Rebecca Dalzell ~ A City To Grow Into

“It sounds utopian, I know,” says Daniel Haime, standing over the map of Serena del Mar, the city he is building on the Caribbean Sea. He plans to transform a 2,500-acre site outside Cartagena, Colombia – which his family bought in 1968 – into a lively metropolis. There will be a world-class hospital, low-income housing and state-run schools, a marina and bike trails, a luxury hotel and waterfront dining. One day, vaporetti on the lagoon could connect Serena del Mar to downtown Cartagena.

It seems like an auspicious time to build a new city in Colombia. In 2016, the government and theFARC rebel group signed a peace deal ending 50 years of conflict. A cautious optimism buoys the economy. Bogotá and Medellín, the country’s largest cities, have become models for smart urban design. But not Cartagena. It may be one of the fastest-growing cities in Colombia but, according to Nicolás Galarza Sanchez, a research scholar at New York University’s Marron Institute of Urban Management, it is also a case study in how not to expand. It has spread in a fashion typical of South America: high-rise condominiums for the rich have sprouted along the waterfront while poor settlements made up of squalid, informal dwellings have grown in areas prone to flooding. Galarza and his colleagues are working with the Colombian government to help manage growth in 100 cities across the country.

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Anna Kučírková ~ Millions Face The Life-Threatening Dangers Of Poor Sanitation

In our ever changing and evolving world, improvements in living conditions are essential. Sanitation is our first line of defense against communicable diseases and epidemics of infectious diseases such as influenza, typhoid, cholera, and more.
And while developed nations tend to have outstanding methods of sanitation and good hygiene practices, developing nations still lose millions of lives every year because of poor or non-existent sanitation systems, according to the World Bank (2017).
But knowing generally about the problem doesn’t really help you understand just how bad the situation really is. In order to move toward change, a clear-eyed view of the problem is essential.
Here’s what you really need to know.

The Stark Lack of Basic Sanitation Around The World
Modern sanitation facilities are vital to public health. And while access to sanitary facilities has increased dramatically in the past twenty years, nearly 2.3 billion people still don’t have toilets or access to upgraded latrines.
Thankfully, the General Assembly of UN declared access to safe drinking water and modern sanitation as a human right in 2010. International efforts to help provide safe and accessible drinking water and sanitation are underway.
But, in spite of the progress, the 2015 target to cut the proportion of the population without access to improved sanitation facilities in half missed by nearly 700 million people.
There are still hundreds of thousands of people dying each year from diseases directly related to their lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation.

The one element that perpetuates a vicious cycle of disease and poverty is open defecation.
In places where open defecation is widespread, the number of deaths of children under 5 years old are as high as the levels of malnutrition and poverty.
Access to clean water is one of the keys to defeating the deaths of millions around the globe.

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Amílcar Sanatan ~ The Little-Known Stories Of two Revolutionary Caribbean Women

There is a ‘lost history’ of radical women and women’s organizing in the Caribbean for social and economic justice that changed our landscape for more than a century.

When we think of great leaders, we think of presidents, prime ministers and heads of revolutionary movements. In our collective memory, we sometimes forget the immense sacrifices of left organizers for social, economic and political change. Yet, not all revolutionaries and martyrs are equal.

Working class, non-white, activist, and left women from the Global South suffer from the greatest invisibility. There is a ‘lost history’ of radical women and women’s organizing in the Caribbean for social and economic justice that changed our landscape for more than a century.
In what will forever be remembered as the July 26 Movement, a young Fidel Castro led a failed attack against the Moncada army barracks in Santiago de Cuba in an attempt to inspire a national uprising against dictator Batista. While many of his comrades were slaughtered in the action, the passionate and idealistic Fidel, in 1954 wrote a lengthy critique of capitalism in the Isle of Pines prison, decrying the social and economic ills of Cuba under dictatorial rule instead of making a defense regarding the charges brought against him.

In a speech that has been remembered for one of its precious lines, “History will absolve me,” Fidel Castro joined the distinguished tradition of revolutionaries who defended themselves in court by advancing their radical political beliefs. One year before Fidel would be absolved by history, Claudia Jones, made her defense in a U.S. court challenging the imprisonment she faced because of her communist beliefs.

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Uit het fotoalbum

De ouders van Paula Bermann                         Bertha Hertz 1857 – 1920 & Karl Bermann 1855 – 1928

Het echtpaar Bermann had vijf kinderen:
Isidor Bermann – 1883 (Konken) – 1935 (Ludwigshafen)
Mathilde Bermann -1884 (Konken) – 1942 (Auschwitz)
Ernst Bermann – 1888 (Konken) – 1943 (Sobibor)
Luitpold Bermann – 1891 (Konken) – ?  (U.S.A.)
Paulina Bermann – 1895 (Konken) – 1945 (Bergen Belsen)

Coen van Es & Paula Bermann met de kinderen. vlnr: Inge, Sonja en Hans


Een dagje naar het strand. Hans, Coen van Es, Inge, Paula Bermann en Sonja


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Islamic State & The Artaudian Theatre Of Cruelty

Antonin Artaud (1896-1948)

Intrigued by the idea that the Islamic State’s media is performing Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty, we questioned in this article whether Islamic State’s use of media does indeed compare to the hellish visions of the notorious French dramaturge, and consequently ask ourselves, if so, how we should interpret and give meaning to the eventual connection between two subjects that seem so far apart, and yet so close to each other: the Theatre of Cruelty and the gruesome religiously inspired videos of Islamic State.[i] The results of our analysis confirm significant parallels between the Theatre of Cruelty and the cruel videos of Islamic State. Considering the fact that the message of cruelty is central to many of their videos, we conclude that ‘Islamic State’s media productions indeed implement the characteristics underlying Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty.’ But what does all this mean? Cruelty and violence are indeed elements of human being’s nature. Humankind has to embody it in one way or the other, and from that perspective, it is much better to incorporate these darker sides of men in the metaphysical sphere. We are deliberately speaking here of humankind, irrespective of religious or ethnic background, because there are Westerners and Easterners that have learnt this dear lesson: acknowledging the dark side of men and expressing it in art.

