Archive | From the news

Agbogbloshie: the world’s largest e-waste dump – in pictures | Environment | theguardian.com

 

Adam Nasara, 25, uses Styropor, an insulating material from refrigerators, to light a fire

Adam Nasara, 25, uses Styropor, an insulating material from refrigerators, to light a fire

Agbogbloshie: the world’s largest e-waste dump – in pictures | Environment | theguardian.com.

 

Discarders of electronic goods expect them to be recycled properly. But almost all such devices contain toxic chemicals which, even if they are recyclable, make it expensive to do so. As a result, illegal dumping has become a lucrative business.

Photographer Kevin McElvaney documents Agbogbloshie, a former wetland in Accra, Ghana, which is home to the world’s largest e-waste dumping site. Boys and young men smash devices to get to the metals, especially copper. Injuries, such as burns, untreated wounds, eye damage, lung and back problems, go hand in hand with chronic nausea, anorexia, debilitating headaches and respiratory problems.

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Stuart Hall [1932-2014]

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Recent obituaries for the late doyen of cultural studies, who also greatly influenced material culture studies, Professor Stuart Hall, have appeared in the Jamaica Observer and the Guardian.

A founding member of the New Left Review, Professor Hall is probably best known in the UK as an inaugural member of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at Birmingham University when, in 1964, he accepted the invitation of its Director Professor Richard Hoggart to join as the Centre’s first research fellow. Hall himself became Director of CCCS a few years later in 1968.

Born in Kingston Jamaica, Hall fled for the UK in 1951 to take up a Rhodes scholars fellowship at Merton College, University of Oxford. He famously abandoned his thesis on Henry James to become an activist in London and during a CND march in 1964, met what would become his life long partner, historian Catherine Barrett.…

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A New Government Breaks With The Past in The Papua New Guinea Parliament’s “Haus Tambaran

Ryan Schram, University of Sydney

The 2013 session of the Parliament of Papua New Guinea (PNG) ended with drama from an unexpected place. After months of stories from PNG of mobs and armed gangs torturing women and men they accused of sorcery, and a campaign of symbolic mourning by women across the country against violence, most of December was given over to a media scandal about a decision by the Speaker of Parliament, Theo Zurenuoc, to remove carvings and statues he considered demonic from the parliament building.

The lintel and facade of the National Parliament Building, October 2013 (Credit: So Much World, So Little Time http://somuchworldsolittletime.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/arts-of-png-parliament-house/)

The lintel and facade of the National Parliament Building, October 2013 (Credit: So Much World, So Little Time somuchworldsolittletime.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/arts-of-png-parliament-house/)

On December 6, a normally quiet time in PNG before Christmas, the Papua New Guinea Post-Courier reported that the Speaker of Parliament, Theo Zurenuoc (Finschhafen, Morobe Provnice) planned to remove a lintel of 19 ornately carved faces from iconic facade of the national Parliament House.…

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Nike’s Not-so-Pro Tattoo…

… and the continuing legacy of Native appropriations in American fashion.

By Emily McGoldrick (Independent Scholar, New York City) 

Image 1: Nike’s “Pro Tattoo” collection of women’s exercise apparel, before its discontinuation.

Image 1: Nike’s “Pro Tattoo” collection of women’s exercise apparel, before its discontinuation.

 

When Nike unveiled their Pro Tattoo line of women’s workout gear this summer, a wave of protest followed. The small collection included a sports bra, exercise tights, and a bodysuit decorated with the intricate black line patterns of traditional Samoan pe’a tattoos [Image 1]. Nike launched the garments at the end of July, and quietly pulled them from shelves and online retailers three weeks later. The company issued an apology that stated, “The Nike Tattoo Tech collection was inspired by tattoo graphics. We apologize to anyone who views this design as insensitive to any specific culture.…

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Weaving Communities

Luciana Martins, Director, Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies,Birkbeck College, London

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The completion in September of a four-year AHRC-funded research project into Andean textiles, Weaving Communities, creates a unique and innovative resource for archaeologists, anthropologists, museum curators, contemporary weavers and the fashion industry. Until now, researchers have had to rely on textile samples in museums to develop their studies, requiring expensive travel to museums spread across the world. This research involves very detailed analysis of weaving techniques and structures which are often difficult to visualise due to their complexity and fragility. Drawing on innovative methodologies, the multidisciplinary and international project based at Birkbeck, University of London, combined work in museum collections and fieldwork, digital documentation and information visualization, and an ontological modelling of the data.…

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Indigenous sign language on the web

Via Fred Myers, NYU

Linguists and indigenous communities in the Northern Territory have launched an online dictionary for indigenous sign languages.

The Site, iltyemiltyem.com/sign/, contains several hundred video clips of signs for public view.

You can listen to a radio program about the initiative here: Indigenous sign language on the web – Bush Telegraph – ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

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Is it time for a new wheelchair access icon?

At the BBC an article discussing the growing movement to re-evaluate the significance of the wheelchair access icon. Critics and activists are proposing a symbol that is more dynamic, than the passive sitting person in the old icon. The Accessible Icon Project:

provides supplies and services to transform the old International Symbol of Access into an active, engaged image. We think visual representation matters. People with disabilities have a long history of being spoken for, of being rendered passive in decisions about their lives. The old icon, while a milestone in ADA history, displays that passivity: its arms and legs are drawn like mechanical parts, its posture is unnaturally erect, and its entire look is one that make the chair, not the person, important and visible. 

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The Interference Archive

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The Interference Archive is an activist archive of political ephemera from radical social movements in the USA and around the world. Activist not only because of the subject matter of its collections but also in the way it is organized as a collection. Based in Gowanus, Brooklyn, and running on a budget of less than $25,000 a year, the archive is open to the public who are encouraged to touch, rummage, duplicate, appropriate and generally engage away from the white-glove model of museums and special collections. Based on the personal collections of Josh MacPhee and Dara Greenwald, the archive now describes itself as an open-access, open-stack archive:

 As an archive from below, we are a collectively run space that stresses the use of our collection over its preservation, offers open stacks and accessibility for all, works in collaboration with like-minded projects, and encourages critical as well as creative engagements with our own histories

Click here for a slideshow of the archive as featured in the NY Times.…

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