Dealing with the dishonorable and the inconvenient (3)

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Dealing with the dishonorable and the inconvenient (3)

Editado: Fev 25, 2022, 9:37 am

For a moment, just contemplate the difference in moral character between the two men on the so-called "perfect" phone call.

- George Conway 🇺🇦@gtconway3d | 6:54 AM · Feb 25, 2022

...On the call, Trump was first to speak. He showered the 41-year-old Ukrainian, a novice politician and former comedian, with praise following his party’s victory in parliamentary elections.(Ukraine President) Zelenskiy chatted about how he wanted to “drain the swamp” in Kyiv and how he wished the European Union would provide more financial support. He told Trump that Ukraine was ready to buy more Javelin anti-tank missiles from the United States. (US military aid)

The next 10 words that came out of Trump’s mouth — “I would like you to do us a favor, though” — are what triggered the House impeachment inquiry that has imperiled his presidency.

Trump asked Zelenskiy to work with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr to look into Biden and his son, who served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company...

One of these things is not like the others...

Former US presidents on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine:
Clinton: “Brazen violation”
GWB: “The gravest security crisis on the European continent since World War II”
Obama: “A brazen attack on the people of Ukraine, in violation of international law”
Trump: “That’s pretty smart”
- Josh Campbell (CNN) @joshscampbell | 5:37 PM · Feb 24, 2022

Statement from Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Ukraine
Feb. 24, 2022
Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine using military and cyber weapons violates international law and the fundamental human rights of the Ukrainian people. I condemn this unjust assault on the sovereignty of Ukraine that threatens security in Europe and the entire world, and I call on President Putin to halt all military action and restore peace. The United States and its allies must stand with the people of Ukraine in support of their right to peace, security, and self-determination.

Statement by President Biden on Russia’s Unprovoked and Unjustified Attack on Ukraine
February 23, 2022
The prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces. President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering. Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable.

I will be monitoring the situation from the White House this evening and will continue to get regular updates from my national security team. Tomorrow, I will meet with my G7 counterparts in the morning and then speak to the American people to announce the further consequences the United States and our Allies and partners will impose on Russia for this needless act of aggression against Ukraine and global peace and security. We will also coordinate with our NATO Allies to ensure a strong, united response that deters any aggression against the Alliance. Tonight, Jill and I are praying for the brave and proud people of Ukraine.

Mar 1, 2022, 11:04 pm

Paleontology ‘a hotbed of unethical practices rooted in colonialism’, say scientists (Guardian)

The public image of palaeontologists as dusty, but rather affable academics, could be due an update. The study of ancient life is a hotbed of unethical and inequitable scientific practices rooted in colonialism, which strip poorer countries of their fossil heritage, and devalue the contributions of local researchers, scientists say. Writing in the journal Royal Society Open Science, an international team of palaeontologists argue that there has been a steady drain of plesiosaurs, pterosaurs, prehistoric spiders, and other fossils from poorer countries into foreign repositories or local private collections – despite laws and regulations introduced to try to conserve their heritage...

Mar 3, 2022, 7:49 am

VIDEO: Wax statue of Vladimir Putin removed from Paris museum.
2:06 ( )

Russia's invasion of Ukraine prompts director of the Grevin Museum in Paris to remove the statue.
"We have never represented dictators like Hitler in the Grevin Museum, we don't want to represent Putin today"

- AFP News Agency AFP | 1:30 AM · Mar 3, 2022

Editado: Mar 9, 2022, 10:32 pm

Denmark PM says sorry to Greenland Inuits taken for ‘heartless’ social experiment (Guardian)

Mette Frederiksen apologises in person to six surviving Greenlandic Inuits who were snatched from families as children more than 70 years ago...

How Imperialism Set the Stage for World War I (History)

World War I wasn’t just a conflict between nations—it was a war between empires. Western European empires like Great Britain and France had overseas colonies around the world, while eastern empires like Austria-Hungary and Russia ruled European and North Asian territories connected by land. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on July 28, 1914 was itself an anti-imperialist murder, planned by members of Young Bosnia angry over Austria-Hungary’s annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. European competition for imperial territories helped set the stage for the rivalries that played out during the First World War, and the war in turn had a major effect on the balance of imperial power. The Russian, German, Austria-Hungarian and Ottoman empires all collapsed during or shortly after the war, which ended with a treaty that ceded Germany’s overseas colonies to the victors...

Mar 12, 2022, 8:54 am

Stolen treasures countries want other countries to give back (Love Money)

Many countries are now returning artefacts to the countries they were taken from. But there are still dozens of ongoing international disputes over diamonds, weapons and other historic items that countries say were stolen. Read on to see some of the most high-profile cases...

Mar 12, 2022, 9:33 pm

>1 margd: Great post, Trump is such a sleaze for anyone with a memory that encompasses more than one day. His complimentary remarks about Putin post invasion just reinforce the notion that he wants to hang with dictators and autocrats while acting as an equal.

Mar 14, 2022, 1:10 am

Three centuries on, a shaman’s precious rune drum returns home (Guardian)

On 7 December 1691, a precious rune drum, created to help a noaidi, or shaman, to enter a trance and walk among spirits, was confiscated by the authorities. The owner, Anders Poulsson – or Poala-Ánde in the name’s Sámi form – was tried for witchcraft the following year. Poulsson told the court, according to official records, that his mother had taught him how to use the rune drum, because “he wanted to help people in distress, and with his art he wanted to do good, and his mother said that she would teach him such an art”. Before a verdict was reached, he was murdered, with an axe, by a man who had “taken leave of his senses”. Poulsson’s drum entered the Danish royal collection, and later became the property of the National Museum of Denmark – until now. The drum has officially been handed back to the Sámi people, after what Jelena Porsanger, director of the Sámi Museum in Karasjok, northern Norway, called “a 40-year struggle”...

Mar 24, 2022, 12:08 am

Prince William speaks of ‘profound sorrow’ for slavery in address to Jamaican PM (Guardian)

The Duke of Cambridge has expressed “profound sorrow” for the “appalling atrocity of slavery” during an address to Jamaica’s prime minister and other dignitaries that stopped short of the apology activists had demanded. “Slavery was abhorrent and it never should have happened,” Prince William said. “I strongly agree with my father, the Prince of Wales, who said in Barbados last year that the appalling atrocity of slavery forever stains our history.” William also made reference to the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, which is 25 March, and expressed gratitude to the Windrush generation, Jamaicans who came to the UK to help rebuild after the second world war. “We are forever grateful for the immense contribution that this generation and their descendants have made to British life, which continues to enrich and improve our society,” he said. The royals’ tour of the Caribbean has been met with anti-colonial sentiment as citizens call for an apology and reparations for the transatlantic slave trade...

What are the British monarchy’s historical links to slavery? (Guardian)

While it is difficult to say how much of the royal family’s wealth is owed to the slave trade, the past links date back to the 16th century...

Mar 31, 2022, 12:05 am

Putin exploits the lie machine but didn’t invent it. British history is also full of untruths (Guardian)

We should contest and expose the Kremlin’s lying. But to suggest that the public assault on truth is new, or peculiarly Russian, is also disinformation. For generations, in countries such as the UK there was no epistemic crisis – but this was not because we shared a commitment to truth. It was because we shared a commitment to outrageous lies...

exacerbated famine: in Bengal in 1943-1944. About 3 million people died. As in Ukraine, natural and political events made people vulnerable to hunger. But here too, government policy transformed the crisis into a catastrophe. Research by the Indian economist Utsa Patnaik suggests the inflation that pushed food out of reach of the poor was deliberately engineered under a policy conceived by that hero of British liberalism, John Maynard Keynes. The colonial authorities used inflation, as Keynes remarked, to “reduce the consumption of the poor” in order to extract wealth to support the war effort... The famines engineered by the viceroy of India, Lord Lytton, in the 1870s are even less well-known, though... they killed between 12 and 29 million people... Only when Caroline Elkins’s book, Britain’s Gulag, was published in 2005 did we discover that the UK had run a system of concentration camps and “enclosed villages” in Kenya in the 1950s into which almost the entire Kikuyu population was driven. Many thousands were tortured and murdered or died of hunger and disease. Almost all the documents recording these great crimes were systematically burned or dumped at sea in weighted crates by the British government, and replaced with fake files. The record of British colonial atrocities in Malaya, Yemen, Aden, Cyprus and the Chagos Islands was similarly purged...

Mar 31, 2022, 11:52 pm

Glasgow apologises for role in slave trade, saying its ‘tentacles’ are in every corner of city (Guardian)

Report commissioned by city council says blood of enslaved people is ‘built into the very bones’ of the metropolis...

Abr 4, 2022, 11:46 pm

Teaching the ‘benefits’ of the British empire is just another attempt to stoke the culture war (Guardian)

The legacy of empire still shapes the world... In 1997, Britain’s new prime minister travelled to Hong Kong to oversee its handover to China. Years later, Blair described how he had struggled through a conversation with the Chinese president, Jiang Zemin, on a subject of UK-China history, because, in his own words, Blair had “only a fairly dim and sketchy understanding of what that past was”. The history being discussed was the opium wars, the very reason why Hong Kong had become British in the first place. Yet here was a boarding school and Oxbridge-educated prime minister who had next to no knowledge of the history that produced the very event he had travelled to oversee...

The impression many ministers give today is that students in British classrooms are being bludgeoned with never-ending tales of Britain’s imperial crimes. This is why the government is now looking to rebalance the scales with a new curriculum that highlights the “benefits” of the British empire, as well as its negatives... But far from being inescapable, it is more common to find a well-policed omertà over the topic of empire within our curriculum. This amnesia about Britain’s imperial past produces a widespread ignorance about what is going on in the world... empire is anything but ancient history. The British empire only came to an end during the 1950s and 1960s. Prior to this, empire shaped the life of this island for some 400 years... It would be very strange if this entire period in history had left no lasting impact on today’s political, cultural, economic or legal systems. Yet for many people, it is still not unusual to complete school, college and even university in the UK without hearing the empire referred to even once...

Editado: Abr 6, 2022, 12:13 pm

New Revelations Raise Pressure on NASA to Rename the James Webb Space Telescope (Scientific American)

E-mailed exchanges show the space agency’s internal struggle to address pleas to change the controversial name of its latest, greatest observatory... Sadness. Disappointment. Frustration. Anger. These are some of the reactions from LGBTQ+ astronomers over the latest revelations regarding NASA’s decision not to rename the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), given that the agency long had evidence suggesting its Apollo-era administrator James Webb was involved in the persecution of gay and lesbian federal employees during the 1950s and 1960s...

Lost in translation: is research into species being missed because of a language barrier? (Guardian)

More focus on non-English language reports would be good for conservation and help close the gap between global north and south, argue researchers...

Abr 8, 2022, 3:46 pm

Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) "Deals" on Insurrectionist Josh Hawley: with Receipts

Watch video here

Abr 14, 2022, 12:23 am

ABN Amro apologises for historical links to slavery (Guardian)

Dutch bank says sorry for ‘pain and suffering’ caused by past actions and activities of its predecessor firms...

Abr 22, 2022, 5:12 pm

MTG: Selective Amnesiac, Perjury Queen, Plagiarist, and Dixie Ditz

Marjorie Taylor Greene is just a girl who can't say 'no' when asked a yes/no question by the complainant's lawyers.

Unclear about what her Oath of Office as an elected representative to the US House binds her to, MTG proves herself just as non-understanding of her oath when sworn in to testify to "tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth," in the courtroom today. How can an oath be any clearer?

When you're on live TV, proving to all who are watching that you have a memory like a sieve, that's beyond "selective," that's a certified air-head.

Maio 8, 2022, 12:17 am

Tortured to death: the 14 Cypriot men killed by British in 50s uprising (Guardian)

At least 14 Cypriots were tortured then murdered by UK forces during an armed uprising in the late 1950s, according to newly unearthed evidence that raises fresh questions over another shocking chapter of Britain’s colonial history. Testimony from British veterans and Cypriot rebel fighters, along with postmortem and morgue records, as well as previously undisclosed material from Cypriot archives, suggest that the victims died after being interrogated by UK officers. The dead, all men aged between 17 and 37, were arrested on suspicion of being part of the National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters, a paramilitary organisation known as EOKA, which orchestrated a guerrilla campaign to overthrow British control in Cyprus. Photographs from the Cyprus National Archives corroborate signs of torture on their bodies. In some cases, the images appear to show mutilation of the genitals. A witness to one of the deaths said: “I saw the soldiers pulling Nicos {Georgiou} out of his cell, almost unconscious, with foam coming out of his mouth. He was making an awful sound like a lion growling as he lay dying. They let him die on the cement outside”...

Maio 11, 2022, 12:04 am

Grenada: Confronting my family’s slave-owning past (BBC)

Nearly 200 years after her ancestors were given a large payout from the British government when slavery was abolished, our correspondent travels to Grenada to find out how this grim legacy continues to reverberate today...

Maio 13, 2022, 12:51 am

The long struggle to return Cambodia's looted treasures (BBC)

Cambodia is calling on the UK government to help it recover antiquities it says were stolen from its temples. The country's culture minister says the Victoria & Albert and British Museums both have looted objects. The museums said they were transparent about items' origins. The V&A welcomed "constructive dialogue". The British Museum said it would consider requests "carefully and respectfully"...

Maio 13, 2022, 1:50 am

Thank you for this thread. I don’t have anything constructive to say, but I thought I’d de-lurk to let you know people are reading it...

Maio 18, 2022, 12:34 pm

Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire by Caroline Elkins

Review entitled "Worldwide Devastation - The history of the British Empire’s violence in the Kenyan Daily Nation.

With Legacy of Violence, Caroline Elkins has stepped firmly into this arena—or, rather, reentered it—offering a sweeping and detailed history of the violence and brutality of the British Empire. The book marks a return to the scene of a previous battle for Elkins, whose Pulitzer Prize–winning Imperial Reckoning (2005) documented Britain’s colonial atrocities in Kenya by mining the long-buried official archives with such thoroughness that the British government was obliged to issue an official statement of regret for its actions in the 1950s and ’60s. Kenya appears in this book, too, where Elkins brings her accounting up to date, but compared with that earlier work, Legacy of Violence also represents a formidable escalation on her part. With its enormous breadth and ambition, it amounts to something approaching a one-volume history of imperial Britain’s use of force, torture, and deceit around the world. As devastating as the details of these tactics are, even more damning is Elkins’s account of what she argues has been the persistent and perverse misuse of law to cast a veneer of justice and respectability over the remorseless exploitation of others. For all of the bluster and proclaimed moral certainty of British politicians, Elkins argues, much of Britain’s zeal in clinging to its control over others, even as the Age of Empire seemed increasingly destined to end, was driven not by self-confidence but rather by insecurity over the rapid rise of rival Western powers. It was global empire alone that, in this view, had prevented England from becoming, say, just another Sweden...

Editado: Maio 20, 2022, 11:33 am
Kellyanne Conway Says Husband’s Anti-Trump Tweets Violated Marriage Vows: ‘Cheating by Tweeting’

This poor excuse for a wife and mother flushed her marriage and family down the toilet when she became Trump's #1 Oval Office enabler. She should have returned her family to spot #1 in her life after she helped to get the life-long con elected. Did guilt about helping him get elected cause her to choose the path she did after his election win???

Maio 25, 2022, 11:55 pm

Decolonizing “Peace”: Notes Towards a Palestinian Feminist Critique (University of Notre Dame)

Recent scholarship underscores how race, gender, and sexuality are mobilized to sustain violence in peace and peacemaking processes. Hegemonic notions of peace are often male dominated domains that marginalize or exclude women completely, naturalize racialized and gendered state violence, and silence ongoing forms of patriarchal violence embedded in everyday life, which are empowered by the durability of colonial formations. Palestinian women, like women in other colonial and conflict contexts, have been marginalized from masculine domains of the political. This includes what is widely understood as the “Middle East Peace Process” (MEPP), which transformed an anti-colonial movement for liberation into a statebuilding project that ultimately served to pacify and control Palestinians rather than edify the path towards freedom and sovereignty. Indeed, the framework of “peace” became a tool of further entrenching Israeli settler colonial violence and power, enabling the consolidation of a (predominantly male) Palestinian ruling class committed to “maintaining the status quo.”

The critiques of peace processes notwithstanding, the hegemonic language of liberal peace is itself vested in the violence of the colonial order and the modern/colonial project of the nation-state. In Palestine, the peace process is inseparable from the foundational violence that created the conditions for its emergence: the genocidal removal of Palestinians and the creation of the Jewish state. This is a project that is, as yet, ongoing. The discourse of peace thus creates an unintended opening into a radical critique of the very project of security and statebuilding (and Humanity, no less) it intends to uphold.

Thus, a decolonial feminist analysis of peace is not concerned with the inclusion of women into liberal peace and statebuilding agendas, or the adoption of international resolutions to deter “violence against women,” the language of which too often serves as a disciplined performance of a civilizing subject. The biggest weapon wielded against the collective defiance of the oppressed and exploited is, according to Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, the “cultural bomb.” It makes the colonized want to identify with “all those forces which would stop their own springs of life,” including, centrally, the language and narrative of the oppressor.

