New Resources: December 4, 2013
Meet the Somalis
From the Open Society Foundations’ project, “At Home in Europe, comes this charming but entirely down-to-earth collection of immigrant narratives in comic book form. The fourteen stories are based on interviews with Somali immigrants, over a period of six months, in seven European cities: Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Leicester, London, Malmo, and Oslo.
From the introduction: “Meet the Somalis includes stories of young and old, happy and troubled, comfortable and poor. Some were born and raised in Europe, are professionals, and have families whose identities united Somali and European cultures. Others, recently arrived and having left behind violence, fear, and refugee camps, are still trying to make sense of their new lives in an unfamiliar land…The people we spoke to told us about their life (or their parents’ lives) before leaving Somalia, the hardships and fears they encountered on their journey, the memories of what they left behind, their lives now in Europe, and their hopes and expectations for the future.” The book’s researcher and author is Benjamin Dix, and the artist, Lindsay Pollock.
Tortured & Detained
Tortured & Detained: Survivor Stories of U.S. Immigration Detention is a joint publication from the Center for Victims of Torture in Minneapolis and the Torture Abolition and Survivor Support Coalition in Washington, DC, along with the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. (NOTE: Both CVT and TASSC are featured in our recently completed documentary, Refuge: Caring for Survivors of Torture.)
“After a journey that may be long and treacherous, survivors of torture who arrive at the U.S. border in search of asylum often believe they have reached a destination of safety and protection,” the authors note in this disturbing report. Yet the reality may be very different. Thousands of asylum seekers are instead arrested, shackled, and confined in dehumanizing conditions. In interviews with researchers for the two organizations, survivors recall “the utter state of confusion they feel as they are held with limited access to information about their situation and without knowledge of when – or if – they will be released. Many suffer an ongoing sense of dread at the possibility they may be returned to the country in which they experienced torture.”
Will I Be Next?
U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan
“On a sunny afternoon in October 2012, 68-year-old Mamana Bibi was killed in a drone strike that appears to have been aimed directly at her. Her grandchildren recounted in painful detail to Amnesty International the moment when Mamana Bibi, who was gathering vegetables in the family fields in Ghundi Kala village, northwest Pakistan, was blasted into pieces before their eyes. Nearly a year later, Mamana Bibi’s family has yet to receive any acknowledgment that it was the US that killed her, let alone justice or compensation for her death.”
“I wasn’t scared of drones before, but now when they fly overhead I wonder, will I be next?” says Mamana Bibi’s eight-year-old granddaughter, Nabeela. Since the U.S. government refuses to release any information about the number or impact of its drone strikes, it’s left to groups like Amnesty International to piece together the facts about their circumstances and impact. Will I Be Next is based on research into nine of 45 reported strikes in the North Waziristan tribal agency of Pakistan. “The report highlights incidents in which men, women and children appear to have been unlawfully killed or injured. By examining these attacks in detail, Amnesty International seeks to shed light on a secretive program of surveillance and killings occurring in one of the most dangerous, neglected and inaccessible regions of the world…Based on its review of incidents over the last two years, Amnesty International is seriously concerned that these and other strikes have resulted in unlawful killings that may constitute extrajudicial executions or war crimes.”
…………Documentary Premieres at Major U.S. Conferences