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Foreign Policies Media Roundup (April-May 2015)

[This is a monthly roundup of news articles and other materials related to other countries' foreign policies toward the Middle East. It does not reflect the views of the Foreign Polices Roundup Editors of Jadaliyya. You may send recommendations for inclusion in the Foreign Policies Media Roundup to info@jadaliyya.com, mentioning "Foreign Policies Roundup" in the subject line.] United States Ex-Blackwater Guards Given Long Terms for Killing Iraqis (13 April 2015) Years after the 16 September 2007 massacre at Nisour Square, four former Blackwater security contractors received long sentences for their involvement in the “wartime ...

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حوار مع إدواردو غاليانو

[

وُلد إدواردو غاليانو في الأرغواي سنة 1940، وقد ألّف العديد من الكتب، منها "الشرايين المفتوحة لأميركا اللاتينية" (1973)، الذي قام الرئيس الفنزويلي هوغو تشافيز بإهدائه إلى  الرئيس الأميركي باراك أوباما  آملاً أن يعلّمه التاريخ.  ثم ألّف غاليانو "ذاكرة النار"، الثلاثية التي تُرجمت إلى العربية منذ عقد. من بين كتبه الأخرى المترجمة إلى العربية "كتاب المعانقات"، و"كلمات متجولة"، و"مرايا"، كتابه الأحدث، والذي يتحدث فيه عن كلّ شيء من الملح والخرائط والنقود إلى كليوباترا وألكسندر هامتلون وتشي غيفارا جوناه رسكن: لقد وصفْتَ أميركا اللاتينية مرة بأنها امرأة تهمس في أذنك. هل كنت تعني أمّك؟ إدواردو ...

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It’s a Kind of a Domesticated Wilderness: An Interview with Abbas Akhavan

[Abbas Akhavan's

People ask me, “What does it mean?” And I say: “It doesn’t mean anything.” Evidently, the work of Toronto-based artist Abbas Akhavan carries connotations, pointing the viewer to a certain direction. Yet the artist refrains from pedagogic messages, thus encouraging viewers to form their own opinions. At the core of Akhavan’s practice, which he defines as a declination of possible answers to the same problem, lies the idea of the sacred—the respect of nature’s welcoming tenderness, blended with a menacing pugnacity. Installed for the first time at the Third Line Gallery in Dubai, his Study for a Curtain—modeled after a pit trap and comprised of exotic plant leaves—draws on ...

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Nargess Hashemi: The Pleasure in Boredom

[Detail of Nargess Hashemi's

The Pleasure in Boredom charts Nargess Hashemi’s process of developing over ten years worth of experimentation on graph paper. She has doodled in notebooks from a young age; during long, tedious car journeys, over extended visits with family and at art school where her teacher, artist Farshid Maleki, also assigned her exercises of repeated line drawings. The practice has become somewhat of a lifelong obsession for the artist. Using only the most basic materials, the artist adopts a commonly unfocused and subliminal practice and refines it, resulting in vibrant artworks of great complexity. The title of the exhibition references an essay by E.H. Gombrich, in which the ...

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New Texts Out Now: David McDonald, Rethinking Corporatization and Public Services in the Global South

[Cover of

David McDonald, editor, Rethinking Corporatization and Public Services in the Global South. London: Zed Books, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? David McDonald (DMD): After three decades of privatization, we observe a growing worldwide trend of governments taking back control of services, or creating new forms of public services, with the overall number of public enterprises globally on the increase. Corporatization is one of the most popular forms of this renewed interest in government ownership, but it raises some tricky questions about the nature of what it means to be “public.” Technically, corporatized agencies are fully owned and ...

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Interview with Achin Vanaik on the Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and India-Palestine Solidarity

[Congress party candidate Shashi Tharoor appears on a poster next to late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. “Can this man be anti-Palestinian?” the caption reads. Palestine is an issue in Kerala's election and Tharoor has been accused of being pro-Israel. Photo by Ranjit Bhaskar

In September 2010, a landmark conference titled “A Just Peace for Palestine” held in New Delhi, India ended with a clear call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel as a strategy for realizing justice for Palestinians. The conference was co-organized by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the Committee for Solidarity with Palestine, the All India Peace and Solidarity Organization, and the recently established Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, (INCACBI). The conference ended with a resolution that called upon “the Indian government to end its military ties with Israel and return to its earlier commitment to the ...

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Studio Visit: Photographer Lina Hashim

Lina Hashim is an Iraqi photographer based in Copenhagen, Denmark. She focuses on ways through which Arab emigrants adapt to their lives in Northern Europe and balance their lives with their cultural values and religious beliefs. Hashim studied anthropology and photography and is currently enrolled at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. She focused over the past three years on two main projects: “Unlawful meetings” and “No wind - with hijab”. Hashim compares her role in the first to that of a “spy” who takes snapshots of intimate meetings between second generation Arab emigrants in public spaces; this project was compared to the work of Japanese photographer Kohei ...

