Monday, August 14, 2006

Grab Bag - From Iran to the "Dark" Continent

Interesting articles in the Toronto Star this week.

Iran's unseen art:

"Tabibzadeh pointedly satirizes the hypocrisy of an outwardly Islamic society wracked by sexual promiscuity and heroin or opium addiction. In one painting, a completely nude figure is covered by a headscarf — mandatory for women in Iran in all public spaces." Here's more art by Golnar Tabibzadeh and other Iranian artists.

Despite AIDS, Africa endures by James Travers:
The great kaleidoscope of lands, languages and peoples sweeping north and east from Cape Town to Cairo is now synonymous with Stephen Lewis's pandemic, the corruption of kleptocrats and the mad, jumped-up generals who fight their wars with stolen children.

It's true that much of that is true. Most of the 49 years since Kwame Nkrumah led Ghana and sub-Saharan Africa to independence were lost to suffering, Big-Man greed and boundless hostility over limited resources.

That's Africa's history, not its present or future. And it's certainly not the continent's character.

Beneath all the horrors roils a remarkable spirit. Despite the death and palpable despair, Africa is bursting with energy, the determination to turn nothing into something and, yes, hope.

Outsiders usually miss it. Overwhelmed, they see slums, not rudimentary industry, huge failures, not small successes, and victims, not the resilient.

"The fact that they survive on a $1 a day makes them the greatest entrepreneurs in the world," says Farouk Jiwa.

The `development of underdevelopment': Excerpt, How Western progress created African misery:
How do we talk about how to develop a meaningful political process in societies that have been fractured by colonialism and violence? What, indeed, does progress mean in societies that were systematically dismantled by the West in the pursuit of progress?

More on Art, and Africa

No comments: