We have all wondered how Western people look like in everyday situations, behind the veil of exoticism that surrounds their mysterious culture. Photographer Adam Vaijan has spent years documenting everyday life in the West and the results are a startling mix of the magical and the ordinary. His beautiful shots allow us to see beyond the wall of myth that surrounds Western people and their culture, revealing scenes that are touching in their normality and reminding us that they are just like us.
'Alice in Arabia' is a new drama announced by ABC Family. The show will be about an American girl forced to live in Saudi Arabia.
The writer is of course white….
A picture is worth a thousand words. That’s certainly the case with the following collection of stunning photographs taken in Korea between 1890 and 1903 by visiting foreigners. The diverse, everyday scenes they depict shed light on the lifestyles of people at the time. Interestingly, this pictorial set was circula …
When realizing they’re not joking:
When that doesn’t help:
And when that doesn’t help:
And when that doesn’t help either
Four authors/academic minority women have expressed their concerns about what to talk about in a dominant white patriarchal majority culture in Denmark/Scandinavia and what political agendas their testimonies about minority life can become part of. This has created a storm of mostly white males in positions of power in literary circles calling them reverse racists, identity fundamentalists, and their viewpoints a danger to society. They deny any sort of structural racism/discrimination in Denmark and that any sort of self-censorship, as they call it, is a danger to freedom of speech. I left Denmark in the early 2000s because everyday structural racism was becoming to difficult for me to live with. I thought things might have changed here 10 years later, but as this debate shows little has changed. Dear white majority, everyday when I enter public space I exercise self-censorship. There are things I do not talk about. There are many things that I keep to myself because I do not want to be beaten down by especially the white creative class that see themselves as oh so progressive, but time and time again fail to acknowledge their own privilege and that the public space is not a level playing field. Once again, my choice will be to isolate myself. To limit my interaction with the majority to a “need to” basis.
Who knows what would have happened with the first families, and therefore with our children, if each adoptive family had spent the median costs of adoption not on the process itself, but on programs to help families?
We adopt children at a specific moment in time. That moment however, can be the wrong moment. Poverty can be overcome, national crises solved, mothers and family members found, policies changed; families can pull together, single motherhood can become a serious possibility, addictions can be conquered, lifestyles be changed. The choice of adoption may seem right one day, but questionable the next day, the next month, the next year, the next decade… Can we be confident that adoption was the right solution for our children?
In adoption country, which is regulated by lax laws which favor adoptive parents and is practically governed by private institutions, businesses and individuals, the preferred way to tell a woman she is about to lose her child is to suggest that “she makes an adoption plan.” But those who professionally help that woman to make this plan are often themselves denizens of adoption country, who are depending on the positive choice of the mother to make that plan: the social worker of the adoption agency, the adoption lawyer, the representative of an agency in another country. These professionals are not members of a larger child welfare organization, which could make a ‘life plan’ for mother, father and child, a long-term life plan that focuses not on the immediate situation, but on the life of the child and her or his family thereafter and that has — extended — family preservation or family (re)building as its goal.
Most workers in the adoption world are decent people, but many have one-sided perspectives, which necessarily focus on the longings and wishes of adoptive parents, who are their paying clients. And some are blindsided by the widespread and false ideology that adoption is about saving children from horrible situations. A few are just in it for the money. Whatever the case, the adoption industry, as the business it is now, cannot continue. A certain rate of adoptions of children for a certain price is needed to make for the bottom line, even for the most sincere non-profit organization or individual. That is an ethical matter one can’t just bypass anymore.
Providing social services for the first family to overcome their problems is all about adding time to the equation. Not an adoption plan, but a life plan has to be made. How such a plan should look like depends on the local circumstances, but next to aid for the parent(s) and their extended families in their community and coaching, temporary guardianship, foster care and co-parenting for the child could be part of that plan. Adoption should only become an option when family preservation is just impossible or when the efforts to keep the family together failed. Adoption should not be separate of child welfare services, but part of them.
After 32 years Defendants in the so-called Burim Case Exonerated
After spending years in prison, subjects of the blockbuster film ‘The Attorney’ finally exonerated
By Kim Gwang-soo, Busan correspondent
32 years later, the defendants in the so-called Burim Case - which came to public attention when it became the subject of the movie ‘The Attorney’, which was seen by around 11 million people - finally escaped the clutches of the National Security Law.
Han Young-pyo, presiding judge in Criminal Division No. 2 of the Busan Local Court, issued a verdict of not guilty on Feb. 13 for Ko Ho-seok, 56, and four other people who had requested a retrial in the Burim case.
The Burim case refers to an incident in which the government of former president Chun Doo-hwan arrested and tried 19 students and office workers from Sep. to Oct. 1981 who were studying social science books. The case was part of efforts to crush an incipient democratization movement in the Busan area.
“At the time, the police arrested the suspects illegally without a warrant and coerced them into confessing,” the court ruled in regard to charges of violating the National Security Law. The law has long been criticized as an undue limit on civil liberties, as it criminalizes various forms of free expression.
“The defendants said that they had not been tortured or subjected to cruel treatment when they were being questioned by the prosecutors. However, considering that the defendants were illegally confined for a substantial period of time and that the confessions that the prosecutors submitted as evidence were written after much time had passed, the prosecutors’ report cannot serve as evidence,” the ruling stated.
The court also found the defendants not guilty of violating the Martial Law Act. “The defendants did violate sections of the Martial Law Act,” the court ruled, “but this was justifiable since it was intended to check and oppose the criminal activity of the military regime of Chun Doo-hwan, who seized power through a coup d’etat on Dec. 12, 1979 and through the Gwangju massacre on May 18, 1980.”
The court acquitted the defendants of charges of violating the Act on Assembly and Demonstration since those regulations have since been revoked. As for the charges of sheltering fugitives, the court found that helping fugitives could not be viewed as a crime since the fugitives in question had not committed any crimes.
As long as I live in societies where patriarchy and whiteness dominate, I have to live according to the following rules:
- Only engage with the majority culture on a need to basis
- Only share information about minority issues with the majority culture on a need to know basis.
It’s survival strategy.