Thursday, November 25, 2010

Presentation by Cklara Moradian“Mapping the Invisible: On Kurdish Womyn and the Embodiment of Perpetual Assault,”

Dear Friends,

This coming Monday November 29th, 2010, I will have the honor of presenting part of my work in progress:
“Mapping the Invisible: On Kurdish Womyn and the Embodiment of Perpetual Assault,”
at a forum on Gendered Violence organized by the CSULA Center for the Study of Genders and Sexualities, and the dedicated students in PHIL/WOMN 413: Issues in Feminist Philosophy led by the amazing Dr. Anna Carastathis.
I have attached the poster and schedule for your viewing. I would love to see some of you there if you have time.
If you are on campus, you can always come during the hours that you're not in class/work yourself.

In the light of this short notice and the timing of the forum (day-time), I will make my paper available on-line in the coming weeks for anyone who might be interested in viewing it.

Note to students interested in Feminist Philosophy and/or FMLA members, this is a great forum to pick up relevant materials. Our prolific Dr. Talia Bettcher will also be presenting at this event.

Much due respect,

Cklara Moradian
See the program
Center for the Study of Genders and Sexualities (King Hall D4051) &
Dean’s Conference Room, (Music Building 129)
California State University, Los Angeles
10-10:15am WELCOME
King Hall D4051 Walk Over to Dean’s Conference Room, Music 129
10:15-11:00 PANEL 1
Music 129 Linda Greenberg, “On Gendered Violence and Literary Genre”
Nadia Zepeda and Audrey Silvestre of Conciencia Femenil,
“Heteropatriarchy: Game Over! A movement that is not down for all of us
is not down for its people”
11:00-11:45 PANEL 2
Music 129 Linda Fischer, “You Can Make A Difference: Effective Programming
and Training”
Cklara Moradian, “Mapping the Invisible: On Kurdish Womyn and
the Embodiment of Perpetual Assault”
11:45-12:15 PANEL 3 –MA students in PHIL/WOMN 413
Music 129 Santiago Vidales, “Gendered Violence in Colombia”
Jacklyn Juetten, “A Political and Social Approach to End Anti-LGBT
Jessica Ruiz, “Empowered Consciousness: Perceiving Outside of
Patriarchal Conditioning”
12:15-12:45 LUNCH
King Hall D4051 Lunch is provided for presenters and registered participants
12:45-1:30 POSTER SESSION – MA and BA students in PHIL/WOMN 413
King Hall D4051 See reverse for research poster titles and creators.
1:30-1:45 Walk over to Music 129
1:40-2:30 PANEL 4
Music 129 Talia Bettcher, “Transphobic Violence and Oppression”
Riel Dupuis-Rossi, “Justice for Sex Workers: Two Community-Based
Art Projects”
2:30-3:00 Closing Discussion and Reflection
Organized by the students in PHIL/WOMN 413: Issues in Feminist Philosophy (on Gendered
Generously supported by the Center for the Study of Genders and Sexualities.
12:45-1:30 PM, KING HALL D4051
Posters were created by BA and MA students in PHIL/WOMN 413 in order to share with the
broader community a process of independent inquiry and the results of students’ initial research.
Each student focuses on a form or an aspect of gendered violence, formulates a research question
and argues for a thesis informed by preliminary research. Each poster also showcases an activist
organization that aims to combat or eliminate the form of violence under discussion. As you view
the posters, please feel free to ask the creators of the posters any questions, or share with them
any comments you have about their research project.
Brandon Edgar, “Spousal Rape”
Allyse cobb & Joshua De La Cruz, “Rethinking the Sex Work Industry”
Araz Hachadourian, “Domestic Violence and Poverty in India”
Brenda Davidge, “Feminicides of Guatemala: Crimes without Punishment”
Emi Torres, “Rape as a Weapon of War”
Kevin Deegan, “A New E.R.A.: Strategies for Effective Rape Avoidance”
Irene Orozco, “Sexual Assault Awareness”
Corinne Love, “On Our Monitors: A Critique of the Pornography Discourse”
Mecca Tanksley,“Crafted Perceptions and Defective Behaviors: The Effects of Negative Media”
Carlos douglas, “Amplifire of Violence”
Maria Herrera, “Women in Law Enforcement”
We would like to thank the following people for their invaluable assistance and support of this
Dr. Talia Bettcher, Director of the Center for the Study of Genders and Sexualities
Ms. Lucy Tambara, Coordinator of the Center for the Study of Genders and Sexualities
Ms. Donna Balderrama, Administrator of the Department of Philosophy
Dr. Molly Talcott, Professor in the Department of Sociology
Dr. Dionne Espinoza, Director of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
We are grateful to all the presenters for sharing with us their experiences, analyses, research, and
inspiring activism.
The organizers: Brandon Edgar, Allyse Cobb, Joshua De La Cruz, Araz Hachadourian, Brenda
Davidge, Emi Torres, Kevin Deegan, Irene Orozco, Corinne Love, Mecca Tanksley, Carlos
Douglas, Maria Herrera and Anna Carastathis

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women



On the 17 December 1999, the General Assembly at its 83rd plenary meeting of the fifty-fourth session, on the basis of the Report of the Third Committee (A/54/598 and Corr.1 and 2), adopted Resolution 54/134 on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

The General Assembly expressed alarm that endemic violence against women was impeding women’s opportunities to achieve legal, social, political and economic equality in society. The Assembly reiterated that the term “violence against women” refers to acts capable of causing physical, sexual or psychological harm, whether in public or private life.

