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  • What has Norway learned from the Utøya attack 10 years ago? Not what I hoped | Sindre Bangstad | The Guardian
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jul/22/norway-utoya-attack-10-years-ago-reckoning-far-right
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/fdcc1699e2ba51f0e1e8f16259fed87fd1a9c5cd/0_360_5616_3370/master/5616.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    The already extensive literature on the 22 July attacks has recently been complemented by numerous new accounts in books written by survivors. They provide harrowing and chilling details, and make it clear that many survivors wanted such a reckoning, focused on the politics of rightwing Islamophobia. But in government, the Labour party faced the political and moral conundrum of choosing between an inclusive political rhetoric, casting these terrorist attacks as attacks on all Norwegians, or emphasising the fact that it had been the Norwegian left in particular that had been targeted. The staff at the prime minister’s office and the then PM, Jens Stoltenberg, chose the former.

    That choice had a number of consequences. For it meant that any talk of the undeniable links between the conspiratorial and anti-Muslim world views of Breivik and the wider populist right – including the Progress party, of which Breivik had been a member for several years – became taboo. The mainstream media’s sudden shift from the discourse of terrorism to talk of “tragedy” and “catastrophe” once it became known that the perpetrator was a white, Norwegian rightwing extremist, rather than a radicalised Muslim, was telling in this regard.

    • Il y a dix ans, le 22 juillet 2011, j’étais en France. Je terminais mon congé mat. C’étaient les vacances, quand un peu avant 16h, j’ai consulté mon téléphone. Tous les médias pour lesquels je travaillais à l’époque avaient cherché à me joindre. Libé a rappelé. /1
      J’ai appris qu’une explosion avait eu lieu dans le centre d’Oslo. On avait alors peu d’informations, mais les images, arrivant de Norvège, montraient la puissance de la déflgration. Le siège du gouvernement était en partie détruit. Les fenêtres soufflées partout autour. /2
      Sur les trottoires, des passants, en sang, marchaient, hagards, dans ce qui ressemblait à une zone de guerre. Libération a décidé d’envoyer sur place un de ses grands reporters, habitué à couvrir la guerre et le terrorisme islamiste. /3
      Car l’hypothèse d’un attentat islamiste était la plus probable. Jusqu’à ce que qques heures plus tard, les médias norvégiens évoquent une attaque, sur l’île d’Utoya, à l’ouest d’Oslo - où se tiennent tous les ans, les universités d’été des jeunes travaillistes (AUF). /4
      Des tweets sur les réseaux sociaux faisaient état d’une fusillade en cours. Des images ont commencé à arriver : filmées depuis les hélicoptéres de la télé, elles montraient des taches de couleur immobiles sur l’île, des jeunes qui tentaient de traverser le fjord à la nage ... /5
      Dans la soirée, les autorités norvégiennes ont révélé que le tueur avait été arrêté : il s’agissait d’un Norvégien, âgé de 32 ans - Anders Behring Breivik, né et élevé dans les quartiers cossus de l’ouest d’Oslo. /6
      Pendant la nuit, les chiffres ont commencé à tomber. On parlait de plusieurs dizaines de morts. Des jeunes de 14-15 ans. Je me souviens du discours du PM Jens Stoltenberg, qui a parlé d’une « attaque contre la démocratie » et promis de lutter pour préserver « la société ouverte ». /7
      Je me souviens aussi du réveil, après qques heures de sommeil, et de ce chiffre hallucinant : autour de 80 morts. Sans nouvelle, des parents continuaient à espérer. Des dizaines de blessés étaient soignés à l’hôpital. Finalement, le macabre décompte s’est arrêté à 77 morts. /8
      Je ne suis pas allée sur place alors, mais j’ai passé les jours suivant à appeler des chercheurs, des historiens, des élus ... Tous étaient sous le choc. Et puis, j’ai lu ce manifeste de 1500 pages, envoyé par Anders Behring Breivik, avant de faire exploser sa bombe, à Oslo. /9
      1500 pages de théories conspirationnistes, d’un discours faisant l’apologie du « contre-djihadisme », partageant avec la théorie du grand remplacement, le fantasme d’une islamisation de l’Occident, orchestrée - selon Breivik - par le parti travailliste et son mouvement jeune. /10
      1500 pages où le tueur exprimait sa haine du féminisme et sa misogynie, où il racontait ses années de militantisme au sein du Parti du progrès (FrP), formation populiste anti-immigration, qui l’avait décu : pas assez radical, à son goût. /11
      1500 pages où il citait à n’en plus finir ceux qui l’avaient inspiré. En Norvège et à l’étranger. Sur internet et dans les médias. /12
      Soyons clairs : Breivik est seul responsable de ses actes. Mais il n’est pas sorti de nulle part. Le discours déshumanisant contre les étrangers, qui se propagent aujourd’hui en Europe, a servi de terreau à sa haine et son extrêmisme. /13
      Les 2 premiers psychiatres qui l’ont examiné ont pourtant jugé qu’il était pénalement irresponsable : pour eux, ses théories étaient démentielles. Chercheurs et historiens, spécialistes de l’ext-droite, ont réagi et contredit les conclusions des experts. /14
      Deux autres psychiatres ont été chargés de l’évaluer. Eux aussi ont jugé que Breivik était un véritable sociopathe. Mais ils ont aussi reconnu que son acte était politique et conclu qu’il devait être reconnu pénalement responsable. /15
      Le procès, qui s’est tenu en 2012, a été une lecon magistrale de ce que doit être un Etat de droit, respectueux jusqu’à la lettre des règles et procédures. Cela a aussi été un moment terrible, quand les médecins légistes sont intervenus. /16
      Les proches des victimes avaient rédigé un texte, pour raconter la vie des morts. Ces biographies ont été lues pendant le procès. 77 vies fauchées le 22 juillet. /17
      Breivik n’a montré aucun remord. Il a tendu le poing, dans un salut néonazi. Son avocat a appelé des experts de l’ext-droite à la barre. Ils ont confirmé : le terroriste était peut être un loup solitaire, mais ses idées étaient largement partagées, sur internet notamment. /18
      Finalement, Breivik a été reconnu coupable et condamné à 21 ans d’emprisonnement (reconductibles), la plus lourde peine. Il n’a pas fait appel, puisque la cour l’avait jugé responsable de ses actes : ce qu’il voulait. /19
      Mais pour les survivants et les familles des victimes, le calvaire a continué. Breivik a intenté une action en justice contre l’Etat norvégien, l’accusant de « traitement inhumain ». Procès qu’il a en partie gagné. /20
      Pendant ce temps-là, les jeunes travaillistes exigeaient une discussion sur la facon de parler des immigrés en Norvège, les mots utilisés et leurs csq, la haine du parti social-démocrate ... Ils ont été accusés d’exploiter leur statut de victimes, de jouer la carte du 22/07. /21
      En 2018, certains d’entre eux ont témoigné : ils ont révélé être régulièrement menacés. Surtout quand ils parlaient du 22/07, discutaient de l’immigration, de la parité ... Une étude, publiée en mai, a révélé qu’un tiers des survivants est tjs la cible de menaces. /22
      Dix ans plus tard, le discours est en train de changer. Doucement. Certains d’entre eux ont décidé qu’ils ne se laisseraient plus intimider. Ils parlent haut et fort. Exigent d’être entendu. Revendiquent leur statut de victime. Sa légitimité dans le débat. /23
      Que dire d’autre, si ce n’est tte l’admiration qu’on leur doit : non pas parce qu’ils ont survécu à une attaque terroriste. Mais car en dépit du traumatisme, de leurs amis assassinés, des intimidations, ils continuent à se battre pour défendre leurs idées et leurs valeurs. /24
      Alors, nous n’oublions pas : #aldriglemme #22juli 🌹 /25
      Et si vous voulez suivre le débat et comprendre les demandes des survivants et jeunes travaillistes, alors connectez vous aux comptes de @elinlestrange et @eskilpedersen (et oui, c’est du norvégien donc utilisez la fonction translate).
      Pour comprendre l’ampleur de ce qui s’est passé le 22/07 et l’horreur qu’ont vécu les 564 personnes - pour la plupart des jeunes de -20 ans, 69 sont morts, une 100 aine a été gravement blessée - allez sur le compte @aldriglemme qui retranscrit en « live » le déroulé des attaques.