The language of liberal peace is the language of the oppressor, which reproduces the dominant cultural order. It has helped to stifle a liberatory imagination, all the while distracting from the deeper entrenchment of the settler colonial project, blaming the victim for failed negotiations and violence inflicted on them through “narrative manipulation.” The liberal concept of peace thus cannot be disentangled from its foundations in the violence of the coloniality of power...

Jun 3, 2022, 3:07 am

Campaigners call for focus on Hadrian's Wall 1,900-year ethnic history (BBC)

Celebrations to mark the 1,900th anniversary of Hadrian's Wall have missed a chance to acknowledge the contribution of ethnic communities to the area, it has been claimed. Mohammed Dhalech said African and Middle Eastern people got little mention on the 73-mile (118km) route... not enough people were aware of the area's diverse history... this included the fact that the first recorded African community to guard a fort in Britain 1,800 years ago was in Burgh by Sands near Carlisle... apart from details of Syrian archers there were few mentions along the wall of the role diverse groups played... a good example of showcasing the area's diverse history was the display of the tombstone of freed slave Victor the Moor from north Africa, at Arbeia Fort, in South Shields... "I came here to honour the ancestors, the black history that is right here in the English countryside." Hadrian's Wall was the north-west frontier of the Roman empire for nearly 300 years...

Editado: Jun 9, 2022, 4:14 am

Belgian king reiterates regrets for colonial past in Congo but does not apologize (CNN)

Belgium's King Philippe reaffirmed his deepest regrets on Wednesday for the exploitation, racism and acts of violence during his country's colonization of the Democratic Republic of Congo, but again stopped short of formally apologizing. Philippe became the first Belgian official in 2020 to express regret for colonization, and some Congolese hoped he would issue a formal apology during his first visit to Congo since taking the throne in 2013. "Even though many Belgians invested themselves sincerely, loving Congo and its people deeply, the colonial regime itself was based on exploitation and domination," he told a joint session of parliament in the capital Kinshasa. "This regime was one of unequal relations, unjustifiable in itself, marked by paternalism, discrimination and racism," he said. "It led to violent acts and humiliations. On the occasion of my first trip to Congo, right here, in front of the Congolese people and those who still suffer today, I wish to reaffirm my deepest regrets for those wounds of the past"...

Belgian royals in DR Congo: King Philippe laments racism of colonial past (BBC)

Belgium's King Philippe has decried the racism meted out in the Democratic Republic of Congo under the colonial rule of his ancestors. "This regime was one of unequal relations, unjustifiable in itself, marked by paternalism, discrimination and racism," he said...

Anybody interested in the realities of colonialism in Congo should read King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild. It's a horrific yet compelling read.

Jun 9, 2022, 4:08 am

Why, I wonder, do so many leaders express regrets rather than apologize? Is it a legalistic thing?

Jun 14, 2022, 12:28 am

Yellowstone peak rename honours Native Americans (BBC)

The name of a mountain in Yellowstone National Park has been changed from that of an explorer who massacred Native Americans to honour those he killed instead. Previously Mount Doane, First Peoples Mountain is the latest in efforts by the US government to change honours deemed offensive... Its former namesake, Army Lt Gustavus Doane, led a massacre that killed 173... All 27 native tribes associated with the Yellowstone region were consulted on the new name, according to the National Park Service, and none objected... "During what is now known as the Marias Massacre, at least 173 American Indians were killed, including many women, elderly Tribal members and children suffering from smallpox," the park said in a news release, adding that he "wrote fondly about this attack and bragged about it for the rest of his life". Local tribes have praised the decision to rename the peak...

Jun 14, 2022, 6:11 pm


You Will Find This Illustration in the Dictionary. . .
. . .after the word dishonoable.

Editado: Jun 27, 2022, 7:41 am

A fairly random collection of relevant news stories which have popped up while I've been away from my computer for a couple of weeks.

Sudanese museums seek return of artefacts taken by British colonisers (Guardian)

Museum officials in Sudan are hoping for the return of priceless artefacts and body parts taken by British soldiers, colonial administrators and travellers, saying they could help bring peace to the unstable east African country. The items include valuable armour, weapons and clothing, and the banners of fighters who resisted the British force that invaded and colonised Sudan more than 120 years ago. The most controversial items may be two skulls taken from the battlefield where Sudanese warriors tried to hold off the advancing British and Egyptian army. During the engagement at Omdurman in 1898, British commanders used early machine guns and artillery to inflict thousands of casualties on lightly armed enemies...

British history should not be treated as a ‘soft play area’, says David Olusoga (Guardian)

Britain’s relationship with history is “not fit for purpose”, according to a leading historian who said too many pupils are still taught a “dishonest version” of the nation’s past that left out uncomfortable truths...

Archbishop of Canterbury apologises over Church fund's link to slavery (BBC)

The Archbishop of Canterbury has apologised after research showed the Church of England's investment fund has links to the slave trade. The investigation, initiated by the Church Commissioners, a charity managing the Church's investment portfolio, revealed that for more than 100 years the fund invested large sums of money in a company responsible for transporting slaves...

Patrice Lumumba: Why Belgium is returning a Congolese hero's golden tooth (BBC)

gold-crowned tooth is all that remains of assassinated Congolese independence hero Patrice Lumumba. Shot dead by a firing squad in 1961 with the tacit backing of former colonial power Belgium, his body was then buried in a shallow grave, dug up, transported 200km (125 miles), interred again, exhumed and then hacked to pieces and finally dissolved in acid. The Belgian police commissioner, Gerard Soete, who oversaw and participated in the destruction of the remains took the tooth, he later admitted. He also talked about a second tooth and two of the corpse's fingers, but these have not been found. The tooth has now been returned to the family at a ceremony in Brussels. Soete's impulse to pocket the body parts echoed the behaviour of European colonial officials down the decades who took remains back home as macabre mementoes. But it also served as a final humiliation of a man that Belgium considered an enemy. Soete, appearing in a documentary in 1999, described the tooth and fingers he took as "a type of hunting trophy". The language suggests that for the Belgian policeman, Lumumba - who was revered across the continent as a leading voice of African liberation - was less than human. For Lumumba's daughter, Juliana, the question is whether the perpetrators were human. "What amount of hatred must you have to do that?" she asks...

Belgium to return Patrice Lumumba’s gold tooth in bid to atone for colonial crimes (Guardian)

The Belgian government will return a tooth of Patrice Lumumba to his family this week, hoping to draw a line under one of the most brutal and shameful episodes in the country’s bloody exploitation of central Africa...

Nigerian Ife head: Why UK police are holding a priceless sculpture (BBC)

British police are keeping a stolen statue worth millions of dollars in their custody as a dispute rages between a Belgian antiques dealer and a Nigerian museum over its ownership...

Nigerian historian and thinker Toyin Falola on decolonising the academy in Africa (The Conversation)

Nigerian intellectual and historian Toyin Falola’s latest book is called Decolonizing African Studies: Knowledge Production, Agency, and Voice. It sets out to respond to the urgent need to eliminate the vestiges of colonialism (the domination of foreign powers) in the academy and in research methodologies where African perspectives continue to be marginalised or excluded, creating the problem of misrepresentation of the continent. The book also critiques the limitations to and failures of decoloniality so far. It closes with a discussion of African futurism. In this interview Falola talks about some key battlegrounds for the decolonisation of knowledge production...

"If you tell a story or the history of a people from a wrong perspective for too long, people will come to accept it, regardless of how untrue it is, while disregarding the other perspective or even believing that there cannot be any other perspective than the one they have been told"...

Liverpool school renames houses over slave trade links (BBC)

A school has changed the titles of five of its six houses to remove names of people connected to the slave trade. The Blue Coat School in Liverpool said they were being renamed as they "were not reflective of the modern world". The high school faced calls to remove the name of its founder, maritime merchant Bryan Blundell, following the Black Lives Matter campaign in 2020. The school also now removed the names Shirley, Graham, Bingham and Styth, due to their historical links to slavery... The new houses will be named Marie Curie, Dr Rosalind Franklin, William Roscoe, Mary Seacole, Alan Turing and the Tod family...

Jun 28, 2022, 10:09 am

Germany returns artefacts taken from Africa during colonial rule (Al Jazeera)

Priceless artefacts taken from Cameroon, Namibia and Tanzania during colonial times will be permanently returned, Germany says...

Jun 28, 2022, 12:12 pm

I think we're overlooking the really truly huge theft that was undertaken by the Europeans against indigenous peoples. Something far, far greater than a few antiquities.

I'm referring to the theft of whole continents, taken by bloody force from the peoples who were originally there.

I refer to Australia and the Americas.

In South America, the conquerors did not bring their women with them, so interbred with the locals.

But in North America and Australia, they did not. They just took the land.

Okay, what should be done about this?

If your grandfather left you a very expensive, extremely valuable jeweled watch in his will ... and you later discover that it was stolen by him, or by his grandfather, from someone, using extreme violence ... and that this watch was their sole valuable possession, and that they and their descendants then lived in poverty from then on.... what would you do? Suppose you knew where the person who who would now be the rightful owner of the watch was living.

Would you rationalize your ownership of the watch in some way? Would you try to salve your conscience by apologizing for the theft, while keeping the watch? Or by giving the impoverished owners a few dollars, while keeping the watch for yourself? Would you say, "Oh, it would really really be very difficult for me to return this watch ... I would suffer a lot. So I'll keep it."

Would you quote some legal technicality, allowing you to keep the watch?

Well, if you're a horrible old selfish rightwinger like me, you probably would.

But good kind liberals and progressives would, I am sure, even at great cost to themselves, return the watch to its rightful owner.

North America was stolen from the indigenous population, taken by force and violence. Every white person living on the North American continent is in receipt of stolen property.

So there is only one thing to do: return the stolen property to its rightful owners, and return to Europe.

Please contact me if you need help doing this. (I'm 1/16th Choctaw Indian and that makes me especially eager to help good liberals/progressives do the right thing. My great-great-grandfather was forced by Andrew Jackson to sign the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Hill, and he and his people were put on the Trail of Tears, forced to leave their rich farmland in the South, in November, for Oklahoma. How happy he would be, to see this terrible injustice being righted.)

I know I'll be overwhelmed with applications for help in doing the right thing'll want to know which tribes to send the deeds to your property to, how to apply to immigrate to this or that European country ... of course you'll want to give much of your moveable personal property to the descendants of the slaves, whose work made your present prosperity possible. That should be very easy.

I'll get to work on it now.

How wonderful it is to see people who are not hypocrites!

Editado: Jun 29, 2022, 4:44 am

>30 Doug1943:

Doug, I presume you are writing that tongue in cheek? If not, you are taking a very absolutist approach. You're right that those of us in the richer parts of the world generally owe our prosperity directly or indirectly to the exploitation of and indeed genocide against others, an exploitation which still continues in many ways, and that we should all be aware of it. You're also right that we should be prepared to make reparation where possible and appropriate, to apologise, to return other peoples' sacred cultural and religious artefacts which our forebears looted. We should also recognise indigenous peoples' land rights where feasible, such as Uluru in Australia. When I was living in the USA's Pacific northwest in the 1990s local indigenous people won some cases over land, when the courts decided that the signature of a president of the USA had to be honoured even if it was from the previous century. But far from expelling the current occupants of the land, they simply insisted that their fishing rights should be respected and that the residents should stop polluting their lakes and rivers.

Really, the idea of mass expulsions of millions of people is hardly the solution to anything and is a recipe for more suffering, more instability, more violence, and a humanitarian disaster on a massive scale. Look what happened when Muslims were expelled from India at the time of independence. Look at the Palestinian situation, or what happened after Eritrea's independence when Ethiopia sent people it deemed to be "Eritrean" "back" to a country they had no links to except perhaps some tenuous ancestry. On a more individual level look at the European countries who are likewise sending "failed" asylum seekers "back" to countries where they have never lived and have no links to, often not even speaking the language. No, let's muddle along and do the best we humanly can without seeking absolutist political solutions which will create a humanitarian catastrophe and most likely also an increase in violence.

Jun 29, 2022, 6:13 pm

No, John. I am serious. North America was robbed -- at gunpoint -- from the people who were living here. They are too weak to force the white invaders out now -- which I am sure they would if they could.

But .... they have lucked out! More and more of the white invaders' descendants are progressives, liberals. They feel guilty for their white privilege.

So ... their next step is obvious! Return the stolen property!

Now ... it just might happen that after large numbers -- millions and millions -- of liberals have turned over the deeds to their property to the original, rightful owners ... that these rightful owners might allow them to stay. I mean, what else are they going to do with ten million houses and apartment buildings and so on?

Perhaps they would rent them out to the white invader descendants. But that's up to them. I think they would be wiser to send them back to Europe, but it's not my decision.

Jun 29, 2022, 8:18 pm

I have yet to read, but looks like Neil Gorsuch's honoring of treaties w native people has just been undercut by replacement of Ginsburg with Barrett. Inconvenient text, sounds like?

Editado: Jul 1, 2022, 4:41 am

>32 Doug1943: They are too weak to force the white invaders out now -- which I am sure they would if they could.

And what is your evidence for that opinion, given that there are concrete examples of land rights being returned to indigenous people which didn't result in "white invaders" being forced out?

But once again, don't you realise that talk of mass expulsions of populations is a dangerous fantasy? Look at some of the historical cases where it has happened, and tell me whether you are really advocating the same chaos in your own country.

Editado: Jul 1, 2022, 4:40 am

>33 margd: contd.

The federal government, yes, but huge to suddenly give states jurisdiction? Neil Gorsuch's fellow conservatives (with ACB's arrival) sunk him on this issue... From what I've seen, states tend to be more hostile /competitive than feds (a bit more "protective") to Indian interests, so this could be one ugly camel's nose under the tent.

Maggie Blackhawk (NYU prof) @MaggieBlackhawk | 10:04 AM · Jun 29, 2022:
Against hundreds of years of congressional action, against solid #SCOTUS precedent, and hundreds of years of history, the Supreme Court held today that states have jurisdiction over certain crimes in Indian Country by judicial fiat. A devastating result for our democracy.
Text ( )

SCOTUSblog @SCOTUSblog 10:02 AM · Jun 29, 2022:
The Supreme Court rules that states CAN prosecute crimes against Native American victims committed on Native American reservations if the defendant is non-Native. The decision limits the scope of the 2020 ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma (which involved a Native American defendant).

Here's the opinion from Brett Kavanaugh in Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta: (70p).
The vote is 5-4.
Neil Gorsuch writes a dissent (p 29),* joined by Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan.

*"Oklahoma must pursue a proposition so novel and so unlikely that in over two centuries not a single State has successfully attempted it in this Court."

Jul 7, 2022, 12:32 am

Argentine ex-army officers jailed over 'Dirty War' crimes against humanity (BBC)

A court in Argentina has sentenced 19 former military officers to long prison terms for crimes against humanity during the country's military dictatorships in 1976-83. The crimes included forced disappearances, murder, torture and kidnapping of children. Among those sentenced was General Santiago Riveros, previously convicted for other human rights violations...

Jul 8, 2022, 11:55 pm

Alexander Berry: holes in the story of a NSW pioneer conceal a dark past of Indigenous exploitation (Guardian)

This year marks the bicentenary of European invasion for the Yuin people of the New South Wales south coast. In 1822, the Scottish surgeon and trader Alexander Berry was granted 10,000 acres of Yuin land around Cullunghutti... Berry grew very wealthy from his occupation... But Alexander Berry had a gruesome sideline that has been left out of popular history – dealing in human remains looted from Aboriginal graves...

Jul 21, 2022, 7:14 am

Climate emergency is a legacy of colonialism, says Greenpeace UK (Guardian)

The climate and ecological crises are a legacy of systemic racism and people of colour suffer disproportionately from their harms, a Greenpeace UK report says. Globally, the report says, it is people of colour who, despite having contributed the least to the climate emergency, are now “disproportionately losing their lives and livelihoods” by the millions because of it. “The environmental emergency is the legacy of colonialism,” the report says. This was because colonialism had “established a model through which the air and lands of the global south have been … used as places to dump waste the global north does not want”, the report says. It adds that similar inequalities are visible in the UK, where almost half of all of waste-burning incinerators are in areas with high populations of people of colour. In London, black people are more likely to breathe illegal levels of air pollution, and black people in England are nearly four times as likely as white people to have no access to outdoor space at home, it says...

