Sunday, February 3, 2013
Protest in Mexico over Statue of Azerbaijani Dictator
He’s the deceased dictator of Azerbaijan. She’s the most beautiful street in Mexico City. Not even $5 million in oil money could keep them together.
After five tumultuous months, a bronze likeness of Heydar Aliyev, the former KGB officer who ruled Azerbaijan with an iron fist from 1993 to 2003, was quietly removed from the Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City earlier this week.
Aliyev’s ousting, which occurred early on Saturday morning behind a phalanx of 300 riot police, was a victory for Mexican protesters who had decried the Azeri leader’s reputation on human rights and freedom of the press. For the Mexico City government, it was an embarrassing conclusion to a controversial deal that put the city’s monumental space up for sale.
But the most enthusiastic reaction may have come from within Azerbaijan, where monuments to the former president are as common an element of the urban landscape as mailboxes and lampposts, and freedom of expression is tightly restricted. Read more
For similar news stories visit  http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Protest in Mexico over Statue of Azerbaijani Dictator

He’s the deceased dictator of Azerbaijan. She’s the most beautiful street in Mexico City. Not even $5 million in oil money could keep them together.

After five tumultuous months, a bronze likeness of Heydar Aliyev, the former KGB officer who ruled Azerbaijan with an iron fist from 1993 to 2003, was quietly removed from the Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City earlier this week.

Aliyev’s ousting, which occurred early on Saturday morning behind a phalanx of 300 riot police, was a victory for Mexican protesters who had decried the Azeri leader’s reputation on human rights and freedom of the press. For the Mexico City government, it was an embarrassing conclusion to a controversial deal that put the city’s monumental space up for sale.

But the most enthusiastic reaction may have come from within Azerbaijan, where monuments to the former president are as common an element of the urban landscape as mailboxes and lampposts, and freedom of expression is tightly restricted. Read more

For similar news stories visit  http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Syrian Artists Fight Assad Regime with Satire

With horrors emerging from Syria’s civil war with numbing regularity, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that the uprising has not been waged only with guns. 

A creative and resolutely non-violent form of opposition to Bashar al-Assad’s regime has taken hold in Syria, as the country’s artists respond to the crisis with newfound boldness and purpose, despite the clear dangers in doing so. 

"Since the uprising, the artists have broken through the wall of fear in Syria and are thinking in another way," said Syrian journalist Aram Tahhan, one of the curators of an exhibition on Syria’s creative dissent — Culture in Defiance — currently on display in Amsterdam. 

"The uprising has changed the artists’ thinking about the task of art in society, how they can do something useful for society," said Tahhan. "They have rewritten everything." Read more 

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Pussy Riot Trial: Topless FEMEN Activist Chainsaws Memorial

A topless activist was captured on camera on Friday while chainsawing a crucifix in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. Inna Shevchenko, 22, told RBK News she tore down the symbol in support of the members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot.

Shevchenko, of the activist group FEMEN, destroyed the four-meter high wooden crucifix, just as a Moscow court was due to deliver its verdict in the 
Pussy Riot case
, Reuters details.

“We want to show the authorities that no imbecile has the right to trample on freedom of speech and the rights of women and shut [Pussy Riot] away in jail,” a FEMEN spokesperson told Russian news agency RT. Read more

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Thursday, June 14, 2012
The Wrath of the Shabiha: Gang Violence in Syria
The details of the recent massacres in the Syrian district of Houla and the farming hamlet of Mazraat al-Qubeir were bloodcurdling: children shot point-blank, throats slit, skulls crushed, entire families gunned down in their homes, the stench of charred human flesh, the paucity of survivors. The dead have been buried, but the question remains: Who could do this? Who could commit what U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described as “unspeakable barbarity?” “Not even a monster,” insisted Syrian President Bashar Assad. But what about a shabih? 
The gangs known as the shabiha — the plural of shabih — along with uniformed elements of the security forces, were blamed by many observers and witnesses for both massacres. (Some regime sources, however, say that rebels had a hand in the killings.) In an increasingly bloody 15-month crisis, the shabiha have become increasingly prominent as irregular paramilitary troops, regime enforcers and the go-to guys when the going gets tough and bloody. 
Their origins go back to the late 1970s and early ’80s, when Assad‘s father and uncles ran the country. The father Hafez Assad was President, his brother Rifaat had a pivotal role in the security forces and his other brother Jamil was setting up and consolidating his shadowy business dealings, which allegedly included drug trafficking and weapons smuggling, according to Radwan Ziadeh, a longtime member of the Syrian opposition. The gangs, initially drawn from the Assads’ extended family and their Alawite sect, were described as mafia enforcers. “They made their living from smuggling [electrical goods, tobacco, drugs, alcohol, antiquities, etc.] and imposing ‘taxes’ [extortion],” Syrian writer Yassin al-Haj Salih said in a recent report published in Germany. “They were noted for their brutality and cruelty and their blind devotion to their leaders.” Read more 
For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

The Wrath of the Shabiha: Gang Violence in Syria

The details of the recent massacres in the Syrian district of Houla and the farming hamlet of Mazraat al-Qubeir were bloodcurdling: children shot point-blank, throats slit, skulls crushed, entire families gunned down in their homes, the stench of charred human flesh, the paucity of survivors. The dead have been buried, but the question remains: Who could do this? Who could commit what U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described as “unspeakable barbarity?” “Not even a monster,” insisted Syrian President Bashar Assad. But what about a shabih? 

The gangs known as the shabiha — the plural of shabih — along with uniformed elements of the security forces, were blamed by many observers and witnesses for both massacres. (Some regime sources, however, say that rebels had a hand in the killings.) In an increasingly bloody 15-month crisis, the shabiha have become increasingly prominent as irregular paramilitary troops, regime enforcers and the go-to guys when the going gets tough and bloody. 

Their origins go back to the late 1970s and early ’80s, when Assad‘s father and uncles ran the country. The father Hafez Assad was President, his brother Rifaat had a pivotal role in the security forces and his other brother Jamil was setting up and consolidating his shadowy business dealings, which allegedly included drug trafficking and weapons smuggling, according to Radwan Ziadeh, a longtime member of the Syrian opposition. The gangs, initially drawn from the Assads’ extended family and their Alawite sect, were described as mafia enforcers. “They made their living from smuggling [electrical goods, tobacco, drugs, alcohol, antiquities, etc.] and imposing ‘taxes’ [extortion],” Syrian writer Yassin al-Haj Salih said in a recent report published in Germany. “They were noted for their brutality and cruelty and their blind devotion to their leaders.” Read more 

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Saturday, June 9, 2012
fotojournalismus:

A demonstrator carries a portrait of Egyptian Khaled Said on the second anniversary of Said’s death in Cairo on June 6, 2012. Said, 28, was beaten to death by police in Alexandria in June 2010 after he posted a video showing police officers sharing the spoils of a drugs bust, according to his family. The act of brutality galvanized further protests, in particular, the anti-torture Facebook page.
Tens of thousands of political prisoners suffered torture under Hosni Mubarak’s 29-year rule. Virtually all the abuses perpetrated under Mubarak’s regime have gone unpunished.
One of the extreme cases of brutality ended in the death of 28-year-old Khaled Said, in Alexandria. Beaten to death by two police officers in June 2010, his name became a rallying call of the uprising. “We are all Khalid Said,” was the name of the Facebook group that helped organize the early protests.
[Credit : Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters]

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

fotojournalismus:

A demonstrator carries a portrait of Egyptian Khaled Said on the second anniversary of Said’s death in Cairo on June 6, 2012. Said, 28, was beaten to death by police in Alexandria in June 2010 after he posted a video showing police officers sharing the spoils of a drugs bust, according to his family. The act of brutality galvanized further protests, in particular, the anti-torture Facebook page.

Tens of thousands of political prisoners suffered torture under Hosni Mubarak’s 29-year rule. Virtually all the abuses perpetrated under Mubarak’s regime have gone unpunished.

