• Can Reading Make You Happier ? | The New Yorker

    In a secular age, I suspect that reading fiction is one of the few remaining paths to transcendence, that elusive state in which the distance between the self and the universe shrinks. Reading fiction makes me lose all sense of self, but at the same time makes me feel most uniquely myself. As Woolf, the most fervent of readers, wrote, a book “splits us into two parts as we read,” for “the state of reading consists in the complete elimination of the ego,” while promising “perpetual union” with another mind.

    Bibliotherapy is a very broad term for the ancient practice of encouraging reading for therapeutic effect. The first use of the term is usually dated to a jaunty 1916 article in The Atlantic Monthly, “A Literary Clinic.” In it, the author describes stumbling upon a “bibliopathic institute” run by an acquaintance, Bagster, in the basement of his church, from where he dispenses reading recommendations with healing value. “Bibliotherapy is…a new science,” Bagster explains. “A book may be a stimulant or a sedative or an irritant or a soporific. The point is that it must do something to you, and you ought to know what it is. A book may be of the nature of a soothing syrup or it may be of the nature of a mustard plaster.” To a middle-aged client with “opinions partially ossified,” Bagster gives the following prescription: “You must read more novels. Not pleasant stories that make you forget yourself. They must be searching, drastic, stinging, relentless novels.” (George Bernard Shaw is at the top of the list.) Bagster is finally called away to deal with a patient who has “taken an overdose of war literature,” leaving the author to think about the books that “put new life into us and then set the life pulse strong but slow.”

    Today, bibliotherapy takes many different forms, from literature courses run for prison inmates to reading circles for elderly people suffering from dementia. Sometimes it can simply mean one-on-one or group sessions for “lapsed” readers who want to find their way back to an enjoyment of books.

    Berthoud and Elderkin trace the method of bibliotherapy all the way back to the Ancient Greeks, “who inscribed above the entrance to a library in Thebes that this was a ‘healing place for the soul.’ ” The practice came into its own at the end of the nineteenth century, when Sigmund Freud began using literature during psychoanalysis sessions. After the First World War, traumatized soldiers returning home from the front were often prescribed a course of reading. “Librarians in the States were given training on how to give books to WWI vets, and there’s a nice story about Jane Austen’s novels being used for bibliotherapeutic purposes at the same time in the U.K.,” Elderkin says. Later in the century, bibliotherapy was used in varying ways in hospitals and libraries, and has more recently been taken up by psychologists, social and aged-care workers, and doctors as a viable mode of therapy.

    For all avid readers who have been self-medicating with great books their entire lives, it comes as no surprise that reading books can be good for your mental health and your relationships with others, but exactly why and how is now becoming clearer, thanks to new research on reading’s effects on the brain. Since the discovery, in the mid-nineties, of “mirror neurons”—neurons that fire in our brains both when we perform an action ourselves and when we see an action performed by someone else—the neuroscience of empathy has become clearer. A 2011 study published in the Annual Review of Psychology, based on analysis of fMRI brain scans of participants, showed that, when people read about an experience, they display stimulation within the same neurological regions as when they go through that experience themselves. We draw on the same brain networks when we’re reading stories and when we’re trying to guess at another person’s feelings.

    Other studies published in 2006 and 2009 showed something similar—that people who read a lot of fiction tend to be better at empathizing with others (even after the researchers had accounted for the potential bias that people with greater empathetic tendencies may prefer to read novels). And, in 2013, an influential study published in Science found that reading literary fiction (rather than popular fiction or literary nonfiction) improved participants’ results on tests that measured social perception and empathy, which are crucial to “theory of mind”: the ability to guess with accuracy what another human being might be thinking or feeling, a skill humans only start to develop around the age of four.

    But not everybody agrees with this characterization of fiction reading as having the ability to make us behave better in real life. In her 2007 book, “Empathy and the Novel,” Suzanne Keen takes issue with this “empathy-altruism hypothesis,” and is skeptical about whether empathetic connections made while reading fiction really translate into altruistic, prosocial behavior in the world. She also points out how hard it is to really prove such a hypothesis. “Books can’t make change by themselves—and not everyone feels certain that they ought to,” Keen writes. “As any bookworm knows, readers can also seem antisocial and indolent. Novel reading is not a team sport.” Instead, she urges, we should enjoy what fiction does give us, which is a release from the moral obligation to feel something for invented characters—as you would for a real, live human being in pain or suffering—which paradoxically means readers sometimes “respond with greater empathy to an unreal situation and characters because of the protective fictionality.” And she wholeheartedly supports the personal health benefits of an immersive experience like reading, which “allows a refreshing escape from ordinary, everyday pressures.”

    #Bibliothérapie #Lecture #Romans #Psychologie #Empathie

  • The New York Times and its Uyghur “activist” - World Socialist Web Site

    9 May 2019 - The New York Times has furnished a case study of the way in which it functions as the conduit for the utterly hypocritical “human rights” campaigns fashioned by the CIA and the State Department to prosecute the predatory interests of US imperialism.

    While turning a blind eye to the gross abuses of democratic rights by allies such as Saudi Arabia, the US has brazenly used “human rights” for decades as the pretext for wars, diplomatic intrigues and regime-change. The media is completely integrated into these operations.

    Another “human rights” campaign is now underway. The New York Times is part of the mounting chorus of condemnation of China over its treatment of the Turkic-speaking, Muslim Uyghur minority in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang.

    In an article on May 4 entitled “In push for trade deal, Trump administration shelves sanctions over China’s crackdown on Uyghurs,” the New York Times joined in criticism of the White House, particularly by the Democrats, for failing to impose punitive measures on Beijing.

    The strident denunciations of China involve unsubstantiated allegations that it is detaining millions of Uyghurs without charge or trial in what Beijing terms vocational training camps.

    The New York Times reported, without qualification, the lurid claims of US officials, such as Assistant Secretary of Defence Randall Schriver, who last Friday condemned “the mass imprisonment of Chinese Muslims in concentration camps” and boosted the commonly cited figure of up to a million to “up to three million” in detention. No evidence has been presented for either claim.

    The repression of the Uyghurs is completely bound up with the far broader oppression of the working class by the Chinese capitalist elites and the Chinese Communist Party regime that defends their interests. The US campaign on the Uyghurs, however, has nothing to do with securing the democratic rights of workers, but is aimed at stirring up reactionary separatist sentiment.

    The US has longstanding ties to right-wing separatist organisations based on Chinese minorities—Tibetans as well as the Uyghurs—that it helped create, fund and in some cases arm. As the US, first under President Obama and now Trump, has escalated its diplomatic, economic and military confrontation with China, the “human rights” of Uyghurs has been increasingly brought to the fore.

    Washington’s aim, at the very least, is to foment separatist opposition in Xinjiang, which is a crucial source of Chinese energy and raw materials as well as being pivotal to its key Belt and Road Initiative to integrate China more closely with Eurasia. Such unrest would not only weaken China but could lead to a bloody war and the fracturing of the country. Uyghur separatists, who trained in the US network of Islamist terrorist groups in Syria, openly told Radio Free Asia last year of their intention to return to China to wage an armed insurgency.

    The New York Times is completely in tune with the aims behind these intrigues—a fact that is confirmed by its promotion of Uyghur “activist” Rushan Abbas.

    Last weekend’s article highlighted Abbas as the organiser of a tiny demonstration in Washington to “pressure Treasury Department officials to take action against Chinese officials involved in the Xinjiang abuses.” She told the newspaper that the Uyghur issue should be included as part of the current US-China trade talks, and declared: “They are facing indoctrination, brainwashing and the elimination of their values as Muslims.”

    An article “Uyghur Americans speak against China’s internment camps” on October 18 last year cited her remarks at the right-wing think tank, the Hudson Institute, where she “spoke out” about the detention of her aunt and sister. As reported in the article: “I hope the Chinese ambassador here reads this,” she said, wiping away tears. “I will not stop. I will be everywhere and speak on this at every event from now on.”

    Presented with a tearful woman speaking about her family members, very few readers would have the slightest inkling of Abbas’s background, about which the New York Times quite deliberately says nothing. Abbas is a highly connected political operator with long standing ties to the Pentagon, the State Department and US intelligence agencies at the highest level as well as top Republican Party politicians. She is a key figure in the Uyghur organisations that the US has supported and funded.

    Currently, Abbas is Director of Business Development in ISI Consultants, which offers to assist “US companies to grow their businesses in Middle East and African markets.” Her credentials, according to the company website, include “over 15 years of experience in global business development, strategic business analysis, business consultancy and government affairs throughout the Middle East, Africa, CIS regions, Europe, Asia, Australia, North America and Latin America.”

    The website also notes: “She also has extensive experience working with US government agencies, including Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Justice, and various US intelligence agencies.” As “an active campaigner for human rights,” she “works closely with members of the US Senate, Congressional Committees, the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, the US Department of State and several other US government departments and agencies.”

    This brief summary makes clear that Abbas is well connected in the highest levels of the state apparatus and in political circles. It also underscores the very close ties between the Uyghur organisations, in which she and her family members are prominent, and the US intelligence and security agencies.

    A more extensive article and interview with Abbas appeared in the May 2019 edition of the magazine Bitter Winter, which is published by the Italian-based Center for Studies on New Religions. The magazine focuses on “religious liberty and human rights in China” and is part of a conservative, right-wing network in Europe and the United States. The journalist who interviewed Abbas, Marco Respinti, is a senior fellow at the Russell Kirk Centre for Cultural Renewal, and a board member of the Centre for European Renewal—both conservative think tanks.

    The article explains that Abbas was a student activist at Xinjiang University during the 1989 protests by students and workers against the oppressive Beijing regime, but left China prior to the brutal June 4 military crackdown that killed thousands in the capital and throughout the country. At the university, she collaborated with Dolkun Isa and “has worked closely with him ever since.”

    Dolkun Isa is currently president of the World Uyghur Congress, established in 2004 as an umbrella group for a plethora of Uyghur organisations. It receives funding from the National Endowment for Democracy—which is one of the fronts used by the CIA and the US State Department for fomenting opposition to Washington’s rivals, including so-called colour revolutions, around the world.

    Isa was the subject of an Interpol red notice after China accused him of having connections to the armed separatist group, the East Turkestan Liberation Organisation, a claim he denied. East Turkestan is the name given to Xinjiang by Uyghur separatists to denote its historic connections to Turkey. None of the Western countries in which he traveled moved to detain him and the red notice was subsequently removed, no doubt under pressure from Washington.

    Bitter Winter explained that after moving to the US, Abbas cofounded the first Uyghur organisation in the United States in 1993—the California-based Tengritagh Overseas Students and Scholars Association. She also played a key role in the formation of the Uyghur American Association in 1998, which receives funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Last year its Uyghur Human Rights Project was awarded two NED grants totaling $320,000. Her brother Rishat Abbas was the association’s first vice-chairman and is currently the honorary chairman of the Uyghur Academy based in Turkey.

    When the US Congress funded a Uyghur language service for the Washington-based Radio Free Asia, Abbas became its first reporter and news anchor, broadcasting daily to China. Radio Free Asia, like its counterpart Radio Free Europe, began its existence in the 1950s as a CIA conduit for anti-communist propaganda. It was later transferred to the US Information Agency, then the US State Department and before being incorporated as an “independent,” government-funded body. Its essential purpose as a vehicle for US disinformation and lies has not changed, however.

    In a particularly revealing passage, Bitter Winter explained: “From 2002–2003, Ms. Abbas supported Operation Enduring Freedom as a language specialist at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.” In the course of the interview with the magazine, Abbas attempted to explain away her involvement with the notorious prison camp by saying that she was simply acting on behalf of 22 Uyghurs who were wrongfully detained and ultimately released—after being imprisoned for between four to 11 years!

    Given the denunciations of Chinese detention camps, one might expect that Abbas would have something critical to say about Guantanamo Bay, where inmates are held indefinitely without charge or trial and in many cases tortured. However, she makes no criticism of the prison or its procedures, nor for that matter of Operation Enduring Freedom—the illegal US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq that resulted in the deaths of a million civilians.