Jul 22, 2022, 12:45 am

Vatican says they’re gifts; Indigenous groups want them back (AP)

The Vatican Museums are home to some of the most magnificent artworks in the world, from Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel to ancient Egyptian antiquities and a pavilion full of papal chariots. But one of the museum’s least-visited collections is becoming its most contested before Pope Francis’ trip to Canada. The Vatican’s Anima Mundi Ethnological Museum, located near the food court and right before the main exit, houses tens of thousands of artifacts and art made by Indigenous peoples from around the world, much of it sent to Rome by Catholic missionaries for a 1925 exhibition in the Vatican gardens. The Vatican says the feathered headdresses, carved walrus tusks, masks and embroidered animal skins were gifts to Pope Pius XI, who wanted to celebrate the Church’s global reach, its missionaries and the lives of the Indigenous peoples they evangelized. But Indigenous groups from Canada, who were shown a few items in the collection when they traveled to the Vatican last spring to meet with Francis, question how some of the works were actually acquired and wonder what else may be in storage after decades of not being on public display...

Jul 29, 2022, 10:17 am

Rescinding the discovery doctrine might be useful to Indigenous peoples in any future US Supreme Court cases, that seek to build on recent precedent that gives states some authority on Indian lands?

‘Rescind the Doctrine’ protest greets pope in Canada

...Beyond the (residential school) apology, Indigenous peoples have called on Francis to formally rescind the 15th century papal bulls, or decrees, that provided the Portuguese and Spanish kingdoms the religious backing to expand their territories in Africa and the Americas for the sake of spreading Christianity. Those decrees underpin the Doctrine of Discovery, a legal concept coined in a 1823 U.S. Supreme Court decision that has come to be understood as meaning that ownership and sovereignty over land passed to Europeans because they “discovered” it. It was cited as recently as a 2005 Supreme Court decision involving the Oneida Indian Nation.

“These colonizing nation states, in particular Canada and the United States, have utilized this doctrine as the basis for their title to land, which ultimately really means the dispossession of land of Indigenous peoples,” said Michelle Schenandoah, a member of the Oneida Nation Wolf Clan. She was in Quebec City with a delegation from the Haudenosaunee Confederacy to raise the issue with church leaders. “It’s been a long genocide over 500 years, and it still is valid law to this day”...

...Church officials have insisted those papal decrees have long since been rescinded or superseded by other ones fully recognizing the rights of Indigenous peoples to live on their lands, and say the original bulls have no legal or moral bearing today. During the trip, Francis has reasserted repeatedly those rights and rejected the policies of assimilation that drove the residential school system.

But both the Vatican and Canadian trip organizers have confirmed that a new church statement is being prepared to address demands for a current, formal repudiation, though it is not expected to be released during Francis’ visit.

...The Vatican clearly anticipated that the issue would arise during the trip. In an essay in the current issue of the Vatican-vetted Jesuit journal La Civilta Cattolica, the Rev. Federico Lombardi acknowledged that the issue remains an important one for Indigenous peoples, but stressed that the Holy See’s position in repudiating the discovery doctrine is clear.

Lombardi, the retired Vatican spokesman, cited the subsequent 1538 bull “Sublimis Deus” that asserted that Indigenous peoples cannot be deprived of their freedom or possession of their property “nor should they be in any way enslaved.”

But Philip Arnold, chair of the department of religion at Syracuse University in New York, which sits on Onondaga Nation territory, said the 1538 bull was effectively “a ruse” since it didn’t call for European colonial powers to give back the land they had already claimed, but rather elaborated the “freedom that comes with submission to the Catholic Church and that sponsoring monarch...The Vatican’s role in justifying the Doctrine of Christian Discovery in the 15th century is the origin story of transatlantic slave trade, land theft, and a settler-colonial extractive economies throughout Africa and the Americas”...

Felix Hoehn, a property and administrative law professor at the University of Saskatchewan, said any repudiation of papal bulls or doctrines would have no legal bearing on land claims today, but would have symbolic value. “The Vatican doesn’t make Canadian law. Courts aren’t bound by papal bulls or anything of that notion but it would be symbolic...It would add moral pressure.”

Ago 7, 2022, 1:09 am

Revealed: UK ran cold war dirty tricks campaign to smear Kenya’s first vice-president (Guardian)

British cold war propagandists smeared Kenyan vice-president Oginga Odinga in the 1960s in “black” propaganda operations, newly declassified files reveal. The Foreign Office’s propaganda arm, the Information Research Department (IRD), targeted the Kenyan nationalist in a three-year campaign run by its dirty tricks section, the Special Editorial Unit (SEU). Odinga’s son, Raila Odinga, may be elected president on Tuesday when Kenyans go to the polls. Oginga Odinga was a major figure in the struggle against British colonialism. After independence in 1963, the British identified pro-west president Jomo Kenyatta as their preferred leader. Vice-president Odinga was leftwing and open to relations with the communist bloc. Concerned that Odinga might replace Kenyatta, constitutionally or otherwise, the British tried to undermine him... as British diplomats recognised, Odinga was not a communist...

This was the era when Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba was assassinated in 1960 with Belgian, UK and US government involvement, and Kenyan politician Tom Mboya was also assassinated in 1969.

Editado: Ago 7, 2022, 11:58 pm

A London museum will return its stolen Benin bronzes to Nigeria (CNN)

A London museum has agreed to return 72 objects looted from Benin City in 1897 to the Nigerian government. The Horniman Museum and Gardens, located in south London, announced the transfer in a news release Sunday. All of the objects were taken from the Kingdom of Benin, in what is now the capital of Edo State in southern Nigeria, during a British military operation in February 1897, the museum said. The artifacts include 12 brass plaques that are part of a genre known as the "Benin bronzes." These bronze sculptures were created from at least the 16th century to decorate the royal court in Benin, according to the British Museum. In 1897, British forces launched a "bloody and devastating" military occupation of the Benin Kingdom and thousands of artworks were stolen and taken to the United Kingdom as "spoils of war," the museum said...

India 1947: Partition in Colour review – a heartbreaking, rage-inspiring history of Britain’s colonial legacy (Guardian)

How many documentaries about the brutal partition of India have opened with an RP-accent uttering a variation of the nostalgia-scented sentiment: “India was the jewel in the crown …”? India 1947: Partition in Colour (Channel 4) begins with these words, too. But the tone of this taut and enraging two-parter is different, and not just because the archive footage has been colourised for the first time. More than colour, it’s saturated with clear-eyed truth – particularly the dignified rage born out of 75 years of seeing one’s painful history co-opted, misrepresented and silenced.

Using film, photos, oral testimony that will break your heart, private documents that will fill it with anger, and stellar contributors – as well as some unnecessary reconstructions – India 1947: Partition in Colour tears through the year leading up to one of the greatest catastrophes of the 20th century. On 20 February 1947, six months before partition, we see Britain appoint Lord Mountbatten as last viceroy of India. On 6 May 1947, with three months to go, Mountbatten’s Plan Balkan is approved in London, despite not being discussed with any Indian leaders (namely Jawaharlal Nehru and Muhammad Ali Jinnah). The on-screen countdown is claustrophobic and stressful. Rightly so. We are talking about a tiny band of men who carved up one of the most diverse parts of the world in weeks – a roll of the dice that unleashed a tragedy in which a million Indians were killed, and about 15 million were uprooted (although many estimates are closer to 17, even 20 million). Refreshingly, most of the talking heads are Indians and Pakistanis: professors, historians and authors...

Ago 8, 2022, 11:55 pm

US returns to Cambodia dozens of antiquities looted from historic sites (Guardian)

The United States will return to Cambodia 30 looted antiquities, including bronze and stone statues of Buddhist and Hindu deities carved more than 1,000 years ago, US officials have said. The south-east Asian country’s archaeological sites – including Koh Ker, a capital of the ancient Khmer empire – suffered widespread looting in civil conflicts between the 1960s and 1990s...

Ago 10, 2022, 9:31 am

Africa revives push for colonial-era reparations (DW)

In a joint initiative, African countries are renewing their efforts to obtain reparations from European countries for the transatlantic slave trade and other colonial-era wrongs committed centuries ago... This week Ghana's president, Nana Akufo-Addo, revived the push for slavery and colonial retribution. "No amount of money can restore the damage caused by the transatlantic slave trade — and its consequences — which has spanned many centuries, but nevertheless, it is now time to revive and intensify the discussions about reparation for Africa," Akufo-Addo said at a summit on reparations and racial healing in Accra, Ghana. Ghana was one of the points of departure for many of those enslaved in West Africa and, for the Ghanaian leader, the time for reparations for colonial crimes and slavery is "long overdue." In recent years some European nations that played key roles in colonial crimes and the slave trade have hesitantly tendered an apology for their actions. President Akufo-Addo said, "The entire continent of Africa deserves a formal apology from European nations that were involved in the slave trade, the crimes and damage it has caused to the population, psyche, image of the African the world over"...

Ago 14, 2022, 1:00 am

Howard Carter stole Tutankhamun’s treasure, new evidence suggests (Guardian)

Howard Carter, the archaeologist who discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, was long suspected by Egyptians of having helped himself to treasures before the vault was officially opened. But while rumours have swirled for generations, proof has been hard to come by. Now an accusation that Carter handled property “undoubtedly stolen from the tomb” has emerged in a previously unpublished letter sent to him in 1934 by an eminent British scholar within his own excavation team. It was written by Sir Alan Gardiner, a leading philologist. Carter had enlisted Gardiner to translate hieroglyphs found in the 3,300-year-old tomb, and later gave him a “whm amulet”, used for offerings to the dead, assuring him that it had not come from the tomb. Gardiner showed the amulet to Rex Engelbach, the then British director of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, and was dismayed to be told that it had indeed come from the tomb as it matched other examples – all made from the same mould. Firing off a letter to Carter, he enclosed Engelbach’s damning verdict, which reads: “The whm amulet you showed me has been undoubtedly stolen from the tomb of Tutankhamun.” Gardiner told Carter: “I deeply regret having been placed in so awkward a position.” But he added: “I naturally did not tell Engelbach that I obtained the amulet from you”...

Ago 20, 2022, 12:41 am

Historical study of LSHTM from its origins to 1960 details extent of colonial roots (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine)

A new report sheds light on the colonial history of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)... The study was commissioned in 2018 by LSHTM and carried out by the Centre for History in Public Health at LSHTM. It aimed to understand the consequences of LSHTM’s engagement with the British Empire for research and teaching, and for its institutional development. This is part of a wider programme of decolonisation work at LSHTM which seeks to uncover underlying structural issues which continue to hold back progress towards equity among staff, students and global partnerships. The colonial history report provides an opportunity for the LSHTM leadership and community to address the reality of its colonial legacy and impact, and to create a future that everyone can be proud of... It brings into focus the extent to which LSHTM owed its existence and development through the first half of the 20th century to funding, students and research created to support colonialism, with what we now understand as associated patterns of racial discrimination and exploitation... The report explains how the institution was established and originally run in close co-operation with the Colonial Office, implementing its activities and benefiting from them. Funding came extensively from the colonies themselves, while studying at LSHTM became a direct pipeline to serve in the West African Medical Staff which openly barred doctors of non-European descent. ‘Tropical medicine’, as it was taught and studied at LSHTM, was designed to uphold colonialism and protect the financial value of the Empire by ensuring white men could survive while running the colonies – not with the aim of addressing human health issues in general...

Editado: Ago 21, 2022, 1:09 am

Sudan seeks return of treasures looted by British (Arab News)

Sudan is seeking the return of numerous historical items from the UK, including antiques, artefacts, and human remains, taken during the colonial period after the British Empire invaded the region in 1898. The list includes two skulls belonging to Sudanese soldiers taken from the battlefield at Omdurman that year, as part of a wider pattern of trophy-hunting and looting by British soldiers, which was seen as revenge for the death of Maj. Gen. Charles Gordon at the siege of Khartoum in 1885. The skulls were passed to the Edinburgh Anatomical Museum by the businessman Henry Wellcome, where they joined a collection of human remains from throughout Africa used to promote racist scientific theories popular in 19th-century Europe and North America. Authorities in Khartoum are keen for the remains of the two Sudanese soldiers to be returned... A banner taken from Omdurman, currently at Durham University’s Palace Green Library, and a suit of armor held at the Royal Armories collection, are also among the items Sudan wants returned, with the aim of displaying them at a specialist museum in Omdurman, recently restored with money from the British Council dedicated to the battle and the legacy of British colonial rule, which ended in 1956...

It really does shine a spotlight on the attitudes of the colonial powers towards the occupied peoples of their empires. In two brutally-fought world wars, as far as I am aware none of the major protagonists put the body parts of dead enemy soldiers on public display in museums. Yet Britain and other colonial powers felt it was fine to do so with the dead enemy soldiers in their colonial wars.

Ago 21, 2022, 5:57 am

The Germans were pretty hard on Russian POWs. In one "study", the results of which we still use today, they put two of them in an ice bath to see how hypothermia kills. Can't get that one out of my mind...

Ago 21, 2022, 7:37 am

>48 margd:

Yes, I don't deny the cruelty which is inherent in modern warfare, nor the torture which goes on for a variety of spurious reasons, much of it not visible to ordinary citizens of the guilty nation, but proudly exhibiting body parts in a public museum for the whole populace to view as a novelty, and for that exhibition still to be going on in the 21st century, certainly does say something about the attitude of not only a government but also its citizens.

Ago 24, 2022, 12:43 am

Today we remember the tragedy of slavery, but the culture war that denies Britain’s past continues (Guardian)

Rightwing activists see any reckoning with Britain’s colonial past as an attempt to destabilise the country – but collective memory can bring societies together...

Ago 25, 2022, 12:42 am

Canada refuses to extend bilingual bonus to Indigenous-language workers (Guardian)

Canada’s federal government says it will not expand the scope of a program that pays an annual bonus to bilingual employees, excluding hundreds of government workers who speak an Indigenous language on the job... A recent proposal called for the bonus to reflect a more diverse workforce, but the suggestion has been shot down by the Treasury Board, which in a statement said it “has no plans to broaden the scope of the bilingualism bonus to include Indigenous languages”...

Ago 25, 2022, 4:33 am

>51 John5918: "Government pays stipend to employees who speak French and English but Treasury Board says it has no plans to expand scheme"

The French and English duality in Canada goes way back to the British North America Act, requiring much time and money to implement, e.g., senior bureaucrat sent for a year's education in French though he was a couple years from retirement. Indigenous cultural rights are no less intricate in Canada, formalized in 1982 rewrite of Constitution, with details being worked out in courts. Probably being reconciled with (hundreds? a thousand?) treaties, some like the BNA hundreds of years old. There are so many on north shore of Lake Superior that they aren't named, but numbered!

Lots of firsts lately, though, in the last year, e.g.,
first indigenous Governor General, Queen's rep and head of state (
first indigenous person appointed to Cansda's Supreme Court ( )

Editado: Nov 6, 2022, 1:42 pm

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

Editado: Ago 28, 2022, 12:33 am

Museum of the Bible Returned a 1,000-Year-Old Looted Gospel to a Greek Monastery (ART News)

The Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. returned a more than 1,000-year-old handwritten gospel to the Greek Orthodox Church on Tuesday. It was transferred to an Eastern Orthodox Church during a private ceremony in New York. The manuscript, which had been looted from a Greek Monastery in World War I and was acquired by the museum at a Christie’s auction in 2011, is expected to be repatriated next month to the Kosinitza Monastery in northern Greece. There, for hundreds of years, it had been used in religious services, along with more than 400 volumes, before being taken by Bulgarian forces in 1917...

This gospel is among the latest artifacts in the museum’s collection to be returned in an ongoing effort to regain credibility. The museum has been investigating the provenance of the whole collection in recent years. Early acquisitions by its founders, the owners of the craft store chain Hobby Lobby, included thousands of items looted from the Middle East. In 2017, the company paid $3 million to settle claims with the U.S. government for failing to conduct proper due diligence before buying a number of antiquities in 2009...

Beware the ‘ghostliners’: people who downplay Britain’s slavery shame and mute calls for justice (Guardian)

When faced with attempts to confront the causes of institutional racism in Britain, conservatives often resort to one key strategy. I call this strategy “ghostlining”. It is a technique long used by the ruling classes that frames public debates in ways that sideline the experience of the oppressed and silence calls for social justice. Ghostlining employs a one-two punch: first, disavow the ongoing effects of slavery, colonialism and racism; and second, play the benefactor and the victim at the same time. Ghostlining removes the experience of the oppressed from the focus of discussion, and instead reframes the debate around the interests of a ruling elite...

Much like leaders at the National Trust and Glasgow University, who are trying to expose their institutions’ involvement in slavery, those who attempted to remove the memorial {to a slave trafficker, at a Cambridge college} drew energy from the reparative justice movement. This movement recognises that racial inequalities are rooted in unfinished histories of colonial plunder and oppression. It seeks to remake our social institutions in order to end these persistent inequalities... many institutions that were beneficiaries of slavery and colonialism have become ground zero for a broader struggle over ongoing injustices that stem from Britain’s colonial past... The right has already geared up to mount a counteroffensive. Looking back at the pattern of ghostlining that runs through Britain’s recent history shows that in the long term, this approach simply doesn’t work... the ghostlining playbook in action: deny history, perform as the hero and play the victim of false attacks. And it shut down discussion of reparations... But attempts to ghostline such demands for progress only ensure these demands recur with renewed potency. In recent years, Lloyds of London and the Bank of England have issued apologies for their role in the atrocities of slavery; meanwhile, institutions such as the Horniman museum in London are developing plans to turn over looted cultural artefacts to African nations. These changes have happened because the tide of opinion is shifting. People are tired of ghostlining, and want institutions to confront racism at its root...

