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February 16, 2020
by mara.ahmed
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Narrathon de Limal – Tatactatoum #2

merveilleux.

Lecture d’un extrait de ‘Tu m’aimes-tu ?’ de Samantha Barendson aux éditions Le chat polaire.

Texte/voix : Samantha Barendson
Guitare : Paul Guiot

Le narrathon de Limal (près de Bruxelles) est une rencontre annuelle de poètes / éditeurs / musiciens / plasticiens d’horizons divers.

February 16, 2020
by mara.ahmed
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Medicare for All

Mark Provost: Just learned something worth sharing. A new study has been published by a team of Yale epidemiologists in The Lancet, the most prestigious medical journal in the world, which they found Medicare for All would save 68,000 lives and $450 billion in cost per year. The study was posted to The Lancet’s website literally an hour ago and so far not a single news outlet has covered it, which I expect to change soon.

February 14, 2020
by mara.ahmed
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To Be a Poet by Florbela Espanca

To be a poet is to be taller, to be larger
Than men. To bite like others kiss.
It is to be a beggar and to give like you are king
of the kingdom of brief and ever-lasting pain.
It is to have a thousand wishes, splendor
And not even know what you desire.
It is to have here inside a star, a flame.
It is to have the condor’s talons and wings.
It is to be hungry, to thirst for the infinite.
The gold and satin mornings like an antique helmet;
It is to condense the world into a single cry,
And it is to love you, even so, desperately.
You are the soul, the blood, and the life in me
And I tell it to everyone through my song.

[Translated from Portuguese by Kay Cosgrove]

February 14, 2020
by mara.ahmed
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The poem I wrote for you

Talked to Adelina about Florbela Espanca (1894-1930) this morning, one of Portugal’s best known and loved poets. Her life was filled with torment and ‘she was little understood by contemporary critics, who characterized her style as “feminine” and “narcissistic,” usually conflating the two terms. However, she was well ahead of her time as a voice calling for freedom of gender and mind. She uses liturgical imagery, was influenced by French Symbolism, and frequently describes her beloved Alentejo.’ Here is one of her poems that I love.

February 14, 2020
by mara.ahmed
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coffee with adelina

with the lovely Adelina Azfar at Village Bakery & Cafe today. we don’t meet as often as we should, but when we do it’s always delightful and profound. can’t wait to see u and the girls in nyc inshallah.

February 13, 2020
by mara.ahmed
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Feminist Scholar Barbara Smith on Identity Politics & Why She Supports Bernie Sanders for President

Feminists, POCs, activists, pls watch.

BARBARA SMITH: The reason I support Bernie Sanders is because of the fact that he has a theory of change. You know, that’s a popular phrase now. He has an understanding of like why things are not working in our U.S. society, and he has ideas like Medicare and healthcare for all, like changing the criminal justice system, like having access to college for all young people and not just for those who are privileged. He has good ideas about how we can actually fulfill that promise that the Founders supposedly put out, in their very flawed way, since they didn’t really include people like me. They didn’t include women. They didn’t include black people. But they had some great ideas about freedom and justice for all. He has the plans. He has the passion and the compassion. He has the base of support, which is much more diverse than, I think, any of the other candidate at this point.

He just — you know, we’re just in sync. He and I are near the same age, and we were both involved in movements in our younger days, as students. And we just — as I said, I don’t — I’ve only met him once, so I don’t know him. It’s not like we’re like buddies or anything like that. It doesn’t come from that kind of contact. It comes from looking at what he is standing for, what he proposes to do and what he has done, actually. I’ve been aware of him. Someone asked me, “When did you first know about Bernie Sanders?” I said, “I feel like I’ve known about him all of — at least all of his life, and — his political life, because I knew about him when he was a mayor in Burlington.” So, I have definitely followed him through the years. Watch here.

February 13, 2020
by mara.ahmed
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Chinese Classic ‘Condor Heroes’ Takes Wing In English

‘In 2000, the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon introduced moviegoers worldwide to superhuman martial artists who could deliver a beatdown while balancing on bamboo or gliding across water. But those kinds of acrobatics were no surprise to Chinese audiences.’

[they were no surprise to me either. very early on, my mom and dad bought us chinese books, translated either in french or english and filled with beautiful illustrations of martial arts warriors who could fly at whim to dodge or deliver a blow.]

‘Jin Yong’s books have been made into comic books, TV shows, movies, and video games — in fact, the latest TV adaptation of Condor Heroes came out in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore last year. Now in his 90s, he no longer gives interviews, but I found no shortage of people who wanted to talk about his work.

“It’s difficult to overestimate (Jin Yong’s) cultural influence,” says Boston University professor Petrus Liu. “He turns novels into an encyclopedia of Chinese history, medicine, geography, philosophy, mathematics … Nobody ever does that.” Liu adds that he considers Jin Yong “the most important author of modern Chinese literature because he is the only (one) who writes in a narrative tradition that is truly Chinese.”‘

Jin Yong’s wildly popular historical series Legends of the Condor Heroes has been adapted many times for Chinese TV, movies and comics, and now the first volume has been translated into English. More here.