Image credits: Atoq Ramon

Contrapuntal Manifesto: In Defiance of Hegemony


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 colour, 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. 

Where we stand

Our position is ‘not impartial’. We strive to stand in solidarity with people and communities facing active violence, oppression, and (neo) colonization. As a collective, we reject all manifestations of bigotry and discrimination based on gender, sexuality, race, colour, caste, class, language, religion, cultural, or social origin, minority, age, or other status. 

We stand in opposition to the appropriation, as well as weaponization, of decolonial thought and praxis. We stand in complete defiance of Pink-washing – the appropriation of gender and sexuality discourses and Greenwashing that extends to the dispossession and elimination of communities from their territories under the pretext of conservation, for instance. We reject the ‘imperial’ rationale of the weaponization of human rights and other legitimate discourses as a military and foreign policy instrument. We oppose the normalization of relations with states that oppress and subjugate their citizens and other nations. 

We seek to platform academicians, journalists, activists, researchers, as well as communities, practitioners, and students. We would NOT platform any content or individuals that advocate right-wing ethnic or religious nationalism, condone any form of state violence, propagate conspiracy theories, or promote the corporate interests of private firms, target communities, or any minority groups.

The Contrapuntal welcomes contributions based on our stated principles, shared values, and vision.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Don't Miss