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. Printed as a 1-3 sheet broadside, usually with two articles (A-side, B-side). Also as a PDF and email. Irregular, printed whenever.


The Meaning of Words (or, Democracy by Any Other Name)

July 2020. Featuring Abraham T. Zere. On the consequences of writing, publishing, questioning, and committing ‘thought-crime’ in Eritrea.

Of Purity and Autonomy: A Nation for Whom?

August 2020. Featuring Nandita Haksar. On the persistence, challenges and contradictions in Kashmir’s pursuit of self-determination.

Latest: Volume #1, Issue #1

The Trenches between Languages and Nation-building

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.

The inaugural issue of The Sparkplug reflects on the impact of mining on displacement, land division and the loss of language. Languages are living fields of experience, embodying the eternal human challenge of being liberated through communication, and restricted by finite terms. The shades and tones of innumerable human languages convey to us entirely new ways of living, thinking, and connecting. But what pushes them to the edge of disappearance?