Dear Followers, Friends, fellow Workers:

I have just begun a new blog/zine called
Chirot Zero Zine A Heap of Rubble--
Anarkeyology of hand eye ear notations
the blog is more exusively concerned than this one with presenting essays, reviews (inc. "bad reviews") , Visual Poetry, Sound Poetry, Event Scores, Manifestos, Manifotofestos, rantin' & raving, rock'roll, music all sorts--by myself and others--if you are interested in being a contributor, please feel free to contact me at
as with this blog, the arts are investigated as a part of rather than apart from the historical, economic, political actualities of yesterday, today, & tomorrow
as with al my blogs--
contributions in any language are welcome

Free Leonard Peltier

Free Leonard Peltier
The government under pretext of security and progress, liberated us from our land, resources, culture, dignity and future. They violated every treaty they ever made with us. I use the word “liberated” loosely and sarcastically, in the same vein that I view the use of the words “collateral damage” when they kill innocent men, women and children. They describe people defending their homelands as terrorists, savages and hostiles . . . My words reach out to the non-Indian: Look now before it is too late—see what is being done to others in your name and see what destruction you sanction when you say nothing. --Leonard Peltier, Annual Message January 2004 (Leonard Peltier is now serving 31st year as an internationally recognized Political Prisoner of the United States Government)

Injustice Continues: Leonard Peltier Again Denied Parole

# Injustice continues: Leonard Peltier denied parole‎ - By Mahtowin A wave of outrage swept the progressive community worldwide at the news that Native political prisoner Leonard Peltier was denied parole on Aug. ... Workers World - 2 related articles » US denies parole to American Indian activist Leonard Peltier‎ - AFP - 312 related articles » # Free Leonard Peltier 2009 PRISON WRITINGS...My Life Is My Sun Dance Leonard Peltier © 1999. # Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance - by Leonard Peltier, Harvey Arden - 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages Edited by Harvey Arden, with an Introduction by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, and a Preface by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark. In 1977, Leonard Peltier... - # Leonard Peltier, American Indian Activist, Denied Parole And Won't ... Aug 21, 2009 ... BISMARCK, ND — American Indian activist Leonard Peltier, imprisoned since 1977 for the deaths of two FBI agents, has been denied parole ... - Cached - Similar - #

Gaza--War Crime: Collective Punishment of 1.5 Million Persons--Recognized as "The World's Largest Concentration Camp"

Number of Iraquis Killed Since USA 2003 Invasion began

Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator

US & International Personnel losses in Iraq &Afghanistan; Costs of the 2 Wars to US

Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America's War On Iraq: 4,667

Number Of International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan : 1,453


Cost of War in Iraq


Cost of War in Afghanistan

The cost in your community

flickr: DEATH FROM THIS WINDOW/DOORS OF GUANTANAMO--Essays, Links, Video-- US use of Torture

VISUAL POETRY/MAIL ART CALL Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual

Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual

No Sieges, Tortures, Starvation & Surveillance
Deadline/Fecha Limite: SinsLimite/ongoing
Size: No limit/Sin Limite
No Limit on Number of Works sent
No Limit on Number of Times New Works Are Sent
Documentation: on my blog
David Baptiste Chirot
740 N 29 #108
Milwaukee, WI 53208

Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo: 'A Loooot Of Fun!'

Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo: 'A Loooot Of Fun!'

The current 'Miss Universe' Dayana Mendoza (formerly Miss Venezuela) and 'Miss America' Crystal Stewart visited US troops stationed in Guantanamo Bay on March 20th, the New York Times reports. Here's Mendoza's account of the visit from her pageant blog last Friday. She says the trip "was a loooot of fun!"

This week, Guantánamo!!! It was an incredible experience...All the guys from the Army were amazing with us. We visited the Detainees camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how the recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting. We took a ride with the Marines around the land to see the division of Gitmo and Cuba while they were informed us with a little bit of history.

The water in Guantánamo Bay is soooo beautiful! It was unbelievable, we were able to enjoy it for at least an hour. We went to the glass beach, and realized the name of it comes from the little pieces of broken glass from hundred of years ago. It is pretty to see all the colors shining with the sun. That day we met a beautiful lady named Rebeca who does wonders with the glasses from the beach. She creates jewelry with it and of course I bought a necklace from her that will remind me of Guantánamo Bay :)

I didn't want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Binyam Mohamed: text of letter which reveals court's criticism of 'deliberately misleading' security service:

Binyam Mohamed: text of letter which reveals court's criticism of 'deliberately misleading' security service:
Here we publish a lawyer's letter detailing how the Master of the Rolls condemned MI5 for withholding intelligence from the foreign secretary and the courts over complicity in torture

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Goldstone co-author: Hamas fired 'something like two' rockets before Gaza war:

Goldstone co-author: Hamas fired 'something like two' rockets before Gaza war:
The report quotes an extensive interview with Travers in the Middle East Monitor, in which he also says that Hamas had sought "a continuation of the cease-fire" prior to Israel's offensive in Gaza.

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Feds admit wrongly tracking Wisconsin abortion groups:

Feds admit wrongly tracking Wis. abortion groups:
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security conducted a threat assessment of local pro- and anti-abortion rights activists before an expected rally last year, even though they did not pose a threat to national security.

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Binyam Mohamed Torture Evidence Must be Revealed, Judges Rule By Richard Norton-Taylor

Binyam Mohamed Torture Evidence Must be Revealed, Judges Rule
By Richard Norton-Taylor
Three of Britain's most senior judges have ordered the government to reveal evidence of MI5 complicity in the torture of British resident Binyam Mohamed - unanimously dismissing objections by David Miliband, the foreign secretary.

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Binyam Mohamed: Read the Secret Torture Evidence By The Guardian

Binyam Mohamed: Read the Secret Torture Evidence
By The Guardian
The government has published the seven paragraphs about the treatment of Binyam Mohamed after a ruling in the court of appeal.

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MuzzleWatch - Jew-haters of the week: Van Jones, Andrew Sullivan

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Jew-haters of the week: Van Jones, Andrew Sullivan

with a few self-haters like Goldstone and a cast of thousands thrown in for good measure…
One wonders when the Anti-Defamation League or the Simon Wiesenthal Center will start a commission to investigate why in some progressive quarters, being called a self-hating Jew has started to become a point of pride. And why, worse, others simply shrug off charges of Jew-hater. Perhaps it is because the wielders of such venomous charges are so ridiculous, such caricatures in their reflexive protection of an Israel that has no accountability, that any thinking person immediately knows the wackos are at it again.
This shift in the culture is nothing to rejoice about. In fact, it's something of a worst-case-scenario for those of us truly concerned about the fate of Jews.
Wacko Exhibit A: Andrew Sullivan. I'm loving the newly unleashed (former AIPAC and later, liberal pro-Israel Israel Policy Forum) MJ Rosenberg now that he's gone over to Media Matters. His whole piece is a fun read:
By M.J. Rosenberg - February 9, 2010, 10:20AM
I knew that Andrew Sullivan's abandonment of the hard right position on Israel was driving his old buds at the New Republic crazy.
Andrew was once TNR's wunderkind, the youngest editor in its history. Smart, cool, Oxford educated and a gentile Zionist. (Sullivan himself has written that he was pro-Israel long before he got to TNR).
Sullivan left TNR and its whacked out publisher, Marty Peretz, on good terms although Sullivan must have known that there was one condition for remaining on those good terms: he must never attack Israel's policies.
But, after Gaza, the increasingly liberal Sullivan could not take it anymore. He remains pro-Israel but was, and is, utterly disgusted by Israel's behavior in Gaza. Plus, he can't stand the neocons.

And so the break with TNR had to come. And here it is from Leon Wieseltier, the literary editor and bosom buddy of publisher Peretz.
Here's my summation. "Andrew Sullivan always had theological problems with Jews because they don't get the Trinity. For awhile he laid that aside. But now his virulent hatred of Israel and people like Krauthammer has caused him to revert to who he originally was. He is a Jew-hater."
The title of the piece is "Something Much Darker: Andrew Sullivan Has A Serious Problem."
It's a classic. I know most of you won't read the whole piece. Wieseltier's prose is impenetrable. But try.
I hope Sullivan is not bothered by the Wiesel's diatribe although I suspect he may be. No one likes being called an anti-semite or a racist. But consider the source: the TNR ghetto where every gentile is either a current Jew-hater or a future one.
God, it must drive Peretz and the Wiesel nuts that their once fair-haired (and now no-haired) boy is one of the most influential thinkers in America while they have been relegated to that microspace where Michael Goldfarb, Jonah Goldberg, and John Podhoretz reign supreme.
Exhibit B: Van Jones who had the temerity to go to the West Bank and actually report what he saw! And for that, he is being attacked by at least one blogger as a "Jew-hater". The damning quote according from a 2002 radio interview?
And this proves he hates Jews? Really?