    It is clear why. Abbas is plugged into to the very top levels of the US state apparatus and political establishment in Washington. Her stints with Radio Free Asia and at Guantanamo Bay are undoubtedly not the only times that she has been directly on the payroll.

    As Bitter Winter continued: “She has frequently briefed members of the US Congress and officials at the State Department on the human rights situation of the Uyghur people, and their history and culture, and arranged testimonies before Congressional committees and Human Rights Commissions.

    “She provided her expertise to other federal and military agencies as well, and in 2007 she assisted during a meeting between then-President George W. Bush and Rebiya Kadeer, the world-famous moral leader of the Uyghurs, in Prague. Later that year she also briefed then First Lady Laura Bush in the White House on the Human Rights situation in Xinjiang.”

    It should be noted, Rebiya Kadeer is the “the world-famous moral leader of the Uyghurs,” only in the eyes of the CIA and the US State Department who have assiduously promoted her, and of the US-funded Uyghur organisations. She was one of the wealthiest businesswomen in China who attended the National People’s Congress before her husband left for the US and began broadcasting for Radio Free Asia and Voice of America. She subsequently fled China to the US and has served as president both of the World Uyghur Congress and the American Uyghur Association.

    The fact that Russan Abbas is repeatedly being featured in the New York Times is an indication that she is also being groomed to play a leading role in the mounting US propaganda offensive against China over the persecution of the Uyghurs. It is also a telling indictment of the New York Times which opens its pages to her without informing its readers of her background. Like Abbas, the paper of record is also plugged into the state apparatus and its intelligence agencies.

    #Chine #Xinjiang_Weiwuer_zizhiqu #USA #impérialisme #services_secretes

    新疆維吾爾自治區 / 新疆维吾尔自治区, Xīnjiāng Wéiwú’ěr zìzhìqū, englisch Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

  • The most expensive hyphen in history

    Bugs, bugs bugs

    By Charles Fishman4 minute Read

    This is the 18th in an exclusive series of 50 articles, one published each day until July 20, exploring the 50th anniversary of the first-ever Moon landing. You can check out 50 Days to the Moon here every day.

    In the dark on Sunday morning, July 22, 1962, NASA launched the first-ever U.S. interplanetary space probe: Mariner 1, headed for Venus, Earth’s neighbor closer to the Sun.

    Mariner 1 was launched atop a 103-foot-tall Atlas-Agena rocket at 5:21 a.m. EDT. For 3 minutes and 32 seconds, it rose perfectly, accelerating to the edge of space, nearly 100 miles up.

    But at that moment, Mariner 1 started to veer in odd, unplanned ways, first aiming northwest, then pointing nose down. The rocket was out of control and headed for the shipping lanes of the North Atlantic. Four minutes and 50 seconds into flight, a range safety officer at Cape Canaveral—in an effort to prevent the rocket from hitting people or land—flipped two switches, and explosives in the Atlas blew the rocket apart in a spectacular cascade of fireworks visible back in Florida.

    The Mariner 1 probe itself was blown free of the debris, and its radio transponder continued to ping flight control for another 67 seconds, until it hit the Atlantic Ocean.

    This was the third failed probe in 1962 alone; NASA had also launched two failed probes to the Moon. But the disappointment was softened by the fact that a second, identical Mariner spacecraft (along with an identical Atlas-Agena rocket) were already in hangers at the Cape, standing by. Mariner 2 was launched successfully a month later and reached Venus on December 14, 1962, where it discovered that the temperature was 797º F and that the planet rotated in the opposite direction of Earth and Mars. The Sun on Venus rises in the West.

    It was possible to launch Mariner 1’s twin just 36 days after the disaster because it took scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory only five days to figure out what had gone wrong. In handwritten computer coding instructions, in dozens and dozens of lines of flight guidance equations, a single letter had been written incorrectly, probably forgetfully.

    In a critical spot, the equations contained an “R” symbol (for “radius”). The “R” was supposed to have a bar over it, indicating a “smoothing” function; the line told the guidance computer to average the data it was receiving and to ignore what was likely to be spurious data. But as written and then coded onto punch cards and into the guidance computer, the “R” didn’t have a bar over it. The “R-bar” became simply “R.”

    As it happened, on launch, Mariner 1 briefly lost guidance-lock with the ground, which was not uncommon. The rocket was supposed to follow its course until guidance-lock was re-achieved, unless it received instructions from the ground computer. But without the R-bar, the ground computer got confused about Mariner 1’s performance, thought it was off course, and started sending signals to the rocket to “correct” its course, instructions that weren’t necessary—and weren’t correct.

    Therefore “phantom erratic behavior” became “actual erratic behavior,” as one analyst wrote. In the minute or so that controllers waited, the rocket and the guidance computer on the ground were never able to get themselves sorted out, because the “averaging” function that would have kept the rocket on course wasn’t programmed into the computer. And so the range safety officer did his job.

    A single handwritten line, the length of a hyphen, doomed the most elaborate spaceship the U.S. had until then designed, along with its launch rocket. Or rather, the absence of that bar doomed it. The error cost $18.5 million ($156 million today).

    In the popular press, for simplicity, the missing bar became a hyphen. The New York Times front-page headline was “For Want of a Hyphen Venus Rocket Is Lost.” The Los Angeles Times headline: “‘Hyphen’ Blows Up Rocket.” The science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, in his 1968 book The Promise of Space, called it “the most expensive hyphen in history.”

    For NASA’s computer programmers, it was a lesson in care, caution, and testing that ended up steeped into their bones. During 11 Apollo missions, more than 100 days total of spaceflight, the Apollo flight computers performed without a single fault.

    But what happened to Mariner 1 was, in fact, an arresting vulnerability of the new Space Age. A single missing bolt in a B-52 nuclear bomber wasn’t going to bring down the plane, but a single inattentive moment in computer programming—of the sort anyone can imagine having—could have a cascade of consequences.

    George Mueller was NASA’s associate administrator for manned spaceflight from 1963 to 1969, the most critical period for Apollo’s development. Just before that, Mueller had been an executive at Space Technology Laboratories, which had responsibility for writing the guidance equations for Mariner 1, including the equation with the missing bar.

    During his years at NASA, Mueller kept a reminder of the importance of even the smallest elements of spaceflight on the wall behind his desk: a framed image of a hyphen.

    #Histoire_numerique #Nasa #Mariner

  • Russian biologist plans more CRISPR-edited babies

    Je n’ai pas réussi à extraire une simple partie de ce texte, tant l’ensemble me semble complètement hors-jeu. Je partage l’avis de l’auteur de l’article : la folie et l’hubris scientifiques se serrent la main dans le dos de l’humanité. Choisir de surcroit des femmes en difficulté (HIV positive) est bien dans la lignée machiste d’une science qui impose plus qu’elle ne propose.

    La guerre internationale à la réputation, la course à « être le premier » (ici le masculin s’impose), la science sans conscience ne peuvent que provoquer ce genre de dérives. Il faudra réfléchir à une « slow science » et à un réel partage des découvertes, qui permettrait de prendre le temps du recul, et qui pourrait associer la société civile (ici au sens de celle qui n’est pas engagée dans la guerre des sciences).

    The proposal follows a Chinese scientist who claimed to have created twins from edited embryos last year.
    David Cyranoski

    Denis Rebrikov

    Molecular biologist Denis Rebrikov is planning controversial gene-editing experiments in HIV-positive women.

    A Russian scientist says he is planning to produce gene-edited babies, an act that would make him only the second person known to have done this. It would also fly in the face of the scientific consensus that such experiments should be banned until an international ethical framework has agreed on the circumstances and safety measures that would justify them.

    Molecular biologist Denis Rebrikov has told Nature he is considering implanting gene-edited embryos into women, possibly before the end of the year if he can get approval by then. Chinese scientist He Jiankui prompted an international outcry when he announced last November that he had made the world’s first gene-edited babies — twin girls.

    The experiment will target the same gene, called CCR5, that He did, but Rebrikov claims his technique will offer greater benefits, pose fewer risks and be more ethically justifiable and acceptable to the public. Rebrikov plans to disable the gene, which encodes a protein that allows HIV to enter cells, in embryos that will be implanted into HIV-positive mothers, reducing the risk of them passing on the virus to the baby in utero. By contrast, He modified the gene in embryos created from fathers with HIV, which many geneticists said provided little clinical benefit because the risk of a father passing on HIV to his children is minimal.

    Rebrikov heads a genome-editing laboratory at Russia’s largest fertility clinic, the Kulakov National Medical Research Center for Obstetrics, Gynecology and Perinatology in Moscow and is a researcher at the Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, also in Moscow.

    According to Rebrikov he already has an agreement with an HIV centre in the city to recruit women infected with HIV who want to take part in the experiment.

    But scientists and bioethicists contacted by Nature are troubled by Rebrikov’s plans.

    “The technology is not ready,” says Jennifer Doudna, a University of California Berkeley molecular biologist who pioneered the CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing system that Rebrikov plans to use. “It is not surprising, but it is very disappointing and unsettling.”

    Alta Charo, a researcher in bioethics and law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison says Rebrikov’s plans are not an ethical use of the technology. “It is irresponsible to proceed with this protocol at this time,” adds Charo, who sits on a World Health Organization committee that is formulating ethical governance policies for human genome editing.
    Rules and regulations

    Implanting gene-edited embryos is banned in many countries. Russia has a law that prohibits genetic engineering in most circumstances, but it is unclear whether or how the rules would be enforced in relation to gene editing in an embryo. And Russia’s regulations on assisted reproduction do not explicitly refer to gene editing, according to a 2017 analysis of such regulations in a range of countries. (The law in China is also ambiguous: in 2003, the health ministry banned genetically modifying human embryos for reproduction but the ban carried no penalties and He’s legal status was and still is not clear).

    Rebrikov expects the health ministry to clarify the rules on the clinical use of gene-editing of embryos in the next nine months. Rebrikov says he feels a sense of urgency to help women with HIV, and is tempted to proceed with his experiments even before Russia hashes out regulations.

    To reduce the chance he would be punished for the experiments, Rebrikov plans to first seek approval from three government agencies, including the health ministry. That could take anywhere from one month to two years, he says.

    Konstantin Severinov, a molecular geneticist who recently helped the government design a funding program for gene-editing research, says such approvals might be difficult. Russia’s powerful Orthodox church opposes gene editing, says Severinov, who splits his time between Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey, and the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology near Moscow.

    Before any scientist attempts to implant gene-edited embryos into women there needs to be a transparent, open debate about the scientific feasibility and ethical permissibility, says geneticist George Daley at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, who also heard about Rebrikov’s plans from Nature.

    One reason that gene-edited embryos have created a huge global debate is that, if allowed to grow into babies, the edits can be passed on to future generations — a far-reaching intervention known as altering the germ line. Researchers agree that the technology might, one day, help to eliminate genetic diseases such as sickle-cell anaemia and cystic fibrosis, but much more testing is needed before it is used in the alteration of human beings.

    In the wake of He’s announcement, many scientists renewed calls for an international moratorium on germline editing. Although that has yet to happen, the World Health Organization, the US National Academy of Sciences, the UK’s Royal Society and other prominent organizations have all discussed how to stop unethical and dangerous uses — often defined as ones that pose unnecessary or excessive risk — of genome editing in humans.
    HIV-positive mothers

    Although He was widely criticized for conducting his experiments using sperm from HIV-positive fathers, his argument was that he just wanted to protect people against ever getting the infection. But scientists and ethicists countered that there are other ways to decrease the risk of infection, such as contraceptives. There are also reasonable alternatives, such as drugs, for preventing maternal transmission of HIV, says Charo.

    Rebrikov agrees, and so plans to implant embryos only into a subset of HIV-positive mothers who do not respond to standard anti-HIV drugs. Their risk of transmitting the infection to the child is higher. If editing successfully disables the CCR5 gene, that risk would be greatly reduced, Rebrikov says. “This is a clinical situation which calls for this type of therapy,” he says.

