In the Blog


June 10th, 2016     by Ronak Ghorbani     Comments

Illustration: Erin McPhee

Today is the public memorial for boxing legend Muhammad Ali with an expected 14,000 people in attendance. Over at Jacobin, read about Muhammad Ali’s history as an activist and how his “resistance to racism and war belongs not only to the 1960s, but the common future of humanity.”

Women’s Earth Alliance and the Native Youth Sexual Health Network have released a report and toolkit “Violence on the Land, Violence on our Bodies” which: “centers the experiences and resistance efforts of Indigenous women and young people in order to expose and curtail the impacts of extractive industries on their communities and lands.”

Hollywood’s latest effort at whitewashing: Screenwriter David Franzoni wants to cast Leonardo DiCaprio as 13th century Persian poet, Sufi mystic and Islamic scholar Rumi, and Robert Downing Jr. as Shams of Tabriz, Rumi’s spiritual teacher, in a movie about Rumi’s life. As The Independent reports, the possible casting is part of a larger conversation and systemic issue:

“The lack of diversity in film is a controversial issue at the moment. The Academy failed to nominate a single black actor in its leading Oscars categories for the second year running, while Marvel has come under fire for casting Tilda Swinton as a Tibetan mystic in Doctor Strange. The castings of Scarlett Johansson as Japanese character Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell and Zoe Saldana as the considerably darker-skinned soul singer Nina Simone have also provoked fury.”

Some of the best #RumiWasntWhite tweets.

Toronto-based artist Meetra Sethi’s latest project “Upping the Aunty” celebrates the brilliance and beauty of aunties. Over on Fader Sethi says:

“So what is an aunty, really? In South Asian cultures, it’s a catchall term of respect for an older woman. This is shared across cultures. These women are part of our extended families or communities. Paying homage to an aunty is, in a way, paying homage to community and this is particularly [crucial] for diasporic folks for whom cultural preservation or continuity is so important — even while it evolves.”

A reminder that Shameless is hiring a volunteer Events Coordinator and to check out our reader survey.

Tags: activist report, art, indigenous, media savvy, race and racism, recommended reading, youth

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