quinta-feira, 19 de janeiro de 2017
Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston - Neil Leifer
quarta-feira, 18 de janeiro de 2017
Fern Riddell investigates the campaign of terror orchestrated by the Edwardian suffragette movement before the First World War and asks why it has been neglected by historians.
terça-feira, 17 de janeiro de 2017
Lorsqu’il écrit cette lettre, le poète de langue allemande Paul Celan (1920-1970) vient d’apprendre la nouvelle de la mort brutale d’Albert Camus. En effet, l’auteur de L’Étranger trouve la mort dans un accident de voiture, le 4 janvier 1960, alors qu’il revient d’un séjour en Provence. Triste nouvelle pour le monde des lettres : Michel Gallimard (le neveu et fils spirituel de l’éditeur du même nom) perd également la vie dans cet accident.
Le Temps s’acharne contre ceux qui osent être humains — c’est le temps de l’anti-humain. Vivants, nous sommes morts, nous aussi. Il n’y a pas de ciel de Provence ; il y a la terre, béante, et sans hospitalité ; il n’y a qu’elle. Point de consolation, point de mots. La pensée — c’est une affaire des dents. Un mot simple que j’écris : cœur. Un chemin simple : celui-là.
René Char, il y a ce chemin-là, c’est le seul, ne le quittez pas. (Vous l’avez quitté, je vous ai vu le quitter, vous avez su nous faire mal, à la légère, vous nous avez peiné, alors que a peine vous avait ouvert nos cœurs.)
Ai-je le droit de vous dire ceci ? Je ne sais. Je vous le dis. Ajoutez-y un mot ou un silence.
Je vous adresse ces mots — qui sont des mots — après la mort d’Albert Camus.
Soyez vrai, toujours.
segunda-feira, 16 de janeiro de 2017
Every 28 December, Kalmyk families light lamps to commemorate victims of their mass deportation. In late 1943, the Soviet authorities exiled more than 90,000 Kalmyks to Siberia — most of them women, children and elderly people. More than 14,000 died on the way and during the winter. In 1944, roughly 15,000 Kalmyk troops were withdrawn from the Soviet front line, mainly to be interned in the Shiroklag forced labour camp. Here, they were set to work building a hydroelectric power plant. Their alleged crime: mass collaboration with the German invaders of their homeland in 1941.
The Kalmyks’ exile lasted 13 years, and in that time their numbers dropped by half. Those born in Siberia barely knew their own language or traditions. The accusation levelled against them in 1943 was no less traumatic.
Although the survivors returned to their homeland in southern Russia in 1956, the feeling of collective guilt forced on them by the Soviet government haunts the Kalmyks to this day. This psychological trauma, forced into the public’s subconscious, still has a considerable bearing on Kalmyk citizens’ relationship to the Russian state.
The trauma of “treachery”
The fight happened near our village’s war memorial — an eternal flame and a wall displaying the names of local fallen heroes. My opponents were two members of the local pioneer troop, named after Tamara Khakhynova, a Kalmyk partisan who had died heroically not far from our sovkhoz, or state farm.
Soviet propaganda was based on the carrot and stick approach. On the one hand, Kalmyk heroes were commemorated; on the other, our collective guilt was intensified by public trials of former members of the Kalmyk Cavalry Corps (KKK), a German volunteer unit formed in 1942. Between 1960 and 1970, there were seven trials, and one more in 1983.
My paternal grandparents didn’t survive to see Glasnost in the 1980s. It was only as an adult that I learnt Sarang Biurchiev, my grandfather, was sent to the Shiroklag forced labour camp from the Karelian Front in 1944 and convicted in 1945. He had been called up at the time of the “Winter war” against Finland in 1940 and worked as a clerk in the General Staff.
After a few drinks, my grandfather would mourn for his brothers and sisters who died during the famines of the 1920s and 1930s. They had been orphaned as children and only two survived into adulthood, Granddad and his younger sister. Famine was also a taboo subject in Soviet times. Yet every now and then, unlike memories of Shiroklag in the early deportation years, that pain would break through.
