A certain group of self appointed guardians of the faith are up in arms over an animated movie called Sita Sings The Blues in which graphic artist and animator Nina Paley weaves a dark moment of abandonment in her persona life into the story of Sita’s repeated abandonment by Ram, the man she is devoted to and loves absolutely. The protesters, most of whom seem to belong to some sort of modern day Hindu fundamentalist, reformist and revivalist institution – are up in arms about what they believe is an insult to sacred deities and to Hinduism in general. Details »
With each passing year, since that moment on September 11th, 2001, it has become harder and harder for me to participate in any official commemoration of this day. This year once again I find myself repulsed by the ‘festivities’ and ‘fanfare’ that surrounds this event, and the righteousness of the words coming out of the mouths of politicians, pundits, celebrities and citizens. The reasons for my reluctance should be quite obvious to perhaps even the most determinedly nationalist, and the most foolishly patriotic. Maybe not. Details »
From left to right: Reema Hayat, 3 yrs, Arshi Hayat, 6 years, Khoshair Osama Hayat, 10 years, Ali Sufiyan Hayat, 12 years, Abubakar Hayat, 14 years. Children of Shokat Hayat who disappeared into police and intelligence custody on 15th March 2009 and has not been heard of since. Copyright Asim Rafiqui from the series ‘Not Interesting If It Is Not Madness’
Amina Masood Junjua forwarded me the following this morning and I am posting it here as an act of support. For those of you unfamiliar with the work of this amazing woman, and the campaign for justice for those Pakistani’s who have become victims of the irrational, unjust and unquestioned tentacles of the ‘war against terror’ and have disappeared into Pakistani and American detention, torture and elimination.
Some weeks ago my friend Ananya Vajpeyi began posting verses of Tibetan poetry on her Facebook Wall. That is where I first read them, and that is how I first became aware of the existence of a large number of young Tibetan poets living in small, cramped hostel rooms and apartments in Dharamshala and etching the confines and struggles of their existence into poems. I remember talking to Ananya about how moved I was by some of the words, and how evocative they were. It was in one of our conversations about this poetry that the idea of producing a short piece about these young voices, and their determination to have their works published, and heard came about. Details »
This post was originally written in response to France’s decision to ban the burqa but many of its arguments find new relevance in the aftermath of Anders Behring Breivik’s massacre of over 90 Norwegians. Many of my arguments are also echoed in a recent piece written by Remi Nilson, editor of the Norwegian edition of Le Monde Diplomatique, called “Why Norway?“
It is not about the burqa. And it’s not even about the dignity of the woman. Neither the French, nor the Dutch will admit it. But we have to look past the hysteriato attempt to understand what lies behind it.
I have decided to take a short break from the field work on the The Idea Of India project. The monsoon and exhaustion have collaborated and pushed me to return to Delhi to rest, and also to rethink my work plan for the coming months. But as always, I now find myself immersed in readings, some of which were recommended to me by friends, others I found on friend’s bookshelves, and some that I had ordered online. So what am I reading: Details »
A new photographer’s collective takes on America’s social deprivations and economic struggles. Facing Change describes itself as a non-profit collective of dedicated photojournalists and writers coming together to explore America and to build a forum to chart its future.
MREs — Meals Ready to Eat — photos of everything on the menu for soliders from many different cultures who are all fighting in Afghanistan © Ashley Gilbertson / VII Network via Lens Culture
The embedded photojournalist is now so bored that he is photographing food. You can see the entire piece by clicking on the image above.
And this at a moment when civilians continue to die in an unjust war, an illegal war, and an absolutely unnecessary one. Things are so bad that our erstwhile puppet, a one Mr. Hamid Karzai, is complaining about it and doing it loudly. But of course, as Glenn Greenwald has pointed out, such expression of ‘freedom’ are not for the people we are apparently there to ‘free’. Details »
Delhi gets its first major photo festival, and they are inviting submissions. The final pieces are still being put together, including the list of workshops and seminars so I will not say much more than that. Details »
In an earlier post I had argued, pointing to a series of social and economic statistics,I argued that faced with the dire economic realities of today’s America, the silence of the photographers was confusing and disappointing.