Online events w) Chomsky, Loretta Ross, Park Cannon, Jason Moore, Robin D.G. Kelley, etc.

Upcoming Online Events:

Mon, 10/31, 11 am — Taking Power: Reading Blanqui after Lenin and Martov — The Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice (CSSGJ) is very pleased to be welcoming Professor Peter Hallward from Kingston University — Professor Hallward’s online talk will be given in English and is titled “Taking Power: Reading Blanqui after Lenin and Martov” — This online talk will be held live on Zoom and all who register to attend the event in advance will be able to access the talk using Zoom through your eventbrite ticket registration. Zoom details will be sent to your email two hours prior to the event itself starting — The event will consist of an approximately 40-minute talk, followed by a 40-minute Q&A:

Mon, 10/31, 1 pm — Understanding Marxism with Richard Wolff — This 4-Week seminar led by Richard Wolff, meeting on Mondays, will begin with a brief introduction and history of Marxism from Karl Marx through today. We will cover major events such as the Paris Commune of 1870, the Russian, Chinese, and Cuban revolutions and the post-1989 evolution of Marxism. We will discuss major contributions to Marxism from activist writers after Marx: Luxemburg, Lenin, Trotsky, Lukcas, Gramsci, Frankfurt School, Althusser, Mao. Marx’s labor theory of value, theory of surplus value, and theory of crisis-ridden capitalist development will be covered. Finally, we will explore what Marxism has to offer to understand capitalism today and to go beyond it to a different, better system:

Tue, 11/1, 10 am — Debate: Is America a Force for Good in the World? — Join us on Tuesday November 1 as Shadi Hamid and Samuel Moyn go head to head on whether American power is a force for good — The United States of America has been the world’s foremost economic and military power, in the aftermath of World War II President Truman set out his Four Point Plan which stated that the U.S must uphold its unique responsibility to promote democracy and economic development around the world — Many in the world see the influence of the United States as a force for good. It applies pressure on authoritarian regimes such as Iran to abide by human rights, and it supports nations such as Ukraine defending themselves against imperial aggression. But others argue that the Afghanistan and Iraq interventions show that American exceptionalism and the attempt to play the world’s policeman have wreaked irrevocable havoc which the rest of the world is still paying a price for today. So who’s right? Join us on Tuesday November 1 as foreign policy experts Shadi Hamid and Samuel Moyn go head to head on whether American power is a force for good:

Tue, 11/1, 11 am — TEDxGlasgow Virtual Gathering: The Future We Choose — As we approach COP27 join us for a Virtual Gathering as we explore ‘The Future We Choose’, looking at future climate action opportunities — It’s almost 12 months since COP26, when the world’s leaders pledged to limit global warming to 1.5C — As we approach COP27, join us for our Virtual Gathering as we explore ‘The Future We Choose’, supported by Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, a year in which stories inspired by and created in Scotland are showcased and celebrated — Together our experts shown below and our global digital audience, will look at the climate opportunities that are required, in order to shape the future of our society. We want to address climate change and actions, the energy crisis, striking a health and well-being balance, and responsible consumption / production practices throughout the year of ‘The Future We Choose’ — Our event will be live digitally and broadcast globally from 6pm-7.30pm on the 1st of November. Secure your spot now by grabbing your free ticket and we’ll see you there! — With Jo Chidley, a circular economy expert; Professor George Crooks, the Chief Executive of the Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre; Prof. Kimberly Nicholas, a sustainability scientist at Lund University in Sweden; and Susie Cormack Bruce, one of Scotland’s most trusted commentators and hosts — For more biographical info on the presenters, please see:

Tue, 11/1, 11:30 am — Positive Tipping Points in Practice: Social Movements What are the positive tipping points for social movements in response to the climate crisis? How can we create and trigger them? — Social movements are a vital part of a fair and regenerative response to the climate crisis, but they can be hard to measure, understand and replicate — The Transition movement has been growing since 2005, and is a fascinating example of a successful social movement. It has spread to thousands of groups in towns, villages, cities, universities, and schools in over 48 countries around the world — But why has this social movement worked? What can others learn from the Transition movement? How can we better understand the potential for social movements to tip us into new systems?- – Join this free workshop to find out, and hear the latest research into Positive Tipping Points, from world-leading experts. We will collectively practice using the Positive Tipping Points framework – creating the right conditions for change, finding reinforcing feedback loops, and triggering a shift into a new system – before identifying key next steps for anyone involved in social movements — The Positive Tipping Points framework is a way to re-think our understanding of how change happens. We’re familiar with negative tipping points that can accelerate the crisis, such as glacier melt or biodiversity loss, but we are also able to predict and encourage positive shifts which will help us avoid the worst impacts — Organized by the Green Futures Network of the University of Exeter:

Tue, 11/1, 5 pm — Solidarity with Railroad Workers — Join a panel of rank-and-file railroad workers for a discussion of one of the most important struggles in recent labor history — With the world in disarray after the COVID-19 Pandemic, in the midst of the growing threat of world war, climate disaster, and a global cost-of-living crisis, railroad workers in the United States are currently engaged in one of the most important struggles in recent labor history, in an industry that is at the heart of the functioning of the country — The rail industry has seen massive deregulation, lean production, and persistent undermining of working conditions that have made the work all but intolerable — Despite enormous political pressure, railroad workers are fed up, evidenced by the sections of workers who are voting NO on a Tentative Agreement that they feel doesn’t address the base safety and quality of life issues they are willing to strike over. Railroad Workers United (RWU), a cross-union democratic organization of working railroaders, has launched a Vote No Campaign, insisting that this Tentative Agreement offers very little given the conditions they face and the role they play in the economy. RWU will also discuss their statement for the International Public Ownership of the Railroads — If the railroad workers lead a strike, it will have immediate implications – economically and politically – for every sector of US society. Most importantly for the labor movement, and for the working people within it — Come hear Railroad Workers United members speak about their struggle, the situation on the rails, and how you can get involved in efforts to support them. In our world of incredible violence and oppression, the struggles of railroad workers must be connected to the struggles of teachers, nurses, service workers, climate and anti-war activists, and all working people in a general fight for peace, freedom, and dignity for all! — Featuring: Engineers and conductors from Railroad Workers United, facilitated by Maximillian Alvarez from The Real News who has covered this struggle extensively:

