19 September 2011
I've decided to stop my attempts at keeping this homepage alive, as things have changed and it no longer works for me. I intend to build a dedicated site for the homophobic alphabet euphemism collection at some point, as that project is still current.
30 July 2010
Kiluanji Kia Henda - Icarus 13
This is a great art work - full of humour and intelligence. Kiluanji Kia Henda is an Angolan artist who explores the complex colonial history of his country, in this case through manipulated photographs. In Icarus13 he made a series of pictures where he appropriated buildings, which are remnants from Angola's past, to tell his story of the African mission to travel to the sun (more impressive than the exploorations to the moon of course!). I don't know much about this artist - but what I have seen I really like.
14 July 2010
The Homophobic Alphabet
In the last few months the only regular updates I have done on this site have been additions to the Homophobic Alphabet Euphemism Collection. Every month I get maybe one or two emails from people with suggestions for additions. They mostly come from the UK and the US, and they are mostly short, sometimes just a word to add to the list.The other day I got a longer email from someone who was really enthusiastic, and it got me thinking about how I should maybe take another look at this project and see if I can develop it further.... I have little time at the moment, and any changes will probably be some time in the future - but if anyone reads this and has some ideas as to how this project could be extended, get in touch please! It is afterall the input of others that is making me continue with this work!
18 January 2010
WILD THING: EPSTEIN/GAUDIER-BRZESKA/GILL
This sculpture show was on upstairs, whilst Anish Kapoor was showing in the main Royal Academy galleries. I saw the Anish Kapoor show at the end of last year, and was excited by the playfulness and scale of his new work. I didn't have the energy at the time to go to the smaller upstairs gallery to see the 'Wild Thing' show. Both Kapoor and Gill and Epstein were people I looked at whilst at college. Kapoor was more influencial for me then, but now I somehow felt a greater affinity with these three older generation sculptors. and their much smaller and quieter work. As the show illustrated at the time this work was pushing all the boundaries, which is, as so often quite incredulous to a conemporary audience looking at the work now. It's radicality is something we can only understand if we begin to apply a historical outlook. In this way the work is obviously a bit of history, but somehow it isn't - the work of all three sculptors, but particularly Eric Gill for me, seems totally current. Never mind the religious themes, it's something to do with the material. These works look new and fresh in a way that Anish Kapoor's works will most certainly not in 70 years time. I'm not sure what this means, and why this may be attractive but it made me think about permanence and impermanence all over again. I am fascinated by ancient cave paintings and archeological artifacts and so on, as somehow these objects point towards a direct relationship between ourselves and people thousands of years ago. I like reading about hunter gathere societies today for similar reasons - because they seem to provide a link to the past, and a perspective, which I think we could benefit from. These sculptors seem to do something similar, somehow looking at their work ws evocative of ancient times, and gave rise to a feeling of connectivity. I liked this very much.
14 December 2009
SOPHIE CALLE and TOVE JANSSON
There are empty spaces that must be respected- those often long periods when a person can't see the pictures or find the words and needs to be left alone. Tove Jansson, fair play p26
As we are approaching the end of the year, I can't help but notice that, art-wise, this has been my most unproductive year ever. All I have completed is one image! I feel okay about this image, but pretty aghast at the fact that this has taken me all year to do. It was meant to be a small project to get out of the way before the- something-else, the-something-better, would happen, as a result. It was important to do this, so I could then go on and do the next thing. This was always just a stepping stone, but what can you do when it takes so long to just build that little step? This image is one of several too! That's just the way it is, there's nothing I can really do about it, because if I abandon this, I wont be working on anything.