The UN General Assembly invited Governments, the relevant agencies, bodies, funds and programmes of the United Nations system, and other international organisations and non-governmental organisations, to organise on that day activities designed to raise public awareness of the problem of violence against women.

Previously, 25 November was observed in Latin America and a growing number of other countries around the world as “International Day Against Violence Against Women”. With no standard title, it was also referred to as “No Violence Against Women Day” and the “Day to End Violence Against Women”. It was first declared by the first Feminist Encuentro for Latin America and the Caribbean held in Bogota, Colombia (18 to 21 July 1981). At that Encuentro women systematically denounced gender violence from domestic battery, to rape and sexual harassment, to state violence including torture and abuses of women political prisoners. The date was chosen to commemorate the lives of the Mirabal sisters. It originally marked the day that the three Mirabal sisters from the Dominican Republic were violently assassinated in 1960 during the Trujillo dictatorship (Rafael Trujillo 1930-1961). The day was used to pay tribute to the Mirabal sisters, as well as global recognition of gender violence.

The Mirabal Sisters
The three sisters, Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa were born to Enrique Mirabal and Maria Mercedes Reyes (Chea) in 1924, 1927 and 1935 respectively in the Cibas region of the Dominican Republic. All three were educated in the Dominican Republic, Minerva and Maria Teresa going on to achieve university degrees.

All three sisters and their husbands became involved in activities against the Trujillo regime. The Mirabal sisters were political activists and highly visible symbols of resistance to Trujillo’s dictatorship. As a result, the sisters and their families were constantly persecuted for their outspoken as well as clandestine activities against the State. Over the course of their political activity, the women and their husbands were repeatedly imprisoned at different stages. Minerva herself was imprisoned on four occasions. Despite Trujillo’s persecution, the sisters still continued to actively participate in political activities against the leadership. In January 1960, Patria took charge of a meeting that eventually established the Clandestine Movement of 14 June 1960 of which all the sisters participated. When this plot against the tyranny failed, the sisters and their comrades in the Clandestine Resistance Movement were persecuted throughout the country.

In early November 1960, Trujillo declared that his two problems were the Church and the Mirabal sisters. On 25 November 1960, the sisters were assassinated in an “accident” as they were being driven to visit their husbands who were in prison. The accident caused much public outcry, and shocked and enraged the nation. The brutal assassination of the Mirabal sisters was one of the events that helped propel the anti-Trujillo movement, and within a year, the Trujillo dictatorship came to an end.

The sisters, referred to as the “Inolvidables Mariposas”, the “Unforgettable Butterflies” have become a symbol against victimisation of women. They have become the symbol of both popular and feminist resistance. They have been commemorated in poems, songs and books. Their execution inspired a fictional account “In the Time of the Butterflies” on the young lives of the sisters written by Julia Alvarez. It describes their suffering and martyrdom in the last days of the Trujillo dictatorship. The memory of the Mirabal sisters and their struggle for freedom and respect for human rights for all has transformed them into symbols of dignity and inspiration. They are symbols against prejudice and stereotypes, and their lives raised the spirits of all those they encountered and later, after their death, not only those in the Dominican Republic but others around the world.

Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence came out of the Global Campaign for Women’s Human Rights. In June 1991, the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) with participants of the first Women’s Global Institute on Women, Violence and Human Rights, a forum involving 23 women from 20 countries called for a global campaign of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. The campaign would highlight the connections between women, violence, and human rights from 25 November to 10 December 1991. The time period encompassed four significant dates: 25 November, the International Day Against Violence Against Women; 1 December, World AIDS Day; 6 December, the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, when 14 women engineering students were gunned down for being feminists; and 10 December, Human Rights Day.

Co-ordinated by the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership, the annual campaign, is observed globally by activities at the local, national, regional and international levels. Activities include radio, television and video programming; press conferences; film screenings; workshops, seminars, panels and other meetings; demonstrations, protests, marches and vigils; photo, poster, art and book exhibitions; lectures, debates, testimonies and talks; petition drives; public education campaigns; concerts, plays and other theatre performances; street dramas and other community programmes; distribution of posters, stickers, leaflets, information kits and other publications;

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign is inspired by the strength and commitment of the movement that works tirelessly to eliminate gender-based violence in the home and in the world. Over the years, the 16 Days network has multiplied and now includes participation from more than 800 organisations in over 90 countries. The growth of the Campaign exceeded initial expectations - not just in the numbers of those participating but also in spirit. The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence has become an annual event in many towns, states and regions. Women's human rights activists have used this 16-day period to create a solidarity movement which raises awareness around gender-based violence, works to ensure better protection for survivors of violence and calls for its elimination. The 16 Days solidarity network welcomes those who join the campaign annually by co-ordinating activities in their own regions.