  • Boris Johnson gave two reasons for lifting all restrictions. Both are wrong | Coronavirus | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jul/13/covid-numbers-england-freedom-day-dont-add-up-strain-nhs

    At the time of writing, 52% of the UK population had been fully vaccinated. Perhaps another 20% have some immunity from one dose of vaccine or previous Covid infection. If this level of population immunity was enough to contain the pandemic alongside public health measures, cases would be falling. They aren’t falling and it isn’t enough.

  • #Covid: Children’s extremely low risk confirmed by study - BBC News
    https://www.bbc.com/news/health-57766717

    Lead researcher Prof Russell Viner said complex decisions around vaccinating and shielding children required input from many sources - not their work alone.

    But he said if there were adequate vaccines, their research suggested certain groups of children could benefit from receiving Covid jabs.

    He added: “I think from our data, and in my entirely personal opinion, it would be very reasonable to vaccinate a number of groups we have studied, who don’t have a particularly high risk of death, but we do know that their risk of having severe illness and coming to intensive care, while still low, is higher than the general population.”

    He said further vaccine data - expected imminently from other countries, including the US and Israel - should be taken into account when making the decision.

    Dr Elizabeth Whittaker, from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and Imperial College London, said […] “[a]lthough this data covers up to February 2021, this hasn’t changed recently with the #Delta #variant. We hope this data will be reassuring for children and young people and their families.”

    #enfants #vaccination

  • #Covid-19 : au #Royaume-Uni, la flambée des cas ne s’accompagne pas d’une hausse des hospitalisations
    https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2021/07/02/covid-19-au-royaume-uni-la-flambee-des-cas-ne-s-accompagne-pas-d-une-hausse-

    L’explication se trouve du côté de l’efficacité de la campagne de #vaccination menée outre-Manche puisque « moins d’une personne sur dix acceptées à l’hôpital à cause du variant Delta a reçu deux doses de #vaccin », se félicite le ministère de la santé britannique. Début juillet, 84 % des adultes britanniques ont reçu au moins une dose et 63 % deux doses de vaccin – un tiers avec le vaccin de Pfizer et deux tiers avec celui d’AstraZeneca.

    Cette constatation britannique est confirmée par l’Agence européenne du médicament (AEM). Son responsable de la stratégie vaccinale, Marco Cavaleri, a affirmé, jeudi 1er juillet, que les « données émergentes provenant de preuves concrètes montrent que deux doses de vaccin protègent contre le #variant Delta » avec « les quatre vaccins approuvés dans l’Union européenne ».

  • My Australian husband is stuck in India. All I want is to know he can come home | Narita Nagin | The Guardian
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/may/03/my-australian-husband-is-stuck-in-india-all-i-want-is-to-know-he-can-co
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/ce76c31caf8db874ed1e5c68a02e5fc7cfefe277/0_756_1980_1188/master/1980.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    My Australian husband is stuck in India. All I want is to know he can come home. What does it mean to be a citizen? Is Australia a fair-weather friend, only there for you in the good times? The Australian government’s drastic decision to temporarily stop all travellers from India entering Australia has me in tears almost every night, struggling to cope with the uncertainty of when I’ll see my husband again.Before he departed Australia for India in March, I was stressed knowing that repatriation flights were few and far between. But he managed to convince both me and the Australian government (that granted him a travel exemption) that he had to go to visit and care for his mum, his only surviving parent, who is suffering from stage-four cancer. Knowing him, his kindness and conscientiousness, I knew that it wasn’t really a choice for him to be at his dying mother’s side.
    The situation is emotionally draining for the 9,000 Australians who are stranded in India while it is ravaged by the deadly Covid-19 second wave, desperate to get home. To date, India has reported more than 19m cases and 216,000 deaths. I can’t even imagine the unbearable stress and fear of being in India surrounded by the countless stories of the lack of oxygen and hospital beds, the crumbling infrastructure and people dying on the streets.
    India does not allow for dual citizenship, so it does not owe Australians like my husband anything – if they were once Indians, they have given that up to become Australians. What does it mean to be an Australian citizen? Is Australia a fair-weather friend, only there for you in the good times? For Australian citizens stuck in India, the worst-case scenario is playing out in real time. What if India decides to prioritise its citizens’ health over others due to insufficient and crumbling infrastructure? What if India demands non-citizens leave the country or threatens them with prison sentences like the Australian government just did for its own citizens?
    Like most other Australians, I don’t want to compromise the health of the community, but surely Australians can be allowed back via a safe process and the virus can be contained by isolation. In March, shortly before the government’s decision to exclude Australians travelling from India, just 1,065 people travelled into Australia each day on average, so the existing protocols did not allow a huge number enough to suggest undue burden on infrastructure.Its decision to ban Australian travellers from India indicates the Australian government’s complete lack of confidence in its own quarantine system. While this may be justified, given the numerous quarantine mistakes, wouldn’t it be more appropriate for Australia to fix its quarantine system than to deny its own citizens their basic human right to return home to their families?Similar draconian laws and absolute bans were not considered when in the US and UK Covid cases were soaring only a few months ago. The US to date reported 32.4m cases and 576,000 deaths. The UK wasn’t that far behind, and a substantially deadlier strain of Covid-19, B.1.1.7, originated there. Why has a different approach been taken to Australians returning from India?I have always found Australians to be warm, open and inclusive, and so this is the first time I have any regrets in choosing Australia as my home. Other governments are doing so much more to help their citizens – the US, in its latest health alert, asked its citizens to leave India as soon as it is safe to do so, and additional flight options are available for them. British and Irish nationals, and third-country nationals with residence rights in the UK, are arriving into England from India with the requirement to quarantine. These are fair and reasonable options that Australians stranded in India would welcome.
    As for my husband, even if the borders were open, I know that he won’t return until his mother dies. At the same time, it is difficult for him being in India without any certainty as to when he might be able to return home. While the ban for travellers from India is temporary, for those stuck overseas “temporary” reads as “indefinitely”. For now, he continues to live among the Covid chaos in India, waking up at 3am daily to work Australian hours , while caring for his mum, who in addition to stage-four cancer now also has Covid-19.Despite all these challenges, he is still an amazing husband from afar, calling me daily to check in, calming me during my frequent meltdowns. All I want is for both of us to have the certainty that he can come home to Sydney when he is ready.There should be no barriers to Australians returning home. It is our right.Narita Nagin is an Australian lawyer. She is based in Sydney and was born in Fiji

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#australie#inde#sante#variant#retour#contamination#santementale#droit

  • Why Silicon Valley’s most astute critics are all women | Technology | The Guardian
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/apr/03/why-silicon-valley-most-astute-critics-women-tech-gender
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/658f194e8cb3f8db0de3b288c4b603fd331c41fe/0_63_1200_720/master/1200.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    The first conclusion is that the industry that is reshaping our societies and undermining our democracies is overwhelmingly dominated by males. Yet – with a few honourable exceptions – male critics seem relatively untroubled by, or phlegmatic about, this particular aspect of the industry; they seem to see it as inevitable and pass on to more ostensibly urgent concerns.

