After the Director of the CIA publicly admitted that the CIA has, in fact, used waterboarding, the agency could hardly argue that this was a state secret.
The documents are, of course, heavily redacted, an insolent gesture of spite to the court, the ACLU and concerned citizens. The graphic effect is comically absurd — and chilling to imagine what else lies beneath the black. Click below for a larger image.
The Privatization of War: Colombia as Laboratory and Iraq as Large-Scale Application is a mapping project by artist Lize Mogel and writer Dario Azzellini, on display at the Gwangju Bienniale in South Korea.
The 50 foot long mural diagrams the relationships between the United States and private military contractors and their activities in Colombia and Iraq. These corporations are less accountable to Congress and the public, and provide “products” and services including:
“risk advisory, training of local forces, armed site security, cash transport, intelligence services, workplace and building security, war zone security needs, weapons procurement, personnel and budget vetting, armed support, air support, logistical support, maritime security, cyber security, weapons destruction, prisons, surveillance, psychological warfare, propaganda tactics, covert operations, close protection and investigations.” [source]
Read more about the project and see a larger image of the map here.
“Perspectives on Anarchist Theory is looking for submissions of maps, cartograms, diagrams, and writing, for a special issue, guest edited by Lex Bhagat and Lize Mogel, on ‘Critical Cartography and Anarchist Geography.’
The map is a device of power. What happens when this device is purposely redirected, hacked mischievously or stolen outright?
This issue of Perspectives aims to carry forward the tremendous momentum which links art, activism, geography and other practices into the expanded “field” of radical geography and cartography. We are inspired by recent mapping projects that redirect the culturally understood authority of maps. Such projects have produced a new type of networked discourse, richly communicating information through image/text. These maps picture concentrations of power and global economic flows; reveal the hidden workings of the prison-industrial complex; uncover contestations of public space; overwrite political boundaries with local ecologies; generate walking tours of feminist social history; direct action against military recruiters or global financial institutions; and provide a funhouse mirror to the absurdity of electoral politics.”
The deadline for proposals has been extended a week to March 22. This should be good.
“SAW (Street Art Workers) is seeking posters for an international street art campaign about land and the effects of globalization. We want you to design and submit posters that will be printed and wheatpasted in cities across Europe and North America. The strongest designs will be published as a mass produced, newsprint poster collection. This will be a 24 page, 2-color newspaper which will include up to 30 posters. SAW will pay for the printing, and volunteers will distribute the posters. The majority of posters will be wheatpasted in public by participating artists and folks who just want to paste up their city.
Based in the U.S., SAW is a network of printmakers, stencil artists, graffiti writers and painters who use the streets for art and activism. We are taking back our cities and towns from the businessmen, cops and politicians who define public space for their own benefit. As a volunteer-run group, we make street art for political campaigns and post each other’s work across North America. Since 2001, our projects have talked about prisons, the mass media and utopian ideas for the future.
We want posters that build connections between international struggles and actual organized projects with high profile publicity. We especially want to see multilingual submissions and work from the perspective of women, Third World communities and indigenous/First Nations. We suggest that artists collaborate with grassroots, social change organizations of their choosing to make posters. We want posters that are both imaginative and relevant to “on the ground” organizing around issues of land, housing and globalization. Working with an organization is not required, but it is encouraged.
It could be argued that Christopher Columbus began our current age of globalization when he washed up on the shores of the New World. The slave trade, imperialism and resource theft that followed in Asia, Africa and America were a brutal beginning for globalization. Today imperial conquest has been refined into cold, impersonal corporate bureaucracies. In the last 30 years these corporations have become economic giants more powerful than many countries. Setting up global assembly lines, today’s corporations move freely around the world forcing countries, rich and poor, to surrender their land, resources and labor. In the process, corporations have made massive profits shifting wealth from the global south to the industrialized north, from the impoverished and working people to the rich and powerful.
