Post-truth architecture | Thinkpiece | Architectural Review
Buildings may be constructed on the building site, but architecture is constructed in the discourse
It’s official: ‘post-truth’ is the word of 2016. Oxford Dictionaries, which decides the annual accolade, defines it as ‘denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’. It adds that the term was first used in 1992 of the Iran-Contra scandal, however it is only in the context of this year’s Brexit and Trump campaigns that it has become common parlance.
It could be argued that the media themselves are responsible for the rise of post-truth with their portrayal of fabricated, unachievable images and worlds. In 1991, Jean Baudrillard famously claimed that the Gulf War did not take place – that its media representation supplanted the horrors of the reality on the ground. And since then, increasing computer power has allowed three things to happen: first, images can be created that look not only convincingly real, but in the words of Bono, ‘even better than the real thing’ (take, for example, the incredible images of Filip Dujardin); second, near-instant manipulation and communication of those images is possible, as with the faked fireworks broadcast live during the 2008 Beijing Olympics – Instagram has replaced Archigram; third, our constant connection to screens means that we tend to actually prefer inhabiting representations of the world. What place does criticism have in an era populated by post-humans with Social Media Behaviour Disorders? Perhaps we need a new type of criticism to fit our current situation. Reliable, trustworthy, honest critique is more vital than ever, and islands – maybe even archipelagos – of authority can still be found upon which to establish a reasoned debate that is accountable and challengeable.
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Vu sur Twitter :
M.Potte-Bonneville @pottebonneville a retweeté Catherine Boitard
Vous vous souvenez ? Elle avait sauvé ses compagnons en tirant l’embarcation à la nage pendant trois heures : Sarah Mardini, nageuse olympique et réfugiée syrienne, est arrêtée pour aide à l’immigration irrégulière.
Les olympiades de la honte 2018 promettent de beaux records
M.Potte-Bonneville @pottebonneville a retweeté Catherine Boitard @catboitard :
Avec sa soeur Yusra, nageuse olympique et distinguée par l’ONU, elle avait sauvé 18 réfugiés de la noyade à leur arrivée en Grèce. La réfugiée syrienne Sarah Mardini, boursière à Berlin et volontaire de l’ONG ERCI, a été arrêtée à Lesbos pour aide à immigration irrégulière
GRÈCE : LA POLICE ARRÊTE 30 MEMBRES D’UNE ONG D’AIDE AUX RÉFUGIÉS
La police a arrêté, mardi 28 août, 30 membres de l’ONG grecque #ERCI, dont les soeurs syriennes Yusra et Sarah Mardini, qui avaient sauvé la vie à 18 personnes en 2015. Les militant.e.s sont accusés d’avoir aidé des migrants à entrer illégalement sur le territoire grec via l’île de Lesbos. Ils déclarent avoir agi dans le cadre de l’assistance à personnes en danger.
Par Marina Rafenberg
L’ONG grecque Emergency response centre international (ERCY) était présente sur l’île de Lesbos depuis 2015 pour venir en aide aux réfugiés. Depuis mardi 28 août, ses 30 membres sont poursuivis pour avoir « facilité l’entrée illégale d’étrangers sur le territoire grec » en vue de gains financiers, selon le communiqué de la police grecque.
L’enquête a commencé en février 2018, rapporte le site d’information protagon.gr, lorsqu’une Jeep portant une fausse plaque d’immatriculation de l’armée grecque a été découverte par la police sur une plage, attendant l’arrivée d’une barque pleine de réfugiés en provenance de Turquie. Les membres de l’ONG, six Grecs et 24 ressortissants étrangers, sont accusés d’avoir été informés à l’avance par des personnes présentes du côté turc des heures et des lieux d’arrivée des barques de migrants, d’avoir organisé l’accueil de ces réfugiés sans en informer les autorités locales et d’avoir surveillé illégalement les communications radio entre les autorités grecques et étrangères, dont Frontex, l’agence européenne des gardes-cotes et gardes-frontières. Les crimes pour lesquels ils sont inculpés – participation à une organisation criminelle, violation de secrets d’État et recel – sont passibles de la réclusion à perpétuité.
Parmi les membres de l’ONG grecque arrêtés se trouve Yusra et Sarah Mardini, deux sœurs nageuses et réfugiées syrienne qui avaient sauvé 18 personnes de la noyade lors de leur traversée de la mer Égée en août 2015. Depuis Yusra a participé aux Jeux Olympiques de Rio, est devenue ambassadrice de l’ONU et a écrit un livre, Butterfly. Sarah avait quant à elle décidé d’aider à son tour les réfugiés qui traversaient dangereusement la mer Égée sur des bateaux de fortune et s’était engagée comme bénévole dans l’ONG ERCI durant l’été 2016.
Sarah a été arrêtée le 21 août à l’aéroport de Lesbos alors qu’elle devait rejoindre Berlin où elle vit avec sa famille. Le 3 septembre, elle devait commencer son année universitaire au collège Bard en sciences sociales. La jeune Syrienne de 23 ans a été transférée à la prison de Korydallos, à Athènes, dans l’attente de son procès. Son avocat a demandé mercredi sa remise en liberté.