    The chronic lack of gender diversity in tech has been well known for ages and recent years have seen many of the companies admitting to the problem and vowing to do better. But progress has been mighty slow.

    My hunch is that however much the industry bleats about gender diversity, it doesn’t truly see it as a real problem. Male-dominated firms still receive more than 80% of venture-capital funding and the money often goes to entrepreneurs promising to create products or services that supposedly address consumers’ real needs.

    Many of the most trenchant critics of the technology and its deployment by Silicon Valley are women of colour. That’s no accident, because they in particular are understandably attentive to the ways in which, for example, machine learning and facial recognition technology embody the prejudices embedded in the datasets that trained them.

  • Ending over mending: planned obsolescence is killing the planet | Technology | The Guardian
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/17/ending-over-mending-planned-obsolescence-is-killing-the-planet

    In his novel Brave New World, Aldous Huxley writes of a society in which recorded voices subliminally prepare babies for their future role as consumers.

    “I do love flying, I do love having new clothes,” they whisper. “But old clothes are beastly. We always throw away old clothes. Ending is better than mending. Ending is better than mending.”

    Huxley depicts a dystopia. But the slogans he describes might equally apply to common products today.

    #obsolescence_programmée #résister #resistance

  • Ice reached a new low: using utility bills to hunt undocumented immigrants | US immigration | The Guardian
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/03/ice-reached-a-new-low-using-utility-bills-to-hunt-undocumented-immigran
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/0e5bd6e6bc3429d981db9262197dbcbcf3887ebd/0_34_1029_618/master/1029.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    Because the power of the government is so immense, the union of government might with surveillance capitalism should worry every single one of us. Facebook may want to know everything about your shopping and surfing habits, but perhaps the worst it can do to you individually is put you in a metaphorical “Facebook jail”. Governments, needless to say, can send you to a real prison. And, as it turns out, government agencies can also try to find you on the basis of a utility bill so as to deport you. Georgetown Law School’s Center on Privacy & Technology discovered the link between Clear and Ice, and as the Center’s Nina Wang told the Washington Post: “There needs to be a line drawn in defense of people’s basic dignity. And when the fear of deportation could endanger their ability to access these basic services, that line is being crossed.” The notion that Ice would force such a Faustian tradeoff – between having heat in your apartment and exposing yourself to deportation – is unconscionable.
    Before anyone wants to argue that these immigrants brought the situation upon themselves, take a moment to consider that almost 70% of undocumented immigrant workers have frontline jobs considered essential to the US fight against Covid-19. About half of the farm workers in the US are undocumented, according to the US Department of Agriculture. It’s further estimated that one out of every 20 workers in agriculture, housing, food services and healthcare is undocumented. The fact is that undocumented workers are often the very people keeping all of us fed, warm and healthy during this terrible pandemic.
    In recognition of this fact, Senator Alex Padilla, a Democrat from California, introduced his first bill last week, the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act. The bill offers “a fast, accessible, and secure path to citizenship, beginning with immediate adjustment of status to legal permanent resident”. While France has done something similar recently by fast-tracking citizenship for its frontline foreign workers, the US could do it better by recognizing the heroic labor that undocumented immigrants have contributed to the national effort to combat Covid.
    More than 60 leading economists also recently wrote a group letter to the Biden administration arguing for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers, especially undocumented essential workers. Providing these workers with the chance to earn citizenship, they wrote, “will help to ensure that the economic recovery reaches all corners of society, including those that have disproportionately been on the frontlines of the pandemic and yet left out of prior relief bills, and establishes a more stable and equitable foundation on which future economic success can be built”.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#etatsunis#france#sante#migrantirregulier#travailmigrant#regularisation#travailleurpremiereligne#politiquemigratoire

  • #Facebook is gambling Australia can’t live without it. Imagine if we prove them wrong | Facebook | The Guardian

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/feb/19/facebook-is-gambling-australia-cant-live-without-it-imagine-if-we-prove

    Some commentators reckon Facebook has called Australia’s bluff. They may be about to discover that Australia isn’t bluffing.

    The platform’s own irresponsible and chaotic implementation of its Australian news “ban” appears to have rallied the country – citizens and politicians from across the aisles – and governments from around the world, to support the Australian government’s resolve.

    As a former chief executive of Facebook in Australia and New Zealand, Stephen Scheeler, wrote in the Nine newspapers, the company has taken an enormous gamble, betting that “by taking an aggressive hard line with a middle power, such as Australia, a tough message will be sent to the rest of the world to back off on regulation.”

    #réseaux_sociaux

  • Another lockdown was inevitable. We have to get this one right | Coronavirus | The Guardian
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/05/vaccines-pandemic-covid-variant-lockdown
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/ccc68d13ed82ff7c64195eed215e9366e9c64871/0_137_4104_2462/master/4104.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    A third lockdown for England was inevitable. Pressure on the NHS is growing as it deals with new infections from a variant of the coronavirus that scientists estimate is 50-70% more transmissible. New infections continue to climb past 50,000 each day, and daily deaths are in the hundreds. A few weeks ago, many felt optimistic that vaccines could return England to normal by the spring. Instead, it seems we are entering a dangerous new chapter of this pandemic. It’s easy to feel frustrated by the government’s response to this pandemic, and wonder why it hasn’t acted sooner. Ministers wasted an opportunity to suppress the virus in the summer when cases were low, and instead chose to open up quickly and recklessly after the first national lockdown. The government subsidised people to eat out in restaurants and bars, and encouraged holidays abroad via “travel corridors” without any kind of testing or quarantine restrictions for when travellers returned. It was always likely that, if uncontrolled, the virus that causes Covid-19 would mutate. High prevalence created more opportunities for a variant to emerge that now appears to be spreading at a worrying pace.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#grandebretagne#sante#confinement#corridor#circulation#bullevoyage#test#quarantaine#virusmutant

