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Le portail rinoceros d’informations sur les initiatives citoyennes pour la construction d’un autre monde a été intégré au nouveau site Ritimo pour une recherche simplifiée et élargie.

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conceptual mapping > cultures and identities

cultures and identities

Gujarat Chief Minister Endorses Unlawful Killings

Government Should Investigate Narendra Modi for Seeming Incitement to Violence Press realease : Human Rights Watch The Indian government should immediately order an investigation of Narendra Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat, for statements apparently endorsing the extrajudicial execution of a terrorism suspect by the police, Human Rights Watch said today. Gujarat’s antiterrorism squad in November 2005 gunned down Sohrabuddin Sheikh, whom police claimed was a militant conspiring to kill (...) read

date of on-line publication : 11 December 2007

Inter Press Service (IPS)

Indigenous People Make Best Forest Custodians

> By Marwaan Macan-Markar

The millions of indigenous people living across Asia and the Pacific are finally gaining recognition for the key role the play in forest conservation. This shift has been a feature of a major conference being held here this week to shape forest management policies in this region for the next 20 years. Activists championing the cause of local communities welcome this sea change, given that forests have been sacred to these people and central to their identity. ‘’Indigenous people have a (...) read

date of on-line publication : 25 October 2007


Crises across Africa: gays under government attack in Nigeria, Cameroon, Uganda

An anti-gay riot occurred this August 21, after 18 young men appeared in an Islamic court in the sharia state of Bauchi to face charges of cross-dressing in women’s clothes. "Any male person who dresses in the fashion of a woman in a public place will be liable to a prison term of one year or 30 lashes," Muhamad Muhamad Bununu, head of the Hisbah - an Islamic vice squad that works with the police and patrols neighborhoods to enforce the strict observance of conservative Islamic morals and (...) read

date of on-line publication : 26 September 2007


Indiginous communities must have control over their rainforests, not us

You may have noticed that you can now buy acres of land in the Amazonian rainforest as a way of combating global warming. The idea is that you will price the Amazon deforestation industry out of the market, so that carbon stays stored in the trees rather than being released into the atmosphere. This is the solution of one of a number of northern-based charities, including Cool Earth launched last month, to the threat of climate change. Although such organisations are responding to our urge (...) read

date of on-line publication : 26 July 2007


The wider historical context of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade

Trade in African slaves underpinned the British economy in the 18th century: the rich and powerful, the monarchy and the Church. So why was an enterprise that was so economically important ended so abruptly in the first decade of the 19th century? Hakim Adi explains... In March 2007 large-scale commemorative events were organised to mark the bi-centenary of the parliamentary act to abolish the trans-Atlantic slave trade. This unprecedented commemoration of a historical event, in which the (...) read

date of on-line publication : 26 June 2007



The role of culture and media as key-instruments for the evolution of mentalities

> IEMed contributions to the Anna Lindh Foundation preparatory document, Barcelona, 2nd March 2006, 30 p (pdf)

This document is the result of a specific request made by the European Commission to the Anna Lindh Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures, which objectives are to fight against stereotypes, to promote dialogue and to contribute to the change of mentalities in favour of gender equality. From the several contributions requested by the European Commission the subject of gender is no doubt the most transversal between the North and the South of the Mediterranean, and though the legal (...) read

date of on-line publication : 19 April 2007

The Shia-Sunni divide : myths and reality

> Omayma Abdel-Latif, 7 March 2007, first published in "Al-Ahram"

As the US-led occupation of Iraq enters its fifth year, conflicts and political rivalries in the region appear to be assuming a sectarian edge unseen since the 1982-1989 war between Iraq and Iran. The debate over why this should be so is increasingly dominated by two approaches. Proponents of the first argue that concepts (corruption, autocracy, occupation, nationalism, etc...) can no longer explain the range of conflicts and alliances within the region. « It is, rather, old feuds between (...) read

date of on-line publication : 22 March 2007


Panafricanism or recolonisation

> Pan African Movement

This brief history of the Pan African Conferences underlines how modern Pan Africanism arose in the middle 20th century. But what happened to the great hopes about African Unity after the initial success of the nationalist movement, asks the author ? Today, it is no longer a debate whether Pan Africanism is desirable but how it could be achieved. If it was contained yesterday by colonialism, it grapples today with neocolonialism (i.e. political independence without economic independence). (...) read

date of on-line publication : 7 March 2007


What to do about Myanmar

> The London Review of Books, Vol. 29 n° 3, 8 February 2007

There is an enduring myth that in 1948, when it achieved independence from Britain, Burma (Myanmar) was a rich country with every reason to expect a bright future and that the policies and practices of the military government are alone to blame for today’s miseries. It is beyond dispute that many of these policies and practices have been disastrous. But there is a deeper history of misfortune which needs to be understood. At independence, Burma was a country devastated by war, with a (...) read

date of on-line publication : 8 February 2007

SEN Amartya

The use and abuse of multiculturalism (...)

The demand for multiculturalism is strong in the contemporary world. It is much invoked in the making of social, cultural, and political policies, particularly in Western Europe and America. This is not at all surprising, since increased global contacts and interactions, and in particular extensive migrations, have placed diverse practices of different cultures next to one another. The general acceptance of the exhortation to « Love thy neighbor » might have emerged when the neighbors led more or less the same kind of life but the same entreaty to love one’s neighbors now requires people to take an interest in the very diverse living modes of proximate people. That this is not an easy task has been vividly illustrated once again by the confusion surrounding the recent Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed and the fury they generated. And yet the globalized nature of the contemporary world does not allow the luxury of ignoring the difficult questions that multiculturalism raises.
One of the central issues concerns how human beings are seen. Should they be categorized in terms of inherited traditions, particularly the inherited religion, of the community in which they happen to have been born, taking that unchosen identity to have automatic priority over other affiliations involving politics, profession, class, gender, language, literature, social involvements, and many other connections ? Or should they be understood as persons with many affiliations and associations, whose relative priorities they must themselves choose (taking the responsibility that comes with reasoned choice) ? Also, should we assess the fairness of multiculturalism primarily by the extent to which people from different cultural backgrounds are "left alone," or by the extent to which their ability to make reasoned choices is positively supported by the social opportunities of education and participation in civil society ? There is no way of escaping these rather foundational questions if multiculturalism is to be fairly assessed.  read

date of on-line publication : 30 January 2007

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