December 18 is a Brussels-based non-profit organization working for the promotion and protection of the rights of migrants worldwide from 1999. The name of the organization refers to the day when the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the “International Convention on the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families”. Today, the 18th of December is also known as International Migrants Day.
“Staging: Experiments in Social Configuration” by Sofía Olascoaga.
FORECLOSED: Between Crisis and Possibility
© 2011 Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Usable Art. Text and Concept by John Perreault.
Myers Fine Arts Gallery, State University College—Plattsburgh, New York, 1981.
Copyright, John Perreault 2011.
One of the most succinct and intelligent descriptions of ‘urban regeneration’ was a film by Jonathan Meades called On the Brandwagon. It begins with the 1981 riots in Liverpool, a city whose population had halved and whose dockyards had closed down, then moves through the government’s attempts to put a sticking plaster over the wound. First, ineptly, through the Garden Festivals bestowed on the city, alongside the first ‘enterprise zone’ version of Regeneration; then more dramatically through New Labour’s abortive attempt to turn our chaotic, suburban-urban cities into places more akin to, say, Paris, that riot-free model of social peace. The middle-class return to the cities, adaptive re-use, luxury apartment blocks, Mitterandian Lottery-funded grands projets, loft conversions in the factories whose closure brought about the main problem in the first place. The film ends in Salford Quays, its gleaming titanium a ram-raid’s distance from some of the poorest places in Western Europe. The likely result? ‘There will be no riots within the ring-road’.
We’ve long congratulated ourselves, in London, of the fact that we have no banlieue. We applauded ourselves especially smugly when zoned, segregated Paris rioted a few years ago. It’s not like it’s untrue—give or take the odd exception (a Thamesmead, a Chelmlsey Wood) our poverty is not concentrated in peripheral housing estates. Edinburgh might wall off its poor in Muirhouse or Leith, and Oxford might try not to think about Blackbird Leys, but in London, Manchester/Salford, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Nottingham—the cities that erupted on Monday 8th August—the rich live, by and large, next to the poor: £1,000,000 Georgian terraces next to estates with some of the deepest poverty in the EU. We’re so pleased with this that we’ve even extended the principle to how we plan the trickledown dribble of social housing built over the last two decades, those Housing Association schemes where the deserving poor are ‘pepper-potted’ with stockbrokers. We’ve learnt about ‘spatial segregation’, so we do things differently now. Someone commenting on James Meek’s great London Review of Books article on parallel Hackneys mentioned China Miéville’s recent science fiction novel The City and The City, where two cities literally do occupy the same space, with all inhabitants acting as if they don’t. Miéville set it in Eastern Europe, but the inspiration is surely London…
In the face of ridicule from its critics, the National Endowment for the Arts has withdrawn its backing from a project in which three conceptual artists hand out $10 bills to illegal immigrants near the Mexican border.
Noting that United States currency is neither supplies nor materials as specified in the grant to the sponsoring museum in San Diego, the endowment announced late Friday that the $4,500 in cash handouts was an “unallowable expense.”
One of the artists, Elizabeth Sisco, was quick to respond today, saying the decision was politically motivated and accusing the endowment of creating a fictional list of artistic materials that excludes cash.
“The $10 bills are the materials of the project,” Ms. Sisco said. “The conceptual network we have created showing the link between all taxpayers relies upon those $10 bills. They are like the bucket of paint that a muralist would go out and purchase, like the slab of bronze a sculptor would use.”
Josh Dare, a spokesman for the endowment, responded, “We don’t have a listing of supplies and/or materials; nor do we have a definition of supplies and/or materials.” But, he added, “We do not consider United States currency a supply or material.”…
Hundreds of free T-shirts handed out at a weekend right-wing rock festival in the eastern German state of Thuringia contained a secret surprise. Upon washing, the original graphic faded to reveal a clandestine message.
German skinheads who took home free T-shirts after a music festival on Saturday were in for a big surprise.
The shirts, which bore a skull and crossbones symbol and the word ‘Hardcore Rebels,’ faded upon washing to reveal a hidden message: “What happened to your shirt can happen to you. We can help you break with right-wing extremism.”
The T-shirts were the work of Exit Deutschland, a group that helps young people transition out of militant right-wing lifestyles…
In Model UN, students step into the shoes of ambassadors from UN member states to debate current issues on the organization’s agenda. Students make speeches, prepare draft resolutions, negotiate with allies and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the conference rules of procedure – all in the interest of mobilizing “international cooperation” to resolve problems that affect countries all over the world…
A Boston lawyer suing the city and police officers who arrested him for using his cell phone to record a drug arrest on the Common won a victory today when a federal appeals court said the officers could not claim “qualified immunity” because they were performing their job when they arrested him under a state law that bars audio recordings without the consent of both parties.
In its ruling, which lets Simon Glik continue his lawsuit, the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston said the way Glik was arrested and his phone seized under a state wiretapping law violated his First and Fourth Amendment rights:…