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.
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About the Author
Laurie Penny is a journalist, author, feminist, socialist, utopian, general reprobate and troublemaker. Lives in a little hovel room somewhere in London, mainly eating toast and trying to set the world to rights. Drinks too much tea. Has still not managed to quit smoking. Regular writer for New Statesman, the Guardian and the Independent. Author of Meat Market (Zer0 Books, 2011) and Penny Red (Pluto Press, 2011).
Molly Crabapple is a New York artist. She has created subversive, Victorian inspired art for The New York Times, Red Bull, the Royal Society of Arts, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Marvel Comics, and The Groucho Club, as well as Occupy Wall Street. Molly has been called ‘Equal parts Hieronymus Bosch, William S. Burroughs and Cirque du Soleil.’ by the Guardian, ‘A brilliant and principled artist’ by BoingBoing, and ‘A Downtown Phenomenon’ by the New York Times. Her publications include the digital graphic novel Puppet Makers (DC Comics, 2011), the art books Devil in the Details, Saints and Sinners and Week in Hell (IDW, 2012), and the graphic novel Straw House (First Second Books, 2014).