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Armenian Diaspora Tourism in Turkey: An Interview with Anny Bakalian

[Travelers wearing red, blue, and orange shirts, the colors of the flag of the Republic of Armenia, pose with Mount Ararat behind them (2014). Image by Anny Bakalian.]

[This interview explores the rising phenomenon of diaspora Armenians traveling throughout Anatolia, following their ancestors’ footprints. Specifically, it focuses on the following questions: What is the meaning of Armenian diaspora tourism to Turkey? Is it a return to the homeland? What emotions do travelers share along the trip? What are typical encounters between the tourists and the locals?] Sinem Adar (SA): You have been travelling with other Armenians from the diaspora to different parts of Anatolia since 2009. Let’s begin with what made you decide to undertake these travels. Anny Bakalian (AB): Like most Armenians, I grew up with stories about the places where ...

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New Texts Out Now: Shampa Biswas, Nuclear Desire: Power and the Postcolonial Nuclear Order

[Cover of Shampa Biswas,

Shampa Biswas, Nuclear Desire: Power and the Postcolonial Nuclear Order. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Shampa Biswas (SB): I am a nuclear abolitionist, and would like to see a world completely rid of nuclear weapons. There are countless other nuclear abolitionists, many of whom have advanced very concrete suggestions for how to move toward a nuclear-free world. In fact, there is a massive, complex, multi-billion dollar nuclear nonproliferation regime invested in reducing and/or eliminating nuclear weapons from the world. Yet we are nowhere near ridding the world of nuclear weapons, and despite all the ...

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The Growing Phenomenon of Pro-Israeli Advocacy in Chinese Academia

[Image of a graphic that demonstrates the SIGNAL backed ISP zones in China. Image from Sino-Israel.org]

Over the last decade, a network of loosely affiliated pro-Israeli organizations—embracing a number of think tanks, universities, lobbyist groups, foundations, activist-scholars as well as donors—have successfully established a foothold in Chinese academia. The aim of these groups in China has been to provide a platform for espousing hasbara—a Hebrew term for “explanation” denoting the utilization of diplomatic, media, and political mediums to clarify and defend Israel’s positions and actions—that would serve to re-shape Chinese academic perceptions of the Jewish state. The logic underlying this advocacy is that it would eventually influence—given prevailing assumptions ...

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Kenya: On Edge, Rights at Risk

[Image of election campaign posters in Kenya. Image by Global Panorama/Flickr.]

Kenya is in a bad place. Violent attacks from Al-Shabaab, an Islamist group out of Somalia and an Al Qaeda affiliate, and smaller violent attacks and conflicts involving known and unknown sources in rural and urban settings, as well as a rise in general street level crime, have created an insecure, anxious, and deeply divided population. They have also created a problematic context for the protection of democratic rights. Last September Al-Shabaab said it executed the attack on the upscale Westgate Mall in Nairobi causing at least sixty-seven deaths and many injuries. Recently, there were attacks on the small town of Mpeketoni and its environs at the coast with over ...

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Press Release: Librarians and Archivists with Palestine Launches New Website and Solidarity Network

[The following press release was issued by Librarians and Archivists with Palestine on 5 June 2014.] On the 47th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and after 66 years of dispossession of the Palestinian people, a group of librarians and archivists is launching a network of information workers in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. In summer 2013, information workers from the U.S., Canada, Sweden, Trinidad & Tobago, and Palestine went to Palestine to connect with colleagues in libraries, archives, and related projects and institutions, in the hopes of gaining mutual benefit through information ...

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Breaking House Rules: Hoodies, Hijabs, and Belonging in the Netherlands

The Incident With panoramic views of both the city and its harbor, the Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam (OBA), proved to be an ideal place for me to take a break from working at either my home or office at Leiden University. I visited the OBA regularly since moving to the Netherlands in 2011, when I accepted a position as an assistant professor of Modern Middle East History. Its gigantic floor to ceiling windows drowned you in the sunshine, and led you to feel as if you were amongst the clouds when it was ...

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إدواردو غاليانو: عدوّ النسيان

”حين أموت ستبقى الريح، ستواصل بقاءها“ إدواردو غاليانو - من كتاب المعانقات خطف الموت إدواردو غاليانو، الذي وصفه الروائي جون بيرغر بأنه "عدوّ الكذب واللامبالاة، وقبل كل شيء عدوّ النسيان، والذي بفضله ستتذكر البشرية جرائم الغرب". كتب إدواردو غاليانو مرة "إن الكتابة هي ضد النسيان، الذي يمارس القتل الحقيقي".وأعتقد أن كتب غاليانو، الذي مات غير مكترث بالموت في قرن الريح الأكثر عصفاً، تُقدِّم ترياقاً سحرياً لمعالجة مرض النسيان الناجم عن فيروس مُصنّع في مخابر السلطات المتشابكة والعابرة ...

