's text and Molly's drawings were done independently of each other but they fit together seamlessly, drawn from the same experiences.

I didn't read the Kindle version but there appeared to be some duplication of the illustrations. This could be on purpose, but the illustrations are placed at relevant points in the text, and where the duplicates appeared they just didn't seem to correspond.
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