Tove Jansson describes the difficulties of the creative process in one of the stories in fair play, which I read yesterday. She writes so brilliantly and funnily about this, it cheered me up, and made me feel like this was all simply part of the process. Here's a bit from her story 'Videomania':
When Mari came in Jonna was on a ladder building shelves in her front hall. Mari knew that when Jonna started putting up shelves she was approaching a period of work. Of course the hall would be far too narrow and cramped, but that was immaterial. The last time, it was shelves in the bedroom and the result had been a series of excellent woodcuts. She glanced into the bathroom as she passed, but Jonna had not yet put printing paper in to soak, not yet. Before Jonna could do her graphic work in peace, she always spent some time printing up sets of earlier, neglected works - a job that had been set aside so she could focus on new ideas. After all, a period of creative grace can be short. Suddenly and without warning the pictures disappear, or they're chased away be some interference - someone or something that irretrievably cuts off the fragile desire to capture an observation, an insight. (Tove Jansson, fair play p27)
I went to see Sophie Calle at the Whitechapel last week. A great show, and a great introduction to her work. Somehow, years ago when I looked at Calle, it didn't grab me, and over the years this impression has blocked my looking at her again, so I never realised that I might have changed my feelings about her work. So going to this show was like a gift. One thing I find interesting about her work is the way her process is so much the subject of her work, but then in the end there is much more to it than that. In her project 'Take Care of Yourself', she asks lots of specialists, from different specialisms to respond to a letter she received, and what you get is a load of different ways of interpretation brought into relationship with each other, each one kind of adequate in explaining something, but simultaneously failing to. So we get an introduction into all these disciplines, and into what they are and how they go about making sense of something. I have often thought of art as a way of making sense. I would take a subject, and try to make sense of it for myself, in my way. Formulate a response to whatever, a personal and valid response. Sophie Calle does this too in this work - she makes sense of this letter- she takes care of herself - by seeking interpretations from every manner of discipline. Her role as an artist is to bring these together under one roof, as an artist she is allowed to look at every other discipline in order to make her meaning. She is allowed to ask others to respond on her behalf. What I liked about this work is that by inviting others to respond, she validated all of these approaches, more than her own. There is a kind of humility here, which is unusual in contemporary art.
14 June 2009
BOBBY BAKER'S DIARY DRAWINGS
I went to see Bobby Baker's Diary Drawings at the Wellcome Collection and am so pleased I did! I feel that this show is the best show I have seen in years, and it will be hard to beat. I don't really like self-conscious 'confessional' work, I am not really that interested in artist's personal lives (maybe because they are not interesting enough..) but in this case I was. I suppose it wasn't self conscious, that's the thing. The thing is Bobby Baker never meant to exhibit these drawings, they weren't made for this context, and I suppose in this way they were initially not really 'art'. Is that true? That's what is so fascinating, they have become art, because the artist has decided to give them that status after the event. A bit like an object trouve - except, they looked like art to begin with, as they are drawings made by an artist! They are brilliant drawings, which are painful and funny at the same time, and they are real in a way that they wouldn't be if they had been made for this context to begin with. As a viewer you know that, and this somehow makes them more powerful, I think. Then there is the fact that we also know that whilst all this was going on, the artist has been presenting completely different work, and a different face to her audience. Of course this other work is real too, but somehow not in the same way. This other work is 'art', but it isn't as authentic, so maybe it isn't such good art, though it too is good. So it makes you think about private lives and art work, and how it is possible to hide stuff, and then about expression, and what art is, and what it can be, and how this very basic kind of art is so important and healing. I loved this show because it was so honest and straightforward. Like a gift, like being allowed to get to know someone. The sad thing is that what the drawings communicate is how the artist kept all this to herself, even from her family, never mind her audience, and how we all do this to some extent, how we are all alone with our problems. It's a good thing that she made these drawings, and that they helped her through her illnesses. That's really the amazing thing, that despite all this pain and desperation, creativity and imagination was possible. That's so encouraging and inspiring.
