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More events that have changed people's lives forever. From a fourteen-part series: Red Alert In Three Mile Island, Chernobyl Sunset, A Night In Goiânia, Pickerings, Tokaimura Sunrise, Chalk River, Lucas Heights, Windscale, Angra, The Palomares Affair, The World Went White, Radio Bikini, Grenoble Night Sky, Holy Loch.

From A Nuclear Family, a fourteen-part series focusing nuclear accidents, warfare, testing and their consequences in nuclear plants and other places in fourteen different parts of the globe.

1. Red Alert In Three Mile Island. 2. Chernobyl Sunset. 3. A Night In Goiânia. 4. Pickerings. 5. Tokaimura Sunrise. 6. Chalk River. 7. Lucas Heights. 8. Windscale. 9. Angra. 10. The Palomares Affair. 11. The World Went White. 12. Radio Bikini. 13. Grenoble Night Sky. 14. Holy Loch.

*  *  *  *  *
"...this time however I come as the victorious Dionysus, who will turn the world into a holiday...Not that I have much time..."

Nietzsche (from his last "insane" letter to Cosima Wagner)</i>

Events that have changed people's lives forever. Will lack of responsability and indifference ever cease to torment mankind? Unfortunately, I tend to believe they won't; however, I'll never allow myself to be completely sure there is no way out of it. From a thirteen-part series: Red Alert In Three Mile Island, Chernobyl Sunset, A Night In Goiânia, Pickerings, Tokaimura Sunrise, Chalk River, Lucas Heights, Windscale, Angra, The Palomares Affair, The World Went White, Radio Bikini, Grenoble Night Sky.

From A Nuclear Family, a thirteen-part series focusing nuclear accidents, warfare, testing and their consequences in nuclear plants and other places in thirteen different parts of the globe.

1. Red Alert In Three Mile Island. 2. Chernobyl Sunset. 3. A Night In Goiânia. 4. Pickerings. 5. Tokaimura Sunrise. 6. Chalk River. 7. Lucas Heights. 8. Windscale. 9. Angra. 10. The Palomares Affair. 11. The World Went White. 12. Radio Bikini. 13. Grenoble Night Sky.

*  *  *  *  *
One of these days I found a message in my inbox, signed by a certain ~fuentes. I was curious, because I had never talked to him before, though I had seen his name at the forums and in comments. He wanted to know if I knew more Brazilians, because he wanted to map the Brazilians at DA. So far he has found 34 Brazilian deviants. I believe there are more to come.

I think the greatest interest in ~fuentes' work in getting to know the Brazilian community is the feeling you are not alone in your way of thinking; not only voices that agree, but voices that differ too. And there's growth when positive criticism is issued and taken as it is: appreciating or not that particular piece of work but always trying to show where you think it could grow and develop. And besides Brazilians, how many people from so many different countries can you count in, sometimes not speaking your physical language though many of them will speak that same language of ideas and ideals. This is by far what is the most fascinating thing in a virtual community. The feeling what is virtual has a life of its own that is so astonishingly... real.

Way to go, ~fuentes!

Accidents that have changed people's lives forever. Will lack of responsability and indifference ever cease to torment mankind? Unfortunately, I tend to believe they won't; however, I'll never allow myself to be completely sure there is no way out of it. From a nine-part series: Red Alert In Three Mile Island, Chernobyl Sunset, A Night In Goiânia, Pickerings, Tokaimura Sunrise, Chalk River, Lucas Heights, Windscale, Angra.

From A Nuclear Family, a nine-part series focusing accidents and its consequences in nuclear plants and other places in nine different parts of the globe.

1. Red Alert In Three Mile Island.

2. Chernobyl Sunset.

3. A Night In Goiânia.

4. Pickerings.

5. Tokaimura Sunrise.

6. Chalk River.

7. Lucas Heights.

8. Windscale.

9. Angra.


The other rose of Hiroshima...
"Think about the children, mute, telepathic. Think of the girls, blind, inexact. Think about the women, altered routes. Think of the wounds as warm roses.
But oh, don't you forget about of the rose of the rose.
The rose of Hiroshima, the hereditary rose. The radioactive rose, stupid, disabled. The rose that has cirrhosis, the atomic anti-rose. Without color or perfume. Without a rose, without anything."

"The Rose Of Hiroshima", Vinícius de Moraes.

Accidents that have changed people's lives forever. Will lack of responsability and indifference ever cease to torment mankind? Unfortunately, I tend to believe they won't; however, I'll never allow myself to be completely sure there is no way out of it. From a nine-part series: Red Alert In Three Mile Island, Chernobyl Sunset, A Night In Goiânia, Pickerings, Tokaimura Sunrise, Chalk River, Lucas Heights, Windscale, Angra.

From A Nuclear Family, a nine-part series focusing accidents and its consequences in nuclear plants and other places in nine different parts of the globe.