My grandfather arrived in Siberia in 1946, when the Kalmyks had survived their first, harshest winter and were gradually adapting to life in exile. In Tyumen he located his sister (his only family member alive at the time) and met my grandmother Tsagan Boskhaeva.
As a result, my grandmother and her sons travelled in two different train convoys, and as the Kalmyks were scattered across Siberia, they ended up in different places. One boy died, and the other was placed in an orphanage. My grandmother managed to get back to Tyumen, where my uncle was born in 1947, followed by my father in 1949. They already had their elder brother, who became the core of the new family.
My family didn’t discuss the deportation openly until well into the 1990s, and I only began to get a fuller picture when I was started work as a journalist.
In some cases. local Siberians finally realised that the newcomers were normal people, not “cannibals” as they had been told, so shared food and clothing with the “special settlers”, despite this being strictly forbidden.
It was around this time that I came across “Absence”, a poem by Polish Nobel Prize winner Wisława Szymborska. I can still remember the shiver that ran through my spine when I got to the last verse:
If it hadn’t been for the deportation, my maternal grandfather Erdni Muchiryaev wouldn’t have married Zemfira Kozlova, a girl from the Urals. My mother wouldn’t have been born and neither would I.
For a moment, I realised what it would have been like had Granddad Biurchiev’s ten brothers and sisters not died of starvation. Family ties are a valuable resource in Kalmykia. Would my father have become a teacher, and I a journalist?
All this may be speculation. But when the events are still fresh in family memory, you have a keen sense of history and fate, the trajectories that have led to your birth.
One of my family lines is connected to those who tried to survive between two deaths, the other, with those who were condemned by the Soviet government to humiliation and starvation. If either of these were erased, the contours of myself wouldn’t be quite right.
But what trace did the trauma leave behind? And has it been reflected in people’s civic consciousness?
The worst thing, Guchinova believes, is the fact that Kalmyks have got “hung up” on the illegal public trials of KKK members. The government has certainly got us to believe in our collective guilt.
The deportation, as Guchinova reminds me, is still a delicate, family tragedy for Kalmyks. This “intimate” character is what marks it out, not only freeing it from the banalities of “official” speeches, but taking it out of a narrow civil rights framework. On 28 December, thousands of people gather at the “Exodus and Return” monument in Elista, while on 30 October, a maximum of ten civic activists meet at the memorial stone from Shiroklag on the day commemorating the victims of Soviet political repression.
“In both Siberia and Central Asia, Kalmyks tried to assimilate. Like the interned Japanese, they proved their innocence through an excess of enthusiasm and diligence. The Chechens and Ingush, on the other hand, according to the American historian Michaela Paul, ‘resisted in every way they could’: they refused to take part in elections in 1946 and avoided working for the state’. Lidia Berdenova, who took part in a survey of mine, was almost robbed by Chechens – they returned the things they had stolen when they discovered she was a deportee.”
Guchinova dismisses any idea of an innate mindset in one ethnic group or another as pure racism. The religious factor she talks about is not just a question of Buddhist refusal to meet evil with violence. In the 1920s and 1930s all the most influential Buddhist priests were shot, and the rest of the monks were either sent to labour camps or forced to abandon their spiritual activity. (Japanese teachers and priests were also the first to be arrested in the USA in 1942.) And in the USSR all the Buddhist temples in the steppe, the main centres of education and social organisation, were destroyed.
In the mountains, Muslim spiritual leaders remained influential; the old traditions continued to flourish. Also, the peoples of the north Caucasus, unlike the Kalmyks, were all deported together, which meant they could develop a different strategy for survival.
We have lost and reclaimed our statehood more than once. For a nomadic people with no allies other than Russia, exodus was the only possible reaction to ideological conflict with central government. As Nikolai Palmov, the historian of the Kalmyks, notes, for those who stayed behind “any thoughts of protest never went further than a dream of returning to the past and the traditional structures and customs of Kalmyk life.”
