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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gold Mine | July 2014

One // Canadian music festival takes a huge step against Native appropriation 

For various reasons, Bass Coast Festival is banning feathered war bonnets, or anything resembling them, onsite. Our security team will be enforcing this policy.

We understand why people are attracted to war bonnets. They have a magnificent aesthetic. But their spiritual, cultural and aesthetic significance cannot be separated.

Bass Coast Festival takes place on indigenous land and we respect the dignity of aboriginal people. We have consulted with aboriginal people in British Columbia on this issue and we feel our policy aligns with their views and wishes regarding the subject. Their opinion is what matters to us. —Bass Coast Festival Announcement

The abduction of more than 200 girls from the northeast Nigerian town of Chibok has understandably taken an immense toll on the community, and particularly the families, involved. However, the Associated Press has a report that shows the impact on the families of the girls has been particularly severe. Startlingly, 11 parents of the schoolgirls have died in the three months since their abduction. Chibok has been cut off from government control by Boko Haram, which has staged repeated attacks that show no sign of abating. —Elliot Hannon

Three // Females are less likely to undergo female genital mutilation than 30 years ago

The practice persists partly because it's a social norm in male-dominated societies. Mothers have said they only have their daughter's best interests in mind. "The decision to cut is partly based on your interest in your daughter being able to marry within your community," Bissell says. "If she is the only who isn't cut, her marriageability prospects go down dramatically."

In some countries, like Egypt and Indonesia, FGM gets added legitimacy because doctors perform the surgery. There's the idea that "Oh, if a doctor does it, it's OK," says Shelby Quast, the senior policy director of Equality Now, an international human rights organization.

"There are laws in the book that say that if you do this through a medical doctor, it's not a crime."

But "it's a human rights violation regardless of who does it," she states. — Linda Poons

oppression is not a feeling. reducing it how to a community ‘feels’ they are being treated minimizes the violences that are enacted upon them, makes structural injustices a matter of perception of individual acceptance or rejection of oppressive conditions. oppression creates feelings, definitely. it creates trauma, internalized conflict, dissonance, confusion. but oppression is not a feeling. — Ngọc Loan Trần  

Five // Before There Was Mozart by Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome

Joseph Boulogne loved music. The singing of the birds, the beat of drums, the peal of church bells—and most of all, the soaring notes of his violin. But as the son of a white plantation owner and a black slave, newly arrived in France from the West Indies, what chance did Joseph have for success with his music? Here is the true story of an extraordinary boy who overcame the prejudices of his peers to become one of the finest classical musicians in all of Europe. — Back Cover

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