“I want to think about the tactics Roy deploys in her representation of adivasi resistance, particularly in the book’s eponymous central narrative, and what the audience is for her intervention. Indeed, in my current seminar on postcolonial ecologies and their representations, we’ve seen three rather different attempts at representing indigenous/autochthonous experience and resistance: Amitav Ghosh’s ‘The Hungry Tide,’ the three stories of Mahasweta Devi’s ‘Imaginary Maps’ (translated by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak), and now Roy’s text. I tend to see the first as a principally aesthetic treatment, the second—complicated by various translation issues—as didactic, and the latter as descriptive or journalistic, but these are admittedly contingent categories. Put another way, what are the impacts, or potential impacts, of these authors’ interventions given their respective forms?”
— An excerpt from my ruminations on Arundhati Roy’s Walking With the Comrades.
5:33 pm • 23 February 2014 • 1 note
10 Ramadan, Cairo - Inside the premises of Swiss Garment factory. This facility is Arafa Holding’s first garment making factory and specializes in the manufacture of formal wear for major Italian stylists, Armani, Scervino, Ermenegildo Zegna and Paolo Pecora among others.
This private factory covers 30,000 square meters and employes almost 4,000 workers.
One of the core revolutionary demands regarded the raise of the minimum monthly salaries. This should be put into force starting form the 1st of January 2014 but only for the public sector workers. A decision on whether to extend that to private sector workers is still pending.
The volatile political situation and sporadic violence since the 2011 uprising that ended the 30-year rule of Hosni Mubarak has scared away many foreign investors and tourists, severely impacting Egypt’s economy.
According to one of the factory area manager, a gradual implementing in the wage system would mean an increase in the production costs and this could lead the company to be no longer competitive on the market and the risk that the investors will look elsewhere for their vast scale production, where the cost of labour is still lower.
5:08 pm • 21 February 2014 • 22 notes
“[Q:] You’ve said before that it is a struggle to find the time and space to write fiction and that you feel you need to invent a language to bridge your political and creative concerns. [A:] Yes, what is most difficult for me is that just as certain and as real as these battles are right now, writing fiction is proportionately uncertain. Fiction is such an amorphous thing, you can’t be sure that you’re doing something important or wonderful until you’ve done it. So, because of the position I am in now, to work on fiction I have to create some sort of steel barriers around it. Fiction is something that involves so much gentleness, so much tenderness, that it keeps getting *crushed* under the weight of everything else! I still haven’t figured it out entirely—but I will, *I will*.”
— Arundhati Roy, in an interview about her 2011 account of the ongoing Naxalite resistance in central India, Walking With The Comrades.
5:03 pm • 21 February 2014 • 3 notes
“She imagined the animals circling drowsily, listening to echoes pinging through the water, painting pictures in three dimensions—images that only they could decode. The thought of experiencing your surroundings in that way never failed to fascinate her: the idea that to ‘see’ was also to ‘speak’ to others of your own kind, where simply to exist was to communicate. In contrast, there was the immeasurable distance that separated her from Fokir. What was he thinking about as he stared at the moonlit river? The forest, the crabs? Whatever it was, she would never know: not just because they had no language in common but because that was how it was with human beings, who came equipped, as a species, with the means of shutting each other out. The two of them, Fokir and she, could have been boulders or trees for all they knew of each other, and wasn’t it better in a way, more honest, that they could not speak? For if you compared it to the ways in which dolphins’ echoes mirrored the world, speech was only a bag of tricks that fooled you into believing that you could see through the eyes of another being.”
— Amitav Ghosh, ‘The Hungry Tide’ (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2005), 132.
1:18 am • 7 February 2014
“Actually, the ‘national’ relation is a result of a unique ‘original’ combination (in a certain sense) that must be understood and conceived in its originality and uniqueness if one wants to control and direct it. No doubt that development strives towards internationalism, but the point of departure is ‘national,’ and it is from this point of departure that one must start out. The perspective is international, and can only be international. Therefore, one must study exactly the combination of national forces that the international class will have to lead and develop according to the international perspective and directives.”
— Been struggling with the role of the national in various Marxist accounts, particularly in my organizing work, and this gloss from Gramsci really helps me out. From the third volume of his Prison Notebooks, quoted in Timothy Brennan, “Literary Criticism and the Southern Question,” Cultural Critique (winter 1988-89), 112-113.
