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Showing posts from August, 2013

Two plays

The Spokesman has received recommendations for two plays running in London this summer:

A couple of experiences friends may be interested in.

Rarely, we go to London for the theatre. This weekend we did.

Theatres beset with financial pressures are pushed into re-interpretations of classical productions, or depend on star billings to draw an audience. And so as not to offend wealthy patrons, they stay clear of politically contentious themes. There are exceptions – Maxine Peake’s enactment of Shelley’s Peterloo protest poem “The Masque of Anarchy” – but they remain exceptions.

However, we saw a couple of plays, which I at least (Joe) must confess, I went to out of interest in the issues aired, rather than in expectation of a dramatic feast. We got both.

On Friday night we saw Aime Cesare’s “A Season in the Congo”, about the travails of the Congo. It provides in dramatic form, a history lesson in de-colonialism/re-colonialism. When Patrice Lumumba was elected Prime Minister there in 1960…

Hiroshima Day (6 August)

The opening verses of James Kirkup's poem, 'White Shadows', about a photograph of the white shadow left by a man annihilated in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. Nagasaki suffered a second atomic attack three days later.
White Shadows
It was another morning, another morning.
A morning like any other, of dust and death.
A morning of war: raids, speeches, warnings.
In wartime, all mornings are alike.

Your were crossing a bridge in Hiroshima,
A bridge of plain cement, a place without mystery.
Below, the grey river ran as always, going somewhere,
Metalled and moved by the early summer sun.

The sun, that cast your shadow clearly, a healthy black.
It was the shadow of a complete man, someone
With a life, a personality, a past: but
Moving through a present that could have no future.

What were you thinking? Were you feared, hated, loved? Were you late for work? Sad or sick? Artist, student? Photographer or newsman returning home after a night out?
What was …

PIK/CAMPACC: Margaret Owen now 5 days on hunger strike for Shaker Aamer

Margaret Owen on hunger strike, in support for Shaker Aamer.

Margaret Owen is among the protesters entering a solidarity hunger strike for British Guantanamo Bay prisoner Shaker Aamer. The campaign aims to put pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron to secure Mr Aamer’s release from the illegal US prison camp. Mr Aamer, whose family lives in Battersea, has been held in Guantanamo Prison without charge since 2002 when Afghan soldiers in Jalalabad abducted and delivered him to the US Bagram airbase.

Mr Aamer’s lawyers maintain that he was working in Afghanistan for a Saudi charity and say his jailers extracted false confessions under torture. He has long been cleared for release by the US.

The hunger strike is part of Reprieve’s Stand Fast for Justice campaign, which began with a weeklong hunger strike by reprieve founder and director Clive Stafford Smith, who is also Mr Aamer’s lawyer. He was later joined by Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle, and actress Julie Christie.

For more inform…

'Constructive Bloodbath' in Indonesia

In 2009, Spokesman published 'Constructive Bloodbath' in Indonesia: The United States, Britain and the Mass Killings of 1965-66 by Nathaniel Mehr, with a foreword by Carmel Budiardjo.

Historian Gabriel Kolko described the book as "EXCELLENT ... MUCH NEEDED".

Now, a contact in the United States strongly recommends THE ACT OF KILLING, a movie set against the background of these terrible events.

A film by Joshua Oppenheimer
Executive produced by Errol Morris, Werner Herzog and André Singer
116 mins. - Denmark/Norway/UK HD - 16:9 - 5.1 Dolby

'Constructive Bloodbath' in Indonesia is available to buy from our website.