Two Meetings and a Funeral

Refugees, Documenta

Submitted by admin on Fri, 08/18/2017 - 21:02
a mural at the Hamar Weyne Police Station in Mogadishu

 

Dear Friends,

Certainly those in the United States are seized by the confrontation provoked by the Nazis and other assorted toxicities in Charlottesville, Virginia. I recall walking past what is now Emancipation Park when last in that town a few months ago. It always seems awkward to be faced directly with the commemoration of the dark side of history.

Today I drove by the Victoria Memorial in Calcutta. At the heart of the grounds is a bronze statue of Victoria wearing the Star of India robes. This was produced in 1901. That year, the radical British writer William Digby looked back at the

Dubai, Corbyn and the Third World Project

Submitted by admin on Thu, 06/15/2017 - 05:46
Painting by Abdalla al-Omari

 

Dear Friends,

The picture above is from a painting by Abdalla al-Omari that is showing in Dubai's Ayyam Gallery. Al-Omari's series portrays world leaders as refugees. These are strong visuals of our times. What is not there in the series are images of the Gulf Arab leaders and their silences. It would be impossible to portray Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, emir of Dubai and Vice President of the UAE, as a refugee. Al-Omari would go to prison for that.

During Ramadan, Dubai bustles. Even the art galleries have special hours. The mood of war and embargoes that has unraveled Syria and