Thursday, October 05, 2006  

Boston- heads up!

Hey, Boston! Moorish Girl (aka Laila Lalami) is reading at Wellesley:
7:30 - 8:45 PM
Readings and Discussion
277 Science Center
Wellesley College
Wellesley, MA

Other events:

Thursday, October 5

5:00 - 6:30 PM
Why I Write Lecture
Writing from Africa: A Symposium at Wellesley College
277 Science Center
Wellesley College
Wellesley, MA

Thursday, October 5

7:30 - 8:45 PM
Reading and Q & A
Writing from Africa: A Symposium at Wellesley College
277 Science Center
Wellesley College
Wellesley, MA

Saturday, October 7

10:15 AM - 12 PM
Conversations about Writing, Translating, Editing and Publishing
Writing from Africa: A Symposium at Wellesley College
PNW 212
Wellesley College
Wellesley, MA

This is a great opportunity to hear Laila and other writers talk about new writing from Africa and the African Diaspora (and yeah, Morocco is an African country- just look at the map)

(little known fact- Wellesley is Zazou's alma mater. While a junior transfer, Zazou nearly froze to death one fine winter.)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006  

Cherchez la femme...

San Diego is home to a lot of neat stuff, and one of them is the San Diego Women's Film Festival. Run by the imaginative and able Jennifer Hsu and Renee Herrell, this year's festival promises an eccletic and global look at work by women filmmakers.

Zazou's picks:

As part of the Motherlode Program-

Tes cheveux noirs Ihsan/Your black hair, Ihsan
Tala Hadid, Morocco/USA, 14 min
A young man who has lived most of his life in Europe, returns to Morocco and confronts the memory of his mother whom he lost at an early age.
This is Hadid's first short and has won recognition from festivals in Europe, Morocco, and the US.

Motherlode shows at the Centro Cultural de la Raza(*) in Balboa Park at 2 pm.

like 20 impossibles
AnneMarie Jacir, USA/Palestine, 17 min.
The incomparable Annemarie Jacir is represented by her award-wnning film, like 20 impossibles, a wry yet penetrating look at how Israeli checkpoints have fragmented Palestinian society. When a Palestinian film crew averts a closed checkpoint by taking a remote side road, the political landscape unravels, and the passengers are slowly taken apart by the mundane brutality of military occupation. Both a visual poem and a narrative, like twenty impossibles wryly questions artistic responsibility and the politics of filmmaking, while speaking to the fragmentation of a people.

Checkpoints shows at the Museum of Photography in Balboa Park on Sunday at 1 pm. There will also be a panel discussion with several filmmakers.

Palabra de Mujer: A Woman's Word
Silvia Garcia Ponzoda, 52 min
Janata Bennuna is Moroccan; Hanan Al Shaykh, Lebanese and Nawal Al Saadawi, Egyptian. The three of them write in their mother tongue, the Arabic language, and they are all committed intellectuals who show through their books the complexity of the social reality in the Arab world.

All three are brilliant, often controversial writers in the Middle East. Of the three, only Al Shaykh and Al Saadawi are translated into English. Bennuna seems to be mostly translated into Spanish.

Palabra de mujer is showing as part of the Crafts-Fem-Ship program on Sunday at 5:30 pm at the Museum of Photographic Arts.

(* I am not going to the screenings at the Centro Cultural de la Raza because I am part of the Save Our Centro Coalition (SOCC) which is negotiating with the current adminstration of the Centro on behalf of various Chicano artists and others, including the founders and original curators of the Centro who feel that the current adminsitration has shut out much of the local Chicano arts community, aligned themselves with questionable sponors such as the independent military contractor SAIC, and generally not used the Centro for its original purpose as a community and Chicano-centered artspace.
That said, I hope you support the SDWFF, but please be aware of the controversy surrounding the Centro.)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006  

Master Mark and the Boys

I don't have a problem with Gay members of Congress. It's really none of my business what consenting adults do behind closed bedroom doors. It is everyone's business when things happen behind closed Congressional doors and when members of Congress are involved in illegal activities regarding minors and of covering up for each other.

The GOP seems to be imploding what with Allen and his stupid racist comments as well as his apologists trying to hide him behind his mother's skirts, Rice and her amnesia about the warnings and now Foley going down in flames, possibly taking Hastert with him.

The NYT has a nifty little chart about who knew what and when:

And it seems that Hastert knew as early as Fall of last year and several people knew way before that.
Now the spin machine is working its way across the mindfield; Foley has been sent "into to rehab"- ie handy explanation, while stories about his abuse as a child (by a priest- they must be practicing irony here) are cropping up like little poisoned mushrooms.

Ok, I'll bite. I am very sorry Foley suffered such a hideous experience as a child, and I am sure it affected the adult he became. But what is Hastert's excuse? If Foley is the opportunistic pedophile that he appears to be, run amok in the chicken coop, then he is certainly unfit for public service. But if Foley is unfit, then Hastert is doubly so, for covering up the alleged abuse and denying, defending, denying and defending some more.

Where, I would like to ask, is the bi-partisan censorship and outrage that pedophelia ought to provoke? This is not a partisan subject here.
Oh, I forgot, they're busy kowtowing to Bush and his "war on terror" while Congressional members make time with the pages.

Monday, October 02, 2006  

Sign of the Times

My letter to the LA Times in response to Rosa Brooks and her op-ed piece, Rosa Brooks:I'm No Bush Hater. Let's just say Rosa Brooks and I don't agree.

Sunday, October 01, 2006  

And now

for some words about Guantanamo not written or spoken by Rumsfeld:
Some people think that Amnesty International's description of the camp as the "gulag of our times" is too harsh. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, for instance, recently rejected the "gulag" label, telling conventions of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion that Guantanamo is more akin to a holiday resort, complete with a volleyball court, basketball court, soccer field and library.

During my years of incarceration, I never once encountered the things Rumsfeld mentioned and never met anyone who had. What people don't seem to understand about Guantanamo is that the prisoners there who protest their innocence have no way to prove it. The principle "innocent until proven guilty" is turned on its head. Everyone's guilty without charges, convicted without a trial. That is why it's like a gulag — even if it's one that provides "Harry Potter" books for reading material (as Rumsfeld noted).
These would be words written by someone whom both Bush and Rumsfeld deemed the worst of the worst, someone who was "sold" to the Americans. Meet Moazzam Begg, father of three, aka prisoner # 00558, captured in Kandahar, sleeping in bed. For three and a half years, Begg enjoyed the ameneties of Bagram (including witnessing detainees being killed) and Guantanamo (including torture) and he has something to say about it.


Marjane la magnifique

In my studio," she continues, "we are not dilettantes whose motto is: I created it therefore it is great. Nor am I one of these wannabe artists who don't graft, and turn out absolute crap.

Marjane Satrapi (what a great last name) has been doing a lot of thinking lately, and is about to explode your ideas of Iran, Iranian exiles and Iranian (women) artists. Persepolis, her graphic novel is due to hit theaters soon, and a few more graphic novels are on their way.
(for more on what Marjane has to say)

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