Musem in review: books, films and exhibitions

The Oral History of Pandemic by Dr Ali Mourad-Demera Dispatches of camps by Wael Aboul-Hosn, quoted in B, e, t, e Ordinary humans: helpless victims, refugees, and those who make the plight worse. They…

The Oral History of Pandemic by Dr Ali Mourad-Demera

Dispatches of camps by Wael Aboul-Hosn, quoted in B, e, t, e

Ordinary humans: helpless victims, refugees, and those who make the plight worse. They have no political voice, but their suffering still brings them to what Lewis Mumford called “the dark place of inconsequence.” With speeches from Timothy Leary and Charles A. MacGillivray, this collection of reports follows people on their journey from suffering to protest and explains how to change the system of world politics. Through the year 1989, the events of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Rwanda caught the country’s attention and galvanized a previously disempowered, desperate and angry population.

The Materials in Nature by Katrina Eakins

Several groups of materials have taken over – plastics, unbreakable steel, coated paper, toothpaste.

In Silence by V.R. Shiva

The English language can no longer be stable. Malicious words, astronomical words and transgressive political phrases are killing off our language. He plays with words as media coverage of the word ‘health’ shows clear cracks.

Bird Goddess by Paul Wallace

This is the story of a struggle to survive as the avian world is vanishing – rural, migratory and bird-dominated – in an age of massive persecution, sterilization and industrialization. There is no room in this world for the one-legged guardian and only the Bird Goddess can protect her people.

Ravitz: Fresh, Left and ‘Desperate’ by Stuart Lafy

Ravitz provides a specific narrative of contemporary migration of people and places through history. His research yields political and environmental lessons about migration and its limits.

Heirs of Stones by Marcel Garbuis

The Radio exhibition of works by 20 artists in a world of crisis continues to be a high point in Basel. A classic collection of writing about this theme, Works of Hate is a seminal work by Ivan Illich.

New South Wales by V.R. Shiva

On a tough Queensland property an infant is brought to live by two adults to survive two years of coal mining. A vital entry to the worlds of ordinary suffering, extermination and survival.

Breaking Silence, 1990 (Part I) by Irina Abramović

A fable inspired by a day at the Gaza exhibition in Guggenheim Bilbao with a leading Holocaust survivor to tell the pain of expulsion. As in Jerusalem with Alma Whittaker, Abramović’s art is informed by her own broken dreams, exile and exile theology.

The Theatre of the Absurd: Face Value by N. Kamau Bell

Two political performances by Bell in New York and Philadelphia challenge the way racism is presented and defined. How should racism be addressed? These two pieces delve into how the media consistently portrays all marginalized races and cultures and why it’s not always possible to cover such issues truthfully.

Dispatches from the Hidden Billion by Jason Rezaian

If there is a glimmer of hope in Washington, it is that behind all the talk of how China threatens U.S. security, the people are in fact growing dependent on U.S. foreign aid.

Books on Books

Social Notes

The Social Project

Giving: A History of Human Philanthropy in ten words

Want to know how much philanthropy is around?

More social questions: How can donors be heard? How can philanthropists be paid back?

The Wealthy Self-Made Outcasts

What the rich can learn from the powerless

The Elders: A Generation of Elders With a View

This book is a veritable treasure trove of wisdom collected from the most vocal and most active participants in global peace and justice efforts. An excellent guide to understanding how marginal people, including veterans of wars, child refugees, people suffering from poverty, the disabled and the elderly, can make a difference.

About the writer

Ali Mourad-Demera is a Canadian professor, writer and activist. He teaches at York University, The University of Toronto, and was executive director of Witness Canada from 1997 to 2011. His literary work has won several awards, including a UNESCO Outstanding Use of Media Award.

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