Currently viewing the category: "Human Rights and Justice"

My interest here is in what these movies try to say about the world and the place of violence — evil or righteous – in it. As American films in a world where the United States still possesses more military firepower than any other country (as example, in 2016 the US defence budget nearly topped the next fifteen largest national defence budgets combined), it is difficult not to view these films as metaphors for US power, regardless of the various nationalities of the characters. The launching point for these thoughts is Wonder Woman: the first female-led superhero movie, notably directed by a woman, Patty Jenkins. One could examine the film, as many have, from a feminist perspective, in which the film appears as a triumph of female power. More interesting to me is, given the amount of violence on display in the genre, what does a film want to say about violence? In this, Wonder Woman is a serious backward step from the emerging trend of more established superhero franchises that have recently projected a sense of unease about the inevitable harms and trade-offs that come with reliance on destructive force.

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In this fascinating, occasionally frustrating, book,  Rosa Brooks examines the blurring of the boundaries between war and peace that has evolved over the past 25 years, especially, though not entirely, as a result of 9/11. Bringing to bear a rather unusual combination of perspectives—daughter of peacenik activists, international law professor, former DOD staffer, and special […]

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Most adult Africans have, at one point in their lifetime, woken up to martial music on the radio, an unfamiliar face in a military uniform on the television, and the numbing discovery that their country has been snatched away from them overnight. Africans have also become accustomed to the tedium of sclerotic authoritarian regimes, sometimes […]

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This week, I interviewed Fred Bauma and Sylvain Saluseke, democracy activists from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Both were arrested by Congolese security forces on March 18, 2015. Sylvain was held over a month and Fred remained in prison until August 2016 (more on this herehere, here, here and here). In this interview, […]

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In case you missed our program this afternoon, below is a re-cap via storify, with thanks to Roxani Krystalli. The program, Staying safe in armed conflict contexts: What do crisis-affected people prioritize and does it work? Do humanitarian actors and others take note?, focused on self-protection.

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In November 2013, I attended a meeting in Dakar, Senegal that addressed how to memorialize slavery as part of an African Union Human Rights Memorial. The trip included a visit to Gorée Island, the notorious site from which untold numbers of African were sent to the Americas against their will as part of the […]

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