    Most scientists say there is no justification for editing the CCR5 gene in embryos, even so, because the risks don’t outweigh the benefits. Even if the therapy goes as planned, and both copies of the CCR5 gene in cells are disabled, there is still a chance that such babies could become infected with HIV. The cell-surface protein encoded by CCR5 is thought to be the gateway for some 90% of HIV infections, but getting rid of it won’t affect other routes of HIV infection. There are still many unknowns about the safety of gene editing in embryos, says Gaetan Burgio at the Australian National University in Canberra. And what are the benefits of editing this gene, he asks. “I don’t see them.”
    Hitting the target

    There are also concerns about the safety of gene editing in embryos more generally. Rebrikov claims that his experiment — which, like He’s, will use the CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing tool — will be safe.

    One big concern with He’s experiment — and with gene-editing in embryos more generally — is that CRISPR-Cas9 can cause unintended ‘off-target’ mutations away from the target gene, and that these could be dangerous if they, for instance, switched off a tumour-suppressor gene. But Rebrikov says that he is developing a technique that can ensure that there are no ‘off-target’ mutations; he plans to post preliminary findings online within a month, possibly on bioRxiv or in a peer-reviewed journal.

    Scientists contacted by Nature were sceptical that such assurances could be made about off-target mutations, or about another known challenge of using CRISPR-Cas 9 — so-called ‘on-target mutations’, in which the correct gene is edited, but not in the way intended.

    Rebrikov writes, in a paper published last year in the Bulletin of the RSMU, of which he is the editor in chief, that his technique disables both copies of the CCR5 gene (by deleting a section of 32 bases) more than 50% of the time. He says publishing in this journal was not a conflict of interest because reviewers and editors are blinded to a paper’s authors.

    But Doudna is sceptical of those results. “The data I have seen say it’s not that easy to control the way the DNA repair works.” Burgio, too, thinks that the edits probably led to other deletions or insertions that are difficult to detect, as is often the case with gene editing.

    Misplaced edits could mean that the gene isn’t properly disabled, and so the cell is still accessible to HIV, or that the mutated gene could function in a completely different and unpredictable way. “It can be a real mess,” says Burgio.

    What’s more, the unmutated CCR5 has many functions that are not yet well understood, but which offer some benefits, say scientists critical of Rebrikov’s plans. For instance, it seems to offer some protection against major complications following infection by the West Nile virus or influenza. “We know a lot about its [CCR5’s] role in HIV entry [to cells], but we don’t know much about its other effects,” says Burgio. A study published last week also suggested that people without a working copy of CCR5 might have a shortened lifespan.

    Rebrikov understands that if he proceeds with his experiment before Russia’s updated regulations are in place, he might be considered a second He Jiankui. But he says he would only do so if he’s sure of the safety of the procedure. “I think I’m crazy enough to do it,” he says.

    Nature 570, 145-146 (2019)
    doi: 10.1038/d41586-019-01770-x

  • Call immigrant detention centers what they really are: concentration camps

    If you were paying close attention last week, you might have spotted a pattern in the news. Peeking out from behind the breathless coverage of the Trump family’s tuxedoed trip to London was a spate of deaths of immigrants in U.S. custody: Johana Medina Léon, a 25-year-old transgender asylum seeker; an unnamed 33-year-old Salvadoran man; and a 40-year-old woman from Honduras.

    Photos from a Border Patrol processing center in El Paso showed people herded so tightly into cells that they had to stand on toilets to breathe. Memos surfaced by journalist Ken Klippenstein revealed that Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s failure to provide medical care was responsible for suicides and other deaths of detainees. These followed another report that showed that thousands of detainees are being brutally held in isolation cells just for being transgender or mentally ill.

    Also last week, the Trump administration cut funding for classes, recreation and legal aid at detention centers holding minors — which were likened to “summer camps” by a senior ICE official last year. And there was the revelation that months after being torn from their parents’ arms, 37 children were locked in vans for up to 39 hours in the parking lot of a detention center outside Port Isabel, Texas. In the last year, at least seven migrant children have died in federal custody.

    Preventing mass outrage at a system like this takes work. Certainly it helps that the news media covers these horrors intermittently rather than as snowballing proof of a racist, lawless administration. But most of all, authorities prevail when the places where people are being tortured and left to die stay hidden, misleadingly named and far from prying eyes.

    There’s a name for that kind of system. They’re called concentration camps. You might balk at my use of the term. That’s good — it’s something to be balked at.

    The goal of concentration camps has always been to be ignored. The German-Jewish political theorist Hannah Arendt, who was imprisoned by the Gestapo and interned in a French camp, wrote a few years afterward about the different levels of concentration camps. Extermination camps were the most extreme; others were just about getting “undesirable elements … out of the way.” All had one thing in common: “The human masses sealed off in them are treated as if they no longer existed, as if what happened to them were no longer of interest to anybody, as if they were already dead.”

    Euphemisms play a big role in that forgetting. The term “concentration camp” is itself a euphemism. It was invented by a Spanish official to paper over his relocation of millions of rural families into squalid garrison towns where they would starve during Cuba’s 1895 independence war. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered Japanese Americans into prisons during World War II, he initially called them concentration camps. Americans ended up using more benign names, like “Manzanar Relocation Center.”

    Even the Nazis’ camps started out small, housing criminals, Communists and opponents of the regime. It took five years to begin the mass detention of Jews. It took eight, and the outbreak of a world war, for the first extermination camps to open. Even then, the Nazis had to keep lying to distract attention, claiming Jews were merely being resettled to remote work sites. That’s what the famous signs — Arbeit Macht Frei, or “Work Sets You Free” — were about.

    Subterfuge doesn’t always work. A year ago, Americans accidentally became aware that the Trump administration had adopted (and lied about) a policy of ripping families apart at the border. The flurry of attention was thanks to the viral conflation of two separate but related stories: the family-separation order and bureaucrats’ admission that they’d been unable to locate thousands of migrant children who’d been placed with sponsors after crossing the border alone.

    Trump shoved that easily down the memory hole. He dragged his heels a bit, then agreed to a new policy: throwing whole families into camps together. Political reporters posed irrelevant questions, like whether President Obama had been just as bad, and what it meant for the midterms. Then they moved on.

    It is important to note that Trump’s aides have built this system of racist terror on something that has existed for a long time. Several camps opened under Obama, and as president he deported millions of people.

    But Trump’s game is different. It certainly isn’t about negotiating immigration reform with Congress. Trump has made it clear that he wants to stifle all non-white immigration, period. His mass arrests, iceboxes and dog cages are part of an explicitly nationalist project to put the country under the control of the right kind of white people.

    As a Republican National Committee report noted in 2013: “The nation’s demographic changes add to the urgency of recognizing how precarious our position has become.” The Trump administration’s attempt to put a citizenship question on the 2020 census was also just revealed to have been a plot to disadvantage political opponents and boost “Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites” all along.

    That’s why this isn’t just a crisis facing immigrants. When a leader puts people in camps to stay in power, history shows that he doesn’t usually stop with the first group he detains.

    There are now at least 48,000 people detained in ICE facilities, which a former official told BuzzFeed News “could swell indefinitely.” Customs and Border Protection officials apprehended more than 144,000 people on the Southwest border last month. (The New York Times dutifully reported this as evidence of a “dramatic surge in border crossings,” rather than what it was: The administration using its own surge of arrests to justify the rest of its policies.)

    If we call them what they are — a growing system of American concentration camps — we will be more likely to give them the attention they deserve. We need to know their names: Port Isabel, Dilley, Adelanto, Hutto and on and on. With constant, unrelenting attention, it is possible we might alleviate the plight of the people inside, and stop the crisis from getting worse. Maybe people won’t be able to disappear so easily into the iceboxes. Maybe it will be harder for authorities to lie about children’s deaths.

    Maybe Trump’s concentration camps will be the first thing we think of when we see him scowling on TV.

    The only other option is to leave it up to those in power to decide what’s next. That’s a calculated risk. As Andrea Pitzer, author of “One Long Night,” one of the most comprehensive books on the history of concentration camps, recently noted: “Every country has said their camps are humane and will be different. Trump is instinctively an authoritarian. He’ll take them as far as he’s allowed to.”
    #terminologie #vocabulaire #mots #camps #camps_de_concentration #centres_de_détention #détention_administrative #rétention #USA #Etats-Unis

    • ‘Some Suburb of Hell’: America’s New Concentration Camp System

      On Monday, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez referred to US border detention facilities as “concentration camps,” spurring a backlash in which critics accused her of demeaning the memory of those who died in the Holocaust. Debates raged over a label for what is happening along the southern border and grew louder as the week rolled on. But even this back-and-forth over naming the camps has been a recurrent feature in the mass detention of civilians ever since its inception, a history that long predates the Holocaust.

      At the heart of such policy is a question: What does a country owe desperate people whom it does not consider to be its citizens? The twentieth century posed this question to the world just as the shadow of global conflict threatened for the second time in less than three decades. The dominant response was silence, and the doctrine of absolute national sovereignty meant that what a state did to people under its control, within its borders, was nobody else’s business. After the harrowing toll of the Holocaust with the murder of millions, the world revisited its answer, deciding that perhaps something was owed to those in mortal danger. From the Fourth Geneva Convention protecting civilians in 1949 to the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, the international community established humanitarian obligations toward the most vulnerable that apply, at least in theory, to all nations.

      The twenty-first century is unraveling that response. Countries are rejecting existing obligations and meeting asylum seekers with walls and fences, from detainees fleeing persecution who were sent by Australia to third-party detention in the brutal offshore camps of Manus and Nauru to razor-wire barriers blocking Syrian refugees from entering Hungary. While some nations, such as Germany, wrestle with how to integrate refugees into their labor force—more and more have become resistant to letting them in at all. The latest location of this unwinding is along the southern border of the United States.

      So far, American citizens have gotten only glimpses of the conditions in the border camps that have been opened in their name. In the month of May, Customs and Border Protection reported a total of 132,887 migrants who were apprehended or turned themselves in between ports of entry along the southwest border, an increase of 34 percent from April alone. Upon apprehension, these migrants are temporarily detained by Border Patrol, and once their claims are processed, they are either released or handed over to ICE for longer-term detention. Yet Border Patrol itself is currently holding about 15,000 people, nearly four times what government officials consider to be this enforcement arm’s detention capacity.

      On June 12, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that Fort Sill, an Army post that hosted a World War II internment camp for detainees of Japanese descent, will now be repurposed to detain migrant children. In total, HHS reports that it is currently holding some 12,000 minors. Current law limits detention of minors to twenty days, though Senator Lindsey Graham has proposed expanding the court-ordered limit to 100 days. Since the post is on federal land, it will be exempt from state child welfare inspections.

      In addition to the total of detainees held by Border Patrol, an even higher number is detained at centers around the country by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency: on a typical day at the beginning of this month, ICE was detaining more than 52,500 migrants. The family separation policy outraged the public in the 2018, but despite legal challenges, it never fully ended. Less publicized have been the deaths of twenty-four adults in ICE custody since the beginning of the Trump administration; in addition, six children between the ages of two and sixteen have died in federal custody over the last several months. It’s not clear whether there have been other deaths that have gone unreported.

      Conditions for detainees have not been improving. At the end of May, a Department of Homeland Security inspector general found nearly 900 migrants at a Texas shelter built for a capacity of 125 people. On June 11, a university professor spotted at least 100 men behind chain-link fences near the Paso del Norte Bridge in El Paso, Texas. Those detainees reported sitting outside for weeks in temperatures that soared above 100 degrees. Taylor Levy, an El Paso immigration lawyer, described going into one facility and finding “a suicidal four-year-old whose face was covered in bloody, self-inflicted scratches… Another young child had to be restrained by his mother because he kept running full-speed into metal lockers. He was covered in bruises.”