1. Red Alert In Three Mile Island.

2. Chernobyl Sunset.

3. A Night In Goiânia.

4. Pickerings.

5. Tokaimura Sunrise.

6. Chalk River.

7. Lucas Heights.

8. Windscale.

9. Angra.


The other rose of Hiroshima...
Recent press reviews about Linton Kwesi Johnson and his new book, Mi Revalueshanary Fren.

'The street patois of a revolutionary British black reggae artist is to join the canon of classic poetry. Linton Kwesi Johnson will be only the second living poet to have his poems published in the Penguin Modern Classic range. The other is the 90-year-old Polish Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz. Mr. Linton Kwesi Johnson, 49, will join a select group of poets including W B Yeats, John Betjeman and Allen Ginsberg, although even those were published in the series only posthumously.' - from The Daily Telegraph, 18 March 2002

'Dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson created a powerful new voice in protest poetry in the 1970s and '80s; his verses, written in a fusion of standard English and Jamaican patois and declaimed to a background of reggae music, articulated the alienation of England's black youth amid the experience of racism and police brutality. A cultural turning point of sorts will be reached in May, when the man sometimes described as Britain's alternative poet laureate takes his place in Penguin's Modern Classics series.' - from The Bookseller, 8 March 2002

'His work has had a permanent effect on the language, on the way in which people write and think. People read his work, respond to it, all over the place. It represents more than one individual writing, or speaking. It represents a community. Somebody who's had that kind of impact certainly deserves the kind of recognition that the word "classic" can be attached to.' - Dennis Walder, Professor of English Literature, Open University, speaking on BBC Radio 4's The World Tonight, 18 March 2002
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,
born April the 1st, 1949.

It was around the middle seventies when I first heard this brazen, young black man's voice.  He was angry! We were angry! I was angry!  Angry over the fact that it was a few years ago that they had just taken from us our black shining Prince. He was mad.  We were mad.  I was mad!  Mad over the fact that our struggle for freedom had come to a screeching halt.  He was loud!  Loud and determined to be heard.  And I heard him. I heard him loud and clear.  I heard him when he said "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised".  I heard him when he said "No Knock On My Brothers' Head".  I heard him when he was saying that the spirit of Brother Malcolm will flourish in him as it has in me.

Gil possesses the gifted ability to put into words the things that resided within me.  He possessed the courage to stand up and say what was wrong with this country,  with this society.  He was loud.  He was uncompromising.  He was convicted.  He was convicted in his beliefs about "our" nations capitol.  He was convicted in his beliefs with our use of drugs and alcohol.  He was convicted in his beliefs that the struggle to be free will not be easy. I, too believe that the struggle to be free is not easy, but we must keep struggling if we want to be free.…
'Cause when love is gone

There's always justice,

And when justice is gone

There's always force

And when force is gone,

There's always Mom.

Hi Mom!

So hold me Mom

In your long arms...

So hold me Mom, in your long arms,

In your automatic arms,

In your petrochemical arms,

In your military arms,

Your electronic arms,

In your arms ...

Laurie Anderson, "O Superman"  (fragment).

Jacob's Ladder, by Adrian Lyne. With Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Pena, Jason Alexander, Eriq La Salle, Ving Rhames, Matt Craven, and Maucauly Culkin. These are a few of the many positive reactions to a movie that is one of the most talked about on the internet. Not many hated the movie despite it's confusing plot and mind-boggling visions..  It came out in 1990 and was directed by Adrian Lyne and starred Tim Robbins and Elizabeth Pena. It flopped and many critics were turned off by it. Some loved it though like Roger Ebert who said he found himself thinking about it for days.

To experience the voice of the many different instruments, using the same essence and singing from all different timbers and with the same joy, is that all about. As we are the human beings with all different timbers, using the same source, which is the breath, singing the song of joy. The joy which comes from the awareness of the breath. The way we exhale our breath, creates our own rhythm and than, here we go! we are the part of the universal orchestra! breathing in and out one after another! Enjoy!!! and share it. Reading a book, playing and listening music, generates and also amplifies these feelings to more easily received level. I always give heart full thanks for these gifts and awareness. The best technique to develop good, strong sound is the one that I've learnt from Aka Gunduz Kutbay,[One of the greatest nay player ever lived in Turkey][God bless his soul] which is, starting with no fingering just open sound, free from worry of closing the holes. And, taking a nice breath, and blowing into nay without to much pressure, the hint is here : you have to blow all the way until you finish your breath, and the secret is ! THE SOUND, OF THE LAST DROP OF YOUR BREATH, which is the the real tone without any pressure. Normally the tone of the last note goes down,because there is no more unnecessary pressure, this is what we have to develop, blowing without pressure! breathing into nay as we talk. So what ever the last tone you hear, you start with that tone. Do this at least 4 times. Than put your thumb half way, this is the next note, after the 4th one as you blow the 5th, go back to open position and while blowing, come back to the half thumb, than close the thumb all the way, this is the 3rd note. This last blowing and going backward and coming back to the next note must be done, it is very important, and should be done in one breath [as long as possible], and without accentuations! Each note is at least 4 breath, than go back, and come down to the next note. This way you will develop the low tone one by one as you go down. This is also best way to start the day because it calms the diaphragm which controls our breath. To me this is the best and the most effective exercises ever develop. I hope you enjoy it! and make it a daily habit!

