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Anthony Alessandrini


My Lonely and Beautiful Country: Recent Work on the Cinema of Turkey (Part One)

[Still image from Nuri Bilge Ceylan's

Gönül Dönmez-Colin, Turkish Cinema: Identity, Distance, and Belonging. London: Reaktion Books and Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008. Asuman Suner, New Turkish Cinema: Belonging, Identity, and Memory. London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2010. Deniz Bayrakdar, Aslı Kotaman, and Ahu Samav Uğursoy, editors, Cinema and Politics: Turkish Cinema and the New Europe. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009. Upon being awarded the Best Director honor at ...

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On Being "Wrong" on Iraq

[Iraqi protesters in Liberation Square in Baghdad. Image via]

This is not another article about Christopher Hitchens. This may come as something of a relief, given the spilling of ink occasioned by Hitchens’ untimely death last week, with Neal Pollock’s fine parody hopefully bringing this outpouring to an end. After an initial set of hagiographies, it was encouraging to see a number of pieces reminding readers of Hitchens’ role in forcefully and bloodthirstily advocating for the war on Iraq, and for the “war on terror” more generally, ...

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Our University: On Police Violence at CUNY

[Image via The GC Advocate]

This past Monday, I was one of a handful of faculty and staff among a group of CUNY students standing in the lobby of a building at Baruch College in Manhattan. We had all entered with our CUNY i.d. cards in hand. Our intention was to attend a public hearing called by the CUNY Board of Trustees to discuss proposed tuition increases. Among us, it should be noted, were students who had signed up in advance to speak at this public hearing. I was surprised—although, given recent ...

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Back to Work: OWS and the Arab Spring

[Image via unknown archive.]

I have been trying, and failing, to write about the Occupy movement—more specifically, about Occupy Wall Street, and even more specifically, about the connections between OWS and the popular uprisings that have come to be known by the convenient (although no longer remotely accurate) name of “the Arab Spring”—for weeks now. One of the many feelings that hit me yesterday morning when I woke to the news of the police raid on Liberty Square (nee Zuccotti Park) was a dismal ...

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The Others, the Elsewhere of Our Here

[Still image from the film

John E. Drabinski, Godard Between Identity and Difference. New York and London: Continuum, 2008. John Drabinski’s Godard Between Identity and Difference is a rare thing in the world of contemporary academic writing: a book that reveals the author’s personal, idiosyncratic, and loving relationship with his subject. The reader comes away from this book not merely impressed by its arguments and enlightened by its readings, but also moved by its passion. One feels that one has ...

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Missing Edward Said

[Edward Said. Image via SIPA PRESS/REX]

Today marks the eighth anniversary of the passing of Edward Said. It is an anniversary that continues to fill me with a deep sense of melancholy, one shared, I know, by so many admirers of his work and his example. The ways in which we miss Said today, and have found ourselves missing him over the course of this bloody decade, are innumerable. Some comfort can be found in the fine work inspired by Said’s legacy in the intervening years, including the excellent and inclusive ...

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Obama's Palestine Problem, and Ours

[Protest against US Tax-Funded Aid to Israel. Photo via SUSTAIN-Philadelphia.]

It is shocking, but not surprising, that in the US, the primary way of understanding and analyzing the debate at the United Nations over Palestinian statehood is in terms of its effect upon American politics. More specifically, the main focus in the US media has been on how the Obama administration would handle the “crisis” at the UN, inevitably described as one aspect of the supposed "roiling tensions in the region." Very little thought is being devoted to the ...

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[Cover of

Patriot Acts: Narratives of Post-9/11 Injustice. Compiled and edited by Alia Malek. San Francisco: McSweeney’s Books/Voice of Witness Series, 2011. Listen: I didn’t know I wasn’t an American until I was sixteen and in handcuffs. (Adama Bah) This time I got pulled out of the car by officers, thrown onto the hood of the car, and handcuffed. My kids were screaming in the backseat, everybody in the car was just screaming and crying. I said to the officers, “I was born and ...

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A Creature Which Would Be Impossible If It Did Not Exist: "Midnight's Children" Turns Thirty

[Image from]

Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, which turns thirty this year, opens with one of the most celebrated bouts of throat-clearing in literary history: I was born in the city of Bombay...once upon a time. No, that won’t do, there’s no getting away from the date: I was born in Doctor Narlikar’s Nursing Home on August 15th, 1947. And the time? The time matters, too. Well then: at night. No, it’s important to be more...On the stroke of midnight, as a matter of fact. ...

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New BDS Strategy: Sucky Bands Encouraged to Not Boycott Israel

[Image from unknown archive.]

Heeb Magazine recently asked the question: “Is Israel’s Air Supply Boast Proof of Cultural Boycott’s Strength?” As YNET reports, “Veteran Australian soft rock duo Air Supply will arrive in Israel in September for a series of concerts, following the success of its previous visit to the Holy Land three years ago.” Heeb’s Bernard Mendelbaum suggests that the fact that Israeli officials have been “reduced to bragging that the 80s shlock band is coming to visit” represents “one ...

