New Issue of Utblick: Mind the Gap

Framsida

The last issue of  2013 covers different types of gaps: gaps of power and within the political spectrum, gaps between sexes and within cities, as well as the literally palpable thigh gap. You could also read about how Erdogan’s Turkey widens the gap to Atatürk’s ideals, or about how widening gaps within nations relate to narrowing gaps between nations. Even more topics on the theme are waiting to be read, don’t miss it!

As always, you can find the magazine at coffee shops, libraries and university institutions all over Göteborg, or read it online here*.

With this issue, Jenni S. Lindberg and Jonas Eriksson resign from our posts as Editors-in-Chief, and welcome Utblick’s new Editors Aiysha Varraich and Josef Svantesson. Thanks for us, and good luck!

*The web version includes some minor corrections.

New Issue of Utblick: Colours

Nr 3 2013The latest issue of Utblick emanates from the significance of colours. Colours are assigned different meanings over time and place, and are often a powerful symbol in its simplicity. The different colours of Wiphala, an ancient flag from the Andes, used to represent cultural heritage but is upcoming as a symbol for resistance. In Thailand, every weekday is assigned a colour. Here, the king has a peculiar trendsetting role: as he was born on a yellow Monday, the public is generally seen wearing yellow clothing on Mondays to manifest their royal support. In Gothenburg, Way out West festival took the “green” stance to stop selling any meat, stirring up controversy, whereas the ecological outlook is rather dim when it comes to pharmaceutical industries. Read about these issues and much more in Utblick #3 2013. You’ll find it in print at cafés, libraries and university institutions, or download the digital version from here. Enjoy reading!

On the same theme, featured only on the web, is this article on the ideology and realpolitik: Colours and Contrasts in World Politics

New Issue of Utblick: Science and Politics!

Utblick Framsida 2_2013

The newest issue of Utblick investigates the interplay between science and politics. In China, industrial development has generated severe air pollutions, putting the regime in a political dilemma of how prioritise between economical development and environmental and health concerns. A political decision with local implications in Gothenburg has recently been made at EU level, granting the huge sum of €54 million to promote research regarding the new material grafen. Technological breakthroughs that enable new ways to extract oil can have huge geopolitical consequences, while 3D printers might democratise the means of production. In this issue of Utblick topics like these are explored from different angles, and it will hopefully give you some new insights in the world of science, and politics. You’ll find it in print at cafés, libraries and university institutions, or download the digital version from here. Enjoy reading!

 

And don’t hesitate to email us feedback, comments and critique at editors[at]utblick.org

 

A Brand New Issue of Utblick Released!

Framsida

The first issue of Utblick of the year is now released! The entire issue investigates different aspects of the relation between sex and international politics, featuring articles on trafficing, gay rights, sex tourism, ecological sex toys, gender, norms and much more. Meet the acclaimed documentary filmmaker Nahid Persson Sarvestani in an interview where she talks about her struggle for womens rights in Iran, read an analysis on how the horrifying rape case in India could possibly lead to much needed reforms, learn about how legalization of weed has been proposed as an instrument to curb sexual drive. In short, this issue is stuffed with interesting texts, and you shouldn’t miss it! You’ll find it in print at cafés, libraries and university institutions, or download the digital version from here. Happy reading!

And don’t hesitate to email us feedback, comments and critique at editors[at]utblick.org

 

Radio Global Voices: Sustainable Development, Right Here, Right Now!

“Sustainable development is like teenage sex – everybody claims they are doing it but most people aren’t, and those that are, are doing it very badly”

— Professor Chris J Spray

Global Voices focus is on Sustainable development this time. We all hear about, we talk about but how much we know about it?

Inspired from The Gothenburg Award on Sustainable Development (GASD) we thought to make our contribution and bring this concept one more time in the minds of our listeners. Apart our insightful Vox Pop, you have the chance to listen an interesting interview with the winner of this year’s award, Dr.Micheal Biddle.

Listen here: [audio:http://www.utblick.org/wp-content/uploads/showSustainableDevelopment.mp3]

Host of tonight’s show:
Ermelinda Kanushi, Hanna Katarina Nyroos

VoxPop interviews: Ermelinda Kanushi
Micheal Biddle interview: Hanna Katarina Nyroos

About Global Voices

Dokumentär: The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975

blackpowermixtapeHelt orelaterat till Barak Obamas installation för en ny mandatperiod ägnade jag min måndagskväll åt den dubbelt Guldbaggebelönade dokumentären The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975. Filmen utgörs av bortglömda TV-inslag gjorda av SVT-journalister, som utifrån ett svenskt perspektiv försöker skildra militariseringen av den svarta medborgarrättsrörelsen i USA.

I ovanligt närgångna intervjuer får vi möta högintellektuella aktivister som Stokely Carmichael, myntaren av slagordet ”Black Power” och sedermera utsedd till hederspremiärminister i Black Panthers, och Angela Davis, filosof och nyckelperson i USAs kommunistparti.