      If deciding what to do about the growing numbers of adults and children seeking refuge in the US relies on complex humanitarian policies and international laws, in which most Americans don’t take a deep interest, a simpler question also presents itself: What exactly are these camps that the Trump administration has opened, and where is this program of mass detention headed?

      Even with incomplete information about what’s happening along the border today and what the government plans for these camps, history points to some conclusions about their future. Mass detention without trial earned a new name and a specific identity at the end of the nineteenth century. The labels then adopted for the practice were “reconcentración” and “concentration camps”—places of forced relocation of civilians into detention on the basis of group identity.

      Other kinds of group detention had appeared much earlier in North American history. The US government drove Native Americans from their homelands into prescribed exile, with death and detention in transit camps along the way. Some Spanish mission systems in the Americas had accomplished similar ends by seizing land and pressing indigenous people into forced labor. During the 245 years when slavery was legal in the US, detention was one of its essential features.

      Concentration camps, however, don’t typically result from the theft of land, as happened with Native Americans, or owning human beings in a system of forced labor, as in the slave trade. Exile, theft, and forced labor can come later, but in the beginning, detention itself is usually the point of concentration camps. By the end of the nineteenth century, the mass production of barbed wire and machines guns made this kind of detention possible and practical in ways it never had been before.

      Under Spanish rule in 1896, the governor-general of Cuba instituted camps in order to clear rebel-held regions during an uprising, despite his predecessor’s written refusal “as the representative of a civilized nation, to be the first to give the example of cruelty and intransigence” that such detention would represent. After women and children began dying in vast numbers behind barbed wire because there had been little planning for shelter and even less for food, US President William McKinley made his call to war before Congress. He spoke against the policy of reconcentración, calling it warfare by uncivilized means. “It was extermination,” McKinley said. “The only peace it could beget was that of the wilderness and the grave.” Without full records, the Cuban death toll can only be estimated, but a consensus puts it in the neighborhood of 150,000, more than 10 percent of the island’s prewar population.

      Today, we remember the sinking of the USS Maine as the spark that ignited the Spanish-American War. But war correspondent George Kennan (cousin of the more famous diplomat) believed that “it was the suffering of the reconcentrados, more, perhaps, than any other one thing that brought about the intervention of the United States.” On April 25, 1898, Congress declared war. Two weeks later, US Marines landed at Fisherman’s Point on the windward side of the entrance to Guantánamo Bay in Cuba. After a grim, week-long fight, the Marines took the hill. It became a naval base, and the United States has never left that patch of land.

      As part of the larger victory, the US inherited the Philippines. The world’s newest imperial power also inherited a rebellion. Following a massacre of American troops at Balangiga in September 1901, during the third year of the conflict, the US established its own concentration camp system. Detainees, mostly women and children, were forced into squalid conditions that one American soldier described in a letter to a US senator as “some suburb of hell.” In the space of only four months, more than 11,000 Filipinos are believed to have died in these noxious camps.

      Meanwhile, in southern Africa in 1900, the British had opened their own camps during their battle with descendants of Dutch settlers in the second Boer War. British soldiers filled tent cities with Boer women and children, and the military authorities called them refugee camps. Future Prime Minister David Lloyd George took offense at that name, noting in Parliament: “There is no greater delusion in the mind of any man than to apply the term ‘refugee’ to these camps. They are not refugee camps. They are camps of concentration.” Contemporary observers compared them to the Cuban camps, and criticized their deliberate cruelty. The Bishop of Hereford wrote to The Times of London in 1901, asking: “Are we reduced to such a depth of impotence that our Government can do nothing to stop such a holocaust of child-life?”

      Maggoty meat rations and polluted water supplies joined outbreaks of contagious diseases amid crowded and unhealthy conditions in the Boer camps. More than 27,000 detainees are thought to have died there, nearly 80 percent of them children. The British had opened camps for black Africans as well, in which at least 14,000 detainees died—the real number is probably much higher. Aside from protests made by some missionaries, the deaths of indigenous black Africans did not inspire much public outrage. Much of the history of the suffering in these camps has been lost.

      These early experiments with concentration camps took place on the periphery of imperial power, but accounts of them nevertheless made their way into newspapers and reports in many nations. As a result, the very idea of them came to be seen as barbaric. By the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, the first camp systems had all been closed, and concentration camps had nearly vanished as an institution. Within months of the outbreak of World War I, though, they would be resurrected—this time rising not at the margins but in the centers of power. Between 1914 and 1918, camps were constructed on an unprecedented scale across six continents. In their time, these camps were commonly called concentration camps, though today they are often referred to by the more anodyne term “internment.”

      Those World War I detainees were, for the most part, foreigners—or, in legalese, aliens—and recent anti-immigration legislation in several countries had deliberately limited their rights. The Daily Mail denounced aliens left at liberty once they had registered with their local police department, demanding, “Does signing his name take the malice out of a man?” The Scottish Field was more direct, asking, “Do Germans have souls?” That these civilian detainees were no threat to Britain did not keep them from being demonized, shouted at, and spat upon as they were paraded past hostile crowds in cities like London.

      Though a small number of people were shot in riots in these camps, and hunger became a serious issue as the conflict dragged on, World War I internment would present a new, non-lethal face for the camps, normalizing detention. Even after the war, new camps sprang up from Spain to Hungary and Cuba, providing an improvised “solution” for everything from vagrancy to anxieties over the presence of Jewish foreigners.

      Some of these camps were clearly not safe for those interned. Local camps appeared in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921, after a white mob burned down a black neighborhood and detained African-American survivors. In Bolshevik Russia, the first concentration camps preceded the formation of the Soviet Union in 1922 and planted seeds for the brutal Gulag system that became official near the end of the USSR’s first decade. While some kinds of camps were understood to be harsher, after World War I their proliferation did not initially disturb public opinion. They had yet to take on their worst incarnations.

      In 1933, barely more than a month after Hitler was appointed chancellor, the Nazis’ first, impromptu camp opened in the town of Nohra in central Germany to hold political opponents. Detainees at Nohra were allowed to vote at a local precinct in the elections of March 5, 1933, resulting in a surge of Communist ballots in the tiny town. Locking up groups of civilians without trial had become accepted. Only the later realization of the horrors of the Nazi death camps would break the default assumption by governments and the public that concentration camps could and should be a simple way to manage populations seen as a threat.

      However, the staggering death toll of the Nazi extermination camp system—which was created mid-war and stood almost entirely separate from the concentration camps in existence since 1933—led to another result: a strange kind of erasure. In the decades that followed World War II, the term “concentration camp” came to stand only for Auschwitz and other extermination camps. It was no longer applied to the kind of extrajudicial detention it had denoted for generations. The many earlier camps that had made the rise of Auschwitz possible largely vanished from public memory.

      It is not necessary, however, to step back a full century in American history to find camps with links to what is happening on the US border today. Detention at Guantánamo began in the 1990s, when Haitian and Cuban immigrants whom the government wanted to keep out of the United States were housed there in waves over a four-year period—years before the “war on terror” and the US policy of rendition of suspected “enemy combatants” made Camps Delta, X-Ray, and Echo notorious. Tens of thousands of Haitians fleeing instability at home were picked up at sea and diverted to the Cuban base, to limit their legal right to apply for asylum. The court cases and battles over the suffering of those detainees ended up setting the stage for what Guantánamo would become after September 11, 2001.

      In one case, a federal court ruled that it did have jurisdiction over the base, but the government agreed to release the Haitians who were part of the lawsuit in exchange for keeping that ruling off the books. A ruling in a second case would assert that the courts did not have jurisdiction. Absent the prior case, the latter stood on its own as precedent. Leaving Guantánamo in this gray area made it an ideal site for extrajudicial detention and torture after the twin towers fell.

      This process of normalization, when a bad camp becomes much more dangerous, is not unusual. Today’s border camps are a crueler reflection of long-term policies—some challenged in court—that earlier presidents had enacted. Prior administrations own a share of the responsibility for today’s harsh practices, but the policies in place today are also accompanied by a shameless willingness to publicly target a vulnerable population in increasingly dangerous ways.

      I visited Guantánamo twice in 2015, sitting in the courtroom for pretrial hearings and touring the medical facility, the library, and all the old abandoned detention sites, as well as newly built ones, open to the media—from the kennel-style cages of Camp X-Ray rotting to ruin in the damp heat to the modern jailhouse facilities of Camp 6. Seeing all this in person made clear to me how vast the architecture of detention had become, how entrenched it was, and how hard it would be to close.

      Without a significant government effort to reverse direction, conditions in every camp system tend to deteriorate over time. Governments rarely make that kind of effort on behalf of people they are willing to lock up without trial in the first place. And history shows that legislatures do not close camps against the will of an executive.

      Just a few years ago there might have been more potential for change spurred by the judicial branch of our democracy, but this Supreme Court is inclined toward deference to executive power, even, it appears, if that power is abused. It seems unlikely this Court will intervene to end the new border camp system; indeed, the justices are far more likely to institutionalize it by half-measures, as happened with Guantánamo. The Korematsu case, in which the Supreme Court upheld Japanese-American internment (a ruling only rescinded last year), relied on the suppression of evidence by the solicitor general. Americans today can have little confidence that this administration would behave any more scrupulously when defending its detention policy.

      What kind of conditions can we expect to develop in these border camps? The longer a camp system stays open, the more likely it is that vital things will go wrong: detainees will contract contagious diseases and suffer from malnutrition and mental illness. We have already seen that current detention practices have resulted in children and adults succumbing to influenza, staph infections, and sepsis. The US is now poised to inflict harm on tens of thousands more, perhaps hundreds of thousands more.

      Along with such inevitable consequences, every significant camp system has introduced new horrors of its own, crises that were unforeseen when that system was opened. We have yet to discover what those will be for these American border camps. But they will happen. Every country thinks it can do detention better when it starts these projects. But no good way to conduct mass indefinite detention has yet been devised; the system always degrades.

      When, in 1940, Margarete Buber-Neumann was transferred from the Soviet Gulag at Karaganda to the camp for women at Ravensbrück (in an exchange enabled by the Nazi–Soviet Pact), she came from near-starvation conditions in the USSR and was amazed at the cleanliness and order of the Nazi camp. New arrivals were issued clothing, bedding, and silverware, and given fresh porridge, fruit, sausage, and jam to eat. Although the Nazi camps were already punitive, order-obsessed monstrosities, the wartime overcrowding that would soon overtake them had not yet made daily life a thing of constant suffering and squalor. The death camps were still two years away.

      The United States now has a vast and growing camp system. It is starting out with gruesome overcrowding and inadequate healthcare, and because of budget restrictions, has already taken steps to cut services to juvenile detainees. The US Office of Refugee Resettlement says that the mounting number of children arriving unaccompanied is forcing it to use military bases and other sites that it prefers to avoid, and that establishing these camps is a temporary measure. But without oversight from state child welfare inspectors, the possibilities for neglect and abuse are alarming. And without any knowledge of how many asylum-seekers are coming in the future, federal administrators are likely to find themselves boxed in to managing detention on military sites permanently.

      President Trump and senior White House adviser Stephen Miller appear to have purged the Department of Homeland Security of most internal opposition to their anti-immigrant policies. In doing so, that have removed even those sympathetic to the general approach taken by the White House, such as former Chief of Staff John Kelly and former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, in order to escalate the militarization of the border and expand irregular detention in more systematic and punitive ways. This kind of power struggle or purge in the early years of a camp system is typical.

      The disbanding of the Cheka, the Soviet secret police, in February 1922 and the transfer of its commander, Felix Dzerzhinsky, to head up an agency with control over only two prisons offered a hint of an alternate future in which extrajudicial detention would not play a central role in the fledgling Soviet republic. But Dzerzhinsky managed to keep control over the “special camps” in his new position, paving the way for the emergence of a camp-centered police state. In pre-war Germany in the mid-1930s, Himmler’s struggle to consolidate power from rivals eventually led him to make camps central to Nazi strategy. When the hardliners win, as they appear to have in the US, conditions tend to worsen significantly.