Bobby Baker has a great web site with links to the images and interviews etc http://www.bobbybakersdailylife.com/
26 May 2009
ALICE WATERS and the WHITE HOUSE KITCHEN GARDEN
Last year I read a biography about Alice Waters and Chez Panisse, the famous Berkeley restaurant. The book ended with a chapter about Alice Waters' communications with the Clinton's about a kitchen garden on the White House lawn. What an inspiring idea, I thought! What an unlikely reality! I don't think Alice Waters bothered the Bushes with her ideas, but following the election of Obama, this amazing project has been given the go ahead. I have been less Political, with a capital 'p' of late, but this news excites me a hell of a lot. It somehow combines the aesthetic with the ethical, in a way that is inherently political. It is like a beautiful big art work. I can't wait to see it realised.
"We're trying really to reinvent the way we farm, the way we distribute food, the way we cook food and the way we talk about it." Alice Waters on the 'Delicious Revolution"
26 November 2008
ARTIST'S ANXIETY 2
It is over a year since my last entry entitled 'Artist's Anxiety', so maybe a good time to report on how my illness is progressing.
Progress is an appropriate word maybe. Over the last couple of years, I've read John Gray quite a bit. He and John Berger together are my favourite thinker. John Berger is less bleak because he looks at the detail, but both paint a dark picture about our world. Progress is impossible, says Gray - "As science and technology have advanced, so has proficiency in killing. As the hope for a better world has grown, so has mass murder", and so on.
I'm not quite sure what this has to do with my Artist's Anxiety, but though I hadn't thought about it consciously before, connecting these ideas with my little problem is maybe quite profound.
The good news is, I would say I am cured, or at least my illness has moved to the next stage. Before sitting down to write this entry, I sat down to re-write a text I had written many months ago entitled 'Why am I an Artist?'. I wrote it for myself, and as I sat down to re-write, I realised I wanted to change it to the past tense. I had moved on. Now it can't be progress. So what has changed? I hope, it is that I have acquired a different way of seeing/being - one that is full of doubt, and one that does not want to shake off the doubt.
For the record, here is the original text written on 3/9/2007:
Why am I an artist?
I feel like I am at a turning point. I need to make some decisions. Being an artist is a choice I realise. It is less about being than about doing, or maybe about a certain kind of being. If I don’t make any ‘work’ then I will eventually cease to be an artist. It already feels a little bit like that has happened, but I didn't’t choose to stop. I stopped because I didn't get any invitations or opportunities. I stopped because I didn’t make anything. I stopped because I feel overwhelmed. I stopped because I did a little bit of writing and briefly got enchanted more by that form. I don’t do that either now. I stopped because I was dedicating my time to sorting out my life.
I didn't think this would ever happen. I was naive. I thought one thing would lead to another. I thought I was an artist. I thought it was what I had to do. Now I am not sure. This is the turning point.
I could stop deliberately now. It would be a good time as there isn’t anything to finish. I could simply not start the next thing. I don’t feel a burning desire to start the next thing. I could simply let go now and see where that takes me. This is tempting. I did try to start things though, it’s just that I am lacking the drive or commitment to the ideas. I have read The Reenchantment of Art by Suzi Gablik and it has given me a lot to think about. It was on my shelf for years, but I had never read it cover to cover. My work at the Buddhist café, and exploring Buddhism is also giving me a lot to think about. There are overlaps. Suzi Gablik talks about the requirement for a new kind of artist and art, who identifies with the world in a different, more connected way. Her book came before the ‘relational aesthetics’ debate, but is clearly part of it. It has made these ideas attractive to me again, because she is calling for something more radical, something which challenges the western art system at its core, and doesn’t simply work within it. It’s not about institutional critique either, it’s about art being bigger than all these details, it’s about the museums and contemporary styles being smaller and art bigger. Buddhism similarly is about a much bigger perspective. Like Gablik’s art it requires a different consciousness, a different self, not the individual, separate self which is so glorified in Western art and ideology.
Am I an artist?
