Today is a day for us to recall that there are myriad writers incarcerated in many intolerant countries. Perhaps more significantly, The Day of The Imprisoned Writer is also a commemoration of the writers killed since the previous year’s Day of The Imprisoned Writer.[Read more…] about Imprisoned Writers
Life Tripped Me Up
‘Life tripped me up’ is a line from a poem dictated in Turkish over a phone line from a prison, a series of which have held the poet since he was 21.
Participation in a protest over the government’s treatment of Kurds sent him into a cell as a young man. He confessed to crimes he had denied before torture that has left him scarred for life.
His pre-trial detention lasted for twenty-two years before his sentence to life imprisonment was confirmed. He wrote recently that he ‘can’t touch or communicate with other people or animals’.[Read more…] about Life Tripped Me Up
You can’t read I Will Never See The World Again without being affected by it. I challenge you to read what Ahmet Altan has written especially if you worry that you have become desensitised by the descending spirals of ever worsening news. Perhaps you are inured, worrying that you have a heart of stone. He writes with such elegance and equanimity that I am certain your heart will flutter several times.
Even those of us who are empathy-challenged will be troubled by many aspects of this book.[Read more…] about Authoritarian Ignobility
Freedoms from Information
This night four years ago found us in a very special place, a retreat more accustomed to housing guests of the nation than folk like us. We took full advantage and went for a crepuscular walk once we were locked into the estate. We had the freedom of an entire domain until dawn.[Read more…] about Freedoms from Information
Capital Dot Day
I made some cryptic notes last November 29th when we were still living in London. I found them again this morning in a notebook subsumed during our relocation.
I had recently read Harry Mathews’ 20 Lines and was thinking about diaries at the time. I had been looking for patterns among my daily experiences that I could or should write about. I was also busy trying to build a commercial outlet for my photography, something I could continue when we moved to Dublin.[Read more…] about Capital Dot Day
We all depend on movements for effect and those effects drive society. A learned friend introduced me to the term ‘kinetic elite’ that describes highly mobile business and political leaders and I guess global geoscience advisors too. I knew that US military still use ‘kinetic operations’ to describe their overseas interventions. With hindsight, perhaps both concepts were aligned when I was jogging around rocky Algerian deserts on fiery summer evenings deep in the Sahara. We’d wait until the temperature dropped to 44 C, then run an outbound 5 km before sunset to avoid dehydration and ensure the return 5 km could complete before total darkness, avoiding the reportable health or safety incidents used as adjunct measures of our job performance. We were among trails used as caravan routes for millennia, ‘kinetic smuggling’ routes perhaps. I was accompanied by security advisor MdS who joked that he was born into the ‘mobility’. I’ll call him MdS because he was a veteran of the Marathon des Sables as well as special kinetic operations. Discreet when not downright secretive, he had mind-bending stories he considered safe to relate to while away a slow evening jog with me.
‘Can you imagine …?’ is how she often starts … I wrote this a month ago not imagining that government had already restarted their harassment of Nurcan Baysal for ‘inciting hatred and enmity among the public’.[Read more…] about Kinetics