South African Metalworkers Mourn the Death of South Africa's Radical Trumpeter, Hugh Masekela - Bra Hugh

Submitted by Vijay Prashad on Tue, 01/23/2018 - 12:27
When he was 16 - Masekela


[The picture above was taken by Alf Khumalo, one of South Africa's most important photo journalists, of a 16 year old Masekala after he received a trumpet from Louis Armstrong. Below, Masekala and Miriam Makeba with Soweto Blues with a commentary from Makeba]



23 January 2018

NUMSA mourns the passing on of Bra Hugh Masekela

The leadership of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and all its members and the working class in general, mourn the departure of Bra Hugh Masekela.

Our sincere and deepest condolences to his family, friends and indeed the music

Migrants Without Shoes

Submitted by admin on Thu, 01/18/2018 - 04:02
Looking at the photographs by Shahidul Alam - pictured above - in Dhaka last week


Dear Friends,

Looking at the photographs by Shahidul Alam - pictured above - in Dhaka last week reminded me of the migrants from Ethiopia who returned home from Saudi Arabia without shoes. His pictures were about Bangladeshi migrants in Malaysia, but the stories seemed to mirror those of Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia. These are people who remit more money to their home countries than the Foreign Direct Investment that goes into them, and yet while the FDI merchants are treated as saviors, the migrant workers are treated as criminals. There is no secret to why this is so. It is the

Shithole World

Submitted by admin on Mon, 01/15/2018 - 22:42
'Rohingya refugees who arrived from Myanmar to Shah Porir Dwip the previous night, on a boat headed to Bhanga in Teknaf, Cox's Bazar'  Shahidul Alam


Dear Friends,

Shithole? That is what US President Donald Trump is said to have called certain countries of the three continents of Africa, Asia and Latin America. This is familiar language. Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once called Bangladesh a 'basket case'.

It is well worth remembering that in 1757 Major General Robert Clive of the East India Company described Dhaka as 'as extensive, populous and rich as the city of London'. Before the Select Committee on East India (1840) Sir Charles Trevelyan said, 'The population of the town of Dacca has fallen from 150,000 to 30,000 an

On the Ruins of the Present: Imperialism Today



<Dhaka> Tomorrow, January 11, I'll be giving a lecture - On the Ruins of the Present: Imperialism Today - in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Thanks to Shahidul Alam, the crack photographer, for asking me to give the Golam Kasem Lecture 2018 (Golam Kasem, known as Daddy, was a pioneer photographer of Bangladesh - on whom, see Shahidul's essay: The photo is by Golam Kasem.



6:00 pm Welcome Address 
Shahidul Alam, Managing Director, Drik

6:10 pm 7th Golam Kasem Daddy Lecture 
Vijay Prashad
‘The Ruins of the Present: Imperialism Today’


Welcome to 2018

Submitted by admin on Wed, 01/03/2018 - 22:14
Massive Protests Erupt in Iran


Dear Friends,

Welcome to 2018. It promises to be a year of protest and unrest.

It begins in Iran. These are little understood protests. It says a great deal about the impoverishment of the use of a class analysis in the corporate media that it would like, therefore, to link these protests to the Green Movement of 2009. Those are utterly different - different classes and different horizons. Indeed, the standard bearer of their reformism is now in power in the government and the more radical elements of the Green Movement have been long made marginal.

In Alternet today, I have a brief report

2017: the year of refugees

Submitted by admin on Thu, 12/28/2017 - 22:48
Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado in the Korem Refugee Camp in Korem, Tigray, Ethiopia


Dear Friends,

The picture above could have been taken yesterday. Instead it was taken in 1984 by the great Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado in the Korem Refugee Camp in Korem, Tigray, Ethiopia. It is a picture that has long haunted me. It seems the quintessential image of refugees in the Sahel region of Africa.

2017, like 2016 before it, seems to me to have been the Year of the Refugee. The UN Refugee Agency now says that the total registered displaced people amount to over 65 million. There are others who are not registered and outside the UN system. The number of those registered

Left Wing: Lula and the MST inaugurate a football field in honour of Sócrates Brasileiro

Submitted by Vijay Prashad on Sun, 12/24/2017 - 08:19
Lula and the MST at the ENFF
Lula and the MST at the ENFF


On Saturday, the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra (MST) or the Landless Workers' Movement of Brazil inaugurated a new football field at its Florestan Fernandes National School (ENFF) in Guararema, 80 km from São Paulo. There is no better way to inaugurate a football field than to hold a football match. That is what the MST did. One of the players was former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who governed the country between 2003 and 2010. The field was named after the Brazilian football player and doctor Sócrates.


The field at the ENFF is named after Sócrates
The field at the ENFF is

History's Good and Bad Side - from Jerusalem to Theog

Submitted by admin on Thu, 12/21/2017 - 22:51


Dear Friends,

The girl in the picture is Amal. Ten days or so ago, I signed a letter with a hundred other artists and writers to Donald Trump against his decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The letter carried this picture. Amal saw this picture. She wrote us letter, which I posted on my blog. I recommend it. Amal, like 'Ahd Tamimi (age 17 from Nabi Saleh in Palestine's West Bank) and Fawzi Al-Junaidi (age 14 from Hebron) are the new frontline fighters for justice for the Palestinian people. There will be no end to this resistance. As the UN put it in 1960, the

Palestinian Girl in the Picture Writes to the Artists and Writers Who Wrote to Trump: her spirit is irresistible

Submitted by Vijay Prashad on Sun, 12/17/2017 - 19:17



A week ago or so, I signed a letter in response to Donald Trump's abominable statement on Jerusalem. It was a note that was published in The Guardian and it was signed by about a hundred artists and writers. The text is short,

The Guardian reports (10th December) President Macron’s comment that recent US moves on the status of Jerusalem are a threat to peace. They are much more than that.

In recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Donald Trump seeks to achieve through a declaration what Israel has been trying to do for fifty years through force of arms: to erase Palestinians, as a

Eviction of Residents of Hugo Chávez Camp in Pará, Brazil

Submitted by Vijay Prashad on Fri, 12/15/2017 - 07:17
Residents watch their camp being burned


On Thursday the 14th of December, in the rain and cold, the Brazilian armed forces - the Special Missions Command (CME) - arrived at the Hugo Chávez Camp in Pará, Brazil. This camp was set up by the Movement of Landless Workers (MST). Ten days before Christmas, the CME troops forcibly evicted the 300 residents of the camp.


Brazilian troops evict 300 families from the Hugo Chávez Camp
Brazilian troops evict 300 families from the Hugo Chávez Camp


Brazilian troops evict 300 families from the Hugo Chavez Camp


The families have no-where to go. Their children are unable to finish the school year - their school, within the camp, has been destroyed.