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Allan Sekula at e-flux

February 11, 2010


Allan Sekula
This Ain't China: A Photonovel (1974)
Courtesy of the artist and Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica

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Allan Sekula: This Ain't China
February 20 - April 3, 2010

Opening: Friday, February 19, 2010, 6-8pm

Curated by Monika Szewczyk

41 Essex Street
New York City
T: 212 619 3356

the cook liked to believe that his story pivoted on a parable about the relative merits of fact and fiction in everyday class struggle.
—from Allan Sekula's This Ain't China: A Photonovel (1974)

Allan Sekula's 1974 photo-text work, This Ain't China: A Photonovel, announces the artist's early attention to China as a foil for Western paradigms of production—cultural and economic. The work combines a (meta)narrative with staged photographs, shot in the spirit of Jean-Luc Godard (in a Maoist phase and channeling Bertolt Brecht). Sekula's plot concerns the employees of a greasy spoon restaurant in San Diego (artist included), all musing about working and living conditions, and plotting a strike—a microcosm implicated in a global imaginary, transformed by the presence of a different culture. This Ain't China was made at a time of great interest—especially amongst left-leaning Western artists and intellectuals—in the possibilities of Maoism. Yet the counter-example of China, and its negation, remain elusive. In the ambiguous way it is evoked, China could be both the country at the height of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and fine dinnerware (porcelain or "fine china").

Presenting the work in 2010 raises the question of how both these Chinas—as well as today's People's Republic, with its (ever enigmatic) embrace of capitalist manufacturing and consumption with a communist face—continue to configure imaginaries of alternative forms of production. Sekula's 1974 photonovel is paired with a new work: a backlit transparency made for the storefront window of the e-flux space on Essex Street in New York's Chinatown. The image was captured while the artist was doing research in one of China's "special economic zones" near the port city of Guangzhou for a forthcoming documentary on working conditions in and around the world's most active ports. It shows a young Chinese factory worker holding part of a kitchen appliance she is helping to manufacture, her eyes closed. The image may be seen as evidence of Sekula's shift from staged photography to a documentary approach, and opens a question concerning the artist's paths to realism. And yet the new image shares an element of refusal with the earlier photonovel.

A solo-show of two works, This Ain't China: A Photonovel (1974) and Eyes Closed Assembly Line (2010), thus enables the visitor to trace key trajectories for Allan Sekula's entire practice. The investigation of his special interest in China leads to other questions concerning the politics and aesthetics of working class refusal, what we might call an "attitude of ain't."

This Ain't China is open to the public from Tuesday through Saturday, 12–6 pm at 41 Essex Street, lower level.

Allan Sekula is an artist whose innovation of photographic practice and theory centers on the engagement of documentary and performative forms in a sustained critique of economic, social and cultural globalization. He has exhibited extensively in the context of large-scale international exhibitions, including documenta 11 and 12. In 2003, Performance Under Working Conditions, a major retrospective exhibition with a publication on his work was organized by the Generali Foundation in Vienna. Currently a selection of works spanning the artist's career, including early works and a new series, have been brought together in Polonia and Other Fables, which tours to The Renaissance Society in Chicago; Zacheta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw; Museum Ludwig in Budapest and Belfast Exposed.

Monika Szewczyk is a writer, editor and some-time curator based in Berlin and Rotterdam, where she is head of publications at Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art. Her collaboration with Allan Sekula, focusing on This Ain't China: A Photonovel, continues in the Summer of 2010 when the photonovel and a selection of new photographs will be featured in the group exhibition Nether Land (Act VIII of Witte de With's year-long multi-part program with the leitmotif of 'morality'), which will be presented in the context of the 2010 World Expo at the Dutch Culture Center in Shanghai.

A conversation between curator Monika Szewczyk and the artist will be held at The Cooper Union on February 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm with free admission.

For further information please contact

41 Essex street
New York, NY 10002, USA

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Hunger Action Center--Feeding America: There's still time to join the Feeding America Call!

Feeding America - Formerly Known as America's Second Harvest - Hunger Advocate

Dear DavidBaptiste,

By now, you've probably heard about our first virtual town hall with Feeding America CEO Vicki Escarra and actor David Arquette. They will be discussing our groundbreaking study—Hunger in America 2010—as well as their commitment to our issue and how you can help. We hope you will join hundreds of other Hunger Advocates from across the nation this Friday!

The call is tomorrow—don't miss your chance to sign up for this important event!

Date: Friday, February 12th
Time: 3:00 PM Eastern (2:00 PM Central, 1:00 PM Mountain, 12:00 PM Pacific)
To sign up, please click here.

