Kouross -- Journalisms -- The Tyrant is Captured -- 16.12.03
Continue reading "Kouross -- Journalisms -- The Tyrant is Captured"
Kouross -- Journalisms -- The Tyrant is Captured
"My first reaction, when I first the news of Saddam's capture, was an overwhelming joy. But when I saw Saddam on television and the condition he was in, his beard and the crazy look on his face, I felt pain and sadness. And not for Saddam, but for myself; for this people who suffered and endured, for those who lived the pain of fear moments before being executed, for the women who suffered the loneliness of a bed emptied of the men who had been forced into the military, and for the children who went hungry and who never felt the joy of seeing their father walk in with a toy in his hand. All these scenes passed in my mind like a film Ö as if all these years have passed in vain, all in the hands of a mere cockroach or a rat whose only success was to instill this fear in people for such a long time."
Letter to a friend Khaled Ali Iraqi Filmmakers and Actors Union Current employee of CBS News, Baghdad Bureau
Iraq is not a happy place right now. The gunfire celebrations have died down completely. And it's only 10:00 pm. What has sunk in for people, and even those who went into the streets and celebrated for the cameras, is a feeling of shame. 'Ihtiqaarî is what one person called it. Shame of humiliation. He didn't even try to defend himself, he didn't even have the courage to not be captured.
Alongside discussions about how he should be tried, punished and/or killed, there is a realization that this man who so controlled people's lives for so many years, was nothing but a scared, crazed individual who, once left on his own, couldn't even turn a gun on himself.
The hardest thing to hear in Iraq, up to today, was that only Saddam could run this country. This was usually said in moments of great frustration during a traffic jam, gas line, a heated argumentÖ. Everybody seems to have felt this at some point, and expressed it when pushed to it. And I would just cringe and see it as a product of a disturbed moment.
An Interview with Wael Shawky -- 08.12.03
Continue reading "An Interview with Wael Shawky"
The following interview to Wael Shawky took place at the house of Hassan Khan, the interviewer, in the middle of the night, late July 2003. It is presented here as part of Wael's presentation with 16 Beaver.
Hassan Khan: You’ve been working as an artist over the past 10 years, in the last 5 years we have witnessed a certain paradigm shift in your work both on the levels of concept and practice, can you please define this shift to us and explain what new positions are you offering?
Wael Shawky: I can speak about the materials and how they are translated in a “religious” fashion. What I mean is a belief in the chemical content of the material itself; there is an attempt at increasing the value of the work in terms of contrast between the methods of production and the material itself. The contrast arises out of how you actually deal with the material through a specific belief that you utilize for a functional practice- a certain pragmatic thinking… for example using asphalt in my work…is religious because of a basic conceptual belief that the chemical properties of the material itself possesses a certain excess beyond function…this is a position that takes me into what I term the “religious”…
Genevieve -- Journalisms -- Barghouthi on Civil Society and the Prospects for Peace in the Middle East -- 06.12.03
Continue reading "Genevieve -- Journalisms -- Barghouthi on Civil Society and the Prospects for Peace in the Middle East"
“Nothing less than Palestinian self-determination will do; and only that will ever defuse the already far too explosive Middle East.”
Edward W. Said
1992 Epilogue to The Question of Palestine (1979)
As dear friends and long-time colleagues, an ailing Edward Said and Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi had planned to journey together. They would travel in America to lecture on college campuses and Arab organizations and speak of the reality on the ground in Palestine. And they would spread the word about a recently established democratic opposition movement they co-founded and for which Barghouthi serves as Secretary, the Palestinian National Initiative, a.k.a. Al Mubadara as well as the role the Palestinian Civil Society plays in the Initiative.
In June, Said suspecting the end was near requested that Barghouthi go with or without him. The tour would include Harvard and Princeton as well as other prestigious universities, and organizations such as ALWAN in New York City which promotes the arts and culture of the Arab world. Said also made Barghouthi promise to deliver the keynote address at the Sixth Annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Dr. Said, a Columbia University literary scholar who was considered to be the foremost advocate of the Palestinian cause in the United States, died on September 25 after a long battle with leukemia. In 1999 following Eqbal Ahmad’s death, Said credited Ahmad as “perhaps the shrewdest and most original anti-imperialist analyst of the post-war world.” Ahmad was Professor of International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts as well as managing editor of the quarterly Race and Class. The first Eqbal Ahmad Lecture was delivered by Kofi Annan who spoke on the crisis of knowledge in the Third World.
So during the first week in November, Dr. Barghouthi fulfilled the promise he made to his dying friend and began the tour and on November 4 delivered the Eqbal Ahmad Lecture before a packed and attentive audience. The topic, "There Is a Vision: Civil Society and the Prospects for Peace in the Middle East," opened with graphic details of the reality on the ground in the West Bank and Gaza and a brief history of Israel’s 56 year-long land grab which started with a 1947 proposal for 55% of the Palestinian territory, that soon expanded to 78%.
And if Ariel Sharon has his way with an annexed Palestine, Israel will own 91% or more of the original territory with Palestinians living on less than 9% of what had once been Palestine, Barghouthi began. In other words, the 3.6 million Palestinians will be imprisoned in ghettos, reminiscent of but larger than those in Warsaw prior to Germany’s attempt at a Final Solution.
Ayreen -- Alain Badiou -- Fifteen theses on contemporary art -- 05.12.03
Below are the 15 points Alain badiou discussed at the drawing center yesterday. They were handed out at the door. His english is between french and spanish, or better near german. The points below are in english, then in french....
Continue reading "Ayreen -- Alain Badiou -- Fifteen theses on contemporary art"