Omar Faruk Tekbilek
What are you fighting for most in this movement?

"The only thing that is ridiculous is asserting that something is so without any facts to back up the assertion. If you are really correct, and Mumia is so guilty, than prove it. Let's talk facts, not taunts.
Go ahead, name one person who claims that they SAW Mumia shoot Faulkner. And let's discuss their testimony. And while we're at it, an former hit man, Arnold Beverly, confessed to shooting Daniel Faulkner, and his testimony is being blocked by the so-called prosecution. If Beverly is so unbelievable, then why not cross examine him and PROVE that his testimony is unbelievable. Let's rely on FACTS; they clearly show Mumia should never have been indicted, must less convicted. There are no FACTS showing Mumia killed Daniel Faulkner. If you care about justice for Daniel Faulkner, you should be looking at the FACTS."

by Cybergrace on Wednesday, August 29 @ 14:39:03

"I condem the total frame up of Mumia. That the government would go to such great lengths to put to death a man who uses his first amendment rights to expose corruption in the United States.


by freedom4mumia on Sunday, September 30 @ 15:09:12

"The question if Mumia is guilty or not is irrelevant. He clearly had an unfair trial, therefore, he should be retried. Given the complete evidence and a fair trial, he could never be convicted on the basis of "guilty without a shadow of doubt" and "innocent until proven guilty".
Am i right?"

by bananarama on Monday, October 01 @ 14:48:02

"What happened to America? What happened to our rights? How can a man be treated with so much hatred in a court. We need to give Mr. Jamal a TRUE trial. One that gives him the right to a GOOD attorney, who will do whatever is necessary to free him. One that doesn't withhold information, which is an illegal act. We need to stand up to this kind of abuse because if it happens once, it will happen again."

by GuitaristMeed on Saturday, October 06 @ 18:38:39

"I believe Mumia's struggle 4 freedom is synonymous w/ the world struggle 4 liberation and self-determination, and that it is implied Mumia should be set free,or at the least a new trial."

by liava on Monday, October 15 @ 11:20:27

"The deathpenalty stems from a time when mankind walked around in furs and stole eachothers cattle. What's the point of killing someone? Just to soothe your desire for revenge.
And the death-penalty is for a "Christian" country like the USA a very un-"christian" thing to do. Looking at the facts Mumia hasn't done anything to even deserve death (if you can say anyone "deserves" death)
So why does the US-gov. try so hard to nail mumia?"


by Ome_Desi on Saturday, October 20 @ 02:32:20

"Since the attack on us on 12/8, I think it is possible, and quite understandable, for people to answer this question with the broader answers of "stop repression" or "end global police state". Those are things that must happen for us to be free. But to me the answer of what I'm fighting for most in this movement is now even more "Free Mumia" because we've got to stay focused on the goal of not letting this vile system take our beautiful, courageous brother away from us. That's the battle that's been called for us since they snatched him up at 13th and Locust. We win wars by fighting battles. There's no other way to do it. And if we say we're in this for a bigger goal PRIMARILY, then we lose sight of the person we're in it for, which I think eventually leads to losing focus on how to fight for those bigger objectives. We can't somehow jump over Mumia on the way to these bigger concerns. We'll never get there that way--and I'm saying that NOT to say that there's a contradiction between the two. Quite the contrary. If, while we fight for Mumia's life, we don't keep our eyes on the bigger prize--a just world, a revolution, whatever you want to call it--we're not fighting the whole fight, and we're letting this system know that it's ok to lock people like Mumia up. I'm saying Free Mumia is first in my mind, when I'm on the street for Mumia or organizing for Mumia, Justice for Gil Barber is first on my mind when I'm organizing in NC against police brutality. "The general resides in the particular", I've heard someone say. It's the particulars that are so precious to us, they're what make up our lives."

by scottistoxic on Sunday, December 16 @ 22:33:21

"yes mumia should be freed. but don't we want to put an end to the system that put him, and countless others, in that situation? i don't see mumia as being any more special than anyone else on death row. yes he has a way with words, but i just don't get how the state can have the power to end someones life, no matter if they are guilty or innocent. the fight should be to end the global police state."

by tvcharcoal on Thursday, December 20 @ 13:35:32

"After the events of September 11th I can hardly believe anyone wanting to take a life anywhere. State sponsored murder I find especially disturbing? Did not enough people die in New York? Won't too many people die in our war? Good or evil, it doesn't matter to me. I just don't want anymore killing of anyone, anywhere. I know that won't happen but I would like to think that we could that every life is worth keeping and every soul is worth trying to save (not necessarily by religion).
As for this case I am especially upset by the way the trial went. In a country where freedom is our top priority, it's horrifying to see what happened to Jamal. Even though he was arrested before I was born I can't help but feel bad.