  • How modelling Covid has changed the way we think about epidemics | Coronavirus | The Guardian
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/04/covid-model-epidemic-collaboration-experiment
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/00c5902c5c83fcee36c7e405c0e81c7810b62697/0_448_6720_4032/master/6720.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    Outbreak research should ideally be fast, reliable and publicly available. But the pressures of real-time Covid-19 analysis – which many academics have done in their spare time without dedicated funding – can force difficult choices. Should researchers prioritise updating scenarios for governments and health agencies, writing detailed papers describing their methods, or helping others adapt the models to answer different questions? These are not new problems, but the pandemic gave them new urgency. In the US, for example, the most comprehensive Covid-19 databases have been run by volunteers. The pandemic has flagged inefficient and unsustainable features of modelling and outbreak analysis, and illustrated that there is a clear need for change.
    Alongside coverage of specific modelling studies, mathematical concepts have also become part of everyday discussions. Whether talking about reproduction numbers, lags in data, or how vaccines might protect the non-vaccinated through “herd immunity”, journalists have started to think more deeply about epidemic dynamics. Prior to the outbreak, I never thought I’d end up fielding media requests to discuss a statistical parameter such as “K”, which quantifies the potential for super-spreading.Unfortunately, there have been challenges with coverage too. Some modelling results – particularly in the early stages of the pandemic – were widely misinterpreted, like the headlines in March suggesting half of the UK might have already been infected. Throughout summer and autumn, research groups also had to contend with media critics who misled the public with claims that the pandemic was over, dismissing warnings about the potential for a large second wave. Given the European epidemic waves to date, there can be little doubt that in the absence of control measures, Covid-19 would have been catastrophic for our health systems. Across the world, populations altered their behaviour in response to growing epidemics, but the extent of this unprecedented shift – and its effect on spread – was extremely hard to predict at the start of last year. Although infections such as Ebola and Sars have previously spurred behaviour change, Covid-19 triggered shutdowns of society on a scale unseen since the 1918 influenza pandemic.
    As well as modelling the spread of disease, researchers have had to track the dynamics of social behaviour. Because of modern digital footprints, they have been able to do this in more detail than ever, providing unique insights into how individuals and communities respond to outbreaks. These behavioural changes, whether driven by explicit government policies or local awareness of infection risk, have in turn had complex social, economic and health impacts. Untangling such effects will no doubt be the subject of research far into the future.Covid-19 has cemented a growing trend for research teams that work across multiple aspects of disease dynamics, from modelling and epidemiology to immunology and human behaviour. In the UK, researchers involved in modelling the disease have set up studies of social interactions and infection levels within communities, with these datasets then feeding back into new models.
    As well as interdisciplinary links, there have also been new international connections. Political responses to the pandemic have been country-specific, but throughout 2020, scientific insights – including datasets, modelling results and code – have been shared and built upon by teams across multiple continents. Past epidemics have brought mathematical tools to new audiences, but the scale of Covid-19 has resulted in epidemiological ideas being exchanged across disciplines and borders as never before. If sustained, such collaborations and networks could be hugely valuable in tackling other global epidemic challenges in future.The events of last year have altered the dynamics of many diseases, beyond Covid-19, as seen in the disappearance of certain seasonal infections or the disruption of vaccination programmes. Had the pandemic not happened, I would have spent much of 2020 abroad, setting up studies of influenza, Zika and dengue. When these projects eventually resume, will we see smaller outbreaks than before, or belated large epidemics? The pandemic has created a tragic “natural experiment”, a once-in-a-century jolt to disease ecosystems that could produce unexpected insights into immunity, social behaviour, seasonal effects and evolution. We’ve learned a lot about Covid-19 in the past 12 months, but there’s much more that modelling will help us discover in the coming years.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#sante#epidemiologie#modelisation#interactionsociales#reseau#immunité#pandemie

  • Travel bans aren’t an effective response to the new Covid variant | Coronavirus | The Guardian
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/dec/23/travel-bans-effective-new-covid-variant
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/3fc38dc8a262b29c7508fb76bf884972d269e455/0_199_3500_2102/master/3500.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, announced that the variant, called B.1.1.7, is up to 70% more transmissible based on modelling studies. B.1.1.7 caused many infections in south-east England in a short period of time, rapidly displacing other circulating variants. Patients infected with B.1.1.7 also had higher viral loads. While this is certainly concerning, and warrants urgent scientific investigation, data supporting that this variant alone is driving the associated increase in cases is preliminary and inconclusive. Nonetheless, politicians began implementing sweeping policies right away.
    Multiple countries have imposed travel bans, greatly reducing travel from the UK or blocking it entirely. France closed its borders to most freight transport. New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, called on the US government to impose numerous restrictions, including banning travel from Europe. He later settled for mandatory rapid testing for all travellers on US-bound flights from the UK.
    Given the high prevalence of all variants of Sars-CoV-2, including in the UK and many countries abroad, imposing onerous travel restrictions alone is unlikely to make a significant impact in the overall pandemic. Furthermore, they may be too late. The B.1.1.7 variant has been reported in other European countries, as well as in Australia. These policies appear to be based more on the fear of variants with unknown properties rather than the actual data, and are due to a persistent and fundamental misunderstanding of viruses and how they evolve and change when spreading through a population.
    Genetic mutation, the process that drives all evolutionary adaptation, is normal and expected, particularly for viruses. Every time the virus copies its genetic material – called its genome – it can make a mistake. If that mistake isn’t corrected, it will be copied the next time the virus replicates its genome. Mutations occur by chance, but if they happen to occur in a critical place and give the virus an advantage that allows it to outcompete other viral variants, they are said to be under positive evolutionary selection. For example, mutations in the spike protein of Sars-CoV-2, which allows the virus to enter and infect cells, can be selected for if they make the virus more efficient at establishing an infection.
    We can probably expect to see other variants that may be more effective at spreading, causing disease or circumventing our immune responses. We must be prepared to respond in an informed and thoughtful way, rather than reactively. Unfortunately, because Sars-CoV-2 is spreading so widely, the virus has many opportunities to develop mutations that give it a competitive advantage. The only way to stop the virus from mutating is to take away its ability to replicate, which means drastically reducing community transmission.
    Mutations do not automatically make a virus a more exceptional pathogen. The advantages conferred by positively selected viral mutations are good for the virus, but aren’t necessarily always bad for the human host. Many mutations can make the virus better at infecting cells, replicating, or transmitting to new hosts, but will have no effect on the severity or type of disease that they cause. In the case of B.1.1.7, there is fortunately no indication that the 23 mutations distinguishing the variant result in more severe Covid-19.
    The claim that B.1.1.7 is more transmissible is based on primarily epidemiological evidence and data on increased viral loads, and is compelling but far from decisive. To demonstrate conclusively that B.1.1.7 is more transmissible, that needs to be quantified experimentally in animal models of Sars-CoV-2 transmission. Even if B.1.1.7 does prove to be more transmissible, it is not likely to be transmitted in a different way from all the other circulating Sars-CoV-2 variants. It has not acquired viral superpowers that render existing precautions irrelevant, and it is still transmitted primarily through inhaling or having direct contact with infectious respiratory aerosols and droplets.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#angleterre#frontiere#sante#test#mutation##transmission#circulation

  • Should you delete TikTok from your phone? | TikTok | The Guardian
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/21/delete-tiktok-phone-data-facebook
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/25899869f059d46ed1a5ab2eeda930a42a080fcf/0_19_2335_1402/master/2335.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    It’s a tough time to be a TikToker. The video-sharing platform owned by the Chinese technology giant ByteDance has been censured in India, accused of “spying” by the president of the United States, and has provoked the ire of former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith in the UK. Listen to the prognostications of some politicians or visit certain corners of the internet and you’d think TikTok was a deep-state plot to capture your data so it can be mined by Chinese spies.

    The truth is more complicated. We happily hand over just as much data to plenty of other apps, including many based in Silicon Valley, and much of the same data we produce when using apps such as TikTok is also posted on YouTube and shared through Facebook. If we’re worried about Chinese snooping, then it’s worth remembering the revelations first aired seven years ago about the US National Security Agency eavesdropping on all our communications. While TikTok may have been described as a “data-collection service”, the same could also be said of Facebook or any other popular social media platform.

