Welcome to Interface!

Issue 6-1 cover

Reinventing emancipation in the 21st century:
the pedagogical practices of social movements


(PDF 10.7 MB)

Current call for papers:

Movement practice(s)
(deadline November 1 2014)

Interface flyer for distribution
We’ve (finally) done up a flyer for Interface. If you’d like to help us out, please download it (755k), print off a few and leave them around somewhere that interested people might see them (or stick one up on a noticeboard, or…) The flyer has great artwork by Rydell and isn’t looking for money or members. You can download it here. Thanks!

Interface article at the Athens Biennale
Marianne Maeckelbergh’s articleHorizontal democracy now: from alterglobalization to occupation“, published in Interface 4(1), has been included in the 2013 Athens Biennale’s AGORA exhibition in a project by Eva Fotiadi and Nikos Doulos. Entitled “Event as process: cities in an ongoing state of emergency and the artists’ stance“, the project is an online engagement with “the city as a mediated portrait, artists’ responses, and the pursuit of spatial justice”.

Defending academic freedom and political engagement in Latvia
Interface’s outgoing East and Central European editor, Andrey Berdnikov (in Latvian – Andrejs Berdnikovs), has recently come under political attack for his research and political activism. With a number of others he co-organised a conference on “The autonomy of Latgale: political, legal, economic, historical and cultural aspects”, as well as a survey on public attitudes towards autonomy. Latgale is the eastern province of Latvia and has a high proportion of ethnic Russians, Belarussians and Poles as well as an ethnically distinctive population whose language and religion differ from the rest of Latvia.

The current Latvian government includes the far-right party “All for Latvia” and is deeply hostile to any discussion of ethnic minorities or regional issues. Four activists involved in the conference had their homes searched by the political police and the survey data removed. Our colleague Andrey has lost all his income as a result of political pressure, with a number of funders breaking off their collaboration and colleagues becoming afraid to work with him. The message this sends to the outside world is that it is impossible to do scholarly work in Latvia and disagree with the parties in power; this does not reflect well on the image of Latvian scholarship abroad.

Interface wants to state clearly that academic freedom includes, and must include, the right to research and freely discuss social or political issues even where they are inconvenient to the authorities. Like all citizens, scholars have a right to be politically engaged and hold views that differ from the ruling ideology. We call on the Latvian government to return the survey data and on Latvian academics and funders to restore their collaboration with Andrey Berdnikov.

We ask readers to support the call for intellectual freedom and the right to political engagement in Latvia by signing this petition.

Interface (http://interfacejournal.net) is a global, peer-reviewed, open-access journal of social movement studies.

Interface spokescouncil, January 31st, 2013

Charges dropped against Interface journalist and others in Egypt

Following a sustained campaign from many quarters, charges have been dropped against Austin Mackell, Ailya Alwi and Derek Ludovici in relation to their research in Egypt. See the earlier Interface statement on the case, the article Austin was working on here and his reflections on the case here. Thanks to everyone who campaigned on this, and congratulations to the three people affected.

Prize-winning Interface article

Congratulations to Peter Ullrich and Gina Wollinger, who won a German Surveillance Studies Network prize for their article in Interface 3/1, “A surveillance studies perspective on protest policing: the case of video surveillance of demonstrations in Germany“.

More details here (in English) and here (auf deutsch).

Interface: the first five years

Interface: a journal for and about social movements is now into its sixth year and working on its eleventh issue (with two more years of discussion and planning before that!) Over this time we’ve brought together people researching and theorising movements to contribute to the production of knowledge that can help us learn from each other’s struggles: across languages, continents and cultures, across movements and issues, across the academic / activist divide, and across political and intellectual traditions.

We’ve brought out issues on movement knowledge, on the relationship between civil society and social movements, on crisis and revolutionary transformations, on movements and alternative media, on repression, on feminism and women’s movements, on the Arab Spring, on new struggles around work and on anticolonial and postcolonial movements. Alongside these themes, special sections have focussed on debating David Harvey, on international labour communication and on feminist strategies for change, with a forthcoming special section on the new European mobilizations. Each issue also includes many items on topics beyond these special themes. In all our first ten issues run to 4,041 pages and 238 pieces!

So far, we’ve published activist interviews, testimonies, editorials, articles, action notes, research notes, event analyses, key documents, debates, bibliographies, round tables, special contributions, book reviews and review essays by authors located in Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Dubai, Ecuador, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, the UAE, the USA and Venezuela.

We have already published in Catalan, English, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian.  Beyond these we can accept material in Afrikaans, Arabic, Catalan, Czech, Danish, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Maltese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish and Zulu. We hope to expand to include more world languages in future. In the meantime, you can see where people are reading us from here.

Interface is indexed by the Directory of Open Access Journals, WorldCat and EBSCOhost.

A world still to win

We are still working on many fronts – developing the project in different regions of the world, expanding the range of languages used, extending the collective production of the journal, finding appropriate ways of linking the journal to movement needs and processes, ensuring the quality of what we publish and securing intellectual and academic recognition. We have done a lot in the past seven years, but there is a lot to do.

This new website is designed to be part of this process, keeping our orientation as an open-access (free) space for dialogue and involving a wider community of movement practitioners and activist scholars as authors, referees for articles, book reviewers, issue editors, translators, website editors, and other supporters. Participants with particular skills / interests  are always welcome!

We hope you enjoy the journal, and that the material here is helpful to you in reflection on your own struggles, developing your activist practice, researching social movements constructively, debate within organisations and dialogue between movements. There is a world still to win.


The views expressed in any contributions to Interface: a journal for and about social movements are those of the authors and contributors, and do not necessarily represent those of Interface, the editors, the editorial collective, or the organizations to which the authors are affiliated. Interface is committed to the free exchange of ideas in the best tradition of intellectual and activist inquiry.

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