I like the idea of everyone is an artist. I still like it today. I don’t feel like an artist, as I’m not making anything. This is the biggest struggle I have had. Artists are meant to struggle, but I am not sure if I can be bothered. The question is why. Why would I embark on making a piece right now? My first reasons are most definitely psychological. I like the idea of being an artist, it has to do with self-image. I have completely absorbed the notion of the artist as somehow freer and more autonomous. I like this notion, even though it is so clearly bogus. The art world and the art market, also like this notion. Artists are somehow separate and represent this idea of freedom. They are symbols of the enlightened Western ideology. But are we allowed, are we free to choose to give up art, are we free to stop producing for aesthetic reasons? Say, for example, we decide it is simply not compatible with an artist’s ideas that their work is supported by corporate finance? Is this artist then permitted to stop making work entirely and still be considered an artist, or do they have to make something, something not-for-sale for example, to stay in the game? Could my art work be not making any art work? For I feel this is the best piece I can currently think of.
13 October 2008
The response-ability of David Rothemberg
I've been thinking a lot about animals lately. About how we relate to animals, about slaughterhouses and pets and extinction and humanity. It's too big a subject to think about all at once really, and I have not reached any conclusions so far, nor formulated my questions properly. I've learnt a little. I suppose this relates to my previous entry on the Elephant Art project, though this is to some extent coincidence. It looks like that because of the sporadic nature of my entries on this blog, which isn't a blog.
On my search I discovered, that we humans have recently discovered, that we share spindle cells with several whales. These cells were considered until recently to be unique to us and other great apes. Maybe they were one of the distinguishing features of an intelligent brain - well turns out whales had them before we did, and it appears whales are also capable of highly complex intelligent thinking. I'm not going to go into details about the scientific knowledge on spindle cells, but the articles are available on line, and I've only scanned the information really. I think the fact that we cut up their brains in order to discover they are as intelligent as us, says it all really.
On my search I also came across the musician and philosopher David Rothemberg, who has come up with a very sensible - as in sensitive and intelligent - response to his questions about humans and animals. His project Thousand Mile Song is lovely.
7 April 2008
ELEPHANT ART and Other Gifts
In the last couple of weeks I've felt a new sense of purpose and optimism, about contemporary art and its possibilities. I've been generally getting a bit more inspired, but the optimism was actually due to a fantastic piece by Komar and Melamid, which I came across, and which I had been completely unaware of before.
If you don't know it then take a look at the web site of The Asian Elephant Art and Conservation Project. It's not often that contemporary art manages to really excite and surprise me these days, but these artists have created a project, which works as a Not for Profit organisation and a conceptual art work at the same time. It's really very brilliant!
How this might affect my own work I don't know exactly. I like the approach of this project, simultaneously critical and optimistic, funny and serious. That's something I might aspire to.
But, I am not at all sure what I shall embark on when I eventually do embark on something. At the moment I'm pretty certain that I will, which is already a change! It feels as if I had to abandon the necessity to make work, in order to reconnect with the desire to do so. I am beginning to feel like I want to now, just for myself, to see what happens. Now all I am waiting for is for us to finish renovations on our house, so I can move the boxes out of the study, and transform it into a studio - another month at least, I should think. Let's see how I feel then!
This reminds me, I've been reading The Gift: How the Creative Spirit Transforms the World, by Lewis Hyde in recent weeks. I'm a little skeptical of his way with anthropological material in support of his argument (partly because I like to do that myself on occasion!) but as well as that, there is a lot of other things in the book which I relate to. This quote by Allen Ginsberg about the creative process rings many bells, and is encouraging to read in dry times like these (substitute art making for writing, it applies just as well!):
"The cure [...] is to write things down which you will not publish and which you wont show people. To write secretly... so you can actually be free to say anything you want... It means abandoning being a poet , abandoning your careerism, abandoning even the idea of writing any poetry, really abandoning, giving up as hopeless - abandoning the possibility of really expressing yourself to the nations of the world. Abandoning the idea of being a prophet with honour and dignity, and abandoning the glory of poetry and just settling down in the muck of your own mind... You really have to make a resolution just to write for yourself... in the sense of not writing to impress yourself, but just writing what your self is saying." (quoted on page 149)
Another good artist I have recently learnt more about is Alfredo Jaar, whose work at the South London Gallery made me cry yesterday. Really good.
