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About Ray Filar

Ray Filar is a freelance journalist and an editor at openDemocracy, working on the Transformation section. Their writing has been published in The Guardian, The Times, and the New Statesman, among others. They are the editor of Resist! Against a precarious future (Lawrence & Wishart, 2015), a book about young people and politics. They tweet, @rayfilar, their website is here.

Articles by Ray Filar

This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Carers, mothers and sex workers: who cares about women's work?

KilljoyFM is London's new left feminist radio show, every Wednesday at 11am. This week, they discussed care, wages for housework and valuing feminised labour.

Looking back: 12 of Transformation's greatest articles

I'm leaving after three years at openDemocracy. Here are some of my favourite, must-read articles from writers to watch out for.

Meet the sex workers using art to expose truths about the sex industry

Ahead of the opening of Sex Workers' Opera tonight, these arts activists are fighting the battle for hearts and minds.

Why I am an anti-Zionist Jew

The Israeli government deliberately invokes terrorist attacks, rockets, and scary brown men in headscarfs to stoke the population's fear, but I am scared of the racism Zionists use to justify the occupation. Originally published August 2014.

Crowdfunder: Transformation needs your help

If you care about the possibilities for radical change in society, please join our campaign.

Staying alive: Kate Bornstein gives the finger to cancer, suicide, and the gender binary

"Once you break down a huge fucking binary like gender, no other binaries seem to make sense": an interview with the much-loved trans author and artist.

Trans ™: how the trans movement got sold out

From Zoolander 2 to Brewdog, now being transgender is cool, corporations are co-opting the sexy bits to turn a profit. 

Dead name: why Facebook is wrong about who we are

For me the legal barriers that block living authentically are upsetting. But for others they are downright dangerous.

If you care about politics, don't vote

“Vote!” urge the party politics fans, waving their General Election sign-up sheets. But voting is the least effective way to create change.

The miserable cynic's guide to mindfulness

If unhappiness is the human condition, what's the point of mindfulness? 

How the Home Office keeps getting it wrong on LGBTQ asylum seekers

The Home Office says that asylum seeker Aderonke Apata can't be a lesbian as she has had children with a man. The new Solidarity with Aderonke Tumblr project tells a different story.

Willing the impossible: an interview with Judith Butler

Over 800 Palestinians and 34 Israelis have now been killed in Operation Protective Edge, while last night the largest protest since the second intifada took place in the West Bank. Judith Butler on the Israel/Palestine conflict and a one state solution. This interview was first published on 23 July 2013.

What do you think of Transformation?

Transformation, openDemocracy’s newest section, turns one year old today. We want your help in evaluating our progress.

Liberation in the age of the hashtag activist

Under austerity we tweet #bringbackourgirls from the safety of our laptops: anything else is naive. Liberation means the comprehensive dismantling of hierarchies, but few movements talk about it today. An introduction to Transformation's liberation series.

Mental health: why we're all sick under neoliberalism

We don't understand mental health, allocating the label only to those who are struggling. So good mental health, and its political causes, become invisible. An introduction to Transformation's new series on the politics of mental health. Content warning: anxiety, suicidal thoughts.

Silence = death: Sarah Schulman on ACT UP, the forgotten resistance to the AIDS crisis

When the AIDS activist movement ACT UP was formed in New York in 1987, 50 per cent of Americans wanted people with AIDS quarantined, while 15 per cent favoured tattoos. An interview with Sarah Schulman on her film United In Anger: A History of ACT UP. 

All hail the vampire-archy: what Mark Fisher gets wrong in 'Exiting the vampire castle'

Where to start? He repeatedly accuses feminists of being “moralisers”, when he's not saying we're “vampires” or “liberals” instead. But there can be no real solidarity without intersectionality.

This week’s theme: Welcome to Transformation

Ray Filar, Associate Editor of our new section Transformation, walks us through its first week

Get ready for Transformation

oD blog 140

“Oh, cool! So, uh, what's it about?” That's the usual response when I tell people I'm editing a new section of openDemocracy titled “Transformation: where love meets social justice”.

Questioning the imperative to be gendered

Despite women's progress, the norms that dictate that people should act along gender lines are stronger than ever. The rules of gender come first, humanity second. Genderqueers are transforming gender and challenging the constricting gender roles that limit everybody’s lives.

UK: the power of the women’s vote

Resistance to viewing women as a homogenous block can all too often provide politicians with an excuse to ignore women altogether. Women hold half the electorate’s voting power: which party will be brave enough to reach out for their vote at the next General Election?

Why the gender pay gap matters

With so many families in Britain struggling in the face of the Coalition's austerity measures, wage inequalities between men and women seem low down on almost everyone's agenda. But as increasing numbers of households depend on women’s wages, equal pay for equal work is a more pertinent demand than ever, says Ray Filar

Mad Women on the March

The Fawcett Society believes that the UK coalition government has broken the law in not assessing the impact of budget cuts on women. Ray Filar marched with them last weekend to hear their reasons for protesting

A thousand feminists, a million acts of violence

The UK government says it wants to end abuse against women and girls but at the same time it is cutting vital funding to organisations in the front line. In London last weekend, the FEM 11 conference called for a new political strategy and for better funding of women’s services. Ray Filar was there

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