The organising strategies employed by groups during the Campaign vary and are reflective of the region and its current political situation. In 2000, the Centre urged that organisations link to global events such as the recent five-year review of the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing +5) and the upcoming World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (31 August - 7 September 2001 in South Africa) to pressure local and national governments to implement promises made and increase their commitment to women's human rights in the future. The Centre encourages activists to use this 16-day period to raise awareness in student, local, national and regional communities by co-ordinating events such as tribunals, workshops, festivals, etc.

SOURCE: This note was provided by the Division for the Advancement of Women of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

The "feminist encuentros" are conferences of feminists from Latin America who come together every 2-3 years in a different Latin American country in order to exchange experiences and to reflect upon the state of the women's movement. Sexuality and violence in their wide ranging forms and contexts have always been included in the wide ranging themes of these gatherings. These encounters have stimulated the creation of regional networks, workshops, video and radio programs, women's studies curricula, and a growing number of women's documentation centers throughout the region which are dedicated to collecting and making available information about the history and priorities of the women's movement. They have also provided a space for formulating and discussing the focus of a growing number of women's magazines and newsletters, which contain articles, analysis and reports of the wide ranging actions being undertaken by women throughout the region.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Carol Prounhuber on Dr.Rahman Qasemlu

The Passion and Death of Rahman the Kurd: Dreaming Kurdistan

This bold journalistic testimony reads like a novel as it spins the story of the brutal assassination of Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou, the Iranian Kurdish leader killed in 1989 while negotiating a supposed peace accord for his people at the behest of Iranian government emissaries in Vienna.

Ghassemlou was a visionary and cultivated leader of the Iranian Kurdish revolutionary movement and a respected interlocutor for the West. He brought the concepts of democracy to his country. Educated in Paris and Prague with a PhD in Economy, he spoke eight languages. Beloved by his people, Ghassemlou was ahead of his time, leading a movement to oppose the theocratic regime of the Ayatollah Khomeini for ten years. Soon after his untimely murder, responsibility was directed towards Iran; yet no one was ever tried or punished for the crime. To this day, many unanswered questions remain.

This story depicts the real events reconstructed through copious research and interviews taken with fifty individuals who played —and continue to play— important roles in Iran and Iraq. Among them: Jalal Talabani, current President of Iraq; Abolhassan Bani Sadr, ex-President of Iran; and Ahmed Ben Bella, ex-President of Algeria. Above all, the author’s first-hand knowledge of Ghassemlou gives this story an authenticity and gripping reality.

Ghassemlou’s light and unfulfilled desire for Iranian Kurdish autonomy still permeates the volatile politics of this remote Middle East region that waits with dignity to play its role upon the world’s political stage.

It was in Paris, in 1983, that I first met Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou. We were introduced at the Kurdish Institute, where I was attending an art exhibition with the filmmaker Yilmaz Güney and his wife, Fatosh. I had met Güney at the Cannes Film Festival in 1982. That year he had won the Golden Palm Award, and the publicity that followed brought worldwide attention to the plight of the Kurdish nation.

As a Venezuelan journalist, my limited impression of the Kurds was that they were fierce warriors who lived in unknown and distant mountains somewhere in the Middle East. Yilmaz Güney taught me about the free-spirited Kurdish people, opening my eyes to the oppression they had endured for centuries. Their situation touched me deeply and I began to write articles on the Kurds for Venezuelan newspapers and magazines.

One year later in Paris, I found myself standing face-to-face with this sophisticated, charming, and charismatic Middle Eastern leader of millions of Kurds in Iran. Ghassemlou spoke eight languages with ease. He began reciting Sufi poets like Hafiz and Rumi in Farsi and then seamlessly rendered them in French. I was struck by his knowledge of Western art and culture. To the assembled group, he described his life in the mountains alongside his people. That evening Ghassemlou was the center of attention with his powerful presence, broad smile, and refined sense of humor.

After our meeting in Paris, Ghassemlou invited me to come to Kurdistan. Two years later, I arrived there alongside the French Gamma TV crew to film the Kurdish conflict in Iran. The seed for this book was planted at that time.

Once I saw the Kurdish people up close and the promise that Ghassemlou presented to this war-torn land, the Kurds began to occupy an endearing place in my being. When I showed him a eulogy I had written for Güney after his death, Ghassemlou turned to me and said: “When I die, I would like you to write a book, telling the story of my life and the Kurdish cause.”

—from The Passion and Death of Rahman the Kurd

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