    TikTok halts talks on London HQ amid UK-China tensions
    Read more
    Arguments against TikTok have been amplified by supposed evidence of its wrongdoings. The amount of data the app collects was used as proof that something was awry – despite the fact that multiple experts have said TikTok is no different in this regard from Facebook (TikTok’s head of public policy recently stressed that the company is incorporated in the US, where its data is stored). That the app until recently accessed a user’s mobile phone clipboard has been cited as definitive proof of a deep-state conspiracy, but LinkedIn and Reddit have also only just stopped doing the same. One post by a pseudonymous Reddit user sparked anger after they alleged that TikTok is “a data-collection service … thinly veiled as a social network”, but the user lost evidence for their claims because of a motherboard failure – the digital equivalent of your dog eating your homework.

    #TikTok

  • War has broken out on the edge of Europe. What’s behind it? | Nagorno-#Karabakh | The Guardian
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/10/war-edge-europe-nagorno-karabakh-conflict-armenia-azerbaijan

    A tragedy is unfolding on the edge of Europe in and around the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the South Caucasus. A mostly forgotten war has restarted between Armenians and Azerbaijanis. Outsiders are struggling to respond. As someone who has reported on and studied this conflict for more than 25 years on both sides, let me try to lead you through the labyrinth.

    It is worth emphasising first of all the human cost. Hundreds of people have died since 27 September, when the fighting broke out, almost certainly because Azerbaijan decided to launch a surprise offensive. Each side is now using fearsome long-range weapons that it has acquired over the last decade.

  • #David_Graeber pushed us to imagine greater human possibilities | Protest | The Guardian

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/08/david-graeber-pushed-us-to-imagine-greater-human-possibilities

    De notre amie #Rebecca_Solnit.

    his week has mingled, for me, the sadness of losing David Graeber the person, and the joy of immersing myself in David Graeber the writer, by diving into his many electrifyingly original essays and books, though their brilliance makes the loss all the sadder. The anthropologist and activist died in Venice on 2 September, suddenly and unexpectedly, and waves of grief, remembrance and gratitude streamed in from around the globe.

    He was a remarkable person, both a distinguished scholar and a committed direct-action organiser. The latter ranged from the global justice movement of the late 1990s to Occupy Wall Street in 2011, up to his support in recent years of the beautifully anarchic autonomous Rojava region in northeast Syria.

    • “We Are the 99%”: Occupy Wall Street Activist & Author David Graeber, Dead at 59, in His Own Words | Democracy Now!

      https://www.democracynow.org/2020/9/4/rip_david_graeber

      Upon the death of acclaimed anthropologist and anarchist David Graeber, we feature his 2011 interview on Democracy Now!, two days after the Occupy encampment began. Graeber helped organize the initial Occupy Wall Street protest and was credited with helping to develop the slogan, “We are the 99%.” “The idea is the system is not going to save us; we’re going to have to save ourselves,” says Graeber. “So, we’re going to try to get as many people as possible to camp in some public place and start rebuilding society as we’d like to see it.” He also discusses how his influential book “Debt: The First 5,000 Years” makes the case for sweeping debt cancellation.

  • Jagal - The Act of Killing
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tILiqotj7Y


    v.o. sans sous-titres

    avec sous-titres
    https://amara.org/en/videos/lCHCQE8uqUJb/en/749348
    à 00:16:00 un gangster parle de sa passion pour le cinémà et comment c’était pratique d’avoir les locaux pour tuer et torturer en face de la salle de projection.

    C’est le film le moins apprécié par l’office de tourisme indonésien car il montre que le pays est gouverné aujourd’hui par les assassins de 1965/66 qui se font un plaisir de se vanter de leurs crimes devant la caméra.

    BACKGROUND | The Act of Killing
    http://theactofkilling.com/background

    CONTEXT, BACKGROUND AND METHOD
    First Encounter with the 1965-66 Massacres – The Globalization Tapes
    In 2001-2002, Christine Cynn and I went to Indonesia for the first time to produce The Globalization Tapes (2003), a participatory documentary project made in collaboration with the Independent Plantation Workers Union of Sumatra. Using their own forbidden history as a case study, these Indonesian filmmakers worked with us to trace the development of contemporary globalization from its roots in colonialism to the present.

    The Globalization Tapes exposes the devastating role of militarism and repression in building the global economy, and explores the relationships between trade, third-world debt, and international institutions like the IMF and the World Trade Organization. Made by some of the poorest workers in the world, the film is a lyrical and incisive account of how our global financial institutions shape and enforce the corporate world order. The film uses chilling first-hand accounts, hilarious improvised interventions, collective debate and archival collage.

    Several scenes in The Globalization Tapes reveal the earliest traces of the methods we refined in the shooting of The Act of Killing: plantation workers stage a satirical commercial for the pesticide that poisons them; worker-filmmakers pose as World Bank agents who offer microfinance to ‘develop’ local businesses – offers that are both brutal and absurd, yet tempting nonetheless.

    While shooting and editing The Globalization Tapes, we discovered that the 1965-66 Indonesian massacres were the dark secret haunting Indonesia’s much-celebrated entrance into the global economy. One of the military’s main objectives in the killings was to destroy the anti-colonial labour movement that had existed until 1965, and to lure foreign investors with the promise of cheap, docile workers and abundant natural resources. The military succeeded (The Globalization Tapes is a testament to the extraordinary courage of the plantation worker-filmmakers as they challenge this decades-long legacy of terror and try to build a new union).

    The killings would come up in discussions, planning sessions, and film shoots nearly every day, but always in whispers. Indeed, many of the plantation workers were themselves survivors of the killings. They would discretely point out the houses of neighbors who had killed their parents, grandparents, aunts, or uncles. The perpetrators were still living in the same village and made up, along with their children and protégés, the local power structure. As outsiders, we could interview these perpetrators – something the plantation workers could not do without fear of violence.

    In conducting these first interviews, we encountered the pride with which perpetrators would boast about the most grisly details of the killings. The Act of Killing was born out of our curiosity about the nature of this pride – its clichéd grammar, its threatening performativity, its frightening banality.

    The Globalization Tapes was a film made collectively by the plantation workers themselves, with us as facilitators and collaborating directors. The Act of Killing was also made by working very closely with its subjects, while in solidarity and collaboration with the survivors’ families. However, unlike The Globalization Tapes, The Act of Killing is an authored work, an expression of my own vision and concerns regarding these issues.

    THE BEGINNING OF THE ACT OF KILLING

    By the time I first met the characters in The Act of Killing (in 2005), I had been making films in Indonesia for three years, and I spoke Indonesian with some degree of fluency. Since making The Globalization Tapes (2003), Christine Cynn, fellow film-maker and longtime collaborator Andrea Zimmerman and I had continued filming with perpetrators and survivors of the massacres in the plantation areas around the city of Medan. In 2003 and 2004, we filmed more interviews and simple re-enactments with Sharman Sinaga, the death squad leader who had appeared in The Globalization Tapes. We also filmed as he introduced us to other killers in the area. And we secretly interviewed survivors of the massacres they committed.

    Moving from perpetrator to perpetrator, and, unbeknownst to them, from one community of survivors to another, we began to map the relationships between different death squads throughout the region, and began to understand the process by which the massacres were perpetrated. In 2004, we began filming Amir Hasan, the death squad leader who had commanded the massacres at the plantation where we made The Globalization Tapes.