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‘African Literature...Says Who?’ with Ngugi wa Thiong'o (New York, 24 April)

The Warscapes Public Lecture Series and New School's Humanities Action Lab present “African Literature...Says Who? The Last Fifty Years” Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o in conversation with Charles Cantalupo Friday, 24 April at 6pm New School University Center 65 Fifth Ave, New York, New York 10003 Free admission; tickets available here Kenyan born and internationally acclaimed, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o is the author of more major works of fiction, nonfiction, and drama than any African writer. His groundbreaking ...

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Driven by Storms: An Interview with Sadik Alfraji and Nat Muller

Diluting the melancholic longing for unattainable dreams, which will only ever remain dreams, Sadik Alfraji injects the possibility of hope into his latest exhibition, currently on view at Ayyam Gallery Dubai’s Al Quoz outpost. Curated by Nat Muller, who also edited Alfraji’s first monograph, Driven by Storms (Ali’s Boat) stems from a drawing that the Netherlands-based artist received in 2009 from his nephew Ali. Alfraji drew on the aesthetics of Ali’s boat, symbolising a much-desired escape from the ...

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Corporatization: Are Public Services still Public?

Public water and electricity are back in vogue. Yet, many state-owned utilities are now undergoing “corporatization,” i.e. they have legal autonomy and manage their own finances. Is this a positive development in the struggle for equitable public services or a slippery slope toward privatization? Sometimes driven by neoliberal agendas, there are examples of corporatization that could herald a brighter future for equity-oriented public services. The Municipal Services Project, both a scholarly and ...

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Khalvat: Towards Meaning

Sahand Hesamiyan’s Khalvat (2014) resembles a futuristic vessel. Composed of a circular shell, the thin ribs that begin at the work’s oculus create a sense of propulsion as they extend into narrow piers. With triangular pieces adjoined to its lattice frame at forty-five degree angles, the projectile sculpture appears to spin in space, defying the spatial and temporal limitations of a stationary object. In several recent works, Hesamiyan selects an element of Islamic architecture then reconfigures its ...

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Soren Thilo Funder

 September 2014, Copenhagen This week we feature Danish filmmaker and artist Soren Thilo Funder. Funder likes to make films about films and the process of cinematic production. In “The Adaptation” audiences get to see the performers in WWII French military uniforms, but also wearing GoPro cameras, breaking up the process. He also allows places and chance to do their part. While filming in Vedung, France, he saw a teenager, rollerblading over an old battlefield, and decided to include him in the ...

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Kenneth Balfelt

In September, Medrar.TV organized an arts documentation workshop with Kopenhagen Channel to feature a selection of Danish and Arab artists working in Denmark. We start the series with a profile of Danish artist Kenneth Balfelt, who has been implementing projects in public spaces around the world for over a decade. His work is unique in its participatory and inclusive approach. In this video, for instance we focus on one of his latest projects at Folkets Park (meaning ‘People’s Park’). Balfelt has ...

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The Legacy of Turkish in the Armenian Diaspora

There we sat, the proverbial Turk and Armenian, at neighboring tables in a university student center in New Jersey. My back to his, I drew my eyes out of the book I was reading to concentrate on the voice behind me. The gliding vowels of Turkish always sound familiar in the split second it takes for my brain to mark the language as unknown. As the man shouted into his cellphone, unaware of the aspiring eavesdropper nearby, a surge of recognition startled me each time I managed to catch a hiç or a hemen. ...

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New Media, New Politics? Theoretical Interventions and International Invocations

As part of the Jadaliyya Roundtable on New Media and New Politics, we offer three audio presentations from the April 2013 Westminster conference that address matters of mediation from theoretical and international perspectives. The topics presented here problematize analyses of the Arab revolutionary action and mediation by looking at these through the prism of "liberation technology," as synerigistic with South American Occupy movements, and as refractions of Marxist theorizations of digital ...

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W Radio (Colombia) Interviews Jadaliyya co-Editor Mouin Rabbani on Gaza

  The W interviews Jadaliyya co-Editor Mouin Rabbani on the Israeli political endgame in its latest Gaza incursion. They also discussed his article "Israel Mows the Lawn."      

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Curbing Violence in Nigeria (II): The Boko Haram Insurgency

[The following report was issued by the International Crisis Group (ICG) on 3 2014.]   Executive Summary Boko Haram’s four-year-old insurgency has pitted neighbour against neighbour, cost more than 4,000 lives, displaced close to half a million, destroyed hundreds of schools and government buildings and devastated an already ravaged economy in the North East, one of Nigeria’s poorest regions. It overstretches federal security services, with no end in sight, spills over to other parts of the north ...

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