by Lars on Tuesday, January 08 @ 22:07:22

"Comrade Mumia`s freedom, thats what i'm fighting for. Do we have time for anything else at this point? We need to concentrate all of our energy on freeing Comrade Mumia, because time is not on our side. A new trial will end just like the old one, as long as the bourgeoisie have control of the state. With Comrade Mumia free, then we can concentrate on ending the death penalty, ending the global police state, and stopping official repression. We fight for his life!"  

by nandi_hetep on Wednesday, January 16 @ 21:10:11

Mumia Abu Jamal's Freedom Journal.
:eye: Meredith Monk is a composer, singer, choreographer and creator of new opera, musical theater works, films and installations. A pioneer in what is now called "extended vocal technique" and "interdisciplinary performance," Meredith Monk creates works that thrive at the intersection of music and movement, image and object, light and sound, in an effort to discover and weave together new modes of perception. Her ground-breaking exploration of the voice as an instrument, as an eloquent language in and of itself, expands the boundaries of musical composition, creating landscapes of sound that unearth feelings, energies, and memories for which we have no words. During a career that spans more than 35 years she has been acclaimed by audiences and critics as a major creative force in the performing arts.

:eye: Since graduating from Sarah Lawrence College in 1964, Meredith Monk has received numerous awards throughout her career, including the prestigious MacArthur "Genius" Award in 1995, two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Brandeis Creative Arts Award, three Obies (including an award for Sustained Achievement), two Villager Awards, a Bessie for Sustained Creative Achievement, the 1986 National Music Theatre Award, sixteen ASCAP Awards for Musical Composition and the 1992 Dance Magazine Award. She holds honorary Doctor of Arts degrees from Bard College, the University of the Arts, the Juilliard School, The San Francisco Art Institute and the Boston Conservatory. Her recordings Dolmen Music (ECM New Series) and Our Lady of Late: The Vanguard Tapes (Wergo) were honored with the Germans Critics Prize for Best Records of 1981 and 1986. Her music has been heard in numerous films, including La Nouvelle Vague by Jean-Luc Godard and The Big Lebowski by Joel and Ethan Coen. A new publishing relationship with Boosey & Hawkes will make Meredith Monk's music available to a wider public for the first time.

:eye: In 1968 Ms. Meredith Monk founded The House, a company dedicated to an interdisciplinary approach to performance. In 1978, she formed Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble to expand her musical textures and forms. She has made more than a dozen recordings, most of which are on the ECM New Series label. Her music has been performed by numerous soloists and groups including The Chorus of the San Francisco Symphony, Musica Sacra, The Pacific Mozart Ensemble, Double Edge, and Bang On A Can All-Stars, among others.

:eye: Meredith Monk is a pioneer in site-specific performance, creating works such as Juice: A Theater Cantata In 3 Installments (1969) and most recently American Archeology #1: Roosevelt Island (1994). She is also an accomplished filmmaker who has made a series of award-winning films including Ellis Island (1981) and her first feature, Book Of Days (1988), which was aired on PBS, shown at the New York Film Festival, and selected for the Whitney Museum's Biennial. A retrospective art exhibition, Meredith Monk: Archeology of an Artist, opened at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center in 1996. Other recent art exhibits are comprised of a major installation, Art Performs Life at the Walker Art Center, a show Shrines at the Frederieke Taylor/TZ' Art Gallery and inclusion in the Whitney Museum Century of American Art. A monograph, Meredith Monk, edited by Deborah Jowitt was released by Johns Hopkins Press in 1997.

:eye: In October 1999 Meredith Monk performed A Vocal Offering for His Holiness, the Dalai Lama as part of the World Festival of Sacred Music in Los Angeles. In July 2000 her music was honored by a three concert retrospective entitled Voice Travel as part of the Lincoln Center Festival. Earlier this year Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble completed a tour of Magic Frequencies, a science-fiction chamber opera in Eastern Europe. Her latest music theater work, Mercy, a collaboration with visual artist, Ann Hamilton, premiered at the American Dance Festival in July 2001. Future projects include a series of pieces with electronic composer, David Behrman and Meredith Monk's first orchestral piece commissioned by Michael Tilson Thomas for the New World Symphony.

On short vacation. This is the place where I am, so if you want to talk to me, don't be shy. Come to São Thomé das Letras meet me at the Witches' Rock.

By the way, this is one of my favorite points of observation there. Click here and see.
:bulletred: Henrique Jorge Mautner. Poet, writer,   violinist, pianist, songwriter, movie   maker and singer, Jorge Mautner is an   artist that has quite oddly been   labeled as underground. He started out   as a writer and journalist, having   published his first book, Deus da Chuva   e da Morte, God of Rain and Death in   1962, at age 21. In 1965, he released   his first single (with the songs   Radioatividade and Não Não Não) and   began performing in bars and clubs in   São Paulo. Between the 60s and 70s,   Mautner lived in the USA and England,   intensely working with books, music and   movies. His first full album was   recorded live in 1972 Pra Iluminar a   Cidade. He wrote the super hit Maracatu   Atômico - recorded by Gilberto Gil in   1973 and by Chico Science & Nação   Zumbi in 1996 - with his most constant   partner, Nelson Jacobina. Gil recorded   other Mautner songs, such as Herói das   Estrelas and O Rouxinol. Gal Costa   recorded Lágrimas Negras and the new   school rocker Wanderléa recorded Ginga   da Mandinga. He has alternated literary   and musical periods since the 70s,   always sounding innovative. Antimaldito,  1985, and Pedra Bruta, 1992, are some   of his most interesting albums.