    In late 2004, Amir Hasan began to introduce me to killers up the chain of command in Medan. Independently in 2004, we began contacting ‘veterans’ organizations of death squad members and anti-leftist activists in Medan. These two approaches allowed us to piece together a chain of command, and to locate the surviving commanders of the North Sumatran death squads. In early interviews with the veterans of the killings (2004), I learned that the most notorious death squad in North Sumatra was Anwar Congo and Adi Zulkadry’s Frog Squad (Pasukan Kodok).

    During these first meetings with Medan perpetrators (2004 and 2005), I encountered the same disturbing boastfulness about the killings that we had been documenting on the plantations. The difference was that these men were the celebrated and powerful leaders not of a small rural village, but of the third largest city in Indonesia (Greater Medan has a population of over four million people).

    Our starting point for The Act of Killing was thus the question: how had this society developed to the point that its leaders could – and would – speak of their own crimes against humanity with a cheer that was at once celebratory but also intended as a threat?

    OVERVIEW AND CHRONOLOGY OF THE METHODS USED IN THE ACT OF KILLING

    Building on The Globalization Tapes and our film work outside Indonesia, we had developed a method in which we open a space for people to play with their image of themselves, re-creating and re-imagining it on camera, while we document this transformation as it unfolds. In particular, we had refined this method to explore the intersection between imagination and extreme violence.

    In the early days of research (2005), I discovered that the army recruited its killers in Medan from the ranks of movie theatre gangsters (or preman bioskop) who already hated the leftists for their boycott of American movies – the most profitable in the cinema. I was intrigued by this relationship between cinema and killings, although I had no idea it would be so deep. Not only did Anwar and his friends know and love the cinema, but they dreamed of being on the screen themselves, and styled themselves after their favorite characters. They even borrowed their methods of murder from the screen.

    Of course, I began by trying to understand in as much detail as possible Anwar and his friends’ roles in the killings and, afterwards, in the regime they helped to build. Among the first things I did was to bring them to the former newspaper office directly across the road from Anwar’s old cinema, the place where Anwar and his friends killed most of their victims. There, they demonstrated in detail what they had done. Although they were filming documentary re-enactment and interviews, during breaks I noticed that they would muse about how they looked like various movie stars – for instance, Anwar compared his protégé and sidekick, Herman to Fernando Sancho.

    To understand how they felt about the killings, and their unrepentant way of representing them on film, I screened back the unedited footage of these early re-enactments, and filmed their responses. At first, I thought that they would feel the re-enactments made them look bad, and that they might possibly come to a more complex place morally and emotionally.

    I was startled by what actually happened. On the surface at least, Anwar was mostly anxious that he should look young and fashionable. Instead of any explicit moral reflection, the screening led him and Herman spontaneously to suggest a better, and more elaborate, dramatization.

    To explore their love of movies, I screened for them scenes from their favorite films at the time of the killings – Cecil B. DeMille’s Samson and Delilah and, ironically, The Ten Commandments topped the list – recording their commentary and the memories these films elicited. Through this process, I came to realize why Anwar was continually bringing up these old Hollywood films whenever I filmed re-enactments with them: he and his fellow movie theatre thugs were inspired by them at the time of the killings, and had even borrowed their methods of murder from the movies. This was such an outlandish and disturbing idea that I in fact had to hear it several times before I realized quite what Anwar and his friends were saying.

    He described how he got the idea of strangling people with wire from watching gangster movies. In a late-night interview in front of his former cinema, Anwar explained how different film genres would lead him to approach killing in different ways. The most disturbing example was how, after watching a “happy film like an Elvis Presley musical”, Anwar would “kill in a happy way”.

    In 2005, I also discovered that the other paramilitary leaders (not just the former movie theater gangsters) had other personal and deep-seated relationship to movies. Ibrahim Sinik, the newspaper boss who was secretary general of all the anti-communist organizations that participated in the killings, and who directly gave the orders to Anwar’s death squad, turned out to be a feature film producer, screenwriter, and former head of the Indonesian Film Festival.

    In addition to all this, Anwar and his friends’ impulse towards being in a film about the killings was essentially to act in dramatizations of their pasts – both as they remember them, and as they would like to be remembered (the most powerful insights in The Act of Killing probably come in those places where these two agendas radically diverge). As described, the idea of dramatizations came up quite spontaneously, in response to viewing the rushes from Anwar’s first re-enactments of the killings.

    But it would be disingenuous to claim that we facilitated the dramatizations only because that’s what Anwar and his friends wanted to do. Ever since we produced The Globalization Tapes, the thing that most fascinated us about the killings was the way the perpetrators we filmed would recount their stories of those atrocities. One had the feeling that we weren’t simply hearing memories, but something else besides – something intended for a spectator. More precisely, we felt we were receiving performances. And we instinctively understood, I think, that the purpose of these performances was somehow to assert a kind of impunity, to maintain a threatening image, to perpetuate the autocratic regime that had begun with the massacres themselves.

    We sensed that the methods we had developed for incorporating performance into documentary might, in this context, yield powerful insights into the mystery of the killers’ boastfulness, the nature of the regime of which they are a part, and, most importantly, the nature of human ‘evil’ itself.

    So, having learned that even their methods of murder were directly influenced by cinema, we challenged Anwar and his friends to make the sort of scenes they had in mind. We created a space in which they could devise and star in dramatisations based on the killings, using their favorite genres from the medium.

    We hoped to catalyze a process of collective remembrance and imagination. Fiction provided one or two degrees of separation from reality, a canvas on which they could paint their own portrait and stand back and look at it.

    We started to suspect that performance played a similar role during the killings themselves, making it possible for Anwar and his friends to absent themselves from the scene of their crimes, while they were committing them. Thus, performing dramatizations of the killings for our cameras was also a re-living of a mode of performance they had experienced in 1965, when they were killing. This obviously gave the experience of performing for our cameras a deeper resonance for Anwar and his friends than we had anticipated.

    And so, in The Act of Killing, we worked with Anwar and his friends to create such scenes for the insights they would offer, but also for the tensions and debates that arose during the process – including Anwar’s own devastating emotional unravelling.

    This created a safe space, in which all sorts of things could happen that would probably elude a more conventional documentary method. The protagonists could safely explore their deepest memories and feelings (as well as their blackest humor). I could safely challenge them about what they did, without fear of being arrested or beaten up. And they could challenge each other in ways that were otherwise unthinkable, given Sumatra’s political landscape.

    Anwar and his friends could direct their fellow gangsters to play victims, and even play the victims themselves, because the wounds are only make-up, the blood only red paint, applied only for a movie. Feelings far deeper than those that would come up in an interview would surface unexpectedly. One reason the emotional impact was so profound came from the fact that this production method required a lot of time – the filmmaking process came to define a significant period in the participants’ lives. This meant that they went on a deeper journey into their memories and feelings than they would in a film consisting largely of testimony and simple demonstration.

    Different scenes used different methods, but in all of them it was crucial that Anwar and his friends felt a sense of fundamental ownership over the fiction material. The crux of the method is to give performers the maximum amount of freedom to determine as many variables as possible in the production (storyline, casting, costumes, mise-en-scene, improvisation on set). Whenever possible, I let them direct each other, and used my cameras to document their process of creation. My role was primarily that of provocateur, challenging them to remember the events they were performing more deeply, encouraging them to intervene and direct each other when they felt a performance was superficial, and asking questions between takes – both about what actually happened, but also about how they felt at the time, and how they felt as they re-enacted it.