Thu, 11/3, 9 am — The New Pink Tide in Latin America? — Since 2018, leftist presidents have won or retaken office in Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, Honduras, Chile, Argentina, and Colombia. What’s behind Latin America’s new Pink Tide? What can we learn from this? — With Edwin F Ackerman, Marilene Felinto, Ana Grondona, Camila Osorio and Rene Rojas — Discussant: Michael A Cohen — Chaired by: Sean Jacobs — • Edwin F. Ackerman is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Maxwell School in Syracuse University. He is the author of Origins of the Mass Party: Dispossession and the Party-form in Mexico and Bolivia (Oxford Press, 2022) — • Marilene Felinto is a Brazilian writer, journaslist and translator. She is the author of the laureated novel The Women of Tijucopapo (University of Nebraska Press) among other books. She works as a columnist on political, social and literary issues for Folha de S. Paulo, a daily newspaper in the City of São Paulo in Brazil — • Ana Grondona works as a researcher at the National Council of Scientific and Technological Research (CONICET) in Argentina. Also, she teaches social theory at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). Her current interests include theoretical questions around the production and circulation of expert knowledge and discourse in the peripheries and the intellectual history of “modernization” and “development” in Latin America — • Camila Osorio is a journalist at EL PAÍS América. She previously worked at The New Yorker and La Silla Vacía, a digital communication medium that explores how power is exercised in Colombia.– • Rene Rojas is is on the faculty of Binghamton University’s College of Community and Public Affairs and is an editorial board member of Catalyst Journal. He spent years as a political organizer in Latin America — • Michael A Cohen is Co-Director of the Observatory on Latin America at The New School. He is also Director of the PhD in Public and Urban Policy program at the Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment, and professor of international affairs at The New School.– • Sean Jacobs is an Associate Professor of International Affairs of The New School:

Thu, 11/3, 10 am — The Final Question?: Global Realignments & Prospects for a Livable World — A lecture by Noam Chomsky — Noam Chomsky was born in 1928, in Philadelphia Pa. He attended the U. of Pennsylvania, where he received his BA, MA, and Phd degrees. From 1951-55 he was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. In I955, he joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he taught for 60 years, retiring as Institute Professor. In 2017 he was appointed Laureate Professor at the U of Arizona. He is a member of many professional societies and has received many awards and honorary degrees. He has written and lectured widely on linguistics, philosophy, current affairs and US foreign policy:

Thu, 11/3, 11:30 am and 6 pm — A Participatory Economy – Online Book Launch — Join economist Robin Hahnel for a live presentation and Q&A on his new book on a post-capitalist economy: A Participatory Economy — About this event: In this live webinar, economist and political activist, professor Robin Hahnel will give a presentation on his new book A Participatory Economy, highlighting the latest features of his vision for a post-capitalist economy, known as a Participatory Economy. There will be an opportunity for participants to ask questions and join in the discussion. The event is hosted by the Participatory Economy Project and AK Press — About the Book: A Participatory Economy presents a fascinating alternative to capitalism. It proposes and defends concrete answers to how all society’s economic decisions can be made without resort to unaccountable and inhumane markets (capitalism) or central planning authorities (state communism). It explains the viability of early socialism’s vision of an economy in which the workers come together to decide among themselves what to produce and consume — At the same time, Hahnel proposes new features to this economic model including proposing how “reproductive labor” might be socially organized, how to plan investment and long-term development to maximize popular participation and efficiency, and finally, how a participatory economy might engage in international trade and investment without violating its fundamental principles in a world where economic development among nations has been historically unfair and unequal — About Robin Hahnel: Robin Hahnel is a life-long radical activist and economist whose work emphasizes environmental sustainability and is best known for his work on alternatives to capitalism. His books include Democratic Economic Planning, The ABCs of Political Economy, and Economic Justice and Democracy — European launch, 11:30 am:
U.S. launch, 6 pm:

Thu, 11/3, 12 Noon — James Cone, An Appreciation: With Anthony Reddie and Nontando Hadebe — Prof Anthony Reddie in conversation with Prof Nontando Hadebe on the theology and legacy of James Cone — It is rarely the case that an intellectual movement can point to an individual figure as its founder. Yet James Cone has been heralded as the acknowledged genius and the creator of black theology. In nearly 50 years of published work, James Cone redefined the intent of academic theology and defined a whole new movement in intellectual thought. In Introducing James H. Cone Anthony Reddie offers us an accessible and engaging assessment of Cone’s legacy, from his first book Black Theology and Black Power in 1969 through to his final intellectual autobiography I Said I wasn’t Gonna Tell Nobody in 2018. It is an indispensable field guide to perhaps the greatest black theologian of recent times. Professor Reddie (Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Culture) will present his book to us and Professor Nontando Hadebe (International Coordinator of Side by Side) will provide a reflective response:

Thu, 11/3, 3 pm — TNR Live: Court is in Session. What to expect from Scotus this term — Join The New Republic for a livestream of TNR Live: Court is in Session, a look at pending Scotus cases, nationwide sentiment for the court, and how to reform the institution to better reflect public opinion. The evening’s conversation will be moderated by TNR staff writer, Matt Ford — With: Leah Litman, Professor of Law, University of Michigan; Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel Emeritus, LDF; and Wendy Weiser, Vice President for Democracy, Brennan Center for Justice — Sherrilyn Ifill is a civil rights lawyer and scholar. She most recently stepped down after 10 years in leadership as the President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), the nation’s premier civil rights law organization fighting for racial justice and equality. She currently serves as a Senior Fellow at the Ford Foundation — Ifill began her career as a Fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union, before joining the staff of the LDF as an Assistant Counsel in 1988, where she litigated voting rights cases for five years. In 1993 Ifill left LDF to join the faculty at University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore. Over twenty years, Ifill taught civil procedure and constitutional law to thousands of law students, and pioneered a series of law clinics, including one of the earliest law clinics in the country focused on challenging legal barriers to the reentry of ex-offenders. Ifill is also a prolific scholar who has published academic articles in leading law journals, and op-eds and commentaries in leading newspapers. Her 2008 book “On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century,” was highly acclaimed, and is credited with laying the foundation for contemporary conversations about lynching and reconciliation. A 10th anniversary edition of the book was recently released with a Foreword by Bryan Stevenson, the acclaimed lawyer and founder of the national lynching memorial in Montgomery, AL. She is currently writing a book to be published by Penguin Press in 2023 entitled “Is This America?” — Ifill graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in English and earned her J.D. from New York University School of Law. She is the recipient of numerous honorary doctorates and was named by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world in 2021. She is a recipient of the Radcliffe Medal, and the American Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Award. Next year Ifill will receive the Brandeis Medal named for Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis. Ifill serves on the board of the Mellon Foundation, and on the Board of Trustees of New York University School of Law — Leah Litman is a Professor of Law at the University of Michigan where she teaches constitutional law and federal courts. She is also a co-host and co-creator of Crooked Media’s Strict Scrutiny podcast, a podcast about the Supreme Court and legal culture that surrounds it. Leah’s writing for popular audiences has appeared in many different outlets; she also continues to practice law, though she now tries to avoid the U.S. Supreme Court. Previously, she worked on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the successful 2016 challenge to several Texas abortion restrictions, and Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of University of California, the successful challenge to Pres. Trump’s rescission of the Deferred Action for childhood arrivals — Wendy Weiser directs the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, a nonpartisan think tank and public interest law center that works to revitalize, reform, and defend systems of democracy and justice. Her program focuses on voting rights and elections, money in politics and ethics, redistricting and representation, government dysfunction, rule of law, and fair courts. She founded and directed the program’s Voting Rights and Elections Project, directing litigation, research, and advocacy efforts to enhance political participation and prevent voter disenfranchisement across the country — She has authored a number of nationally recognized publications and articles on voting rights and election reform, litigated groundbreaking lawsuits on democracy issues, testified before both houses of Congress and in a variety of state legislatures, and provided legislative and policy drafting assistance to federal and state legislators and administrators across the country — She is a frequent public speaker and media commentator on democracy issues. She has appeared on CBS News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, PBS, ABC News, and NPR, among others; her commentary has been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, and elsewhere; and she is frequently quoted by the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Journal, Politico, and other news outlets across the country. She has also served as an adjunct professor at NYU School of Law — Prior to joining the Brennan Center, Weiser was a senior attorney at NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, where she worked on issues of access to the courts and domestic violence; a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; and a law clerk to Judge Eugene H. Nickerson in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. She received her BA from Yale College and her JD from Yale Law School — Matt Ford is a staff writer at The New Republic. His work focuses on law, the courts, and democracy. Originally from Nevada, Matt previously wrote for The Atlantic:

Thu, 11/3, 3:30 pm — League Lit: Humankind by Ruter Bregman –The 4th book in the League of Women Voters of Indianapolis Book Club for 2022 — The League is proud to be nonpartisan, neither supporting nor opposing candidates or political parties at any level of government, but always working on vital issues of concern to members and the public:

Thu, 11/3, 4 pm — Subcultures & Antifascism — A panel discussion featuring contributors to the new book, ¡No Pasarán! Antifascist Dispatches from a World in Crisis — Join for this virtual event to celebrate the release of ¡No Pasarán! Antifascist Dispatches from a World in Crisis. Editor Shane Burley will moderate a discussion with contributors Hilary Moore and Ryan Smith — ¡No Pasarán! is an anthology of antifascist writing that takes up the fight against white supremacy and the far-right from multiple angles. From the history of antifascism to today’s movement to identify, deplatform, and confront the right, and the ways an insurgent fascism is growing within capitalist democracies, a myriad of voices come together to shape the new face of antifascism in a moment of social and political flux — Shane Burley is an author based in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of Why We Fight: Essays on Fascism, Resistance, and Surviving the Apocalypse (AK Press, 2021) and Fascism Today: What It Is and How to End It (AK Press, 2017), and has appeared in a number of other anthologies and journals. His work has been featured in places such as NBC News, Al Jazeera, The Baffler, The Independent, Jacobin, The Daily Beast, Bandcamp Daily, Jewish Currents, Haaretz, and Full Stop — Hilary Moore is a political educator, writer, and organizer. She co-authored No Fascist USA: The John Brown Anti-Klan Committee and Lessons for Today’s Movements (City Lights) with James Tracy. Hilary lives in Louisville, Kentucky — Ryan Smith is an anti-fascist Heathen organizer, teacher, and writer. He is the author of The Way of Fire & Ice: The Living Tradition of Norse Paganism. He lives in San Francisco, California:

Thu, 11/3, 7 pm — Roe v. Wade 2022 and Beyond — The Alameda County Council of League of Women Voters invites you to a panel discussion on the impact of the recent Supreme Court decision. Panelists include Stacy Cross, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, and Nakia Woods, Project Director California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom:

Fri, 11/4, 9 am — Recovering Social Catholicism (Arizmendi, La Pira, McKnight) — A panel discussion about three key figures of the social Catholicism of the 20th century–and what their legacy can and should mean today — Fr. Josemaria Arizmendi (founder of the Mondragon cooperatives), Giorgio La Pira (antiwar mayor of Florence Italy in the 1960s and an architect of Italy’s social democracy, and Fr. Albert McKnight (organizer of the Southern Cooperative Development Fund in the Jim Crow South of the 1960s): three figures in a style of Catholic engagement with our socioeconomic world sorely lacking today — This panel, moderated by M.T. Davila (Merrimack College), includes: Elias Crim, publisher at Solidarity Hall, speaking about Arizmendi; Matthew Shadle, Professor of Theology (Marymount University) on La Pira; and Nate Tinner-Williams, founder and editor of Black Catholic Messenger, on Fr. Albert McKnight — The event is also a dual book launch (from Solidarity Hall), with these titles being released together: Reflections, by Fr. Josemaria Arizmendi, with an Introduction by Nathan Schneider and an Afterword by Jessica Gordon Nembhard, and — Power of Hope, by Riccardo Clementi (a new biography of Giorgio La Pira) — This event is co-sponsored by Solidarity Hall, Black Catholic Messenger, and the Fondazione La Pira (Florence):

Fri, 11/4, 1 pm — The Future of Reproductive Justice with Loretta Ross and Park Cannon — Join us for a dynamic intergenerational conversation with renowned author, educator and 2022 MacArthur Fellow, Loretta Ross and Park Cannon, one of two openly queer lawmakers in the Georgia General Assembly and its youngest. They will discuss the tenets of reproductive justice, what’s at stake, and what people who care about racial justice, human rights and democracy can do to show up in this moment — The 2022 mid-term elections this November are in fact a national referendum on reproductive rights, voting rights, and democracy. There are seven states where the results of the midterms could decide whether abortion is protected or banned. And with the recent announcement of a national abortion ban if the House and Senate is won in November, the stakes in these elections couldn’t be higher — Loretta Ross is an award-winning expert on racism and racial justice, reproductive justice, women’s rights, and human rights. She is a 2022 MacArthur “Genius” Grant Recipient and a co-author of three books on reproductive justice. Her forthcoming book is Calling In the Calling Out Culture, a topic she addresses through her writings and lectures nationwide. Loretta is also a professor at Smith College — Park Cannon champions a range of social justice causes and her legislative efforts in Georgia focus on education, jobs, and health care. Upon becoming the youngest member of the Georgia House of Representatives in 2016, Park ushered reproductive justice to the forefront. She also made national headlines in 2021 when she was unlawfully arrested and removed from the Georgia Capitol after she knocked on the door of the Republican governor’s office during his signing of SB 202, a restrictive law that limits voting rights in the state:

Fri, 11/4, 4:30 pm — Virtual Film Screening on Climate Justice: The Ants and The Grasshopper — DIRECTED BY RAJ PATEL AND ZAK PIPER — NARRATED BY ANITA CHITAYA with PETER MAZUNDA — Synopsis: Anita Chitaya has a gift; she can help bring abundant food from dead soil, she can make men fight for gender equality, and she can end child hunger in her village. Now, to save her home from extreme weather, she faces her greatest challenge: persuading Americans that climate change is real. Traveling from Malawi to California to the White House, she meets climate skeptics and despairing farmers. Her journey takes her across all the divisions shaping the US, from the rural-urban divide, to schisms of race, class and gender, to the thinking that allows Americans to believe we live on a different planet from everyone else. It will take all her skill and experience to persuade us that we’re all in this together. This documentary, ten years in the making, weaves together the most urgent themes of our times: climate change, gender and racial inequality, the gaps between the rich and the poor, and the ideas that groups around the world have generated in order to save the planet:

Sat, 11/5, 2:30 pm — U.S. Versus China: The New Cold War — The Biden Administration has now launched a full-blown economic war on China. The U.S. hegemon sees a rising China as its main rival and wants to stop China’s rise. For its part, China is expanding its political and economic influence worldwide. Both countries put economic growth ahead of environmental concerns. The conflict may soon come to a head over Taiwan’s future. Is this the making of a catastrophic world war? Is environmental degradation the greater danger? — Speakers include: Richard Smith – A founding member of System Change Not Climate Change; author of Green Capitalism: the God that Failed, and China’s Engine of Ecological Collapse — Laurence Shoup – Author of Wall Street’s Think Tank: The Council on Foreign Relations and the Empire of Neoliberal Geopolitics — Richard Tan – A criminal defense and civil rights attorney; his offices are in Oakland — *Organizations listed for identification purposes only — This event is sponsored by the Oakland Greens, Bay Area System Change Not Climate Change, and the Alameda County Peace and Freedom Party:

Sun, 11/6, 11 am — Is the IPCC Exacerbating Climate Change? Since 1988 the IPCC has been the world’s leading resource on climate change science and policy recommendations – but is this working? — Since 1988 the IPCC has been the world’s leading resource on climate change science and policy recommendations. What if they were working not for the planet but against it? Kyle Kimball’s research elucidates how the core function of the IPCC is not to highlight the velocity of climate change but to validate the erroneous conclusions of neoclassical economics:

Sun, 11/6, 11 am — Climate Justice and Socialist Strategy with Jason W. Moore — King’s Triple Evils, Modern Environmentalism, and the ‘World Revolution’ of 1968 — On April 4, 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr., came out publicly against the Vietnam War in a speech entitled “Beyond Vietnam.” Beyond, in that title, meant everything. King not only broke with the liberal establishment, which viewed the war as a separate issue from racism and as an aberration in American foreign policy. King simultaneously presented a radical critique that linked racism and exploitation at home and abroad and began to elaborate a vision of an American socialism animated by a searing indictment of capitalism’s “triple evils” (racism, militarism, and class exploitation). Such a socialism would be grounded in a triple alliance encompassing the antiwar, civil rights, and labor movements. In this talk, Jason W. Moore addresses the missed opportunity for a program of planetary justice as the “Environmentalism of the Rich” came to the fore after 1968 and overshadowed King’s appeal for a radical turn. As King underscored in his final months, justice cannot be effectively pursued piece by piece. The “whole society” with and within the web of life must be reinvented, inasmuch as we are “all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny.” At the end of the Capitalocene and the beginning of the planetary inferno, climate justice – and socialist strategy – must proceed as if “all life were interrelated.” — Jason W. Moore is an environmental historian and historical geographer at Binghamton University, where he is Professor of Sociology. His books include Capitalism in the Web of Life (2015), Anthropocene or Capitalocene? (2016), and (with Raj Patel), A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things (2017). Moore’s books and essays on environmental history, capitalism, and social theory – translated into over 20 languages – have been recognized with numerous academic awards. He co-coordinates the World-Ecology Research Network:

Sun, 11/6, 4 pm — A Time of Reckoning & Repair: Realizing our Dreams of Reparations — “We must think about reparations and decolonization together.” -Robin D.G. Kelley — “We are the dreaming. We are the freeing.” -Aja Monet — Join us on Sunday, Nov 6th for A Time of Reckoning & Repair: Realizing our Dreams of Reparations with beloved public intellectual, historian and professor Robin D.G. Kelley (author of Freedom Dreams) and spoken word poet & climate justice activist Aniya Butler (organizer with Youth Vs. Apocalypse) — We are a generation building on the movements of so many, future ancestors committed to the radical healing of our world. What is required for us to transform 500+ years of history and how can we engage in reparations and decolonization together? What dreams of reparations and freedom can carry us forward today and help us fundamentally remake our society? Join us for this timely gathering as we explore the intersections of healing, repair, radical imagination and our movements for collective liberation — “We have a unique chance in history to rebuild a world where every living thing thrives.” -Aniya Butler — This event is part of the launch for the Beloved Community Journey, a series of learning, practice and taking action to create a world where we all belong and thrive. If you haven’t already signed up for the Journey, you can learn more and sign up to participate in the full series of events at: If you are only wanting to participate in this specific event, you can purchase an individual ticket here on Eventbrite — Guest Speaker: Robin D.G. Kelley is the Distinguished Professor of History and Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History at UCLA. His extensive work has covered many topics including the history of social movements in the U.S., the African Diaspora, and Africa; black intellectuals; music and visual culture; Marxism and Surrealism. His books include Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original; Race Rebels: Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class; Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression, and The Fighting Spirit of Labor’s Last Century, written collaboratively with Dana Frank and Howard Zinn. Kelley’s essays have appeared in numerous anthologies and publications among them the Nation, the New York Times, Counterpunch, Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noir, Signs, American Quarterly, Re-Thinking Marxism, and Jacobin. His bestselling book Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination has recently been republished with updated content to celebrate its 20 year anniversary — Guest Poet & Activist: Aniya Butler is a 16 year old spoken word poet, published author, and organizer from Oakland, CA. She works with the youth-led climate justice group Youth Vs. Apocalypse (YVA) where she directs the Hip Hop & Climate Justice Initiative and coordinates the No One Is Disposable campaign. Using poetry and organizing, Aniya emphasizes the importance of acknowledging that climate change is a direct result from the same oppressive systems responsible for the social injustices frontline people experience every day. Aniya wants to rebuild a world with the foundations of equity, sustainability, and love so that every living thing can truly thrive:

Mon, 11/7, 10 am — Half-Earth Socialism: Ambitious speculation on possible futures — Join a lively discussion with authors of the thrilling and provocative book, Half-Earth Socialism, as well as the designers who created a video game based on the book. The event will feature discussions and Q&A with the authors and designers, as well as a chance to explore the game! — Half-Earth Socialism makes clear that while we must humbly accept that humanity cannot fully understand or control the earth, we can plan new energy systems, large-scale rewilding, and food production for the common good. Over the next generation, humanity will confront a dystopian future of climate disaster and mass extinction. Yet the only ‘solutions’ on offer are toothless cap-and-trade programmes, catastrophic geoengineering schemes, and privatized conservation, which will do nothing to reverse the damage suffered by the biosphere. Indeed, these mainstream approaches assume that hyper-consumerism in the Global North can continue unabated. It can’t — What we can do, environmental scholars Troy Vettese and Drew Pendergrass argue, is strive for a society able to ensure high living standards while stabilizing the environment — This means: Rewilding half the earth to absorb carbon emissions and restore biodiversity — A rapid transition to renewable energy, paired with drastic cuts in consumption by the world’s wealthiest — Global veganism to cut down on energy and land use — Worldwide socialist planning to efficiently and equitably manage production — The involvement of everyone—even you! — Speaker Biographies: Troy Vettese is an environmental historian and a Max Weber fellow at the European University Institute, where he is affiliated with the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies. He studies the history of environmental economics, energy, and animal life under capitalism. His writing has appeared in Bookforum, New Left Review, The Guardian, n+1 and many more publications — Francis Tseng is a software engineer and lead independent researcher at the Jain Family Institute. He primarily builds modeling tools, simulations, and procedural systems. In the past he taught at the New School, was co-publisher of The New Inquiry, and was a fellow at The New York Times — Son La Pham lives in Berlin and works as a graphic designer focusing on new forms for technology and the web. His digital work has been published in It’s Nice That, Hoverstates, Loadmore and Fonts In Use — Chaired by Heather Parry — Heather Parry is a fiction writer and editor originally from Rotherham, South Yorkshire. She is the co-founder and Editorial Director of Extra Teeth magazine, co-host of the Teenage Scream podcast and the Scottish Senior Policy & Liaison Manager for the Society of Authors, a trade union for writers. In 2021 she created the free-access Illustrated Freelancer’s Guide with artist Maria Stoian:

Mon, 11/7, 11 am — Are we living in the Anthropocene? — Online lecture by Prof. Mark Williams — A free online talk with Prof. Mark Williams (University of Leicester) on the geology of human impact on the Earth and the far reaching markers of climate change on our planet — This talk is part of the annual Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies Samhain agus Science public lecture series:

Mon, 11/7, 6 pm — Becca Andrews in conversation with Nina Liss-Schultz — Becca Andrews (of Mother Jones) discusses her new book No Choice: The Destruction of Roe v. Wade and the Fight to Protect a Fundamental American Right published by Public Affairs — An in-depth look at the legacy of Roe v. Wade, and on-the-ground reporting from the front lines of the battle to protect the right to choose — The pieces started to fall In 2019 when a wave of anti-abortion laws went into effect. Georgia, Ohio, Mississippi, Louisiana and Kentucky banned abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, while Missouri banned the procedure at eight weeks. Alabama banned all abortions. The die was cast. And on June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and, abortion immediately became illegal in 22 states — No Choice begins by shining a light on the eerie ways in which life before Roe will be mirrored in life after. The wealthy and privileged will still have access, low-income people will suffer disproportionately, and pregnancy will be heavily policed. Then, Andrews takes us to the states and communities that have been hardest-hit by the erosion of abortion rights in this country, and tells the stories of those who are most at risk from this devastating reversal of settled law. There is a glimmer of faint hope, though — As the battle moves to state legislatures around the country, the book profiles the people who are doing groundbreaking, inspiring work to ensure safe, legal access to this fundamental part of health care — Becca Andrews is an investigatove reporter. A Southerner, she most often writes about the Southeast, gender, and culture. She has written for newspapers in Tennessee. Her work has also appeared in Mother Jones, Slate, The New Republic, Wired, and Jezebel, among others. No Choice The Destruction of Roe v. Wade and the Fight to Protect a Fundamental American Right is her first book — Nina Liss-Schultz is a journalist and editor. She reports on reproductive health, gender, and sexuality issues from San Francisco. She has served as a senior managing editor at Mother Jones magazine. Her work has appeared in Mother Jones, Think Progress, Bitch magazine, among other journals:

Fri, 11/11, 4 pm — U.S. Fascism: Origins, Patterns, and Continuities — A Virtual Discussion Featuring Gerald Horne, Cynthia Miller-Idriss, and Jason Stanley. Moderated by Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders — Public narratives about the history of fascism and antifascism in the United States are sporadic, uneven, and often distorted. This is due in part to the failure of state institutions to educate the public about past and present fascist movements, and in part to the successful campaigns of far-right groups to intentionally misrepresent those movements and their opponents. The result is that public understanding of contemporary fascist tendencies lacks the context of their deep historical roots, and those engaged in resistance are deprived of the insights gained by a long and successful antifascist tradition — Gerald Horne holds the John J. and Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston. He received his Ph.D. in history from Columbia University and his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Horne has authored dozens of books, including The Color of Fascism: Lawrence Dennis, Racial Passing the Rise of Right-Wing Extremism in the U.S. (NYU, 2006) and The Counter-Revolution of 1836: Texas Slavery & Jim Crow and the Roots of U.S. Fascism (International Publishers, 2022). His book Fire This Time: The Watts Uprising and the 1960s (Da Capo Press,1995) was a finalist for the Robert Park Award from the American Sociological Association, and Black and Brown: African-Americans and the Mexican Revolution (NYU, 2005) earned a Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award honorable mention. In 2021, Horne was the recipient of the American Book Award. In addition to his scholarship, he has worked for the National Lawyers Guild, served as executive director of the National Conference of Black Lawyers, and as Special Counsel for Local 1199, the Drug Hospital, and Health Care Employees Union — Dr. Cynthia Miller-Idriss is a Professor in the School of Public Affairs and in the School of Education at the American University in Washington, DC, where she is also the founding director of the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab (PERIL). In 2022, she is serving as the inaugural creative lead for the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s residency program on social cohesion in Berlin, Germany. Dr. Miller-Idriss regularly testifies before the U.S. Congress and briefs policy, security, education and intelligence agencies in the U.S., the United Nations, and other countries on trends in domestic violent extremism and strategies for prevention and disengagement. She is the author, co-author, or co-editor of six books, including her most recent book, Hate in the Homeland: The New Global Far Right (Princeton University Press). Dr. Miller — Jason Stanley is the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. Before coming to Yale in 2013, he was Distinguished Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Rutgers University. Among his books are Knowledge and Practical Interests (Oxford University Press, 2005), which won the American Philosophical Association book prize, How Propaganda Works (Princeton University Press, 2016), and How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them (Penguin Random House, 2018), which won the PROSE Award for Philosophy from the Association of American Publishers. His current project is a book on non-ideal philosophy of language, The Politics of Language, co-authored with David Beaver, forthcoming with Princeton University Press in 2022. He writes about authoritarianism, propaganda, free speech, mass incarceration, and other topics for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Review, The Guardian, Project Syndicate and The Chronicle of Higher Education, among other publications — Moderator: Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Colorado Boulder:


Mo Laudi celebrates the explosive silence of a famous Gerard Sekoto painting

Mo Laudi and James Webb, two expatriate South African visual artists interested in sound and its relationship to sight, are holding court in France. 

Laudi, a DJ, artist and curator living in Paris, has organised a large museum show in the eastern-central city of Saint-Étienne. Webb, who is from Cape Town but lives in Stockholm, Sweden, is a participant in the Lyon Biennale, one of Europe’s leading showcases for new art.

Laudi’s exhibition Globalisto: A Philosophy in Flux features work by 19 artists, among them Amsterdam-based Moshekwa Langa and Samson Kambalu, a Malawian living in Oxford, England. It offers an elaboration of Laudi’s self-styled “globalisto philosophy”, a pan-Africanist idea rooted in “radical hospitality”, “openness” and the aspiration to create a “counsel culture” through art. 

That the objects on view, among them striking textile pieces by Langa, Kambalu and Antwerp-based Nigerian Otobong Nkanga, are mute doesn’t lessen the importance of sound in their appreciation. “To restore silence is the role of objects,” wrote Samuel Beckett in his 1955 novel Molloy.

Webb, a local pioneer in the use of sound in art, has a keen grasp on the power of silence. For his Lyon Biennale presentation, he has produced a new body of work framed around the disruptive potential of an unanswered question.

Speakers at four venues across Lyon broadcast a series of questions, voiced by Johannesburg playwright Sylvaine Strike. Spoken at 10-second intervals in English and French, the questions address park users, museum-goers and specific objects, among them an urn that dispensed the ancient cure-all medicine theriac.

The Lyon work is a continuation of a project started in 2018 when Webb recorded a voice posing questions to a Chewa mask made in the image of Elvis Presley.