Editado: Ago 29, 2022, 9:20 am

>47 John5918: display of dead body parts

Bodies Revealed ( )
CREEPY, even if educational and subjects gave permission.

Mummies ( ) Young girl sacrificed in South America exhibited in museum: President Clinton joked that he would have dated her? Bad...

Relics... e.g., Saint's skeleton on display in Detroit Church even today. I guess wouldbe saints understood that public display was possible, and even respectful.

Skulls--monasteries (contemplation of death), Khmer Rouge atrocity display, enemies' heads on pikes (common), reconstructed ( ).
I like reconstructions: one Scottish woman kinda looked like family; most recent reconstructions of Neanderthals give them back their humanity/dignity. Now can be done digitally, not just physical application of clay.

Exhumed, studied, reburied: lots of examples of this ( )
Okay, I think, when subjects gave permission, or if historical remains treated respectfully in pursuit of education/science, then buried/cremated/returned, as is the case today--although the stories one hears about human anatomy classes... :(

(My g'g'gmother's body was stolen by Cdn medical students. A priest's, too, among others from her cemetery. Theses have been written...)

Ago 29, 2022, 2:26 pm

The British taking and displaying bodies among their people was such a well-known practice, it recognized as inspiration for one of the most famous English-language novels (the original Frankenstein). It's also the reason old graveyards across the UK have the strange features they do, with iron grills and other protection against grave robbers.

The Murder Act 1751 made it illegal to bury the bodies of executed murder convicts, who were instead hung up in chains or given to "medical science" (as UK government describes the industry to this day) for public dissection. The Act was repealed in parts through the 19th Century. Additional laws changed how body parts were acquired and presented publicly-- but that seems to have only meant that dying poor meant your body was more likely to be displayed, taken apart, and used legally by doctors, teachers, and medical students in the UK without your or your family's consent.

To summarize: Yes, there's a cultural history to the use of human corpses. Yes, it's from people in power seeing groups of human beings they have control over as lesser beings.

Ago 30, 2022, 11:53 pm

Edinburgh to apologise over historical links to slavery (Guardian)

Edinburgh will apologise for suffering caused through the city’s involvement in slavery, while statues, street names and buildings associated with the trade will be “re-presented” to explain the consequences to the public. City councillors on Tuesday unanimously accepted all 10 recommendations made in a report on Edinburgh’s historical links with slavery and colonialism, the result of a review set up in 2020 in response to the Black Lives Matter movement and chaired by Scotland’s first black professor, Sir Geoff Palmer. Palmer said the council’s decision to accept the full recommendations was “very significant” and a civic apology was another move towards redress. “An apology doesn’t buy bread but it gives another form of sustenance,” he said. “It is about feeling that somebody has looked at something and recognised it was wrong. They are saying to you, the person offended, that they regret what has happened. Even though many people say ‘we weren’t there, it wasn’t our doing’, we all have responsibilities. We are responsible for what happened in the past, because the past has consequences. We can’t change the past but we can change the consequences of racism.” The report outlined that statues and other parts of city architecture celebrating people who made money from the suffering of others should not be removed but reframed in order to educate future generations...

Set 2, 2022, 1:50 am

Poland puts its World War II losses at $1.3 trillion, demands German reparations (CNN)

Poland estimates its World War II losses caused by Germany at 6.2 trillion zlotys ($1.32 trillion), the leader of the country's ruling nationalists said on Thursday, and he said Warsaw would officially demand reparations. Poland's biggest trade partner and a fellow member of the European Union and NATO, Germany has previously said all financial claims linked to World War II have been settled...

Set 7, 2022, 11:44 pm

Manhattan DA returns 58 antiquities to Italy, including 21 seized from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (CNN)

Nearly 60 antiquities valued at almost $19 million were returned to Italy in a repatriation ceremony, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office announced Monday. Some had been seized from New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. "These 58 pieces represent thousands of years of rich history, yet traffickers throughout Italy utilized looters to steal these items and to line their own pockets," District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a news release. "For far too long, they have sat in museums, homes, and galleries that had no rightful claim to their ownership," Bragg said... Stolen antiquities worth nearly $14 million were returned to Italy in July, including dozens of artifacts seized from Steinhardt. In August, New York officials returned 30 antiquities to Cambodia, including a 10th-century Khmer sculptural "masterpiece." In 2021, the Met returned three African art objects, including a pair of 16th-century Benin brass plaques, to Nigeria.

A Historian’s Quest to Unravel the Secrets of Mary Seacole, an Innovative, Long-Overlooked Black Nurse (Smithsonian)

During the Crimean War, the Jamaican businesswoman operated a storehouse and restaurant that offered food, supplies and medicine to British soldiers...

Editado: Set 9, 2022, 1:49 am

Soviet monuments are being toppled – this gives the spaces they occupied a new meaning (The Conversation)

Monuments are powerful instruments of propaganda, making the events of the past visible in the present. Public art of this type defines the heroes of history and writes the story of a nation’s identity. But these objects being removed reflect (and create) conflicting histories and interpretations of the aftermath of war. Public memory is not uniform or static. Statues and memorials erected in the years after the second world war are prime examples. Intended to commemorate liberation from Nazism, they were also symbols of Soviet power and presence in eastern Europe and political and military occupation... Their removal is not a destruction or an erasure of history, but a creation of a new way of remembering... But were {they} forgotten, their memory and history “wiped out” by such actions? Or do we remember them, just in a different interpretation of the past?... created new physical and mental spaces, with some monuments destroyed and others replaced with religious figures, flowers, or left empty. Dust and rubble remind us of what once stood on that same spot... empty spaces left by statues communicate a message that is as powerful as the propaganda of the statue itself. The destruction of material objects and the destruction of human memory are not the same. History, memory and politics are, and always have been, closely intertwined and the link between remembering and forgetting is stronger than we might think.

In Sudan, Apologizing For The Past While Ignoring The Present And The Future (Middle East Media Research Institute)

Of course, no one is really apologizing for the past in Sudan, no one with real power in Khartoum. The closest was probably Sudanese General Muhammad Hamdan Daglo, nicknamed "Hemedti," admitting recently that the October 25, 2021 military coup of which he had been a perhaps reluctant participant had been a failure. The call for an apology came from Sudan's ruler and de facto head of state General Abdel Fatah Al-Burhan, calling for Great Britain to apologize for the "crimes of colonialism," specifically for a conflict 124 years ago... Sudan's former dictator Omar Al-Bashir made the same call back in 2016... Of course, what Al-Bashir did then and Al-Burhan does now is to wave the bloody shirt of nationalism, often with a dose of religious chauvinism, to try to distract the masses from the present dire situation with wild charges about the past. Sudan today suffers from bloody military rule and disastrous governance with the possibility of famine looming on the horizon. Hundreds of Sudanese civilians have been killed, injured, or disappeared by Al-Burhan's security forces since October. This changing of the subject to distract from present troubles is not limited to Sudan... Al-Burhan would not call on Egypt or Turkey to apologize because such a publicity stunt would anger both of those authoritarian regimes, with potential real consequences... Rather than apologize for Karari, what would have been more realistic for the British to apologize for is making Sudan what it became: A state ruled by a clique centered on the tribes and clans of the Northern Nile Valley at the expense of the periphery whose dominance continues to this day. The British (and Egyptians) could also apologize for the borders and shape of Sudan...

Editado: Set 9, 2022, 11:04 am

I'm sure someone will burst my bubble, but PBS special last night had Queen Elizabeth firm c.f. PM Thatcher in using sanctions to oppose apartheid in South Africa? The monarchy supposed to be apolitical, she could only do so much?

Mourn the Queen, Not Her Empire
Maya Jasanoff | Sept. 8, 2022
Professor of history at Harvard, is the author of three books about the British Empire and its subjects.

Meanwhile herstory moves on:

Can't believe they are going to make a MAN queen. This woke nonsense has gone too far.
- Nat Guest @unfortunatalie | 4:18 PM · Sep 8, 2022

Editado: Set 11, 2022, 12:04 am

History is Calling

The Uluru Statement from the Heart... The Yarrabah Affirmation... We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution... We seek a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history...

Australia, in case anyone is not familiar with the term Uluru. The concept of "truth-telling about our history" would be important in many of the cases mentioned in this LT "Dealing with the dishonorable and the inconvenient", as the version of history which many of us grew up with and which is celebrated in statues, monuments and national myths is at best only partial and at worst biased and distorted.

Set 11, 2022, 2:05 pm

Cloud of colonialism hangs over Queen Elizabeth's legacy in Africa (CNN)

The death of Queen Elizabeth II has prompted an outpouring of reflection and reaction online. But not all was grief -- some young Africans instead are sharing images and stories of their own elders, who endured a brutal period of British colonial history during the Queen's long reign... Their refusal to mourn highlights the complexity of the legacy of the Queen, who despite widespread popularity was also seen as a symbol of oppression in parts of the world where the British Empire once extended... "The Queen's legacy started in colonialism and is still wrapped in it. It used to be said that the sun did not set over the British empire. No amount of compassion or sympathy that her death has generated can wipe that away"... "We do not mourn the death of Elizabeth, because to us her death is a reminder of a very tragic period in this country and Africa's history... We do not mourn the death of Elizabeth, because to us her death is a reminder of a very tragic period in this country and Africa's history"... Still, many on the continent remember the Queen as a stabilizing force who brought about positive change during her reign... "Her reign saw the end of the British Empire and the African countries ... became a Republic. She doesn't really deserve any award or standing ovation for it, but it was a step in the right direction."

At least she was spared the shame of being Empress of India, as that sub-continent was already free by the time she acceded to the throne.

Editado: Set 16, 2022, 9:13 am

David Frum @davidfrum | 8:25 AM · Sep 16, 2022:

Some Westerners imagine they can purify themselves by purging their museums. I went to Nigeria to discover just how complicated the repatriation of art turns out to be

Who Do the Benin Bronzes Belong To?
Thousands of pieces of art were looted by the British in what is now Nigeria, and are held in mostly Western museums. What to do with them is a harder question than it might seem.

Editado: Set 23, 2022, 8:33 am

Cambridge University finds it gained ‘significant benefits’ from slave trade (Guardian)

Research finds no evidence of direct slave holdings but gains accrued from investments and individuals involved in slavery...

Editado: Set 23, 2022, 10:16 am

I hope after some inevitable growth pains, the Commonwealth survives...

The Real Story: What next for the Commonwealth?
BBC world ServiceSept 22, 2022

Will Queen Elizabeth’s death accelerate a push to address the past and change the Commonwealth?
49:03 ( )

Dr Njoki Wamai - Assistant Professor in politics and international relations at the United States International University-Africa in Kenya.

Dr Cindy McCreery - Senior lecturer at the University of Sydney, specialising in monarchy and decolonisation.

Vijay Krishnarayan - Former head of the Commonwealth's Agency for civil society, The Commonwealth Foundation, from 2012-2019. Now an independent consultant.

Also featuring:
Floyd Green - Jamaican politician and Minister Without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister

Lord David Howell - Former Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Chairman of the Commonwealth Societies Association

Editado: Set 25, 2022, 11:47 am

Teach pupils how to preserve River Nile not who discovered it (Monitor, Uganda)

Ugandan teachers still give learners irrelevant information like “who discovered the source of River Nile and who was the first European to see mountains in Uganda” rather than educating the children to be environmentally conscious. “It’s high time teachers shifted to how to conserve River Nile instead of teaching our children who discovered it. Its existence is threatened by human activities and there is less knowledge on conservation”...

‘Restoring the river’: why Kenyans are returning to precolonial spirituality (Guardian)

a small but growing number of Kenyans from the country’s largest ethnic group, the Agīkūyū, who are trying to revive precolonial cultural and spiritual practices. The belief systems were suppressed and marginalised during British colonial rule in the 19th century, and as Christianity became more entrenched. “Westernisation was entangled with Christianity,” says King’ori wa Kanyi, a member of the Agīkūyū Council of Elders. “A good African convert had to take a European name, dress like a European and visit the clinic instead of the herbalist”...

The African Kingdom of Kush that Humbled Rome: Legions in the Sands (The Collector)

The infamous Battle of Teutoburg Forest is widely known as the event that halted the Roman Empire’s expansion. While the battle had far-reaching consequences, keeping the Romans on the western bank of the Rhine, it was not the first defeat of the Roman army. Nor was it the first time that the Roman expansion came to a halt. Two decades before Varus’ legion perished in the thick forests of Germania, Roman military might was checked in the sands of Nubia. A combination of pride and paranoia weakened the Roman border defenses in freshly annexed Egypt, allowing the vengeful queen of the warlike kingdom of Kush to fight back against the Roman army and humiliate the Emperor Augustus himself. While the Romans did their best to restore control (and their pride), the fierce resistance of the Kushites forced the emperor to abandon the war effort and offer generous peace terms. As a result of this forgotten conflict, the Romans never ventured deeper into Africa, establishing a permanent southern border that would remain unchanged until the end of Roman rule...

Set 25, 2022, 11:52 pm

Museums in England and Wales to gain powers to dispose of objects on moral grounds (Guardian)

Museums and galleries in England and Wales will be given unprecedented powers to dispose of objects in their collections if there is a compelling moral obligation to do so, under a new law. Alexander Herman, an expert in art law, said the museum sector did not appear to have realised that a provision of the Charities Act 2022, expected to come into force this autumn, could have “a significant impact for years to come” on restitution cases. Statutes govern most national institutions restrict trustees’ powers to dispose of objects, with narrow exceptions such as duplicates. While the nationals have already engaged with moral questions over Nazi looted art and human remains, the new legislation could extend to other objects...

Set 27, 2022, 12:04 am

‘A form of colonialism’: Activists demand climate reparations (Al Jazeera)

Pakistan’s catastrophic floods have led to renewed calls for rich polluting nations that grew their economies through heavy use of fossil fuels to compensate developing countries for the devastating impacts caused by the climate crisis. The currently favoured term for this concept is “loss and damage” payments, but some campaigners want to go further and frame the issue as “climate reparations”. Beyond the tougher vocabulary, green groups also call for debt cancellation for cash-strapped nations that are forced to spend huge portions of their budgets servicing external loans rather than devoting the funds to increasing resilience for a rapidly changing planet. “There’s a historical precedent of not just the Industrial Revolution that led to increased emissions and carbon pollution, but also the history of colonialism and the history of extraction of resources, wealth and labour,” said Belgium-based climate activist Meera Ghani. “The climate crisis is a manifestation of interlocking systems of oppression, and it’s a form of colonialism,” said Ghani, a former climate negotiator for Pakistan... Campaigners point to the fact that the most climate-vulnerable countries in the Global South are the least responsible. Pakistan, for instance, produces less than 1 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as opposed to the G20 countries that account for 80 percent...

Editado: Set 28, 2022, 12:16 am

Malawi's John Chilembwe gets statue in London's Trafalgar Square (BBC)

Central London's historic Trafalgar Square is set to get a new statue on Wednesday. But this time, it is not a monument to one of the UK's war heroes or kings. Instead it will be a larger-than-life statue of Malawian Baptist preacher and pan-Africanist John Chilembwe, who fought against British colonial rule. The sculpture, named Antelope, will be the square's newest Fourth Plinth - which is regarded as one of the world's most famous public art commissions. Since 2003, the Fourth Plinth has been showcasing different pieces of artwork every two years... Chilembwe's five-metre statue will mark the first of an African in Trafalgar Square. Cast in bronze, Antelope restages a famous photograph taken in 1914 of Chilembwe standing next to British missionary John Chorley, outside his church in Mbombwe village in southern Malawi. In the picture, Chilembwe is wearing a wide-brimmed hat, breaching a colonial rule which forbade Africans to wear hats in front of white people. While the two stand together in the photo, when it comes to the statue the sculptor has added a twist that means that the image of the Malawian catches people's eye. Malawian-born artist Samson Kambalu designed the piece to make Chilembwe much larger than Chorley. His statue stands at five metres towering over that of Chorley's. "By increasing his scale, the artist elevates Chilembwe and his story, revealing the hidden narratives of underrepresented peoples in the history of the British Empire in Africa, and beyond"...

The story about the hat reminds me of other similar cases. The father of one of my Kenyan friends had a clerical job during colonial times. He saved up his wages and bought a pair of shoes. When he arrived at work next morning the white bosses told him to remove them - shoes were only for white people. It also reminds me of a story about Archbishop Desmond Tutu. When he was a young boy he was walking hand in hand with his mother when a white man walked down the street towards them. They were about to step off the pavement (sidewalk on the other side of the Pond) into the road to let him pass, because that's what blacks had to do, when much to their surprise the white man stepped aside to allow them to pass, and even tipped his hat as a sign of respect towards Tutu's mother - unheard of behaviour for whites in South Africa. Tutu later discovered that the white man was Anglican missionary Trevor Huddleston, and attributes to that experience his own desire to become a priest. Huddleston later became a great friend and mentor to Tutu, and is also remembered as a leading figure in the struggle against apartheid.

