What we’re watching: Bahia Shehab; the Racist BnB; We’re on Twitter! Beatrice Mtetwa; Jackson Katz

The latest roundup of videos we’ve been watching this week.

Bahia Shehab | Egypt

At the Irish Development Education (IDEA) annual conference last week, I had the pleasure of hearing the wonderfully inspiring Bahia Shehab speak about her work as an artist – and not just any artist. Although connected to us by video-link, her passion and conviction still filled the room. Her presentation to the attendees of the conference is not available to watch unfortunately, however her TED talk is – and its well worth a look. Although somewhat more subdued in this video, her message is still powerful.  While listening to her talk last week and looking at images of her art work, I couldn’t help being reminded of the infamous British street artist, Banksy. Her style, in that she uses stencils to spray political messages on the walls in Cairo, is akin to his – however there is something much more to hers. Is it because she is a woman?; because she has one very important message: “No, A Thousand Times No”?; or maybe because she is speaking for a people? Watch the video and see for yourself..

Ireland’s first racist B&B | Youtube link

Irish Comedian Tara Flynn and her African-American husband, Carl Austin, recently visited her family in her hometown of Kinsale, Co. Cork. While out walking the family dog one evening, Austin was racially abused by a group of lads outside the local pub. Although he was initially disgusted, Austin tried to shrug it off. However, his wife decided to take action; her weapon of choice? Laughter. She wrote the following sketch on a ‘Racist B&B’, illustrating the attitudes that frequently lurk beneath the ‘cead mile failte’. The mock interviewer asks:

“Has anyone ever called you an ignorant, bigoted old bitch?”

The reply:

“I’d like to see them try with a mouthful of award-winning breakfast!”

Is this how attitudes towards racism should be addressed? Does it go far enough?

We’re on Twitter! | follow @devedireland

Last week saw the launch of our Twitter account for the website. It will be a condensed resource for anyone interested in development issues, events and activities from the website and elsewhere and we invite you to Tweet us and nudge interesting DE ideas and happenings.

Last week we followed the History Teacher’s Association of Ireland making fiery presentations before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education on 12th June to lobby for the retention of history as a core subject at Junior Cert level. We posted a few Tweets from the heated, animated exchange. And who says committee meetings are boring?

The transcript from the meeting has been posted online and is worth read here.

Beatrice Mtetwa | Zimbabwe | film trailer

Meet Beatrice Mtetwa, a human rights lawyer from Zimbabwe. In spite of beatings by police, she has courageously defended those jailed by the Mugabe government, in court – peace activists, journalists, opposition candidates, farmers and ordinary citizens that had the courage to speak out. Through interviews with Mtetwa herself and her defendants, a documentary has been made to tell the story of what happens when rulers place themselves above the law and why defence of the rule of law is the crucial step in the building of a civil society. The film makers hope that Beatrice Mtetwa and the Rule of Law will spark dialogue and change in the country and throughout Africa, while also bring the story of this inspiring woman to the attention of the rest of the world.

Jackson Katz | What’s going on with men? | TED talk

Jackson Katz, co-founder of Mentors in Violence Protection, asks a very important question that gets to the roots of why sexual abuse, rape and domestic abuse remains a problem: What’s going on with men? [TED link].