    We shot in long takes, so that situations could evolve organically, and with minimal intervention from ourselves. I felt the most significant event unfolding in front of the cameras was the act of transformation itself, particularly because this transformation was usually plagued by conflict, misgivings, and other imperfections that seemed to reveal more about the nature of power, violence, and fantasy than more conventional documentary or investigative methods. For this same reason, we also filmed the pre-production of fiction scenes, including castings, script meetings, and costume fittings. Make-up sessions too were important spaces of reflection and transformation, moments where the characters slip down the rabbit hole of self-invention.

    In addition, because we never knew when the characters would refuse to take the process further, or when we might get in trouble with the military, we filmed each scene as though it might be the last, and also everything leading up to them (not only for the reasons above), because often we didn’t know if the dramatization itself would actually happen. We also felt that the stories we were hearing – stories of crimes against humanity never before recorded – were of world historical importance. More than anything else, these are two reasons why this method generated so many hours of footage (indeed, we have created a vast audio-visual archive about the Indonesian massacres. This archive has been the basis of a four-year United Kingdom Arts and Humanities Research Council project called Genocide and Genre).

    After almost every dramatization, we would screen the rushes back to them, and record their responses. We wanted to make sure they knew how they appeared on film, and to use the screening to trigger further reflection. Sometimes, screenings provoked feelings of remorse (as when Anwar watches himself play the victim during a film noir scene) but, at other times, as when we screened the re-enactment of the Kampung Kolam massacre to the entire cast, the images were met with terrifying peals of laughter.

    Most interestingly, Anwar and his friends discussed, often insightfully, how other people will view the film, both in Indonesia and internationally. For example, Anwar sometimes commented on how survivors might curse him, but that “luckily” the victims haven’t the power to do anything in today’s Indonesia.

    The gangster scenes were wholly improvised. The scenarios came from the stories Anwar and his friends had told each other during earlier interviews, and during visits to the office where they killed people. The set was modeled on this interior. For maximum flexibility, our cinematographer lit the space so that Anwar and his friends could move about freely, and we filmed them with two cameras so that they could fluidly move from directing each other to improvised re-enactments to quiet, often riveting reflection after the improvisation was finished.

    For instance, Anwar re-enacted how he killed people by placing them on a table and then pulling tight a wire, from underneath the table, to garrote them. The scene exhausted him, physically and emotionally, leaving him full of doubt about the morality of what he did. Immediately after this re-enactment, he launched into a cynical and resigned rant against the growing consensus around human rights violations. Here, reality and its refraction through fiction, Anwar’s memories and his anticipation of their impact internationally, are all overlaid.

    The noir scenes were shot over a week, and culminated in an extraordinary improvisation where Anwar played the victim. Anwar’s performance was effective and, transported by the performance, the viewer empathizes with the victim, only to do a double take as they remember that Anwar is not a victim, but the killer.

    The large-scale re-enactment of the Kampung Kolam massacre was made using a similar improvisational process, with Anwar and his friends undertaking the direction. What we didn’t expect was a scene of such violence and realism; so much so that it proved genuinely frightening to the participants, all of whom were Anwar’s friends from Pancasila Youth, or their wives and children. After the scene, we filmed participants talking amongst themselves about how the location of our re-enactment was just a few hundred meters from one of North Sumatra’s countless mass graves. The woman we see fainting after the scene felt she had been possessed by a victim’s ghost. The paramilitary members (including Anwar) thought so, too. The violence of the re-enactment conjured the spectres of a deeper violence, the terrifying history of which everybody in Indonesia is somehow aware, and upon which the perpetrators have built their rarefied bubble of air conditioned shopping malls, gated communities, and “very, very limited” crystal figurines.

    The process by which we made the musical scenes (the waterfall, the giant concrete goldfish) was slightly different again. But here too Anwar was very much in the driver’s seat: he chose the songs and, along with his friends, devised both scenes. Anwar and his cast were also free to make changes as we went.

    In the end, we worked very carefully with the giant goldfish, presenting motifs from a half-forgotten dream. Anwar’s beautiful nightmare? An allegory for his storytelling confection? For his blindness? For the willful blindness by which almost all history is written, and by which, consequently, we inevitably come to know (and fail to know) ourselves? The fish changes throughout the film, but it is always a world of “eye candy”, emptiness and ghosts. If it could be explained adequately in words, we would not need it in the film.

    For the scenes written by the newspaper boss Ibrahim Sinik and his staff, Sinik enlisted the help of his friends at state television, TVRI. He borrows the TVRI regional drama studios, and recruits a soap opera crew. In these scenes, our role was largely to document Anwar and his friends as they work with the TV crew, and to catalyze and document debates between fiction set-ups. In our edited scenes, we cut from the documentary cameras to TVRI’s fiction cameras, highlighting the gap between fiction and reality – often to comic effect. But above all, we focused our cameras on moments between takes where they debated the meaning of the scene.

    The Televisi Republik Indonesia “Special Dialogue” came into being when the show’s producers realised that feared and respected paramilitary leaders making a film about the genocide was a big story (they came to know about our work because we were using the TVRI studios.) After their grotesque chat show was broadcast, there was no critical response in North Sumatra whatsoever. This is not to say that the show will not be shocking to Indonesians. For reasons discussed in my director’s statement, North Sumatrans are more accustomed than Jakartans, for example, to the boasting of perpetrators (who in Sumatra were recruited from the ranks of gangsters – and the basis of gangsters’ power, after all, lies in being feared).

    Moreover, virtually nobody in Medan dares to criticise Pancasila Youth and men like Anwar Congo and Ibrahim Sinik. Ironically, the only significant reaction to the talk show’s broadcast came from the Indonesian Actors’ Union. According to Anwar, a representative of the union visiting family in Medan came to Anwar’s house to ask him if he would consider being president of the North Sumatra branch of the union. According to Anwar, the union was angry that such a large-scale production had occurred in North Sumatra without their knowing about it. Luckily, Anwar had the humility to tell them that he is not an actor, that he was playing himself in scenes made for a documentary, and therefore would decline the offer.

    Anwar and his friends knew that their fiction scenes were only being made for our documentary, and this will be clear to the audience, too. But at the same time, if these scenes were to offer genuine insights, it was vital that the filmmaking project was one in which they were deeply invested, and one over which they felt ownership.

    The Act of Killing : don’t give an Oscar to this snuff movie | Nick Fraser | Film | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/23/act-of-killing-dont-give-oscar-snuff-movie-indonesia

    It has won over critics but this tasteless film teaches us nothing and merely indulges the unrepentant butchers of Indonesia

    The Act of Killing won the documentary prize at the Baftas last week and is the favourite to win the much-coveted Oscar. I watch many documentaries on behalf of the BBC each year and I go to festivals. I’m a doc obsessive. By my own, not quite reliable reckoning, I’ve been asked by fans to show The Act of Killing on the BBC at least five times. I’ve never encountered a film greeted by such extreme responses – both those who say it is among the best films and those who tell me how much they hate it. Much about the film puzzles me. I am still surprised by the fact that so many critics listed it among their favourite films of last year.