Out 8, 2022, 5:03 am

UK apology sought for British war crimes in Palestine (BBC)

The people of al-Bassa got their lesson in imperial brutality when the British soldiers came after dawn. Machine guns mounted on Rolls Royce armoured cars opened fire on the Palestinian village before the Royal Ulster Rifles arrived with flaming torches and burned homes to the ground. Villagers were rounded up while troops later herded men onto a bus and forced them to drive over a landmine which blew up, killing everyone on board. A British policeman photographed the scene as women tended to the remains of their dead, before maimed body parts were buried in a pit. It was the autumn of 1938 and UK forces were facing a rebellion in Palestine, under British control after the defeat two decades earlier of the Ottoman Empire. Britain's raid on al-Bassa was part of a declared policy by the local commander of "punitive" action against entire Palestinian villages - this one after a roadside bomb had killed four British soldiers - regardless of any evidence over who was responsible...

Editado: Out 14, 2022, 11:07 am

Reparations: The US town paying its black residents (BBC)

Evanston, Illinois, is a quiet place in the middle of an unusual experiment... like other places across the country, Evanston is dealing with a legacy of racial inequality stemming from slavery and segregation. While some places, like California, are discussing reparations to make amends for slavery, Evanston's approach has zeroed in on a related but more recent injustice: discrimination against black citizens when it comes to buying a home. The city has started paying money to black residents who faced barriers to buying the home they wanted due to mid-20th Century policies - the first US city to do so... The idea that America owes something to its black residents - some of whom were slaves, and some of whom have continued to suffer from the repercussions of racism - has existed for centuries...

Out 26, 2022, 12:50 pm

>74 John5918:
Yes, this kind of nostalgia is still creepily tenacious. An interesting example in the US is the country group "Lady A." It's not my kind of music but I've followed the story and the fall-out. Previously they called themselves "Lady Antebellum" because they liked the sound of the name. Thought it sounded cool. They claim that the nasty aspect of this choice didn't even occur to them. Not much of an excuse but I'm inclined to believe it, as a reflection of states of mind.

Out 28, 2022, 2:13 am

Uncovering Britain’s secret history of bussing ethnic minority children (Guardian)

Not widely known in UK, and it seems there was very little in the way of record keeping.

Editado: Out 30, 2022, 2:22 am

BBC News: UK museums willing to return skulls to Zimbabwe

The Zimbabweans are looking for the skulls of late-19th Century anti-colonial heroes, which they believe could be in the UK...

Nov 3, 2022, 5:29 pm

‘Restitution’ of looted African art just continues colonial policies - much more is at stake (The Conversation)

The violence of the past is far from over. But it is disguised in many ways, made invisible and normalised. What started with the Spanish, Portuguese or the Ottoman empires continued with the British, French and Russian empires, and now the United States. Imperial political violence continues today in Palestine, Ukraine, Sudan, Yemen, Iran, to name but a few. One of the disguises is “restitution”... catastrophic art – artworks which were made in worlds that empires destroyed, and were then taken to the imperial centres, or metropoles. When talking about returning these artworks, the former imperial states speak of “restitution”. Restitution is taken to mean the return of “objects” to their homes or places of origin. It is confined to individual works of art, and human remains, that were brutally deported and displayed in museums or subjected to laboratory research... But the language of restitution fails to take into account historical responsibilities...

Editado: Nov 21, 2022, 10:53 pm

A museum 2,300 years in the making (BBC)

When the International African American Museum opens in January in Charleston, South Carolina, it will tell the story of slavery in the US – going all the way back to 300 BCE... the museum provides a broad context for the African American experience, a narrative that starts with ancient African civilisations and goes through modern times. "Slavery is not the beginning or the end of the African American journey... It's in the middle. The museum goes back to 300 BCE, the earliest documentation of rice cultivation on the African continent. Africans were enslaved specifically for that knowledge"...

Nov 25, 2022, 10:42 pm

Rosetta Stone: a new museum is reviving calls to return the artefact to Egypt (BBC)

With the Arab spring of 2011, a downturn in tourism and the devastation of COVID, the odds have been stacked against the opening of Giza’s Grand Egyptian Museum, work on which began in 2005 and is due to complete 2023. Nevertheless, it will house over 100,000 artefacts and become the largest archaeological museum complex in the world. It is sure to draw millions of visitors to see the most complete story yet of ancient Egypt, told by Egyptians... However, as dazzling as this will be, it is unlikely to completely distract from the ever-present repatriation debate. In fact, the museum’s opening looks set to mark a turning point in the academic debate around returning its most obvious missing artefact – the Rosetta Stone – to Egypt...

Nov 26, 2022, 7:21 am

Hate to see all of a culture's history in a single museum, thus subject to war (Iraq, Afghanistan), fire (Brazil), etc. Hope all pieces are fully scanned and analyzed, to protect somewhat against loss.

Someone in (UK?) proposed that originals and replicas be shown in at least a couple of museums, with switches from time to time. Some protection + one is given feel for entirety of collection. (Most dinosaur skeletons are mixture of original and replicas of missing bones.)

Editado: Nov 27, 2022, 1:01 am

>81 margd:

Interesting thought. I think of the cultural history lost when the World War 2 Allies bombed Dresden, and the USA dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But I think the point is that the decisions about these cultural artefacts should be made by those to whose culture they originally belonged, not by the nations which looted them.

Editado: Nov 26, 2022, 7:57 am

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

Nov 26, 2022, 11:22 pm

Barbados plans to make Tory MP pay reparations for family’s slave past (Guardian)

The government of Barbados is considering plans to make a wealthy Conservative MP the first individual to pay reparations for his ancestor’s pivotal role in slavery. The Observer understands that Richard Drax, MP for South Dorset, recently travelled to the Caribbean island for a private meeting with the country’s prime minister, Mia Mottley. A report is now before Mottley’s cabinet laying out the next steps, which include legal action in the event that no agreement is reached with Drax... The Drax family pioneered the plantation system in the 17th century and played a major role in the development of sugar and slavery across the Caribbean and the US...

Editado: Nov 27, 2022, 11:15 pm

Forgotten photos show how Kenyan archaeologists unearthed secrets of their own country (Guardian)

he photographs are rare, the subject choice unusual, but what the photographer captured was a common sight in the early 20th century: a team of colonised people, hard at work under a hot sun, excavating an ancient monument. Today, without these photos, taken in Kenya in the 1940s and 50s, there would be scarcely any evidence that African Kenyans were present at archaeological digs. Their contributions and priceless finds were credited to their European bosses – and their important role in unearthing the history of their own continent has been all but forgotten. Museums in Mombasa and in London will attempt to put the record straight next month with an exhibition of previously unseen photographs that highlight the work of African Kenyans whose names are missing from archeological archives... "I can see the name of his European boss all over the walls of the fort – but where are the Africans? Why are they not being credited?”...

Wellcome Collection closes 'racist, sexist and ableist' Medicine Man display (BBC)

A museum in London is closing one of its main exhibitions following concerns over "racist, sexist and ableist theories and language". The Wellcome Collection says the Medicine Man display is ending after a 15-year run... The museum said in a statement on Twitter: "We can't change our past. But we can work towards a future where we give voice to the narratives and lived experiences of those who have been silenced, erased and ignored. "We tried to do this with some of the pieces in Medicine Man using artist interventions. But the display still perpetuates a version of medical history that is based on racist, sexist and ableist theories and language." It added that exhibiting the collection of paintings, books and anatomical models told a colonial story of a man with "enormous wealth, power and privilege". The statement continued: "The result was a collection that told a global story of health and medicine in which disabled people, Black people, Indigenous peoples and people of colour were exoticised, marginalised and exploited - or even missed out altogether." The Wellcome Collection's website says a new exhibition featuring health stories of people who have been previously marginalised or even erased from museums will be unveiled in the coming years...

Nov 28, 2022, 10:33 pm

London museum returns looted Benin City artefacts to Nigeria (Guardian)

Six objects stolen by British soldiers in 19th century are handed over in ceremony at Horniman Museum...

Dez 1, 2022, 4:11 am

Et tu, Nutcracker??

Cracking open ‘The Nutcracker’s’ dark Russian past
Behind the holiday classic lies an unsavory history that may change the way you think about it
Sarah L. Kaufman, Dance critic | November 25, 2022

...“The history of Russia is a history of violence,” says Princeton music professor Simon Morrison, author of Bolshoi Confidential: Secrets of the Russian Ballet from the Rule of the Tsars to Today. “The reason Moscow became its head was through acts of incredible aggression. And a lot of the culture was imported, including ballet. Music came in via Ukraine and Poland — in some cases musicians and singers were kidnapped from Kyiv and hauled up to Moscow. There are horror stories all the way to the Far East.”

The Russian empire ballooned in the 19th century, swallowing up the Caucasus and Central Asia on its march into the Far East. One can only imagine the sorrow and worse produced by these occupations. Czarist control also bound “The Nutcracker’s” creators, of course. Tchaikovsky, for instance, was a favorite of Alexander III, and composed music for his coronation. Coronation rituals were deeply ingrained, and included a lavish banquet and a parade of foreign ambassadors paying homage. These rituals are transformed into child-friendly fun in “The Nutcracker,” where the second act brims with human depictions of imported delicacies from Russia’s trade routes. Chinese tea, Arabian coffee, chocolate from Spain and so on: They’re all served forth on the stage.

“This ballet is essentially a trading post, with a battle in the middle and then an imperial banquet,” says Morrison...

Editado: Dez 7, 2022, 8:29 am

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

Editado: Dez 7, 2022, 5:42 pm

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

Dez 9, 2022, 9:00 am

Dutch king commissions research into royal role in colonialism (Guardian)

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands has commissioned independent research into the role of the royal family in the country’s colonial past, the Dutch government’s information service (RVD) has announced. Three Dutch historians and a human rights expert will carry out the investigation, which is set to take three years and will span the period from the late 16th century until the “post-colonial” present, the RVD said, without elaborating on the details. “Profound knowledge of the past is essential to understand historical facts and developments and to see their impact on human beings and communities as clearly and honestly as possible,” the king said in a statement...

Ireland to return mummified remains and sarcophagus to Egypt (BBC)

Mummified human remains and a sarcophagus are among the ancient objects that an Irish university says it plans to repatriate to Egypt. All of the artefacts being returned by the University College Cork (UCC) date from between 100AD and 975BC...

Editado: Dez 16, 2022, 8:41 am

Linz to rename Porsche Street after investigating Nazi past of car creator (Guardian)

The Austrian city of Linz has announced plans to rename a street honouring the founder of the luxury carmaker Porsche after a commission investigating controversial names found his Nazi past “problematic”... The Porscheweg and three other streets in Linz, were to be renamed, a city spokesperson said on Thursday...

I thought mourning the Queen would be a personal choice. Then I saw the billboards (Guardian) by Billy Bragg

What to make of patriotism? To paraphrase Martin Luther King, the arc of history is long, but it bends towards inclusivity. It’s why corporations believe they can reach a younger demographic by commissioning ads that celebrate diversity, why the National Trust seeks to highlight the connection between slavery and stately homes, and why there is a plus sign at the end of LGBTQ. Patriotism chafes against this trend. Resistant to change, reliant on conformity, it takes pride in immutable symbols and institutions, such as the flag and the armed forces, and prizes assimilation over diversity. While inclusivity presents as an invitation, patriotism is at best an expectation and at worst a demand. Are you with us or against us? I found it hard to disentangle the period of official solemnity from the politics of this country over the past decade... In order to feel that they belong, people need to see themselves as part of the national narrative and feel that their experiences are being treated with respect...

Cambridge University to return over 100 looted Benin bronzes to Nigeria (Guardian)

The University of Cambridge will return more than 100 looted Benin bronzes to Nigeria. The artefacts, which are mainly made of brass but also include some ivory and wooden objects, were taken by British armed forces during the sacking of Benin City in 1897...

Haiti faces famine – but its troubles are rooted in a brutal colonial past (Guardian)

The Caribbean country has been blighted by colonial exploitation, natural disasters and violent gangs – now a food crisis looms...

Netherlands set to formally apologise for 250 years of slavery (Al Jazeera)

In an effort to come to terms with its colonial past, the Dutch government is expected to apologise next week for the Netherlands’ role in 250 years of slavery. The formal apology is set to be issued on December 19 and is expected to redress how the Netherlands exploited more than 600,000 people who worked as slaves in its former colonies...

Dez 16, 2022, 10:56 pm

The Vatican returns three fragments of the Parthenon Sculptures (The Archaeologist)

Pope Francis has decided to send back to Greece the three fragments of the Parthenon Sculptures held by the Vatican Museums...

Editado: Dez 17, 2022, 2:18 pm

>92 John5918: Colonial exploitation of Haiti ended with the massacre of French Creoles and all whites(5,000) including women and children living on the island in 1804, Haiti's horrible conditions have been created by a history of brutal dictators from Haiti....JMJ.....

Editado: Dez 18, 2022, 8:07 am

Late winter a few years ago, I toured a sugar plantation in Virgin Islands, led by a worker-descendant. Such horrible stories to have occurred in such a lovely location... Strange, too that upon return I planned to tap our young maple tree for a few pints of the sweet stuff. A lot of work, but safe and much easier than Islanders had it way back when, it was a first rite of spring for me.

400 Years of Sweetness (52:00)
Throughline | December 8, 2022

In the 1970s, a savvy CEO named Dwayne Andreas hit on an idea: take surplus corn from America's heartland, process it into a sweetener, and start selling it to anyone who would buy, all in the name of patriotism. Within a decade, high fructose corn syrup dominated the U.S. sweetener market; today, American diets are saturated with sweeteners, including cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and dozens of others.

But Andreas wasn't reinventing the wheel. He was just taking the next step in a 400-year journey that took sugar from a rare delicacy for the wealthy to an inextricable part of our lives, our culture, and our bodies. A journey that began on the brutal sugar plantations of Haiti and eventually went global, confronting us all with an impossible moral dilemma.

In this episode, we journey across centuries and continents to visit the people who've schemed — and those who've suffered — to bring us sweetness.

Dez 20, 2022, 11:22 pm

Germany returns 21 Benin bronzes to Nigeria – amid frustration at Britain (Guardian)

Twenty-one precious artefacts that were looted by British soldiers from the former west African kingdom of Benin 125 years ago have been handed over by Germany to Nigeria amid laughter, tears, and some audible frustration with the ongoing silence of the country that first stole them. The objects from the haul of treasures known as the Benin bronzes, including a brass head of an oba (king), a ceremonial ada and a throne depicting a coiled-up python, were taken from the sacked city during a British punitive expedition in 1897 and later sold to German museums in Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Cologne. Shortly after lunchtime on Tuesday, Germany’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, passed perhaps the most spectacular of the returned objects into the gloved hands of Nigeria’s culture minister, Lai Mohammed...

Dez 26, 2022, 10:57 pm

US military academy begins removal of Confederate memorials from campus (Guardian)

The elite US military academy at West Point is removing Confederate monuments from its Hudson Valley campus in New York state, in accordance with a congressional review and orders set in motion by the Pentagon...

Dez 27, 2022, 10:45 pm

Young Sudanese archaeologists dig up history as ‘west knows best’ era ends (Guardian)

On a continent that has long attracted western expeditions, a wave of young people are now exploring sites... “It is very important that Africans do African archaeology … because then we will have our own archaeological cultures. There is a lot we understand because we are from here. The idea that people from the west know best is changing,” said Sadiq... stereotypes promoted by films and literature in the west were out of date. “There is an idea of what an archaeologist looks like … But they should not have a certain image or colour or features or gender,” she said... For decades, the popular image of archaeologists in Africa has been at odds with an increasingly diverse reality... “Archaeology was dominated by western white archaeologists and has been completely transformed. It is now increasingly driven by indigenous research,” he said. Advocates of greater involvement by African archaeologists on the continent argue that this would help a discipline that has become “detached from reality”...

Jan 1, 2023, 11:29 pm

Rethinking the European Conquest of Native Americans (Atlantic)

In a new book by Pekka Hämäläinen, a picture emerges of a four-century-long struggle for primacy among Native power centers in North America...

Benedict Cumberbatch: Barbados may hit star's family with reparation claim over historical links to slave trade (Sky News)

A top official in Barbados does not deny that the Cumberbatch family could face a claim for damages over its historical links to slavery on the island...

Jan 2, 2023, 10:38 am

I always marveled at the violence in fairly recent past in peaceful, lovely lands and waters around Lakes Erie and Ontario.