Ce n’est pas la première fois que des ONG basées à Lesbos ont des soucis avec la justice grecque. Des membres de l’ONG espagnole Proem-Aid avaient aussi été accusés d’avoir participé à l’entrée illégale de réfugiés sur l’île. Ils ont été relaxés en mai dernier. D’après le ministère de la Marine, 114 ONG ont été enregistrées sur l’île, dont les activités souvent difficilement contrôlables inquiètent le gouvernement grec et ses partenaires européens.
Arrest of Syrian ’hero swimmer’ puts Lesbos refugees back in spotlight
Sara Mardini’s case adds to fears that rescue work is being criminalised and raises questions about NGO.
Greece’s high-security #Korydallos prison acknowledges that #Sara_Mardini is one of its rarer inmates. For a week, the Syrian refugee, a hero among human rights defenders, has been detained in its women’s wing on charges so serious they have elicited baffled dismay.
The 23-year-old, who saved 18 refugees in 2015 by swimming their waterlogged dingy to the shores of Lesbos with her Olympian sister, is accused of people smuggling, espionage and membership of a criminal organisation – crimes allegedly committed since returning to work with an NGO on the island. Under Greek law, Mardini can be held in custody pending trial for up to 18 months.
“She is in a state of disbelief,” said her lawyer, Haris Petsalnikos, who has petitioned for her release. “The accusations are more about criminalising humanitarian action. Sara wasn’t even here when these alleged crimes took place but as charges they are serious, perhaps the most serious any aid worker has ever faced.”
Mardini’s arrival to Europe might have gone unnoticed had it not been for the extraordinary courage she and younger sister, Yusra, exhibited guiding their boat to safety after the engine failed during the treacherous crossing from Turkey. Both were elite swimmers, with Yusra going on to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The sisters, whose story is the basis of a forthcoming film by the British director Stephen Daldry, were credited with saving the lives of their fellow passengers. In Germany, their adopted homeland, the pair has since been accorded star status.
It was because of her inspiring story that Mardini was approached by Emergency Response Centre International, ERCI, on Lesbos. “After risking her own life to save 18 people … not only has she come back to ground zero, but she is here to ensure that no more lives get lost on this perilous journey,” it said after Mardini agreed to join its ranks in 2016.
After her first stint with ERCI, she again returned to Lesbos last December to volunteer with the aid group. And until 21 August there was nothing to suggest her second spell had not gone well. But as Mardini waited at Mytilini airport to head back to Germany, and a scholarship at Bard College in Berlin, she was arrested. Soon after that, police also arrested ERCI’s field director, Nassos Karakitsos, a former Greek naval force officer, and Sean Binder, a German volunteer who lives in Ireland. All three have protested their innocence.
The arrests come as signs of a global clampdown on solidarity networks mount. From Russia to Spain, European human rights workers have been targeted in what campaigners call an increasingly sinister attempt to silence civil society in the name of security.
“There is the concern that this is another example of civil society being closed down by the state,” said Jonathan Cooper, an international human rights lawyer in London. “What we are really seeing is Greek authorities using Sara to send a very worrying message that if you volunteer for refugee work you do so at your peril.”
But amid concerns about heavy-handed tactics humanitarians face, Greek police say there are others who see a murky side to the story, one ofpeople trafficking and young volunteers being duped into participating in a criminal network unwittingly. In that scenario,the Mardini sisters would make prime targets.
Greek authorities spent six months investigating the affair. Agents were flown into Lesbos from Athens and Thessaloniki. In an unusually long and detailed statement, last week, Mytilini police said that while posing as a non-profit organisation, ERCI had acted with the sole purpose of profiteering by bringing people illegally into Greece via the north-eastern Aegean islands.
Members had intercepted Greek and European coastguard radio transmissions to gain advance notification of the location of smugglers’ boats, police said, and that 30, mostly foreign nationals, were lined up to be questioned in connection with the alleged activities. Other “similar organisations” had also collaborated in what was described as “an informal plan to confront emergency situations”, they added.
Suspicions were first raised, police said, when Mardini and Binder were stopped in February driving a former military 4X4 with false number plates. ERCI remained unnamed until the release of the charge sheets for the pair and that of Karakitsos.
Lesbos has long been on the frontline of the refugee crisis, attracting idealists and charity workers. Until a dramatic decline in migration numbers via the eastern Mediterranean in March 2016, when a landmark deal was signed between the EU and Turkey, the island was the main entry point to Europe.
An estimated 114 NGOs and 7,356 volunteers are based on Lesbos, according to Greek authorities. Local officials talk of “an industry”, and with more than 10,000 refugees there and the mood at boiling point, accusations of NGOs acting as a “pull factor” are rife.
“Sara’s motive for going back this year was purely humanitarian,” said Oceanne Fry, a fellow student who in June worked alongside her at a day clinic in the refugee reception centre.
“At no point was there any indication of illegal activity by the group … but I can attest to the fact that, other than our intake meeting, none of the volunteers ever met, or interacted, with its leadership.”