:bulletblue: :bulletblue: :bulletblue:

:bulletred: Discography:

:bulletgreen: Career albums:

:bulletblue: ESTILHAÇOS DE PAIXÃO, 1997, CD .

:bulletblue: PEDRA BRUTA, 1992, Vinyl .




:bulletblue: ANTIMALDITO, 1985, Vinyl.


:bulletblue: BOMBA DE ESTRELAS, 1981, Vinyl, CD.


:bulletblue: MIL E UMA NOITES DE BAGDÁ, 1976,   Vinyl.

:bulletblue: JORGE MAUTNER, 1974, Vinyl.


:bulletblue: PRA ILUMINAR A CIDADE, 1972, Vinyl.


:bulletblue: Compilations:

:bulletblue: O SER DA TEMPESTADE - 40 ANOS DE   CARREIRA, 1999, CD.

More about this text and Mautner's   discography at AllBrazilianMusic
"I never realized my family was poor     until I left my neighborhood," Ruben     Blades says. During his adolescence,     the family's economic problems got     worse while the country's political     situation with respect to the United     States was getting more and more     difficult. This had an important effect     on the life of young Ruben, forcing    him  into thinking about problems he    never  thought about before. "Up to    1964, I  had been totally pro-Yankee.    In tastes,  in music, in everything.    But the events  of January of '64, when    the United  States refused to raise   the  Panamanian  flag at the Canal Zone   - a  situation  that resulted in 25   people  dead -  opened my eyes and,   like me,  many of  those who had been   absolutely   pro-American started to   ask themselves   questions of a   political and social   nature."

Rubén Blades started his musical life     listening to rock, Central American     music especially the music of his     native Panama and, according to     himself, a lot of Brazilian music too.     This would yield such a passionate  and    diversified music, as one would   expect.   He brought the political and   social   feeling of his time to salsa,   what is   oodity enough for a rhythm   which is   designed to only or almost   only speak   about love and sexual   passion.

He brought the lyrical     sophistication of South American nueva     canción and Cuban nueva trova to   salsa,   telling acidly-rendered   stories of   devastated lives, but with   an   ever-present message of hope.   After   1980, Blades wanted out of his   contract   with the exploitative Fania   label, but   was contractually   obligated to record   several more   albums; these were   generally   toss-offs and Blades himself   tells   his fans to avoid them. After   signing   with Elektra, Blades assembled   a   top-notch band (known variously as     Seis Del Solar, or Son Del Solar).     Then he fell in with a set of West     Coast liberals (Jackson Browne, Linda     Ronstadt), started making movies, ran     for president of his native Panama     (although he hadn't lived there for two     decades) and in between still  manages    to make some excellent  music. Note to    Americans: Blades is  fully bilingual,    and does his own  translations into    English (all his  post-Fania LPs come    with lyrics in  both languages), which    makes it  possible to fully appreciate    the  poetry in his best work. And    there's  a Rubén Blades web site with     biographical info and discography. I'm     missing almost all the early Willie     Colón albums, and I'm still reviewing     most of Blades' Fania work, so stay     tuned. I do have many of Colón's early     hits - La Murga, Calle Luna Calle Sol ,    Che Che Cole, Piraña - on   compilations,   and they're well worth   tracking down.   Hector Lavoe is the   vocalist on many of   Willie's early   records (Willie also   produced Lavoe's   first solo albums);   after a while   Colón got tired of   dealing with ego   crises and starting   singing lead   himself. Colón has now set   up his own   web site; he's even linked   to us,   which is nice of him since we   don't   exactly see eye to eye on certain   of   his albums. (DBW)

Coming soon, bookmark it, still under   construction.

Go, Brazil. For those who have seen   Brazil win  World Cups since 1970, the   story sounds  more or less the same.   The Brazilian  team leaves Brazil for   the home of the  Cup frowned and booed   at, and ends up  winning the   competition. Nobody  believes they can,   but they can. In  1970, it wasn't that   different. What  was different from   these days was the  fact the country   was bound to military  dictatorship   that sought to track down  any Reds   found under the bed, under the  divine   inspiration of Joseph McCarthy,  a   plague that spread throughout  America,   making people vanish in the  air,   sometimes as if they had never    existed. Torture, illegal arrest,    everything was possible in that game of    possibilities. Only one thing was    impossible for some people: to live in    Brazil then. While in dark cells    people's will and determination to    fight for liberty was being broken down    by both psychological and physical    torture and intimidation - some    activists were tortured and killed in    front of their wives that watched    everything while being raped by other    policeman, in state of shock - the    Brazilian team started its ascension to    glory for the third time in Mexico.    Football seemed to be the perfect smoke    screen for the underground activity,    when the country madly danced in a    random circle of terror, torture and    wild and dumb censorship. In the wake    of Minister of Economy Delfim Netto's    "Brazilian miracle" - the fact that    Brazil had most of its "citizens"    working - people were arrested for    loitering in thousands, without even    defining what the hell loitering could    ever be. Then, activists or not, most    of them would face the frontier  between   limbo and hell.