Dokumentären är i lika hög grad en lärorik – om än långt ifrån komplett – historielektion i de politiska krafter som inte föll in i leden bakom Martin Luther Kings icke-våld, som den är en studie i hur dessa rörelser där och då skildrades av svenska journalister för svensk publik, medan den förestående utvecklingen ännu var högst oviss för ett samhällsbygge vars sprickor blir allt tydligare.

Efter att King mördats 1968 tilltar radikaliseringen; att även icke-våldsförkämpar mördas ses som ytterligare ett bevis för vad Stokely Carmichael menar är ett felaktigt antagande i Martin Luther Kings filosofi: att omvända sina förtryckare genom att med ickevåld uppmärksamma sitt lidande fungerar bara om förtryckaren har ett samvete. Det vita USA – menar Carmichael – har inget samvete.

Socialistiska Black Panthers bygger egna hälsokliniker, skolor och tillhandahåller juridisk hjälp, samtidigt som partimedlemmarna vapen- och sjukvårdstränas. Den av dokumentärens titel antydda kopplingen till musik är på det stora taget diffus, men i en scen från 1969 får vi se hur ännu inte tonåriga barn i Black Panthers lokaler tar till en kampvisa på melondin från Land of 1,000 dances: ”Guns, pick up the guns and put the pigs on the run”. I övrigt går dokumentärens tydligaste koppling till musik genom att olika musiker, bland annat Harry Belafonte, Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli och John Forté, väger in och kommenterar de olika inslagen.

Genom Vietnamnkrigets hemkommande veteraner introduceras ett omfattande heroin- och crackmissbruk i svarta områden – möjligen understött av FBI och CIA – som fläckar rörelsens intellektuella skärpa. En äldre bokhandlare i Harlem föreläser med ett slående visdomsflöde behovet för den yngre generationen av kunskap framför att fastna i rasbaserade roller:

Black is beautiful, but 
black isn’t power – knowledge is power!
For you can be black as the crow
You can be white as snow
But if you don’t know
And ain’t got no dough
You can’t go
And that’s fo’ sure 

Sammantaget omfattar dokumentären skarpa analyser från dåtidens aktivister, en intressant inblick i en måhända otillräckligt uppmärksammad del av medborgarrättsrörelsen sedd genom svenska 70-talsbrillor samt en lektion i politiska rörelsers olika faser, förgreningar och upp- och nedgångar. Jag kan inte hjälpa att känna viss nostalgi inför en antirasistisk kamp vars utveckling sakta men säkert gick åt rätt håll, jämfört med den apati som kan överkomma mig inför rasismens växande utbredning här och nu – men den nostalgin kan jag snabbt avfärda med att situationen här trots allt ännu är långt bättre än vad som skildras i dokumentären och att lärdomen trots allt är att politiskt kamp faktiskt lönar sig. Dags att göra nytta!

Text: Jonas Eriksson

Radio Global Voices looks back at the events of 2012

The world is falling apart this weekend, according to the Maya Calendar. But we’re not gonna talk about that. Instead, since the year is ending, whether falling apart or not, we’ll take a look at some of the global events of 2012. Some go for Christmas, some go for Santa Lucia, and some for Hannukkah, while we at Global Voices just go back in time.

Global Voices’ team went into the field to ask students in Gothenburg on their opinion about the year that we are leaving behind. What has happened worldwide this year? Can we say that 2012 has been a continuation of 2011, or a beginning of something new?
In the show, we also highlight some of the more forgotten events of the past year.

[audio:http://www.utblick.org/wp-content/uploads/show3WithoutMusic.mp3]

Hosts: Anna Reumert and Ermelinda Kanushi
Voxpop interviews: Senka Purkovic and Patrik Wendeblad

Om Global Voices

Film Review: Dear Mandela

The film Dear Mandela takes off in the illegal settlements of Durban, South Africa. Despite its name, it is not a film about Nelson Mandela himself, but more about the legacy of this highly esteemed man. South Africa has perhaps not come as far as many South Africans wished, over the almost 20 years since the fall of Apartheid. Inequalities are still growing and a large portion of the urban population is still living in shacks on the outskirts of cities, with no right to land or security.

The main character of the film, a youth activist named Mazvi, symbolizes the divergence between the hope that Mandela fostered about change and the dire situation in which many people in South Africa are living today. This divergence is also apparent in the way that people are barely allowed to criticise the African National Congress (ANC), the party of Nelson Mandela, despite the fact that the ANC government in charge had limited success in changing the desperate living-situation, especially in the urban areas.