      Is it possible this growth in the camp system will be temporary and the improvised border camps will soon close? In theory, yes. But the longer they remain open, the less likely they are to vanish. When I visited the camps for Rohingya Muslims a year before the large-scale campaign of ethnic cleansing began, many observers appeared to be confusing the possible and the probable. It was possible that the party of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi would sweep into office in free elections and begin making changes. It was possible that full democracy would come to all the residents of Myanmar, even though the government had stripped the Rohingya of the last vestiges of their citizenship. These hopes proved to be misplaced. Once there are concentration camps, it is always probable that things will get worse.

      The Philippines, Japanese-American internment, Guantánamo… we can consider the fine points of how the current border camps evoke past US systems, and we can see how the arc of camp history reveals the likelihood that the suffering we’re currently inflicting will be multiplied exponentially. But we can also simply look at what we’re doing right now, shoving bodies into “dog pound”-style detention pens, “iceboxes,” and standing room-only spaces. We can look at young children in custody who have become suicidal. How much more historical awareness do we really need?

    • #Alexandria_Ocasio-Cortez engage le bras de fer avec la politique migratoire de Donald Trump

      L’élue de New York a qualifié les camps de rétention pour migrants érigés à la frontière sud des Etats-Unis de « camps de concentration ».

  • Venezuela : qu’y a-t-il derrière les déclarations de M. Pompeo critiquant la désunion de l’opposition ?
    • celle-ci est réelle, mais…
    • les É.-U. ont aussi commis leur lot d’erreurs. Rappel : M. Pompeo avant d’être nommé secrétaire d’état fin avril 2018, s’est occupé du cas du Venezuela au poste précédent, directeur de la CIA depuis janvier 2017
    • Leopoldo López, ne supportant pas la mise en avant de Juan Guaidó, est très probablement à l’origine de la tentative de coup d’état du 30 avril, anticipant sans prévenir personne [et sans doute pas Guaidó lui-même] sur les grands rassemblements prévus pour le lendemain
    • l’opposition commence à craindre que les É.-U. ne fassent affaire directement avec les militaires, la laissant hors du coup.

    ¿Qué hay detrás de la frustración de EE UU con la oposición a Maduro ? – El Nacional / BBC Mundo

    El jefe de la diplomacia de EE UU, Mike Pompeo, indicó en una grabación secreta que mantener unidos a los opositores venezolanos es “diabólicamente difícil”. Pero algunos creen que esto disimula los propios errores de Washington
    El creciente descontento de EE UU con la oposición venezolana ya era un secreto a voces en Washington. Pero ahora es más evidente que nunca.

    Sin embargo, algunos creen que detrás de esta frustración del gobierno de Donald Trump hay equivocaciones en su propia estrategia hacia Venezuela.

    «Es injusto que Pompeo lance este tipo de críticas a la oposición (venezolana) cuando los mayores errores los cometieron los encargados de formular la política de EE UU», dice Roger Noriega, que fue subsecretario de Estado para América Latina durante el gobierno de George W. Bush, a BBC Mundo.
    [Pompeo] Apuntó que los intereses en conflicto de los enemigos y rivales de Maduro impidieron su derrocamiento en el fallido levantamiento opositor del 30 de abril.

    «(Maduro) No confía nada en los venezolanos. No lo culpo. No debería. Todos estaban conspirando contra él. Lamentablemente, todos estaban conspirando para sí mismos», indicó Pompeo.

    Aunque dijo confiar en que Maduro se verá obligado a abandonar el poder, aclaró que desconoce cuándo ocurrirá esa partida que calificó como «necesaria pero completamente insuficiente» para lograr un cambio en Venezuela.

    Pompeo dijo que confiaba en que Maduro finalmente se vea obligado a retirarse, pero «no podría decirte el momento».

    En sectores de la administración Trump empieza a cundir la impaciencia porque sus esfuerzos no están generando de momento el cambio de gobierno deseado por Washington.
    La oposición venezolana ha evitado por ahora responder en público los comentarios de Pompeo, que de hecho suponen un revés de su principal aliado.

    «Las palabras de Pompeo nos dolieron porque parece que la culpa de que Maduro haya resistido es nuestra falta de unidad, y eso no es cierto», dijo al corresponsal de BBC Mundo en Venezuela, Guillermo Olmo, un diputado opositor venezolano que no quiso ser identificado.

    «Nos preocupa que, visto que Maduro resiste, se busque una solución con los militares y se nos deje a nosotros fuera», señala el diputado.

    Desde que en enero Guaidó se proclamara presidente, los líderes opositores han mostrado públicamente su apoyo a la estrategia que lidera el joven político.

    Sin embargo, hay recelos por el papel de Leopoldo López, mentor de Guaidó y protagonista en el intento de levantamiento del 30 de abril.

    Ese día fue liberado por miembros del servicio de inteligencia (Sebin) del arresto domiciliario en el que llevaba varios años tras haber sido condenado en 2014.

    «Lo del 30 de abril fue algo que Leopoldo López hizo por su cuenta y riesgo, sin comunicarlo, y ahora ha hecho que el problema de unidad sea real», afirmó la fuente de la oposición.

    «Estamos unidos en torno a Guaidó. El suyo es el liderazgo del momento, pero Leopoldo sigue tratando de influir y eso está poniendo las cosas más difíciles», agregó.

  • Condamné pour pédophilie, le cardinal Pell visé par une procédure civile

    Le cardinal australien George Pell, déjà condamné pour pédophilie, risque de nouveaux démêlés avec la justice, avoir été accusé dans une plainte portée au civil d’avoir couvert un prêtre dont il savait qu’il abusait d’enfants.

    La plainte a été déposée vendredi 7 juin auprès de la Cour suprême de l’Etat de Victoria par un homme qui affirmé avoir été abusé par le frère chrétien Edward « Ted » Dowan lors de scolarité à Melbourne au début des années 1980, a rapporté la presse locale.

    George Pell, ex-numéro trois du Vatican, qui était à l’époque évêque vicaire à l’éducation pour la région de Ballarat (sud), est accusé d’avoir permis l’ecclésiastique de passer d’une école à une autre alors qu’il était au courant de faits qui lui sont reprochés.
    Lire aussi En Australie, le cardinal Pell a contesté en appel sa condamnation pour pédophilie
    Pell « doit répondre » de crimes « commis par d’autres prêtres »

    « Pell doit répondre non seulement pour ses propres crimes mais aussi pour ceux commis par d’autres prêtres et frères dont il a autorisé la mutation d’une école à l’autre et d’une paroisse à l’autre », a dit Michael Magazanik, l’avocat de la victime, cité par le journal The Australian.

    Outre George Pell, la Commission catholique pour l’éducation, l’évêque de Ballarat Paul Bird et l’archevêque de Melbourne Peter Comensoli sont mentionnés dans la plainte, selon la même source. L’affaire doit faire l’objet d’une médiation.
    Lire aussi Après Notre-Dame, une messe de Pâques de « renaissance » à l’église Saint-Eustache

    George Pell a fait appel de sa condamnation pénale pour actes de pédophilie. A l’issue d’une audience jeudi, les trois magistrats de la Cour suprême ont mis leur décision en délibéré et on ignore quand elle sera annoncée. Ils peuvent confirmer la condamnation, ordonner un nouveau procès ou acquitter le prélat.

    George Pell avait été reconnu coupable en décembre de cinq chefs d’accusation portant sur des agressions sexuelles commises contre deux enfants de chœur en 1996 et 1997. Il avait ensuite été condamné en mars à six ans d’emprisonnement.

    #catholicisme #culture_du_viol #violophilie #pedocriminalité

  • La pellicule invisible d’Alice Guy

    Bien qu’Alice Guy-Blaché soit française et la réalisatrice d’une œuvre protéiforme, il y a peu de chances pour que Be Natural : The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché, le documentaire de Pamela B. Green sorti depuis peu aux Etats-Unis, soit montré en France. Il n’a trouvé, pour l’heure, aucun distributeur dans l’Hexagone, quand l’Australie, la Nouvelle-Zélande, la Suède, la Norvège, le Danemark, la Finlande, l’Estonie, la Lettonie, la Lituanie et l’Espagne ont acheté les droits. Doit-on s’en étonner ? Non, à en croire la réalisatrice, dont le film dénonce l’indifférence têtue de la France vis-à-vis d’une pionnière du cinéma. A ce titre, il n’est pas exagéré de dire que le véritable sujet de Be Natural, enquête cinématographique et making of de cette enquête, porte sur la façon dont l’histoire se fait, puis s’écrit - ou pas - et se réécrit.

    Née en 1873, Alice Guy commence sa carrière en 1894, à 21 ans, comme sténodactylographe d’un certain Léon Gaumont. L’année suivante, elle assiste avec son patron à la première projection organisée par les frères Lumières. Gaumont saisit tout de suite l’importance du procédé, qu’il entend développer. Alice Guy se propose aussitôt de participer à l’aventure en créant des petits films courts. Gaumont accepte, au motif que « c’est un métier pour jeunes filles (sic) ». Loin d’être un art, le cinématographe n’est pas encore une profession, tout au plus une occupation d’amateurs - idéale pour une femme, donc.

    Alice Guy a trouvé sa vocation. Dès 1896, elle réalise ce qui peut être considéré comme le premier film de fiction, la Fée aux choux, soit moins d’une minute où l’on voit une plantureuse fée sortir des nourrissons de choux en cartons, artistiquement dessinés. Suivront près de mille films, sur dix-sept ans de carrière où Alice Guy, désormais directrice de production chez Gaumont, assure souvent tous les rôles - réalisatrice, scénariste, habilleuse… Elle touche à tous les genres, le comique, le drame sentimental, le western, le « clip » musical avec des chansonniers comme Mayol ou Dranem, et même le péplum avec son « chef-d’œuvre », la Vie du Christ (1906), film en vingt-cinq tableaux, d’une longueur totale de trente-cinq minutes, très inhabituelle pour l’époque. Elle participe à toutes les innovations comme la colorisation et, surtout, le chronophone, ancêtre du parlant, qu’elle part introduire aux Etats-Unis en 1907. C’est le deuxième volet de sa carrière, qui la voit s’épanouir à New York, où elle est partie avec son mari, le réalisateur Herbert Blaché. Bien que jeune mère, elle ne renonce pas à sa passion, bien au contraire, et ce malgré la difficulté qu’elle éprouvera toujours à maîtriser l’anglais. Elle parvient même à fonder sa propre compagnie, Solax, implantée à Fort Lee (New Jersey) et considérée comme le studio le plus important aux Etats-Unis de l’ère pré-Hollywood. Mais en 1921, en instance de divorce, alors que Solax a été en partie endommagé par un incendie, elle décide de rentrer en France.

    Commence alors une période sombre, qui s’étirera jusqu’à la fin de sa vie, en 1968. Sombre car Alice Guy, avec deux enfants à charge, ne parvient pas à trouver de travail. On ne l’a pas seulement oubliée : alors que paraissent les premières histoires du cinéma, son œuvre est effacée ou attribuée à d’autres, acteurs ou assistants qu’elle a employés, comme Feuillade. Même Gaumont, qui publie l’histoire de sa maison, la passe sous silence. Il promet des corrections pour la seconde édition - et des brouillons prouvent qu’il entendait tenir sa promesse - mais il meurt en 1946, avant la parution prévue du volume, qui ne verra jamais le jour.

