October 6, 2008 - e-flux - OUT NOW! Lecture Program
October 6, 2008

OUT NOW! Lecture Program

Martha Rosler, Point and Shoot, 2008.

OUT NOW! Lecture Program

Kathy Kelly
October 16th,
Cooper Union Wollman Auditorium, 7PM
51 Astor Place, New York City

Patrick Cockburn
October 22nd,
Cooper Union Great Hall, 7PM

Organized by Anton Vidokle


Witness Against War
A Lecture by Peace Activist and Pacifist Kathy Kelly

October 16th, Cooper Union Wollman Auditorium, 7PM

51 Astor Place, New York City

Kathy Kelly lived in Iraq during the first Gulf War, (1991), the Desert Fox bombing (1998) and the 2003 Shock and Awe bombing, invasion and occupation of Iraq. She and companions from Voices in the Wilderness were fined $20,000, a fine they refused to pay, for bringing medicines to Iraq during the 13 year state of siege imposed on Iraq from 1990 -2003. During the past year, she has spent five months living amongst Iraqis in Amman, Jordan who have fled their homes because of death threats, displacement and ethnic cleansing. Kelly will talk about people whose lives are forever changed because they have borne the brunt of suffering caused by a US “war of choice,” and she will discuss ways for ordinary people to campaign on behalf of just and fair US policies toward Iraq.

Kathy Kelly is a peace activist and pacifist who was one of the founding members of Voices in the Wilderness, a group dedicated to campaigning to end the occupation of Iraq. Since disbanded, Voices for Creative Nonviolence is a new organization that has formed in its place with Kelly as its co-coordinator. Kelly was born in Chicago as attended Loyola University at Chicago and received a Masters in Religious Education from the Chicago Theological Seminary. She has taught for over thirty years at Chicago schools, is a three time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, is active within the Catholic worker movement and has refused payment of all federal income tax for 25 years since becoming a pacifist.

Voices for Creative Nonviolence www.vcnv.org

Why America Will Have to
Get Out of Iraq Regardless of
Who Wins the Presidential Election
A Lecture by Middle East Correspondent Patrick Cockburn

October 22nd, Cooper Union Great Hall, 7PM

Patrick Cockburn argues that a central political fact in Iraq today is that the great majority of Iraqis have always opposed the US occupation. Though Iraqi factions sometimes find it convenient to ally themselves with the US military, these alliances are based upon short term interests rather than any form of longstanding allegiance. Iraqis may have problems with one another for whatever reason, but a strong sense of national identity ensures that, together, Iraqis will simply not allow a long-term US occupation.

Another mistake consistently made by the US is the supposition that the US controls the political weather in Iraq. It does not. The last five years have taught us that it is ultimately up to Iraqis to determine how and when the US withdraws. This will happen soon. After all, the recent fall in violence has more to do with Iranian support for the Iraqi government, the Mahdi Army ceasefire, and the Sunni insurgents’ defeat by Shia militias in Baghdad than it does with the American fantasy that the troop surge provided the backdrop for the recent period of relative stability.

And yet present-day Iraq still remains the most dangerous place in the world. Many are convinced that circumstances are improving, yet television correspondents pictured strolling down peaceful streets are protected by armed bodyguards perched just beyond the view of the camera. Granted, things are “getting better,” but for Iraqis, the point of comparison would be the bloodbath of 2006-2007.

At the end of the day, the reality remains that there will be no end to the fighting in Iraq insofar as the occupation persists. In a fundamental way, the occupation destabilizes the country by discrediting any government allowed to subsist alongside it, marking it in the minds of the Iraqi population as a foreign-installed puppet regime with little to no claim to power. A US withdrawal and return to Iraqi sovereignty therefore must be real and not nominal. For all Bush’s talk of respect for Iraqi sovereignty, the US still overtly controls the Iraqi National Intelligence Service and controls much of the army covertly.

Having been a Middle East correspondent since 1979, Patrick Cockburn is widely considered to be one of the most experienced commentators on the Iraq war. He has won both the James Cameron Prize (2006) and the Martha Gelhorn Prize (2005) for his on-the-ground , and is the author of four books on Iraq: Out of the Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein, Saddam Hussein: An American Obsession, The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq, and Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq as well as a memoir, The Broken Boy and a collection of essays on the Soviet Union, Getting Russia Wrong: The End of Kremlinology. Cockburn is currently the Iraq war correspondent for The Independent of London.

These events are presented as part of OUT NOW!,
on view at e-flux until November 8th, 2008

featuring works by Friends of William Blake, Patrick Cockburn, Kathy Kelly, Trevor Paglen, Martha Rosler, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Jalal Toufic, and organized by Anton Vidokle

41 Essex Street
New York City
T: 212 619-3356
opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12- 6 pm

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