Bhopal

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Below are some videos related to the Union Carbide disaster at Bhopal. Warning: some of the images and footage in both videos are quite graphic, and very disturbing (dead women and children, chemical injuries).  Additionally, you may want to check out the legal campaigns being undertaken by the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (http://bhopal.net/), as well as the Bhopal Medical Appeal (http://www.bhopal.org/). When you google “Bhopal,” interestingly, the first website that comes up (http://www.bhopal.com/) is funded by Union Carbide, and paints a very different picture of accountability.

We should also be aware that the Bhopal event has become the mise-en-scène for a forthcoming Hollywood feature film, Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain, which raises all kinds of questions about the ethics of representation (who, how, etc). You can read about the film here.

 

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Public Execution scene from Hogarth

"The Idle 'Prentice Executed" at Tyburn, from the Industry & Idleness series by William Hogarth

“The Idle ‘Prentice Executed” at Tyburn, from the Industry & Idleness series by William Hogarth

Thomas Kennedy, “In the Company of Angels”

Ai Wei Wei at the Haus der Kunst

My daughter Catherine (age six months at the time) encounters an Ai Wei Wei photomontage of his Documenta 12 project…IMG_0197

Contemporary Literature, Sochi, and Human Rights

Russia-Letter

Hi all —

You may be interested to observe that some 200 renowned authors from around the world (novelists, poets, playwrites) have signed a collective letter of protest against the Sochi Olympics, and Russia’s new censorship laws prohibiting “the propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations.” The letter was released today in the Guardian (U.K.), and you can see the signatories here. Orhan Pamuk, Salman Rushdie, Jonathan Franzen, John Ashbery. and on and on. Later in the semester we will be talking about the establishment of PEN.

Under construction — stay tuned!

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