Shows: July 6, 2015

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API Feminism and Media Representation Politics

Charlene Sayo is a Montreal-born, Vancouver-based blogger, commentator, and little black dress collector who sometimes gets paid for her writing. She is the co-author of Canada: The New Frontier for Filipino Mail-Order Brides and has spoken on issues regarding transnational Filipino women and youth across Canada, the United States and Europe. Charlene sits on the editorial committee of the Vancouver-based magazine, The Mainlander and blogs at The Huffington Post, and Open Salon. Charlene has contributed to Accent Magazine, the Manila Times, the Globe & Mail, the Feminist Current, the Philippine Chronicle, BlackHeart Magazine, and Dessert for Breakfast, and in 2012 was featured in the award-winning documentary Status Quo: The Unfinished Business of Feminism.

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Against All Odds: Voices of Popular Struggle in Iraq

On June 25th, War Resisters League and the Center for Constitutional Rights hosted the book launch of Against All Odds: Voices of Popular Struggle in Iraq and a celebration of Iraqi culture, art and movement building in New York City. On tonight's show, we hear the voices of Against All Odds author, Ali Issa; Montreal-based musician, Narcy and New York based advocate, Amnah Almukhtar.

From the Against All Odds website:

"Collected from dozens of interviews with, and reports from, Iraqi feminists, labor organizers, environmentalists, and protest movement leaders, Against All Odds presents the unique voices of progressive Iraqi organizing on the ground. Dating back to 2003, with an emphasis on the 2011 upsurge in mobilization and hope as well as the subsequent embattled years, these voices belong to Iraqis asserting themselves as agents against multiple local, regional, and global forces of oppression. As Vijay Prashad notes in the foreword: "Other histories had been possible for Iraq, and indeed might yet be possible. The social basis for the Popular Movement to Save Iraq remains, even if in the shadows. It is the only force that could provide an alternative to the history of blood that stands before Iraq, the nest of bones, the sky of death."

Workers’ justice, gender liberation, anti-imperialism, and global solidarity have been on the agendas of many Iraqi organizations, in contrast to almost all media and scholarly representations—even those that are sympathetic to popular Iraqi struggles. Media and scholarship instead focus on geopolitics, mass violence, and sectarianism to the exclusion of attempts at independent political action and imagination in Iraq. With the legacy of wars since 1980, followed by the brutal sanctions of the 1990s and the 2003 US invasion and occupation, not to mention the recent emergence of the threatening forces of the Islamic State, understanding and acting in solidarity with these struggles is more crucial than ever."

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