Historical

Australian politics explainer: the MV Tampa and the transformation of asylum-seeker policy

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Some time before August 23 2001, a small Indonesian fishing boat, the KM Palapa 1, left Indonesia en route to Christmas Island with 438 asylum seekers aboard. Alex Reilly  The Conversation Like many before them, the asylum seekers hoped to reach Australia and apply for permanent protection visas. The Palapa’s engines failed in international waters between Indonesia and… Australian politics explainer… Read More »

Artist is Creating a Parthenon Made of 100,000 Banned Books: A Monument to Democracy & Intellectual Freedom

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With the rise of Far Right candidates in Europe and in America, along with creeping dictatorship in Turkey and authoritarianism in the Philippines, the idea of democracy and freedom of speech feels under threat more than… Open Culture While we don’t talk about political solutions here on Open Culture, we do believe in the power of art to… Argentine artist Marta Minujín is creating a large-scale artwork called The Parthenon of Books that… Artist is Creating… Read More »

Remembering fallen war heroes is insincere if it excludes those suffering today

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Yassmin Abdel-Magied does not deserve nastiness – many Muslim Australians know the tragedy of war better than… Mariam Tokhi The Guardian As a first-generation Muslim Australian, I’ve often wondered what Anzac Day should mean to… The furore (and social media savagery) over Yasmin Abdel-Magied’s seven words have reignited that… Remembering fallen war… Read More »

Ancient humans may have reached Americas 100,000 years earlier than previously thought

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Teeth and bones of an elephant-like creature unmistakably modified by human hands were… TheJournal.ie  © AFP 2017  HIGH-TECH DATING of mastodon remains found in southern California has shattered the timeline of human migration to America, pushing the… Teeth and bones of the elephant-like creature unmistakably modified by human hands, along… Ancient humans may… Read More »

‘Sadness will last forever’: Living with the Van Gogh legacy

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As he lay on his death bed, having apparently shot himself, Vincent Van Gogh is said to have uttered the final words, “The sadness will last… Patrick Wood ABC It’s hard to imagine a bleaker prophecy from the famed and deeply troubled Dutch… And yet, more than 125 years later, the Van Gogh family can attest to a fulfilling life that is, in part, devoted to honouring his work and… ‘Sadness will last… Read More »

Immigrants being vilified in same way as Irish in US after Famine – Obama

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The former President said the US immigration system had always been “a little bit… TheJournal.ie  IMMIGRANTS IN THE US are experiencing treatment similar to that endured by the Irish in America in the wake of the Famine, Barack Obama has… The former US President, making a return to the public spotlight, said that America’s immigration system had always been “a little bit… Immigrants being vilified… Read More »

Former ‘comfort woman’ Chen Lien-hua dies at 93

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Chen Lien-hua (陳蓮花), one of three known surviving former “comfort women” in Taiwan, died of intestinal infection on Thursday at the age of 93, said the… Staff writer, with CNA Taipei Times Chen was taken to hospital last month when she complained of stomach… Doctors said her intestines had… After surgery, Chen became very… Former ‘comfort woman… Read More »

This ancient building material could fuel a future infrastructure boom

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Last month, Bangladesh’s capital city became home to the world’s first cell tower constructed entirely out of bamboo — proof that emerging… Nyshka Chandran CNBC Developed by Malaysian infrastructure services firm edotco and the Bangladesh University of Engineering, the tower took just 12 days to build, versus… Bamboo boasts a low carbon footprint as it… This ancient building… Read More »

In Turkey, the Victims Change but the Regime Remains the Same

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Some 51.4 percent of the more than 58 million Turks who turned out to vote on April 16 said yes to the ruling Justice and… Uzay Bulut PhilosProject With that vote, they decided to shift to an executive presidential… It is debatable if the government would still have won if it had not detained thousands of political dissidents, imposed a… In Turkey, the… Read More »

Good Friday essay: Passion plays and the ethics of spectacular violence

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In 1985 Filipino carpenter Ruben Enaje fell three storeys and remarkably, survived. Paul Megna The Conversation To give thanks for this good fortune, he has, for the past 30 Good Fridays, dressed up as Jesus and allowed actors portraying Roman soldiers to nail his hands and feet to a… Passion plays are dramatic renditions of Christ’s arrest, trial, lashing, and… Good Friday essay… Read More »

The army that conquered the world

DABF1B The Han Dynasty Terra-cotta Soldiers displayed at Xianyang museum in Xianyang City of Shaanxi Province China. Image shot 2012. Exact date unknown.

The martial figures buried with the first Chinese emperor were discovered in 1974. Jonathan Glancey BBC News But the tomb they guard hasn’t even been opened, writes Jonathan Glancey. In March 1974… The army that… Read More »

Who are Egypt’s Coptic Christians and why are they persecuted?

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Coptic Christians, known as Copts, are the largest ethno-religious minority in Egypt, constituting roughly 10 per cent of the country’s… Steven Viney ABC Although many now identify as Arabs, Copts do not historically believe themselves to be of Arab origin, but are instead… The word Coptic is derived from the ancient Greek word for… Who are Egypt’s… Read More »

History: How African Muslims “Civilized Spain”

African muslims - Global research

  Today marks the anniversary of the end of nearly 700 years of African Muslim rule over Spain, Portugal and Southern France. Garikai Chengu Global Research Four hundred and eight years ago today King Phillip III of Spain signed an order, which was one of the earliest examples of ethnic cleansing. At the height… History: How African… Read More »

The obscure religion that shaped the West

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It has influenced Star Wars and Game of Thrones – and characters as diverse as Voltaire, Nietzsche and… Joobin Bekhrad BBC So what is Zoroastrianism? Joobin Bekhrad finds out. Talk of ‘us’ and ‘them’ has long dominated Iran-related politics in the… At the same time, Christianity has frequently been used to define the identity and values of the US and Europe, as well as to contrast those values with those of a… Yet, a brief glance at an… The obscure ... Read More »

A lost history of cultural tolerance

Arab news

Unbeknownst to many, Qur’anic calligraphy still adorns stone pillars of certain Sicilian churches. Zaid M. Belbagi Arab News The best-known example is the “Bismillah” motif engraved into a column at La Martorana Cathedral in Palermo. Such pillars were… A lost history of… Read More »

Calls for support as destroyed Mosul Museum seeks to rebuild

A view of a destroyed museum, where Islamic State militants filmed themselves destroying priceless statues and sculptures in 2015, during a battle against the militants in Mosul, Iraq, March 11, 2017. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani - RTX30KNF

When Iraqi soldiers entered the Mosul Museum on March 13, they were greeted by scenes of enormous damage caused by the Islamic State (IS). Adnan Abu Zeed Al Monitor Some items had been destroyed or burned, while others had been stolen by IS militants and sold to antiquities traders. Iraqis and the… Calls for support… Read More »