The mayor of Lesbos, Spyros Galinos, said he has seen “good and bad” in the humanitarian movement since the start of the refugee crisis.
“Everything is possible,. There is no doubt that some NGOs have exploited the situation. The police announcement was uncommonly harsh. For a long time I have been saying that we just don’t need all these NGOs. When the crisis erupted, yes, the state was woefully unprepared but now that isn’t the case.”
Attempts to contact ERCI were unsuccessful. Neither a telephone number nor an office address – in a scruffy downtown building listed by the aid group on social media – appeared to have any relation to it.
In a statement released more than a week after Mardini’s arrest, ERCI denied the allegations, saying it had fallen victim to “unfounded claims, accusations and charges”. But it failed to make any mention of Mardini.
“It makes no sense at all,” said Amed Khan, a New York financier turned philanthropist who has donated boats for ERCI’s search and rescue operations. To accuse any of them of human trafficking is crazy.
“In today’s fortress Europe you have to wonder whether Brussels isn’t behind it, whether this isn’t a concerted effort to put a chill on civil society volunteers who are just trying to help. After all, we’re talking about grassroots organisations with global values that stepped up into the space left by authorities failing to do their bit.”
The volunteers facing jail for rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean
The risk of refugees and migrants drowning in the Mediterranean has increased dramatically over the past few years.
As the European Union pursued a policy of externalisation, voluntary groups stepped in to save the thousands of people making the dangerous crossing. One by one, they are now criminalised.
The arrest of Sarah Mardini, one of two Syrian sisters who saved a number of refugees in 2015 by pulling their sinking dinghy to Greece, has brought the issue to international attention.
There aren’t chairs enough for the people gathered in Mytilíni Court. Salam Aldeen sits front row to the right. He has a nervous smile on his face, mouth half open, the tongue playing over his lips.
Noise emanates from the queue forming in the hallway as spectators struggle for a peak through the door’s windows. The morning heat is already thick and moist – not helped by the two unplugged fans hovering motionless in dead air.
Police officers with uneasy looks, 15 of them, lean up against the cooling walls of the court. From over the judge, a golden Jesus icon looks down on the assembly. For the sunny holiday town on Lesbos, Greece, this is not a normal court proceeding.
Outside the court, international media has unpacked their cameras and unloaded their equipment. They’ve come from the New York Times, Deutsche Welle, Danish, Greek and Spanish media along with two separate documentary teams.
There is no way of knowing when the trial will end. Maybe in a couple of days, some of the journalists say, others point to the unpredictability of the Greek judicial system. If the authorities decide to make a principle out of the case, this could take months.
Salam Aldeen, in a dark blue jacket, white shirt and tie, knows this. He is charged with human smuggling and faces life in jail.
More than 16,000 people have drowned in less than five years trying to cross the Mediterranean. That’s an average of ten people dying every day outside Europe’s southern border – more than the Russia-Ukraine conflict over the same period.
In 2015, when more than one million refugees crossed the Mediterranean, the official death toll was around 3,700. A year later, the number of migrants dropped by two thirds – but the death toll increased to more than 5,000. With still fewer migrants crossing during 2017 and the first half of 2018, one would expect the rate of surviving to pick up.
The numbers, however, tell a different story. For a refugee setting out to cross the Mediterranean today, the risk of drowning has significantly increased.
The deaths of thousands of people don’t happen in a vacuum. And it would be impossible to explain the increased risks of crossing without considering recent changes in EU-policies towards migration in the Mediterranean.
The criminalisation of a Danish NGO-worker on the tiny Greek island of Lesbos might help us understand the deeper layers of EU immigration policy.
The deterrence effect
On 27 March 2011, 72 migrants flee Tripoli and squeeze into a 12m long rubber dinghy with a max capacity of 25 people. They start the outboard engine and set out in the Mediterranean night, bound for the Italian island of Lampedusa. In the morning, they are registered by a French aircraft flying over. The migrants stay on course. But 18 hours into their voyage, they send out a distress-call from a satellite phone. The signal is picked up by the rescue centre in Rome who alerts other vessels in the area.
Two hours later, a military helicopter flies over the boat. At this point, the migrants accidentally drop their satellite phone in the sea. In the hours to follow, the migrants encounter several fishing boats – but their call of distress is ignored. As day turns into night, a second helicopter appears and drops rations of water and biscuits before leaving.
And then, the following morning on 28 March – the migrants run out of fuel. Left at the mercy of wind and oceanic currents, the migrants embark on a hopeless journey. They drift south; exactly where they came from.
They don’t see any ships the following day. Nor the next; a whole week goes by without contact to the outside world. But then, somewhere between 3 and 5 April, a military vessel appears on the horizon. It moves in on the migrants and circle their boat.
The migrants, exhausted and on the brink of despair, wave and signal distress. But as suddenly as it arrived, the military vessel turns around and disappears. And all hope with it.
On April 10, almost a week later, the migrant vessel lands on a beach south of Tripoli. Of the 72 passengers who left 2 weeks ago, only 11 make it back alive. Two die shortly hereafter.
