┐ History is written by the disobedient └

© Sofia Silva, (sketch detail), from the series The Protester, 2012

I heard of a darkness, descending upon the old archive of words
And the muffled whispers of the elders drowning in the midst of the long rows of obedience
This you must know to be true brother: we are the dead.

The weeping past and his wretched son soon will be victims of their own doing
All else follows
And when all is done and the night is purified of all these thoughts, I will sell you as you sold me
All else follows

It’s by death I am your brother
And it’s by death I do exist
And it’s by death that I owe allegiance to this darkness that undid all my thoughts

Rejoice, brothers and sisters! Rejoice, brothers and sisters, we are the dead…

So I tilted my head back and held on to what I knew to be true: the relief of nothingness
And reason my dear brother will not suffice.
These vast and silent glass eyed armies and their mirror shaped minds seek but virtue.
But I am corrupt. I am corrupt to the core.

It’s by death I am your brother
And it’s by death I do exist
And it’s by death that I owe allegiance to this darkness that undid all my thoughts
Yes, we’re the dead, brothers and sisters, we’re the dead

I heard of a darkness brothers and sisters, falling down on what remained of whom we were.
And it’s with whispers that our lives have become within a measurable distance of an end
What will become of dreams my dear enemy?
When this delightful destruction of words has rendered its means
When all is done and the night is purified of all these thoughts, I will sell you as you sold me

It’s by death I am your brother
And it’s by death I do exist
And it’s by death that I owe allegiance to this darkness that undid all my thoughts
It’s only by death that you own me

I heard of a darkness sliding down the streets
Tearing apart limbs and all their deeds
and reconstructing these new men, not out of hope, but of love and sorrow
All else follows
Because it’s by death that all these confessions have become my truth.

Words written and sang by João Rui, from a Jigsaw

┐ roots & fruits #12 – Gonçalo Figueiredo └

© Gonçalo Figueiredo, Lourenço

© Gonçalo Figueiredo, Rita Tavares (left) and Lara Brandão (right), from the series The Protest, 12/2009

© Gonçalo Figueiredo, Ricardo Baltazar (left) and Gonçalo Figueiredo (right), from the series The Protest, 12/2009

These portraits are part of a series made back in the Winter of 2009 and it depicts a group of students from the Photography Department to which Gonçalo also was part, both as a technitian and as a student. In December, confronted with the lack of conditions and materials the course lacked to offer, they decided to camp at school and endure a silent and peaceful protest until they were heard.

“Let us now consider the time exposure, of which the photo-portrait is a concrete instance. Whether of a live or dead person, the portrait is funerary in nature, a monument. Acting as a reminder of times that have died away, it sets up landmarks of the past. This means it reverses the paradox of the snapshot, series to series. Whereas the snapshot refers to the fluency of time without conveying it, the time exposure petrifies the time of the referent and denotes it as departed. Reciprocally, whereas the former freezes the superficial time of the image, the latter releases it. It liberates an autonomous and recurrent temporality, which is the time of remembrance. While the portrait as Denkmal, monument, points to a state in a life that is gone forever, it also offers itself as the possibility of staging that life again and again in memory.


An asymmetrical reciprocity joins the snapshot to the time exposure: whereas the snapshot stole a life it could not return, the time exposure expresses a life that it never received. The time exposure doesn’t refer to life as process, evolution, diachrony, as does the snapshot. It deals with an imaginary life that is autonomous, discontinuous, and reversible, because this life has no location other than the surface of the photograph. By the same token it doesn’t frame that kind of surface-death characteristic of the snapshot, which is the shock of time splitting into not anymore and not yet. It refers to death as the state of what has been: the fixity and defection of time, its absolute zero.

(…)

Time exposure implies the antithesis of trauma. Far from blocking speech, it welcomes it openly. Only in time exposure (portrait, landscape, still life, etc.) may photography appear with the continuity of nature. The portrait, for example, may look awkward, but not artificial, as would be the case of a snapshot of an athlete caught in the midst of a jump. When continuity and nature are perceived, speech is apt to body forth that perception in the form of a narrative that meshes the imaginary with the symbolic and organizes our mediation with reality.