About this troubled period of Brazilian    life, Roberto Farias, a Brazilian    filmmaker decided to create a furious    account of everything that happened    then. The plot is simple yet effective    in sending shivers up and down your    spine: a family man, by the name Jofre,    coming from Rio to São Paulo, shares  a   taxi with a man named Sarmento,  whom   he's never seen before, but  someone he   has just met at the  airport, someone   with an easy smile  and pleasant talk.   Together, they'd  travel to São Paulo,   bound for the  same flight. The man is a   left wing  activist and apolitical   Jofre is  trapped into a car that will   never  arrive at destination. The rest   of  the film has his wife and brother    desperately seeking him until the    bitter truth emerges: he had been taken    away by an extreme right wing   paramilitary miltia and was unlikely to   come home in time for dinner; they wouldn't even have the  body back home.   So, being now people  with little to   lose, they decide to  take action to at   least rescue the  body. What was  search  has now become  revenge. The  director  makes all  characters,  political or  apolitical pay  for their  sins in front  of you. There's  no  telling what  happens in the end of   the tunnel.

Promo for Pra Frente Brasil (literally    Go Brazil, rooting for the team, the    only thing we could root for then).
Shooting An Elephant

Some memories of George Orwell, as a colonial policeman in Burma and how he shot an elephant to avoid looking a fool.

In Moulmein, in lower Burma, I was hated by large numbers of people – the only time in my life that I have been important enough for this to happen to me. I was sub-divisional police officer of the town, and in an aimless, petty kind of way anti-European feeling was very bitter. No one had the guts to raise a riot, but if a European woman went through the bazaars alone somebody would probably spit betel juice over her dress. As a police officer I was an obvious target and was baited whenever it seemed safe to do so. When a nimble Burman tripped me up on the football field and the referee (another Burman) looked the other way, the crowd yelled with hideous laughter. This happened more than once. In the end the sneering yellow faces of young men that met me everywhere, the insults hooted after me when I was at a safe distance, got badly on my nerves. The young Buddhist priests were the worst of all. There were several thousands of them in the town and none of them seemed to have anything to do except stand on street corners and jeer at Europeans.

All this was perplexing and upsetting. For at that time I had already made up my mind that imperialism was an evil thing and the sooner I chucked up my job and got out of it the better. Theoretically – and secretly, of course – I was all for the Burmese and all against their oppressors, the British. As for the job I was doing, I hated it more bitterly than I can perhaps make clear. In a job like that you see the dirty work of Empire at close quarters. The wretched prisoners huddling in the stinking cages of the lock-ups, the grey, cowed faces of the long-term convicts, the scarred buttocks of the men who had been Bogged with bamboos – all these oppressed me with an intolerable sense of guilt. But I could get nothing into perspective. I was young and ill-educated and I had had to think out my problems in the utter silence that is imposed on every Englishman in the East. I did not even know that the British Empire is dying, still less did I know that it is a great deal better than the younger empires that are going to supplant it. All I knew was that I was stuck between my hatred of the empire I served and my rage against the evil-spirited little beasts who tried to make my job impossible. With one part of my mind I thought of the British Raj as an unbreakable tyranny, as something clamped down, in saecula saeculorum, upon the will of prostrate peoples; with another part I thought that the greatest joy in the world would be to drive a bayonet into a Buddhist priest's guts. Feelings like these are the normal by-products of imperialism; ask any Anglo-Indian official, if you can catch him off duty.

One day something happened which in a roundabout way was enlightening. It was a tiny incident in itself, but it gave me a better glimpse than I had had before of the real nature of imperialism – the real motives for which despotic governments act. Early one morning the sub-inspector at a police station the other end of the town rang me up on the phone and said that an elephant was ravaging the bazaar. Would I please come and do something about it? I did not know what I could do, but I wanted to see what was happening and I got on to a pony and started out. I took my rifle, an old 44 Winchester and much too small to kill an elephant, but I thought the noise might be useful in terrorem. Various Burmans stopped me on the way and told me about the elephant's doings. It was not, of course, a wild elephant, but a tame one which had gone "must." It had been chained up, as tame elephants always are when their attack of "must" is due, but on the previous night it had broken its chain and escaped. Its mahout, the only person who could manage it when it was in that state, had set out in pursuit, but had taken the wrong direction and was now twelve hours' journey away, and in the morning the elephant had suddenly reappeared in the town. The Burmese population had no weapons and were quite helpless against it. It had already destroyed somebody's bamboo hut, killed a cow and raided some fruit-stalls and devoured the stock; also it had met the municipal rubbish van and, when the driver jumped out and took to his heels, had turned the van over and inflicted violences upon it.