Lorenzo Pezzani, lecturer at Forensic Architecture at Goldsmiths University of London, was stunned when he read about the case. In 2011, he was still a PhD student developing new spatial and aesthetic visual tools to document human rights violations. Concerned with the rising number of migrant deaths in the Mediterranean, Lorenzo Pezzani and his colleague Charles Heller founded Forensic Oceanography, an affiliated group to Forensic Architecture. Their first project was to uncover the events and policies leading to a vessel left adrift in full knowledge by international rescue operations.
It was the public outrage fuelled by the 2013 Lampedusa shipwreck which eventually led to the deployment of Operation Mare Nostrum. At this point, the largest migration of people since the Second World War, the Syrian exodus, could no longer be contained within Syria’s neighbouring countries. At the same time, a relative stability in Libya after the fall of Gaddafi in 2011 descended into civil war; waves of migrants started to cross the Mediterranean.
From October 2013, Mare Nostrum broke with the reigning EU-policy of non-interference and deployed Italian naval vessels, planes and helicopters at a monthly cost of €9.5 million. The scale was unprecedented; saving lives became the political priority over policing and border control. In terms of lives saved, the operation was an undisputed success. Its own life, however, would be short.
A critical narrative formed on the political right and was amplified by sections of the media: Mare Nostrum was accused of emboldening Libyan smugglers who – knowing rescue ships were waiting – would send out more migrants. In this understanding, Mare Nostrum constituted a so-called “pull factor” on migrants from North African countries. A year after its inception, Mare Nostrum was terminated.
In late 2014, Mare Nostrum was replaced by Operation Triton led by Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, with an initial budget of €2.4 million per month. Triton refocused on border control instead of sea rescues in an area much closer to Italian shores. This was a return to the pre-Mare Nostrum policy of non-assistance to deter migrants from crossing. But not only did the change of policy fail to act as a deterrence against the thousands of migrants still crossing the Mediterranean, it also left a huge gap between the amount of boats in distress and operational rescue vessels. A gap increasingly filled by merchant vessels.
Merchant vessels, however, do not have the equipment or training to handle rescues of this volume. On 31 March 2015, the shipping community made a call to EU-politicians warning of a “terrible risk of further catastrophic loss of life as ever-more desperate people attempt this deadly sea crossing”. Between 1 January and 20 May 2015, merchant ships rescued 12.000 people – 30 per cent of the total number rescued in the Mediterranean.
As the shipping community had already foreseen, the new policy of non-assistance as deterrence led to several horrific incidents. These culminated in two catastrophic shipwrecks on 12 and 18 April 2015 and the death of 1,200 people. In both cases, merchant vessels were right next to the overcrowded migrant boats when chaotic rescue attempts caused the migrant boats to take in water and eventually sink. The crew of the merchant vessels could only watch as hundreds of people disappeared in the ocean.
Back in 1990, the Dublin Convention declared that the first EU-country an asylum seeker enters is responsible for accepting or rejecting the claim. No one in 1990 had expected the Syrian exodus of 2015 – nor the gigantic pressure it would put on just a handful of member states. No other EU-member felt the ineptitudes and total unpreparedness of the immigration system than a country already knee-deep in a harrowing economic crisis. That country was Greece.
In September 2015, when the world saw the picture of a three-year old Syrian boy, Alan Kurdi, washed up on a beach in Turkey, Europe was already months into what was readily called a “refugee crisis”. Greece was overwhelmed by the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the Syrian war. During the following month alone, a staggering 200.000 migrants crossed the Aegean Sea from Turkey to reach Europe. With a minimum of institutional support, it was volunteers like Salam Aldeen who helped reduce the overall number of casualties.
The peak of migrants entered Greece that autumn but huge numbers kept arriving throughout the winter – in worsening sea conditions. Salam Aldeen recalls one December morning on Lesbos.
The EU-Turkey deal
And then, from one day to the next, the EU-Turkey deal changed everything. There was a virtual stop of people crossing from Turkey to Greece. From a perspective of deterrence, the agreement was an instant success. In all its simplicity, Turkey had agreed to contain and prevent refugees from reaching the EU – by land or by sea. For this, Turkey would be given a monetary compensation.
But opponents of the deal included major human rights organisations. Simply paying Turkey a formidable sum of money (€6 billion to this date) to prevent migrants from reaching EU-borders was feared to be a symptom of an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude pervasive among EU decision makers. Moreover, just like Libya in 2015 threatened to flood Europe with migrants, the Turkish President Erdogan would suddenly have a powerful geopolitical card on his hands. A concern that would later be confirmed by EU’s vague response to Erdogan’s crackdown on Turkish opposition.
As immigration dwindled in Greece, the flow of migrants and refugees continued and increased in the Central Mediterranean during the summer of 2016. At the same time, disorganised Libyan militias were now running the smuggling business and exploited people more ruthlessly than ever before. Migrant boats without satellite phones or enough provision or fuel became increasingly common. Due to safety concerns, merchant vessels were more reluctant to assist in rescue operations. The death toll increased.