One of the extreme cases of brutality ended in the death of 28-year-old Khaled Said, in Alexandria. Beaten to death by two police officers in June 2010, his name became a rallying call of the uprising. “We are all Khalid Said,” was the name of the Facebook group that helped organize the early protests.

[Credit : Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters]

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Friday, June 1, 2012
fotojournalismus:

An Egyptian flowers vendor stands in front of graffiti depicting president Hosni Mubarak as he waits for a customer in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, May 31, 2012, two days before Mubarak is to hear the verdict on charges of corruption and complicity in killing protesters during last year’s uprising.
[Credit : Amr Nabil/AP]

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fotojournalismus:

An Egyptian flowers vendor stands in front of graffiti depicting president Hosni Mubarak as he waits for a customer in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, May 31, 2012, two days before Mubarak is to hear the verdict on charges of corruption and complicity in killing protesters during last year’s uprising.

[Credit : Amr Nabil/AP]

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012 Sunday, May 20, 2012
fotojournalismus:

Demonstrators covered in an oily substance conduct a die-in as they protest against the Keystone Pipeline and Alberta Tar Sands development on May 17 in Chicago. This was the fourth day of protests in what is expected to be a full week of demonstrations as the city prepares to host the NATO Summit May 20-21.
[Credit : Scott Olson / Getty Images]

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

fotojournalismus:

Demonstrators covered in an oily substance conduct a die-in as they protest against the Keystone Pipeline and Alberta Tar Sands development on May 17 in Chicago. This was the fourth day of protests in what is expected to be a full week of demonstrations as the city prepares to host the NATO Summit May 20-21.

[Credit : Scott Olson / Getty Images]

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

When Revolution Leads to Robbery and Death

In times of political chaos and uncertainty, thieves find a way to thrive. Egypt is no exception.

Nearly a year and a half after President Hosni Mubarak resigned amid protest from the populace, Egypt faces an ever-increasing threat to its cultural heritage.

Illegal excavations have become rampant across the country, many of which are focused upon treasured landmarks, such as the pyramids at Giza. According to the Egyptian Interior Ministry,  5697 illicit digs have been carried out since early 2011, one hundred times more than the previous year.

At least 35 people have lost their lives partaking in such illegal activities, including ten who were buried alive in March when the pit in which they were digging caved in. Countless others have been killed while protesting against police brutality and military rule.

As the country’s police and security forces sit idly by watching thieves and opportunists rob Egypt of its national heritage, who can the country and its people turn to for cultural security?

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

(Source: yearof1989.wordpress.com)

Monday, May 14, 2012
fotojournalismus:

Women with their eyes blindfolded, mouths taped and hands tied are seen during an Arab Jewish protest in the city of Jaffa near Tel Aviv, against the administrative detention of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails on May 12, 2012. Palestinian officials said they expected a breakthrough soon on efforts to end a mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israel, some of them close to death.
[Credit : David Buimovitch/AFP/Getty Images]

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

fotojournalismus:

Women with their eyes blindfolded, mouths taped and hands tied are seen during an Arab Jewish protest in the city of Jaffa near Tel Aviv, against the administrative detention of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails on May 12, 2012. Palestinian officials said they expected a breakthrough soon on efforts to end a mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israel, some of them close to death.

[Credit : David Buimovitch/AFP/Getty Images]

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Wednesday, May 9, 2012
fotojournalismus:

Female protestors display the colours of various flags painted on their hands during a demonstration demanding the trial of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen, May 8, 2012.
[Credit : Hani Mohammed/AP]

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fotojournalismus:

Female protestors display the colours of various flags painted on their hands during a demonstration demanding the trial of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen, May 8, 2012.