“To whom am I speaking?” asks Strike of a Roman coin from 70CE on view in a former home-appliance factory used by the biennale. “What languages do you speak? Where were you created? What are your memories of that place? What were you worth when you first circulated? How do you see your value now?”

No answers are offered to Webb’s scripted questions; the enquiry, and the silence around it, is all. 

That France is receptive to émigré South African artists with a love of music and sonic mischief is nothing new. Shortly after his arrival in Paris in 1947, painter Gerard Sekoto landed a regular gig as a pianist at a bar in fashionable Saint-Germain-des-Prés. 

In James Webb’s work at the Lyon Biennale, a series of personal questions is addressed to an urn. (Aurelie Troccon/Musee des Hospices Civils de Lyon)

After an unrehearsed audition in which he “strummed and chanted and groaned and shouted”, Sekoto was contracted to play a repertoire of jazz and African-American spirituals. The gig provided income and community at a difficult time in Sekoto’s exile from home.

Sekoto is an important ancestor for Laudi. Born Ntshepe Bopape in Polokwane in 1978, when he was 12, Laudi was awarded a prize to create a mural honouring Sekoto at the Polokwane Art Museum. He learnt Sekoto, too, had lived in Polokwane, working as a schoolteacher there in the 1930s before pursuing art professionally and moving to France.

It was in Paris, as part of his first outing as a curator at Bonne Espérance Gallery last year, that Laudi paid homage to Sekoto. Unable to secure Sekoto’s drawings of Parisian nightclubs for his exhibition Salon Globalisto, Laudi built a sound installation in a nearby church instead. It replayed songs from Sekoto’s 1959 Negro Spirituals, released by the French label Les Disques Deva.

“You could hear Sekoto sing every Saturday for the duration of the exhibition,” says Laudi when we speak via Zoom. “To hear him sing, it was so much more powerful than having a drawing.”

Upping the ante, Laudi’s exhibition at Saint-Étienne’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (up until 16 October) is introduced with Sekoto’s important painting Song of the Pick (1947). The composition depicts a row of nine black men, picks raised in unison, attacking a patch of earth. A pipe-smoking white man, hands tucked into his pockets, oversees their labour. 

“It is breathtaking,” enthuses Laudi of Sekoto’s work, which is owned by mining house South32. “It makes me think of singing, the continuum of the work song and its connection to labour and prison songs. It makes you think of the power of song and community.”

Nigerian Otobong Nkanga’s ‘Kolanut Tales, Dismembered’ on Mo Laudi’s exhibition ‘Globalisto: A Philosophy in Flux’.

Laudi’s enthusiastic account frequently breaks down. In these moments he reverts to imitating the  sounds suggested by the painting, the “sensorial explosion” of Sekoto’s hoisted picks about to break open the ground.

It is claimed Sekoto based Song of the Pick on a 1930s photograph by Andrew Goldie showing nine black labourers with picks being watched by a white master. Laudi repeats this to me. It is only a part of this iconic painting’s story.

In 1938, Eastern Cape artist Dorothy Kay produced a wildly popular, and also widely circulated, etching titled Song of the Pick. Her skilfully conceived work portrays four bare-chested men in a sculptural line hoisting picks.

Sekoto began to explore the same subject in a 1939 watercolour. But it is his 1947 oil composition that refutes the heroic terms of Kay’s study of bare-chested labour, offering in its place something suggestive of unified purpose in the face of white exploitation.

“When people come together, they can fight with strength,” Laudi summarises.

Laudi’s own sense of the power of community was shaped by his love of music. He name-checks Run-DMC, Tupac, A Tribe Called Quest, Mos Def and Saul Williams as early influences. For a time, he went by the rap and graffiti handle “Capone”. 

He adopted the “Mo Laudi” moniker after moving to London in the early 2000s.

“Music choose me in some ways,” says Laudi. “In London, I DJed every night at one point. It created a community, a home away from home. You find a bar and bring your whole gang of friends. 

“I think Sekoto in Paris struggled with that — finding a community. It is what made him dilapidated and end up in a mental hospital.”

Laudi’s move to Paris in 2010 has been less traumatic. Alongside his commercial music pursuits, he increasingly hustled for recognition in the art world. Earlier this year, he showed a suite of abstract paintings at the Dakar Bienniale, accompanied by a sound piece. The work was devoted to the pioneering abstract painter Ernest Mancoba, a colleague of Sekoto at Khaiso High School in Polokwane.

Part of Webb’s Lyon Biennale show.

Laudi’s upbringing cultivated his appreciation for sound. His parents have strong links to the Polokwane Choral Society. Founded in 1977, this storied choir has enjoyed great demand and even sang at Walter Sisulu’s funeral in 2003. Laudi’s father was a singer and his mother a conductor and director. 

In 2016, Laudi’s sister, the award-winning artist Dineo Bopape, detailed the choir’s history in her exhibition Sa Kosa Ke Lerole at the National Arts Festival in Makhanda.

“My sister has always been around somehow,” says Laudi of his better-known sibling. 

“She has used my music in her work. I asked her to do the cover of a release I did a while back.”

He offers this by way of registering a larger point about the “blurring of scenes” that has been central to his multifaceted career — and arguably Webb too, who once fronted a band and has also worked in theatre, producing sound for Athol Fugard’s The Bird Watchers

Gerard Sekoto’s ‘Song of the Pick.

Prompted by his recent expansion into the field of curating, I ask Laudi if curating an exhibition differs from compiling a playlist or DJ mix.

“Vastly,” he says after protracted laughter. “It’s incomparable, but it is comparable. You have to have patience, passion and knowledge. It’s years and years of really feeling the work and nurturing relationships. It is more nuanced. Nah, it’s not the same as making a playlist.”

Globalisto: A Philosophy in Flux is at Saint-Etienne Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMC+) until 16 October.

The 16th Lyon Biennale, featuring James Webb, runs in the city of Lyon until 31 December.


Human Rights Council Concludes General Debate on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Forms of Intolerance

The Human Rights Council this morning concluded its general debate on agenda item nine on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related forms of intolerance: follow-up to and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.

In the general debate, many speakers welcomed the work of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent. They said the comprehensive action-oriented Durban Declaration and Programme of Action remained an essential tool for fighting racism and racial discrimination, and was as relevant today as it was in 2001 when it was adopted by consensus at the World Conference Against Racism in Durban. Some speakers stressed the importance of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action in the elimination of racism and racial discrimination, and reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the Declaration. The implementation and comprehensive follow-up to the Durban Declaration should remain a priority for all States.

Many speakers said that systemic racism and other forms of racial discrimination continued to deprive millions of people of their dignity, equality, and fundamental human rights. Ethnic minorities and groups, namely people of African descent, Asian descent, and Muslim descent, had long been discriminated against and marginalised with their rights violated and their safety under constant threat of violence. Racism, ethnic profiling, and the glorification of crimes committed in the past seriously undermined efforts aimed at promoting international peace and security. Some speakers were concerned about the persistence of structural racism, particularly in developed countries, and their subsequent attempts to avoid their historical debt to people who were victims of slavery.