The word now, used to describe the kind of temporality involved in time exposures, doesn’t refer to actual time, since it is abstracted from its natural link with here: hic et nunc. It is to be understood as a pause in time, charged with a potential actualization, which will eventually be carried out by speech (or memory as interior speech), and is most probably rooted in the time-consuming act of looking.” excerpt from the article Time Exposure and Snapshot: The Photograph as Paradox, by Thierry de Duve, published in October, Vol. 5, Photography (Summer, 1978), pp. 113-125

More of Gonçalo’s work here

┐ The Chicago Conspiracy └

A must see! Full video here

This is a trailer for our upcoming feature length documentary based in Chile and the Mapuche indigenous territory of Wallmapu. The concept for the film was born with the death of a former military dictator, Augusto Pinochet. His regime murdered thousands and tortured tens of thousands after the military coup on September 11, 1973.


The Chicago Conspiracy takes its name from the approximately 25 Chilean economists who attended the University of Chicago and other prestigious universities beginning in the 1960s to study under the neoliberal economists Milton Friedman and Arnold Harberger. After embracing Friedman’s neoliberal ideas, these economists returned to assist Pinochet’s military regime in imposing free market policies. They privatized nearly every aspect of society, and Chile soon became a classic example of free market capitalism under the barrel of a gun.


The Chicago Conspiracy is about today. We began this documentary with the death of a dictator, but we continue with the legacy of a dictatorship.


The Chicago Conspiracy is about the Day of the Youth Combatant. On this day, two young brothers and militants of the MIR, Rafael and Eduardo Vergara, were gunned down by police as they walked through the politically active community Villa Francia. March 29 is not only about the Vergara brothers—it is a day to remember all youth combatants who have died under the dictatorship and current democratic regime.


The Chicago Conspiracy is about the students who fight a dictatorship-era educational law put into place on the last day of military rule. Over 700,000 students went on strike in 2006 to protest the privatized educational system. Police brutally repressed student marches and occupations.


The Chicago Conspiracy is about the neighborhoods lining the outskirts of Santiago. They were originally land occupations, and later became centers of armed resistance against the military dictatorship. A number of them, such as la Victoria and Villa Francia, continue as areas of confrontational discontent to this day.


The Chicago Conspiracy is about the Mapuche conflict. The Mapuche people valiantly resisted Spanish occupation, and continue to resist the Chilean state and the multinational corporations who strip Mapuche territory for forestry plantations, mines, dams and farming plantations. The government has utilized the dictatorship-era anti-terrorism law to jail Mapuche community members in struggle. Two young weichafes (Mapuche warriors), Alex Lemún and Matías Catrileo, were recently killed by Chilean police—one in 2002, the other in 2008.


The Chicago Conspiracy is a response to a global conspiracy of neoliberalism, militarism and authoritarianism.

┐ The noise we can └

Protest in Montreal against the rise of tuition fees in Quebec and the new law 78.
Every evening at 8pm people meet in the street with their pots and pans and make all the noise they can.

The song (INTUITION #1 – Avec pas d’casque / avecpasdcasque.bandcamp.com/album/astronomietranslated) reads something like this:

You will say, you will say that it is instinct that guided you here, the intuition of a feeling that will never return
You will say, you will say all your senses were betting on the same side, for the same cause, moved by a strange force
And this will be your home base and this will be your home base
You will say, you will say that it is instinct that guided you here, a necessary imprudence from time to time
And this will be your home base and this will be your home base

 

 

┐ Blockupy – Frankfurt └

Transnational call to action in Frankfurt, May 16-19 * International solidarity in our common struggle *

We are calling for massive protests in Frankfurt this May against the crisis regime of the European Union. We are activists representing a multitude of movements and struggles from different European countries and elsewhere, who have risen up in the past months and years to protest the assaults on our freedoms, jobs and livelihoods that have become fiercely intensified in the global crisis. We have joined together and shared our struggles and experiences, and we have realized that in a multitude of local forms, we are fighting the same fight. Like never before, our movements are starting to strengthen each other: a truly transnational opposition is beginning to emerge.

