World


Sunday 9 June, 2013.

Today marks our seventh full day here.  For many of our team of people representing different ILPS member organizations and peoples (with representatives from indigenous peoples of the Philippines, Latin America, Switzerland, and others) this is our first experience working directly with the native peoples of this land.  It has been a worthwhile experience.

It’s noon as I write this in my camp notebook.  I’m sitting in the diffused blue light under the tarps tied onto A-frames made of thin pine trees chopped down during our first day.  It is our camp centre and kitchen.

Clearing the location of the cabin.  To the left under the blue tarps is the kitchen common area, to the right will be the cabin, this is from earlier in the week. In the photo Sara is clearing away debris.

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*After university I didn’t know what to do with myself.  So I wandered round SEAsia for a few years.  You know: one way ticket, wander till I ‘find myself,’ blah, blah, blah… 

Sometimes I get sentimental about those days, in hindsight it all seemed so effortless.  But I kept journals.  And I wrote (and kept) emails.  So despite what my stupid mind today might think, my stupid mind from yesterday is there to remind me.  It’s interesting to look back though, so though I have already posted some old writings (like here and here), in the next little while I think I will post a few more. 

So if you’d care to join me, here are some words from young me, just as stupid as current me, just in a slightly different way…

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This photo was taken as we pushed off, still at a very calm and peaceful part of the river. After it started to get a little choppy (not yet white water), the guy in front asked to switch places with me. I agreed.  And then this happened…

– Java, Indonesia. 2002 –

<”LEGS FORWARD!!! LEGS FORWARD!!!”> roared the rafting guides in Indonesian.

Despite the raging torrents of water rushing around me I could hear the panic in their voices.  In the fleeting moments of visibility granted by the rushing river I had fallen into I could see the yellow raft and the desperate gaze of my fellow white-water rafters.

It dawned on me as I was uncontrollably dragged down river, or perhaps it was when I struck a boulder violently with my right shoulder, that perhaps falling into rapids at the top of rocky, fast moving, white water might not be in the best interest of my health. (more…)

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by alex felipe (alexfelipe.photographer@gmail.com)

The Connecticut mass shooting was a tragedy, it was the seventh this year alone. The media, mainstream and social, have been ablaze with justified outrage. Many fingers are being pointed in so many directions that for those seeking to understand why, they would equally be justified in being left in a daze.

The Western Left, in its decades long insecurity, has allowed the field to be dominated by voices placing blame on symptoms rather at the root cause.

The aftermath of Newtown has shown the need for a coherent and inclusive narrative from the Left. Instead, what we see are calls for small reforms to the system that has already failed us.

It’s time for the Left to step up. To again allow itself to think big. To again dare to put forward a grand narrative. (more…)

So I went to Vegas with the fam last week.  As you can probably guess from my other posts, I’m not really a Vegas kind of guy.   So it’s not really much of a surprise that I was not a huge fan of the place.

More than anything else, it was the falseness that bothered me.  The morning I realised the ‘milk’ I was putting in my coffee (the little disposable kind given out at restaurants) wasn’t really milk but a ‘non-dairy’ chemical substitute almost did me in.  (more…)

*** This is another old piece of writing from my big Asia wander way back in 2001-2003.  I was working as an ESL school in Yogya, Indonesiaat the time I wrote this.  I was a kid just out of school looking for something that I couldn’t properly articulate, and thus couldn’t grasp.  It was on this 2.5 year wander that I eventually picked up a camera for the first time.***

Monday 17 December, 2002

The girl who sat next to me on the bus to Semarang had the aura of one that worked in the fields of Java. It was not the way she dressed, nor anything else she carried that gave me that impression. It was her smell. (more…)

A couple of weeks back we at the Kapisanan Philippine Centre hosted a group of delagates from across the Americas for a session during the ‘Ignite the Americas‘ conference in Toronto.

As it says on their website the conference was about:

Recognizing and building upon the increasingly important role that arts and cultural expressions play as an engine for economic growth and positive youth engagement both in Canada and throughout the Americas, the Government of Canada, through the Department of Canadian Heritage (PCH), will present Ignite The Americas: Youth Arts Policy Forum, to take place in Toronto, Canada from September 15-21, 2008. (more…)

I know the Olympics are on, but isn’t anyone else transfixed by the media’s completely uncritical analysis of the Georgian situation?

The Georgian conflict, if North American media outlets are to be believed, is the result of a Russian ‘invasion’ that smacks of a ‘Soviet-style Cold War mentality.’ But even European outlets agree that Georgia clearly struck first. (more…)

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