Once you sign up, simply be ready a few minutes before the conference call is scheduled to begin. You will receive a phone call that will automatically connect you to the conversation. Please be waiting by your phone just before 3:00 Eastern Time tomorrow!

We hope you'll take this opportunity to learn more about Hunger in America 2010. We look forward to speaking with you!


Feeding America | One Constitution Ave, NE Suite 200 | Washington, DC 20002-5655

If you do not wish to receive future issues of Hunger Advocate, please click here.

ATMA Re: COMENTARIOS *Kitsch *Om Sugar

Re: COMENTARIOS *Kitsch *Om Sugar  

Queridos amigos:

Gracias por su atención y respuesta al texto "Apuntes acerca del arte Kitsch". 

Gracias a los colegas de "Cómo leer en bicicleta" por difundir la información.

Gracias por sus visitas y comentarios a "Om Sugar", estuvimos en el lugar 68 de los Directores de México más vistos durante dos días consecutivos, con 263 visitas. 

De acuerdo a los Insights de youtube, recibimos visitas en primer lugar de México y en segundo lugar de Estados Unidos. 

Saludos y abrazos a los visitantes de India y Japón en Asia, España, Francia, Italia, Hungría, Reino Unido, Noruega, Alemania, Suiza, Austria y Grecia en Europa, Brasil, Colombia, Argentina y Chile en Sur América. 

Queremos aprovechar para agradecer por las sugerencias de edición a Adolfo Tovar, y por la pintura del delantal con desnudo masculino a Odette Paz. 

Hemos creado una versión II, más breve y con nuevas imágenes, espero les guste: 

Om Sugar II *****

Link a "Om Sugar II": 

Canal de Iris Atma: 

Si algunos me perdieron la pista en Facebook, les cuento que debido al video "EKO S.E.X." youtube me ha enviado un warning de contenido obsceno, y Facebook sin previo aviso desactivó mi fan page y mi friends page, con lo que perdí aproximadamente 4,000 contactos e información de los post sin respaldar. Les escribí para solicitar la reactivación y me dijeron que su resolución es definitiva, y sin embargo aún cuando no tengo acceso a los sites, no borrarán mi información. 

Sin embargo ya estamos construyendo una nueva fan page. ;-) ¡Les agradezco sus suscripciones!, el link es: 

¡Es un placer enviarles mucho amor este mes de febrero! 

Abrazo y bendiciones. 

Iris Atma 



Diva Glam 

¡Lo disfruté! Especialmente la parte donde estas hablando y riendo con tus amigos. ¡Sigue así!

Tim Ebright

Hola Iris Atma:

Me encanta tu trabajo. También vi tu entrevista respecto al atropello de la Cámara de Diputados.

Te felicito

Juan Luis Álvarez-Gayou Jurgenson

Fundador y Director General

Instituto Mexicano de Sexología

Visita nuestra página en

¡Me encanta! ¡Felicidades! ¡El delantal es histérico! 

Jh956 (youtube)

Sigo mirando tu trabajo en compañía de gente talentosa siempre expresando algo... Me gustó, excelentes tomas y bueno, la gente es importante.


Claro, que viva lo Kitsch, que vivan los cursis (Agustín Lara y demás personajes), que viva lo Lowbrow Art, que vivan las culturas populares y que viva lo raro en el mundo real y aburrido de la seriedad (Y mira que yo soy un conservador, me asusta lo Kitsch, ni lo cursi, ni otras cosas)....Maravillosas estas fotos, sobre todo la del metro... ¡ahhh!! Maravillosa como siempre, y siempre con ese toque de sorpresa y de asombro… ¿Cuándo dejare de felicitarte y admirar tus obras??? ¡Nunca!!!
Saludos desde mi oscuridad estoica:

IRAM de la Rochefoucault

Cool, ¡me encantó!

eurlando (youtube)

Hola Iris, me gustan tus fotos, pero… sal del orden costumbrista popular y mándame algo más erótico. 

Carlos C. 

Muy aburrido.
Demasiadas suposiciones,
Falta profundizar muchísimo en el tema que aborda, me llegan sus correos, y habitualmente es más interesante el discurso que las imágenes.

fulanoysultano (youtube) 




Gracias por tu información y punto de vista.

Martín Castillo 

Hola Iris

Gracias por tu artículo, me ha ayudado mucho a entender tu propuesta estética. Estoy de acuerdo con tu análisis del kitsch y la postmodernidad.

Estoy en un diplomado de Comunicación y Filosofía, que incluye un módulo de estética, por lo que me resulta de particular interés el material que eres tan amable de enviar.

Un abrazo.

