The rush to write profound things about Boston is now under way, but the week of April 15, 2013 was a shit week for humanity. Devastating earthquakes occurred in both Iran and China. A portion of Waco, Texas was decimated due to a fertilizer factory explosion. And dare we acknowledge the continued mass violence that marred elections in “post-conflict” Iraq. Yet despite the fact that these other events caused more death, injury, and destruction, they will barely penetrate the national conversation in the United States. Other events will creep through the media screen only to take a backseat as pundits and politicians argue about just how much Islam makes for a proper terrorist. It seems we have a new one-drop rule. Instead of speculating about the political content (or lack thereof) of the Brothers Tsarnaev atrocious actions, it seems more appropriate to focus on what we learned about the new normal – that is life in the United States after 9/11.
One of my favorite artists, Lori Larusso, has a spread over at Beautiful Decay right now. Lori’s work is a constant inspiration for the things I try to do here at Unrest. In the future when space and time permit, I certainly might try to expand on those connections since the Unrest project is to some degree a way in which I try, with varying degrees of success, to mix the two realms I care most about – art and politics. Check out Lori’s paintings here and have your mind blown: http://beautifuldecay.com/2013/04/18/paintings-inspired-by-the-perception-and-misconception-of-middle-america/
Work by Lori Larusso
Greetings and welcome to Unrest Magazine.
We have just published our 8th issue. You can view the table of contents here: Unrest Magazine Issue 8
This issue is largely framed around Vivienne Jabri’s Human Rights, Sovereign Rights, & the Potentials of Conflict Resolution*. We’ve asked two of conflict resolution’s most interesting thinkers, Sara Cobb and Richard Rubenstein, to offer thoughts on the future of the field. Other pieces from this issue on conflict education, drones, capitalism, Occupy!, the Boston bombing, Iran’s nuclear program, and much more.
The Unrest Editorial Cell – May 1, 2013
In a little less than two months, the year 2012 will draw to a close and so will the Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 campaign. Whether or not Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), is captured or killed is to some extent irrelevant given the success of Invisible Children’s efforts to make him internet-famous and a household name. While I am in awe of the visibility the Kony 2012 effort captured, I find myself more concerned with what it revealed about the current state of conflict work. Conflict work in this case is defined as actions taken by parties who intervene in societies experiencing or recovering from violence. Such work is generally connected to conflict resolution, development, human rights peacebuilding, and other related types of third party intervention. Although Invisible Children is only one particular NGO and Kony 2012 one intervention attempt, combined they are a particularly telling example of the disunity of what is considered appropriate when it comes to conflict work. Invisible Children’s ability to organize and market their cause set a bar unmatched in recent memory; nevertheless, as a precedent for future interventions it comes with a steep price. Kony 2012 might be a very successful piece of propaganda, but it is an equally disastrous piece of conflict practice.
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Or how I’m getting to know my neighborhood from the ground up and share it with the world.
Decay + DC (a Tumblr photoblog http://unrestmag.tumblr.com) began as an attempt to understand my new neighborhood. After two years of the suburban sterility of Arlington, Virginia I relished the opportunity to move back to a city, particularly one as diverse and rich in history as Washington, DC. One might be tempted to dismiss the significance in a move of only seven miles; one would be mistaken.
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Unrest Magazine and The School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution hosted a conversation on the future of Occupy Wall St. and 2012 U.S. Presidential Elections. A video of the event can be accessed here at the bottom of the page: http://scar.gmu.edu/event/13406.