• Gash Wondimu

    The resting place of the dead is respected here. Straight lines, manicured grass, clean concrete and untouched graves. Everything has its place. There is an order to things here. People die and are buried after careful planning. Death lays neat, it doesn’t pile up here.

    You know, I hear that they even keep bodies in walls. I can’t imagine that. Bodies should go back into the soil, but what do I know.

  • Beyond Utopia: The History and Future of Human Rights

    As a preeminent critic of human rights discourse, Samuel Moyn is known for raising important concerns over the uses of “human rights” for humanitarian intervention. Nowhere are his criticisms more poignant than in his last two books, The Last Utopia and Human Rights and the Uses of History. Both challenge the popular endeavor of contemporary scholars, such as Lynn Hunt, David Rieff, Samantha Power, and Michael Ignatieff to aggrandize the so-called “history” of human rights.

  • Rwanda 1994: 100 Days

    In April of 2014, artist and sculptor Wangechi Mutu started a photography project on Instagram in memory of the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide.

  • Brenda Fassie, Our Girl in the Mirror

    Bongani Madondo is a South African writer who, for the better part of his life, has been tip-toeing around words in search of the perfect phrase. His family, originally from the Kwa-Zulu Natal province of South Africa, migrated further north where they settled in an area called Hammanskraal on the outskirts of Pretoria. It’s this grounding which, in part, contributed to the writer he became. 

  • A Response to the "Predictable Tragedy"

    On Tuesday, September 1, the rains came. By the next day, much of the city of Srinagar in the Indian-controlled region of Jammu and Kashmir was already under water. The water levels of the major rivers—the Chenab and Jhelum— continued to rise, steadily licking the stone walls and banks that tenuously separate the rivers from people. In one particularly tragic incident, at least thirteen members of a single family were killed after landslides hit a house in Thanamandi, in the region of Jammu.

  • Do Muslim Women Need Saving?

    Frequent reports of honor killings, disfigurement, and sensational abuse have given rise to a consensus in the West, a message propagated by human rights groups and the media: Muslim women need to be rescued. Lila Abu-Lughod, who has been writing about Arab women for thirty years, challenges this conclusion in DO MUSLIM WOMEN NEED SAVING? The book is an indictment of a mindset that has justified all manner of foreign interference, including military invasion, in the name of rescuing women from Islam.

  • Filmmaker Tackles Sudan's Identity Crisis

    Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka has made identity the central topic of his new documentary, Beats of Antonov, which was mostly filmed in the war-zones of the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile State, as well as in the refugee camps hosting citizens from these regions. The 66-minute documentary was selected for its world premier at the Toronto International Film Festival 2014, and it is the first Sudanese film to ever premiere at TiFF. 

  • False Pearls For Real Swine

    Asim Rafiqui on art institutions and their collusion with the politics of imperialism.