Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Persepolis – Graphic storytelling.

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Simple drawings instead of real life actors, a very well-known script (the movie is based on the comic series), the life of a migrant girl. These are the ingredients of the precisely told and yet very touching animated movie Persepolis. Even if you have not read any of the graphic novels of Marjane Satrapi, even if you are highly sceptic of comics and animated movies in general, even if you do not care much about headscarves and the Middle-East in general – even in spite of all that, you should go and watch this movie. Because it is a great story, told with pictures that make the best of the freedom of animated movies: it does not care about reality as such, instead it focuses on showing how situations feel, how they would look if they were drawn in black and white, like a paper cut. The scences are beautiful, sometimes funny, often tragic.
The only thing which I have missed a bit had to do with my personal reading of the story as such – I missed a bit of reflection about the role of the female protagonist as someone who is very much upper-class in her upbringing and social status. It was not something that was shyly denied or pompously set in scene. However, it was in a way too straight, too un-broken for me. But maybe, perhaps, this is the case because being upper-class comes as a matter of course, not as something special to those who are…
IMDb entry | Trailer

Von wegen billig einkaufen.

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Eigentlich habe ich mich ja schon auf das Einkaufen im Tiefpreisparadis Berlin gefreut. Aber bei Meldungen wie dieser: Datenschutzverletzungen: Lidl fällt als Wiederholungstäter auf fällt mir eigentlich nichts anderes mehr ein, als das Einkaufen bei Lidl dauerhaft zu boykottieren. Ich habe das auch schon in der Vergangenheit versucht, aber die Tatsache, dass die Lidl Filiale einfach direkt um die Ecke ist und dass die Waren dort billiger sind, haben mich doch immer wieder dort hinein gebracht. Schluss damit! Es kann nicht sein, dass man versuchen muss, solche unglaublichen Praktiken durch Verbraucherverhalten zu sanktionieren. Soweit darf es nicht kommen – insbesondere wenn die Vielen, die nur sehr wenig Geld zum Leben haben, kaum eine Alternative zum so-billig-wie-möglich einkaufen haben.

Terrorizing critical sociology.

Friday, August 17th, 2007

You may already have heard about the affair in which four persons were searched by the police and one of them arrested on 32st July. One of them, Andrej Holm, is a fellow urban sociologist who is working the the Department for Sociology, Humboldt University Berlin. He writes on gentrification and participates in public meetings in which urban policy is discussed and critized. In short, he is involved in what a public intellectual should do: go out into society and discuss potentially or actually harmful or otherwise relevant political and societal developments. So why did they arrest him? Because he uses words and concepts (like the commonly used term gentrification), that are also used in writings of the militante gruppe, and because he has met these people on occasion – being a public and critical scholar – he is linked to them. And now he is in jail under very strict conditions.
This is a very serious affair and we should make sure that critical and engaged scholars do not get into a situation in which they will be afraid to utter criticism because they might sooner or later be labeled terrorist and thrown into jail. This is exactly what I and many others feared would happen when the so-called war against terrorism seeps into everyday life deeper and deeper.
Express your opposition to a process which would lead to people keeping their mouths shout when they should not and sign the open letter to the Generalbundesanwaltschaft: in English, auf Deutsch. The open letter has been organized and published by colleagues abroad, in particular Manuel Aalbers and other members of the comurb_r21 mailing list along with participants of the ASA meeting, which just took place in the United States. I am impressed by and happy about the many important and very highly regarded scholars that already signed the open letter. You will also find more information in the open letter and on the support website, to whose organizers I also pay my respect.