    Comprenant que le cinéma lui a désormais fermé ses portes, Alice Guy entreprend de se faire elle-même justice. Elle corrige les premières histoire(s) du cinéma qui paraissent, tente de récupérer ses œuvres, perdues, oubliées, éparpillées chez les premiers collectionneurs. Non signés, dépourvus de génériques, sans crédits ni copyrights, les films d’Alice Guy semblent ne plus exister que dans la mémoire de leur créatrice. En désespoir de cause, elle écrit ses souvenirs. Aucun éditeur n’en voudra. L’Autobiographie d’une pionnière du cinéma paraîtra à titre posthume chez Denoël, en 1976. Une préface de Nicole-Lise Bernheim ouvre le livre par ces mots : « Si j’étais née en 1873 […]. / Si j’avais travaillé chez Gaumont pendant onze ans / […]. Si j’avais été la seule femme metteur en scène du monde entier pendant dix-sept ans, / Qui serais-je ? / Je serais connue, / Je serais célèbre, / Je serais fêtée, / Je serais reconnue. / […]. Qui suis-je ? / Méliès, Lumière, Gaumont ? / Non. / Je suis une femme. »

    Encouragée par Léon Gaumont, qui sut lui confier d’importantes responsabilités, objet d’hommages appuyés signés - excusez du peu - Eisenstein ou Hitchcock, Alice Guy n’a pas tant été victime « des hommes » que des historiens du cinéma. Son effacement est l’exemplification même d’un déni d’histoire. Une femme peut réussir - et Alice Guy l’a prouvé avec éclat - mais à partir du moment où une pratique amateur devient une profession, un art et un enjeu commercial, elle n’a plus sa place dans la légende. Prenez Méliès. Lui aussi a été oublié, son œuvre effacée, tandis qu’il tombait dans la misère et survivait en vendant des bonbons devant la gare Montparnasse. Mais dès 1925, l’Histoire du cinématographe de ses origines à nos jours, par Georges-Michel Coissac lui redonnait sa place, qui ne fera dès lors que grandir. Le nom d’Alice Guy n’y est même pas mentionné. Georges Sadoul a attribué ses films à d’autres, Langlois l’a négligée, Toscan du Plantier, directeur de la Gaumont de 1975 à 1985, ne savait même pas qui elle était. Et la France, aujourd’hui, rechigne à diffuser Be Natural, documentaire passionnant et presque trop dense, tant le nombre d’informations, glanées pendant dix ans, peine à rentrer dans les 103 minutes du film. On se consolera avec les quelques films d’Alice Guy disponibles sur YouTube (1), dont l’hilarant les Résultats du féminisme (1906), qui inverse les rôles de genre. Edifiant.

    (1) On trouvera aussi sur YouTube le Jardin oublié : la vie et l’œuvre d’Alice Guy-Blaché (1995), documentaire de Marquise Lepage. A mentionner également, le prix Alice-Guy, qui a récompensé cette année Un amour impossible, de Catherine Corsini.

    #invisibilisation #historicisation #femmes #cinema

    Quand est-ce qu’on efface les historiens du cinéma ?

  • Article indigent compte tenu de la carrière incroyable de ce géant... très triste... à suivre...

    Le chanteur et pianiste Dr John est mort à l’âge de 77 ans
    Radio Canada, le 6 juin 2019

    Do you know the Dr ? Dr John ? Mac Rebennack ? Such a night... (1976)

    Dr. John Collection on Letterman, 1982-2008

    Et collection de duos ci-dessous...

    #Musique #Dr_John #Nouvelle_Orleans

  • Notes anthropologiques (XXXVII)

    Georges Lapierre

    Et si nous parlions encore une fois d’argent ?
    L’argent comme monnaie d’échange

    Le sens du mot monnaie est ambigu, il peut désigner tout objet permettant des échanges : des couvertures, des nattes, des fèves de chocolat ou tout autre objet pouvant servir de moyen d’échange. Le mot est pris alors dans le sens général de « monnaie d’échange ». Cette monnaie d’échange, que l’on pourrait qualifier d’« universelle » est reconnue comme telle par les partenaires de l’échange soit qu’elle se trouve utilisée sous cette forme dans une société donnée, et de ce fait reconnue par tous les membres de ladite société, soit qu’elle ait été acceptée provisoirement comme telle après entente préalable entre les partenaires d’un échange. Nous voyons bien que la « monnaie d’échange » n’a rien d’universel et que c’est un abus de langage de parler à son sujet de « marchandise universelle » ou d’« une marchandise qui contiendrait toutes les marchandises », ce serait penser notre société (ou notre civilisation) comme universelle, comme la seule possible, comme unique. La monnaie d’échange est conventionnelle, c’est une convention sociale en relation avec une société bien définie, ou alors une convention établie provisoirement. Prétendre, par exemple, que l’argent est la monnaie universelle c’est se soumettre à l’impérialisme qui est le propre de notre civilisation partie à la conquête de l’univers. (...)

    #anthropologie #histoire #échanges #don #argent #monnaie #marchandise #Maurice_Godelier #Marx #Malinovski #Mauss

  • Hôpital Georges-Pompidou : une mort, une plainte et les mensonges de l’AP-HP

    L’hôpital européen Georges-Pompidou est visé par une plainte pour « homicide involontaire », « non-assistance à personne en danger » et « faux et usage de faux ». L’établissement parisien a dissimulé les circonstances du décès d’un patient, dû à une prise en charge trop tardive. Après avoir reconnu les dysfonctionnements, l’AP-HP tente aujourd’hui de défendre une version contredite par les documents dont Mediapart publie des extraits.

    #Santé #hôpital_Georges-Pompidou,_AP-HP,_A_la_Une

  • #Patrice_Lumumba: the most important assassination of the 20th century | Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja | Global development | The Guardian

    Patrice Lumumba, the first legally elected prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), was assassinated 50 years ago today, on 17 January, 1961. This heinous crime was a culmination of two inter-related assassination plots by American and Belgian governments, which used Congolese accomplices and a Belgian execution squad to carry out the deed.

    #afrique #rdc #résistance

    • Thomas Giefer, le grand réalisateur de films documentaires sur le mouvement ’68 en Allemagne a retrouvé l’un des membres belges du commado qui a assassiné Patrice Lumumba. En 1999 peu de temps avant sa mort celui-ci donne sa version des événements dans un film qui retrace les développements qui ont mené à la mort du premier ministre congolais. Dan le film Thomas Giefer parle aussi avec l’assassin de la CIA chargé de l’exécution.

      Oui, il y a des sous-titres !

      Patrice Lumumba - Mord im Kolonialstil (2000)

      AGDOK - Mitglieder | Thomas Giefer | Film / Funk, Journalist | Vita

      Thomas Giefer | DFFB

      Thomas Giefer

      Harun Farocki Institut » Thomas Giefer

      Instructions on how to Pull off Police Helmets

      News from the archive : INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO PULL OFF POLICE HELMETS and UNTITLED OR : NIXON COMES TO BERLIN, both made in 1969.

      Farocki presumed the films to be lost. Surprisingly, they resurfaced just now, in November 2017. Thomas Giefer , dffb student of the year 1967 and one of the 18 students relegated in 1968, found them among the films he kept from the time.

      Here’s an image from INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO PULL OFF POLICE HELMETS, filmed from the Steenbeck by Giefer.

      Farocki about the film: »According to Fritz J. Raddatz, Rosa Luxemburg cried when she read Marx’s concept of value. I was just as disappointed by the Cine-Tracts made in May 1968 in Paris and shown shortly afterwards in Berlin.

      I must have been expecting something more like television news coverage; in much the same way, each crowd which saw our handbill films during those years was similarly disappointed. Because we didn’t make ‘real’ films, as my mother called them, it seemed to them that their cause wasn’t being acknowledged in suitably official form, something which workers’ films and Fassbinder were later to achieve.

      We made this spot during one of the many breaks in filming a somewhat reckless film about playgroups by Susanne Beyeler. Wolfgang Gremm stripped naked on a flat roof and played a policeman. We played on the anti-humanist provocation of showing, purely technically, how to fight a policeman, but didn’t go so far as to use an androgynous, long-haired actor – something which Gremm, the fattest and shortest-haired of us all, accepted with a grin.«

      #Congo #Kongo #film #histoire #Berlin #1968

  • The wire, Tarentaize sur écoute - Numéro Zéro

    La municipalité Perdriesque se veut à la pointe de la Smart City, design, ultra-connectée et surveillée. Les start-up de la cité du design sont donc mises à l’honneur avec ce nouveau projet digne de Georges Orwell. Son petit nom c’est SOFT pour Saint-Étienne Observatoire des Fréquences du Territoire. On croirait presque à un dispositif de défense de nos droits, type Observatoire international des prisons. Rien à voir.
    Pour la première fois en France, une vingtaine de capteurs sont installés dans l’espace public, dissimulés dans des lampadaires ou des panneaux de signalisation. Ils n’enregistreront pas les voix (pour l’instant) mais détecteront les bruits « suspects » et donneront l’alerte. L’objectif affiché est de prévenir les keufs en cas de cris ou de coups de feu. Une fois de plus, la lutte contre le terrorisme sert de prétexte à une plus grande surveillance de nos vies. Un agent sera dédié à l’écoute des alertes pour confirmer à l’oreille si les bruits décelés sont bien suspects. On redoute la confirmation par vidéosurveillance qui risque de pousser encore plus loin la réduction de nos libertés privées. L’expérimentation de six mois risque d’aller plus loin par la suite et déployée sur toute la ville.

    #big_brother #surveillance

  • Sunk Costs. The border wall is more expensive than you think.

    When the federal government builds a border wall, the taxpayer foots two bills. First, there’s the cost to get the thing built, a figure proclaimed in presidential budget requests and press accounts. And second, there’s a slew of concealed costs — expenditures that hide in general operations budgets, arise from human error or kick in years down the line. In the Trump era, those twin outlays combine to make the wall outlandishly expensive.

    Excluding the hidden costs, Trump’s wall is running taxpayers a cool $25 million per mile, up nearly fourfold from just a decade ago. To understand why, it helps to know a little border history. In 1907, the U.S. government took possession of a 60-foot-wide strip of land along the U.S.-Mexico border from California to New Mexico as a buffer zone against smuggling. During his second term, George W. Bush built much of his border wall on this government-owned land. But in Texas, the vast majority of border real estate is privately owned, forcing the government to seize property all along the Rio Grande if it wants to build a barrier. That extra burden is a main reason the Lone Star State hosts a small fraction of existing border fence.

    Then there’s the terrain. For example, in Starr County, an unfenced swath of South Texas that’s high on Customs and Border Protection’s priority list, Trump plans to build on the Rio Grande’s craggy, erosion-prone bank — an engineering challenge that adds millions of dollars per mile. As CBP spokesperson Rick Pauza wrote in an email to the Observer: “Every mile of border is different, and therefore there is no one-size-fits-all cost per mile.” In addition, taxpayers today are buying the luxury edition of the wall: a structure that’s up to 12 feet taller than the Bush-era fence and buffered by a 150-foot “enforcement zone.”

    But all that’s only part of the story. Not included in the $25 million-per-mile figure is a suite of hidden expenses. Among them:

    Routine Maintenance and Operation. Border barriers are potent political symbols. They’re also physical structures that accumulate debris, degrade and break over time. In 2009, CBP estimated that operating and maintaining $2.4 billion worth of fencing, along with associated roads and technology, would cost $3.5 billion over 20 years — almost 50 percent more than the original cost.

    Breaches. Depending on design, border fences can be cut through using either bolt cutters or power tools. From 2010 to 2015, fencing was breached 9,287 times, according to the Government Accountability Office. At an average repair cost of $784, the government spent $7.3 million patching those holes in the wall. And the more new wall, the more breaches.

    Waste. In November 2011, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General issued a scathing report regarding procurement of steel for the border fence. “CBP purchased more steel than needed, incurred additional storage costs, paid interest on late payments, and approved a higher-priced subcontractor, resulting in additional expenditures of about $69 million,” the report read.

    Department of Justice Litigation. Every time landowners refuse to sell their land for the wall, the Department of Justice must take them to court. According to a 2012 planning document prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, that legal process costs about $90,000 per tract of land. In sparsely populated Starr County — where property has been passed down for hundreds of years, often without legal record — almost every case must go to court to determine ownership. That money is unaccounted for in congressional appropriations for the wall; it comes instead from the DOJ’s general budget.

