When navigating the streets of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, one will see an abundance of printed poster advertisements for waganga, traditional healers or “witchdoctors,” nailed to almost every available telephone pole, fence line, or tree. It does not matter where you are—whether in wealthy areas or in slums—these posters are everywhere, meaning they target the entirety of Nairobi’s population. Traditionally, before the modern positions of doctors, therapists, and consultants existed in Kenya, people sought out waganga to help them with their problems. However, when modern medicine and other therapeutic professions were introduced into an ever-modernizing Kenya, many people turned towards these fields and away from traditional methods. These posters act as a reminder of tradition, and also help gain an insight into understanding some key values of...
What most profoundly distinguishes American Petroleum Institute (API) from civil society organizations in resource-rich countries working to make a more transparent and accountable extractives sector?
(Hint: the answer we’re looking for is not “the ability to pay for an army of high-priced lawyers” – although that works too.)
Put bluntly, one sees the tragic human consequences of mismanaged natural resource wealth up-close, every day, and is in a position to speak credibly about solutions to the problem. The other, far-removed, is API.
In a series of letters recently submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission, leaders of civil society organizations from ...
Days in Chiang Mai: 45 (feels more like somewhere between a couple hours and half a year all at the same time)
Mood: Cheerful, satisfied
Bouts of food poisoning: Once (Health Care here is amazing)
Currently craving: Homemade toast
Chiang Mai, Thailand. Located in the North, nestled between the foothills of the Himalayan range, Chiang Mai is said to be the most culturally significant city in all of Thailand. How cultural significance is decided and awarded is beyond me, but because of it’s close connection with Buddhism and the seemingly endless amount of wats (temples) and stupas (relic sites) that are located within the city, Chiang Mai has won that title.
What is our “people’s history archive of street culture” going to look like?
Street culture is a ubiquitous form of expression that resists easy definition. Our people’s history archive of street culture is intended to document the creative and complex ways in which ordinary people make use of public space. For our project, city-based street culture includes but is not limited to public performances, graffiti, painted murals, neighborhood gardens, parks, urban reclamation projects, political demonstrations, and any other public gatherings. Other suburban and/or rural “ground up” initiatives, such as farm-to-fork community-supported agriculture (CSA) projects, could also be represented in our people’s history archive. The challenge will be to find physical, hand-held materials that document these sorts of activities that we can scan and...
Adoption has reconstituted the meaning of family, race, ethnicity, culture, and identity in the United States. Overseas, or international, adoption is the process of transferring a child of a foreign nationality into the kinship and nationality of the newly assumed adoptive family. However, this blog uses the distinction of ‘trans’national and in many cases, ‘trans’racial, because our present global condition demands it. With the intense development of the global economy and technology, no longer are people, ideas, and capital working within national borders; rather, these exchanges are constantly transcending them.
This transcendence has a particular impact on transnational adoptees of the 1980s and onward. Widespread, rapid access to media, images, and information from around the globe means that adoptees can constantly revise their notion of identity. For transnational...
In January of 2015, on opposite sides of the country there were two strikes occurring. These strikes were unique in that their end result was benefiting the people that the workers are intended to serve, not the workers themselves. The weeklong mental health worker strike in California did so intentionally. Meanwhile, the NYPD work slowdown was having the same effect of benefiting the average citizen, but this outcome was completely unintended. Whether intentionally or completely by accident, when workers strike for the people they serve we can see whose labor is actually needed.
Mental Health Worker Strike
For the mentally ill in America, stigma is often more plentiful than treatment. According to the National Alliance on Mental...
Among all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, there seem to be more than just tourists crowding the streets in Madrid. Recently there have been a lot of people taking to the streets in protest and public awareness. Walking through Puerta del Sol in the center of Madrid I’ve seen anything from hunger strikes to workers’ rights marches. The other day, one particular protest seemed to catch my eye. The center was full of variety of people all united by their Coca-Cola t-shirts. From first glance it looked as though maybe Coca-Cola was funding some sort of event in the center, but it didn’t take long to realize that was in fact the opposite of what was going on.
A greater percentage of Americans suffer poverty today than when Dr. King was assassinated. The poverty rate in 1968 was approximately 12.8%; today it’s 15%. As poverty plagues more and more people, U.S. leaders propose provisional and fragmented solutions to the problem. Where are the big ideas that tackle the problem as a whole? Is there no way to end poverty in the self-proclaimed wealthiest country in the world? In the late 1960s, Dr. King proposed a comprehensive antipoverty measure that warrants reevaluation today. The following is an excerpt from Dr. King’s last book, _Where Do We Go from Here_, in which he argues that a “guaranteed income” for...
Walking around Madrid the street art of Ruina is hard to miss. Ruina is an artist from Bilbao with work found all over Spain. He is known to express a variety of themes in his work, with a large emphasis on social criticisms. In his work he uses a lot of irony and play on words to convey the message in every piece of art.
Some slogans include:
I look for work.
“Sigo buscando trabajo”
I continue looking for work.
“No hace falta ke te guste para ke sea arte. No hace falta ke sea legal para que sea arte. No hace falta que sea arte para ke te guste”
You don’t have to like it for it to be art. It doesn’t have to be legal for it to be art. It doesn’t have to be art for you to like it.