Illustration notes for the State of Power 2016

20 January 2016

For the State of Power 2016 report, designer Evan Clayburg made illustrations reflecting relevant situations to the chapters in the report. Read his notes accompanying these illustrations. 

Democracy, power and sovereignty in today’s Europe

A worker at the workers’ controlled Viomichaniki Metalleutiki (Vio.Me) factory in Thessaloniki. Vio.Me workers stopped being paid in May of 2011 and soon after the owners left. After a series of assemblies, the workers decided that together they would run the factory. The factory though continues to face threats of eviction and sale of its property and assets.


A global post-democratic order


In 1999 during the World Trade Organization summit held in Seattle, activists scaled a crane and with one banner showing two opposing arrows (one democracy and one WTO) unveiled the beginnings of a global shift to post-democracy. We need global responses to global crises but what would a progressive proposal for global governance look like?


Economics as ideology: challenging expert political power

A headline in a financial paper about an “unchanged dividend” at Hoechst pharmaceutical company hides a whole political economy, one in which, for example, the company draws upon centuries-old traditional knowledge and then patents this as the private “intellectual property” of the Hoechst company.

The tyranny of global finance

The Trujillo family in Denver worries about the future after being evicted. 5 million people lost their homes in the US in the first five years after the subprime mortage crisis as a result of reckless lending and speculation by the US banking industry. Yet reforms of the banking sector have been partial and completely insufficient.

Multi-stakeholderism: a corporate push for a new form of global governance

There are millions of small-scale farmers who produce most of the world’s food but are now squeezed onto less than 25 percent of the world’s farmland. A corporate-led multistakeholder approach is leading to a plethora of selfappointed groups at international level, developing proposals and investing in projects that worsen these trends.

“To change the heart and soul”: How elites contained the global climate justice movement

On 15 August 2015, 1500 activists in an act of civil disobedience peacefully shut down the Garzweiler Lignite Mine in Rhineland, Germany, the largest source of carbon emissions in Europe. There is a growing awareness that corporateled solutions to climate change won’t work and that we need radical systemic change to tackle the climate crisis.

Precarity, power and democracy

On September 2014, fast food workers in precarious working conditions walked off the job in 159 cities demanding higher wages and the right to unionise. The movement for proper wages and dignified work continues to build.

Freedom technologists and the future of global justice

Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman, featured at the front, is a Yemeni journalist, politician and human rights activist who led a group “Women Journalists Without Chains that was part of the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings. How can we draw on lessons from social movements that have fought for freedom to also fight for social justice?

The open source city as the transnational democratic future

Ada Colau is currently mayor of Barcelona and part of a wave of Spanish cities experimenting with new forms of participatory democracy and solidarity economics. Prior to her election, Colau was one of the founding members and spokespeople of the Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (PAH) (Platform for People Affected by Mortgages), set up to oppose evictions caused by the collapse of the Spanish property market in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Power in India: radical pathways

Gond indigenous children from the Indian village of Menda-Lekha village, a community that practices the principle of decision-making by consensus, has ended private land-ownership, and is moving towards meeting all its basic needs in terms of food, water, energy and livelihoods.

Re-Asserting Control: Voluntary Return, Restitution and the Right to Land for IDPs and Refugees in Myanmar - cover