Women Against Fundamentalism: Stories of Dissent and Solidarity, ed: Sukhwant Dhaliwal and Nira Yuval-Davis, (Lawrence & Wishart, 2014) includes essays by 19 members of Women Against Fundamentalism (WAF), a remarkable secular, feminist organization in the UK. WAF was born out of the desire of women from the Islamic community to oppose the fatwa on writer Salman Rushdie.
Plays about real-life human dramas often plumb deep cultural roots. For the first time in earth’s history, massive climate change is taking place in the presence of a terrestrial species that expresses itself in cultural artifacts. Human activity threatens the natural world, but humans are also able to study and to project the probable outcomes of that activity. Human society will also determine whether the mass extinction of species currently underway will bury it as well.
An American playwright and MLK scholar Dr. Clay Carson takes a choir of seven African American gospel singers to Palestine. There his play Passages of Martin Luther King has been adapted as Al Helm (the dream) by director Kamel El Basha for the Palestinian National Theatre Company.
Save Our Unions: Dispatches from a Movement in Distress
by Steve Early
New York: Monthly Review Press, 2013
At the beginning of 2013, American workers were reeling from body blows -- in Michigan among other places. How does that state transmogrify from being the heart of the labor movement to a "right-to-work (for less)" locale, taking its place alongside the Deep South? This anti-worker plague swept through surrounding states. Indiana, Wisconsin and Ohio, in that order, took away workers' right to negotiate their conditions, even though this tack was defeated by a vote of the public in Ohio in November 2011. Indiana enacted a right-to-work law affecting private sector employees. A year after the Ohio vote, workers in Michigan were defeated on two referenda concerning government workers' ability to negotiate. At that stage, what happened in the latter state shouldn't have shocked anyone.
Gold Rush In The Jungle by Dan Drollette Jr, The Race to Discover and Defend the Rarest Animals of Vietnam’s “Lost World” (Crown Publishers, New York, 316 pages, $25.00)
Award-winning science writer Dan Drollette’s first book is as exciting as an Indiana Jones jungle adventure, with important differences. The good guys and the bad guys in “Gold Rush in the Jungle” are real people, and the timely tale is true.
The American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) is a Baltimore treasure housing the art of self-taught artists – many of them working class, some with histories of mental health breakdowns, of exile and genocide, of poverty and exclusion. This is outsider art that leaves you gasping with awe at the dazzling work people can create out of matchsticks or crocheted yarn remnants or broken dishes. Many of the exhibited pieces are sparkly and intricate and wrenching and extreme.