Key words: # Islamic State # Artaud # Theatre # Propaganda # Cruelty # Hermeneutics # Interpretation

1 Introduction
‘Artaud, a sickly child twisted further by the shock of World War I, wanted his actors to “assault the senses” of the audience, shocking parts of the psyche that other theatrical methods had failed to reach.  Well, IS has read the book. It’s been obvious since September 11 that we’re living in an age of vicious political theatre. That’s what ‘terrorism’ is: the manipulation of large populations by shock and awe and ‘liberating unconscious emotions’’ (to quote Artaud).’[ii]

‘If the attacks on the Twin Towers used the iconography of the Hollywood action blockbuster, the beheadings in the desert evoke drama far more ancient – Old Testament strife, Hellenic legend. [..]It may sound unlikely, but ISIS is carrying out in extremis the program of the ‘Theatre of cruelty’ of the influential French dramaturge­demiurge Antonin Artaud.’[iii]

In the summer of 2014, the geopolitical stage was shaken by the Islamic State videos. Starting off a series of terrifying communiqués with a video of the beheading of journalist James Foley in A message to America, Islamic State quickly set a new standard for extremists’ use of media as a propaganda tool. Now that the extreme display of violence has become the hallmark of Islamic State terror, certain journalists have suggested a link between these brutal videos and dramatist Antonin Artaud (1896-1948) and his ‘Theatre of Cruelty’. We were intrigued by the idea that the correspondence between Islamic State’s media outlets and Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty might actually go beyond the shared predominance of cruelty and have taken the suggestion made by Sakurai as a cue to research whether Islamic State’s use of media does indeed compare to Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty on a more fundamental level. And consequently ask ourselves how, if so, we should interpret and give meaning to the eventual connection between two subjects that seem so far apart, and yet so close to each other: the Theatre of Cruelty and the gruesome religiously inspired videos of Islamic State.

The research done is comparative in nature. By comparing and contrasting the principal underlying ideas, the audience/performance relation, and the performance itself of Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty and Islamic State’s video productions, we hope to arrive at a detailed and nuanced understanding if and if yes, how Islamic State and Artaudian theatre relate to each other. The possible connection between both being eventually confirmed, we will consequently dwell on the meaning of such connection. Read more

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Mati Shemoelof ~ …reisst die Mauern ein zwischen ‘uns’ und ‘ihnen’

Ills. Joseph Sassoon Semah

Onlangs verscheen van dichter, auteur, uitgever, en bekende stem in de Arabisch-joodse Mizrahi-Beweging Mati Shemoelof …reisst die Mauern ein zwischen ‘uns’ und ‘ihnen’. Tekst en gedichten wisselen elkaar af.

Het heeft Mati Shemolof enige tijd gekost om te begrijpen dat de geschiedenis van zijn familie uit de geschiedenisboeken is verwijderd en in de Israëlische samenleving is gemarginaliseerd. Je komt in een soort van diaspora terecht als je van Arabische afkomst bent, terwijl Israël een thuis zou moeten zijn voor joden die naar een joodse staat emigreerden, aldus Shemoelof. Hij nam in 2007 dan ook het initiatief om Echoing Identies: Young Mizrahi Anthology uit te geven met teksten van de derde generatie Mizrachi. Door al zijn ervaringen is Mati Shemoelof zich bewust geworden van de diaspora van anderen, of het nu Syriërs zijn in Berlijn, Afghanen, Libiërs of Oost-Europeanen; maar vooral de diaspora van de Palestijnen uit de periode 1948 en 1967 raakt hem.

Shemoelof’s Perzische grootvader werd in het begin van de 20e eeuw gedwongen uit Mashhad (Iran) naar Haifa te emigreren, dat toen nog bij Palestina hoorde. Haifa van voor 1948 was een moderne stad, waar verschillende culturen vreedzaam naast elkaar leefden, waar zijn opa goed zaken kon doen en vrij was. Maar deze Palestijnse geschiedenis van Haifa is niet meer bekend.

De geschiedenis van zijn moeder is kenmerkend voor een familie van Mizrachim, voor joden met een Arabische cultuur en taal. Ze waren goed geïntegreerd in Irak en over het algemeen seculier. Zij werden echter in 1951 gedwongen van Bagdad naar Israël te emigreren, net als zo’n 120.000 andere Iraakse-joodse burgers, met achterlating van al hun bezit. Dat was onderdeel van de deal tussen Irak en Israël: de zionistische beweging kreeg arbeidskrachten en Irak bezit. Maar eerder had al de Farhud in Irak plaatsgevonden: op 1 en 2 juni 1941 vond een Pogrom plaats tegen joden in Bagdad, waarbij tussen de 150 en 200 doden vielen en van velen hun bezit werd afgenomen.

Nu zijn in Israël muren rondom Palestijnen, maar ook om de Arabische joden is een muur geplaatst. En toch zijn vele Mizrachi, die in armoede leven, niet solidair met de Palestijnen.
Om je te verhouden tot al die muren in Israël, in – en extern, is moeilijk en maakte Mati Shemoelof tot activist van de Mizrachi-Beweging, die strijdt voor sociale rechtvaardigheid en erkenning van identiteit. De Mizrachi-Beweging onderzoekt met name de verwantschap tussen hun identiteit en die van de Palestijnen en de Arabische wereld. Read more

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