SAW wants to look at how this form of globalization has affected our lands and how people are fighting back. How has it affected land in the cities — especially housing? How has globalization impacted land and workers in the countryside with farming, mining, drilling, logging and other resource extraction? What are the connections between land struggles in the global south, indigenous nations and the industrialized north? What are some of the connections between the landless peasants movement of Brazil and the squatter movements of Europe and North America? What links together the struggle against dams in India, hydroelectric projects Canada and water privatization in Latin America and South Africa? How are farmers and campesinos resisting industrial agriculture, like biotechnology and GMOs (genetically modified foods), in the U.S., Mexico and India? What organizing strategies have worked and hich ones have failed? These questions are a starting point. We want to see more questions from you and some hard-hitting answers. We want powerful ideas and inspirational art that we can broadcast directly to the streets in 2005.”
The deadline for submissions is September 1, 2005.
For more info, visit streetartworkers.org
“Carlos Cortez was an extraordinary artist, poet, printmaker, photographer, songwriter and lifelong political activist. His mother was a German socialist pacifist, and his father was a Mexican Indian organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), also known as the Wobblies. Carlos was a Wobblie until he died. He spent two years in prison for refusing to “shoot at fellow draftees” during World War II.
After his release, Carlos took a series of jobs: in construction, in a small imported foods shop, in a chemical factory. He also started drawing cartoons in 1948 for the Industrial Worker, the IWW newspaper, but soon learned to do linoleum block prints.
‘Many radical papers—not having advertising, grants or angels who are rich radicals—operate on the brink of bankruptcy. So Industrial Worker couldn’t afford to make electric plates out of line drawings. I saw that one of the old-timers was doing linoleum blocks and sending them in because the paper was being printed on a flatbed press. I started doing the same thing, and each issue would have one of my linocuts.’
When the price of linoleum became too steep, Carlos started using wood. Used furniture was easy enough to find in any alley. ‘There’s a work of art waiting to be liberated inside every chunk of wood. I’m paying homage to the tree that was chopped down by making this piece of wood communicate something.’ Carlos later became an accomplished oil and acrylic painter, though he always preferred the woodcuts because they were reproducible and affordable.
When the Industrial Worker switched to offset in the 1960s, Carlos began drawing pen-and-ink cartoons. He has also served as editor of the newspaper and on the union’s General Executive Board, and was one of the IWW’s most popular public speakers. In 1985, to commemorate the union’s 80th anniversary, he organized an important exhibition, ‘Wobbly: 80 Years of Rebel Art,’ featuring original works by many IWW cartoonists. Carlos was probably the only IWW artist whose work was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His art is exhibited throughout the United States, Europe and Mexico.
In the 1960s, Carlos married Marianna Drogitis, and in 1965 they moved to Chicago where he became involved with the local Mexican and Chicano mural movement.
‘I’ve always identified myself as a Mexican. I guess this was a result of my early years in grammar school. Even though I resembled my German mother more than my Mexican father, being the only Mexican in a school full of whites made me mighty soon realize who I was. But it was my German mother who started my Mexican consciousness. She said, “Son, don’t let the children at school call you a foreigner. Through your father you are Indian, and that makes you more American than any of them.”’
Inspired above all by the work of José Guadalupe Posada, printmaker of the Mexican Revolution, and the German expressionist Käthe Kollwitz, Carlos blends the techniques and styles of the German expressionists with themes from the ancient Aztecs and modern Chicanos. He made countless images support striking workers, from miners in Bolivia to farm workers in California, though he is best known for large linocut poster-portraits of activists and labor organizers such as Joe Hill, Ricardo Flores Magón, Lucy Parsons and Ben Fletcher.
‘After some 40 years of construction labor, record salesman, bookseller, factory stiff and janitor, I no longer punch a clock for some employer and have entered the most productive phase of my life where I do what I want to do and not what some employer wants me to do for him... As I keep working out ideas, I keep getting more ideas. So I’m going to go out kicking and screaming.’
He passed away last month in Chicago at age 81.
CSPG has posted a couple of images.
“The Tokyo District Court found three peace activists not guilty Thursday of trespassing at a Self-Defense Forces housing facility in the western suburbs of Tokyo and distributing leaflets in mailboxes expressing opposition to the SDF deployment in Iraq.