A number of speakers strongly condemned the racial injustices and racially motivated violence perpetuated against people of African descent, saying that the reports presented under the agenda item painted a bleak picture; it was clear the world was not doing enough to end racism and racial discrimination. Some speakers highlighted instances of Islamophobia, strongly condemning any actions preventing Muslims from practicing their faith. Aligning the actions of terrorist groups with religions such as Islam was an act of racial discrimination. Some speakers said that in autocratic systems, racist hate speech and dehumanisation of ethnic or religious groups were often elevated to the level of state ideology, with an objective to replace any domestic discourse with propaganda about the designated enemy. It was only through collective efforts that racism and racial discrimination could be eliminated. Diversity was a strength and not a threat to society.

Some speakers highlighted that although more than two years had passed since African American George Floyd died as a result of police violence, discriminatory law enforcement against ethnic minorities, and related violence and deaths continued to emerge in some countries. Law enforcement racism and violence were matters of chronic, systemic and structural racism and social inequality in certain countries, with the legacies of slavery and colonialism in their history. Some speakers said it was regrettable that in some of the countries which were self-proclaimed leaders of human rights, people were more likely to be extrajudicially arrested or killed by law enforcement, because of the colour of their skin.

Although digital technologies, including artificial intelligence, presented increasing opportunities, their misuse also entailed risks to fundamental rights and democracy, some speakers said. They expressed deep concern about the increase in online hate speech and harassment, which was often fuelled by algorithms, programmed to register engagement, generate more views, and stimulate users to post hateful content. Despite the opportunities that digital platforms had for public engagement and participation, speakers were concerned that the misuse of those platforms could amplify hate speech and contribute to national, ethnic, racial, or religious polarisation. It was fundamental to protect and promote the right to freedom of opinion and expression in the digital age. There was a need to work on the use of technology as a means of contributing to the fight against racism and racial discrimination.

Some speakers called on relevant countries to face up to the serious problems of racism and racial discrimination in their countries, and comprehensively review and revise discriminatory, policies, overhaul the law enforcement and justiciary bodies, and thoroughly investigate cases of violence to hold offenders accountable and compensate victims. States should take a victim-oriented approach to problems of racism and related intolerances to accelerate action for racial equality and to address the disparities and inequalities in human development. The Human Rights Council and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights needed to attach greater importance to problems of racial discrimination and violence by law enforcement bodies, and take necessary actions.

A number of speakers urged the international community to redouble its efforts to resolve international challenges and address issues related to any form of racism. They said the Council had a role to play in steering the discussion on the issue, with wide engagement and participation of States.

Some speakers spoke about ways their countries were deepening national programmes focused on eliminating racism and racial discrimination, with civil society often playing a fundamental role in this process. They described specific legislation and mechanisms which had been established to prevent, address, eradicate and punish racial discrimination. One speaker informed about specific programmes in place to tackle hate crimes in certain States, including a free programme that assisted victims of anti-Muslim hatred through legal signposting, advocacy, and counselling services. Speakers said many States had been represented at the General Assembly in September where they commemorated the thirtieth anniversary of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious, and Linguistic Minorities.

Speaking in the general debate were China on behalf of a group of countries, Armenia on behalf of a group of countries, Cuba, Venezuela, China, Namibia, India, Armenia, Malaysia, United States, Nepal, Indonesia, United Kingdom, Pakistan, Benin, Bolivia, Ukraine, Malawi, Qatar, Mauritania, Sudan, Germany, Israel, Ecuador, Iraq, Morocco, Bahrain, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Afghanistan, South Africa, Nigeria, Peru, Syria, Belarus, Algeria, Suriname, Türkiye, Tunisia, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Georgia.

The following non-governmental organizations took the floor: International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations, Al Baraem Association for Charitable Work, “Association of Women with University Education” Social Organization, Elizka Relief Foundation, Institute for NGO Research, International Federation for the Protection of the Rights of Ethnic, Religious, Linguistic and Other Minorities, International Service for Human Rights, International Human Rights Association of American Minorities, International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Coordinating Board of Jewish Organizations, Afrique Esperance, World Jewish Congress, China Foundation for Human Rights Development, Al-Haq Law in the Service of Man, China NGO Network for International Exchanges, Interfaith International, Rencontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l’homme, B’nai B’rith, Fitilla, Guinee Humanitaire, and Centre Europeen pour le droit, les Justice et les droits de l’homme.

Also speaking were Chinese Association for International Understanding, China Society for Human Rights Studies, Youth Parliament for SDG, International-Lawyers.Org, Centre for Gender Justice and Women Empowerment, International Humanist and Ethical Union, Meezaan Center for Human Rights, Human Rights Information and Training Center, Human Is Right, Association Ma’onah for Human Rights and Immigration, Peace Track Initiative, Sikh Human Rights Group, International Commission of Jurists, Conselho Indigenista Missionário, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, Conectas Direitos Humanos, Association Bharathi Centre Culturel Franco-Tamoul, Association pour les Victimes Du Monde, Organization for Defending Victims of Violence, Integrated Youth Empowerment – Common Initiative Group, Platform for Youth Integration and Volunteerism, Association pour la défense des droits de l’homme et des revendications démocratiques/culturelles du peuple Azerbaidjanais-Iran, Mother of Hope Cameroon Common Initiative Group, Africa Culture Internationale, Institut International pour les Droits et le Développement, Global Institute for Water, Environment and Health, Iraqi Development Organization, and Le Pont.

Speaking in right of reply were Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The general debate on agenda item nine on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance: follow-up to and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, started in the previous meeting and a summary can be found here.

The webcast of the Human Rights Council meetings can be found here. All meeting summaries can be found here. Documents and reports related to the Human Rights Council’s fifty-first regular session can be found here.

The Human Rights Council will resume its work at 3 p.m. this afternoon when it will hear the oral presentation of the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights in Ukraine, followed by an interactive dialogue. The Council will then hear the presentation of the report of the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, followed by an enhanced interactive dialogue. Time permitting, the Council will hear the presentation of an oral update by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights situation in South Sudan, including the challenges faced in the post-conflict transition, followed by an interactive discussion.


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A large statue of Malawian freedom fighter John Chilembwe has been unveiled in London’s historic Trafalgar Square.

Chilembwe, a pan Africanist who inspired other freedom fighters, who was born in 1871 and grew up in Chiradzulu District, later worked under Joseph Booth, a missionary, and the two eventually travelled to the US, where the Malawian studied theology in Virginia and witnessed the struggles of African Americans.

When he returned to Malawi as an ordained preacher, Chilembwe established a church as well as schools and farms in Chiradzulu.

Chilembwe’s statue stands at five metres towering over that of Chorley’s, John Chorley is a European missionary. The artwork named Antelope and Malawian Samson Kambalu made the statues.

The artwork restages a famous photograph taken in 1914 of Chilembwe standing next to British missionary Chorley, outside his church in Mbombwe village in southern Malawi.

During this time, white settlers were forcing Malawians off their land and Malawian soldiers were also being taken to Tanzania to fight against the German army in the World War One.

Chilembwe expressed discontent over these injustices and in January 1915 he led an uprising against white settlers. Chilembwe was shot dead a few days later while trying to cross into what is now Mozambique.