A woman I roomed with soon after graduation registered former lands of the "extinct" Neutral Indians on north shore of L Erie. Competition. Europeans no doubt played a role, but mostly these largely peaceful agrarians were caught between warring tribes:

The French and Indian War that preceded American Revolution was incredibly vicious--on all sides, sounds like:

Lake Erie waters now dominated by sports fishermen ran with the blood of Brits and Americans... Flames across the Border: The Canadian-American Tragedy, 1813-1814

Further back, retreat of glaciers and failure of ice dam released such a torrent that E-W orientation of shoals in L Ontario persist to this day. Must have swept away any Native Americans in its path. (Some hunted woodland caribou in now submerged waters of L Huron, so I assume they were also around Lower Lakes.}

Editado: Jan 2, 2023, 11:11 pm

Chagos Islanders demand say as UK-Mauritius sovereignty talks begin (Guardian)

Descendants of the people of the Chagos Islands have claimed their views are being ignored as the prime minister of Mauritius announced the start of talks with Britain over the territory’s sovereignty... Mauritius, a British colony until its independence in 1968, claims the remote islands as its own territory although it is administered by Britain, which has a joint military base with the US on one of the islands, Diego Garcia. The talks are expected to lead to the return of former inhabitants of the Chagos archipelago who were forcibly displaced by the British government in the 1960s and 1970s. The UK is expected, however, to seek continued rights over Diego Garcia which is a vital strategic asset for the US military. There remains deep distrust of both Mauritius and Britain among descendants of the ousted islanders, who responded to the talks by voicing concerns at the lack of consultation with them over the potential outcomes, a point of contention that was recently raised by the NGO Human Rights Watch...

Jan 3, 2023, 3:17 pm

>96 John5918: St Fr Brebeuf's statue was removed from Catholic Univ as an offense to Indians, Lee was removed on Christmas break (no one arround) Lee as a matter of fact was the officer who put a real inssurretion down at Harper's Ferry....JMJ....

Jan 3, 2023, 3:39 pm

>98 John5918: I marvel at the incredible violence, torture, and murder of 8 Jesuits in the peaceful, lovely woods of the north country. 8 Jesuits murdered, by unspeakable tortures one St Issac Joques escaping, returned to France missing fingers and a Thumb (knawed off) only to return and meet the same fate. Francis a Jesuit came to the North Country on a mea cupa trip, wearing native headress, smudge dancing w/ a professional indian, and praising some diety called the grandma of the west. Not a word about these courageous Frenchman, the debate by scholars, intellectuals, progressive catholics, have been long and does not diminish the impact of these eight Jesuits, their story is well documented and is hard to revise the historical evidence of these eight heroic and faith filled Frenchmen who never doubted that they were planting the seed of Christianity to the world of the Indian. Their zeal courage and willingness to sacrifice their lives is a shinnig star to millions of catholics on the Nort American Continent and in the Church....JMJ....

Jan 3, 2023, 10:59 pm

US museum returns looted ancient sarcophagus to Egypt (Guardian)

An ancient wooden sarcophagus that was displayed at the Houston Museum of Natural Science has been returned to Egypt after US authorities determined it was looted years ago. The repatriation was part of Egyptian government efforts to stop the trafficking of its stolen antiquities. In 2021, authorities in Cairo succeeded in getting 5,300 stolen artefacts returned to Egypt from across the world... The handover came more than three months after the Manhattan district attorney’s office determined the sarcophagus was looted from Abu Sir Necropolis, north of Cairo. It was smuggled through Germany into the US in 2008, according to Manhattan district attorney Alvin L Bragg. “This stunning coffin was trafficked by a well-organised network that has looted countless antiquities from the region,” Bragg said at the time. “We are pleased that this object will be returned to Egypt, where it rightfully belongs”...

Jan 5, 2023, 10:41 pm

Germany snubs Poland's claim for World War II reparations (Euronews)

Germany has rejected Warsaw's request to enter into talks on compensating Poland for damage caused during World War II, the Polish Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday. Berlin considers the matter closed, according to the ministry. It said Poland would now turn to the United Nations to support its attempt to win compensation of €1.2 billion suffered under Nazi Germany's 1939-45 occupation...

California tries to find 600 victims of forced sterilization for reparations (Guardian)

Two groups of people are eligible for the money: those sterilized by the government during the so-called eugenics movement that peaked during the 1930s and a smaller group who were victimized while in state prisons about a decade ago...

Jan 6, 2023, 9:51 am

>99 margd: contd.

Recommended winter watching if PBS reruns or if you can find DVD of PBS's (2006?) 4-h special,

"The War that Made America: the Story of the French and Indian War."
Trailers at

"Hosted and narrated by Graham Greene, a full-blooded Oneida Indian actor (Academy-Award nominee for Dances with Wolves) whose ancestors fought in this war."

From American perspective, but seems even-handed.

In my re-watch, so far:
A bloody war, often fought without resources or intelligence or strategy appropriate to situation . Venal and noble folk both. Europeans fought for a continent--the French for trade and the English for settlement, differences that made a huge difference to their native allies, especially in aftermath...

Editado: Jan 6, 2023, 5:49 pm

>105 margd: Brings to mind the novel Manituana by the Italian collective of left/anarchist political writers known as Wu Ming (Chinese for anonymous). Wu Ming have written a number of historical novels from the point of view of the losing side.....and here we have the Iroquois nation but also some American loyalists in upstate New York during the American revolution. It was particularly intriguing to me because some of the action at the end--the Newtown battlefield and the slaying of the horses by the Iroquois (so that they wouldn't fall into the hands of the American army led by Gen. Sullivan) which is why we have a Horseheads NY was literally within a few (say 5 or less) miles of my home and hometown.

Jan 9, 2023, 10:03 pm

The US and the Holocaust review – unmissable Ken Burns doc reveals how Hitler was inspired by America (Guardian)

The revered documentary-maker brings us a fascinating and unflattering portrait of a nation built on a myth of immigration. This is six hours of television well worth your time... explores the US response to the Nazi persecution of Jews... In 1934, the Franks fled Germany and moved to Amsterdam, along with hundreds of other Jewish families. Their intention was to reach the US... “most Americans did not want to let them in”. This paints an unflattering and complicated portrait of the US, a country consumed by the idea that it is a land of immigrants, but with a historical reality frequently at odds with its self-image... The notion that Americans did not know the extent of what was happening during the Holocaust is refuted, again and again. It was on the radio, in magazines, on newsreels. We hear the words of journalists, particularly Dorothy Thompson, who reported on the horrors of Nazi Germany... There are fascinating details about the complicity of most Hollywood studios, for whom Germany was a big market... This is a story of an increasingly hardline approach to immigration in the US in the early 20th century, which was popular among government officials and the population at large and made no exceptions for refugees. It connects the dots with astonishing precision, suggesting that Hitler found inspiration in the US – in its Jim Crow laws, in Henry Ford’s rampant antisemitism, his views printed and distributed widely, in its mass deportations repackaged as “repatriation”... The temptation to find modern parallels is strong; there is a persistent sense that we are no longer learning from history that is not so far away...

Jan 10, 2023, 9:41 am

C of E setting up £100m fund to ‘address past wrongs’ of slave trade links (Guardian)

The Church of England has committed £100m to a fund it is setting up to compensate for its historical benefit from the international slave trade. A report for the Church Commissioners, the body that manages the C of E’s £9bn-plus endowment fund, traced the origins of the fund partly to Queen Anne’s Bounty, a financial scheme established in 1704 based on transatlantic chattel slavery. In an effort to “address past wrongs”, the Church Commissioners’ board is to set up a £100m fund to deliver a programme of investment, research and engagement over the next nine years. The church is not using the term “reparations” as the scheme will not compensate individuals but will support projects “focused on improving opportunities for communities adversely impacted by historic slavery”...

Jan 11, 2023, 11:23 pm

‘We are inextricably linked’: Māori tribe urges Sotheby’s to return relics up for auction (Guardian)

New Zealand tribe says only a handful of its cultural taonga, or treasures, are left after successive waves of looting during colonial times...

Jan 12, 2023, 9:23 am

>108 John5918: Do you think the Church of England or the Church of Rome will spend 5 bucks in helping stop the modern day slave trade going on in Africa, just Sunday 53 people kidnapped out of a Catholic Church, one murdered, the Church of England could focus on improving oprrortunities for communities adversely impacted by current slavery, trafficking, exploitation of women and children in Africa....AMDG....

Jan 12, 2023, 9:31 am

>110 brone:

For your information the Catholic and Anglican churches are both heavily involved in reducing human trafficking and slavery in Africa, and have been for many years. They are also heavily invested in helping African communities adversely affected by all sorts of ills, including the ones you mention. It's not a zero sum game, it's both/and rather than either/or, and in fact many of the communities adversely affected by historic slavery are the same ones affected by current slavery.

Jan 12, 2023, 10:22 am

>111 John5918: Double Talk....AMDG....

Editado: Jan 12, 2023, 11:28 am

>111 John5918: Double Talk

Could you explain that comment? Could you tell me in what way the Catholic and Anglican churches are not working both to reduce human trafficking and slavery in Africa and also to support communities adversely affected by the problem? If you have more information on what is actually happening in Africa than I do, please share it with us. Based on past experience, I can't say I'm holding my breath in anticipation of a meaningful response.

Jan 12, 2023, 12:51 pm

It's an empty phrase, John, with no meaning behind it. Just something to say when you have no logical response.

Jan 13, 2023, 3:43 am

Macron will not seek Algeria’s ‘forgiveness’ for colonialism (Al Jazeera)

President Emmanuel Macron says he will not “ask forgiveness” from Algeria for French colonisation, but hopes to continue working towards reconciliation with his counterpart, Abdelmajid Tebboune. “It’s not up to me to ask forgiveness, that’s not what this is about, that word would break all of our ties,” he said in an interview for Le Point magazine, published late on Wednesday. “The worst thing would be to decide: ‘We apologise and each go our own way,'” Macron said. “Work on memory and history isn’t a settling of all accounts,” he added. He expressed hope that Tebboune “will be able to come to France in 2023”, to return Macron’s own trip to Algiers last year, and continue their “unprecedented work of friendship”...

Jan 19, 2023, 11:21 pm

‘If you had money, you had slaves’: how Ethiopia is in denial about injustices of the past (Guardian)

Many feel the Ethiopia’s slave-owning traditions, which lasted into the last century, do not align with the country’s modern image of itself...

Worth also remembering that slavery continued into the current century in neighbouring Sudan.

Regina Twala was a towering intellectual and activist in Eswatini - but she was erased from history (The Conversation)

Born in South Africa and exiled to neighbouring Eswatini, Regina Twala was one of southern Africa’s most important intellectuals: a pioneering writer, academic, political activist and feminist. Why, then, has she been all but forgotten? That’s the question a new book sets out to answer. In the process Written Out: The Silencing of Regina Gelana Twala restores Twala to her rightful place in history...

Jan 24, 2023, 11:17 pm

How a ‘headstrong historian’ is rewriting Kenya’s colonial history (Christian Science Monitor)

Across Africa, British colonialists romanticized the railway – whose deadly construction they oversaw through indentured Indian and African labor – with adventure narratives across “exotic” lands. Ms. Tayiana wanted to show, through her interviews, both the joy and the pain the railway represented for ordinary Kenyans. They had used it to carry children to school or produce to market, but their rulers had used it to carry thousands of anti-colonial liberation fighters to detention camps in carriages with barred windows and barbed wire. Kenya was under crushing British rule from 1895 to 1963. But much of the East African country’s colonial history was written by the same colonial powers that centered narratives glorifying and whitewashing their rule. As the world increasingly unearths the horrors of British empire and colonialism, young Kenyans are working to change the narrative and recount a more balanced version of Kenya’s colonial history...

Jan 25, 2023, 11:23 am

Why India Is Using Emergency Laws to Ban a Documentary About Prime Minister Modi
Astha Rajvanshi and Armani Syed | January 23, 2023 2:34 PM EST

Last Tuesday, the British Broadcasting Corporation released the first episode of “The Modi Question,” a two-part documentary series that tracks how the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi climbed the political ranks of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party during his time as the Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat.

The documentary was originally broadcasted in the U.K., but it quickly generated hype in India after unauthorized video clips began circulating on social media platforms, reminding viewers of Modi’s controversial role in the 2002 Gujarat riots—and prompting the Indian government this week to block it from being aired on Indian platforms.

The 59-minute documentary takes an in-depth look at the 2002 Gujarat riots—one of the worst outbreaks of religious violence in India since the country’s Independence in 1947. It traces how the riots erupted after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims in the northern state of Gujarat was set on fire and killed 59 people. The Muslim community was allegedly held responsible for the incident, leading to heightened retaliatory attacks and the further deaths of over 1,000 people, the majority (790) of whom were Muslim.

The riots took place under Modi’s watch, who at the time was Gujarat’s Chief Minister. Raw and chilling footage in the documentary reveals how the police stood by as Hindu mobs attacked Muslims and religious attacks took hold of the state....

margd: link may soon disappear if Elon Musk's Twitter succumbs to any pressure from India...

David Frum @davidfrum | 9:21 AM · Jan 25, 2023
Here's a link to the documentary about Modi the Indian government is trying to suppress

54:45 ( )
Narendra Modi BBC Documentary 'India: The Modi Question' | Season: 1...
The second episode examines the track record of Narendra Modi’s government following his re-election in 2019. A series of controversial policies – the removal of Kashmir’s special status guaranteed...

Jan 28, 2023, 11:24 pm

Alan Cumming returns OBE award in protest at ‘toxicity’ of British Empire (CNN)

Alan Cumming has returned a prestigious royal award in an effort to sever his association with the “toxicity” of the British Empire. “Today is my 58th birthday and I want to tell you about something I recently did for myself. I returned my OBE,” the Scottish actor said in an Instagram post on Friday. The Officer of the British Empire (OBE) award is given to individuals who make a positive impact in their field. In the post, Cumming recounted how “fourteen years ago, {he} was incredibly grateful to receive it in the 2009 Queen’s birthday honours list. Cumming received the honor in recognition of his services to film, theater and the arts... The OBE also recognized his “activism for equal rights for the gay and lesbian community”... the death of Queen Elizabeth last September made him reflect on the honor he had received – and the institution that bestowed it upon him. “The Queen’s death and the ensuing conversations about the role of monarchy and especially the way the British Empire profited at the expense (and death) of indigenous peoples across the world really opened my eyes,” the actor said...

Jan 31, 2023, 10:55 pm

Exhibition lays bare Church of England’s links to slave trade (Guardian)

From a “slave bible” with the passages relating to freedom and escape removed to documents revealing the Church of England’s involvement in a fund linked to transatlantic chattel slavery, a new exhibition lays bare the church’s colonial legacy. The exhibition of original artefacts, some of which are on display for the first time, in Lambeth Palace Library is the latest step in a wide-ranging programme of work launched in 2019 that aims to “address past wrongs” by researching the church’s historical links to the slave trade. Chief executive of the Church Commissioners for England, Gareth Mostyn, said the extent of the church’s relationship to slavery uncovered through the research was “shaming”, and described the exhibits as “shocking and upsetting”. “We are deeply sorry,” he said. He added that the exhibition was an opportunity to show “really impactful documents” unearthed through the church’s research, which aims to “make sure that our history is told and that we’re transparent about what we have learned”...

Fev 1, 2023, 10:48 pm

Pope Francis tells rich world to stop stifling Africa’s progress (The EastAfrican)

Pope Francis on Tuesday criticised those he said have been keen on stifling progress in Africa, and especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo, telling the rich world that the people in the continent are more precious than the minerals in the earth beneath them. Speaking shortly after he arrived in Kinshasa, the Catholic pontiff said the region is not only suffering internally with conflict but also from what he called “a terrible form of exploitation”. "While you Congolese struggle to safeguard your dignity and territorial integrity against the despicable attempts to fragment the country, I come to you, in the name of Jesus, as a pilgrim of reconciliation and peace". "It is tragic that Africa still suffers from various forms of exploitation," he said. According to him, after "political colonialism, an "equally enslaving economic colonialism has been unleashed". "Get your hands off the Democratic Republic of Congo, get your hands off Africa. Stop smothering Africa; she is not a mine to be exploited or a land to be robbed," the pope said...

Fev 5, 2023, 6:03 am

Wealthy UK family to apologise in Grenada over slave-owning past (BBC)

A UK family will publicly apologise to the people of the Caribbean island of Grenada, where its ancestors had more than 1,000 slaves in the 19th Century. The aristocratic Trevelyan family, who owned six sugar plantations in Grenada, will also pay reparations. BBC reporter Laura Trevelyan, a family member, visited Grenada in 2022. She was shocked that her ancestors had been compensated by the UK government when slavery was abolished in 1833 - but freed African slaves got nothing. Speaking to the BBC in a personal capacity on Saturday, Ms Trevelyan recalled her visit to the island for a documentary. "It was really horrific... I saw for myself the plantations where slaves were punished, when I saw the instruments of torture that were used to restrain them." "I felt ashamed, and I also felt that it was my duty. You can't repair the past - but you can acknowledge the pain." Ms Trevelyan said seven members of her family would travel to Grenada later in February to issue a public apology. The family will give £100,000 ($120,000) to establish a community fund for economic development on the impoverished island and in the eastern Caribbean...

