Nationalism, Class, and Activism in Lebanon in the Shadow of Syrian Civil War
Yasemin Ipek, Assistant Professor in the Global Affairs Program, George Mason University
Monday, April 1, 2019, 4:30-6 p.m.
Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall
Between 2011 and 2014, more than a million registered Syrian refugees came to Lebanon, making the tiny country host to the largest refugee population per capita in the world. Based on ethnographic research in Beirut between 2012 and 2015 with a wide-ranging set of actors such as unemployed NGO volunteers, middle-class social entrepreneurs, advocacy activists, the returning Lebanese diaspora, and Western aid workers, this talk examines the reconfigurations of Lebanese nationalism and sectarianism in the aftermath of the Syrian civil war. The Lebanese experience of activism, which has been transformed in the context of the Syrian civil war and the refugee crisis, questions the common theorizing that tends to romanticize activism as inherently subversive. The talk suggests that local framings of activism cannot be understood only through lenses of the liberal human rights discourse or neoliberalism, but are also tied to diverse postcolonial aspirations and practices related to national identity.
Co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Islamic Studies, Global Studies, the Arabic section and Peace and Conflict Studies
We are thrilled to announce three upcoming events in “Reflections From The Field”, a new speaker series at Swarthmore College, which brings people working on the front lines of conflict and social change to campus to reflect upon *what* they do, *why* they do it and how *they* came to do it.
1. “These Birds Walk”, a film screening and conversation with director and cinematographer Omar Mullick.
Monday, March 13th @ 7:30PM Science Center 101
In Karachi, Pakistan, a runaway boy’s life hangs on one critical question: where is home? The streets, an orphanage, or with the family he fled in the first place? Simultaneously heart- wrenching and life-affirming, THESE BIRDS WALK documents the struggles of these wayward street children and the humanitarians looking out for them in an ethereal and inspirational story of resilience. Listed by The New Yorker as one of the best foreign films of the 21st century, this is a must see!
Omar Mullick is a film director and cinematographer known for his work on the 2013 feature film THESE BIRDS WALK. A 2016 Sundance Institute fellow, his most recent work can be seen on VICE’s HBO series, Black Markets, and the Gloria Steinem hosted show Woman on VICELAND. Current clients as a director and cinematographer include CNN, PBS, HBO, VICE, Discovery and The Gates Foundation. Trained as a photographer, his work has been published in The New York Times, Foreign Policy Magazine, National Geographic and TIME. He has received awards from the Doris Duke Foundation, the Western Knight Center for Journalism, Annenberg and Kodak.
2. “Closing the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want”, a virtual conversation with Ricken Patel, Founding President and Executive Director of Avaaz.org, the world’s largest online activist community.
Monday, March 27th @ 4:30 PM Science Center 199
Ricken is the founding President and Executive Director of Avaaz, the world’s largest online activist community with 44 million subscribers in every country of the world.
Ricken has been voted the “ultimate game changer in politics” (Huffington Post), listed in the world’s top 100 thinkers (Foreign Policy magazine) and described as “the global leader of online protest” with a “vaunting sense of optimism” (The Guardian). Prior to starting Avaaz.org, Ricken was the founding Executive Director of ResPublica, a global public entrepreneurship group that worked to end genocide in Darfur and build progressive globalism in US politics, among other projects. Ricken has also lived and worked in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sudan and Afghanistan, consulting for organizations including the International Crisis Group, the United Nations, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Gates Foundation, Harvard University, CARE International and the International Center for Transitional Justice. Born in Canada, Ricken has a B.A. from Oxford University and a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard.
3. “From the streets of Kabul to the streets of New York: Reflections on covering war and crime”, a conversation with New York Times reporter, Joseph Goldstein.
Friday, April 7th @ 4:30 PM Science Center 105
Joseph Goldstein’s first newspaper job was at the 6,000-circulation Daily Citizen in Searcy, Ark, where he wrote, among other things, a feature story about how meth-fueled treasure hunters in rural Arkansas were creating an underground economy for arrowheads and other Native American artifacts.
He soon moved to New York City, where he worked at The New York Sun, until its demise, and later at The New York Post. He joined The New York Times in 2011 and writes mainly about the criminal justice system in New York. He has reported on the N.Y.P.D.’s over-reliance on stop-and-frisk tactics and about a secretive police unit that combs the city’s jails for Muslim prisoners in the hopes of pressuring them into becoming informants. He has covered Ferguson, the emergence of the alt-right, and Afghanistan, where he was based for a year.
Sponsored by the Department of Political Science, Global Affairs Program at the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, Media Studies, Career Services, and Peace and Conflict Studies.
Strategic, Successful, and Spiritually Grounded Activism
Speaker: Eileen Flanagan
Wednesday, April 1, 2015; 5:00 PM
Bond Hall at Swarthmore College (directions)
500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA
After five years of campaigning, Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) has pushed the seventh largest bank in the US into issuing a policy that effectively ends its investment in mountaintop removal coal mining. Eileen Flanagan will share her own story of feeling led to join EQAT’s campaign and what she is learning about nonviolent direct action.
Eileen Flanagan is the clerk of the board of Earth Quaker Action Team, a teacher in Pendle Hill’s new Answering the Call to Radical Faithfulness program, and a member of Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting. Her newest book, Renewable: One Woman’s Search for Simplicity, Faithfulness, and Hope , is about the spiritual crisis that led her to climate justice activism.
David Hartsough knows how to get in the way. He has used his body to block Navy ships headed for Vietnam and trains loaded with munitions on their way to El Salvador and Nicaragua. He has crossed borders to meet “the enemy” in East Berlin, Castro’s Cuba, and present-day Iran. He has marched with mothers confronting a violent regime in Guatemala and stood with refugees threatened by death squads in the Philippines.
Inspired by the examples of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., Hartsough has spent his life experimenting with the power of active nonviolence. His new memoir, Waging Peace, offers a peace activist’s eyewitness account of many of the major historical events of the past sixty years, including the Civil Rights and anti–Vietnam War movements in the United States and the little- known but equally signiﬁcant nonviolent efforts in the Soviet Union, Kosovo, Palestine, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines.
Hartsough’s story demonstrates the power and effectiveness of organized nonviolent action and shows how this struggle is waged all over the world by ordinary people committed to ending the spiral of violence and war.
Please be aware of this important upcoming workshop on “Using Class and Race Awareness to strengthen Social Action,” to be led at Pendle Hill by faculty and friends of our Peace and Conflict Studies program!
Invitation to Pendle Hill Workshop on Action Groups Moving Forward
George Lakey, Ingrid Lakey, and Sarah Willie-LeBreton will be leading a workshop at Pendle Hill entitled “Using Class and Race Awareness to strengthen Social Action,” beginning the evening of April 11 and concluding at noon on April 13, 2014.
We hope folks from Haverford, Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore Colleges will participate in this workshop. Commuters pay $230 for the workshop which includes meals. (Students at Swarthmore College can apply for up to $50 to support workshop attendance, through a form on the LC website.)