Artwallah joins Zazou's list of Very Cool Orgs with Art Stuff to do in LA.
And if you are in LA this weekend, check out The Levantine Cultural Center. Did you miss "Blacks, Arabs and Jews Comedy Jam"? (what, you think we all can't laugh at ourselves?) How about the latest Arabic-urban spin with DJ Rai?
There's hope for you yet. Check out the Center's page and go hang with the chaban- between Artwallah and the Levantine Cultural Center -we got you covered. Ewa!
Finally, it looks like the boycott of the Centro Cultural de al raza in San Diego's Balboa Park may be over. The boycott has gone on for more than 5 years, while the artistic community (Chicanos and others) have been bereft of a cultural home. Voz Alta, Chicano Perk, Chicana, Besos not Bombs, Red Calaca press and others have stepped into the void, but there is nothing like a community- centered space that enjoys support from the greater community. From my perspective, the probelms at the Centro, caused in part by a corporate-minded mentality and misunderstandings, are part and parcel of a larger attempt by corporate entities to control and regulate artistic expression, especially expression that is at odds with the mainstream and speaks out against the war, racism and suppression of free speech. Self-Help Graphics in LA has experienced problems as well as other centros in several places. This becomes particularly evident when sponsors such as SAIC are brought in to "support" as community whose youth have been particularly damaged by the occupation in Iraq and Afghantistan (made possible in part by SAIC), through heavy recruitment practices.
I am particularly happy to see that the communidad will hopefully be able to come home and join other fine institutions such as the Leventine Center in LA (see sidebar) in promoting community art, cutting edge ideas and social responsibility.
The Marine Corps chain of command in Iraq ignored "obvious" signs of "serious misconduct" in the 2005 slayings of two dozen civilians in Haditha, and commanders fostered a climate that devalued the life of innocent Iraqis to the point that their deaths were considered an insignificant part of the war, according to an Army general's investigation.
Are you kidding? JUST NOW, in 2007, they come to this conclusion? What is wrong with us? While I am glad they came to this conclusion - the better late than never school, I suppose- many of us came to this conclusion shortly after Haditha, after Hamdaniya, after each and every killing of families at check points, deaths in detentions, etc. As a news editor, it was particularly obvious to me as I would ask for stats that none- where Iraqis were concerned, would be forth-coming. "Collateral damage" was the watchword around the newsroom. Collateral damage, my foot. The Geneva Conventions specifically state that stats on civilian dead need to be maintained and that the civilian population is to be protected at all costs.
But, I guess, if you de-humanize the people you occupy, demonize them in target practice, foster an attitude from the top down (that would include W. and co), that the victims are responsible for what happened to them (sounds like a conservative judge and a rape victim, now that I think about it)- then the civilian population never stood a chance. Ever.
I cannot tell you as someone who lives in the San Diego region how disgusted I am with the local military- the Camp Pendleton Marines who brought Haditha, and only god knows what else, into being in our name.
Support the troops?
I don't think so.
Bring them home and give them ALOT of psych treatment.
Mabrouk! Watch this
The Gaza Fixer
The spector of the violent and bloody 90's raised its head this month with the bombings in Algiers. At least twenty three people died in attacks claimed by Al Queda in Islamic Maghreb. While hardly on the scale of the violence that rocked Algeria in the 90's, this attack is enough to raise questions about who and what is around. The FIS and the GIA have mutated and faded, possibly re-absorbed into the local Al Queda off-shoot. What is interesting is that this attack on government offices comes a scant month before elections in Algeria. Having covered Algeria off and on for a year in the early '90's, I don't see this as an announcement of things to come, rather as a temper tantrum pre-elections. Although there is not much hope for clean elections in Algeria- I do hope they go forward because every election that goes forward is one that much closer to an honest democratic process.
ON a related note: June will be the 15th anniversary of the assassination of Mohammed Boudiaf in Annaba. I had high hopes for Boudiaf, and his death left a huge breach, une fossee, in Maghrebi politics.
pas pour Le Pen.
Vote pour le pays-
un pays ou tout le monde est acueilli,
quoi que soit leur confession ou le couleur de la peau.