They were arrested Feb 27 after trespassing Jan 17 at the SDF residential quarters in Tachikawa, Tokyo, to distribute the fliers urging SDF personnel and their families to consider the appropriateness of sending Japanese troops to Iraq.”
The three spent nearly 2 1/2 months in detention.
Japanese police have become increasingly agressive in their crackdown on peaceful protestors distributing political leaflets.
More from the Japan Times:
“The Feb. 27 arrest of the three, members of local citizens’ group Tachikawa Jieitai Kanshi Tentomura (Tachikawa Tent Village to Monitor the Self-Defense Forces), shocked many civic groups and legal experts, who see it as an attempt by authorities to silence antiwar activists.
The handbills say SDF personnel may inevitably be forced to kill Iraqis and call on the service members to critically assess the government’s decision to dispatch troops to Iraq....
After returning home Tuesday night, one of the three, a 47-year-old worker at a public school in Tokyo, said the arrest and subsequent detention caused irreparable damage to his social reputation and career.
He said that on the day of his arrest, some media reported his name as a criminal suspect, and that he must stay away from work as long as his trial is ongoing.
Established in 1972, the group, which currently has seven members, has been posting handbills at the complex for the past two decades, but members claimed there had never been problems until they posted the handbills in January, drawing complaints from the residents.
In April last year, a 25-year-old bookstore employee was arrested for vandalism, after writing antiwar graffiti on the wall of a public lavatory at a park in Suginami Ward, Tokyo. The man said he was questioned by public security police, who grilled him over his political background.
His arrest was unusual, his counsel said, in that instead of the ward initiating a criminal complaint, police approached the ward to do so.
In February, the man was handed a suspended 14-month prison term. He has appealed the case to higher court, claiming his sentence is too harsh for the crime.
In March, a 50-year-old Social Security Agency employee was arrested and charged with violating the National Public Service Law by posting copies of the Japanese Communist Party organ Akahata in more than 100 mailboxes in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward during campaigning for November’s general election.
It is illegal for civil servants to engage openly in election-related activities, but no one has been charged with such an offense since 1967, according to legal experts, although over the years a few have been arrested.
His lawyer said it is unprecedented for a public servant to be arrested for merely posting leaflets. This case was also handled by public security investigators, who raided the man’s home, workplace and the JCP’s office in Chiyoda Ward.
‘Posting leaflets is the most peaceful means and one of the few tools powerless citizens have to convey their message,’ said Katsuko Kato, a 66-year-old cram school teacher who heads the Tachikawa citizens’ group. She added that peace activists targeting SDF bases widely employ the tactic.
‘This (renewed) oppression of citizens’ voices and the rights of those in the military to have wide access to information was something that was prevalent during the war. It reminds me that Japan is again at war,’ she added.”
Of course, article 9 of Japan’s Constitution forbids the country from engaging in war:
“Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. 2) In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.”
That is, the same Constitution drafted by the occupation government of the United States military in 1946.
Read more about the history of Tachikawa Tent Village to Monitor the Self-Defense Forces.
See this previous post on recruiting graphics for Japan’s Self-Defense Force.
Those little yellow magnets seem to be everywhere. Not quite posters, it’s a regular grassroots movement of car signage, marking the public space in the bumper-to-bumper gaps between the private. (And what better place to support a war for oil?)
Since the civil war, the ribbon has been used to welcome home loved ones who had been away at war or in prison. The popular 1973 song was loosely based on the story of a soldier returning home from the Civil War. It was a number one hit in April 1973, at the height of the Vietnam War — a time when many veterans ambled to a less than friendly welcome.
But the meaning of the yellow ribbon has shifted over time. Do the current ribbons encourage support of those broken and maimed veterans showing up at homeless shelters? I presume not. I read the symbol as more than just a welcome home, but sign of “loyalty,” not just a show of concern for U.S. soldiers at war, but to admonish those who are not sufficiently supportive — for instance, who oppose the war.
Which is why I’m inclined towards the more specific version produced by United for Peace and Justice:
And the more oppositional styling of the duct tape version: