A couple of days ago I looked into the Democracy Now portal and ran across something I did not expect and that impressed me greatly. It was a video from an interview with the young Jewish artist Emily Henochowicz. She is a 22-year-old student at the Cooper Union art program in NYC, and a talented, bright, and outgoing girl. Her hair was covering half of her face, including one of her eyes. As I listened to the interview I learned that Emily had lost her eye when she was shot in the face by an Israeli tear gas canister as she was protesting for Palestinian rights at the border region, just after Israel attacked the humanitarian aid ship on its way to Gaza last year. Fortunately, Emily survived the incident, but the doctors couldn’t save her eye, and it is probably impossible to explain what that loss means for a visual artist. The Israeli government refused to pay for her medical expenses and Emily was left with large hospital bills, a terrible memory, and a different way of seeing to get used to.
In the interview she explained that her work hasn’t really been affected by the loss of her eye, and she even said that her limited depth perspective is sometimes helpful in translating what she sees into paper or canvas. She is not the same, though, she admits. Some of Emily’s work has always been political, but after that trip that changed her life she feels more committed than ever to speak up against injustice. She is not afraid to go back to Palestine, and she is determined to do so to keep protesting in the name of peace. After what happened, and the attention her case got from the media, she has received letters of support from different parts of the world, but she has also received criticism from the Jewish community, as she is a Jew who fights for the rights of the Palestinians.
Emily’s level of maturity and eloquence are impressive. She doesn’t seem to be angry or resentful for what happened to her, and she even takes it with humor. She doodled on the left lens of her glasses and her looks have become a distinctive aspect of her personality.
Her work goes from childish and funny, to dark, harsh. As most art students, she struggles to get funds for her projects and sells prints from her drawings to help with the mission. Emily is also a good writer; she has two blogs (Chloe’s Hideout and Thirsty Pixels) were she shows her work and puts her thoughts into words. She writes about politics, art, and even the personal experience of having seen footage showing from different angles and perspectives the moment she got shot.
The interviewers from Democracy Now didn’t seem to be as much interested in her work as they were in what happened to her. In fact, I found it insensitive that they kept referencing the incident over and over, before and after every cut, as if that were the only interesting thing to say about her (although I well understand that is necessary in TV news for viewers who turn on their television after the interview starts.) They presented the interview in as the central story in their website, as a global broadcast story, and announce it with capital letters as an “EXCLUSIVE.” Most young artists would do anything for that exposure, but I wonder if the incident will end up helping her career or shadowing it. Is the MEDIATIC always good for artist’s careers?
You can watch the interview here and tell me what you think.
Germany announced in March a reversal of policy that will see all the country’s nuclear power plants phased out by 2022. This means that Germany just became the biggest industrial power to announce plans to give up nuclear energy.
This is news – big news. MEDIATIC from all perspectives. The nuclear emergency in Fukushima changed the world order in the industry of nuclear energy. After the alarm in Japan, Germany immediately closed eight nuclear reactors, and the rest of them will shut down in phases until they are all completely inactive in 2022. Following Germany, Italy and Switzerland have announced their intentions to join the nuclear ban. The trend is likely to continue and some journalists have even named it, “The European Nuclear Twilight.” But is that possible?
The skeptics speculate that Germany’s decision might only generate an excellent business opportunity for the growth of nuclear power plants in the neighboring countries, such as France or Poland, who show no signs to be falling out of love with nuclear energy. If that were the case, the risk for nuclear accidents would not be reduced at all, only transferred and maybe increased in countries that are eager to make business with energy production.
And the other question is of course, what is going to pick up the slack? Twenty-five percent of Germany’s energy production comes from nuclear sources, so what is making up for that? Of course renewable energy, coming from wind, water or sunlight would be the ideal alternative, but switching into their use would be extremely expensive and perhaps not as effective.
Nuclear energy threatens human safety, but many argue that it is not as dangerous as the effects of global warming; nuclear energy does stand as an important alternative to fight it as a form of energy that emits far fewer greenhouse gasses. So what is the better and/or less harmful choice?
The United States is the world’s largest producer of nuclear energy, getting twenty percent of its electrical power from 104 nuclear plants (23 of which share Fukushima’s GE Mark 1 design), but what role is the US playing in this discussion? Apparently not an important one, despite this subject being one of the central issues of our era…
Here is the most complete video report and analysis that I could find about the subject, it is from Al-Jazeera in its English version:
Inside Story- The Future of Nuclear Power
Evildoers are often popular. Some of the all-time favorite bad guys are the members of the Italian mafia. Filmmakers and mass media are partly responsible for their fame and they still represent for them an easy way to get attention. Recent strikes against these mafia members in America prove that they are still far from disappearing. Thirty-year-old Carmine Amato, leader of the Neapolitan Camorra clan was caught today after three years of being in the list of the 100 Most Wanted Fugitives, being accused of drug trafficking and murder. Twenty-seven-year-old Daniel D´Agnese was also caught and as Italian policemen escorted him to their car, they couldn’t stop him from kissing a friend (who also is a suspected mafia member on the run) on the lips. As the NY Times explains, anti-mafia analysts think the kiss could be explained as a code message, possibly meaning, “Keep the silence.” Yup, that is MEDIATIC.
Coded message or simple goodbye affection, the image of this controversial kiss made it today to newspapers and television reports all over the world. I’m not quite sure what makes a delinquent charming or a fascinating, but Italians have a long tradition being subject of guilty sympathy. Around Italian mafia there are high doses of glamour, mystery, good looks and an x-factor that is hard to decipher, but that today became evident through a desperate gay kissing scene and the bunch of stories we could imagine to explain it.
Controluce, AFP/Getty Images / June 8, 2011