The State As The Incarnation Of Collective Interests, Purposes And Goods: Tony Judt on Social Democracy, Its Meaning, Intent and Consequences

tony judt

Tony Judt directs the Remarque Institute at NYU and is the author of Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945. His latest book, Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century, was recently reissued in paperback. (September 2009). Details »

Offering Silence To The Oppressed Or How Photography Can Become A Weapon Of Repression

An exhibition called ‘Beware The Cost Of War’ recently opened in London.

Reading about it in the New York Times ‘Lens’ blog left me deeply disappointed and concerned.

Let me explain.

(Aside: Yoav Galai, the curator, is someone I have called a friend for some time now and I hope that he will forgive me for this very critical review of what is something he clearly put a lot of work in to. It is not personal, but merely a reflection on this propensity in our world to fear speaking, to raise a voice, to add details and specifics where generalizations only confuse, perpetuate injustices and acquit the guilty. I am sorry Yoav. I must say my piece.) Details »

Pakistan In A Nutshell Or Examples in Failures Of The Imagination

October 13, 2009 Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman of the Pakistan Air Force shows off the country's new toy

Pakistan Receives First of 18 Lockheed F-18C Fighter/Bombers for which it paid nearly $2,000,000,000.00

October 13, 2009 Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman of the Pakistan Air Force shows off the country's new toy

Details »

The Wars On Our Frontiers Or Haven’t We Been Here Before?

From Mother Jones magazine, October 2004, written by Malcolm Garcia

Kalooshah, South Waziristan, April 2004: Mir Abbas Khan sits outside the remains of his family home, destroyed by pakistan army bulldozers. The army has destroyed dozens of homes in this area of people it claims were harboring Al Qaeda fighters and collaborators. Many innocent civilians have been displaced and others have lost their homes, belongings and means of livelihood as a consequence. 2004 Copyright Asim Rafiqui Do Not Reproduce

Mir Abbas Khan stares into the camera. Behind him the ruins of his home lay strewn across the dry, hard ground. Since March, when Secretary of State Colin Powell visited Pakistan and promised President General Pervez Musharraf billions of dollars in aid, the Pakistani army has been scouring the semiautonomous tribal regions of South Waziristan for Al Qaeda fighters—bombing, burning, and bulldozing the homes and belongings of those deemed collaborators, or merely uncooperative. Details »

On Magic, Miracles And Photography Or Uncertainty And Creativity, Another Look

A small post some weeks ago provoked a series of diatribes and a healthy round of insults directed at me across the internet. Titled Why I Shoot Film And Why You Should Give A Damn it reflected the results of a very personal examination of my preference for shooting with film cameras, though I admitted that as a professional I must and do frequently use digital cameras for client work. Details »

Guantanamo Detainee Fouad Mahmoud Al Rabiah’s Petition for Habeus Corpus Is Granted!

In a remarkable, courageous and honest ruling, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, found that the government could not credibly support its allegation that Fouad Mahmoud Al Rabiah was part of the Taliban or al-Qaida, and that the evidence against him wasn’t sufficient to justify his continued detention. She ordered the government to release Al Rabiah “forthwith [1].” Details »

Where The Head Spun: Tuesday, October 13th 2009

Ali Eteraz has been featured on this blog site before. His insightful piece Pakistan Is Already An Islamic State about Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s cynical and politically motivated ‘Islamization’ of Pakistan’s constitution and its long term consequences that are today manifesting themselves in the pathologies in Swat and the rest of the country. His new books is called Children of the Dust – a personal memoir of growing up Muslim and American. I have not read the book as yet and will write a short review/impression of it once I do. Details »

Photo Projects I Like: Jörg Brüggemann’s “Same Same But Different”


Copy Right Jorge Bruggemann

Backpackers are mildly delusional. I mean that in the most serious way. They travel to some of the most travelled regions of the globe, along paths so well worn that they have been eroded to their skeleton of touts and shysters, but carry within them the idea that they are somehow traveling ‘off the beaten path’ or engaged in some sort of unique journey of self-discovery. Details »

The Hindus Live In Small And Dark Homes Or Educating Our Child Soldiers

JuD Grafitti Pan

The minds of children are usually shut inside prison houses, so that they become incapable of understanding people who have different languages and customs. This causes us to grope after each other in darkness, to hurt each other in ignorance, to suffer from the worst form of blindness. Religious missionaries themselves have contributed to this evil; in the name of brotherhood and in the arrogance of sectarian pride they have created misunderstanding. They make this permanent in their textbooks, and poison the minds of children.

Rabindranath Tagore “To Teachers”,

from Chakravarty, A (ed) The Tagore Reader (Page 216)


Our wars, our massacres, our suspicions and fears, our prejudices and hatred, begin in the pages our of children’s textbooks. Details »

The New India? Or How It Became Just Like Everyone Else!

I came across this piece in the recent issue of Granta and it made for depressing reading.

Capital Gains by Rana Dasgupta

I was not quite sure what about it really cut to the quick. I am still not sure.

Perhaps it is some sort of romanticism about a world in the past that cared for something more than just material wealth, brand awareness, consumer choice and flash. But I have read Robert Musil’s A Man Without Qualities and know well that such a world never existed. There is a surprising continuity in man’s perpetual search for the banal, the bombastic and the brilliantine! Details »