When Everything You Know Is Not True

Miko Peled Debunking Jewish Myths

“If Anybody here, came hoping to hear a balanced presentation, then they are going to be sorely disappointed. I say this, because a lot of the things that you are about to hear to night are difficult to hear.”
?Miko Peled is a peace activist who dares to say in public what others still choose to deny. He has credibility, so when he debunks myths that Jews around the world hold with blind loyalty, people listen. Miko was born in Jerusalem in 1961 into a well known Zionist family. His grandfather, Dr. Avraham Katsnelson was a Zionist leader and signer on the Israeli Declaration of Independence. His father, Matti Peled was a young officer in the war of 1948 and a general in the war of 1967 when Israel conquered the West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights and the Sinai.
Miko Peled, author of The General?s Son, whose father was the renowned Israeli general Matti Peled, speaking in Seattle, October 1, 2012.
Video Posted October 13, 2012

Related piece on use of images by Israeli government for disinformation in Satish Sharma’s blog Rotigraphy
extract:?The art of the past no longer exists as it once did. It’s authority is lost. In its place there is a language of images. What matters now is who uses that language for what purpose.” ~ John Berger

The image supplies little in itself. What counts is its use and the power to fix a particular interpretation of the events, objects or people depicted. Some people, and especially some institutions, have much more clout in this process than others do.” ~ Steve Edwards

1001 Inventions

The Enduring Legacy of Muslim Civilisation

The recent attacks on Buddhist monasteries in Ramu and the earlier torching of Hindu temples in Hathazari leave us devastated. The rage worldwide surrounding the production of the film “Innocence of Muslims” and the indisputable fact that Islamophobia is on the rise is no less a matter of concern. Salma had insisted that I peep into the exhibition ‘1001 Inventions’ while in Washington D.C. for the “All Roads” board meeting at the National Geographic Society. It was sobering to look at the role Islam has played in what was otherwise known as the ‘Dark Ages’. Since youtube is still blocked by our far-from-able gatekeepers, I’ve uploaded the video on vimeo. If only a fraction of our investment in technology, and in particular on war machines, was spent in teaching our children to become better human beings…

“1001 Inventions” The Enduring Legacy of Muslim Civilisation from Shahidul Alam on Vimeo.
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Hitler Begs

delanceyplace | www.delanceyplace.com

At the age of twenty, in Vienna, with both parents dead and his meager inheritance dwindling, Adolf Hitler resorts to begging for money:
“By late fall he had sold most of his clothes, including his black winter overcoat, and so the snow and cold drove him to further humiliation. Huddled in a light jacket late one afternoon just before Christmas, he trudged all the way to Meidling in the outskirts of town. It took two and a half hours to reach his destination, the Asyl fur Obdachlose, a shelter for the destitute, and by the time he arrived be was exhausted, his feet sore. Run by a philanthropic society whose principal supporter was the Epstein family, it was originally constructed in 1870 and had been extensively rebuilt and reopened the year before. …
“On that cold December evening Hitler lined up with the other shivering, dejected ones outside the main gate of the Asyl. At last the door opened and the mob of homeless quietly filed in to be segregated by sex, with children accompanying mothers. Hitler got a card entitling him to a week’s lodging, and an assignment to one of the large dormitories. To a young man who cherished privacy it must have been a harrowing experience. First he had to endure the humiliation of showering in public and having his bug-ridden clothes disinfected; then his group was trooped like prison inmates to the main dining hall for soup and bread. Continue reading “Hitler Begs”

Gallant medieval knights

A sobering account for those in search of knighthood

In today’s excerpt – the knights of the Middle Ages were anything but gallant, often bastard sons of minor nobility, unable to inherit, and joined to roving bands of thugs. And jousting tournaments were in no small part a way of keeping them out of trouble:
“It was … at the height of the fairs of Champagne and the Italian mer?chant empires, between 1160 and 1172, that the term ‘adventure’ be?gan to take on its contemporary meaning. The man most responsible for it was the French poet Chretien de Troyes, author of the famous Arthurian romances — most famous, perhaps, for being the first to tell the story of Sir Percival and the Holy Grail. The romances were a new sort of literature featuring a new sort of hero, the ‘knight-errant,’ a warrior who roamed the world in search of, precisely, ‘adventure’ — in the contemporary sense of the word: perilous challenges, love, trea?sure, and renown. Stories of knightly adventure quickly became enor?mously popular, Chretein was followed by innumerable imitators, and the central characters in the stories — Arthur and Guinevere, Lance?lot, Gawain, Percival, and the rest — became known to everyone, as they are still. This courtly ideal of the gallant knight, the quest, the joust, romance and adventure, remains central to our image of the Middle Ages. Continue reading “Gallant medieval knights”

100-yr-old photos of British India found in shoebox

Old Photos – great find about life in India over 100 years ago….