“The story of Chilembwe reveled the hidden narratives of underrepresented peoples in the history of the British Empire in Africa, and beyond,” says the Mayor of London’s website.

Speaking to the BBC, Kambalu who is an associate professor of fine art at the University of Oxford in England, expressed hope that the statue will start a page in Britain that is still coming to reckoning with their colonial past, and the sculpture brings to light the forgotten histories of the empire, and society is looking for that recognition.

Malawi eventually became independent in 1964 and today, Chilembwe is on banknotes and there are is a highway named after him. Malawi also celebrates John Chilembwe Day on January 15 every year.


Trafalgar square fourth plinth: Who was John Chilembwe?

Antelope, by Malawian-born Samson Kambalu, was unveiled on Wednesday morning (September 28). It is the 14th contemporary artwork to be commissioned in the historic central London square, and the first of an African.

The five-metre sculpture restages a famous 1914 photograph of John Chilembwe, a Baptist preacher and pan-Africanist, and John Chorley, a European missionary, taken at the opening of Chilembwe’s new church in Nyasaland, now Malawi.

In the picture, Chilembwe is wearing a wide-brimmed hat, breaching a colonial rule which forbade Africans to wear hats in front of white people.

Who was John Chilembwe?

Although his figure now takes centre stage in London, Chilembwe remains relatively unknown to many in the UK.

He is widely recognised as one of the first Africans to fight against colonial injustices in the 20th century, staging an uprising against the British in Nyasaland, now Malawi, in 1915.

Although the uprising was unsuccessful, Chilembwe is thought to have inspired many of the most iconic figures of black liberation, including Jamaican political activist Marcus Garvey, and John Langalibalele Dube, the founding president of what went on to become the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa.

“Many people may not know who John Chilembwe is. And that is the whole point,” said Kambalu, an associate professor of fine art at the University of Oxford.

Born in the early 1870s, Chilembwe grew up in Chiradzulu District, in south Nyasaland (modern-day Malawi). He was one of four children, with his father originating from the Yao community, and his mother from the Mang’anja people.

In 1892, he became the house servant of Joseph Booth, a radical missionary who believed in “Africa for Africans”.

Booth and Chilembwe travelled to the US together, with Chilembwe studying theology and African American history in Virginia.

After witnessing first-hand the discrimination faced by African Americans, Chilembwe returned to his country, committed to fighting against the myriad colonial injustices the people of Nyasaland were experiencing.

He worked to establish a mission in Chiradzulu. With financial support from the US, he famously built a brick church and many schools.

How did Chilembwe resist colonial rule?

When Chilembwe returned home from the US, he found a burgeoning resistance movement to British colonial rule. Many Malawians were aggrieved about new laws which took away their land, as well as forced them to work in terrible conditions on white-owned plantations.

After World War One broke out, and 19,000 Malawians were forced to fight against the German army in modern-day Tanzania, Chilembwe was further outraged.

He began planning an uprising, which started in January 1915. The revolt was quickly foiled and suppressed by British soldiers, and only claimed a few casualties.

A few days later, at 43 years old, Chilembwe was shot dead by African soldiers while trying to cross into what is now Mozambique after the British army put out an award for his capture. His church, which had taken years to build, was destroyed by the colonial police.

Most of Chilembwe’s leading followers and some other participants in the rising were executed after summary trials under martial law shortly after it failed.

What is the significance of the statue?

In Kambalu’s sculpture, Chilembwe is almost twice the size of Chorley, as a way of elevating his story and highlighting the distortions in conventional narratives of the British empire.

“By increasing his scale, the artist elevates Chilembwe and his story, revealing the hidden narratives of under-represented peoples in the history of the British Empire in Africa, and beyond,” says the Mayor of London’s website.

Kambalu said: “Antelope on the fourth plinth was ever going to be a litmus test for how much I belong to British society as an African and a cosmopolitan.” The commission had filled him with “excitement and joy”, he added.

He had proposed the sculpture for the fourth plinth before the Black Lives Matter movement took off in the UK, he told the BBC last month.

“I thought I was just going to be like the underdog, because I had made up my mind that I was going to propose something meaningful to me as an African. But we have to start putting detail to the black experience, we have to start putting detail to the African experience, to the postcolonial experience.”

What is Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth?

Since 2003, the fourth plinth has displayed a different piece of artwork every two years.

Originally intended to display a statue of King William IV, it remained empty due to insufficient funds and now exhibits temporary art, selected through public consultation and the commissioning group.

The fourth plinth currently hosts THE END by Heather Phillipson, a sculpture of a giant swirl of whipped cream, with a cherry, a fly, and a drone transmitting a live feed. The programme is funded by the Mayor of London with support from the Arts Council England, and the commissions are chosen by a panel.

Earlier artworks have included Marc Quinn’s sculpture Alison Lapper Pregnant, and Yinka Shonibare’s scaled-down replica of HMS Victory, contained in a glass bottle.


John Chilembwe’s statue unveiled in London’s Trafalgar Square

Kambalu stand in front of the statue in London

A larger-than-life statue of Malawian freedom fighter John Chilembwe has been unveiled in London’s historic Trafalgar Square.

The artwork named Antelope and made by Malawian Samson Kambalu depicts John Chilembwe and John Chorley, a European missionary. Chilembwe’s statue stands at five metres towering over that of Chorley’s.

The artwork restages a famous photograph taken in 1914 of Chilembwe standing next to British missionary Chorley, outside his church in Mbombwe village in southern Malawi.

“By increasing his scale, the artist elevates Chilembwe and his story, revealing the hidden narratives of underrepresented peoples in the history of the British Empire in Africa, and beyond,” says the Mayor of London’s website.

Speaking to the BBC, Kambalu who is an associate professor of fine art at the University of Oxford in England, expressed hope that the statue will start a conversation in Britain that is still coming to reckoning with their colonial past.

“The sculpture brings to light the forgotten histories of the empire, and society is looking for that recognition.”

Chilembwe, a pan-Africanist who inspired other freedom fighters,  was born in 1871 and grew up in Chiradzulu District.

Chilembwe later worked under Joseph Booth, a missionary, and the two eventually travelled to the US, where the Malawian studied theology in Virginia and witnessed the struggles of African Americans.

When he returned to Malawi as an ordained preacher, Chilembwe established a church as well as schools and farms in Chiradzulu.

However, during this time, white settlers were forcing Malawians off their land and Malawian soldiers were also being taken to Tanzania to fight against the German army in the World War One.

Chilembwe statue

Chilembwe expressed discontent over these injustices and in January 1915 he led an uprising against white settlers. The rebellion was not successful and Chilembwe was shot dead a few days later while trying to cross into what is now Mozambique.

Malawi eventually became independent in 1964 and today, Chilembwe is on banknotes and there are is a highway named after him. Malawi also celebrates John Chilembwe Day on January 15 every year.

According to the BBC, the Fourth Plinth, where Chilembwe’s statue has been placed,  is regarded as one of the world’s most famous public art commissions. Since 2003, the Fourth Plinth has been showcasing different pieces of artwork every two years.

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