Manufacturers

This Wounded Island by J W Böhm

This Wounded Island by J W Böhm

In this volume the writer, photographer and urbanist J.W. Böhm, renowned for documenting the industrial estates and edgelands of Europe, turns his attention to England....

More details


£4.00

Warning: Last items in stock!

In this volume the writer, photographer and urbanist J.W. Böhm, renowned for documenting the industrial estates and edgelands of Europe, turns his attention to England, an island ‘haunted by uncertainty’, and attempts to discover what has happened to the country ‘formerly known as Great Britain’.

124pp, perfect bound. 
Institute of Liminal Landscape Studies, 2017

‘A curious dispatch from a place many of us had given 
up on’ – Leonard Vallely, author of Men In Small Rooms

‘Böhm’s England is a grey, lifeless one... stuck in some kind of temporal anomaly that has robbed its remaining inhabitants of a sense of self and the means by which to navigate their way out of the situation.’ – from the introduction by Frederic Stiller.

A review

Whether in a café with murky coffee, staring at a plastic tomato with a congealed nozzle, or sitting in an obscure corner on a wrought-iron bench whose supports are in the form of a fork-tongued serpent, or passing through the stale clouds of furtive smokers crouched in the dank corners of anonymous office blocks, I have sometimes wondered what became of J W Böhm, the Berlin topographer and traveller.

Even among the few who have heard of his writing, there is no agreement about its qualities. It might be likened to the work of a more laconic Sebald or a less barbed-wire Sinclair. The austerity of his observations on urban landscapes, the wastelands of Europe, the unregarded edges, have led some to regard him as a gnomic visionary, while others believe he is simply a bewildered naïf. 

The debate will not be ended by the unexpected publication of a welcome new work by him, This Wounded Island, Volume One: The Condition of England (Institute of Liminal Landscape Studies, 2017), translated by Michael Randolph and with an introduction by Frederic Stiller. 

The book consists of terse accounts, each of a paragraph or so, of visits to towns in Southern England, together with black and white photographs. The observations are often tinged with melancholy, and sometimes – possibly inadvertently – brittle with a dry wit. The photographs alone are eloquent of the England he found, and the text, sometimes plaintive, at other times elliptical, conveys succinctly his sense of a country “haunted by uncertainty”. 

These measured insights would alone be enough to make the book a valuable record of a certain time and place. But that is not its only resonance. For Böhm thinks that something has happened to the country he is traversing, and records the clues and signs, the rumours and murmurs that seem to hint at what it might be. He even believes he may have found some sort of a solution to the mystery of this vague malaise. While I do not think it will surprise seasoned Böhmians to learn that this is not how things end, they (and not only they) will certainly want to seek out this work of uncanny genius. 

Mark Valentine

Cart  

No products

£0.00 Shipping
£0.00 Total

Cart Check out

New products

  • Our work is everywhere
  • A New Mythology
Our work is everywhere
An illustrated oral history of queer and trans resistance. Syan Rose,...
Read more
A New Mythology
Lives along the line. This issue of the zine follows activists...
Read more
Interviews with Radical Palestinian Women
10 interviews, by Shoal collective with Active Publishing, 2021
Read more
From the Garage to the Station and Beyond
Stories from the Gateshead Music Collective 1980-88
Read more
No government can give you freedom Sticker
No government can give you freedom. Sticker  
Read more
Making abolitionist worlds
Proposals for a World on Fire . ABOlition: a journal of insurgent...
Read more
Organizing for autonomy
History, Theory, and Strategy for Collective Liberation. by...
Read more
Street Art and Revolution.... a brief history.
A critical look at the role of graffiti, murals and the like in aiding...
Read more
Appel Call by Anonymous
This classic -Tiqqun - text was published in a similar style to this by...
Read more
La Bande a Bonnot.
Robberies and Getaways by Albert Meltzer and others. This booklet...
Read more
Remember Kronstadt. One Hundred Years On.
A new edition of two essays about the Kronstadt Uprising, the main one...
Read more
The Kronstadt Commune by Ida Mett
Still considered one of the best histories of the Russian revolutionary...
Read more
Queercore
How to Punk a Revolution – An Oral History. PM Press 2021
Read more
The Sea is Rising and So Are We
A Climate Justice Handbook by Cynthia Kaufman, PM Press 2021
Read more
Remembering the Armed Struggle
My Time with the Red Army Faction. by Margrit Schiller, PM Press 2021
Read more
When we are human
Notes from the Age of Pandemics. By John Zerzan,
Read more
Like a boy but not a boy
Navigating Life, Mental Health, and Parenthood Outside the Gender...
Read more

» All new products