25 June 2012

At Arm's Length. A creative insight into the arms trade

| johnboy
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This in from James Fahy:

We’ve recently seen some incredibly shocking images from Syria. And despite the constant stream of images from war zones that pervade the 24-hour news cycle, the massacre of 49 children in particular has captured us in a collective sense of sorrow. It’s clear that the free trade in weapons has played a role in the massacre, as it has in other conflicts which are disturbingly similar in the scale of destruction and lack of respect for human life. So how can we move from the horrific images replayed by the news cycle to a real understanding of cause/effect, beginnings, endings, resolutions, perhaps panacea? While Amnesty doesn’t have them all, as an organisation it takes a unique approach to getting to the heart of the problem, and to us, with a incredible range of advocacy and campaign activities.

ARTillery Festival is one of those ventures; a foray into the potential of arts and creative expression to illuminate the darkness. This year, Amnesty and ARTillery are making loud noises designed to get a realistic and legally binding Arms Trade Treaty on the table in the global halls of power. But being so distant from Syria, and other zones of intense conflict, it can be hard to grasp even a basic idea of the intense emotions and sorrow that exist there, to fear armed violence, or to have a gun put in your hand at age 12, or to have your local health clinic bombed just as you’re about to give birth. Life continues even in war zones – but how can we find a space to express ourselves inside that?

Scissors Paper Pen and ARTillery are teaming up to investigate this idea of being “At Arms Length” – along with a collection of artists from Canberra, Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne. Essentially “At Arms Length” is a concept that tries to acknowledge that asking creative people to respond to challenging stories cannot be a request made lightly.

The show is on 29 June at the ANU Food Co-op. There is a website for more information.


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I think hard questions should be asked about why the USA (and its lapdogs, eg, Australia) has aligned itself with Saudi Arabia and the Sunni extremists to create a state of civil war in Syria.

The Sunnis have as their stated aim the extermination of Shia, Kurd, Christian, Allawite, and any other minority in Syria and the establishment of an islamist state.

We have now facilitated the takeover by islamists in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and soon Syria.

Anybody else wondering what the USA is trying to achieve here? I thought under Obama the “end times/end of days” loonies were no longer calling the shots?
Seems to me they are deliberately trying to create the conditions for their Armageddon. Seeing as the muslims hold the same looney-tune beliefs, maybe the USA and Saudi Arabia are actually working together on this?

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