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Berkeley Says No to Torture

2010 October 12
by Ben Achtenberg

A Week of Events to Learn andTake a Stand Against Torture,October 10-16, 2010

Berkeley Says No To Torture Week will draw together the voices and actions of many communities – many different political, legal and campus groups; notable voices from the worlds of culture and art, the health professions, and from religious faiths across the board. People of all ages and from many walks of life will take part in a memorable week of conscience and community in action against the crime of torture.”            

I apologize for getting this item out late, but there are still a number of provocative panels and other events coming up. See in particular the panel discussion on Psychologists and Torture, featuring Adrianne Aron, Ruth Fallenbaum, Pierre LaBossiere, and Patricia Isasas. It’s on Friday, October 15, at 3:00 PM (see the flier for  more information.) Noted artist Fernanco Botero wrote in support of the event:

“On no grounds can torture be justified or ever excused. Torture represents an insult to the body and soul of the human being, and goes against any definition of civilized conduct. I have denounced torture in my paintings because I believe that art can represent a permanent accusation, the only means we, as artists, have at our disposal to keep alive an idea that should never burn out: that we must never accept the unacceptable, and that any group, people or nation, if it loses its moral compass, can descend into violence and succumb to the horrors of barbarism.”

The 56 powerful paintings and drawings in Botero’s Abu Ghraib series are in the permanent collection of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. A few of the works can be seen on Mark Vallens’ Art for a Change blog and on Museum’s website.


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