Fev 5, 2023, 11:23 pm

My ancestors were pillaged to bring the Benin bronzes to England. It is white supremacy that keeps them here (Guardian)

This month marks 126 years since the British punitive expedition resulted in the theft of more than 10,000 objects from the Benin kingdom. They came to be known as the Benin bronzes, and have been at the centre of repatriation debates ever since. Though the original victims are long gone, their descendants have eagerly awaited the return of the bronzes, and still do. As one such descendant, the issue of repatriation isn’t just diplomatic, it’s personal. My great-great-grandfather, HRH Ogbidi Okojie King of Uromi, fought alongside his relative Oba Ovonramwen Nogbaisi, the ruler of the Benin kingdom. What began as a family matter more than a century ago is now an international diplomatic issue...

Editado: Fev 9, 2023, 12:48 am

For Palestine, justice is not a question of law (Al Jazeera)

As we work towards Palestinian liberation, we should not forget international law itself is a form of imperial violence... These days much of the efforts to dismantle Israel’s apartheid and settler colonial systems of domination over the Palestinian people appear to be following a legal approach... Yet I do not believe it is productive or wise to confine all efforts towards Palestinian liberation within the frames of human rights and international law. The Palestinian struggle for liberation must be multifaceted and multidimensional. We need to ensure that the legal approach does not become the predominant face of the Palestinian struggle. It is – and should remain – merely one of its facets. After all, the core of the Palestinian struggle has never been and will never be a legal one. It is a struggle of and for justice, not law. There is a critical difference between the two... there is also the fact that the international legal system has been created by imperial powers to protect their hegemony and serve their interests. Indeed, the legal structures that the oppressed and marginalised are told to rely on to deal with imperial and settler colonial violence are themselves a crucial part of the political system that birthed that violence. They actively legitimise, maintain and justify imperial and settler colonial violence, including Israel’s against the Palestinians. International law, which is supposed to be a neutral vehicle for justice, is, in fact, a form of violence in and of itself. When I say law is a form of violence, I am not referring to how the settler colonial state uses it to legitimise what its military has achieved through brute force. Rather, I am referring to how the law itself is an outcome and continuation of settler colonial and imperial violence. Violence perpetrated by the powerful validates the law – gives it purpose, legitimacy and potency. Thus the law is designed to stifle, not strengthen, Palestinian resistance...

I post this here rather than the thread on Israel because I believe the point it makes is much wider than the Israel-Palestine conflict. Just as history has been written by the victors, the rich and powerful, usually white upper-class males, so international law has basically been developed by the Global North, the colonial and imperial powers, and as the author says, often serves to protect their own interests rather than to provide justice to the marginalised, the weak and oppressed.

Fev 11, 2023, 10:50 pm

Emmett Till relative’s lawsuit seeks to serve white woman’s arrest warrant (Guardian)

A relative of Emmett Till has filed a lawsuit seeking the arrest of the white woman whose allegations resulted in the 14-year-old Black boy’s kidnapping, torture and murder nearly 70 years ago. Earlier this week, Till’s cousin, Patricia Sterling, filed a federal lawsuit against Ricky Banks, the sheriff in Leflore county, Mississippi, seeking to compel the elected official to serve a 1955 arrest warrant against Carolyn Bryant Donham, who was then identified as “Mrs Roy Bryant” on the document. A team searching for evidence surrounding Till’s lynching discovered the arrest warrant last year in a Mississippi courthouse basement... Donham, along with her then-husband Roy Bryant and her brother-in-law JW Milam, were charged with Till’s abduction, according to the unserved 1955 arrest warrant. The arrest warrant against Donham was released publicly at the time. However, the Leflore county sheriff at the time told reporters he did not want to “bother” Donham since she had two young children to care for, according to the Associated Press. Bryant and Milam, who were tried for murder and then acquitted by an all-white jury, later confessed to Till’s killing in a magazine interview months later. They have both since died...

Fev 21, 2023, 11:11 pm

Why singer Jully Black changed one word in Canada's national anthem (BBC)

When Canadian singer Jully Black walked on court to sing her country's national anthem at an NBA all-star game on Sunday, she was more nervous than she'd ever been. "I had a secret," she said. Performing live to a packed Salt Lake City stadium, she was about to alter the song's lyrics: "our home and native land" to "our home on native land". The one-word shift, a nod to indigenous rights, generated plenty of attention. And some say the change to the century-old anthem should be permanent... "Our home and native land is a lie," Ms Black said. "Our home on native land is the truth." Canada has a history of domination and assimilation of indigenous people in the country...

Mar 19, 2023, 12:38 am

Untold story of South African nurses who helped Tanzania after British nurses refused to work under black leadership (Citizen)

When Tanganyika (subsequently referred to as Tanzania) obtained independence on December 9, 1961, it immediately faced the problem of mass resignations of British nurses who preferred to return to Britain rather than work under a black government. In early 1962, President Julius Nyerere approached O. R Tambo, the acting president of the ANC, who was in exile in Dar es Salaam, to help recruit nurses from South Africa to reduce the negative effects of that gap. O.R Tambo relayed the message to the leadership back home. Besides, black nurses in South Africa were also disgruntled by the new Nurses Act, which provided for separate training of nurses according to their racial group. The ANC leadership inside South Africa put a system in place to source the nurses... The nurses travelled from Johannesburg to Bechuanaland, now known as Botswana, in a bus driven by a white student from Wits University disguised as a priest. At the border, the ‘priest’ told immigration officials that he was taking the nurses to Bechuanaland to attend the funeral of one of their colleagues... they were picked up by a chartered flight sent by the Tanzanian government... This episode of SA nurses arriving in Tanzania was arguably and uniquely the first of its kind, where a Liberation Movement would assist in some way to solve problems of an independent country...

Mar 19, 2023, 9:08 am

Geneticists should rethink how they use race and ethnicity, panel urges
Expert committee urges researchers to adopt scientifically precise terms to describe ancestry in their studies
Jocelyn Kaiser | 14 Mar 2023

...National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM)... formed the panel at the request of the National Institutes of Health. The panel’s report finds that “race,” or the notion that populations fall into a few distinct, stable biological groups, is a social classification and not a scientifically valid way to measure genetic variation. All populations have mixed and moved over time; Europeans today have Middle Eastern ancestry, for example, and most Black Americans, who usually have African ancestry, also have varying amounts of European ancestry. Geographic location, such as East Asian, can overlook genetic variation within that region. And ethnic labels such as Latino often reflect culture, not genetic ancestry, the report says.

The committee suggests researchers should instead determine a group’s ancestry using “genetic similarity,” or by calculating how closely its members are related to collections of genomes from distinct populations that are known as reference genomes. One widely used reference called 1000 Genomes is drawn from sampling the DNA of groups in various locations, such as Gujarati immigrants in Houston, the Yoruba of Nigeria, and Tuscans in Italy. Scientists could quantify how close a group or individual’s genome is to one or more of these reference groups, the report says.

The committee cites recent arguments by some researchers that using reference genomes would be more precise than applying broader labels such as northwestern European...

Researchers should then “tailor” their use of other population descriptors to their study, the report says. For example, no labels at all may be needed for cells used to study a disease if the mechanisms are thought to be the same in people of all backgrounds. For researchers searching for new disease-causing genes, a person’s ethnicity may be relevant if it means environmental factors such as poverty, discrimination, or chemical exposures influence the person’s health. And scientists studying human evolution may need to include the geographic location where samples were collected to help trace a group’s history, for instance.

The one research area in which a person’s perceived or self-identified race may be relevant, the report says, is for studies of health disparities, where racial categories can often serve as a proxy for how structural racism—societywide policies that result in disadvantages to certain groups of people, often on the basis of race—affects an individual’s health or leads to inequities in the medical care they receive...

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Using Population Descriptors in Genetics and Genomics Research: A New Framework for an Evolving Field. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Genetic and genomic information has become far more accessible, and research using human genetic data has grown exponentially over the past decade. Genetics and genomics research is now being conducted by a wide range of investigators across disciplines, who often use population descriptors inconsistently and/or inappropriately to capture the complex patterns of continuous human genetic variation.

In response to a request from the National Institutes of Health, the National Academies assembled an interdisciplinary committee of expert volunteers to conduct a study to review and assess existing methodologies, benefits, and challenges in using race, ethnicity, ancestry, and other population descriptors in genomics research. The resulting report focuses on understanding the current use of population descriptors in genomics research, examining best practices for researchers, and identifying processes for adopting best practices within the biomedical and scientific communities.

Mar 21, 2023, 11:42 pm

Like it or not, we all bear some responsibility for slavery (Guardian)

“My ancestors gained nothing from slavery,” writes John Cookson (Letters, 15 March). Sadly, he is wrong. Everyone in Britain and the rest of the developed world has benefited from at least 200 years of cheap tobacco, coffee, chocolate and, above all, tea and sugar, produced by slaves or indentured labourers (or, today, low-paid workers) in conditions even worse than those his forebears experienced in Manchester and Salford in the 1840s. In addition, they were probably paid to make clothes out of raw cotton grown by slaves in the southern United States. The direct responsibility for slavery certainly lies with the slavers and plantation owners, including the British royal family and most of the aristocracy and merchant classes who invested in the hateful trade. But the moral responsibility has to be borne much more widely and should be in our minds whenever we buy “cheap” goods today...

Mar 22, 2023, 6:22 am

Maybe, but some of our wouldbe ancestors also suffered because of slavery, e.g. the Scots and Irish who were driven out of their homelands by those enriched by the slave trade, and the Native Americans whose lands they landed in.

In Kingston, Ontario where many of the Irish arrived, there are memorials to "fever sheds", a mass RC graveyard, a sad health museum accounting of disease, "Skeleton Park" where bits of bones surfaced regularly. Those that survived may have benefited by economies generated by enslaved Africans, but, boy, the people who didn't survive to become our ancestors sure didn't.

Mar 24, 2023, 11:55 pm

London to pay tribute to victims of slave trade with memorial, says mayor (Guardian)

London is to have a memorial commemorating the victims of the transatlantic slave trade, the first such monument of its scale in Britain, the mayor has announced. The memorial will be built in West India Quay in the capital’s Docklands, close to warehouses that were built to house goods produced through slavery. Debbie Weekes-Bernard, the deputy mayor for communities and social justice, said the intention was to give Londoners “a dedicated space … where they can reflect, where they can memorialise and remember the impact the transatlantic slave trade had on the enslaved and their descendants”. It would also serve as a reminder of the role London had played in the slave trade, and the huge wealth it acquired through it, she said. “What’s incredibly important and unique about what we’re seeking to do is to recognise that while London as a city was a place in which a lot of … discussions took place around the abolition of that slave trade, it was also a place … where benefits were accrued. It was a place where legislation was made, that enabled that slave trade to continue and to develop. “It is a city whose wealth was built on the backs, the lives, the experiences of those who were enslaved. We see it in our institutions, we see it in our buildings, we see it in our public realm”...

Pope Francis returns three fragments of Parthenon to Greece (Guardian)

The desire of Pope Francis to right a wrong has led to the official return to Greece of three ornately carved fragments that once adorned the Parthenon. The works, formerly housed in the Vatican Museum, were unveiled in Athens on Friday. “This act by Pope Francis is of historical significance and has a positive impact on multiple levels,” Greece’s spiritual leader, Archbishop Ieronymos II, told the crowded gallery of the Acropolis Museum where the works will be displayed. “My personal wish is that others will imitate it.” A much larger collection of works taken from the ancient monument more than 200 years ago is still kept by the British Museum...

Sydney to put up more statues of women after its public art labelled a ‘sausage party’ (Guardian)

A councillor has described Sydney’s public art as “sausage party” amid a campaign to balance gender representation among the city’s public statues. There are just six public statues of women in the city of Sydney, including two of Queen Victoria and one of saint Mary MacKillop. The trend extends across all Australian states. Six out of 33 statues in the city of Adelaide are of women – making it the state with the highest proportion of statues of women. In Melbourne and Brisbane, women make up only 15% of statues. Labor councillor Linda Scott moved a motion for the city of Sydney to set up a public art advisory panel to guide the process of delivering at least three new artworks “celebrating, commemorating or depicting women”... “When it comes to Sydney statues, it’s unfortunately a bit of a sausage party,” Scott said. “There are about five times as many statues of birds in the city of Sydney than there are of women”...

Mar 29, 2023, 2:43 am

Guardian owner apologises for founders’ links to transatlantic slavery (Guardian)

The owner of the Guardian has issued an apology for the role the newspaper’s founders had in transatlantic slavery and announced a decade-long programme of restorative justice. The Scott Trust said it expected to invest more than £10m (US$12.3m, A$18.4m), with millions dedicated specifically to descendant communities linked to the Guardian’s 19th-century founders. It follows independent academic research commissioned in 2020 to investigate whether there was any historical connection between chattel slavery and John Edward Taylor, the journalist and cotton merchant who founded the newspaper in 1821, and the other Manchester businessmen who funded its creation. The Scott Trust Legacies of Enslavement report, published on Tuesday, revealed that Taylor, and at least nine of his 11 backers, had links to slavery, principally through the textile industry...

Mar 30, 2023, 11:17 am

Vatican repudiates 'Doctrine of Discovery' used to justify colonialism after demands from Indigenous peoples (ABC)

The Vatican has responded to Indigenous demands and formally repudiated the "Doctrine of Discovery," the theories backed by 15th-century "papal bulls" that legitimised the colonial-era seizure of Native lands and form the basis of some property law today. A Vatican statement said the 15th-century papal bulls, or decrees, "did not adequately reflect the equal dignity and rights of Indigenous peoples" and have never been considered expressions of the Catholic faith. It said the documents had been "manipulated" for political purposes by colonial powers "to justify immoral acts against Indigenous peoples that were carried out, at times, without opposition from ecclesial authorities". The statement, from the Vatican's development and education offices, said it was right to "recognise these errors", acknowledge the terrible effects of colonial-era assimilation policies on Indigenous peoples and ask for their forgiveness...

Mar 30, 2023, 12:02 pm

Wonder if this will prompt flurry of court cases?

Editado: Abr 22, 2023, 12:13 pm

The community of Akwesasne is in US and Canada both, straddling the St Lawrence River. Much smuggling--tobacco etc. as well as immigrants. (The movie "Frozen River" captured the atmsphere well.) Eight wouldbe immigrants drowned crossing into the US just recently. Years ago, residents had more autonomy, e.g., Akwesasne passports as well as that of (US/Canada?). More recently (below), band membership was offered to a Nigerian nun to prevent her deportation, but Canadian law required the deportation (2006).

One big difference between US and Canada is the sheer number of treaties in Canada written as settlement moved west? Also, it seems to me, that Canadian treaties tend to be written philosophically with details to be worked out later? In US, fewer treaties that often followed wars, and were more prescriptive... Not sure which system will be easier to fix, but we're definitely in a new era for courts. (Coursera has U Alberta course "Indigenous Canada".)

After the migrant deaths in Akwesasne, Canadian immigration law must reckon with its colonial history
Vincent Wong, The Conversation | April 21, 2023

Abr 26, 2023, 11:59 pm

Trinity College's Berkeley Library to be renamed over slavery links (BBC)

- Trinity College Dublin will no longer call one of its libraries after the philosopher George Berkeley

- It says his links to slavery are "inconsistent with the university’s core values"

- Berkeley's work is still widely studied and Trinity College will continue to teach it...

Maio 1, 2023, 2:05 am

Imperial War Museum to exhibit conflicting perspectives on Troubles (Guardian)

Complicated and contested stories of conflicts have been told by the Imperial War Museum (IWM) for more than a century. Now, for the first time, it is to tackle the UK’s own war: the 30-year Troubles in Northern Ireland that embroiled civilians, paramilitary groups and the British army, leaving hundreds dead and communities traumatised... “We wanted to show that it’s complex, difficult – and not over. And we wanted to listen to how and why people disagree about what happened, and air different viewpoints.” Visitors to the London museum will hear often contradictory testimonies from different players – paramilitaries, police, soldiers and civilians – collected by Murray over five years. “So much is contested, but even if you disagree with what you’re hearing, it’s important to hear it”...

the need to “depersonalise” targets. “Anyone can shoot a target, but it’s much more difficult to shoot ‘Brian’ who has three children and likes golf and does a bit of charity work … The actors in a conflict have to distance themselves from the humanity of their enemy but in doing that you diminish your own humanity”...

"Hundreds dead"? I thought the figure was more like 3,500.

Maio 1, 2023, 8:09 am

>137 John5918: The song Suspect Device off the album Inflammable Material by the Belfast punk band Stiff Little Fingers (2 members protestant, 2 members catholic) starts off 'Inflammable material planted in my head/it's a suspect device that's left 2000 dead'. That record much about the Troubles came out in 1978 or 79 and the conflict went on until the later 1990's. I think your 3,500 is probably a lot more accurate but might also be a little bit low.

