Good morning, gentle readers! This week we’re exploring refugees, hip hop, the aftermath of the Women’s March, and much more. Reading anything great at the moment? Drop a link in comments – we’d love to see what’s moving you.
‘Why Black Women Are No Longer Asking for a Seat at the Table in Philadelphia‘ (LaTasha D. Mayes for Rewire News)
As we discussed last week, the much heralded Women’s March experienced a number of failings of intersectionality. Don’t let those critiques be erased by the huge turnout and seeming show of unity — some people still felt left out, and had good reasons for doing so. And in the midst of the gladhanding about nonviolence and no arrests, many seem reluctant to discuss the racialised nature of a march where police celebrated alongside white-dominated crowds.
This country’s original suffragists traded the rights of Black women to secure their own access to the vote and white privilege. Betty Friedan’s feminist tome The Feminine Mystique famously outlined a version of gender oppression that really reflected the plight of affluent white women. Most recently, the national Women’s March on Washington has been marred by criticisms that it has not been inclusive of women of color, resulting in some leadership changes and the recent announcement of progressive, racially conscious policy platforms. Unfortunately, the Women’s March on Philadelphia has yet to respond publicly to such critiques.
What’s it like to be a journalist in an era of press suppression? Find out, from a journalist who worked in Singapore. This is a message of truth-telling and resistance, and a warning to those who are wondering what their future looks like.
What’s it like being a journalist in a country that’s 154th in the World Press Freedom Index— worse than Russia, which is ranked 150th? Well, it’s a job. There’s a lot of resignation to your fate. There’s a lot of resignation, period, as people burn out like comets meeting atmosphere and gravity and fall into the ocean of Not Being A Journalist Anymore. There are a bunch of horror stories floating around: the famous blogger who used to be one of our columnists until one particular piece struck the wrong toe; the desker and editor who got exiled to the tundras of advertorial copywriting because they ran a fussless, ordinary Reuters story involving members of that particular family that was apparently verboten…
‘Home Office Eritrea guidance softened to reduce asylum seeker numbers‘ (Diane Taylor for The Guardian)
Like many nations with a surge in right-wing politics, the UK is escalating efforts to exclude refugees seeking asylum. New data show the government falsifying information about the political situation in Eritrea to justify refusing entrance to refugees desperate to escape despotic conditions at home.
Home Office documents obtained by the Public Law Project detail efforts by British officials to seek more favourable descriptions of human rights conditions in Eritrea, an east African country that indefinitely detains and tortures some of its citizens as well as carrying out extrajudicial executions and operating a shoot-to-kill policy on those caught trying to flee the country.
‘Waiting Out the War‘ (Yuliana Romanyshyn and Anastasia Vlasova for Der Spiegel)
Sometimes a refugee crisis goes unseen and unheard because it’s largely internal. What’s happening in Ukraine, however, should be of global concern. This feature explores the lives of refugees in their own words and creates a vivid picture of their conditions.
Some of the displaced applied for asylum in the European Union, fled abroad or moved to Russia. But a huge number of them sought shelter elsewhere in Ukraine, making the country’s domestic refugee crisis one of the largest seen in Europe since the Yugoslav wars from 1991 to 2001. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, the number of internally displaced people in Ukraine places the country in the top 10 worldwide.
‘Hands speak: Turkish rappers fuse hip hop and sign language‘ (Paul Osterlund for Middle East Eye)
Art is resistance, and these Turkish rappers are making art more accessible with a dynamic, layered approach to hip hop. Turkey has a large hard of hearing and d/Deaf population, and this profile explores the team changing the way they relate to music.
Ergin and Dilbaz are taking things up a notch. Aiming to mould a new genre around the concept of sign-language hip hop, the two men, alongside a team of collaborators, have formed the group Eller Konuşur, which means “hands speak” in Turkish. They are putting together a performative hip hop configuration that hearing-impaired people can enjoy.
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Photo: Sebastien Wiertz/Creative Commons