The Sparkplug

The Sparkplug is a catalyst for difficult conversations, going where fast headlines don’t.

Creative and artistic expression have the power to humanize political debates that are often abstract or driven by sensational media. An off-shoot of The Green Violin, The Sparkplug ranges into journalism and essays, engaging with the deeper questions of human dignity and struggle against the social orders that repress our most volatile possibilities.

Format: Simple, made for print (adapting for online as well). Printed as a 1-3 sheet broadside, usually with two articles (A-side, B-side). Also as a PDF and email. Irregular, printed whenever.

Latest: Volume #1, Issue #5

Acceptable Censorship: The extradition farce and media silence on Julian Assange

Introduction

Exposing the show trial against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, by Elizabeth Leier

The spoils of war: a decade after publication, what have we really learned from the War Diaries? by Lital Khaikin

Since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, a generation of us have grown up with this US-led war. A generation of us have witnessed friends, still in their teens, enlisting to fight an imperialist war with an enemy that was raised and armed by the US. Now, this same generation has come of age watching the US government persecute Wikileaks founder and publisher Julian Assange for publishing the truth about the nature of US wars and perpetration of war crimes, also laying bare the complicity of allies like Canada, Australia, and the U.K. It is grotesque that in all this time, the only real punishment that has been given out has been against Assange, as he spends most of his time imprisoned in solitary confinement awaiting the verdict on his extradition trial.

This issue looks at both the implication of the trial against Assange on media freedom, and the wider imprint of the War Diaries considering the continued engagement of NATO forces across the Middle East. Joining this issue is fellow Canadian Dimension contributor, Elizabeth Leier, breaking down the essential points of the persecution of Assange to date in “Exposing the Show Trial Against Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange”.


INDEX


Volume 2

Stay tuned for Volume 2!


Volume 1

Born with a cackle, The Sparkplug is the thorn on the stem of the rose, the splinter in your thumb, the glass in your sandal. Launched on June 1, 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic, this is the first volume of The Sparkplug.

Visit Volume 1 archive here, or click below to view. Additional content is available in PDF and print editions.

ISSUE 1

THE TRENCHES BETWEEN LANGUAGES AND NATION-BUILDING

View Issue →

Introduction

Getting the Last Word: Storytelling in Defiance of Language Death, by X.C.

Who’s Entitled? Diamond Mining and Internal Displacement in Botswana, by Lital Khaikin

ISSUE 4

PESTICIDES AND POVERTY: THE SMOLDERING LEGACY OF BHOPAL

View Issue →

Introduction

Of what use is memory? The Union Carbide explosion in Bhopal still lingers, 36 years later, by Lital Khaikin

On Bhopal, memory and the responsibility of theatre: Interview with Rahul Varma and Rohan Kulkarni

ISSUE 5

ACCEPTABLE CENSORSHIP: THE EXTRADITION FARCE AND MEDIA SILENCE ON JULIAN ASSANGE

View Issue →

Introduction

Exposing the show trial against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, by Elizabeth Leier

The spoils of war: a decade after publication, what have we really learned from the War Diaries? by Lital Khaikin