    For those who haven’t seen the film, it investigates the circumstances in which half-a-million Indonesian leftists were murdered in the 1960s, at the instigation of a government that is still in power. You might think this is a recondite subject, worthy of a late-night screening for insomniacs or atrocity buffs on BBC4, but, no, the film-maker Joshua Oppenheimer has made the subject viewable by enlisting the participation of some of the murderers. He spent some years hanging out with them, to his credit luring them into confessions. But he also, more dubiously, enlisted their help in restaging their killings. Although one of them, the grandfatherly Anwar, shows mild symptoms of distress towards the end of the film, they live in a state of impunity and it is thus, coddled and celebrated in their old age, that we revisit them.

    So let me be as upfront as I can. I dislike the aesthetic or moral premise of The Act of Killing. I find myself deeply opposed to the film. Getting killers to script and restage their murders for the benefit of a cinema or television audience seems a bad idea for a number of reasons. I find the scenes where the killers are encouraged to retell their exploits, often with lip-smacking expressions of satisfaction, upsetting not because they reveal so much, as many allege, but because they tell us so little of importance. Of course murderers, flattered in their impunity, will behave vilely. Of course they will reliably supply enlightened folk with a degraded vision of humanity. But, sorry, I don’t feel we want to be doing this. It feels wrong and it certainly looks wrong to me. Something has gone missing here. How badly do we want to hear from these people, after all? Wouldn’t it be better if we were told something about the individuals whose lives they took?

    I’d feel the same if film-makers had gone to rural Argentina in the 1950s, rounding up a bunch of ageing Nazis and getting them to make a film entitled “We Love Killing Jews”. Think of other half-covered-up atrocities – in Bosnia, Rwanda, South Africa, Israel, any place you like with secrets – and imagine similar films had been made. Consider your response – and now consider whether such goings-on in Indonesia are not acceptable merely because the place is so far away, and so little known or talked about that the cruelty of such an act can pass uncriticised.

    The film does not in any recognisable sense enhance our knowledge of the 1960s Indonesian killings, and its real merits – the curiosity when it comes to uncovering the Indonesian cult of anticommunism capable of masking atrocity, and the good and shocking scenes with characters from the Indonesian elite, still whitewashing the past – are obscured by tasteless devices. At the risk of being labelled a contemporary prude or dismissed as a stuffy upholder of middle-class taste, I feel that no one should be asked to sit through repeated demonstrations of the art of garrotting. Instead of an investigation, or indeed a genuine recreation, we’ve ended somewhere else – in a high-minded snuff movie.

    What I like most about documentary film is that anything can be made to work, given a chance. You can mix up fact and fiction, past and present. You can add to cold objectivity a degree of empathy. You will, of course, lie to reluctant or recalcitrant participants, in particular when they wish not to divulge important pieces of information. And trickery has its place, too. But documentary films have emerged from the not inconsiderable belief that it’s good to be literal as well as truthful. In a makeshift, fallible way, they tell us what the world is really like. Documentaries are the art of the journeyman. They can be undone by too much ambition. Too much ingenious construction and they cease to represent the world, becoming reflected images of their own excessively stated pretensions.

    In his bizarrely eulogistic piece defending The Act of Killing (of which he is an executive producer), Errol Morris, the documentary maker, compares the film to Hamlet’s inspired use of theatre to reveal dirty deeds at the court of Denmark. But Hamlet doesn’t really believe that theatrical gestures can stand in for reality. Nor, we must assume, did his creator. A more apt analogy than Morris’s might come from Shakespeare’s darkest play, Macbeth. What would we think if Macbeth and his scheming wife were written out of the action, replaced by those low-level thugs paid to do bad business on their behalf? We might conclude that putting them centre stage, in the style of The Act of Killing, was indeed perverse and we’d be right.

    There are still half-forgotten, heavily whitewashed atrocities from the last century, such as the Bengali famine allowed to occur during the second world war through the culpably racist inattention of British officials; the never wholly cleared-up question of Franco’s mass killings; or the death of so many millions in the 1950s as a consequence of Mao’s catastrophic utopianism. Those wondering how to record such events will no doubt watch The Act of Killing, but I hope they will also look at less hyped, more modestly conceived depictions of mass murder. In Enemies of the People (2010), the Cambodian journalist Thet Sambath goes after the murderers of the Khmer Rouge. He finds Pol Pot’s sidekick, but it is the earnest, touching quest of Sambath himself that lingers in the mind, rather than the empty encounters with evil-doers. Atrocity is both banal and ultimately impossible to comprehend.

    Writing in 1944, Arthur Koestler was among the first to gain knowledge of the slaughter of eastern European Jews and he estimated that the effect of such revelations was strictly limited, lasting only minutes or days and swiftly overcome by indifference. Koestler suggested that there was only one way we could respond to the double atrocity of mass murder and contemporary indifference and that was by screaming.

    I’m grateful to The Act of Killing not because it’s a good film, or because it deserves to win its Oscar (I don’t think it does), but because it reminds me of the truth of Koestler’s observation. What’s not to scream about?

    Nick Fraser is editor of the BBC’s Storyville documentary series

    #film #documentaire #Indonésie #hécatombe

  • Comment Stephen Hawking a soutenu la cause palestinienne
    15 03 2018 | Source : Al Jazeera News | Traduction : Lauriane G. pour l’Agence Média Palestine
    http://www.agencemediapalestine.fr/blog/2018/03/15/comment-stephen-hawking-a-soutenu-la-cause-palestinienne

    Stephen Hawking, le scientifique de renommée mondiale qui est décédé mercredi à l’âge de 76 ans, était connu non seulement pour ses travaux révolutionnaires mais aussi pour son soutien à la Palestine.

    Hawking, qui avait une maladie neuro-motrice, a fait les gros titres en mai 2013 lorsqu’il a décidé de boycotter une conférence de haut rang en Israël où il devait prendre la parole.

    Le physicien travaillait alors à l’Université de Cambridge au Royaume-Uni.

    La « Conférence Présidentielle », un évènement universitaire organisé à Jérusalem, était présidée par l’ancien président israélien Shimon Pérès.

    Dans une lettre qu’Hawking a envoyé aux organisateurs le 3 Mai, il déclarait qu’ il est très probable que la politique de l’actuel gouvernement israélien conduise à la catastrophe ».

    « J’accepte l’invitation à la Conférence Présidentielle avec l’intention que cela me permettra non seulement d’exprimer mon avis sur les perspectives d’accords de paix mais aussi sur la Cisjordanie.

    « Cependant, j’ai reçu de nombreux emails de la part d’universitaires palestiniens. Ils sont unanimes quant au fait que je devrais respecter le boycott. Compte tenu de cela, je dois me retirer de la conférence. »

    « Si j’avais participé à la conférence j’aurais exprimé mon opinion sur le fait qu’il est très probable que la politique de l’actuel gouvernement israélien conduise à la catastrophe, » dit la lettre.

  • Now the truth emerges: how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq | Seumas Milne | Opinion | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/03/us-isis-syria-iraq?CMP=share_btn_fb

    The war on terror, that campaign without end launched 14 years ago by George Bush, is tying itself up in ever more grotesque contortions. On Monday the trial in London of a Swedish man, Bherlin Gildo, accused of terrorism in Syria, collapsed after it became clear British intelligence had been arming the same rebel groups the defendant was charged with supporting.

    The prosecution abandoned the case, apparently to avoid embarrassing the intelligence services. The defence argued that going ahead with the trial would have been an “affront to justice” when there was plenty of evidence the British state was itself providing “extensive support” to the armed Syrian opposition.

    #is #isis #syrie #états-unis