Brad Pitt in Interview Magazine, October/November, 2012
Andrea Diefenbach: Land Ohne Eltern (Country Without Parents)
Andrea Diefenbach describes the life choices faced by migrant workers from the Republic of Moldova, one of the poorest countries in Europe, in her series Land Ohne Eltern (Country without Parents). In her photographs, the distance between the two utterly different worlds of the children left at home and the parents working in far-off lands becomes almost painfully tangible.
In April 2008, I was standing in a first-grade classroom in a small village in the southeast of the Republic of Moldova when the teacher asked, “Whose parents live in Italy?”
Around two-thirds of the children raised their hands, displaying a mixture of pride and embarrassment. I was shocked. It’s one thing to read all the statistics on migrant workers and their remittances for relatives back home, but it’s another matter to stand in a cold classroom before 30 six-year-olds in wool caps and to realize that some of them haven’t seen their parents in years…
Land Ohne Eltern will be published later this month. To preorder the book, and see more from the series, visit andreadiefenbach.com.
Every 14 days a language dies.
National Geographic’s Enduring Voices Projects explores language loss around the world and examines what anthropologists, linguists, and everyday people can do to preserve our cultural heritage. The website has an interactive map that lets you explore where languages are going extinct and to what severity, as well as audio clips of some of the rarest languages on the planet.
Many linguists are faced with the question: Why bother saving languages? Some think language only divides us, others think it nurtures rebellion. Stay tuned for the next few posts that will explore the how and why anthropologists want to stop a mass extinction.
I clicked the highlighted portion of East Africa and this is the description:
This hotspot encompasses many languages spoken by different ethnic groups. Documentation of these languages is limited: Despite recent efforts to record them, 80 percent of Africa’s 2,000 languages have no written form. The major threat to linguistic diversity in Africa has been the Bantu language family, which has spread over much of the southern two-thirds of the continent.
As of 1980, there were fewer than 50 speakers of Kenya’s Omotik language, and all were more than 40 years old. The Omotik people used to be hunter-gatherers but now live among the Maasai herders and have adopted the Maasai language and lifestyle. Speakers of languages with low prestige among the majority of a region’s population encourage their children to learn languages that will allow access to better jobs when they grow up. Since Omotik children learn to speak Maasai rather than their native tongue, the Omotik language has little chance of survival.
|—||Ta-Nehisi Coates, talking with Tom Levinson about the making and structure of his very important piece “Fear of a Black President,” for Nieman Storyboard. (via thepoliticalnotebook)|
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Israel has decided to use young hot women to gain access to secrets.
Israel’s spy organization, Mossad, has developed a new generation of spies, seductive young women who can flirt their way to decipher the secrets of the enemy.
Five highly trained women agents have spoken for the first time, saying that any means is fair game when deployed trying to help Israel, they claim however to draw the line at sleeping with the enemy, according to the news media.
The officers spoke to an Israeli magazine this week about her extraordinary lifestyle that makes them feel like they are living in a movie.
This type of spy action proved very successful in 1986, when a female spy agent seduced a renegade former nuclear engineer and he fell into a trap revealing how he had stabbed Israel in the back.
A current agent calling herself “Yael”, said women often have an advantage over men because they were more likely to trust strange women.
Another spy “Efrat”, said they use their femininity by any means possible.
But there were things that she and her colleagues would not.
“Women agents are not used for sexual purposes. We flirt, but the line at sex,” she told the magazine.
However a previous report claimed that a rabbi permitted the female spies to sleep with men in order to protect the safety of the country.
However, not all her work is glamorous. As a spy for 38 years, she tells how she leaves a safe home, her husband and three young children sleeping safely in their beds with tears in her eyes and a lump in her throat.
Tamir Pardo, the head of the Mossad intelligence agency, told the magazine that about half of the agency’s spies are women.
“Women have a clear advantage in the secret war because of their ability to multitask,” she said.
“Contrary to stereotypes, is that the skills of women are superior to men in terms of understanding the territory, reading situations and spatial awareness.
When they are good, they are very good,” she said, according to the newspaper.
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