Education under Fire is a poignant documentary providing an expose in the systematic persecution of the Baha’i in Iran. The denial of education for many young Baha’i is a way to keep them down. The documentary underscores the creativity of the Baha’i in providing higher education to its young. It is a strong story of resilience. Directed by Jeff Kaufman, the documentary, “examines the struggles of the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) to provide Baha’i youth with an opportunity for a college education. The BIHE was founded in 1987 in response to the Iranian government’s campaign to deny Baha’is access to higher education. The Iranian authorities carried out a series of raids and arrests of BIHE faculty and staff in May and June; statements in the government-linked press indicate that the BIHE has been declared illegal. Amnesty International estimates that over 100 Baha’i are currently imprisoned in Iran. The Baha’i have been arrested, tortured and even executed for their beliefs…”Amnesty MIT.
Does Art Matter? Stella McGregor’s pertinent question at a lecture given at the Zones of Emergency Lecture Series at the MIT Bathos Theatre, last evening, Monday 7 November, 2011, is one that lingers on. “The Zones of Emergency: Artistic Interventions – Creative Responses to Conflict & Crisis Fall 2011 lecture series investigates initiatives and modes of intervention in contested spaces, zones of conflict, or areas affected by environmental disasters. The intention is to explore whether artistic interventions can transform, disrupt or subvert current environmental, urban, political and social conditions in critical ways. A crucial question is how such interventions can propose ideas, while at the same time respecting the local history and culture…” Continue reading
Everything is slow at the start of the semester and then it all piles up at once. It suddenly feels like I bumped into the class work. I am talking about my class in Creative Responses to Crises and Conflicts. I was still trying to make sense of the course requirements before it dawned on me that my mid-term proposal was due. We had to make presentations of a crisis we have identified and the intervention we had designed. It was not to be perfect but it was to challenge our minds to think out of the box. That has become a cliché now. One wonders if thinking inside the box will be the NEW IT.