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Palestine in Scare Quotes: From the NYT Grammar Book

[Qalandiya Checkpoint. Photo by Anees of Jerusalem. Image from Mondoweiss]

When I feel the need for my blood pressure to go up, I read the New York Times’ coverage of Israel-Palestine. The extent to which the Times’ reporting (or misreporting) is deeply slanted, selective, and misleading has been thoroughly documented in Richard Falk’s and Howard Friel’s Israel-Palestine on Record: How the New York Times Misreports Conflict in the Middle East. Meanwhile, Electronic Intifada and Mondoweiss provide excellent ongoing critiques of the Times’ day to ...

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Revisiting Arna's Children

[Image from Google Images]

Arna’s Children. Directed by Juliano Mer Khamis and Danniel Danniel. Israel-Palestine, 2004. It has now been two months since the murder of Juliano Mer Khamis. I have not yet found the words to follow that statement. For me, as for many, the horror of this assasination has compelled a revisiting of Arna’s Children, the masterpiece Juliano made with Danniel Danniel in 2004. I will not follow standard practice here and provide a plot summary. If you have not yet watched this ...

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Jadaliyya Review Roundtable on "The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict"

“Reports come and go. This is one of the tragic truths of the literature of human rights violations. Hard-working researchers scour the rubble of war zones for fragments of evidence — of war crimes, crimes against humanity, other violations of life and freedom — only to watch their findings sink into the oblivion of forgotten documents.” So begins the editors’ note to the collection The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict, edited ...

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Aesthetic Uprisings


Signs of the Times: The Popular Literature of Tahrir: Protest Signs, Graffiti & Street Art. Curated by Rayya El Zein and Alex Ortiz. Special Issue of Shahadat, April 2011. Full issue available here.   In the heady days that followed the January 25 demonstrations in Egypt, the air seemed to crackle with images from the myriad protests and demonstrations and strikes and uprisings all across the country. For those of us following events from outside, it became part of ...

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Juliano Mer Khamis

[Juliano Mer Khamis. Image by Alex Rozkovsky/AP]

Jadaliyya is tremendously saddened to report the murder of Juliano Mer Khamis earlier today. Juliano, 52, who was the Artistic Director of The Jenin Freedom Theater and the co-director of the award-winning documentary Arna’s Children, was shot by unknown assailants in Jenin as he was leaving the theater. We offer our deepest condolences to his family, his friends, and all who worked with him and loved him. Juliano was born in Nazareth in 1958. He was the son of Saliba ...

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Elia Suleiman's Time

[Still from Elia Suleiman's film

The Time that Remains [Al-Zaman Al-Baqi]. Written and directed by Elia Suleiman. UK/Italy/Belgium/France, 2009. An early scene in The Time that Remains [Al-Zaman Al-Baqi], Elia Suleiman’s latest film, reveals a great deal. The scene begins with a shot of the harried-looking mayor of Nazareth banging open a door at the end of a long hallway. We have some sense of why he is so harried: we have just watched the car that was driving him to the meeting being repeatedly menaced ...

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Bad Faith at the Book Festival

[Logo of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel]

“Everywhere you look the boycott debate is in the news,” Joseph Dana notes in a recent article on his blog. The most prominent example involves British novelist Ian McEwan, who rejected calls to boycott the 2011 Jerusalem Book Festival after being awarded the Jerusalem Prize. Instead, McEwan, in his acceptance speech last week, offered some words of criticism for Israeli policies, including settlements and the siege of Gaza, while simultaneously paying tribute to “the ...

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A Word on Africa: Djibouti

[Image from]

“Arab world unrest reaches Horn of Africa” was how the Israeli website Ynet led off its coverage of the demonstrations that began in Djibouti yesterday. On Friday, thousands of protesters — 6,000, according to the Independent, in a country with a population of less than a million people — demanded the resignation of President Ismail Omar Guelleh, among other political reforms. Authorities used batons and fired tear gas grenades at demonstrators; by the end of the day, ...

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The Art of the Impossible

[Image from the Guardian]

Like millions of people around the world, I’m deeply inspired by the great victory that was won by the Egyptian people today, and deeply humbled by their magnificent power. Eighteen days, without a moment of respite, spent in the streets (not to mention the years of struggle by human rights and democracy activists against the regime that helped lay the groundwork for the latest protests) has made the impossible come true. “Look at the streets of Egypt tonight; this is what ...

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The naysayers who had been suggesting (or, in some cases, hoping) that the protests in Egypt were running out of steam have been proven wrong, once again, by the Egyptian people. By some accounts, the crowds in Midan Tahrir today were the largest yet — “hundreds of thousands,” according to the Guardian’s live reports — and many of those protesting today were coming out onto the streets for the first time. As I write this, protests continue in front of the Parliament ...

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Anthony Alessandrini


Anthony Alessandrini is a Professor of English at Kingsborough Community College and the MA Program in Middle Eastern Studies at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York, where he is also a member of the Committee on Globalization and Social Change. He is the author of Frantz Fanon and the Future of Cultural Politics: Finding Something Different (Lexington, 2014); the editor of Frantz Fanon: Critical Perspectives; and the co-editor of the JadMag special issue "Resistance Everywhere": The Gezi Protests and Dissident Visions of Turkey. Recent articles have appeared in Foucault Studies, Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy, Reconstruction, and Social Text: Periscope. He is a member of the faculty of the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research. He is a Co-Editor of Jadaliyya E-Zine and co-edits the Reviews Page, the NEWTON Page, and the Turkey Page.

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