Aaron Vincent Elkaim’s project on Morocco’s Jewish heritage immediately caught my attention not because of the photographs, but because of words that underpin the ideas and ideals of the project. These words immediately suggested a photographer of considerable intelligence and courage, and willing to accept and understand histories that today lie buried under propaganda, lies and sheer hypocrisy.
From The Series 'Jewish Morocco' By Aaron Vincent Elkaim
I’ve decided that if the government wants to monitor me that’s fine. But I could do a much better job monitoring myself than anyone else.
Trackingtranscience is a brilliant response by Professor Hasan Elahi, a Bangladeshi-born American citizen, to his detention and interrogation at the hands of Home Land Security and FBI personnel. Professor Elahi was accused by his neighbors for being a 9/11 terrorist (description; dark, Muslim) and later taken off a flight returning from Europe for questioning. The FBI accused him of hoarding explosives in a Florida warehouse. He was subjected to months of interrogations, nine polygraph tests, and left on the ‘watch list’.
So he decided that he will just watch himself and effectively erase all pretence at ‘privacy’. Details »
Ironically, tradition suggests that burning is one of the best ways of disposing pages of holy texts. As this video attempts to demonstrate an apparent act of ‘Christian’ faith, I can’t help but be amused by the sheer anti-climactic end of the video.
Nothing happens. Details »
It is probably one of the most blatant uses of photography as propaganda that I have seen in a long time. And I am glad for it because it reveals explicitly how easily images can be put to the service of an agenda of power and entrenched interests. And how easily photographs can mislead if not ‘read’ carefully.’What Happens If We Leave Afghanistan’ the cover screams. The answer is made obvious. The shocking photograph closes the mind, numbs thought, distracts insight and silences protest.
If it were only so simple. If we were only so easily fooled. Details »
It did not take long for overtly racist explanations to be offered. Before facts come fantasy, and before truth comes tabloid opinions masquerading as insight. And it arrived not in some radical, fringe magazine but in the pages of the international magazine Forbes by one of their regular contributors. (I of course ignore the determined Islamophobia of outlets like Fox News.) Details »
Update: 30th November 2009
The vote to ban the minaret was passed. Switzerland, long pretending to be a liberal, democratic nation that respected the rights to the free practice of all faiths, has revealed its ugly underbelly. Details »
Maulana Abul Kalam Muhiyuddin Ahmed (11 November 1888 – 22 February 1958) was a Muslim scholar and a senior political leader of the Indian independence movement. He was a vociferous advocate for the unity of India, opposing the partition of India on communal lines. Following India’s independence, he became the first Minister of Education in the Indian government. Details »
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)
Jamaat-e-Daawa/Lashkar-e-Taiba Graffitti Near The Town of Gujranwala, Pakistan Reads "THE LIBERATION OF KASHMIR WILL NOT BE ACHIEVED THROUGH NEGOTIATIONS BUT THROUGH THE DEATH & DESTRUCTION OF THE HINDU"
Our wars, our massacres, our suspicions and fears, our prejudices and hatred, begin in the pages our of children’s textbooks. Details »
This week has been busy with some writings on The Idea of India photo project, but I did manage to come across some fascinating stuff:
Ikea Is As Bad A Wal-Mart; A piece in Salon magazine that reviews Ellen Ruppel Shell’s book Cheap.
Yes, it is our consumer habits that are driving these climate changes – the degradation of the soil, the cutting of forests, the polluting of the oceans, the exploitation of human labor in china and mexico, to name just two places, is all for the sake of our cheap consumer goods. We may prefer to avoid this fact by trying to simply shop ‘green’, but shopping, and repeateded, frequent cycles of shopping are in fact why the problems are emerging. Details »