Jenny Turner

Jenny Turner is a contributing editor at the LRB.

So what’s it like in there, the drum-bearer asked me when we reached the gates of the delegates-only COP26 Blue Zone, thickly fenced behind rows of anti-ram-raid bollards, with the nearby drains and lampposts swept for bombs and sealed. Huge. Bewildering. Exhausting. I don’t have a clue what I should be doing, but every day I try to find out. I had thought I’d see inside the sausage factory, the where, the what, the mechanics of how climate laws are made, but all I see are sausages in their packets, though sometimes the label on a packet has another one stuck on top. I read the ingredients and I look them up on Google or Twitter, or I go to a session to find out what they are. I sit in a session and I just don’t get it, or I do get it, which means I’m probably at something unimportant. It’s too big for one person even to begin to follow; you split into pieces when you try. So, actually I’m in despair and I’d much rather be out here with you lot. I met another journalist who said that, the XR drum-bearer said.

We must think! Hannah Arendt’s Islands

Jenny Turner, 4 November 2021

In summer​ last year, Lyndsey Stonebridge, professor of humanities and human rights at the University of Birmingham, posted a selfie on Twitter modelling her new Hannah Arendt face mask:

Preparefor the worst:expect the best:andtake what comes

‘Not a Hannah Arendt quote! :/’ Samantha Rose Hill, then the assistant director of the Hannah Arendt Centre at Bard College in New York...

Fed up with Ibiza: Sybille Bedford

Jenny Turner, 1 April 2021

At​ the beginning of November 1918, the sailors of the German High Seas Fleet mutinied in ports across the North Sea and Baltic coasts. Red flags went up first in Kiel, then in Berlin on 9 November, when Wilhelm II was deposed. Seven-year-old Sybille Bedford, meanwhile, was on a train with her amazing, ludicrously flighty mother, trying to get back to the family château in Baden from...

Ready to Go Off

Jenny Turner, 18 February 2021

Thepandemic, the lockdowns, bring new focus, I’ve noticed, to the mythos of the enclave, the citadel, the haven, the safe space inside which lovely things can flourish while the world outside it continues to go to hell. Lauren Oya Olamina, the visionary heroine of Octavia Butler’s Parable books, lived until she was 18 in a gated neighbourhood in Robledo, southern California,...

Iwaswashing up or something ten years ago when an episode of The Reunion with Sue MacGregor came on the radio, the one about the Women’s Liberation protesters who stormed the Miss World competition at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970. I must have known about it already, but it was like I’d never got the point. Listening to that programme, for some reason, took me right back into...

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