Ninth demolition of Al-Arakib
Israeli government forces have razed Al-Arakib, a Bedouin village in the Negev, eighteen times since last July. The Israeli government does not recognize Al-Arakib and has been coercing its Arab inhabitants to relinquish the land they say they have owned since the beginning of the twentieth century.
The Jewish National Fund (JNF), an Israeli environmental organization that has planted 250 million trees, built over 210 reservoirs and dams, and created more than 1,000 parks in Israel has plans to plant a forest over Al-Arakib, with the assistance of the Israel Land Administration (ILA), once the Bedouin people are forced out. (Refer to Devorah Brous’s widely-read Tikkun Daily blog post, “Where are the Jewish Greens?” Brous argues that it is irresponsible for a non-profit environmental group to plant trees on this contested land.) Ironically, the JNF credits itself with “bringing life to the Negev desert” as it is fomenting the death of a community.
Nancy Calef produces rich, detailed paintings of people and places — illustrations she refers to as “narratives containing many threads of humanity.” Whether she’s portraying casino culture, Wall Street, or the mainstream media’s misplaced priorities, Calef says she tries “to capture the common denominator and the unique quality in all of us.”
“Peoplescape” is the term Calef has coined for her people-focused visual narratives, in part to emphasize their coherence with her early work – mostly plein air landscapes. “I used to paint these beautiful landscapes, and it became too sugary for me because I realized the world isn’t only beautiful landscapes,” says Calef, who spent her twenties traveling and painting. Although Calef continues to create “travelscapes,” she has shifted her focus to depicting people.
I'm Just Saying
To see more of Nancy Calef’s work, visit the Tikkun Daily Art Gallery and the artist’s website.
Why and at what point do certain short-term memories survive as long-term memories? Are the ones that stick with us and fade into the recesses of our minds significantly more important than the ones that dissipate, or does the brain randomly latch onto specific moments for no apparent reason? And if we lose our ability to retain short-term memories do we, as a result, lose ourselves? These are a few of the questions that Marcie Paper’s art investigates.
For the past eight years Paper has been working on a series of paintings that illustrate the details of her daily life as she experiences them. The purpose of this project? To visually represent short-term memory.
To see more of Marcie Paper’s work, visit the Tikkun Daily Art Gallery and visit the artist’s website.
Paper taps into her short-term memory each morning when she arrives at her art studio in Brooklyn. First she compiles a list of words and phrases that communicate her most recent memories and present emotions; then she constructs abstract symbols to represent these emotions and transfers them onto the canvas. Staying on the same canvas and, day after day, layering it with these representative symbols enables Paper to chronicle a specific period of time.
After receiving visas to work in the United States, a number of immigrant workers found themselves working seventeen-hour days at the New York State Fair for $2 an hour, living in a cramped, bed bug-infested trailer, and lacking access to a sufficient supply of food and water. These workers came to the Workers’ Center of Central New York this fall in a state of malnutrition and dehydration and filed suit against their employer, Pantelis Karageorgis, who allegedly denied his workers thousands of dollars in wages.
According to a news piece published last week by In These Times, the U.S. Attorney’s office has dropped the criminal charges and is currently negotiating a “modest settlement” for these workers. While New York state is no stranger to wage theft, this particularly egregious case has emboldened Interfaith Worker Justice’s (IWJ) — and Rebecca Fuentes’ — call to action.
Fuentes, Director of the Workers’ Center of Central New York in Syracuse, emphasized the severity of the crimes committed against these workers in a press conference yesterday. “The theft of their wages is only a small part of the suffering they have endured,” she said. “They will never forget the anguish they experienced and the cruelty of being forced to work and live in inhumane conditions.”
This is just one example of wage theft, defined by IWJ Director Kim Bobo as “the illegal defrauding of workers from their wages.” Common acts of wage theft include violations of minimum wage, denying workers time and a half overtime pay, forcing laborers to work off the clock, and withholding final paychecks.
Multinationals' cultivation of oil palm seeds like this one has forced Colombian farmers off their land.
The Body Shop recently announced its decision to sever commercial ties with Daabon Organic, the British cosmetic company’s main supplier of palm oil, one year after learning about Daabon’s involvement in a consortium that displaced Colombian farmers.
The announcement — which offers a glimmer of hope that the expectations of “conscious consumers” actually do affect big corporations’ behaviors, at least a little bit — comes in the wake of an exposé published last year by The Observer, which exposed Daabon Organic’s involvement in a consortium that succeeded in expelling over 100 families from the estate of Las Pavas in the district of Buenos Aires — located in Bolivar, Colombia — for additional space to harvest palm.