It's a crucial time for Colombia with presidential elections slated for this Sunday and ongoing peace talks between the government and FARC guerrillas continuing in Havana, Cuba. In a new Intercross video, the head of the ICRC's delegation in Bogotá, Jordi Raich, says Colombia is at a crossroads -- poised on the verge of economic growth, shrinking poverty, and the potential to put an end to half a century of war. Watch the video on the Intercross website.
May 2014 Archives
On May 8th, 2014, the U of M hosted honored guest Francisco Ferrandiz of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) as part of the in-public, one-credit course "Reframing Mass Violence: Human Rights and Social Memory in Latin America and Southern Europe." Ferrandiz's lecture Exhumations, Memory, and the Return of Civil War Ghosts in Spain investigated the connections between the anthropology of the body, violence and social memory in the context of the current exhumations of mass graves from the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). In his talk, Ferrandiz unearthed the complexity and dynamism of the process of grave exhumations--a process that has largely focused on the abandoned graves of civilians killed during the Francoist rearguard by paramilitary groups. Since 2000, the exhumation of mass graves from the Spanish Civil War and the Post-War years has become a central element in highly charged social and political debates in the country surrounding the nature of the armed conflict and the dictatorial regime following it.
On April 23rd, a public forum took place to celebrate the opening of the art exhibition The Enduring of Labor. Student curator Anna Meteyer organized the exhibition under the supervision of Howard Oransky, Director of the Nash Gallery, in hopes to spark conversation concerning topics of labor and social justice. The exhibition, open April 22nd - May 3rd, spoke to injustices rampant in labor industries and services, and celebrated the struggle against systemic forces of oppression. The artists that were included drew upon their own personal experiences, worked with marginalized communities, and/or incorporated their academic research in their artistic practice and advocacy. The forum, also organized by Anna Meteyer, was intended to provide a space for individuals from across the community to gather in conversation surrounding the issues raised in the exhibition, and about the use of art as a vessel for social change.
Technological advances have made communicating across borders incredibly easily--as simple as logging on through email and clicking that strange little green button resembling a video recorder. With such tools at our fingertips, we have unprecedented potential for strengthening human rights networks that transcend spacial and political obstacles. Human rights students at the University of Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia, and at the University of Minnesota have initiated a collaborative project that looks to take advantage of the new possibilities presented through innovations in communication technology. These young individuals seek to spark international dialogue among university students surrounding human rights issues and philosophy, which will supplement their human rights classes and add rich dimension to their studies. Such conversation provides an opportunity to gain genuine multicultural understanding of social justice issues, and to create a fortified and united global student body, a body well-suited for addressing the extremely powerful global forces shaping injustice, poverty, and violence across the world today.
4TH ANNUAL HUMAN RIGHTS
STUDENT AWARDS CEREMONY
Friday, May 9, 2014 at 12:00 PM
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
1210 Heller Hall (West Bank)
271 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455
Join us as we recognize and celebrate three amazing University of Minnesota undergraduate students and their accomplishments in promoting and protecting human rights, Melanie Paurus (receiving the 4th Annual Inna Meiman Human Rights Award) and Joe Fifield and Anna Meteyer (receiving Sullivan Ballou Awards).
Far too many US laws violate basic principles of justice by requiring disproportionately severe punishment, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 36-page report, "Nation Behind Bars: A Human Rights Solution," notes that laws requiring penalties that are far longer than necessary to meet the purposes of punishment have given the United States the world's highest reported rate of incarceration. These laws have spawned widespread and well-founded public doubts about the fairness of the US criminal justice system. Continue reading on the Human Rights Watch website.
"In demanding engagement with more substantial diversity, we are continuing a conversation that began in 1492, and that was highly visible during the 1969 Morrill Hall Student Takeover. This conversation was most recently revitalized by the Whose University? Campaign in 2010-2011. In continuing the questions that were asked at that point, and still in conversation with the leaders of that campaign, we emphasize the need for permanent and substantial structural changes as well as a sustained commitment to equity within the University."