Voices from Kolkota to Casa Blanca Voices of Struggle, Voices for Change brought to by SWANA the (South and West Asian and North Africa) Collective of KPFK on Pacifica Radio
KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles, 98.7FM in Santa Barbara
and Streaming LIVE @ www.kpfk.org
Produced and hosted by Nile El Wardani (SWANA collective)
Thursday May 7th 2009 (3-4pm - PST)
IRAQ: The Road Forward
Is there greater hope for Iraq and its people
under President Obama?
***************************************Host/Producer Nile El Wardani will speak to three young people whose lives have been drastically altered because of the US occupation of Iraq. We will hear their perspectives and also discuss a current art exhibition at the Hammer Museum, “It Is What It Is: Conversations About Iraq,” where people in Los Angeles are able to go daily and have informal—and uncensored—conversations with experts on Iraq, from Iraqi exiles to vets, journalists and activists who talk about Iraq from their own experiences. Guests include:
Susu Attar is a young Iraqi-born American artist based in San Francisco. Her multi media work includes Iraqi influenced painting as well as new media technology. She has worked extensively with youth in the arts, helping to create programs that foster creative communication. Susu is a co-owner of thirdSPACE Productions, a graphic design company in San Francisco and serves as a board member of Elev8, a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization dedicated to youth empowerment and education thru visual arts. The Project Souarna will take Susu to Jordan this summer to work with Iraqi and Palestinian refugee youth through the medium of photography. For more information: http://projectsouarna.wordpress.com
Jake Di Liberto is a young American war veteran. As a marine he served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Jake’s veteran story is not unique. The first Muslim he ever met was holding a gun. As was he. Jake saw much death and destruction and suffered severe PTSD. Back to civilian life he continued to defend the wars and what he had been told they stood for. At college he fatefully encountered another “Muslim enemy” his Palestinian-born professor of political science. Taking on the challenge Jake studied under Dr. Nasser. An enormously brave young man, Jake tells the story of how his life was transformed and why he now chooses to wage peace not war.
Saif Al Hakim is a young Iraqi-born American whose career as a television producer and director took him back to his native Iraq following the U.S. invasion in 2003. He is the former CFO of the Beladi Satellite Channel in Iraq and ran his own production company in Baghdad. Saif participated in several Iraqi government reconstruction task force projects and remains in contact with Iraqi news media and various businesses. Many of his relatives have worked in government dealing with various political factions. He has observed life under occupation as lived by both Iraqis and U.S. military. Saif continues to work in Iraq today.
Radio Intifada - SWANA Calendar:
Ongoing Exhibit at the Hammer Museum
It Is What It Is: Conversations About Iraq is a new work by British artist Jeremy Deller. The artist has invited a diverse group of individuals—including Iraq war veterans, journalists, scholars, and Iraqi nationals who have first-hand experience of Iraq—to take up residence at the Hammer Museum with the express purpose of encouraging discussion with visitors to the Museum. Jordan Elgrably, cofounder of the Levantine Cultural Center, worked with Deller and the Hammer to organize these experts. They include young media producer Saif Al-Hakim, anthropologist Yasin Alkelesi, Manal El-Shawaf Karim—a Baghdad-born businesswoman who got her Master’s in Architecture at UCLA—, Iraqi artists Paul Batou and Hanaa Al-Wardi, and a number of American vets including Sean Huze, who served in Iraq from 2001-2005 and has since authored several critically acclaimed plays including “Sand Storm: Stories from the Front” and “Weasel” which debuted at The Kennedy Center's Page 2 Stage Festival. His third play, “The Dragon Slayer,” addresses post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by the experience of combat in Iraq.
The remains of a car that was destroyed in Iraq will share the courtyard with the resident guest experts. This object is meant to stimulate dialogue and ground conversations in reality. From March though mid-April, Jeremy Deller traveled aboard an RV (the destroyed car hitched to the back) with two Iraq experts and a writer, who documented the journey. The RV stopped at various cultural institutions in cities including Washington, DC, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Houston along the way to continue the conversation on a national scale, arriving at the Hammer Museum in April. It Is What It Is: Conversations About Iraq is part of the Three M Project – a series by the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, to commission, organize, and co-present new works of art. It Is What It Is: Conversations About Iraq is curated at the New Museum by Laura Hoptman, Kraus Family Senior Curator and Amy Mackie, Curatorial Assistant and for Creative Time by Nato Thompson, Curator. The project is presented in collaboration with Creative Time.
Event—May 15, 2009—7-9:30 pm. A Night on Afghanistan Bringing Together Authors, Activists and Musicians at Levantine Cultural Center
What Do We Really Know About Afghanistan? And Will It Become Obama’s Iraq? On Friday evening, May 15, Levantine Cultural Center hosts a salon devoted to discussion of Afghanistan, past and present. Authors Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould will be talking about their new book “Invisible History: Afghanistan’s Untold Story” (City Lights 2009) including a DVD presentation. They’ll be introduced by a prominent Afghan-American attorney and activist, Mariam Atash Nawabi, and the evening will wind up with live music by young Afghan-American singer/songwriter Ariana Delawari. For information/reservations call Levantine Cultural Center, 310.657.5511 or visit levantinecenter.org.
Event—May 23rd, 2009, 5-10 pm. “One Hundred and One Levantine Delights: A Middle Eastern Festival of Arts for Peace” will mark the start of Levantine Cultural Center’s eighth year integrating cultural diplomacy and arts programs on the Middle East and North Africa. This magical festival of arts for peace features a peace tent as well as live music, dance, spoken word, a hookah lounge, fortune telling and special booths—a kind of Middle Eastern/North African extravaganza in the spirit of the annual Renaissance Pleasure Faire. Attendees are encouraged to arrive dressed in traditional/ethnic attire. The event is a tribute to the late Walter Marks, Jr., a humanitarian and philanthropist who supported progressive causes in Israel, the Occupied Territories and the Arab world, as well as local organizations like MPAC, the Progressive Jewish Alliance, the ACLU and Liberty Hill Foundation. For information/reservations call Levantine Cultural Center, 310.657.5511 or visit levantinecenter.org