My death row meal would be an iced coffee with double cream and a warm croissant.
Kicking and Screaming
In June of 1974, the Chilean National Football team or “la Roja” gathered for a speech presented by their head of state, Augusto Pinochet, before being sent abroad to the World Cup. Only nine months earlier, Pinochet had assumed the position as president of Chile after a successful coup d’etat which resulted in the death of former Socialist President Salvador Allende and the so called “interior war” propagated by Pinochet’s regime against civilians. This speech came days before the team was set to travel abroad to play in the World Cup tournament against West Germany. At the conclusion of the speech, the team members stood in a line as Pinochet and five government officials shook their hands. One member, Leonardo Véliz remembers this experience and stated that, “having to shake hands with the head of a government that practiced state terrorism was very difficult.” Another teammate, Carlos Caszely recalled the same moment, sharing a similar opinion as Véliz. However, Caszely did not submit himself to shaking hands and in that moment refused to do so. “A cold shiver went down my spine” he recalls, “when he started coming closer I put my hand behind me and didn’t give it to him.” According to an interview with the player, Caszely states that his refusal to shake hands with Pinochet came after news of his mother’s abduction and torture by the Chilean police. In retrospect, he believes the initial abduction to be a sort of warning for him to keep his silence about the state of the country while abroad. Caszely’s decision to not acknowledge Pinochet is widely regarded as the first public display of dissidence against the regime since it’s beginning.
'Climate Refugees' in the International Sphere
The idea of a “climate refugee” is a fairly new concept yet there is much controversy surrounding it. The term was first introduced by Lester Brown of the Worldwatch Institute in the mid 1970s and has been used by various authors and academics since. In general, when we think of a “climate refugee” we think of a person or group of people who have been forced to leave their home due to the various effects of climate change including droughts, storms, flooding, etc. The concept was introduced in the 1970s yet it is being used more frequently in academic dialogue especially as climate change progresses. Certainly as the earth’s temperature continues to rise so too will the number of persons affected by the implications of global warming.This paper will first discuss how to define environmentally displaced persons and what implications are being faced by defining them. I will then discuss both the presence and absence of international policy protecting this group of people. Finally, I will discuss various approaches to creating policy which defines and protects the group’s existence. The goal of this paper is to argue that the international community should put more effort into categorizing and protecting these people because of the urgency of the situation.
Playlist for the Soul
I'll be completely honest. I got the inspiration for this playlist from the Big Little Lies soundtrack and yes, some of those songs are on here. BUT, for those of you who have seen the show you will know what I mean! And for those of you who haven't please go watch it I promise it is worth the hype I'm giving it.
Jean-Michel Basquiat and Neo-Expressionism: A Critique of the New York City Police Department
It was a mild summer night on September 15, 1983 when popular graffiti artist, Michael Stewart, was headed home and was confronted by a group of police officers after tagging a wall. New York City had been getting “tough on crime” in the 1980s and the emergence of street art and its rising popularity only served to heighten tensions between the artists and police. The details of what transpired on that night remain unknown due to unprofessional police reporting. However, eyewitness testimony stated that the New York City Police Department unlawfully attacked Michael Stewart, eventually hospitalizing and causing the death of the young artist. The exact cause of his death was highly contested, as both medical examination and autopsy reports changed; even the trial itself was shrouded in doubts as some claimed perjury on the part of the NYPD. Nothing about the proceedings of the night or Stewart’s death added up, but further inquiry suggested that his death was the result of asphyxiation due to a chokehold. When news of his death circulated through the art world, many were devastated by the loss, but fellow artist Jean-Michel Basquiat took it extremely hard. Basquiat’s friend and other famous New York artist, Keith Haring, stated “It was like it could have been him. It showed him how vulnerable he was.” Basquiat went on to create one of his most famous and haunting paintings later that year called "Defacement (The Death of Michael Stewart)" (1983) in honor of the late artist.
Into East Africa
I traveled to Bujumbura, Burundi during my senior year of undergrad and stayed there for about a month. The journey took one three hour car ride, and three separate flights over the course of 28 hours but we made it. I traveled with my boyfriend whose family is from Burundi and who had only visited, himself, every so often. To say I felt grateful would be an understatement. And before I get into the rest of this piece, I think it is important to note that I am no expert on Burundi. I was born lower middle class and white in Upstate New York and therefore can only translate this experience through my own lens.