Shy Radicals: The Antisystemic Politics of the Militant Introvert
The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear – Lao Tzu
Drawing together communiqués, covert interviews, oral and underground history of introvert struggles (Introfada), here for the first time is a detailed documentation of the political demands of shy people.
Radicalised against the imperial domination of globalised PR projectionism, extrovert poise and loudness, the Shy Radicals and their guerrilla wing the Shy Underground are a vanguard movement intent on trans-rupting consensus extrovert-supremacist politics and assertiveness culture of the twenty first century. The movement aims to establish an independent homeland – Aspergistan, a utopian state for introverted people, run according to Shyria Law and underpinned by Pan-Shyist ideology, protecting the rights of the oppressed quiet and shy people.
Shy Radicals are the Black Panther Party of the introvert class, and this anti-systemic manifesto is a quiet and thoughtful polemic, a satire that uses anti-colonial theory to build a critique of dominant culture and the rising tide of Islamophobia.
Reviews, quotes and acclaim for Shy Radicals:
‘ a beautiful startling book. Subversively funny and very, very smart.’ – A. L. Kennedy ‘A classic in experimental literature.’ – Deborah Pearson
‘Shy Radicals does what the best writing always does: it makes you see the world afresh. And it is funny.’ – Arun Kundnani
‘a work of speculative activism that might actually change they way you think, also way more imaginative and actionable that any of that so-called theory that you read. Sick of extroverts controlling the agenda? Educate yourself about extrovert supremacy.’ – Sam Riviere (Books of the Year 2018 in the White Review)
‘Part manifesto, part history of the shy revolution, part hymn to introversion: Shy Radicals is a beautiful exploration of exploitation, nationalism and power – dynamics as seen from the perspective of the revolutionary introvert. It’s a poem and a manual that helps you take apart the cult of personality and endless expression and their part in enforcing evils of capitalism, colonialism and white supremacy…. Ahsan’s work is genuinely radical, and this book challenges traditional conceptions of art and politics by putting militant quietness at its centre. It’s as deadly serious as it is fun.’ – Henry Bell (Glasgow Review of Books of the Year 2017)
Shy Radicals author Hamja Ahsan is an artist, curator and activist based in London. He is the Free Talha Ahsan campaign organiser. He has presented art projects at Tate Modern, Gwangju Biennale, Shaanakht festival Pakistan and Shlipa Academy, Bangladesh. He co-founded DIY Cultures Festival in 2013.
Extent: 164pp | Edition: 3,000 copies (2017, Fifth Edition, 2021)
Dimensions: 113 mm x 179 mm
Contributor: Power, Nina
Publisher: Book Works | Designer: Rose Nordin