Atte. Hilda Rosales Ayala, Morelos

Saludos, estás preciosa y tienes en Morelia un amigo a tus pies. Búscame en lo que escribo.

Jesús Almanza

¡Hola amiga!
Te felicito por tu extraordinario trabajo y por el correo que recibí. Gracias por incluirme en este grupo
de afortunados.

Un beso venezolano

Freddy Felipe Gutiérrez

¡Lo disfruté tremendamente!

Saludos desde Berlín


Hola querida maestra Iris Atma:

Que milagro no te he visto en facebook saludos y abrazos fraternales.

Jorge Osorio

¡Excelente! gracias Iris. Yo, por mi parte, tengo un lado Kitsch "de buen gusto"...

Patricia Carrasquilla

Estas fotos son hermosas. 

Troy Henriksen

Me gusta tu trabajo,

Gaetan Mariage


Roberto Sosa 

ATMA New video version +Re: COMMENTS *Kitsch * Om Sugar



Re: COMENTARIOS *Kitsch *Om Sugar  

Dear friends:

Thanks for your attention and answers to the text "Notes about Kitsch Art"

Thanks to the colleagues of  "Cómo leer en bicicleta" because they fowarded the info.

Thanks for your visits and comments to "Om Sugar", we were in the number 68 of most seen Directors in Mexico during two days, with 263 visits. 

According to youtube insights, we had visitors in first place from Mexico and in second place from United States. 

Greetings and hugs to visitors from India and Japan in Asia, Spain, France, Italy, Hungary, United Kingdom, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Greece in Europe, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and Chile in South America. 

We want to thank for the edition suggestions to Adolfo Tovar, and for painting the male nude over the apron to Odette Paz. 

We have created a version II, shorter and with new images, I hope you like it!: 

Om Sugar II *****

Link  "Om Sugar II": 

 Iris Atma Channel: 

If some of you lost me in facebook, let me tell you that because of the video "EKO S.E.X." youtube has send me a warning of obscene content, and Facebook without any warning deactivated my fan page and my friends page, so, I lost about 4,000 contacts and information without backup. I wrote them to ask for a reactivation and they told me that their resolution is final, anyway, even when I don't have access to my sites, they are not going to delete any of my information for "security reasons". 

Well, we are making a new fan fage. ;-) Thanks for subscribing! 

link : 

Its a great pleasure send you lots of love this February! 

Hugs & blessings 

Iris Atma 



Diva Glam 

I enjoyed this! Especially the part where you're talking and laughing with your friends. Keep them coming! 

Tim Ebright

Hello Iris Atma: 

I love your work. I also saw your interview in the Legislative Palace. 


Juan Luis Álvarez-Gayou Jurgenson

Fundador y Director General

Instituto Mexicano de Sexología

Love it Iris! Congratulations! The apron is hysterical! 

Jh956 (youtube)

I see your work with talented people, always expressing something... I like it, excellent pictures, and well, people is important. 


Of course, long live the Kitsch, long live corny people (Agustín Lara and others), long live Lowbrow Art, long live popular culture and long live the queer in the real and bored serious world (And let me tell you I am a conservative persona, but... I am not scared of Kitsch, or corny, or other things)... Wonderful pictures, specially the one from the subway... ahh! Wonderful as always, and always with that touch of surprise and wonder... When I will stop congratulating you and admiring your art??? Never!!! 

Greetings from my darkness: 

IRAM de la Rochefoucault

Cool, love it! 

eurlando (youtube)

Hello Iris, I like your pictures, but... walk out of the popular order and send me something more erotic.  

Carlos C. 

Too bored. To many suppositions. You need to get deep on the subject, I get your email, and usually is more interesting the speech than the images. 

fulanoysultano (youtube) 




Thanks for your info and point of view. 

Martín Castillo 

Hello Iris

Thanks for your article, it has helped me to understand your aesthetic proposal. I agree with your analysis of kitsch and postmodernity. 

I am in a diplomacy of Communication and Philosophy, which has an aesthetic part, that is why it is particularly interesting for me the information you are so kind to send. 


Hilda Rosales Ayala, Morelos

Greetings, you are beautiful and you have a friend in Morelia. 

Look what I write. 

Jesús Almanza

Hello my friend! 

Congratulations for your extraordinary work and for the email I got. Thanks for including me in this lucky group. 

A kiss from Venezuela. 

Freddy Felipe Gutiérrez

Enjoyed it tremendously!
Greetings from Berlin.


Hello dear master Iris Atma:

I'm surprised about not seeing you in facebook, greetings and fraternal hugs. 