    Advertising. When the DOJ wants to take Texans’ property for the wall, the agency must sometimes issue notice to potential heirs in the local newspapers. So far, a DOJ spokesperson said, the agency has done so three times in the Rio Grande Valley — cramming many cases into a single publication. Each instance cost the DOJ about $100,000. At a November court hearing in McAllen, a DOJ attorney lamented the state of local media. “We have one person or corporation who owns both papers — so we can’t really negotiate,” he said. “So it’s a large expenditure.”
    #murs #barrières_frontalières #coût #prix #coûts_cachés #frontières #USA #Etats-Unis

  • Sur les pas de George Orwell, par Gwenaëlle Lenoir (Le Monde diplomatique, janvier 2019)

    À Wigan, dans l’Angleterre de l’austérité
    Sur les pas de George Orwell

    Présenté comme une simplification par la fusion d’allocations diverses, le « crédit universel » britannique plonge de nombreux foyers vulnérables dans le désarroi. Sur les quais de Wigan, dans le Lancashire, ce fiasco s’ajoute à la décomposition sociale due à quatre décennies de libéralisme. Comme au temps où George Orwell arpentait ces lieux, nombreux sont aujourd’hui les Anglais emmurés dans la pauvreté.

    En rapport avec ceci :

    Ken Loach : sur les pas de George Orwell ?

  • Constellation

    C’est un antimoteur de recherche, l’idée c’est qu’on y fouine comme chez le bouquiniste.

    Constellation est une bibliothèque imaginaire, virtuellement infinie, qui vous propose de passer les cinquante prochaines années dans la lecture d’ouvrages scientifiques…
    Inspirée par Borges et Queneau, elle propose aujourd’hui environ 13000 ouvrages scientifiques de la Bibliothèque nationale de France, accessibles numériquement avec l’API Gallica. Mais cette quantité augmente rapidement et qui sait combien d’ouvrages seront disponibles quand vous en serez au dernier ?
    Ce qui est certain c’est qu’alors l’informatique y tiendra une place majeure…


  • Opinion | America’s Cities Are Unlivable. Blame Wealthy Liberals. - The New York Times

    To live in California at this time is to experience every day the cryptic phrase that George W. Bush once used to describe the invasion of Iraq: “Catastrophic success.” The economy here is booming, but no one feels especially good about it. When the cost of living is taken into account, billionaire-brimming California ranks as the most poverty-stricken state, with a fifth of the population struggling to get by. Since 2010, migration out of California has surged.

    The basic problem is the steady collapse of livability. Across my home state, traffic and transportation is a developing-world nightmare. Child care and education seem impossible for all but the wealthiest. The problems of affordable housing and homelessness have surpassed all superlatives — what was a crisis is now an emergency that feels like a dystopian showcase of American inequality.

    #états-unis #Californie #succès_catastrophique #pauvreté #inégalité #dystopie

  • Zabou Breitman : « Dès que ça devient trop sérieux, j’ai toujours envie de déconner »

    Comédienne, réalisatrice, metteuse en scène, Zabou Breitman, 59 ans, multiplie les projets au théâtre et au cinéma. Son premier film d’animation, Les Hirondelles de Kaboul, d’après le roman de Yasmina Khadra, coréalisé avec Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec, vient d’être présenté au Festival de Cannes dans la sélection Un certain regard. Parallèlement, son spectacle enchanteur, Logiquimperturbabledufou, est actuellement repris au théâtre du Rond-Point. A la rentrée, Zabou Breitman mettra en scène La Dame de chez Maxim, de Feydeau, au Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin. Elle fait aussi partie des cinq candidats à la succession d’Irina Brook à la direction du Théâtre national de Nice.

    Je ne serais pas arrivée là si…

    Si je n’avais pas eu des parents si particuliers, si atypiques. Un papa très cultivé, issu d’une famille bourgeoise de médecins originaire de Russie, devenu comédien et scénariste. Une mère originaire du Québec, issue d’une famille pauvre de onze enfants, qui a eu une éducation catholique raide, dure, et avait un désir de se sauver, un désir de liberté. C’était une révoltée. Elle rêvait d’être comédienne, a été premier prix de conservatoire à Québec. Lui, après la guerre, avait envie de voyager. Il est parti au Canada, est tombé amoureux et s’est marié avec ma mère. Tous deux étaient en rébellion contre leur famille, ils se sont échappés. Et tous deux étaient très féministes. Mon père me disait tout le temps : « Je ne vois pas pourquoi tu ne pourrais pas faire les mêmes trucs qu’un garçon. » Grâce à lui, je sais fabriquer plein de choses et j’ai tout lu.

    Tout ?

    Tous les genres : de la science-fiction à la bande dessinée, de Gotlib, Hara Kiri, Charlie Hebdo à la comtesse de Ségur, Les Trois Mousquetaires, Jules Verne, Victor Hugo. Mon père me répétait : « Ce qui compte, ce n’est pas ce que tu lis, mais que tu lises. » Je ne serais pas arrivée là si je ne m’étais pas énormément ennuyée. On avait quitté Paris, je me suis retrouvée dans un prieuré du XIIIe siècle, enfant unique, avec personne. Alors je lisais beaucoup. J’ai tellement lu que je n’arrive plus à lire. Mes parents m’ont fabriquée de tout ce qu’ils étaient : lui plutôt Courteline, Feydeau, Hugo, Racine, Shakespeare, elle, plutôt Goldoni et Tchekhov.

    Lors de votre discours à la cérémonie des Molières en 2018, vous avez dit, en parlant de vos parents, que « le métier les avait abandonnés »…

    Parce que je ne serais pas arrivée là si, après le grand succès qu’ont connu mes parents avec le feuilleton télévisé Thierry la Fronde – écrit par mon père et dans lequel ma mère jouait le rôle de la compagne du héros –, il n’y avait pas eu leur échec. Oui, ils ont été abandonnés. Et cet échec a été fondamental dans ma construction.

    Que s’est-il passé ?

    En 1968, ils ont été extrêmement actifs. A tort ou à raison, ils étaient purs et durs. Ma mère suivait, un peu dans la soumission. Enfant, j’ai baigné dans l’engagement politique. Des organisations comme Secours rouge, Comité Gavroche… J’ai pleuré quand ma mère m’a annoncé que la Sorbonne avait été reprise. Cet élan était beau, mais, quand vous voyez vos parents détruits par ça et que, pour finir, parce qu’ils n’ont plus de travail, vous vous retrouvez à vivre dans un truc pas chauffé, il y a une désillusion. Ils ont lâché et ont été lâchés. Mais je n’en souffrais pas vraiment. Pourtant il y avait des Noëls où il n’y avait rien. J’étais plus triste pour eux que pour moi.

    Ces parents si particuliers, qu’est-ce qu’ils vous ont le plus appris ?

    Mon père me disait : « Ce qui compte, c’est l’histoire horizontale. Quand tu as une date, regarde ailleurs dans le monde à la même date ce qui s’est passé. C’est comme cela que tu comprendras l’histoire. » Ma mère, elle, était plus en retrait. Comme tous les gens qui ont été brimés dans leur enfance, elle ne se sentait pas légitime. Sa beauté était son garde-fou, son arme. Elle me parlait des femmes, lisait les romancières. Je ne me rendais pas compte qu’il fallait lutter, ça m’est apparu bien plus tard. Elle me disait régulièrement : « Tu as de la chance. » Et cela m’exaspérait. Mais oui bien sûr, j’ai de la chance d’avoir toujours été autorisée et libre. Mais je ne l’ai pas compris avant qu’elle meure dans la misère, détruite.

    Quelles étaient vos envies durant votre jeunesse, vous projetiez-vous dans un univers artistique ?

    Non, pas du tout. J’ai été une bonne élève jusqu’à 13 ans, puis j’ai lâché l’affaire. Je m’emmerdais lors des dissertations. Grâce à ma mère, qui gardait tout, j’en ai retrouvé une, dont le sujet était : « Partir, c’est mourir un peu. » A la fin de mon devoir, j’avais écrit une histoire drôle : au Moyen Age, on laissait les gens dans les cachots, on les torturait, et ces martyrs finissaient par mourir, se décomposer. Moralité : « Martyr, c’est pourrir un peu ! » Cela amusait mon père ! Ma mère, c’était plutôt : « Quand même, tu exagères. » Mais j’ai toujours aimé les histoires drôles. Parce que j’adore la disjonction. Dans tout ! La disjonction permet de jouer avec le lecteur ou le spectateur, elle suscite la connivence. Dès que ça devient trop sérieux, j’ai toujours envie de déconner. On a le droit, c’est l’esprit humain.

    Pourquoi être allée passer cette audition pour une émission pour enfants, « Récré A2 » ?

    Parce que je n’avais pas d’argent. J’étais en fac, il me fallait un petit boulot. Une dame qui avait participé à Thierry la Fronde et qui travaillait sur Antenne 2 a dit à mon père que Jacqueline Joubert (directrice de l’unité jeunesse) recrutait. Donc j’y suis allée. Le surnom de Zabou vient de Récré A2. Mes parents l’utilisaient souvent et comme il y avait déjà une Isabelle dans l’émission, on a opté pour Zabou, persuadés que cela plairait aux enfants. Je m’amusais beaucoup à écrire mes sketchs.

    C’est grâce à la télé que vous allez faire du cinéma ?

    Jacky, avec qui je travaillais dans Récré A2, était copain avec Ramon Pipin du groupe Odeurs. C’est lui qui m’a incité à passer l’audition du film Elle voit des nains partout ! (1982). Mais je ne me suis jamais dit que j’avais trouvé ma voie. Tout n’est qu’une succession de choses, tout le temps.

    Mais il y a eu quand même un moment capital, votre rencontre avec Roger Planchon. Ce rôle d’Angélique qu’il vous a donné dans « George Dandin », de Molière, a été, avez-vous dit, un « détonateur »…

    Je ne pense pas qu’il existe de détonateur. Il n’y a que des choses qui font écho. Ce que disait Planchon m’inspirait tellement ! Rétrospectivement, il a été capital. Planchon était venu me voir jouer La Vie à deux, de Dorothy Parker, adaptée par Agnès de Sacy. Après le spectacle, il me propose un rôle. Je lui dis : « Oui, mais c’est pour quoi ? » Il m’explique qu’il s’agit d’Angélique dans George Dandin. Je lui réponds : « Pardon, mais on peut tellement s’emmerder dans le classique, on ne comprend pas toujours ce qui s’y dit. » J’étais totalement inconsciente ! Il me sourit et réplique, la main sur le cœur : « Alors on va faire en sorte de ne pas s’emmerder. » Quelle classe ! Ensuite, j’allais à toutes les répétitions, même celles où je ne travaillais pas. Juste pour l’écouter. Quand je n’y arrivais pas, il me disait : « Ce n’est pas grave, ce n’est pas encore passé au cœur. Laisse faire. » Je comprends encore mieux aujourd’hui à quel point tout ce qu’il disait était fondamental.

    Isabelle Breitman, Zabou et finalement Zabou Breitman, pourquoi avez-vous décidé d’ajouter votre patronyme à votre nom de scène ?

