Jan 26, 2010

Maya Lin - Unchopping a Tree from What is Missing? Foundation on Vimeo.

A beautiful video by Maya Lin, the designer of the Vietnam war memorial in DC. It uses this what if it happened here trope that is common in appeals for solidarity. If the bombing were in San Francisco instead of Baghdad, these are the blocks that would have been bombed sort of thing. I suppose this is an appeal for empathy as a way to build solidarity, but instead of really asking us to walk in their shoes, imagining going there, it's an attempt to see how their shoes don't fit us at all, but instead seem unthinkable here.

The bummer about this video is that it the small print at the bottom of the vimeo page suggests that carbon offsets are an answer and that you should contribute to conservation international, one of my least favorite BINGOs (big international NGOs), given their history of not working well with native folks in Guatemala and other places. Ah well. Maybe that says something about how far this sort of empathy takes you.

Jan 23, 2010

the price of silence

a great video. check out who sings the line "my heart goes out to little Mohammed, who just lost both of his parents in a bomb blast in Baghdad."

Jan 17, 2010

hip-hop solidarity

This fantastic video by Rebel Diaz tells about HIJOS in Guatemala's fantastic success at keeping memory and dignity alive. For two years now they've shut down the armed forces day parade and instead held marches in memory of the 50,000 killed in the war (largely by the army). For much more on the story of that, with great photos, see this post at mimundo. Rebel Diaz was at the last vigil to close the SOA. They're amazing, check them out.

Jan 9, 2010

the voices of those who aren't supposed to be able speak, to be heard.

A video about Amnesty's misison. I wonder if most of the folks depicted in this video would really be likely Amnesty activists. My sense is that most Amnesty activism has traditionally gone from North to South, though the US office of AI is now focusing on campaigns inside the US. I was bummed that this meant they were no longer working on Colombia, since the situation there is so hideously impacted by US military aid, but I do get the impulse.

Jan 2, 2010

seeing unity before (but while) seeing difference

My fabulous yoga teacher, Christine, spoke in class recently about the importance of seeing unity before (but while) seeing difference.

I was reminded of that message when I saw this short video, which has very cool effects, but much less cool sponsorship announced at the end - it was paid for by Coke! Was THIS why the official Copenhagen meetings were so hopeless? One reason of many, but I do find it depressing that major corporations are trying to tap into and make money off of feelings of solidarity.
I find much more hope in the connection weaving and movement building that happened at the people's climate summit, Klimaforum, held nearby.