Tag Archives: colonialism

The Scream of Canadian Colonialism

           The title of Kent Monkman’s painting, “The Scream,” is appropriate to the experiences of First Nations people across Canada who continue to suffer from ethnic cleansing, the erasure of cultural identity, and ecological and economic disenfranchisement. The painting depicts the forced removal and displacement of indigenous children from their homes by the Church with the assistance of the federal government. For decades First Nations children were abducted from their homes and placed in residential schools where they were compelled to reject their culture and language and suffered horrific physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Monkman, who is of Irish and Cree ancestry, was able to capture this horror in living colour on canvas. He said of this and related works:
          “Canada’s 150 years old—what does that mean for the First People? When I thought about it, I thought it includes the worst period, because it goes all the way back to the signing of the treaties, the beginning of the reserve system, this legacy of incarceration, residential schools, sickness, the removal of children in the ’60s, missing and murdered women.”

            The tragic history of colonialism in Canada is, arguably, a vastly under studied and addressed atrocity. But its legacy endures to this day even under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who has been slow to address abysmal access to clean drinking water, crushing poverty, suicide, substance abuse and violence against Aboriginal girls and women. His government has also greenlighted ecologically destructive pipeline projects over indigenous lands. Kent Monkman’s paintings implore us to shine a light of truth on this veiled history, understanding that if we do not do this the crime of colonialism will only continue.

Kenn Orphan  2017

For more information on Kent Monkman’s paintings please visit his web page:  http://www.kentmonkman.com/

The Chronicles of “Nambia”

There are a lot of people laughing at Donald Trump’s praise of a nation that doesn’t exist when he spoke yesterday before African leaders at the United Nations. “Nambia,” he proclaimed twice. Of course he meant Namibia. Trump’s worldview is farcical and his ignorance is legendary, but what is far worse than this bungle is what he actually said in this speech.

Trump told these leaders that they should be “proud” that many of his friends are going to African countries “trying to get rich.” This might seem innocuous, but to anyone who understands the bloody history and enduring legacy of colonial plunder it is far from a benevolent commendation.  It is a signal that the United States, which expanded its covert wars and neo-colonial projects on the continent under President’s Bush and Obama, will only continue and widen its presence and plunder in the years to come.

Trump went on to talk about oil and gas exploration, extraction and production across the continent. This cannot be looked at without considering the global crisis of climate change which he arrogantly dismisses or the enormous ecological cost the fossil fuel industry exacts upon ecosystems and poor communities that depend upon them for sustenance and survival.  An example of this is the once fertile Niger Delta which has been devastated by companies like Shell. This, along with mining that often ruthlessly exploits children and women, is how many wealthy investors actually do “get rich” in Africa.

The US has always had a disruptive and destructive presence across the continent.  The CIA and US State Department hatched multiple plans to assassinate political leader Patrice Lumumba of Congo.  And it lent its support to apartheid South Africa.  But today, thanks to the bogus “war on terror,” it runs scores of special operations, training exercises and other military programs and interventions from Algeria to Zambia.   Trump’s speech merely solidified this commitment in the coded language of capitalistic opportunism and imperialism.

 

At the end of his speech Trump seemed to drift into a non sequitur when he warned participants of the supposed “threat” of North Korea. This wasn’t as strange as it might appear. Trump may very well be playing a calculating game by building a “coalition of the willing” with “client states” as George W. Bush did in the run up to the catastrophic invasion of Iraq.

If this is true, we should all be worried about what he and his military generals have in store for a country and a planet that do, in fact, exist.

 

~ Kenn Orphan  2017

This is not defense, it is a massacre.

gazaForty one deaths in two days in the Gaza Strip from Israeli bombing. Today it is estimated at over 80. Over half of Gaza’s population are children, over 40% under the age of 14. Gazans do not have air raid shelters, emergency electricity, medical supplies or clean water; and they have no where to flee since the entire strip has been blockaded by Egypt and Israel. This is collective punishment of a captive population in the world’s biggest open air prison, and it is in violation of international law.

