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Development Fiction

Exploring 'development' through all things fiction

Ulysses

 

“History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.”

James Joyce, 1922

Animal Farm

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal that others”

George Orwell, Animal Farm, 1945

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The Picture of Dorian Gray

This Oscar Wilde quote is one of my all-time favourites. In a development sense, there is food for thought here. How does something acquire value? How do we give it value? Is it all about the money?

The Global Gag Rule: Can writers join the resistance?

On February 28, PAI is calling on people from across the world to join ‘a day of action’ on Twitter to speak out against President Trump’s Global Gag Rule. Ahead of this twitter chat and twitterstorm, we ask, can writers join this resistance, that has, for too long, being a subject of political back-and-forth?

Every year, over 21 million women experience unsafe abortions around the world. A majority of such unsafe abortions occur in developing countries, and risks are even higher in conflict-affected contexts. Unsafe abortion is also among the main causes of maternal mortality. President Trump’s re-introduction of the Global Gag Rule has stirred further debate and action on the already widely contested issue of abortion, and overall, on concerns around women’s sexual and reproductive health rights, as well as women’s freedom of choice and empowerment.

Continue reading “The Global Gag Rule: Can writers join the resistance?”

The Bell Jar

“I was supposed to be having the time of my life”

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

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FGM: Can fiction change the narrative?

“I just pray that one day no woman will have to experience this pain. It will become a thing of the past. People will say “Did you hear, female genital mutilation has been outlawed in Somalia?” Then the next country, and the next, and so on, until the world is safe for all women. What a happy day that will be, and that’s what I’m working toward. In’shallah, if God is willing, it will happen. ”

Waris Dirie, Desert Flower
Continue reading “FGM: Can fiction change the narrative?”

1984

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen”

George Orwell, 1984

Continue reading “1984”

Crossing the Sea with Syrians on the Exodus to Europe

What is chilling about Wolfgang Bauer’s, Crossing the Sea with Syrians on the Exodus to Europe is that he is part of the group of refugees making the deadly journey from Egypt to Italy through sea and land. The journey takes place in April 2014, as Syria experiences widespread destruction, war, and religious hatred. With the worsening crises, the UN has “stopped counting the dead” (Bauer, 2016, p. 11). No proper identification documents and an uncertain political climate make the refugees’ journey even riskier.  Yet, for journalist, Bauer, and photographer, Stanislav Krupar there is further fear should their identities be discovered. Having “grown long beards and adopted new identities. For this journey we are English teachers Varj and Servat, two refugees from a republic in the Caucasus” (Bauer, 2016, p. 10).

Continue reading “Crossing the Sea with Syrians on the Exodus to Europe”

Women’s resistance movements in film: the Suffragettes and the Gulabi Gang (in light of women’s marches protesting Trump)

A day after the inauguration of Donald Trump as the new US President, tens of thousands of women took to the streets across the United States and in more than 60 countries in protest. The new US President had previously, unashamedly, boasted about sexually assaulting women, while his brutal verbal comments at women, and his views on family planning have come under intense criticism. The marches were more widespread, however, in their message, promoting awareness of broader issues such as minority and disability rights. Such protests were seen as resonating other large-scale women’s resistance movements, particularly those such as the women’s suffrage movement.

In light of such protests and debates, I am drawn to two representations of women’s resistance movements in film: the 2015 British period-drama, Suffragette, and the 2010 documentary, Pink Saris that depicts the actions of the Gulabi Gang in India. The two productions are set almost a century apart, and in two vastly different regions. Yet, the issues they raise resonate even today. Continue reading “Women’s resistance movements in film: the Suffragettes and the Gulabi Gang (in light of women’s marches protesting Trump)”

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