Posts Tagged ‘afghanistan’
Below, a short talk by Cynthia Schneider on the Afghan version of the “Idols” series. She demonstrates how the show has become a means of social change, especially for women, and how the content is culturally re-appropriated.
Also check out here a lengthier talk by Schneider on Western pop culture re-appropriation in the Middle East more generally. She discusses examples such as hip hop or the effects of the show 24 (select the video by Schneider and scroll to minute 30).
The notion of a “global war on terror” has always been nonsense. It has manufactured a threatening picture of an alleged global ideology of hatred for the western world. But the “global war” image obscures the fact that every crisis zone has its unique context and that most people who join or support insurgent groups do so for their very personal reasons which are far from ideological.
This still seems to be a perspective shared by but few officials in the US military:
Matthew Hoh, a senior US state department official and former marine who was based until recently in Zabul province [of Afghanistan], explained his resignation on 10 September 2009 by referring to his experiences in the Korengal valley and elsewhere. These, he is reported as saying:
“taught him ‘how localised the insurgency was. I didn’t realize that a group in this valley here has no connection with an insurgent group two kilometres away.’ Hundreds, maybe thousands, of groups across Afghanistan, he decided, had few ideological ties to the Taliban but took its money to fight the foreign intruders and maintain their own local power bases. ‘That’s really what shook me,’ he said. ‘I thought it was more nationalistic. But it’s localism. I would call it valley-ism'” (see Karen De Young, “U.S. official resigns over Afghan war“,Washington Post, 27 October 2009).