Jorge Osorio

Excellent! Thanks Iris. I, have a "good taste" Kitsch side... 

Patricia Carrasquilla

Beautiful pictures. 

Troy Henriksen

I like your work, 

Gaetan Mariage


Roberto Sosa 


Regina Jose Galindo at MNAC Bucharest

February 10, 2010

MNAC Bucharest

Regina José Galindo
¿Quién puede borrar las huellas (2003)

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Regina José Galindo
Urgent Issues

10 February – 20 April 2010

Curator: Ruxandra Balaci

MNAC / The National Museum of Contemporary Art
Str. Izvor 2-4, E4, Bucharest (RO), 050563
tel: +40 21 318 91 37 / fax: +40 21 318 91 38

Co-produced with: PrometeoGallery di Ida Pisani, Milan/Lucca

Regina José Galindo's performances show the bitterness of individual experiences in oppressive political regimes and in social contexts of flagrant injustice: a reflection over limit situation of the human condition, over major ruptures and traumas, that are deeply hurting the private and the intimate, unveiling the anti-humanist side of politics and the anti-humanist side of society.

Involving performance and the body as main devices in her artistic process, through a kind of re-enactment, the artist substitutes herself to the weak and the humble, to the tortured and to the oppressed re-staging limit situation of body and mind. Her own delicate, feminine body is mistreated - in a kind of unselfish exposure to various traumas inflicted on all other human beings. She is thus recalling the line of activist gender oeuvres with references to ancestral shamanic myths and exorcising gestures such as of Ana Mendieta, Sigalit Landau, rituals of resistance in Tania Bruguera's work, or Teresa Margolles' impressive installations over death and the excluded of society.

Borderline situations, in-between life and death, generated by injustice and injuries (both physical and moral) or sacrifices, focusing on fear and anguish and their consequences, have as result dramatic and radical works, profoundly uncomfortable and ethically embarrassing for a bourgeois public.

Providing insightful thoughts about an offensive reality that makes fuzzy the border between art and life, artists such as Regina José Galindo are confirming once more the moral duty of the intellectual to be a lucid witness of the society in which he/she lives, to understand and explain the context even in a most shocking manner and sometimes to institute that subtle but efficient "inland dissidence" Chomsky was speaking about.

Urgent Issues presents a selection of works created between 2000 and 2009 and will be followed by a catalogue issued by Prometeogallery

Regina José Galindo (Guatemala City, 1974) took part in the Venice Biennale in 2001, 2005 and 2009. In 2005 she was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Young Artist. Her works are now in several public and private collections and have been exhibited in many venues, including PS1 New York, Le Plateau Paris, CIFO Miami, Smak Ghent, Tirana Biennale, Museo de Arte Moderna de Guatemala, TEOR/ética Costa Rica.

Ruxandra Balaci is a curator and Founder Artistic Director of MNAC Bucharest

MNAC partners: BRD Groupe Societe Generale, Novotel
Sponsors: Murfatlar
Media partners: Igloo, Arhitectura, 24 Fun, Rfi Romania,, Cocor MediaChannel

41 Essex street
New York, NY 10002, USA

Contact us

Max Blumenthal – Video: Rapture Ready, the Christians United for Israel convention& Why do the western media ignore Egyptian dissent?-- Palestine Think Tank

Palestine Think Tank

Max Blumenthal – Video: Rapture Ready, the Christians United for Israel convention

Posted: 10 Feb 2010 02:45 AM PST

blumenthalMax Blumenthal is just fantastic, as usual. His approach, halfway between deadpan and ironic, always allows the persons interviewed to feel free to express themselves, and the platform he offers them provides us with an image that we have to see and try to understand.

Christian Zionists are a very strange reality. Fundamentalists whose greatest desire is to see the destruction of the universe so that the Lord can sort out the good (them) from the bad (everyone who is not them), their influence is often underestimated and their mania is certainly not taken with the degree of attention it merits due to the dangerous implications it entails.

CUFI claims membership soaring above 50 million members. FIFTY MILLION people who believe that the purpose of their faith is to bring the world to the most rapid closure possible. The sooner the better, and tomorrow won't be a day too soon.

We've written about CUFI here:  and here:

But, as they say, seeing is believing, and Max lets us see a bit of what goes on at the CUFI convention… before they make him leave, that is…  "Rapture Ready" is a MUST SEE VIDEO! Max is the man!

Jack Shenker – Why do the western media ignore Egyptian dissent?

Posted: 10 Feb 2010 01:58 AM PST

Egyptian plain-clothes policemen detain a demonstrator in Mahala, April 2008. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Egyptian plain-clothes policemen detain a demonstrator in Mahala, April 2008. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Pro-democracy protests in Iran top the news agenda, but similar tensions in Egypt pass unreported


WRITTEN BY JACK SHENKER – Here's a thought experiment: pick a random Middle Eastern country led by an unpopular autocrat whose legitimacy is being challenged by a growing wave of public dissent. Add in widespread allegations of electoral fraud, and increasingly violent confrontations on the street between protesters and security services — clashes that have left many civilians dead. Now imagine this politically volatile state is a major player in the area, and that change at the top could have an explosive effect on the geopolitical dynamics of the entire region. How much press coverage do you think it would receive in the west?

For the sake of convenience, let's keep things manageable by narrowing that down a bit. How many news articles do you think such a country would generate in the British broadsheets over the years 2008 and 2009? If you guessed at 7,098, well done: you're spot-on. Pub quiz aficionados may also wish to jot down the figure of 3,305 — an equally correct answer.

Confused? So are many Egyptians, who have seen their intense and sometimes deadly struggle against the repressive regime that rules them almost completely sidelined by the international media. Not only has their country attracted less than half the volume of newsprint lavished on Iran in the past two years, but the vast majority of Egypt-focused articles tend to concentrate on matters relating to tourism or archaeology, whereas nearly all the Iranian coverage is political in nature. 

Cool disinterest

When you boil the figures down to hard news, the chasm between the media's fetishising of Iran and their cool disinterest in Egypt yawns even wider. In June 2009 — the month when disputed Iranian elections brought thousands of anti-government protesters into conflict with riot police and left blood running through the streets — Iran was featured in 742 articles. In April 2008 — the month when an attempted Egyptian general strike brought thousands of anti-government protesters into conflict with riot police and left blood running through the streets — Egypt made an appearance in 28 pieces, almost none of which mentioned Mahalla (the town at the heart of the unrest).

Of course, this sort of content analysis is highly subjective and open to interpretation. Moreover, the circumstances in Iran and Egypt are by no means identical, and could hardly be expected to inspire a perfectly matching number of column inches. Yet popular feeling against the Mubarak oligarchy here is just as real as anti-Ahmadinejad sentiment in Iran, and the potential for monumental political upheaval just as substantial.

There is no space in this forum to detail all the ways in which the unelected political elite of the Arab world's biggest country consistently reject democratic freedoms, subvert the rule of law to protect their hegemony, and encroach on the human rights of that country's citizens day in, day out. A brief perusal of this week's country report on Egypt by Human Rights Watch would provide a taste, however — the organisation helpfully points out that despite the media frenzy over the number of post-election arbitrary detentions in Iran, Egypt's estimated tally of detentions without charge is 150 per cent higher.

Nor is there room to describe the full breadth and strength of the grass-roots reaction these injustices have triggered in Egypt, from the spread of a strike wave so large it has been labelled "the largest social movement the Middle East has seen in half a century" to the astonishing trend of local communities not only facing down the bullets and tear gas of riot police, but doing so with such vigour that fleeing security officers have been forced to bunker down in their own headquarters to protect themselves from the masses. 

Expensive lobbying

I would urge anyone who rejects the premise that Egypt is as unstable as Iran to take a look at the spine-tingling photos and videos of demonstrations against Hosni Mubarak in Mahalla back in April 2008, including the iconic image of hundreds of angry Egyptians bearing down with their feet on a flattened poster of the president. They are eerily reminiscent of the scenes accompanying the fall of dozens of 20th-century dictators, from Saddam Hussein to rulers of the former Soviet-bloc countries. And yet they have barely been seen outside Egypt, in common with the face of Mohamed ElBaradei — the Nobel laureate who is spearheading the opposition movement against Mubarak, yet whose unexpected leadership challenge has also been largely ignored in the west.

Whichever way you splice the figures, the disparity in media attention between Cairo and Tehran is inescapable. You can draw only one conclusion: western media outlets apply vastly different editorial judgements to these two countries and, as a result, readers at home are consuming a heavily skewed diet of Middle Eastern news. The issue is not, as some have suggested, why Egyptians remain so placid in the face of oppression from their political masters. They don't. The question is why nobody cares.

The short answer is that Mubarak and his acolytes are grossly misunderstood in the west, partly as a result of highly effective lobbying by professional outfits in London, Washington and the other corridors of power. The Egyptian government is listed as a client by two top K Street lobbying firms, the Podesta and Livingston Groups.

Although the exact cost of their services is confidential, the fact that Podesta charged up to $13m over ten years to help the Turkish government persuade movers and shakers on Capitol Hill that there was no such thing as an Armenian genocide suggests the Egyptian regime is shelling out an awful lot on polishing its image. Meanwhile, one-third of Egyptian children are suffering from malnutrition.

The deeper answer, though, is that Mubarak's PR people are able to do such a good job because the vision they project of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) ticks all the boxes when it comes to western policymaker wish-lists. Mubarak, they insist, is a force for stability in a tempestuous neighbourhood. Without him, the Muslim Brotherhood would sweep to power and light the fuse of Islamist revolution across the region. He is also praised for being a financial reformer, a gutsy friend of the free market who has dragged Egypt kicking and screaming into the global economy and has dazzling growth rates to show for it.

All this is false. As has been argued time and again by independent analysts, think tanks and some better-informed journalists, the Muslim Brotherhood is a vastly complex and diffuse organisation that forms only one part of a wide-ranging Egyptian opposition movement. There is no reason to think it would command majority support in the event of genuinely fair elections. Meanwhile the presumed existence of this Islamist Sword of Damocles gives Mubarak carte blanche in the international arena to arrest and torture his opponents and render dissidents invisible.

When it comes to the economy, despite more money than ever flowing into Egypt, no less than 90 per cent of the population has become poorer in real terms on Mubarak's watch. And the number of Egyptians living below the poverty line has doubled.

Unstinting western support for the despotic, corrupt cabal of Mubarak's cronies, against the will of the people, is not a force for stability; it is a recipe for disaster. Yet western backing for the NDP and the relentless promotion of Mubarak as a "moderate" continue, to the tune of $2bn a year from Washington — more money than any other recipient of US aid bar Israel. 

Colour stories

So much for the western policy framework. What is scary is the extent to which the stance of the western media mirrors the values of our political masters, following blindly when they should be thinking sceptically, leaving battles shrouded in darkness where they should be shining a light.

Against a backdrop of immense turmoil, what topics has the international press chosen to write about in Egypt over the past couple of years? Artificial hymens, Beyoncé concerts and the pyramids have all figured high on the list, alongside a multitude of other cultural "colour" stories, designed to put a smile on your face over breakfast.

The slightest hint of opposition activity in Iran is guaranteed acres of coverage, whereas the equivalent in Egypt is permitted a mention only if it fits the preconceived notion of Egypt as a relatively tranquil space, disrupted only by the strange and often comedic fallout from an ongoing war between secular and religiously conservative values. Hence debates over the niqab and the slaughtering of pigs make the grade, whereas policemen shooting unarmed civilians dead, or hundreds of thousands of workers going on strike over the impact of government-backed neoliberal reform projects, are left buried in obscurity.

What is so disheartening is not that foreign editors have to use filters, both consciously and subconsciously, to sift through all the news coming out of a country and decide what is fit to print. Rather, it is that the filters they use, even in the supposedly liberal media, seem to provide cover for and chime so closely with the policy stance of western politicians — which is in turn aligned with Mubarak's propaganda. Allowing dictators to set news values when it comes to coverage of their countries isn't just a disservice to readers; just as the media take their cue from politicians, so politicians let their priorities be shaped by the media.

This helps create an endlessly reverberating media/politics echo chamber, sounding skewed descriptions of the state of affairs in Egypt that are constantly affirmed by politicians and journalists alike. All this feeds back into the very problem that fuels it. Were the British public to be more conscious of political realities in a destination that more than a million of them visit on holiday each year, the British government might be a bit more wary of showering Mubarak with public praise. As it is, journalists, diplomats and politicians treat him with kid gloves. This is "churnalism" at its most destructive.

Conspiracy theorists can look away now. As a journalist who reports for British newspapers from Cairo, I am only too aware how difficult it is to assess the news value of stories from far-flung places, and how inevitable it is that the tone of coverage gets coloured by the political landscape at home. But it is precisely because of this, because it is so much smoother to follow the herd, that it is imperative for the media to question their governments' perspective on what matters. Because, by working in Egypt, I have also been made aware how often dramatic events here are sidelined by the press while equivalent developments in Iran provoke banner headlines — simply because western governments have thrown in their lot with one totalitarian leader and pitted themselves against another.

The end result is fact-distortion and myth-making. As Bertrand Russell put it:

If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinise it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.

It may be easier to let the timbre and beat of international journalism follow the well-worn groove of political consensus, but that doesn't make it right. Those reading and watching at home deserve better. So do those who have died in pursuit of justice and freedom, wherever they may be.

source: (thanks Rima for the tip).

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