Tuesday, February 19, 2013

a young street vendor, in life and death

A 12-year-old sweet potato vendor was senselessly shot to death by an Egyptian soldier on Feb. 3rd. Open Democracy offers an appreciation, and some context regarding the life and death of Omar Salah.

  • Omar’s tragedy highlights, once again, the catastrophic extent to which Egypt’s poor are put up on the frontlines as canon fodder to bear the worst of Egypt’s unforgiving socio-economic terrain and lawlessness.
  • We don’t think twice about why is a 12 year old boy doing this job, can he read and write, what his survival strategies are – as Omar once sadly told his father, “whenever I’m asked if I have a father, I say you died, so it can elicit sympathy and reduce [the chances of] me being robbed.”

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Socialism Failed, Capitalism is Bankrupt. What comes Next?

Austrian artist Oliver Ressler makes provocative works about power relationships in contemporary society. Here's part of one work -- a 19-minute film he made in Bangladesh, a street market in Yerevan, Armenia in 2010.

"Mobilization goes hand-in-hand with projecting a utopia," Ressler says in his bio. Interesting stuff.

(praise be Andrea for cluing me in.)