SF Bay Area

Arts

First Person: Refugee ‘Russian Woman’ in bid for Eurovision glory

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Manizha Sanghin

© Egor Shabanov, 2020 UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Manizha Sanghin

Manizha Sangin arrived in Russia as young refugee, when her family fled the violence of the civil war in Tajikistan. Today, she is a high-profile singer, representing Russia in the final of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday, with the song “Russian Woman”. Ms. Sangin is also a UN Goodwill Ambassador for the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), and a domestic abuse activist.

“In my career, there have been times when people I work with in the music industry have advised me to concentrate on building an audience and making money, and do my activism later.

They think that social activism and art are two different worlds that can’t exist together. But my team and I don’t agree. We aren’t saying that everyone has to behave in the same way, but it should be every artist’s choice to decide how to act.

My mother, who is also my producer, has always supported me. She says ‘if you want to talk about it, talk about it’!  Continue reading

Using art to promote social cohesion in Mali

Leather workers of Bachira Walet in Menaka, Mali. Photo: MINUSMA/Gema Cortes
By Gema Cortes

Taking a piece of leather in her hand, Bachira, a Tuareg artisan, starts weaving an ornament that will be sewed onto a new colourful tribal saddle cushion that may end up decorating a home somewhere.
Bachira is an accomplished leather worker. She is among 360 artisans in Mali sponsored by the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) to promote social cohesion and dialogue through traditional art.

“When I returned home from exile, the only personal belongings I brought were my knowledge and my hands. This project is helping me to make the most of what I have. It ensures I can cover my family essential needs. I want them to have a better life than mine,” she said.

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Outstanding sites added to UNESCO World Heritage List

©UNESCO/Hossein Javadi; A locomotive freight train traverses the Absirom Bridge on the Trans-Iranian Railway in Iran.
An ancient temple in India and a “cultural landscape” in Spain have become two of the latest sites to be registered on the UN’s prestigious World Heritage List.

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee voted on Sunday to inscribe in its catalogue Quanzhou in China, Kakatiya Rudreshwara Temple in India, Trans-Iranian Railway in Iran, and Paseo del Prado and Buen Retiro in Spain.

Meeting online in this year’s host city of Fuzhou, China, the world body chose the newly added sites for their cultural, historical or scientific significance.

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The Seeds of Vandana Shiva

The Seeds of Vandana Shiva - Seed Freedom

A Documentary Film

The Remarkable Life Story of Eco-activist Vandana Shiva

How did the willful daughter of a Himalayan forest conservator become the world’s most powerful opponent of Monsanto? The Seeds of Vandana Shiva, a feature-length documentary, presents the remarkable life story of the Gandhian eco-activist and agro-ecologist, Vandana Shiva. A classic David versus Goliath tale, the film shows how Vandana, a brilliant scientist, became Monsanto’s worst nightmare and a rock star of the international organic food movement.

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Free Sanaa Seif!

It is outrageous from the beginning that she was arrested and prosecuted instead of investigating the physical assault against her… The sentence shows the status of the Egyptian judiciary today, which is largely in the service of the political interests of the government, rather than assisting in delivering justice. — Amr Magdi, Egypt researcher at Human Rights Watch, Middle East Eye, March 17.

An Egyptian court has convicted the 26-year-old film editor, writer and activist Sanaa Seif on charges of spreading false news, misusing social media and insulting a police officer on duty, sentencing her to 18 months in prison. Sanaa’s sister, Mona Seif, confirmed the March 17 conviction in a tweet stating that her sister has been charged with spreading “false news related to the Covid 19 pandemic,” and “using a Facebook account to terrorize people.”

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CodePink is a women's grassroots-initiated, worldwide organization of women and men working for peace, social justice and a green economy. CodePink SF serves the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.


 

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The national CodePink organization organizes for justice for Iraqis and to hold war criminals accountable. CodePink actively opposes the U.S. war in Afghanistan, torture, the detention center at Guantanamo, weaponized and spy drones, the prosecution of whistleblowers, U.S. support for the Israeli occupation of Palestine and repressive regimes.

Rooted in a network of local organizers, CodePink's tactics include satire, street theatre, creative visuals, civil resistance, and directly challenging powerful decision-makers in government and corporations. And, of course, wearing pink!