Category Archives: the imaginary and the real

Philip Maisel’s Oral History of Jewish Holocaust Experiences

Jewish Holocaust Centre, Melbourne ….  http://www.jhc.org.au/museum/collections/survivor-testimonies.html

The JHC has over 1300 video testimonies as well as over 200 audio testimonies in its collection. These provide eyewitness accounts of the horrors of the Holocaust, as well as glimpses into the vibrancy of pre-war Jewish life in Europe. The collection is widely used by researchers and students of oral history, the Holocaust and a variety of other disciplines. The testimonies’ project began in the 1980s as the Melbourne Oral History Project, established by Sandra Cowan and Jenny Wajsenberg and later co-ordinated by the late Anne Bernhaut. They conducted over 200 audio recordings of Holocaust survivors.

 Phillip Maisel has been recording a testimony of Holocaust survivors for 25 years. (ABC News: Peter Drought)

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Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, historical interpretation, Hitler, human rights, landscape wondrous, life stories, politIcal discourse, racist thinking, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, war crimes, world events & processes, World War II

Angie, 12-Year Old Rock-Climbing Maestro

Greg Bearup, courtesy of The Weekend Australian 29 April 2017, where the title is “Top of Her Grade”

n 1976, a 14-year-old Romanian gymnast named Nadia Comaneci stormed into the Montreal Olympics with the first-ever perfect score of 10. Gymnastics would never be the same again. Comaneci did things that had never been done and in doing so vastly increased the level of skill, and the risks, for all those who would follow. She made gymnastics more spectacular and infinitely more dangerous. Greg Mortimer reckons the sport of rock climbing is undergoing a similar “paradigm shift”. Leading this revolution, he says, is a 12-year-old climber from the Blue Mountains, NSW, called Angie Scarth-Johnson. “She is breaking all the rules,” Mortimer says. “She’s just freakishly good.”

  Angie climbig –http://www.onsight.com.au/2013/12/angie/

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Filed under art & allure bewitching, Australian culture, australian media, female empowerment, landscape wondrous, life stories, performance, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, world events & processes

Bomb Blast as Ideological Assertion

Raffaello Pantucci, courtesy of The Telegraph, 23 May 2017, where the title isCars and knives are easier to use, but bombs will always be central to terrorist thinking” **

Terrorism has a predictable brutality to it. And yet, the idea of a bombing is something that still surprises us when it happens. The attack in Manchester in some ways appears a flashback to a different time when the terrorists we worried about detonated bombs, rather than using vehicles as rams or stabbing people. The reality is that terrorism’s only constant is its desire to shock and kill. For any group or ideology, the fundamental point is to make yourself heard as dramatically as possible. Groups and individuals will use whatever tools they have to gain that attention.

 The successful use of a bomb is unusual among recent terror attacks CREDIT: JOEL GOODMAN/LNP

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Filed under accountability, arab regimes, atrocities, cultural transmission, historical interpretation, immigration, Islamic fundamentalism, life stories, Middle Eastern Politics, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, suicide bombing, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, trauma, vengeance, world events & processes

Jane Russell on Sri Lankan Political History in Debate with Kumarasingham’s Readings

From London the historian and scholar  Jane Russell has entered an extensive set of comments on Harshan Kumarasingham’s Heidelberg essay of 2013 –reprinted in Thuppahi in 2014. Given its length and Russell’s background (see below) it deserves wider exposure in the hope that debate will be promoted. I am therefore deleting its original location and posting it as a separate item.

 Russell  Kumarasingham

  1. HARSHAN kUMARASINGHAM”s “The Deceptive Tranquillity surrounding Sri Lankan Independence: ‘The Jewel of the East yet has its Flaws’,”  is an interesting paper with which I broadly agree, despite a tendency by the author to sacrifice judgement in favour of rhetoric. However, Dr. Harshan Kumarasingham has gone for the elegant historical narrative rather than seeking to explore and analyse some of the more nuanced, underlying factors that may help to understand the spiralling of Ceylon, cited by the British as ‘ the Premier Crown Colony” at independence in 1947, into Sri Lanka, characterised by the west at the turn of the 21st century as a terrorist-riven semi-failed state. I hope the following will help to redress this.

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Filed under communal relations, economic processes, education policy, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, language policies, Left politics, life stories, LTTE, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, prabhakaran, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, sri lankan society, teaching profession, the imaginary and the real, world events & processes

China’s Transcontinental Pathways … and Indian Ocean Issues for Lanka

Philips and Kurukulasuriya … and other items

I > Rajan Philips: “One Belt-One Road from China, but no Bridge to India: Lanka’s Development Dilemmas,” Island, 20 May 2017

Even as he bade farewell to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the end of his Vesak visit, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe was all but ready to take flight to China to attend the economic summit of the 21st Century. This was Beijing’s big splash on the world economic map, and one that India chose not to officially attend. Japan was another boycotter. A number of Indian business and think-tank figures went to Beijing as ‘unofficial delegates’, and they were critical of their government’s decision not to send at least an official delegation. 130 countries marked their presence at the two-day (May 14-15) event in Beijing, including 29 state and government leaders. Even the Trump Administration, despite its spiralling turmoil in Washington, was represented in Beijing.

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Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, China and Chinese influences, energy resources, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, military strategy, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes

Famous Performers in Unusual Light

 Louis Armstrong in desert glare, 1961

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Filed under art & allure bewitching, commoditification, cultural transmission, female empowerment, heritage, landscape wondrous, life stories, performance, photography, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, the imaginary and the real, unusual people

Famous 20th Century Personalities … and One Awful Assassin

 Albert Einstein at Long Island beach in 1939  

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Filed under accountability, heritage, life stories, performance, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, world affairs, world events & processes