A thing that happens is that one atrocity snowballs into others. Also the British govt. and particularly under Margaret Thatcher's leadership was very much complicit in the violence and very much less so in finding solutions to the violence.....bringing opposing sides together to talk out their issues. Margaret depended at least sometimes on Ian Paisley's (a noted religious bigot) Unionists keeping her in power.

Maio 3, 2023, 11:49 pm

Commonwealth Indigenous leaders demand apology from the king for effects of colonisation (Guardian)

Australians have joined Indigenous leaders and politicians across the Commonwealth to demand King Charles III make a formal apology for the effects of British colonisation, make reparations by redistributing the wealth of the British crown, and return artefacts and human remains. Days out from Charles’s coronation in London, campaigners for republic and reparations movements in 12 countries have written a letter asking the new monarch to start a process towards “a formal apology and for a process of reparatory justice to commence”. “We know this may be a tough conversation for the royal family, but change begins with listening”... The letter, titled “apology, reparation, and repatriation of artefacts and remains”, has been signed by representatives of Antigua and Barbuda, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, the Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines...

Elite UK schools’ financial links to slavery revealed (Guardian)

research shows mostly private schools given equivalent of tens of millions of pounds of donations by British slavers...

Maio 9, 2023, 3:50 am

Critics fear Benin Bronzes could be privatized by royal heir
Nikolas Fischer | 8 May 2023

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has given {20} Benin Bronzes restituted by Germany to Oba Ewuare II, the head of Benin's former royal family. Germany stands by the decision to restitute the sculptures...

Maio 14, 2023, 12:09 am

‘Inevitable’ India’s jewels taken by British empire will be returned, says author (Guardian)

A leading writer on the British empire has said it is inevitable that Indian jewels and historical artefacts looted under colonial rule will be returned, amid reports that the country will begin a campaign to get them repatriated... India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, and diplomats are shaping up for a campaign to reclaim items in British museums and held by the royal family later this year. It includes the controversial Koh-i-noor diamond, which is held by the royal family and has featured in discussions about its potential use in the coronation; the treasures of Tipu Sultan, which are in the Victoria and Albert Museum and Powis Castle; and the Amaravati Marbles. Sanghera said: “Our museums and the royal family are in possession of billions of pounds worth of Indian loot. It was a systematic part of colonial rule. The royal family was given the king’s share of that loot. When we annexed parts of India and Burma {now Myanmar}, there were representatives of our museums there to take things, soldiers took loot and sold it, too. It’s not just the financial value of these items, there is also the emotional and religious value"...

Maio 22, 2023, 12:52 pm

The toxic landscape of colonialism: Venice’s Architecture Biennale spotlights Africa (Guardian)

Is the era of the elderly white male finally over? This year’s global extravaganza, boasting a Ghanaian-Scottish curator, features a huge number of exhibitors from Africa – and shows its vicious exploitation continues...

Editado: Maio 23, 2023, 12:47 am

Ethiopia's Prince Alemayehu: Buckingham Palace rejects calls to return royal's body (BBC)

Buckingham Palace has declined a request to return the remains of an Ethiopian prince who came to be buried at Windsor Castle in the 19th Century. Prince Alemayehu was taken to the UK aged just seven and arrived an orphan after his mother died on the journey... a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said removing his remains could affect others buried in the catacombs of St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. "It is very unlikely that it would be possible to exhume the remains without disturbing the resting place of a substantial number of others in the vicinity," the palace said...

How Prince Alemayehu ended up in the UK at such a young age was the result of imperial action and the failure of diplomacy... a huge military expedition, involving some 13,000 British and Indian troops... The force also included an official from the British Museum. In April 1868 they laid siege to Tewodros' mountain fortress at Maqdala in northern Ethiopia, and in a matter of hours overwhelmed the defences. The emperor decided he would rather take his own life than be a prisoner of the British, an action that turned him into a heroic figure among his people.After the battle, the British plundered thousands of cultural and religious artefacts. These included gold crowns, manuscripts, necklaces and dresses. Historians say dozens of elephants and hundreds of mules were needed to cart away the treasures, which are today scattered across European museums and libraries, as well as in private collections. The British also took away Prince Alemayehu and his mother, Empress Tiruwork Wube...

Maio 24, 2023, 3:21 am

New research on the demographic history and genetic structure in pre-Hispanic Central Mexico sets a standard for how paleogenomics can be conducted in an ethical and sustainable manner:

Bastien Llamas and Xavier Roca-Rada et al. 2023. Paleogenomic study of the Mexican past: Ancient DNA analysis of ancestral Mexicans reveals a complex demographic history. Science (11 May 2023) Vol 380, Issue 6645, pp. 578-579
DOI: 10.1126/science.adh7902 .

The discovery that DNA survives in archaeological remains revolutionized archaeology, anthropology, and evolutionary biology, leading to the establishment of paleogenomics as a bona fide field of research (1). In the context of the Americas, paleogenomic researchers have used ancestral genomic information to reconstruct human history with exquisite detail. However, ethical concerns surrounding practices perceived as extractive and colonizing have sometimes overshadowed this endeavor.

...scholars from the Global South argued that sustainable paleogenomic research should be based on principles of “knowledge sharing, capacity building, mutual respect, and equitable participation”

...only Mexican researchers who are sensitive to the social reality of their country can implement best practices when engaging with the communities closest to the archaeological sites, especially given the challenges involved in consulting with Indigenous populations regarding the destructive analysis of ancestral humans in Mexico.

Viridiana Villa-Islas et al. 2023. Demographic history and genetic structure in pre-Hispanic Central Mexico. Science
(12 May 2023) Vol 380, Issue 6645. DOI: 10.1126/science.add6142 .

Editor’s summary
... Villa-Islas et al. analyzed ancient DNA from pre-Hispanic individuals in northern and central Mexico, revealing contributions from an unknown “ghost” population... They found that some populations endured in regions of central Mexico despite changing climate beginning in the 10th century. Much of the ancient population’s genetic structure has withstood population declines and is represented in present-day Indigenous populations.

Editado: Maio 25, 2023, 11:20 am

Adam Kinzinger #fella @AdamKinzinger | 9:17 AM · May 25, 2023
This will make you sick. A Chinese salvage ship is destroying historic shipwrecks/graves across the ocean. Including these two British ships from WW2. *

Why are Chinese communists SO bad ALL the time? Sink the salvager

Quote Tweet
Elizabeth Vstx @EVostox · May 18

Need your help to spread the news. Apparently, there's an ongoing illegal salvage operation on suspected location where the HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse sunk by Chinese-registrated salvage ship.…
Video ( )
Text, English and Malaysian? ( )
Photo ( )
Labeled photo, Malaysian? ( )

"10 December 1941 in the South China Sea off the east coast of the British colonies of Malaya (present-day Malaysia) and the Straits Settlements (present-day Singapore and its coastal towns), 70 miles (61 nautical miles; 110 kilometres) east of Kuantan, Pahang. The Royal Navy battleship HMS Prince of Wales and battlecruiser HMS Repulse were sunk by land-based bombers and torpedo bombers of the Imperial Japanese Navy"

These important tools are made from sunken warships
Logan Nye | Jun 5, 2022

Let's say you need to make a very sensitive tool to detect radiation. Maybe you need to use it for medical purposes, detecting specific isotopes as they move through a human body. Or perhaps it's for the tools to detect radiation to prevent dirty bombs and nuclear smuggling. Wherever your radiation is, if you want super accurate measurements of it, you have to make your tools out of low-background steel, and that's hard to get.

China is party to Law of the Sea. The US is not.

Maio 27, 2023, 12:20 am

Connecticut 'witches' exonerated by Senate lawmakers (BBC)

Connecticut lawmakers have voted to exonerate 12 people more than 370 years after they were convicted of witchcraft in colonial America. Eleven of the 12 were hanged after trials that the state Senate now acknowledges were a "miscarriage of justice". It follows a long-running campaign by descendants to clear the names of those wrongfully accused of being witches. Dozens were executed for witchcraft in the US in the 17th Century...

Maio 28, 2023, 12:34 am

Native American sues school for barring sacred eagle feather at graduation (BBC)

A Native American high school graduate has sued an Oklahoma school district for not allowing her to wear a sacred eagle feather at graduation. Lena Black says Broken Arrow Public Schools violated her religious and free speech rights during her commencement ceremony last year. The Broken Arrow Public Schools has declined to comment on the lawsuit. Her lawsuit follows another in Colorado, where a student sued for not being allowed to wear her Mexican sash... "My eagle plume has been part of my cultural and spiritual practices since I was three years old," Ms Black said in a statement released by Native American Rights Fund. "I wore this plume on graduation day in recognition of my academic achievement and to carry the prayers of my Otoe-Missouria community with me"...

Maio 30, 2023, 12:39 am

How did patriarchy actually begin? (BBC)

human ways of organising ourselves actually don't have many parallels in the animal kingdom. The word "patriarchy", meaning "rule of the father", reflects how male power has long been believed to start in the family with men as heads of their households, passing power from fathers to sons. But across the primate world, this is vanishingly rare... Among humans, patriarchy isn't universal either... The first clear signs of women being treated categorically differently from men appear much later, in the first states in ancient Mesopotamia, the historical region around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in what is now Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Around 5,000 years ago... The elites in these early societies needed people to be available to produce a surplus of resources for them, and to be available to defend the state – even to give up their lives, if needed, in times of war. Maintaining population levels put an inevitable pressure on families. Over time, young women were expected to focus on having more and more babies, especially sons who would grow up to fight. The most important thing for the state was that everybody played their part according to how they had been categorised: male or female. Individual talents, needs, or desires didn't matter. A young man who didn't want to go to war might be mocked as a failure; a young woman who didn't want to have children or wasn't motherly could be condemned as unnatural... Rather than beginning in the family, then, history points instead to patriarchy beginning with those in power in the first states...

Editado: Maio 31, 2023, 10:10 am

Even today Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) women have a lot of authority in the community, judging by one acquaintance's reference to "aunties" in his tribe:

From animal behaviour class eons ago, I remember that baboon community organization (harem or not) is a social construct. If a female from a non-harem community was moved to a harem-community, the alpha male would enforce his dominion until she gave up her independent ways.

I think early human societies valued and needed each other's contributions to survive. No extra resources to carry lotsa chattel or slaves? So extra resources in ag- and industrial societies plus males typically being the larger gender--no wonder they came to fear female "power", persecuting herb/poison-smart "witches", etc.

Maio 31, 2023, 8:39 am

>148 John5918:, >149 margd: Newish book The Dawn of Everything has a perspective on these social constructs, and particularly from a Native American angle.

Jun 9, 2023, 1:52 am

Georgetown makes first slavery reparation grants (Tablet)

The Jesuits owned plantations in Maryland but sold their slaves in 1838 in order to provide funding for the university...

Jun 12, 2023, 12:21 am

Belgium's Africa Museum rethinks its relationship with Congo (BBC)

The museum traces its origins back to when King Leopold II set up the International Exposition of 1897. As part of that, 267 Congolese men, women and children were taken by force to Belgium and exhibited to the public in fenced fake villages on the site where the museum now stands... The "human zoo" was a tool to convince visitors that Belgium had a duty to bring civilization and Christianity to the African country. The exposition was a huge success and so began Belgium's long and violent history in the Congo... the museum is now marking its 125th year. It is also five years since it underwent a massive renovation, where it removed problematic statues and changed the labelling around objects that created a negative stereotype about Africa...

Jun 14, 2023, 12:17 am

Māori ancestral remains and mummified heads returned to New Zealand from Germany (Guardian)

Māori and Moriori tribes will today welcome home the human remains and tattooed, mummified heads of 95 of their ancestors, which were once traded and sought after by overseas collectors. The ancestral remains, which included six toi moko (tattooed heads), were returned to New Zealand on Wednesday from where they had been held in six museums and institutions across Germany. For many indigenous New Zealanders, Māori and Moriori, the taking of their ancestors is a source of grief and anger. “The connection to our tūpuna {ancestors} is continuous, despite time and location, and it is our responsibility and obligation to reunite them with their people and whenua {land},” said Dr Arapata Hakiwai, kaihautū, or Māori co-leader, at Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum. “We believe that our ancestors are not resting in peace while behind the glass cabinets and in vaults in institutions overseas,” Sir Pou Temara, the repatriation advisory panel chair, told the Guardian in a 2022 interview. “We find that repugnant. We hear our ancestors crying out to be returned to New Zealand.” In the early 1800s there was a brisk and lucrative trade of Māori tattooed and mummified heads, which were sought after by collectors – and until the 1970s the remains of Māori and Moriori were being widely traded as curiosities or objects of scientific interest. A number of the skulls that have ended up in international institutions were stolen from sacred grave sites...

Jun 18, 2023, 1:07 am

Cameroon's Ngonnso: 'My fight to bring our sacred stolen statue home (BBC)

When Sylvie Vernyuy Njobati saw the sacred statue of her Nso people for the first time, she was shaking. "It was emotional because I was seeing... our founder... our mother locked up in some glass container. And for 120 years, she's been yelling out. She needs to be back home," she told the BBC's The Comb podcast. The centuries-old statue - known as the Ngonnso - was on display in a museum in the German capital, Berlin, thousands of miles away from "home" in Cameroon. It had been in Europe since it had been taken by a German colonialist at the beginning of the last century. In 2018, Ms Njobati made a promise to her grandfather - to bring back the Ngonnso, which embodies the history and identity of her people. Three years later she was face-to-face with Ngonnso, a wooden carving less than a metre in height and covered in sea shells. But the effigy was in a glass cabinet. Her journey to try and fulfil the pledge to her grandfather would take her across continents and ultimately change her life. It was also a quest that would serve as an inspiration for others working for the return of artefacts looted in the colonial era...

Jun 19, 2023, 11:54 pm

Dutch study reveals extent of wealth made via slavery from three past rulers (Guardian)

Historians calculated the staggering value of colonial profit for Willem III (also king of England, Ireland and Scotland), Willem IV and Willem V for a report published at the request of the Dutch parliament last week before a widely expected apology over slavery from the Dutch king. The study, State and Slavery, is the first to quantify the financial value to the Dutch House of Orange-Nassau of colonial trade that included enslaving at least 600,000 African men, women and children and between 660,000 and 1 million people from Asia to be tortured, exploited and robbed of their freedom and their names. It is a legacy for which Willem-Alexander is expected to present a formal apology in Amsterdam’s Oosterpark on 1 July, the festival of Keti Koti (breaking the chains), 150 years after Dutch slavery in effect ended... Last year, the UK’s King Charles, then Prince of Wales, expressed “the depths of his personal sorrow” about suffering caused by the British slave trade, and in 2021 Germany offered €1bn in recognition of colonial-era genocide in Namibia. Last December, the Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, apologised for the government’s role and the “appalling suffering” caused to generations, and announced a €200m fund for awareness initiatives but no reparations or damages...

Jun 24, 2023, 9:29 am

Sean Speer and David Frum discuss astonishing new proposals by Canadian federal authorities to criminalize historical investigation in Canada.

‘Guilt is a poor guide to action’: David Frum on residential schools and understanding the past and present (24:21)
The Hub Staff|Posted on June 23, 2023

...In light of a new report to the federal government on possible unmarked graves at the sites of former Indian residential schools, the two discuss the challenges with criminalizing open discussions about the past as well as the importance of addressing contemporary challenges facing Indigenous peoples...

Editado: Jul 7, 2023, 1:10 am

BBC News: Netherlands to return treasures to Indonesia and Sri Lanka

The Netherlands is set to hand back hundreds of precious artefacts taken from Indonesia and Sri Lanka during its colonial period... A report had urged the government to return items if countries request them. The agreed restitution comes as the Netherlands increasingly confronts its colonial past. Other countries have also began returning precious looted artefacts in recent years . Notable examples include British and German museums signing over some of the so-called Benin Bronzes stolen from Nigeria during a large-scale 1897 British military expedition. "{This is} the first time that we are returning objects that should never have been in the Netherlands," Culture Minister Gunay Uslu said...

Jul 18, 2023, 7:06 am

"Stranded" :/ Kind of like the artwork stranded by the Nazis?

Abby D. Phillip (CNN) @abbydphillip | 6:18 AM · Jul 18, 2023:
Israel lent the White House ancient artifacts in 2019... now they're at Mar-a-Lago and authorities have been unable to get them back

Israeli antiquities are stranded at Trump's estate as authorities fail to retrieve them
Israeli clay lamps, intended for a brief exhibition in Washington D.C. in 2019, got stranded in the U.S. due to the pandemic. Recently, they were found at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida
Amir TibonNir Hasson | Jul 18, 2023

Antiquities belonging to Israel have been kept for the past several months at former U.S. President Donald Trump’s
...Among the antiquities are ancient ceramic candles which are part of Israel's national treasures collection. They were sent to the U.S. in 2019 with the approval of then-Director of the Israeli Antiquities Authority, Israel Hasson, on the condition that they be returned within weeks, yet almost four years later, they have yet to be returned.