Kalmykia’s leaders of public opinion today are equally nostalgic for the old days. It’s hard to figure out any more promising means of dialogue. People in Kalmykia are very wary of open opposition, especially in relation to the Kremlin. Moreover, when the need arises, our politicians don’t hesitate to resort to blatant manipulation of public opinion, playing on these subconscious traumas.
An order from Khlopushin triggered the first violent break-up of a peaceful protest action in independent Russia. The squads of riot police and internal troops brought in from neighbouring regions didn’t even spare women and elderly people, one protester was killed.
In Kalmykia, people prefer not to attract any attention from the federal authorities. Occasional clashes with neighbouring Astrakhan over disputed areas along the border established after the deportation never last long and are quickly forgotten. In contrast, the clashes over the Prigorodny area of North Ossetia, which housed a small Ingush community and was the site of armed clashes with Ossetians in 1992, is more of a matter of principle. So too was the reestablishment of Aukh, a Chechen enclave in neighbouring Dagestan.
To a large extent, the focus on principles is linked to population density and shortage of land. But Kalmykia’s history also developed very differently from that of the Caucasus. The mountain peoples of the Caucasus fought long and hard against the Russian Empire. They boast of their past as the heroes of the resistance to the Tsars, and, after the collapse of the USSR, as the “elusive avengers” (as a popular film has it) who challenged Soviet rule. The legends of the Abreks, Caucasian mountain bands who fought the Russians in the 19th century, put the subject of deportation in the context of colonisation and anti-colonial struggles. And the 1991 law on “rehabilitation of repressed peoples” has been seen as a step towards the restoration of historical justice in a wider sense.
Indeed, in Chechnya, there is a de facto ban on marking the Day of Memory on 23 February, the date in 1944 when whole populations were deported from the North Caucasus — it coincides with the Russian public holiday, Defender of the Motherland Day. Such a minor offence might land you in prison, as happened in 2014 with Ruslan Kutaev, the organiser of a conference devoted to the deportation of the Kalmyks and Ingush.
It’s surprising, but Kalmyk social network users even praise Kadyrov to the skies, while criticising their own republic’s leadership. T-shirts bearing portraits of Stalin no longer awake antagonism on the streets of Elista. Kalmyks, both pro- and anti-government, agree that Kalmykia needs a “strong leader”.
These feelings aren’t just a sign of some vague mood of protest, they also reflect Kalmyks’ lingering deportation trauma. An inner taboo on dissatisfaction with the politics of “party and government” is sublimated into criticism of the puppet regional authorities and a myth of a leader who could return dignity to their nation.
Eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity, according to a new report published by Oxfam today to mark the annual meeting of political and business leaders in Davos.
Oxfam’s report, ‘An economy for the 99 percent’, shows that the gap between rich and poor is far greater than had been feared. It details how big business and the super-rich are fuelling the inequality crisis by dodging taxes, driving down wages and using their power to influence politics. It calls for a fundamental change in the way we manage our economies so that they work for all people, and not just a fortunate few.
New and better data on the distribution of global wealth – particularly in India and China – indicates that the poorest half of the world has less wealth than had been previously thought. Had this new data been available last year, it would have shown that nine billionaires owned the same wealth as the poorest half of the planet, and not 62, as Oxfam calculated at the time.
Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, said:
“It is obscene for so much wealth to be held in the hands of so few when 1 in 10 people survive on less than $2 a day. Inequality is trapping hundreds of millions in poverty; it is fracturing our societies and undermining democracy.
“Across the world, people are being left behind. Their wages are stagnating yet corporate bosses take home million dollar bonuses; their health and education services are cut while corporations and the super-rich dodge their taxes; their voices are ignored as governments sing to the tune of big business and a wealthy elite.”
Oxfam’s report shows how our broken economies are funnelling wealth to a rich elite at the expense of the poorest in society, the majority of whom are women. The richest are accumulating wealth at such an astonishing rate that the world could see its first trillionaire in just 25 years. To put this figure in perspective – you would need to spend $1 million every day for 2738 years to spend $1 trillion.
Public anger with inequality is already creating political shockwaves across the globe. Inequality has been cited as a significant factor in the election of Donald Trump in the US, the election of President Duterte in the Philippines, and Brexit in the UK.
Seven out of 10 people live in a country that has seen a rise in inequality in the last 30 years. Between 1988 and 2011 the incomes of the poorest 10 percent increased by just $65 per person, while the incomes of the richest 1 percent grew by $11,800 per person – 182 times as much.
Women, who are often employed in low pay sectors, face high levels of discrimination in the work place, and who take on a disproportionate amount of unpaid care work often find themselves at the bottom of the pile. On current trends it will take 170 years for women to be paid the same as men.
‘An Economy for the 99 percent’ also reveals how big business and the super-rich are fuelling the inequality crisis. It shows how, in order to maximize returns to their wealthy shareholders, big corporations are dodging taxes, driving down wages for their workers and the prices paid to producers, and investing less in their business.
Oxfam interviewed women working in a garment factory in Vietnam who work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week and still struggle to get by on the $1 an hour they earn producing clothes for some of the world’s biggest fashion brands. The CEOs of these companies are some of the highest paid people in the world. Corporate tax dodging costs poor countries at least $100 billion every year. This is enough money to provide an education for the 124 million children who aren’t in school and fund healthcare interventions that could prevent the deaths of at least six million children every year.
The report outlines how the super-rich use a network of tax havens to avoid paying their fair share of tax and an army of wealth managers to secure returns on their investments that would not be available to ordinary savers. Contrary to popular belief, many of the super-rich are not ‘self-made’. Oxfam analysis shows over half the world’s billionaires either inherited their wealth or accumulated it through industries which are prone to corruption and cronyism.
It also demonstrates how big business and the super-rich use their money and connections to ensure government policy works for them. For example, billionaires in Brazil have sought to influence elections and successfully lobbied for a reduction in tax bills while oil corporations in Nigeria have managed to secure generous tax breaks.
Byanyima said: “The millions of people who have been left behind by our broken economies need solutions, not scapegoats. That is why Oxfam is setting out a new common sense approach to managing our economies so that they work for the majority and not just the fortunate few.”
“Governments are not helpless in the face of technological change and market forces. If politicians stop obsessing with GDP, and focus on delivering for all their citizens and not just a wealthy few, a better future is possible for everyone.”
Oxfam’s blueprint for a more human economy includes:
Governments end the extreme concentration of wealth to end poverty. Governments should increase taxes on both wealth and high incomes to ensure a more level playing field, and to generate funds needed to invest in healthcare, education and job creation.
Governments cooperate rather than just compete. Governments should work together to ensure workers are paid a decent wage, and to put a stop to tax dodging and the race to the bottom on corporate tax.
Governments support companies that benefit their workers and society rather than just their shareholders. The multi-billion Euro company Mondragon, is owned by its 74,000 strong workforce. All employees receive a decent wage because its pay structure ensures that the highest paid member of staff earns no more than 9 times the amount of the lowest paid.
Governments ensure economies work for women. They must help to dismantle the barriers to women’s economic progress such as access to education and the unfair burden of unpaid care work.
Oxfam is also calling on business leaders to play their part in building a human economy. The World Economic Forum has responsive and responsible leadership as its key theme this year. They can make a start by committing to pay their fair share of tax and by ensuring their businesses pay a living wage. People around the global can also join the campaign at www.evenitup.org.
domingo, 15 de janeiro de 2017
The 2016 Arab Human Development Report (AHDR) by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was focused on the region’s youth – those aged between 15 and 29 – a significant group that keeps on growing. This is the first report of its kind to be released after the Arab Spring, and details how young people are more politically aware and motivated to achieve their civil and human rights. Yet they face considerable challenges, primarily economic and security-related. The poor economic planning by the existing regimes is only prolonging and worsening these problems, as a more politically-conscious population grows.
quarta-feira, 11 de janeiro de 2017
A vida é muito maior que a soma de seus momentos.
Entrevista de 2011:
According to new figures, the US dropped nearly three bombs every hour, 24 hours a day. Dare we think how Donald Trump will continue this legacy?
segunda-feira, 9 de janeiro de 2017
"Meet the First Female Rangers to Guard One of World's Deadliest Parks" - Jessica Hatcher & Monica Jaques
Women have joined the paramilitary organization tasked with defending some of the last mountain gorillas in the wild.
A 9 de Fevereiro de 1950, no auge da Guerra Fria, um senador republicano ainda desconhecido exclama o seguinte: «Tenho nas mãos a lista de duzentas e cinquenta pessoas que o secretário de Estado sabe serem membros do Partido Comunista e que, no entanto, determinam a política do Departamento de Estado». Joseph McCarthy acabava de entrar na história dos Estados Unidos pela porta da infâmia. A lista não existia, mas a vaga de histeria anti-comunista e de purgas que se seguiu foi bem real. E destruiu a vida de milhares de norte-americanos.
Em 2017, parece que está em causa nada menos do que a lealdade patriótica do próximo presidente dos Estados Unidos. Com o seu executivo de militares e multimilionários, há muitas razões para temer a sua entrada em funções. Contudo, o Partido Democrata e muitos meios de comunicação social ocidentais parecem obcecados com a ideia extravagante de que Donald Trump seria a «marioneta» do Kremlin. E que ele deveria a eleição a um acto de pirataria de dados informáticos orquestrado pela Rússia. Já passou muito tempo desde a paranóia macartista, mas o Washington Post acaba de recuperar esta história mostrando-se inquieto com a existência de «mais de duzentos sítios que, voluntariamente ou não, publicam a propaganda russa ou a reproduzem» (24 de Novembro de 2016).
Sopram maus ventos sobre o Ocidente. Cada eleição, ou quase, é apreciada através do prisma da Rússia. Quer se trate de Trump nos Estados Unidos, de Jeremy Corbyn no Reino Unido, ou de candidatos tão diferentes como Jean-Luc Mélenchon, François Fillon ou Marine Le Pen em França, basta duvidar das medidas tomadas contra a Rússia, ou das conspirações atribuídas a Moscovo pela Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) – uma instituição que todos sabem ser infalível e irrepreensível –, para se ser suspeito de servir os desígnios do Kremlin. Num clima como este, mal se ousa imaginar a torrente de indignação que teriam suscitado a espionagem pela Rússia, em vez dos Estados Unidos, do telefone de Angela Merkel, ou a entrega pela Google a Moscovo, em vez da Agência Nacional de Segurança Americana (NSA), de milhares de milhões de dados privados recolhidos na Internet. Sem avaliar bem toda a ironia das suas palavras, Barack Obama ainda assim ameaçou a Rússia nestes termos: «Eles têm de compreender que nós também lhes podemos fazer aquilo que eles nos fazem a nós».
Vladimir Putin não ignora que Washington pode inflectir a política de um outro Estado. Na Primavera de 1996, um presidente russo doente e alcoólico, artesão (corrupto) do caos social no seu país, de facto só sobreviveu a uma impopularidade descomunal graças ao apoio declarado, político e financeiro, das capitais ocidentais. E a um providencial enchimento das urnas. Boris Ieltsin, o menino bonito dos democratas de Washington, Berlim e Paris (apesar de ter feito disparos de canhão contra o Parlamento russo, provocando a morte de centenas de pessoas), foi portanto reeleito. A 31 de Dezembro de 1999, Ieltsin decidiu transmitir todos os seus poderes ao seu fiel primeiro-ministro, o delicioso Vladimir Putin…
domingo, 8 de janeiro de 2017
The Wall Street Journal
The Washington Post
The New York Times
Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States does not just represent a mounting populist backlash against globalization. It may also portend the end of Pax Americana – the international order of free exchange and shared security that the US and its allies built after World War II.
quinta-feira, 5 de janeiro de 2017
The female members of the WAAF played an integral part in the country's air defence during the Second World War, yet their role was always shrouded in secrecy. Now 75 years on, a new book sheds fresh light on the women who helped win the Battle of Britain.