Alfredo Jaar's homepage: www.alfredojaar.net
19 November 2007
I haven't been entirely inactive in the last few months. I've decided to give myself a break from artist's anxiety - that feeling that I should be making more work, exhibiting, applying for things.. you might know what I mean.. it's not a very productive feeling!
Sometime ago I realised that I didn't have anything in the pipeline, and it suddenly occurred to me that instead of feeling anxious and worried about it, instead of trying to get something going, I could actually consider stopping altogether. This wasn't something I had ever thought before, I somehow considered it part of my person that I was 'an artist', but suddenly it actually seemed quite interesting to consider changing, or letting myself at least explore other avenues. Or just letting go and seeing what might happen... I'm still in this process...
In the meantime I wanted to recommend a really interesting project I just came across, the The Table of Free Voices at http://www.droppingknowledge.org
14 August 2007
AT TIMES INACTIVITY IS PREFERABLE TO MINDLESS FUNCTIONING
3 July 2007
Mark Wallinger, Tate Britain
I am useless at keeping this blog up to date. One entry a month is all I set myself, but here I am 3 months late! Not that anyone's looking....
There were some things I intended to write about. The Matthew Buckingham exhibition at Camden Arts Centre was one, because I thought it was good. The play Called to Account at the Tricycle Theatre was another because I thought it was bad.
What made me angry about Called to Account was the fact that it got so many reviews in the newspapers, when the World Tribunal on Iraq, which basically did the same thing only in much more detail and for 'real', got completely ignored (I wrote about this in January). Why is it that one can do something in the art world and it has no impact whatsoever really, when doing the same thing outside of it, is considered completely threatening? Now it is coming back to me, yes, I was reminded of Mark Wallinger's State Britain, in relation to this thought.
I should say a few words about State Britain, because there are some obvious similarities between Wallinger's work and some of my own, notably Protest Objects and Weapons of Mass Construction, which also focused on Brian Haw's protest in Westminster. But this is not what came to mind when I saw the play. Still for the record, I will say, that when I first heard of Wallinger's work I did feel a little pang of panic. But ideas are out there, we all have the same ideas, we all live in the world, and occasionally, surprisingly rarely really, we form very similar responses, that's all. It's just that the art world is still so hung up on 'originality', though it pretends to have moved on... In any case, Wallinger's work is better than mine, and really they are quite different. I think his is better, because it is specific, its all about place and time in a more precise way, which gives it a conceptual neatness, which is pleasing. My protest works are quite a few years back now too, though most recently I did make a placard for Brian Haw and took this photo.
The Town Square Test, 2005
Here is a link to the same placard with Brian Haw's additions.
So the similarities between our works doesn't bother me. What does is that it fails to effect anything. I am always struggling with this question, what is the role, what does this work achieve, is it really all about creating a small change in the individual viewer? Is that enough? The problem for me is that art, whatever it does, retains a sense of respectability that I think renders it impotent in some way. This has to do with class and audience and market forces. Martha Rosler writes about this very well. We artists are allowed to speak and to be heard, but we are not really sitting at the same table. This is the big question for me at the moment, if politically it isn't problematic for us to be sustaining this system?
My strategy at the moment is to become entirely independent of the market and the state funded system too (one and the same thing, I think) - which effectively means working outside of the 'art world', or eventually creating an outside within it. I have been thinking about how good it would be if there was something like an ethical art market - which artists and galleries could sign up to and where only ethical consumers were allowed to shop for art, like the cooperative bank...