It is good that no Israeli lives have been lost yet in the last several days. But the media is portraying this as even sided. It is not. Israel has an army, navy and air force, Gaza does not. The rockets fired by militants, while deadly and reprehensible, in no way compare to the bombardment from Israel forces, that take out entire apartment blocks.

Demand Israel stop the siege!

Tuesday, July 8:

1. Mohammed Sha’aban, 24, was killed in a bombing of his car in Gaza City.
2. Ahmad Sha’aban, 30, died in the same bombing.
3. Khadir al-Bashiliki, 45, died in the same bombing.
4. Rashad Yaseen, 27, was killed in a bombing of the Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.
5. Riad Mohammed Kawareh, 50, was killed in a bombing of his family’s home in Khan Younis.
6. Seraj Ayad Abed al-A’al, 8, was wounded in the same bombing and succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday evening.
7. Mohammed Ayman Ashour, 15, died in the same bombing.
8. Bakr Mohammed Joudah, 22, died in the same bombing.
9. Ammar Mohammed Joudah, 26, died in the same bombing.
10. Hussein Yousef Kawareh, 13, died in the same bombing.
11. Mohammed Ibrahim Kawareh, 50, died in the same bombing.
12. Bassim Salim Kawareh, 10, died in the same bombing.
13. Mousa Habib, 16, from Gaza City’s al-Shujaiyah neighborhood, was killed along with his 22-year old cousin while the pair were riding a motorcycle.
14. Mohammed Habib, 22, was killed with Mousa Habib.
15. Sakr Aysh al-Ajouri, 22, was killed in an attack on Jabaliyah, in northern Gaza.
16. Ahmad Na’el Mehdi, 16, from Gaza City’s Sheikh Radwan neighborhood, was killed in a bombing that wounded two of his friends.
17. Hafiz Mohammed Hamad, 30, an Islamic Jihad commander, was killed in the bombing of his home in Beit Hanoun, along with five of his family members.
18. Ibrahim Mohammed Hamad, 26, died in the same bombing.
19. Mehdi Mohammed Hamad, 46, died in the same bombing.
20. Fawzia Khalil Hamad, 62, died in the same bombing.
21. Dunia Mehdi Hamad, 16, died in the same bombing.
22. Suha Hamad, 25, died in the same bombing.
23. Suleiman Salman Abu Soaween, 22

Wednesday, July 9:

24. Abdelhadi Jamaat al-Sufi, 24, was killed in a bombing near the Rafah crossing.
25. Naifeh Farjallah, 80, was killed in an airstrike on the town of Moghraqa, southwest of Gaza City.
26. Abdelnasser Abu Kweek, 60, was killed in the bombing of Gaza’s central governorate along with his son.
27. Khaled Abu Kweek, 31, Abdelnasser Abu Kweek’s son, was killed in the same bombing.
28. Amir Areef, 13, died in a bombing in Sha’af.
29. Mohammed Malkiyeh, one and a half years old, died in a bombing along with his mother and a young man.
30. Amniyeh Malkiyeh, 27, Mohammed Malkiyeh’s mother, died in the same bombing.
31. Hatem Abu Salem, 28, died in the same bombing.
32. Mohammed Khaled al-Nimri, 22
33. Sahar Hamdan, 40, died in the bombing of her home in Beit Hanoun.
34. Ibrahim Masri, 14, Sahar Hamdan’s son, was killed in the same bombing.
35. Unknown
36. Sumoud al-Nawasra, a mother, was killed in a bombing along with her two children.
37. Mohammed Khalaf al-Nawasra, 4, arrived at the hospital “in shreds.”
38. Nidal Khalaf al-Nawasra, a child of unreported age, died along with Mohammed and Sumoud.
39. Salah Awwad al-Nawasra, was killed in the same bombing. His body was found under the rubble of the house.
40. Amal Youssef Abdel Ghafour
41. Ranim Jawde Abdel Ghafour, a young girl

Source: Israeli newspaper Haaretz and Al-Akhbar – Palestinian Refugees Right to Return