Frustrated with the perceived apathy of EU states, Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) responded to the situation. At its peak, 12 search and rescue NGO vessels were operating in the Mediterranean and while the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) paused many of its operations during the fall and winter of 2016, the remaining NGO vessels did the bulk of the work. Under increasingly dangerous weather conditions, 47 per cent of all November rescues were carried out by NGOs.
Around this time, the first accusations were launched against rescue NGOs from ‘alt-right’ groups. Accusations, it should be noted, conspicuously like the ones sounded against Mare Nostrum. Just like in 2014, Frontex and EU-politicians followed up and accused NGOs of posing a “pull factor”. The now Italian vice-prime minister, Luigi Di Maio, went even further and denounced NGOs as “taxis for migrants”. Just like in 2014, no consideration was given to the conditions in Libya.
Moreover, NGOs were falsely accused of collusion with Libyan smugglers. Meanwhile Italian agents had infiltrated the crew of a Save the Children rescue vessel to uncover alleged secret evidence of collusion. The German Jugendrettet NGO-vessel, Iuventa, was impounded and – echoing Salam Aldeen’s case in Greece – the captain accused of collusion with smugglers by Italian authorities.
The attacks to delegitimise NGOs’ rescue efforts have had a clear effect: many of the NGOs have now effectively stopped their operations in the Mediterranean. Lorenzo Pezzani and Charles Heller, in their report, Mare Clausum, argued that the wave of delegitimisation of humanitarian work was just one part of a two-legged strategy – designed by the EU – to regain control over the Mediterranean.
Migrants’ rights aren’t human rights
Libya long ago descended into a precarious state of lawlessness. In the maelstrom of poverty, war and despair, migrants and refugees have become an exploitable resource for rivalling militias in a country where two separate governments compete for power.
In November 2017, a CNN investigation exposed an entire industry involving slave auctions, rape and people being worked to death.
Chief spokesman of the UN Migration Agency, Leonard Doyle, describes Libya as a “torture archipelago” where migrants transiting have no idea that they are turned into commodities to be bought, sold and discarded when they have no more value.
Migrants intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG) are routinely brought back to the hellish detention centres for indefinite captivity. Despite EU-leaders’ moral outcry following the exposure of the conditions in Libya, the EU continues to be instrumental in the capacity building of the LCG.
Libya hadn’t had a functioning coast guard since the fall of Gaddafi in 2011. But starting in late 2016, the LCG received increasing funding from Italy and the EU in the form of patrol boats, training and financial support.
Seeing the effect of the EU-Turkey deal in deterring refugees crossing the Aegean Sea, Italy and the EU have done all in their power to create a similar approach in Libya.
The EU Summit
Forty-two thousand undocumented migrants have so far arrived at Europe’s shores this year. That’s a fraction of the more than one million who arrived in 2015. But when EU leaders met at an “emergency summit” in Brussels in late June, the issue of migration was described by Chancellor Merkel as a “make or break” for the Union. How does this align with the dwindling numbers of refugees and migrants?
Data released in June 2018 showed that Europeans are more concerned about immigration than any other social challenge. More than half want a ban on migration from Muslim countries. Europe, it seems, lives in two different, incompatible realities as summit after summit tries to untie the Gordian knot of the migration issue.
Inside the courthouse in Mytilini, Salam Aldeen is questioned by the district prosecutor. The tropical temperature induces an echoing silence from the crowded spectators. The district prosecutor looks at him, open mouth, chin resting on her fist.
She seems impatient with the translator and the process of going from Greek to English and back. Her eyes search the room. She questions him in detail about the night of arrest. He answers patiently. She wants Salam Aldeen and the four crew members to be found guilty of human smuggling.
Salam Aldeen’s lawyer, Mr Fragkiskos Ragkousis, an elderly white-haired man, rises before the court for his final statement. An ancient statuette with his glasses in one hand. Salam’s parents sit with scared faces, they haven’t slept for two days; the father’s comforting arm covers the mother’s shoulder. Then, like a once dormant volcano, the lawyer erupts in a torrent of pathos and logos.
“Political interests changed the truth and created this wicked situation, playing with the defendant’s freedom and honour.”
He talks to the judge as well as the public. A tragedy, a drama unfolds. The prosecutor looks remorseful, like a small child in her large chair, almost apologetic. Defeated. He’s singing now, Ragkousis. Index finger hits the air much like thunder breaks the night sounding the roar of something eternal. He then sits and the room quiets.
It was “without a doubt” that the judge acquitted Salam Aldeen and his four colleagues on all charges. The prosecutor both had to determine the defendants’ intention to commit the crime – and that the criminal action had been initialised. She failed at both. The case, as the Italian case against the Iuventa, was baseless.
But EU’s policy of externalisation continues. On 17 March 2018, the ProActiva rescue vessel, Open Arms, was seized by Italian authorities after it had brought back 217 people to safety.
Then again in June, the decline by Malta and Italy’s new right-wing government to let the Aquarious rescue-vessel dock with 629 rescued people on board sparked a fierce debate in international media.
In July, Sea Watch’s Moonbird, a small aircraft used to search for migrant boats, was prevented from flying any more operations by Maltese authorities; the vessel Sea Watch III was blocked from leaving harbour and the captain of a vessel from the NGO Mission Lifeline was taken to court over “registration irregularities“.
