About us

'De-growth', illustration by Marina Visic

The Contrapuntal is an independent non-profit publication devoted to delivering rigorously researched, accessible, and factually accurate journalism from a ground-up perspective. We seek to publish people-centric stories, explained in a strikingly clear manner.

The name of the publication is inspired by the notion of contrapuntal reading, as conceptualized by Edward Said. Said drew from music, where the term ‘contrapuntal’ refers to two independent melodies, played simultaneously, that sometimes compete, and sometimes complement one another. For Said, this analogy helped to analyze the intertwined histories of colonizers and colonized, taking stock of both the process and presence of imperialism, as well as the resistance to it. A contrapuntal reading, according to Said, “acknowledges the massively knotted and complex histories of special but nevertheless overlapping and interconnected experiences”.

Inspired by feminists of color, The Contrapuntal reads the world ‘against the grain, drawing attention to those voices and experiences that are commonly silenced, and unpacking the structures and discourses that do the silencing. In defiance of hegemonic and divisive narratives, the Contrapuntal seeks to make sense of our complex world in a nuanced way. In addition, as a platform, we aspire to unite researchers, journalists, activists, artists, witnesses, and critical thinkers to give the broadest perspective of the realities we narrate.

The Contrapuntal opposes any form of storytelling that claims to hold the “objective truth” or draws spurious comparisons between different asymmetrical groups. We reject ‘false balance’ as a form of ‘non-partisan’ storytelling. We do not welcome commentaries that perpetuate epistemic violence through their narratives. We strive to critique oversimplifications of important issues with a special focus on the regions of the Global South. 

The Contrapuntal focuses on issues of Political Economy, Migration, Ecology, and Culture through a critical and interdisciplinary approach, bringing together different positions and points of view. We focus on these themes as critical lenses since they broadly define the political contours of our contemporary world.