[Credit : Hani Mohammed/AP]

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012
fotojournalismus:

A boy cries as he holds his sister in his lap after a confrontation between squatters and police in Kathmandu, Nepal, May 8, 2012. Riot police in Katmandu arrested more than 20 protesters on Tuesday during clashes sparked by an attempt to evict landless squatters from their homes. Dozens were injured. The demolition drive follows a Nepali government decision to force the squatters out from an area beside the Thapathali hospital and move them to an alternative settlement along with the introduction of a property ownership document, according to local media reports.
[Credit : Bikash Dware / Reuters]

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

fotojournalismus:

A boy cries as he holds his sister in his lap after a confrontation between squatters and police in Kathmandu, Nepal, May 8, 2012. Riot police in Katmandu arrested more than 20 protesters on Tuesday during clashes sparked by an attempt to evict landless squatters from their homes. Dozens were injured. The demolition drive follows a Nepali government decision to force the squatters out from an area beside the Thapathali hospital and move them to an alternative settlement along with the introduction of a property ownership document, according to local media reports.

[Credit : Bikash Dware / Reuters]

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Friday, April 20, 2012
fotojournalismus:

Kadiatu Kauma, 24, sits in hospital with gunshot wounds to her arm, stomach and back after police opened fire on a crowd of protesters in the mining town of Bumbuna April 19, 2012. A woman was shot and killed and several others were wounded when police opened fire on a crowd protesting wages and working conditions at the British mining company African Minerals on Wednesday, according to witnesses, hospital staff and police officials.
[Credit : Finbarr O’Reilly/Reuters]

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

fotojournalismus:

Kadiatu Kauma, 24, sits in hospital with gunshot wounds to her arm, stomach and back after police opened fire on a crowd of protesters in the mining town of Bumbuna April 19, 2012. A woman was shot and killed and several others were wounded when police opened fire on a crowd protesting wages and working conditions at the British mining company African Minerals on Wednesday, according to witnesses, hospital staff and police officials.

[Credit : Finbarr O’Reilly/Reuters]

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Wednesday, April 18, 2012
fotojournalismus:

A Palestinian protester throws a molotov cocktail towards Israeli security forces during clashes outside Ofer prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah April 17, 2012. The clashes broke out during a rally marking Palestinian Prisoners Day. At least 1,200 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails launched an open-ended hunger strike on Tuesday, upping the stakes in a protest movement that has put the Jewish state under pressure.
[Credit : Mohamad Torokman/Reuters]

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

fotojournalismus:

A Palestinian protester throws a molotov cocktail towards Israeli security forces during clashes outside Ofer prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah April 17, 2012. The clashes broke out during a rally marking Palestinian Prisoners Day. At least 1,200 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails launched an open-ended hunger strike on Tuesday, upping the stakes in a protest movement that has put the Jewish state under pressure.

[Credit : Mohamad Torokman/Reuters]

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Monday, April 16, 2012

When Economic Policy Threatens Cultural Security

In times of economic crisis, a nation’s artistic and cultural programs often suffer harsh fates. The financial woes facing Greece have forced the struggling country to levy strict economic austerity measures to combat years of government corruption and deficit spending.

These drastic measures have forced the Greek Ministry of Culture to begin firing up to 50% of its personnel , including archaeologists, civil servants and guards assigned to protect and preserve cultural heritage sites and museums. Such cutbacks already have resulted in the looting of museums in Olympia and Athens.

Government plans to raise funds by allowing advertising at Greek cultural heritage sites, such as the Acropolis, have been met with shock and outrage. In a particularly ironic twist, as Greek archaeologists struggle to find funding for legitimate excavations and face the threat of unemployment, smugglers of illicit antiquities continue to thrive.

From the public suicide of a single citizen to protests involving thousands, Greeks have taken to the streets to protest the dire economic situation, and the resulting threat to Greek cultural heritage. Unfortunately, after almost two years of violence and civil unrest, an end to this crisis and the subsequent threat to cultural security seems nowhere in sight. 

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Images courtesy of http://www.opednews.com/articles/Greece-in-flames-Cassandr-by-Eric-Walberg-120214-446.html 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/may/04/markets-give-greek-bailout-lukewarm-reception