It was to be the magazine’s first issue in quite a while. How long, I didn’t quite know. About the only thing that was clear was that an edition had previously been published out of Chicago, in the late 1990s.
The magazine was called LiP. It only made it seven issues. However, the relaunch turned out to be higher profile than that, at least locally (San Francisco) for the next three years. Hired as the managing editor, I didn’t even make it through my first production cycle. The money dried up immediately, and I left. Two months later, I landed the same gig, salaried, at Tikkun.
Several articles I solicited ended up getting published – an interview I did with the late Tanya Reinhart, a review essay by Jillian Sandell about the DVD release of Gillo Pontecorvo’s legendary Battle of Algiers. A couple of the staffers I recruited stuck around, too. The one article that never materialized was an essay I’d solicited about the conflict in Chechnya.
The subject was to have been the significance of the war for the American left. Why, following the Russian invasion of the country, was it not a topic of debate amongst domestic progressives? Was it because of a lack of expertise on Russian issues? A discomfort with having to talk about the Islamic identification of the separatists? I wanted to figure it out.
Unless I write the article myself, I’m probably never going to get any clarity on the issue. Seeing this graffiti (“Freedom for Chechnya”) in Neukolln, on Tuesday, certainly took me back. We’ll see for how long.