The Burmese sub-inspector and some Indian constables were waiting for me in the quarter where the elephant had been seen. It was a very poor quarter, a labyrinth of squalid bamboo huts, thatched with palmleaf, winding all over a steep hillside. I remember that it was a cloudy, stuffy morning at the beginning of the rains. We began questioning the people as to where the elephant had gone and, as usual, failed to get any definite information. That is invariably the case in the East; a story always sounds clear enough at a distance, but the nearer you get to the scene of events the vaguer it becomes. Some of the people said that the elephant had gone in one direction, some said that he had gone in another, some professed not even to have heard of any elephant. I had almost made up my mind that the whole story was a pack of lies, when we heard yells a little distance away. There was a loud, scandalized cry of "Go away, child! Go away this instant!" and an old woman with a switch in her hand came round the corner of a hut, violently shooing away a crowd of naked children. Some more women followed, clicking their tongues and exclaiming; evidently there was something that the children ought not to have seen. I rounded the hut and saw a man's dead body sprawling in the mud. He was an Indian, a black Dravidian coolie, almost naked, and he could not have been dead many minutes. The people said that the elephant had come suddenly upon him round the corner of the hut, caught him with its trunk, put its foot on his back and ground him into the earth. This was the rainy season and the ground was soft, and his face had scored a trench a foot deep and a couple of yards long. He was lying on his belly with arms crucified and head sharply twisted to one side. His face was coated with mud, the eyes wide open, the teeth bared and grinning with an expression of unendurable agony. (Never tell me, by the way, that the dead look peaceful. Most of the corpses I have seen looked devilish.) The friction of the great beast's foot had stripped the skin from his back as neatly as one skins a rabbit. As soon as I saw the dead man I sent an orderly to a friend's house nearby to borrow an elephant rifle. I had already sent back the pony, not wanting it to go mad with fright and throw me if it smelt the elephant.

The orderly came back in a few minutes with a rifle and five cartridges, and meanwhile some Burmans had arrived and told us that the elephant was in the paddy fields below, only a few hundred yards away. As I started forward practically the whole population of the quarter flocked out of the houses and followed me. They had seen the rifle and were all shouting excitedly that I was going to shoot the elephant. They had not shown much interest in the elephant when he was merely ravaging their homes, but it was different now that he was going to be shot. It was a bit of fun to them, as it would be to an English crowd; besides they wanted the meat. It made me vaguely uneasy. I had no intention of shooting the elephant – I had merely sent for the rifle to defend myself if necessary – and it is always unnerving to have a crowd following you. I marched down the hill, looking and feeling a fool, with the rifle over my shoulder and an ever-growing army of people jostling at my heels. At the bottom, when you got away from the huts, there was a metalled road and beyond that a miry waste of paddy fields a thousand yards across, not yet ploughed but soggy from the first rains and dotted with coarse grass. The elephant was standing eight yards from the road, his left side towards us. He took not the slightest notice of the crowd's approach. He was tearing up bunches of grass, beating them against his knees to clean them and stuffing them into his mouth.

I had halted on the road. As soon as I saw the elephant I knew with perfect certainty that I ought not to shoot him. It is a serious matter to shoot a working elephant – it is comparable to destroying a huge and costly piece of machinery – and obviously one ought not to do it if it can possibly be avoided. And at that distance, peacefully eating, the elephant looked no more dangerous than a cow. I thought then and I think now that his attack of "must" was already passing off; in which case he would merely wander harmlessly about until the mahout came back and caught him. Moreover, I did not in the least want to shoot him. I decided that I would watch him for a little while to make sure that he did not turn savage again, and then go home.

But at that moment I glanced round at the crowd that had followed me. It was an immense crowd, two thousand at the least and growing every minute. It blocked the road for a long distance on either side. I looked at the sea of yellow faces above the garish clothes-faces all happy and excited over this bit of fun, all certain that the elephant was going to be shot. They were watching me as they would watch a conjurer about to perform a trick. They did not like me, but with the magical rifle in my hands I was momentarily worth watching. And suddenly I realized that I should have to shoot the elephant after all. The people expected it of me and I had got to do it; I could feel their two thousand wills pressing me forward, irresistibly. And it was at this moment, as I stood there with the rifle in my hands, that I first grasped the hollowness, the futility of the white man's dominion in the East. Here was I, the white man with his gun, standing in front of the unarmed native crowd – seemingly the leading actor of the piece; but in reality I was only an absurd puppet pushed to and fro by the will of those yellow faces behind. I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys. He becomes a sort of hollow, posing dummy, the conventionalized figure of a sahib. For it is the condition of his rule that he shall spend his life in trying to impress the "natives," and so in every crisis he has got to do what the "natives" expect of him. He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it. I had got to shoot the elephant. I had committed myself to doing it when I sent for the rifle. A sahib has got to act like a sahib; he has got to appear resolute, to know his own mind and do definite things. To come all that way, rifle in hand, with two thousand people marching at my heels, and then to trail feebly away, having done nothing – no, that was impossible. The crowd would laugh at me. And my whole life, every white man's life in the East, was one long struggle not to be laughed at.