In this documentary we follow the group Abahlali baseMjondolo, residents of the shacks, in their struggle to reverse some of the injustices of the South African system. Peoples´ homes were being demolished without legal justification, and residents of the settlements were forced to move to temporary housing estates, where the living conditions have sometimes been worse than before. The queues for permanent housing were getting longer as the promise of a solution grew bleaker. Government-paid demolition men, called “red ants” because of their uniform overall, who themselves mostly stem from poorer areas, were hired to destroy illegal shacks. This led Abahlali baseMjondolo to take actions and fight for the right of their people. This is what the film is about.

The Swedish premier of Dear Mandela took place on 14 November 2012 at The Museum of World Culture as a part of the Global Week, arranged by the University of Gothenburg. Two members of the subsequent panel discussion, Thembani Ngongoma from Abahlali baseMjondolo and Marianne Millsten from the Nordic Africa Institute, agreed that the abolition of apartheid has not brought an end to inequalities in South Africa. Both confirmed that South Africa is facing huge problems, which span beyond the housing situation.

South Africa is the protest capital of the world. We are protesting the lack of basic needs, but it is also a question of human dignity and democracy. South Africa is heading for a catastrophe and change can only come from the grassroots. People have to make their own decisions, said Thembani Ngongoma

According to Marianne Millsten, the problem lies in the lack of local democracy, which was promised to the population by the ANC but not realized.

As we see in this movie, people are still being discriminated against, but people also take up the fight and build their networks from scratch to achieve their goals. It is very humbling to see their sacrifices and the resources that go into these movements. But on the question of where South Africa is heading, well, I wish I had an answer, said Marianne Millsten.

The directors Dara Kell and Christopher Nizza make it apparent that Abahlali baseMjondolo faces challenges from both the government and other activist groups. Big victories are levelled by great defeats and violent attacks.

The story of the film is solely told by its protagonists, which makes the messages authentic, but also causes some confusion with the storyline. Nevertheless, for an interesting insight into one of the most pressing problems facing South Africa, Dear Mandela is definitely worth a watch.

By Frida Göteskog 

New Issue of Utblick Released!

An amazing new issue of Utblick is now released! It is the last one for the year, looking into the future. Depending on from which end you start to read it, you will get either a utopian or dystopian angle on different subjects, such as the vegetarianism and the meat production, the war on drugs, prospects of space tourism and Brazil’s role as a regional power. You can also read interviews with possible employers, politicians and a historian’s view on what we can learn from history. And much more, all delivered in a lovely retro look! You can find it on University insitutions, libraries and cafés all over Gothenburg, or download it online from here. Don’t miss this!

Go to the places that scare you

 A review of the lecture on civil courage by Brian Palmer at the Gothenburg Annual Lecture on Global Collaboration, November 2012

Outside the windows of the old university building in Vasaparken, the fog and the darkness join each other, spreading a cold and dark blanket over the city of Gothenburg. Two hours ago, I attended a seminar on climate change in the same room and even though the speakers talked about global warming, I was freezing cold all the way into my bones. This lecture on civil courage, however, will make me leave the building a lot warmer later.

“Go to the places that scare you”, Brian says, in a whispery yet exhorting voice, and continues, “that is what civil courage means, to go to the places that scare you, to go in the opposite direction from everyone else, to run toward the fire”.

The lecture on civil courage is not the traditional lecture where Brian would talk about the definitions of the term and how it is used. It is a lecture where stories about courageous persons in history are used for inspiration, for making an impact on our hearts and for making us think about our own reactions in similar situations.

He begins by talking about a recent event in Pakistan where a little girl, named Malala Yousufzai, was shot for writing a blog for BBC about the life of an eleven-year old girl in Pakistan’s Swat walley. He also talked about the German resistance activist Sophie Scholl, Witold Pilecki, who snucked into Auschwitz to be able to report to the world about what was going on in there. Following, Palmer returned to more recent years and talked about a Russian journalist, Anastasia Baburova, who was shot in 2009 along with a human rights lawyer on the streets of Moscow by some gunmen. He finished with a story about Wesley Autrey from New York, who showed an unconceivable civil courage when he chose to risk his own life by acting as a human shield to a man who, due to an epileptic seizure, had fallen down on the track  when a subway train was coming. A story which made everybody in the room think, would I done the same thing? Would I have chosen to risk my own life in order to protect a stranger in the subway?

It is not only the stories about these extremely courageous persons that make my body feeling warmer, it is how after each story, Brian turns to the picture of the person and shares his admiration. Despite his thin body, Brian Palmers has a heart large enough to warm up everybody in the big, old aula. Brian’s lecture on civil courage may not make you jump in front of a train and protect another person, but afterwards you certainly want to become a better person, a person who goes to places that scare, who goes in opposite directions of anyone else, who runs to the fire. Everybody may not be a Wesley Autrey, but maybe you can be a “snack man”, who silently blocks the way of the offender while continuing snacking on fries. To view the clip on “snackman”, click on the link below,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Erlw-ODVZxU

By Paulina Widell