Regardless of Europe’s future political currents, geopolitical developments are only likely to continue to produce refugees worldwide. Will the EU alter its course as the crisis mutates and persists? Or are the deaths of thousands the only possible outcome?
In the summer of 1976, Canada was hosting its first ever Olympics in Montreal. On the west coast, a child was born who would develop a larger than life personality. Although an excellent marathoner, Little Stevie Black as he became known, never quite made it to the Games. His notoriety is for something else, asking questions.Little Stevie Black now nearly six feet tall and has the dark complexion typical of someone who’s just returned from a Mexican holiday. He’s highly presentable with a smidge of beard stubble and a good-humoured disposition. Much like filmmaker Louis Theroux, he has the uncanny ability to make anyone he talks to feel comfortable within moments.With determined inquisitiveness, Little Stevie Black discovers things about you that you would rarely grant others access to. (...)
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3 Mongolian judokas to compete for United Arab Emirates | The UB Post
One of Mongolia’s top judokas D.Tumurkhuleg (66 kg division) was invited to become a contracted athlete of the United Arab Emirates.
Judokas N.Dagvasuren (81 kg) and B.Temuulen (100 kg) are expected to become contracted athletes for the United Arab Emirates. They are expected to finalize the contract in March and start competing for the country in May.
In addition, other top Mongolian athletes have already made contracts to compete for other countries. For instance, judoka G.Otgontsetseg, a top judoka in the women’s 48 kg changed her citizenship and competes for Kazakhstan and has won bronze medals at the World Championships and Olympics for the country.
Last year, Azerbaijan’s judo team drew contracts with E. Bazarragchaa (48 kg), P.Buyankhishig (52 kg) and M.Ichinkhorloo (57 kg).
En Mongolie, les EAU recrutent des judokas, le Qatar des footballeurs et le Japon des sumotoris (pour mémoire 4 des 5 derniers yokozunas sont mongols dont 2 des 3 actuels).
John Carlos has one regret over Black Power salute at 1968 Mexico Olympics
Yet for all the immediate backlash, over time the image of the two men on the podium — along with Aussie silver medallist Peter Norman, who wore a badge supporting equal rights at the medal ceremony — has become a symbol of black people’s quest for equality.
It was admirable and brave, to say the very least, but for all the good it did, Carlos has revealed he has one regret over the incident. In an interview with Forbes, the bronze medallist said his regret has nothing to do with how the ceremony unfolded, but how his actions had long lasting implications for his family.
“For anything I’ve ever done in my life — and I’ve done quite a bit — I’ve never been more proud than of what I did in that demonstration,” said Carlos.
“But the one regret I do have is that I didn’t think enough about safeguarding my family.
“I didn’t think people would strike out at my wife and kids. I thought that they would just come after me.
“I lost my wife in the process — she took her life — and my kids were scorned in school based on the fact that I was their father.”
His wife Kim died by suicide in 1977, and his family was regularly subjected to death threats.
In past interviews the now-70-year-old has often maintained he has no regrets about taking part in the protest, but clearly its effect on those closest to him has weighed heavily on the former sprinter.
Arbitration panel tells Russia to pay Dutch $6 million over #Greenpeace boat seizure
Russia must pay the Netherlands more than 5 million euros ($5.79 million)in damages for seizing a Dutch-flagged Greenpeace vessel in 2013 and arresting 30 people aboard, an international arbitration panel ruled on Tuesday.
Russian Federal Security Service agents captured the #Arctic_Sunrise in international waters after a protest against an oil platform. Those on board were detained in Russian prisons for months and released shortly before the Sochi Olympics.
HRW | UE : Garantir que les aides parviennent aux réfugiés en situation de handicap
Le Parlement européen devrait améliorer le suivi des fonds d’aide destinés aux réfugiés.
EU/Greece: Pressure to Minimize Numbers of Migrants Identified As ‘Vulnerable’
(Brussels, June 1, 2017) – People with disabilities and other at-risk groups go unidentified on the Greek islands as the European Union inappropriately presses Greek authorities and medical aid organizations to reduce the number of asylum seekers identified as “vulnerable,” Human Rights Watch said today. The EU, and the Greek government, now prefer to contain all asylum seekers on the Greek islands. Before the new policy, asylum seekers identified as “vulnerable” were allowed to be transferred to the mainland to have their cases handled there.
Migranti disabili: la doppia fragilità di cui nessuno si occupa
Sono pochi i dati sugli stranieri disabili nel nostro paese, mentre mancano completamente informazioni sui richiedenti asilo. La responsabilità dei media e le storie di questo “doppio svantaggio” al convegno “Disabili & Migranti: alla ricerca di un’integrazione possibile e necessaria”. Palazzotto: “Il nostro sistema di accoglienza non sa gestire la disabilità”
On the Margins of the Margins: Refugees With Intellectual Disabilities
Refugees with intellectual disabilities are a largely forgotten and highly vulnerable group on the margins of the global displacement crisis. David Evangelista of the Special Olympics explains how the movement offers an alternative model for embracing refugees.