Directly following the global action days on 12M and 15M, where we will protest in our own cities and regions, our transnational struggles will join together in Frankfurt, the European hub of global capitalism and the place of origin of the distress and misery that dictatorship of the markets has caused for millions of people.

We are protesting the widespread impoverishment and denial of democratic rights occurring in the Eurozone as part of a global systemic crisis.
In the periphery of the EU we are experiencing the extreme effects of politics pushed for by the governments of Germany and France and enacted by institutions representative of global capitalism: the ECB, IMF, EU, and their imposed technocratic governments. Millions of us have been impoverished and driven to misery by austerity and structural adjustment programs, the denial of labor rights and the slashing and privatization of public services, such as education, healthcare and welfare. We are experiencing the looting of human and natural resources by supposedly democratic institutions!
Yet these processes are only the most evident sign of the precarization of working and living conditions experienced in all of Europe and beyond. Our social uprisings, traversing the internal borders of the EU, are the expression of indignation acting outside every form of political representation. As representative democracy fails, we leave it behind, creating our own democratic practices in everyday struggles against exploitation.
We are experiencing global migration as another clear sign of the refusal of this transnational system of exploitation, its border regimes and violent wars. It is devastating our earth and basic livelihood. The situation is urgent: we are facing a human-made climate disaster!

Yet in Europe and beyond, we are also experiencing the emergence of political movements that are challenging the everyday exploitation of people and the earth, the social fragmentation, precarization and racism that pretend to divide and then weaken us. By creating connections among these movements and making ourselves visible and powerful, we are attempting to practice a real democracy right now. In Frankfurt, we have the opportunity to make these connections real, and to empower local struggles on a transnational level. We will blockade a crucial center of global capitalism, learning from what we watched in Oakland and the Occupy movement in the United States, who in turn learned from the revolutions across North Africa, the Middle East and the Indignados of Southern Europe. Let us bring our movements together in solidarity to continue the fight! Let us not miss this opportunity to set the agenda to reinvent our common future!

On May 17 we will occupy parks and main squares in the city center with our tents to create spaces for discussion and exchange. On May 18 we will advance from different points toward the financial district: our vision is a full blockade of the ECB and all the other important financial institutions in Frankfurt to stop their running business. On May 19 we will show our magnitude in a mass demonstration and make it known that we will not allow our societies to be destroyed by financial institutions

┐ An-My Lê └

© An-My Lê, M-246 Semi Automatic Weapon, Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal, Iraq, from the series Events Ashore, 2007

© An-My Lê, US Marine Expeditionary Unit, Shoalwater Bay, Australia, from the series Events Ashore, 2005-08

“Shot in coastal waters and regions from Iraq to Antarctica, An-My Lê’s latest series of photographs examine intersecting themes of scientific exploration, military power, environmental crises, fantasies of empire and the vast ungovernable oceans that connect nations and continents. In a continuing practice that explores photography’s ability to describe natural forces and geography as backdrops against which human ambitions are weighed and scrutinized, Lê turns toward the seascape as both a historical tradition in visual art and as the site of a wide range of contemporary issues and anxieties.


“Landscape is truth” muses a highly trained ex-soldier in Don Delillo’s “Running Dog” (1978). Lê’s various terrains are rife with physical obstacles and incontrovertible political realities. The photographs offer a complication of truths, both human and epic in scale: a soldier stands watch over oil platforms off the coast of Iraq scanning the North Arabian sea for potential threats. In Antarctica, the only continent never to have hosted a war, a group of recently deposited scientists look on as Oden, a Norwegian icebreaker makes a slow departure and in Australia an exhausted unit of U.S. Marines pauses to witness dusk in an emerald forest. While echoing traditions ranging from 19th century romantic painting to contemporary social landscape photography, Lê makes dynamic speculations on our capacity to occupy spaces as we attempt to control the potentially uncontrollable while pondering the infinite.


Produced between 2005 and 2008, the photographs in “Events Ashore” were made during visits to Australia, Japan, Antarctica, Kuwait, Iraq and California.”

source: Murray Guy gallery

More of Lê’s work here

An-My Lê is featured in the Season 4 episode “Protest” of the Art21 series “Art in the Twenty-First Century”.