[Reader-list] SAMAR Issue 35: States of Disaster

surabhi kukke surabhi.kukke at gmail.com
Tue Mar 2 10:31:00 IST 2010

Issue 35: States of Disaster
Check out the latest in SAMAR Magazine
March 1, 2010


****  Nimmi Gowrinathan discusses the problems of the international
communities' relief efforts in Sri Lanka as lessons that can be applied to
Haiti's recovery

****  Thirteen letters are written to Fahad Hashmi who has been confined for
over three years, half in solitary confinement, under the guise of national

****  Anjali Kamat breaks down Obama policies in Iraq, Afghanistan,
Pakistan, and Palestine

****  Hear about two outstanding South Asian artists - Red Baraat and

****  And, a response to Bollywood's My Name is Khan

****  Plus, the latest cartoon from Khalil Bendib


About this Issue:

Issue 35: States of Disaster

Devastating earthquakes and the threat of another development agenda based
on disaster capitalism (to use Naomi Klein's phrase). Climate talks that
failed to achieve their goals in Copenhagen. And one year later, finding
little hope and less change in a supposedly historic presidency. It was good
riddance to 2009; but standing at the dawn of 2010, we're straining our eyes
to see the light. This latest issue of SAMAR explores the various states of
disaster we find ourselves witnessing and experiencing, at home and abroad.

The earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, Japan and the ongoing threat of tsunamis in
parts of the Pacific remind us of other disasters in recent history. It made
sense to look towards places like Sri Lanka for lessons learned around
recovery. In "Aftershocks of International
Nimmi Gowrinathan considers the international communities' relief efforts in
Sri Lanka. Key to her analysis is that any efforts must be partnered with
local communities and take into account local conditions. Or else, the
problems of international NGO responses come with external solutions that
can be devastating in their own ways.

The daily devastation of state-sanctioned human rights abuse is epitomized
by the experience of Fahad Hashmi. Thirteen stories up in the behemoth of
the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, Fahad has been confined
for over 1,350 days, waiting for a trial that will determine whether he
provided "material support" by letting a friend store ponchos and socks at
his apartment. For over half of those days, he has been locked in extreme
solitary confinement, with virtually no contact with the outside world.
SAMAR, in partnership with THAW (Theaters Against War), put out a call for
letters a few weeks ago. Though Fahad may never see these letters as they
will likely not get past prison censors, we publish a sampling of them in "Dear
Fahad <http://www.samarmagazine.org/archive/article.php?id=297>" so that the
world may learn how far the US government will go in the name of "national

Indeed the US government has gone to great lengths to protect our “national
security” so far that we have begun waging a war on a country that we are
not “at war” with through simplistic justification. Language and its
manipulation have been at the core of the Obama adminstration's policy on
war and occupation. In "The Audacity of
Anjali Kamat astutely notes how Obama's rhetoric is the only thing to
distinguish his administration from the one before. Juxtapositioning Obama's
speeches concerning policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Palestine,
she shows how he justifies occupation using the languages of just wars and
wars of necessity.

Also in this issue, hear about outstanding artists making waves in the South
Asian diaspora. Robin Sukhadia's review of Red Baraat's debut album, Chaal
Baby, shows how the exciting group brings together street music from New
Orleans and the Punjab. Highlighting the commonalities of celebration, the
group has managed to arrange a successful meeting of the tabla, dhol, horn
and sousaphones.

Then, Natasha Bissonauth interviews
a multi-genre and inter-disciplinary performer whose work includes the
personal *of* the political. One of YaliniDream’s recent pieces, ten years
in the making, asks "Where does love emerge and how do we heal amidst war,
disaster, violent immigration processes, gender-based violence, silence, and
other destructive forces?"

Finally, Omer Shah
Bollywood's attempt to deal with Muslim identity and terrorism. In
ways successful, in other ways problematic, "My Name is Khan" ultimately
creates a dichotomous Muslim identity, the good, innocent, righteous Muslim
and the bad, terrorist Muslim which not only exposes American prejudices but
similar simplistic thinking in Indian society as well.


SAMAR Magazine accepts articles, essays, reviews, artwork,
photoessays, fiction, and poetry. For more information on submissions:

We are currently accepting submissions for our next issue.  Email to
submissions at samarmagazine.org

Questions? Contact us at collective at samarmagazine.org

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