Forgotten and invisible? The legal protection of refugees with disabilities
Before starting my PhD in sociolinguistics at Macquarie University, I had the great privilege of being involved in a research project that was run out of Sydney Law School at the University of Sydney. The project explored how disability was conceptualised, acknowledged and accommodated in government and NGO programmes assisting refugees. Over three years, I assisted the project’s Chief Investigators, Professors Mary Crock and Ben Saul and Emeritus Professor Ron McCallum AO, travelling to Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Uganda, Jordan and Turkey. Our focus was on uncovering how (or whether) the newly created UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) influences responses to forced migration. We used this rights-based lens to then explore the lived reality for refugees and identify the challenges they faced in displacement, making recommendations for change and reflecting on how the very nature of being outside one’s country of citizenship can be a barrier in itself.
Welcome to the World Nomad Games: ’If Genghis Khan were alive, he’d be here’ | World news | The Guardian
The Rio Olympics might have had Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps and the Copacabana beach, but for fans of stick wrestling and horseback battles over a dead goat the shores of Lake Issyk Kul is the place to be this week, as Kyrgyzstan hosts the second World Nomad Games from 3 to 8 September.
The games, designed to celebrate the nomadic heritage of the Central Asian nations, kicked off with a lavish opening ceremony on Saturday night.
Forty countries are participating, some of which have long nomadic histories. Others are mainly there for the fun of the games. Sports include eagle hunting, bone throwing and mas-wrestling, a mesmerising game involving two competitors attempting to wrest control of a small stick.
This was the summer of the Olympics. But if you were on safari, like we were, you may have missed it altogether. Fear not, we have some highlights for you, including those of you who are nostalgic for the games already. First, let’s ignore the clumsiness – we are trying to be nice – of […]
Rooting for the Favorite Is a Sign of Social Dominance - Facts So Romantic
Over the first week of the Rio Olympics, an ancient narrative played out in the men’s rugby sevens tournament. Rising through a field of 12, the Fiji national team dispatched powerhouses New Zealand and Great Britain on its way to a gold medal, the first of any kind for the small South Pacific nation. Having defeated its former colonial ruler in the final match, an unexpected champion was crowned and this made a lot of people happy; in the Olympics, at least, people tend to cheer for an underdog. While it’s hard to imagine that everybody wasn’t thrilled by Fiji’s win, a recent article in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology suggests otherwise. The article’s authors, Serena Does from the University of California, Los Angeles, and Avital Mentovich from the University of Essex, found (...)
Ingenious: Robert Sparrow & Julian Savulescu - Issue 39: Sport
At least 120 athletes at the Rio Olympics were previously suspended for doping, The New York Times reported on Aug. 18. The suspended represented at least 63 of the 205 countries in the 2016 Olympics. When all was swum and run, 31 athletes who had previously been suspended for doping won medals in Rio. Despite the sanctions and drug tests that have been in place in sports organizations for years, cheating remains widespread. The drive for an extra edge is, after all, the whole point of competitive sports. Realizing that drive runs deep, philosopher Julian Savulescu (on the right in the photo above) has long argued that doping should be legal in sports. Legal training like running in high altitudes, he points out, boosts red blood cells in ways no different than EPO, a commonly used (...)
How Stereotypes Slow Athletes Down - Facts So Romantic
When Simone Manuel received the gold for the women’s 100-meter freestyle swim at the Rio Olympics in early August, the win represented more than just the culmination of Manuel’s many years of training and a victory for her country. It was a triumph over long-held racist stereotypes that black people are poor swimmers. Manuel was the first African-American woman in history to win an Olympic gold for swimming. “It is something I’ve definitely struggled with a lot,” Manuel told USA Today. “Coming into the race, I tried to take weight of the black community off my shoulders,” she said. “The title of black swimmer suggests that I am not supposed to win golds or break records.” For Manuel, and the hundreds of other athletes who are minorities in their chosen sports, managing negative stereotypes is (...)
Head to Head: Should We Allow a Doping Free-for-All? - Issue 39: Sport
You could say the job of the sports fan is not only to cheer but to jeer. Take the Rio Olympics. American sprinter Justin Gatlin, who has been suspended in the past for doping, entered Olympic Stadium before his 100-meter race to resounding boos. Competitors are also a part of the ritual. After winning a gold medal, American swimmer Lilly King wagged her finger to mock her Russian competitor Yulia Efimova, who previously had been suspended for doping. To philosopher Julian Savulescu, the boos and censures ring with, if not outright hypocrisy, short memory spans. “Caffeine is a performance-enhancer,” he says. “It used to be banned and now it’s allowed.” Savulescu, a native Australian, who directs the Uehiro Center for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, has been one of the loudest (...)