    Mon père avait choisi Jean-Claude Deret, du nom de sa mère, ce que faisaient beaucoup d’acteurs à l’époque. Et puis, au sortir de la guerre, Jean-Claude Deret, cela faisait moins juif que Breitman. En 1983, alors que je tourne l’ineffable Gwendoline, de Just Jaeckin, je fais des photos sur le tournage, et, sur les conseils d’un ami, je les vends à France Soir magazine. Jean-Marie Cavada, alors responsable de Parafrance, le distributeur du film, m’appelle et m’explique qu’il y avait une exclusivité avec une agence photo. Catastrophée, je m’excuse mais il me dit à plusieurs reprises : « Vous avez fait ça pour l’argent. » Je réponds non et je sens un petit venin arriver. Il ajoute : « Ça ne m’étonne pas, c’est quoi votre vrai nom déjà ? » J’ai senti comme un poison dans le corps, j’ai eu mal au ventre. J’ai refusé direct d’être victime, j’ai repensé à mon grand-père paternel juif, mais profondément laïque. Jamais je ne m’étais vue juive, sauf ce jour-là. J’ai rétorqué : « Pardon ? ! » Il a poursuivi : « Je me comprends très bien. »

    Je ne voulais pas en parler. Cela a mis dix ans avant que je le raconte, lors d’une interview, à André Asséo. Quand l’article est paru, Cavada a fait un scandale, des démentis. Je m’en fous. Je sais ce qui s’est passé, ce qui s’est dit très exactement. Et j’ai repris mon nom : Zabou Breitman. Cela a été un acte volontaire, la décision la plus forte que j’ai prise. La première fois que j’ai vu mon nom écrit entièrement sur une affiche a été pour La Jeune Fille et la mort, d’Ariel Dormant.

    Votre carrière est très éclectique, il est difficile de vous ranger dans une case. Est-ce assumé ?

    C’est assumé et involontaire. J’aime faire plein de choses, je n’y peux rien. Au lieu de rester à « ce serait bien de faire ça », je le fais ! Je suis toujours partante et fonctionne beaucoup à l’instinct. Pourquoi ne ferions-nous pas ce qu’on a envie de faire ? Mais le syndrome de la bonne élève, rendre un beau truc, reste très fort. Je lutte et travaille pour y arriver. Je suis bordélique dans ma vie mais obsessionnelle dans le travail.

    « Des gens », « Se souvenir des belles choses », « Logiquimperturbabledufou », d’où vous vient votre attirance pour ces histoires aux êtres fragiles, empêchés ?

    C’est peut-être dû au rythme de ma vie. J’ai eu une enfance extraordinaire, puis la fracture épouvantable vécue par mes parents a sans doute laissé des traces. Par exemple, ce qui me rend dingue, c’est l’approximation dans l’exécution, que les gens ne soient pas extrêmement appliqués à faire bien quelque chose. Parce qu’à ce moment-là on est dans le cynisme, dans l’absence de l’être humain. Pourquoi s’appliquer autant alors qu’on va tous crever ? Mais parce que, précisément, on peut le faire. Le gâchis me lamine. Au « bon, ben, tant pis », je réponds tout le temps, « non, tant pis pas ». J’adore me dire « si, c’est possible » et me battre pour faire les choses.

    Votre premier film en tant que réalisatrice, « Se souvenir des belles choses », vous l’avez écrit avec votre père et avez obtenu le César de la meilleure première œuvre…

    Avec mon père, on a toujours écrit ensemble. Mais quand j’ai reçu le César, je ne l’ai même pas nommé, même pas remercié. Je m’en suis voulu. J’en suis encore malade. Peut-être est-ce parce qu’il disait souvent « Ah, tu es bien ma fille », comme si je ne faisais rien par moi-même. Peut-être ai-je voulu lui mettre une petite pâtée, lui rendre la monnaie de sa pièce !

    En 2012, vous bousculez, avec Laurent Lafitte, l’antenne de France Inter avec l’émission parodique sur la santé « A votre écoute, coûte que coûte ».

    Avec Laurent, on a fait Des Gens, pièce tirée de deux documentaires de Raymond Depardon. Je l’avais repéré lors d’un tournage avec Gilles Lellouche. Il avait beau avoir un tout petit rôle, je me disais : « Mais il est dingue cet acteur ! » Puis il a fait son one-man-show extraordinaire, Laurent Lafitte, comme son nom l’indique. On est devenus très amis et un jour, Philippe Val, alors directeur de France Inter, voit son spectacle et lui propose une carte blanche. Mais Laurent avait une idée autour d’une émission de service et me la propose. Nous avons commencé à écrire. On s’est tout permis ! On a tellement ri ! Le standard a explosé plusieurs fois !

    Avez-vous toujours ce besoin de mener un projet ?

    Oui, absolument. Mon père disait toujours : « Si on n’a pas de projet, on meurt. » A chaque projet, je pense très fort à lui. Particulièrement pour Logiquimperturbabledufou, il aurait adoré.

    Que ce soit contre l’homophobie ou contre les violences conjugales, vous n’hésitez pas à vous engager. Qu’est-ce qui vous pousse ?

    Quand j’étais petite, mon père m’expliquait : « Tu noteras toujours que la xénophobie, l’antisémitisme, l’homophobie et la misogynie ont les mêmes ressorts d’intolérance. » Cela m’a marquée. Si je peux faire quelque chose, il faut être là. Mais à cause de ce que j’ai vécu enfant, confrontée à la politique beaucoup trop jeune, j’aborde les choses différemment. L’engagement c’est aussi jouer, faire un film. Tout compte, tout est politique. L’engagement, c’est une attitude générale.

  • Farrebique

    Georges Rouqier, 1946, FR, DCP, VO FR ,90’

    A travers l’évocation d’une famille de paysans du Rouergue, au long de quatre saisons et autour d’une ferme qu’il faudrait consolider, Rouquier nous permet de partager de poignants moments de la vie rurale traditionnelle : une naissance, l’arrivée de l’électricité, une messe, une fête… Si bien qu’on a l’impression de visionner les résultats d’un collectage. Pourtant refusé à Cannes par les snobs (Henri Jeanson en tête), il y fut passé en stoemelings et il émerveilla les autres. La scène dans l’église, où le prêtre chante d’une voix hallucinante, rend compte d’une des sources de musique du monde rural d’alors. Et puis, l’une des plus belles scène de danse du cinéma français : les hommes dansent la bourrée comme s’ils glissaient sur le sol… scène "dans (...)

  • Report Idling Vehicles, Get A Cut Of The City’s Profits

    Paula Mejia raconte l’histoire d’un citoyen de New York traquant les véhicules à l’arrêt avec le contact allumé dans The Gothamist : Some New Yorkers, such as George Pakenham, have taken it upon themselves to submit thousands of Citizen’s Air Complaints to the city’s Department of...


  • Losing Earth : The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change - The New York Times

    This narrative by Nathaniel Rich is a work of history, addressing the 10-year period from 1979 to 1989: the decisive decade when humankind first came to a broad understanding of the causes and dangers of climate change. Complementing the text is a series of aerial photographs and videos, all shot over the past year by George Steinmetz. With support from the Pulitzer Center, this two-part article is based on 18 months of reporting and well over a hundred interviews. It tracks the efforts of a small group of American scientists, activists and politicians to raise the alarm and stave off catastrophe. It will come as a revelation to many readers — an agonizing revelation — to understand how thoroughly they grasped the problem and how close they came to solving it. Jake Silverstein.

    The first suggestion to Rafe Pomerance that humankind was destroying the conditions necessary for its own survival came on Page 66 of the government publication EPA-600/7-78-019. It was a technical report about coal, bound in a coal-black cover with beige lettering — one of many such reports that lay in uneven piles around Pomerance’s windowless office on the first floor of the Capitol Hill townhouse that, in the late 1970s, served as the Washington headquarters of Friends of the Earth. In the final paragraph of a chapter on environmental regulation, the coal report’s authors noted that the continued use of fossil fuels might, within two or three decades, bring about “significant and damaging” changes to the global atmosphere.

  • Notes anthropologiques (XXXVI)

    Georges Lapierre

    L’idée et son devenir (II)

    Nous devons garder à l’esprit cette évocation d’un monde originel au sein duquel l’humain peut s’exprimer et se révéler. Ce monde des origines est tenace et accrocheur et il est arrivé à survivre jusqu’à notre époque, à résister tant bien que mal à l’envahissement d’un monde qui lui est contraire. Pourtant le monde marchand, négateur de l’humain, est en train de prendre une importance considérable jusqu’à repousser dans des zones de plus en plus marginales l’expression non aliénée de l’humain.

    Le marchand se défie de l’humain, il fixe le retour et le rend obligatoire. Cette défiance de l’humain, cette absence fâcheuse mais obstinée de reconnaissance d’autrui, s’impose peu à peu comme une norme de comportement dans le premier monde : chat échaudé craint l’eau froide. Une flèche empoisonnée a pénétré le cœur de la femme et de l’homme, lui causant une énorme et implacable souffrance. Cette souffrance est tue, elle est devenue indicible. Comment en sommes-nous arrivés là ? L’activité marchande bouleverse les mœurs et nous bouleverse insidieusement. (...)

    #anthropologie #humanité #État #commerce #aliénation

    • La richesse, ce qui était directement vécu par la personne, passe de l’humain à la chose, elle se fait apparente. Le capital est bien toujours l’effectivité de l’idée de richesse qui se fait visible mais l’idée elle-même s’est éloignée des hommes et des femmes pour continuer à agir pour son propre compte par le moyen des femmes et des hommes. L’argent mesure la puissance de l’idée : concentré, il représente le capital, l’idée dans son effectivité et cette idée dans son effectivité est devenue l’apanage de ceux que l’on nomme capitalistes ; diffus, il représente la monnaie, la mise en pratique de l’idée, l’échange de tous avec tous.

      #richesse #échange #pouvoir

  • Il reste des obstacles à l’#avortement au #Canada, même s’il est légal | ICI

    L’avortement n’est pas aussi accessible au Canada que certains pourraient le penser, notamment à cause des difficultés de financement et d’accessibilité aux cliniques, de même qu’en raison des différentes lois provinciales.

    Les gens confondent souvent la décriminalisation et l’accessibilité, estime Frédérique Chabot, directrice de la promotion de la santé à Action Canada pour la santé et les droits sexuels.

    • Il est étonnant que l’article ne mentionne pas le rôle extrêmement néfaste du long passage de #Stephen_Harper, conservateur bigot, au poste de Premier ministre du #Canada, pendant lequel il a systématiquement coupé les subventions de toutes les organisations de protection des droits des femmes, et en particulier de tout ce qui participait de près ou de loin à aider les femmes à avorter, y compris pour les victimes de viol dans un pays en guerre...

  • 56 Percent Of Americans Don’t Think We Should Teach Arabic Numerals In School | IFLScience

    In the survey, 3,624 people were asked: “Should schools in America teach Arabic Numerals as part of their curriculum?” to which 2,020 people (56 percent) said “no”, and just 29 percent actually said “yes”.

    The survey was designed to show the tribal impulses of people to answer a question without understanding it first, along their own biased lines.

    “Our goal in this experiment was to tease out prejudice among those who didn’t understand the question,” Civic Science’s CEO John Dick explained on Twitter.

    “Most people don’t know the origins of our numerical system and yet picked a tribal answer anyway. You can argue that one is worse than the other but both prove a similar point.”

    Fifty-six percent is a lot of people to both not realize that the numbers we use are Arabic numerals and to say they shouldn’t be taught in schools.

    However, this bias wasn’t unique to people prejudiced against the word “Arabic”. The survey also posed the question “Should schools in America teach the creation theory of Catholic priest Georges Lemaître as part of their science curriculum?” to which 53 percent of respondents said “no”.

    Which is a shame because while Georges Lemaître was a Catholic priest, his “theory of creation” was the theory that the universe is expanding, which was soon confirmed by Hubble and is now better known as the Big Bang theory.

    “Sorry to break this to everyone but it appears neither side has a monopoly on blind prejudice,” Dick wrote. “Either that or 73% of Democrats believe schools shouldn’t be teaching students about the Big Bang Theory.”

    Rather than just answering “don’t know”, it appears to be pretty common to answer along prejudiced lines. In December 2015, Public Policy Polling released results of a poll that showed 41 percent of Trump supporters (and 19 percent of Democrats) supported bombing Agrabah, a fictional city from the Disney cartoon Aladdin, Snopes reports.


  • Georges Cochon et le mouvement des locataires - Partage Noir

    La lutte des Locataires contre les propriétaires et la spéculation immobilière est une nécessité. Il y eut au début du siècle un mouvement de défense des locataires. via Partage Noir