But I did not want to shoot the elephant. I watched him beating his bunch of grass against his knees, with that preoccupied grandmotherly air that elephants have. It seemed to me that it would be murder to shoot him. At that age I was not squeamish about killing animals, but I had never shot an elephant and never wanted to. (Somehow it always seems worse to kill a large animal.) Besides, there was the beast's owner to be considered. Alive, the elephant was worth at least a hundred pounds; dead, he would only be worth the value of his tusks, five pounds, possibly. But I had got to act quickly. I turned to some experienced-looking Burmans who had been there when we arrived, and asked them how the elephant had been behaving. They all said the same thing: he took no notice of you if you left him alone, but he might charge if you went too close to him.

It was perfectly clear to me what I ought to do. I ought to walk up to within, say, twenty-five yards of the elephant and test his behavior. If he charged, I could shoot; if he took no notice of me, it would be safe to leave him until the mahout came back. But also I knew that I was going to do no such thing. I was a poor shot with a rifle and the ground was soft mud into which one would sink at every step. If the elephant charged and I missed him, I should have about as much chance as a toad under a steam-roller. But even then I was not thinking particularly of my own skin, only of the watchful yellow faces behind. For at that moment, with the crowd watching me, I was not afraid in the ordinary sense, as I would have been if I had been alone. A white man mustn't be frightened in front of "natives"; and so, in general, he isn't frightened. The sole thought in my mind was that if anything went wrong those two thousand Burmans would see me pursued, caught, trampled on and reduced to a grinning corpse like that Indian up the hill. And if that happened it was quite probable that some of them would laugh. That would never do.

There was only one alternative. I shoved the cartridges into the magazine and lay down on the road to get a better aim. The crowd grew very still, and a deep, low, happy sigh, as of people who see the theatre curtain go up at last, breathed from innumerable throats. They were going to have their bit of fun after all. The rifle was a beautiful German thing with cross-hair sights. I did not then know that in shooting an elephant one would shoot to cut an imaginary bar running from ear-hole to ear-hole. I ought, therefore, as the elephant was sideways on, to have aimed straight at his ear-hole, actually I aimed several inches in front of this, thinking the brain would be further forward.

When I pulled the trigger I did not hear the bang or feel the kick – one never does when a shot goes home – but I heard the devilish roar of glee that went up from the crowd. In that instant, in too short a time, one would have thought, even for the bullet to get there, a mysterious, terrible change had come over the elephant. He neither stirred nor fell, but every line of his body had altered. He looked suddenly stricken, shrunken, immensely old, as though the frightful impact of the bullet had paralysed him without knocking him down. At last, after what seemed a long time – it might have been five seconds, I dare say – he sagged flabbily to his knees. His mouth slobbered. An enormous senility seemed to have settled upon him. One could have imagined him thousands of years old. I fired again into the same spot. At the second shot he did not collapse but climbed with desperate slowness to his feet and stood weakly upright, with legs sagging and head drooping. I fired a third time. That was the shot that did for him. You could see the agony of it jolt his whole body and knock the last remnant of strength from his legs. But in falling he seemed for a moment to rise, for as his hind legs collapsed beneath him he seemed to tower upward like a huge rock toppling, his trunk reaching skyward like a tree. He trumpeted, for the first and only time. And then down he came, his belly towards me, with a crash that seemed to shake the ground even where I lay.

I got up. The Burmans were already racing past me across the mud. It was obvious that the elephant would never rise again, but he was not dead. He was breathing very rhythmically with long rattling gasps, his great mound of a side painfully rising and falling. His mouth was wide open – I could see far down into caverns of pale pink throat. I waited a long time for him to die, but his breathing did not weaken. Finally I fired my two remaining shots into the spot where I thought his heart must be. The thick blood welled out of him like red velvet, but still he did not die. His body did not even jerk when the shots hit him, the tortured breathing continued without a pause. He was dying, very slowly and in great agony, but in some world remote from me where not even a bullet could damage him further. I felt that I had got to put an end to that dreadful noise. It seemed dreadful to see the great beast lying there, powerless to move and yet powerless to die, and not even to be able to finish him. I sent back for my small rifle and poured shot after shot into his heart and down his throat. They seemed to make no impression. The tortured gasps continued as steadily as the ticking of a clock.

In the end I could not stand it any longer and went away. I heard later that it took him half an hour to die. Burmans were bringing dash and baskets even before I left, and I was told they had stripped his body almost to the bones by the afternoon.

Afterwards, of course, there were endless discussions about the shooting of the elephant. The owner was furious, but he was only an Indian and could do nothing. Besides, legally I had done the right thing, for a mad elephant has to be killed, like a mad dog, if its owner fails to control it. Among the Europeans opinion was divided. The older men said I was right, the younger men said it was a damn shame to shoot an elephant for killing a coolie, because an elephant was worth more than any damn Coringhee coolie. And afterwards I was very glad that the coolie had been killed; it put me legally in the right and it gave me a sufficient pretext for shooting the elephant. I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking a fool.

George Orwell
Autumn, 1936