2:34 pm • 5 February 2014
“I’ve reported on stop and frisk for two years, and in that time I’ve talked to young men who have experienced stop-and-frisk, and the stories they tell are harrowing. A black teenager in Bedford-Stuyvesant described how embarrassed he was to have “old ladies” watch as his pants landed around his ankles while police searched him. A 17-year-old in the Bronx explained that police, “They go in my pants. You’re not supposed to go in my pants.” Being touched by a female police officer can be especially upsetting for adolescent males. “It’s annoying because it doesn’t matter what kind of cop it is, female or male, they’re gonna frisk you. If you say something to the female about it, the female says something to you like ‘What? I can do what I want.’ And they still frisk you. You can’t say sexual harassment, nothing,” 18-year-old South Bronx resident Garnell told me last year, adding, “And they go hard, grabbing stuff they’re not supposed to.””
— How ‘Stop and Frisk’ Is Too Often a Sexual Assault by Cops on Teenagers in Targeted NYC Neighborhoods | Alternet (via aboriginalnewswire)
2:17 pm • 5 February 2014 • 8 notes
The aim of HONEST BODIES is to uncover the different ways that young LGBTQ folk of color have learned to come to terms with and accept their physical bodies at the same time that we handle the everyday realities of discrimination and social control. It is a gathering of individuals who, either through the honesty and immediacy of their work, or through their everyday life practice, strive sincerely to achieve oneness with others. It is our hope that HONEST BODIES will open us up, and make us available to one another so that together we can build communities based in trust, understanding, and creativity always.
| ARTISTS & WRITERS |
Cristobal Guerra Naranjo
Gabriel García Román
LeShaun Satya Lovell-Charles
12:48 pm • 1 February 2014 • 551 notes
“The international humanitarian order, in contrast, does not acknowledge citizenship. Instead, it turns citizens into wards. The language of humanitarian intervention has cut its ties with the language of citizen rights. To the extent the global humanitarian order claims to stand for rights, these are residual rights of the human and not the full range of rights of the citizen. If the rights of the citizen are pointedly political, the rights of the human pertain to sheer survival; they are summed up in one word: protection. The new language refers to its subjects not as bearers of rights—and thus active agents in their emancipation—but as passive beneficiaries of an external responsibility to protect. Rather than rights-bearing citizens, beneficiaries of the humanitarian order are akin to recipients of charity. Humanitarianism does not claim to reinforce agency, only to sustain bare life. If anything, its tendency is to promote dependence. Humanitarianism heralds a system of trusteeship.”
— Mahmood Mamdani, with whom I studied last semester, on the neocolonial R2P doctrine, which is now being deployed on behalf of queer Russians by Google et al. via the “Uprising for Love” campaign.
4:28 pm • 23 January 2014 • 2 notes
" The powerful new film from Göran Hugo Olsson, director of The Black Power Mixtape, is a fresh and bold visual narrative, documenting the liberation from colonial rule in the ‘60s and ‘70s in Africa. Working with recently discovered archival footage, the film depicts some of the most daring moments ever captured during the anti-colonialist struggle. Drawn from Frantz Fanon’s still-evocative and searing text “The Wretched of the Earth” and narrated by the socially engaged singer Lauryn Hill, CONCERNING VIOLENCE is a striking and emotionally resonant cinematic essay, which confronts the dehumanizing mechanisms of colonialism of the past to illuminate the urgent need for change in the present. “
5:10 pm • 17 January 2014 • 59 notes
“When organizers against industries of last resort take to the road, they constantly meet a reasonable question: If not this, then what? In fact, in the left-ish discourse in the United States, an insistence that “winnable” solutions be proposed along with problems has become dominant. This dominance is in part an outgrowth of the professionalization of activism of all kinds and its formalization in not-for-profits, which are regularly required to generate “work products” to satisfy funders that the groups are doing what they say they will do. The “what-is-the-solution” imperative is also an outgrowth of the twentieth-century ascendance of the technocrat, specially skilled in breaking problems down into parts and solving them piecemeal. The trouble with technocracy, affecting engaged research and not-for-profit-based political experimentation, is that narrowness often stands in for specificity (and questions lose stretch and resonance along the way). Thus the long struggle to shrink the U.S. prison system through nonreformist reforms has sometimes been undermined by the technocratic imagination stifling work intended to advance the cause. For example, some advocacy research has narrowed the question “How do we shrink prisons?” to “How can we get some women out of prison?” and has ignored the facts—supported by experience—that the women released might wind up in jails or other lockups, or that the arguments advocated on behalf of decarcerating women might deepen and widen the net in which men and boys are captured and kept.”
— Ruth Wilson Gilmore, “Forgotten Places and the Seeds of Grassroots Planning,” Engaging Contradictions: Theory, Politics, and Methods of Activist Scholarship (ed., Charles R. Hale)
(Source: twitterpatedlyyours, via lamaracuya)
4:46 pm • 17 January 2014 • 12 notes