The Unrest Blog - short bursts of radical insight, event listings, and the most current happenings with the Unrest project.
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
Scholar and author Vivienne Jabri recently gave a fantastic lecture at The School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution on the relationship of critical theory to the contemporary practice of conflict resolution and humanitarian intervention. Jabri discusses the contributions of Kant, Habermas, Foucault, and Arendt to the pressing issues of intervention today, specifically in the cases of Western visions for Afghanistan and Syria. Her remarks make apparent the necessity of critical thought to the field of peace and conflict studies, and we at Unrest Magazine look to Jabri as one of the few thinkers within the field who champion the conversation we have tried to help further. Unrest contributor and renowned author/scholar Richard E. Rubenstein is part of the Q&A session in the second video. Rubenstein presses Jabri on the contributions of Marx and materialism, which Jabri connects to the neoliberal project and the need to support post-colonial resistance movements within the above mentioned conflicts. Jabri’s lecture begins around the 16:50 mark of the first video.
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Welcome to Issue Seven of Unrest Magazine. Issue Seven emerges days before the 2012 elections in the United States. Unrest presents its own form of election coverage by offering three pieces (Michael Loadenthal, Tara Ruttenberg, and Jay Filipi) on voting and the potential for either candidate to change the direction of U.S. policy. Richard E. Rubenstein puts a different spin on the election by examining the impact of theological disputes within the Republican party. As the conflict in Syria rages on, Adan E. Suazo offers an analysis of the failure of the Annan Plan and possible next steps for the international community. In our Banter section, Ramlath Kavil explores human rights abuses in India, while Sramana Majumdar reflects on the impact of the struggle for autonomy in the Kashmir. Cerelia Athanassiou and Michael D. English analyze the consequences of militarism and Sarah Rose-Jensen closes the issue off with a reflection on the personal challenges of doing conflict work. In short, we are thrilled to bring you another issue of Unrest Magazine!
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Unrest contributor and all around insightful guy, Solon Simmons, has a new piece up his blog: Beyond Racial Reductionism: Let’s talk about race. Given how polarizing the race conversation is in the U.S., it’s worth considering the challenges of both using race as a point of unification and difference. Simmons is trying to push the conversation in another direction; one that acknowledges the relevance of the race to the present, but does not get mired in the circularity of past debates. This is how conflict resolution can operate on and in current political debates.
Read Solon’s Unrest piece The Lesson of the Bad Cop in Two Party Democracies in Issue Five.