That free-thinking even-handed paper of record

Even handed as always, the Guardian media ads pages today carries two ‘provocative’ ads for Torturer and Abuser. Ironic ‘sick joke’ ads that eventually ask us to log on to the website for the rehabilitation NGO Freedom from Torture. So far so transparent, a senior human rights abuser is needed for ‘A militia group in Central Africa’ and a senior torturer is needed by the ‘Government of a Middle East state’. Oh the wit. I guess the Guardian copy editor thought these would be ok, and not grotesque renderings of undifferentiated Middle East and Africa as land of despots, because the next page, or tomorrow, or all next week, there would be exposés of USA tortures in Guantanamo, Bagram, Abu Ghraib, etc and British abuses via deportations, immigration raids, complicity with the US and all that. But, undermining such even-handedness, today’s edition clearly ran out of space for anything acknowledging Western abuses. Only in the darker nations, where presumably irony is not lost, and prejudice excused, does Freedom from Torture want to operate its humour. When the international criminal court indicts Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy, and has already locked up the Bush boys, Gunshot Cheney and Tony Bliar, for good, will we look back and say, well done vigilant Guardian editors, your objectivity is sound, and the name of your paper not a cipher for panto.

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Update: the freedom from torture website helpfully completes the geo-imperial slur framing with its third ad, for a kidnapper in South Asia. Excellent – a return to growth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Update 2: And if you do click on the link, look for their video with its seeds metaphors and its water torture feature in their reception room. ‘Torture is bad’ – they campaign to tell people that. I can only agree.

May Day London 2012

MAYDAY-FLYER-A5-2012

May Day has been celebrated in London since the 1880s. The Committee has ensured this key day of international solidarity is marked every May 1st. Despite often being ignored by the mass media, the celebrations have maintained the traditions of unity and solidarity in London.

The London May Day has been a unique bringing together of trade unionists, workers from the many international communities in London, pensioners, anti-globalisation organisations, students, political bodies and many others in a show of working class unity (see our supporters list). The whole theme of May Day is unity and solidarity – across the city, across the country, across the world. Three constant calls have been made – trade union rights, human rights, international solidarity. We have been proud that a vital and major part of the March are workers from the different international communities in London – a practical expression of working class solidarity. Along with the solid support of trade union organisations, these have been the bed rocks of LMDOC

We continue the demand, adopted by the whole trade union movement in the 1970s, for May 1st to be a public holiday. The Labour Government of the time imposed the divisive decision to make the nearest Monday a Bank Holiday. This created many difficulties and separated Britain from virtually every other European country that celebrates May Day on 1st May. The anti-union laws of the Tories further pressured the movement and made participation in May Day difficult. But in the last 5 years May Day has been growing.

We have held a major march each year, whether going to Wapping in the mid-80s, supporting Sky Chef workers or Rover & Ford workers in 2001 and 2002. LMDOC also responded quickly to the fascist bombings in Brixton, Brick Lane and Soho in 1999 by involving those communities in the March, showing in a clear practical way the solidarity of the organised trade union movement, an important message to the right.

In 2001 we tied up with key sections of the anti-capitalist globalisation movement who had been campaigning on May Day. The common concerns about exploitation around the world, the role of multinationals and the advocates of aggressive free trade agendas meant there was the basis for unity – the basis of May Day. In 2001 and 2002 this swelled the ranks of the demonstration and introduced new aspects of May Day. Each year May Day in London has sought to unite with different campaigns and activities to keep the action very relevant to current challenges and expand those getting involved in May Day. A key victory of 2002 was getting use of Trafalgar Square on working days and the encouragement of the Mayor to make the Square a focus of activity for Londoners, as it has been since it was created.

2004 saw the Rally followed by an anti-racist festival with ARA; a joint May Day with the TUC in 2008 against the antiunion laws; each year focussing on key issues for workers – in London and across the world.

The Alternative Art College presents; Education as Experiment 17.5.2012

Date: 17th May

Time: 10am – 6pm

Location: 47 Lewisham Way, Goldsmiths College.

The Alternative Art College is a non-profit education facility;

The AAC’s reason for being is to challenge the notion of knowledge consumers, to question the socio-economic role of education and activate a response. The AAC was a direct reply to the crisis in the higher education field of 2011/12. One year on, the College’s aim is still to engage participants in the process of education, to create the alternative now.

The ‘retrospective’ is a reflective event/symposium addressing how non-profit education is produced. Located inside the walls of the education factory that is Goldsmiths college, we explore the alternative to consumer culture. This offers the ability to redirect the conversation within the HE education field, addressing everything from teaching methods to the UCAS point scoring system. The event will include a selection of lectures, seminars and a common assembly to discuss pedagogy, art, politics and all things related to education. The outcome of this day long event will be an open source archive, as well as, a publication and touring exhibition.

The Alternative Art College presents; Education as Experiment.

Line up includes: All subject to change and more to be announced.

Mike Neary – Social Science Centre/ Student As Producer.

John Plowman – Beacon Art Project

Andre Pusey – Really Open University

Evan Ifekoya/Yasmin Lorentz  – Politicised Space & Accountability: Addressing Race in the Art School

The Knitted Jungle Collective –  Macho Versus the Feminine

Mel Donohoe – Art vs Art Education

James Ellison –  Nomadic Infrastructure

Rebecca Hartley/Kate Wiggs – International Relations Theory in a prohibition-themed party

Anna-Maria Amato – The Fibonacci Code.


www.alternativeartcollege.co.uk  aacretrospective.edu@gmail.com

www.facebook.com/events/446720075355054/

Orientally yours

A new blog by Karen Tam updates trinketization, but with Chinese characteristics: http://orientallyyours.tumblr.com/

An example of her interests would be this scenario below by British photographer Grace Lau, but Karen’s own opium dens and faked antiquities are treasures themselves.

Website: www.karentam.ca

Other Blog: Pumpkin Sauce

Photograph booth, and photo, by Grace Lau

Manifesto manifestation 28.4.2012 Clapham Common Bandstand

Freee’s Manifesto for a New Public will be at Clapham Common bandstand this Saturday (tomorrow 28.4.2012) at 2pm!

Print this, underline the bits you agree with, and join where you wish, and disagree where you must – for the collective (for example, that second last para about not pointing at the rich… I dunno. Got a big stick?)

Declaration

Anyway, generalize this (not just ‘artists)…

 

 

 

 

Terror as Usual

‘Terror as Usual’ – Media cultures in an age of terror

Symposium

Media@LSE and Birkbeck College with London Screen Studies Group

Friday 25 May 2012

Venue: Clore Management Centre, Torrington Sq, Birkbeck, University of London

Map: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/maps/interactive

10.00 Arrive

10.15 Introduction to the day

Session One 10.30-12.00

John Hutnyk, Goldsmiths – ‘Sexy Sammy and Red Rosie’: from burning books to the war on terror

Mina Al-Lami, LSE – Members to martyrs: crossing the line from online to offline jihadism

12.00-13.00 Lunch

Session Two 13.00-14.30

Marc Hobart, SOAS – ‘Terror As Performance’ The Bali bombing on the news

Cristina Archetti, Salford – A communications perspective on terror

14.30-15.00 Coffee/Tea

Session Three 15.00-16.15

Guy Westwell – Queen Mary – Terror and conspiracy in post 9/11 US film

Open Discussion: all speakers – What’s old and what’s new?

Registration: Registration is Free but places are limited, so please pre-register by May 23rd at terrorasusual[at]gmail.com