Why the Best Athletes All Have Their Own #PhelpsFace - Facts So Romantic
On the second day of the Rio Olympics, American swimmer Michael Phelps won his 19th gold medal (he would go on to win four more), becoming the world’s most decorated Olympic athlete. The next day, Phelps revealed that he also has what may be the world’s best game face. While waiting for a semifinal race, with rival Chad le Clos shimmying and tossing out karate moves in front of him, Phelps sat slouched in a folding chair, wearing headphones and a hood down over his face. Looking strikingly like Emperor Palpatine in “Star Wars,” Phelps scowled like someone trying to lift a double-decker bus with his mind, his jaw twitching. If you’ve somehow missed it, you should probably just watch it for yourself.Fearsome Focus: Last Tuesday, at the Rio Olympics, Michael Phelps seemed to have more on his (...)
Is Gymnastics’ Scoring System Injuring Athletes? - Facts So Romantic
It happened in an instant: a resounding crack and the bottom half of French gymnast Samir Ait Said’s leg was dangling like a marionette’s, his face contorted in pain. At the Rio Olympics, Said had just performed a thrilling triple backflip on the vault. When he landed, his leg snapped on impact. Said’s shot at grace, his relentless pursuit of perfection, had ended in horror. The injury came just minutes after German gymnast Andreas Toba landed awkwardly after a twisting somersault during a floor exercise, wrenching his knee. His teammate, Gabian Ham, spoke out. “It’s a pity that gymnastics has developed the way it has. Everyone is chasing more and more difficulty, more risk. Everyone wants new records so it’s getting dangerous.” Ham called out the culprit: the open-ended scoring system. In (...)
Cupping, the Rio Olympics Health Trend, Can Do More Harm Than Good - Facts So Romantic
Several days ago, when the Rio Olympics began hitting their stride, many athletes, including champion swimmer Michael Phelps, were sporting a unique look: Their muscled shoulders were spattered with, well, what? Giant purple chicken pox? Alien hickeys? Soon enough, however, the marks were demystified: They were evidence of cupping, a therapy that involves placing suction cups on the skin, then using the suction to pull the skin up off the muscles (not unlike the pressure caused by giving someone a hickey.) Michael Phelps competes in the second semifinal of the Men’s 200m Butterfly at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.Amin Mohammad Jamali / Getty ImagesBy applying localized pressure, the treatment is thought to increase blood circulation to the area it targets, relieving painful tension by (...)
Alternative Olympics logo designed in light of doping scandal
Rio 2016: German art director Björn Karnebogen has created a tongue-in-cheek alternative logo for the Olympic games after a swathe of Russian athletes were found guilty of doping.
「鳥越」を「烏賊」に空目したのが、敗因だったか。 posted at 09:00:32
#ねこだんご twitter.com/francescofrong… posted at 08:37:26
RT @zim2918: Art is like a rose - soft petals, alluring color, sensuous odor, and stinging thorns. Pen and ink pic.twitter.com/44k3GO9RfC posted at 08:36:24
Top story: Sahil Kapur on Twitter: "Trump proposes to spend “at least double” o… twitter.com/sahilkapur/sta…, see more tweetedtimes.com/ChikuwaQ?s=tnp posted at 06:00:21
Top story: Rio Olympics: view from the favelas – ’I can’t leave the house. The … www.theguardian.com/global-develop…, (...)
The Forgotten History of Female Athletes Who Organized Their Own Olympics | Jules Boykoff
The Olympics is a not a neutral event. Although Olympic organizers like to present the Games as an apolitical celebration, the way the Olympics are structured reflect the ideals of the elites who are most involved with organizing the event. As we approach the kickoff of the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro on August 5, it’s worth examining gender dynamics in the Games’ history—particularly looking at how female athletes were largely excluded from the Olympics for years as well as the often-overlooked activism of women who fought to compete internationally. Source: Bitch Media
Olympics 2016 : Blocked toilets, exposed wires at Rio Athletes’ Village - CNN.com
Blocked toilets, leaky pipes and exposed wires — just a few of the reasons Australia’s Olympic delegation has refused to move in to the athletes village, now open to arriving Olympians.
The village, comprised of 31 17-storey towers, opened its doors on Sunday, less than two weeks before the start of Rio’s Summer Games on August 5. But the first day was marred by controversy.
“We felt that our building was not safe, because of a combination of plumbing and electrical issues,” the Australian Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller told journalists, adding that a stress test had been carried out — opening taps and turning on lights simultaneously — and discovered “significant leakages.”
Yzonka aller aux toilettes dans le noir…
Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Found in Rio de Janeiro Waterways Ahead of Olympics
Two studies have connected five beaches—Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, Botafogo and Flamengo—and Rio de Janeiro’s Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon to the superbug bacteria, Reuters reported.
Copacabana, which had microbes present in 10 percent of the water samples studied, will be the site of open-water and triathlon swimming events. Flamengo, which had microbes in 90 percent of the water samples, will host sailing competitions. The lagoon, which is seen by scientists as the breeding ground for the bacteria, will host rowing and canoe events, according to Reuters.
Scientists say the super bacteria can cause hard-to-treat urinary, gastrointestinal, pulmonary and bloodstream infections, which contribute to death in up to half of infected patients. Meningitis has also been linked to exposure to the superbug. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported antibiotic-resistant infections usually “require prolonged and/or costlier treatments, extend hospital stays, necessitate additional doctor visits and healthcare use and result in greater disability and death.”
et le 200 mètres nage libre des #super_bactéries