Does Anybody Care If Bangladesh Drowns?

A great documentary featured at the Bali environmental conference this year. This film has been screen in many universities across the world. We have put the RealNews interview with the documentary director, but we will upload the documentary soon. To watch the interview, please click on the movie clip, “Does Anybody Care …” from the movie bar on the right side, or CLICK HERE

Guns N’ Roses on Immigrants

“We are funs of western celebrities.  We do what they make us to do, because we think following them is ‘modern’. But you know, they try to make money by offending or destroying our cultures and practices. So, it is like the Burmese saying “Mi Aye Na Khar Nar”: we gave money to them (by buying their products), and we forego our culture by willing to accept the form of cultural they impose on us (and the world).

But how do those celeberities think of other people? Look at this lyrics from Guns N’ Roses:

Immigrants
and faggots
They make no sense to me
They come to our country–
And think they’ll do as they please
Like start some mini-Iran
Or spread some fuckin’ disease”
(just found this from one of my readings, source: Mills 1996, quoted in Amitava Kumar, “Passport Photos, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.)

Note: this post came out of a group discussion. This has been put on PM with the permission of the email sender.

Differences and Community as Social Constructs

…”In such sets of arguments… there is a failure to recognize that differences between people based on their religions, cultural practices, languages, national identities, and so on, are not pre-existing, natural social formations…. [Such] identities are neither accidental nor inevitable. Rather, whether it is nations or languages, blood, soil, or races, communities based on each and every one of these markers of difference has been sociall imagined.” (emphasis in original) (Nandita Sharma (2006), “Home Economics: Nationalism and the Making of ‘Migrant Workers’ in Canada”, p. 158) 

“… it is especially important to note that the contemporary identities of oppressd and exploited groupings of people are as socially and historically consituted as are thouse of the groups that oppress and exploit them” (source: ibid).

… Community is never a fixed social unit but a continual negotiation of what [James Donald] calls ‘being in common’…[In this view], commonality is not based on ideas of origin, however. Likewise, it is not dependent on the organization of discrete groups of members and non-members. Instead, community is built through experiences of trying to negotiate alterity with our ‘Noisy Neighbours’ (Donald, 1999, In Sharma, p. 159) .

Documentary Section Added

We have added a Documentary Section. It is located on the top of the page on the right hand side. Please click here to go to the page. We will be greatly appreciated if you could share texts, audio or visual clips that are interesting on our blog.

Is Colonialism Over?

NOTE: The  documentaries on your right side might be helpful in linking colonialism and imperalism (Britain, the master of colonialism – part 1 and 2 on colonialism; Chomsky’s interviews on imperalism). And “the Nature of Things” links colonialism, capitalism, development and environmental crisis)

“It might be seem that because the age of colonialism is over, and because the descendants of once-colonized peoples live everywhere, the whole world is postcolonial…. ” (page 7)

“The term ‘post-colonial’ does not apply to those at the end of those…ho are still ‘at the far economic margins of the nation-state’ so that nothing is ‘post’ about their colonisation” (page 9).

“National ‘development’ has no space for tribal cultures or beliefs” [and] the “anti-colonial movements have rarely represented the interest of all the peoples of a colonized country”(page 10-11).

“The dismentaling of colonal rule did not automatically bring about changes for the better in the status of women, the working class or the peasantry in most colonised countries. ‘Colonialism’ is not just something that happens from outside a country or a people, not just something that operates with the collusion of forces inside, but a version of it can be duplicated from within” (page 12). (Source: Ania Loomba. Chapter 1: ‘Situating Colonial and Postcolonial Studies’, In Colonialism/Postcolonisalism)  

Global Climate Change

Click Here to Watch the Movie

“What we are seeing is the beginning of a planetary climate shift that has potentially dire consequences for life on earth.” — Elizabeth Vargas from the ABC 20/20 Special “Last Days on Earth”. Some cities will disappear, millions of people will be displaced as a result. Read the rest of this entry »

Mutations in Citizenship, Graduated Sovereignty and Flexible Citizenship

This is a good one, a new idea on citizenships reflecting the globalizing world in which people, things and cultures are more mobile. It looks at how belonging to a country (citizenship) has been influenced by economic calculation, rather than traditional national citizenship. This article have been referenced by many. comment by Sai Lian.

“Meanwhile, strict discriminations between citizens and foreigners are dropped in favor of the pursuit of human capital.” (On page 409).

Also she has two other concepts written along the same line, called Graduated Sovereignty (see journal article here)” (2000) and Flexible Citizenship (see book review here) (1999). comment by Myo.

Contact Peer Myanmar if you can’t access to the pages.

Abstract of Mutations in Citizenship: “Mutations in citizenship are crystallized in an ever-shifting landscape shaped by the flows of markets, technologies, and populations. We are moving beyond the citizenship-versus-statelessness model. First, the elements of citizenship (rights, entitlements, etc.) are becoming disarticulated from each other, and becoming re-articulated with universalizing criteria of neoliberalism and human rights. Such ‘global assemblages’ define zones of political entitlements and claims. Second, the space of the ‘assemblage’, rather than the national terrain, becomes the site for political mobilizations by diverse groups in motion. Read the rest of this entry »