30 March 2007
TV drama by Irvine Welsh and Dean Cavanagh
Oh and JACKIE KAY and JUDITH HALBERSTAM
I haven't been getting out much lately. Have spent my time money - working... but it hasn't been a bad thing. I'm not complaining. The work I've been doing is easy, and freeing up my mind to think of other things. I have been reading like never before. I have fallen in love with Jackie Kay. First I read Trumpet, which has been sitting on our shelf for years. (Jo's copy, apparently she told me to read it long ago). I did what they all say they do on the backs of covers, read it it nearly one sitting. Then I read her first book of short stories Why Don't You Stop Talking. I am going to give that book to so many people. Now I have The Adoption Papers lying on the coffee table. Her first book of poetry. Apparently there was a radio production of it, which I might try and find. It's written in three voices. This is what I love about her writing - the voices. Anyway, it's opened things up for me - maybe a different way of looking at the world, finding material, starting points. Maybe I am detecting a change, a desire for a new form for myself, and it may be writing.
But I started to write this because of Irvine Welsh....
I hadn't thought of him for a while. I remember Trainspotting coming out in Edinburgh and the buzz and the revelation. Living in that city, knowing and not knowing the place. Wedding Belles did that again. Sitting in my London living room, watching this fucking brilliant programme and so wanting to be in Scotland again. I'm not going to try to review it here (really this place is just somewhere for me to keep hold of a few things which make me tick). It's out on DVD already... hire it! It's Sex And The City with a twist of Leith!
The last time I thought of Trainspotting was when I went to a talk by Judith Halberstam called 'Notes on Failure'. It was a brilliant talk around how failure could be key, in relation to resistance to capitalism and heteronormativity and so on... anyway she read out this passage from Trainspotting to support her call for 'punk negativity', a way of saying no to the dominant notion of success: It's Renton talking:
Society invents a spurious convoluted logic tae absorb and change people whae's behaviour is outside its mainstream. Suppose that ah ken aw the pros and cons, know that ah'm gaunnae huv a short life, am ay sound mind etcetera etcetera, but still want tae use smack? They won't let ye dae it. They won't let ye dae it, because it's seen as a sign ay thir ain failure. the fact that ye jist simply choose tae reject whit they huv tae offer. Choose us. Choose life. Choose mortgage payments; choose washing machines; choose cars; choose sitting on the couch watching mind-numbing and spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fuckin junk food intae yir mooth. Choose rotting away, pishing and shiteing yersel in a home, a total embarrassment tae the selfish, fucked-up brats ye've porduced. Choose life. Well, ah choose no tae choose life. If the cunts cannae handle that, it's thair fuckin problem. As Harry Lauder sais, ah just intend tae keep right on to the end of the road...
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh, 1993. p187-88
17 January 2007
JIMMIE DURHAM Building a Nation
Matts Gallery, December 2006
Quotes were the bare bones of this show. You walked in the door and right there was a sign to read, like a poster hung at the entrance to a bar. I can’t remember exactly what it said now, some tract about the degenerate and primitive Indians and the civilised and superior White Man. It set the scene. This was the first of many quotes on the subject, dotted around the installation. The atmosphere was accusing. The texts were handwritten or typed or collaged from newspaper lettering, and the viewer was led from quote to quote: over a laminate floored platform, through a doorway, under some plastic piping, behind a glass studded wall. Everything was put together badly but lovingly, the opposite of slick contemporary art, here was a man-made make-do approach, where nothing is finished. Things look fixed, like they were made from broken pieces. The foundation of American democracy lies in the destruction of the Indian population. The most powerful* nation in the world is made from crap. Laminate flooring crudely joined together, bits of old wood and furniture to make walls, perspex sheets to separate off the inside from the outside. This improvised structure was the frame for the horrendous quotes, which were hung like trophy pictures in the house of a landed gent. The arrogance in the texts was shocking and revealing. Our world, our ideas, our beliefs are rooted in these words, these ideas and beliefs. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain, and there were others. This is the American nightmare, other face of the American dream. If this is America, then shoulder to shoulder, this is also us. Several little and big mirrors in the show made us look at ourselves, a part of the picture. We are implicated here, our way of life, our culture, and our art.