The most interesting discoveries are indeed made in the most unlikely of places: a?treasure-trove?of photographs, documenting life in?Indiaover 100 years ago during the?British Raj, has recently been found in a shoebox in Edinburgh.A total of 178 negatives were found in a shoebox for a pair of grey, size 9,?Peter Lord?slip-on shoes by the?Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland(RCAHMS). The stunning negatives were stored in 5? by 8? plate boxes and had been wrapped in copies of?The Statesman?newspaper of 1914.Nothing is yet known about the photographer of these historic images, although efforts are on to find out his or her identity.Among the images are some that depict the celebrations for the visit of?King George V?and Queen Mary to?Calcutta?in 1912 with the city?s buildings all lit up. Others show pilgrims gathered for a religious festival; merchants selling their wares outside the?Jagannath temple?in?Orissa; labourers pulling carts loaded with crates at (probably) the?Howrah station, while another shows a woman standing outside a house, most likely, in Darjeeling.Take a look at these amazing photographs from a bygone era and marvel at what life was like for the common Indian during the British rule.
Exquisite hundred-year old photos of British Raj discovered in a shoe box Continue reading “100-yr-old photos of British India found in shoebox”

Archiving 1971

Photo: Don Mccullin


By Sharmin Ahmed

Star Weekend

Winston Churchill said, ?History is written by the victors.? And when history is one-sided, it becomes a propaganda instrument. Archiving is a form of respecting not only history but the truth, and it is with the motive of promoting the truth that documentation of history must be done. ?Archiving 1971?, a programme by Drik to collect oral, textual and visual resources to establish a one stop repository of the historical 1971 War of Liberation for Bangladesh began on that promise

The aim is to bring together a team of researchers, social scientists, historians, archivists and other professionals to assemble definitive archives of this important chapter in the country’s history. The 10-year plan includes not only collating materials from across the world but also generate the economic resources necessary to build permanent physical archives. It will help academics, researchers and others to make rigorous analysis and draw inspiration from the repository.

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Afsan Chowdhury in conversation with Sophia Balagamwala

Oak Fellow Afsan Chowdhury Afsan Chowdhury was born in 1954. He has had a parallel career in development work and the media. He has been active in multi-disciplinary research, media relations, journalism, and program development for two decades, and is one of the editors of an authoritative work on Bangladesh’s War of Independence. He held a high position in UNICEF, but left to become a freelancer and social activist. He was also the BBC’s correspondent in Bangladesh but left to concentrate on development-related work. In 1994, he established, HASAB, a funding nonprofit for organizations working in the area of HIV, STDs, and AIDS.He was Contributing Producer for a number of BBC World Service series, and is the author of four novels. Afsan has compiled an extensive set of audio interviews of ordinary Bangladeshis as well as high profile people in Bangladesh and India on their experiences of 1971.
Sophia Balagamwala is the Director of Interactive Projects at the Citizens Archive of Pakistan, a non profit organization dedicated to Cultural and Historic Preservation. She is responsible for conceptualizing and curating exhibitions  that exhibit oral histories, video, photography, and other archival material with the aim to to engage and educate the community and foster an awareness of Pakistan’s true history. She recently curated State of Being so Divided, an exhibition commemorating the transformation of the subcontinent, and fortieth anniversary of the creation of the state of Bangladesh.
The Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP) is a non profit organization dedicated to Cultural and Historic Preservation.
CAP has focused its attention on the tradition of oral story-telling in Pakistan, emphasizing the importance of such narratives in a dialogue on national identity. Our organization has three main goals: to preserve and provide access to the archive, to build and support educational programs, and to develop educational products based on the testimonies collected.
Afsan and Sophia will participate in a short discussion during the launch of the 1971 archives at the National Press Club on the 12th February 2012. The programme can be seen online at drik.tv from 11:00 am Bangladesh Standard Time (GMT +6)
Related Articles:
 Songs of a Wounded Image
Archiving 1971

Songs of a Wounded Image

(Editor’s introduction to “Birth Pangs of a Nation” produced to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the birth of Bangladesh and the 60 anniversary of the establishment of UNHCR.)
The Bangladeshi War of Liberation, like all other wars, has a contested history. The number killed, the number raped, the number displaced, are all figures that change depending upon who tells the story.

Photo ??Raghu Rai

But in our attempt to be on the ?right side? of history, we often forget those who ended up on the wrong side. Those who have gone, those who were permanently scarred, mentally, physically, socially, don?t really care about our statistics. The eyes that stare into empty space, knowing not what they are searching, the frail legs, numbed by fatigue, drained by exhaustion, yet willed on by desperation, the wrinkled hands, seeking a familiar touch, a momentary shelter, longing for rest, do not care about the realpolitik of posturing superpowers.
Photo ??Don McCullin

Is a 40th anniversary more than a convenient round number in a never-ending cycle of the displacement of the weak? Is a 60th anniversary more than a celebration of a milestone amongst many, where brave men and women have stood by those in need, but watched in silence as the perpetrators of injustice continued in their violent ways, leaving them to deal with the fallout?
Photo ??Begart Institute

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Archiving 1971

Date & Time: 12 February, 2012 from 11am to 1pm
Venue: Jatiya Press Club, Dhaka (Conference Room)
The programme will also be online live at www.drik.tv
History, at least in its initial form is generally written by the victor. But who is the victor in a war? How does one value a memory? What purpose does an artifact serve? Each archive is unique; its character shaped on those who set it up, and those who use it. From a photographer?s perspective, the war of 1971 was unique in other ways too. The events leading up to it were documented almost entirely by local photographers. They were themselves caught up in the struggles they were recording. It was not a story that international media neither knew nor was interested in. As such, the immediate aftermath of the crackdown on the 25th March was hardly recorded. For local photographers it was much too dangerous to be out there with a camera. Many of the foreign journalists were locked up in Hotel Intercontinental in Dhaka. It was only the few who managed to sneak out, or film through hotel windows that had tangible records of that fateful night. Others, who recorded those moments, were amateurs who took phenomenal risks in preserving the only visual records of the atrocities. Missing are the subtle nuanced observations. Ordinary people, trying to survive. The euphoria and hope of an expectant nation being replaced overnight by the terror of living under occupation, was a transformation that went unrecorded.
Continue reading “Archiving 1971”