lundi 30 avril 2012

assignment #6: why do they hate us?

Photo courtesy of Foreign Policy
“We are more than our headscarves and our hymens. Listen to those of us fighting. Amplify the voices of the region and poke the hatred in its eye. There was a time when being an Islamist was the most vulnerable political position in Egypt and Tunisia. Understand that now it very well might be Woman. As it always has been.” Mona Eltahawy in “Why Do They Hate Us?”

After watching a short interview with Mona Eltahawy on CNN International and having a friend recommend her article, I was compelled to head over to the Foreign Policy website myself to read Eltahawy’s article on the Middle East’s War on Women. I highly recommend the article as it provides a viewpoint of the situation Arab women currently face from someone who has lived on both sides of the fence (Eltahawy is Egyptian-American, having spent her younger years in Saudi Arabia.)

There are consistent reports on the injustices against women in UN and NGO papers and publications, and once in a while the Western media chooses to report on these. There are countless other voices of abused, disenfranchised women that go unheard. Generally speaking, the coverage in the USA is more “tsk tsk” than outrage, after all you can’t expect those backwards Muslims to do any better.

assignment #5: #kony2012

I touched briefly on the subject of Kony 2012 on this blog some months ago. Since I’m woefully tired and facing a deadline for another “Representing International Politics” blog post after this one, I’ve decided to elaborate on a topic from last month that’s a bit more controversial than you may realize. Sorry if that’s exactly what you didn’t come here for :-)

Here is a brief outline: Kony is the believed current head of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) who had sought to form a Ugandan theocracy before allegedly being forced out of the country. He is charged by the International Criminal Court with crimes against humanity, recruiting children as soldiers in his army as well as sex slaves. Many of the LRA’s most brutal crimes occurred over a decade ago, but the group’s campaigns displaced thousands if not millions of people and the body count is high.

I was first made aware of this charming psychopath in my International Human Rights course last semester, but Kony’s name did not stick in my mind. I was reminded after viewing the now infamous 30-minute Kony 2012 Youtube video made by Invisible Children co-founder James Russell. The video was amazing and struck a chord in my heart. Of course, now we know Russell is having an emotional and perhaps psychological breakdown, but I don’t think that necessarily discounts his work for this cause.

samedi 28 avril 2012


Photo taken by me at the FW2012/13 Issey Miyake RTW runway presentation

Always a pleasure to attend this show. 

mardi 24 avril 2012

can you trademark a color?

This is a piece I had written for the school magazine, but didn't make it in. I now share it with those interested in the topic. Enjoy, Dari.
"Red is obviously such a stimulating color, and it has so many connotations." --P. J. Harvey
Christian Louboutin sued Yves Saint Laurent over the use of the red sole on their shoes and the mixed connotations that they may create. Other brands and corporations have been able to obtain color trademarks, such as the United Postal Service (UPS) brown and Tiffany’s robin-egg blue. While it’s true that many identify Louboutin by its signature sole, the question remains. Can Louboutin hold exclusive rights to red?

samedi 14 avril 2012

attitude, solitude.

Photo taken by my beloved friend Megan Williams of myself
Sunglasses : Phosphorescence "Erin Wasson" ; Shirt: Hien Le fw2012; Pants: H&M
everything else, I have no idea.

vendredi 13 avril 2012

jeudi 12 avril 2012

assignment #4: twitter revolution.

I would like to start with a quotation from one of the articles I read:
"While rioters took to the underground paths of BlackBerry Messenger to organize, the highly spreadable mediums of Twitter and Facebook have shown to be the perfect platforms for mobilizing cleanup organizers and followers in the early aftermath of the rioting." Erica Swallow, writing for Mashable

I think this is a huge problem with with the way we think of both real and technological revolutions. From the beginning of her article, Swallow differentiates between the evils of BlackBerry Messenger which organized the riots and the goodness of Twitter and Facebook which are helping to rebuild London. Yay! Now, I’m on #teamiPhone, but was once the proud owner of a BlackBerry phone that I had to constantly defend to outsiders. This paragraph just reinforces how writers want to antiquate certain platforms while championing others, a confusion of the tool and the results of using the tool. BBM is old and led to an unsuccessful riot. Twitter is new(er) and is making the world a better place. Stale idea, Swallow. Stale.

The arguments made recently have had to do with Twitter’s involvement in many recent “revolutions” and uprisings, especially in the Middle Eastern and Arabic countries. At the start of these revolutions, many wanted to attribute them to social media, namely Twitter and Facebook. Quickly, many realize this argument was weak sauce.
In his essay “Iran: Downside to the ‘Twitter Revolution’”,  Evgeny Morozov argues that the celebration of Twitter revolutions is misplaced. Using an argument that has stayed with me for quite some time he notes that many “in-touch” bloggers and tweeters were bilingual (Farsi and English), but often existing in the Iranian diaspora, not in Iran. If you are trying to succeed in revolution, why write in a language foreign to many in your country? In this case, it seems that many of these bloggers were citizen journalists, not organizing revolutionaries, but shedding light on them to the Western world.