*Or 'most peaceful' as George W Bush recently said
8 Nov 2006
PATTI SMITH at ICA and CBGBs
Patti Smith performed at the ica last night, reading from her new poetry collection, as well as works from the seventies and some songs. She is so good. It was the perfect mix of scatty, funny, lovely person in between amazingly mesmerising perfect performances. I don't want to write a review here because for me she cannot do anything wrong, so I'd be the wrong person for that. I would say Patti Smith is the artist I adore most in the world, in an idolising kind of way. I'm a fan. And the thing is that I think you can feel the energy of the audience at her gigs, because so many people feel like that - so you get this experience. Maybe Elvis was like that. It's about presence. She commands the stage and everything else dissolves, she gets complete attention.
I just found the coolest album online - haven't worked out how to download it yet - but you can listen to it online. 'The Last Show' is the final CBGB gig, which she played on the 16th of October. She spoke about the closing of CBGB's last night and how symptomatic it is of the commercialisation of NY, and how artists have to leave the city now. It reminded me of London of course, though I suppose an alternative you see here (and NY) is embracing the market. Maybe the times are over for Pattis. She also pointed out that there's worse than the closing of CBGBs, like war and AIDS and hunger. Things were so bad she said that she was going to get herself a herd of sheep, retire to an Island off Ireland and read Proust. Listen to this it is so good: http://www.bigozine2.com/archive/ARrarities06/ARpscbgb.html
7 Nov 2006
MICHAEL HOROWITZ and MOAZZEM BEGG
Last night I went to a small event in the Everyman Cinema in Hamstead Village which was really good. The poet Michael Horowitz and ex-Guantanamo hostage Moazzem Begg took turns to read and speak. Michael is working on an epic 'New Wasteland' poem, which begins with the fateful day in May when Tony Blair was elected and people believed things could only get better, and he read excerpts of this and some other poems. Such brilliant work. He is one of these people who exudes encouragement and hope because he remains utterly good-humoured whilst speaking about the bleakest things. Moazzem shares this trait with him, which is all the more impressive considering the hell he has been to. He read some poems he wrote whilst in solitary confinement, and spoke about Guantanamo and the other 'ghost prisons', which are less known and much worse. He said an estimated 14 000 people have 'been disappeared' to these places since 2001, many of whom will never reappear - 14 000 people kidnapped by the free world. Moazzem told a little anecdote about daily life in Guantanamo, which strikes such a powerful image (I wish I was the kind of artist who could make this into a work!): every evening when the sun sets the 'detainees' respond to the prayer call and turn to the sun to pray, and at exactly the same time the American national anthem is blasted through the megaphones at exactly the same time and the soldiers turn to the flag and raise their arms to their heads in salute, and some - the especially patriotic - say "Honour bound to defend freedom" (This is also 'Operation Enduring Freedom's' motto by the way, which is displayed on a banner at the entrance gate to Camp Delta). Which cruel person thought up this warped piece of theatre, I wonder?In the meantime a war crimes suit has been filed against Donald Rumsfeld in Germany, which I will be watching with interest. Yesterday's Democracy Now broadcast covers this story excellently, with an interview with former Abu Ghraib head Col. Janis Karpinski. Bush and Blair of course still remain, despite the charges brought against them by the world tribunal in 2005, which was itself 'disappeared' by the media.
LINKS:Democracy now: http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/11/14/1517249
Moazzem Begg's web site: www.cageprisoners.com
Michael Horowitz reading from his 'NEW WASTELAND' - http://www.diversity-radio.net/archives/michael_horowitz_new_wasteland.mp3
Article: THE MYSTERIOUS CASE OF THE VANISHING WORLD TRIBUNAL ON IRAQ - http://www.medialens.org/alerts/05/050706_the_mysterious_case.php