March 31, 2011

I am so much afraid of understanding you...

I am so much afraid of understanding you... If I do understand, I cannot keep this distance between us intact... The distances that keep us apart... The distances that make it impossible to touch... I am so much afraid of understanding you... If I do understand, I cannot judge; yet I cannot exist without my arsenal... The defencelessness would weaken me, and I cannot deal with weakness. I am so much afraid of understanding you... If I do understand, I would become transparent... Transparency would draw us together... If I get closer to you, I would have no one to reflect my self-hatred upon... If I get close to you and understand you, I cannot look at the self I’ve laid bare... It’s so cold in here; I cannot go out unless I’ve worn clothes over clothes over clothes... I just can’t... I cannot bring down my walls... If I tear down my walls and left undressed, we would be equals, I can never endure that..

- Meltem Arikan

Meltems website | Tweet her

We just had to share this with you. /NR

Becoming visible


Today we celebrate the International Transgender Day of Visibility. How better than this?
Show your support on Facebook: Event.

Bring faces out from the shadows by placing them front and center in my portraits.  Many homeless transgendered teens have been traumatized by the loss of their families, their homes and often, their dignity.  I will use lovinglyproduced photographs as a way to help heal some of the pain caused by all of that loss and create images that reveal their humanity.  A humanity that we can share and connect to.  
Working directly with the two largest organizations that work tirelessly to help this under-served community, I will make both studio and exterior portraits of the kids, shot on film and then enlarged into outsized platinum and palladium prints; far and away the most elegant of all photographic processes.  
The money will go to provide stipends for the kids, direct contributions to the service organizations and help me to pay for film, studio time and to retro-fit a lab to create these oversized prints -and to purchase the chemicals to create handmade emulsion (literally pulverized platinum!) and to import paper from France.  
The resulting series will culminate with a large gallery show in New York City and throughout the world.  Expanding recognition, awareness and compassion.  

Take part in creating dignity and self worth to one of the most discriminated and hated groups of people in the World, a group that has been around since the beginning of humanity but still has a long way to go before enjoying the same rights as you and everyone else. It's about identity. It's about history. It's about seeing a human being for being simply a human being, a person and an individual to love and care for. It's about opening doors. The doors to our hearts. The doors to our souls. The doors to freedom, full citizenship and full human rights.

Do you wish to donate? Look for the widget to your right.

March 25, 2011

Infidelity and adultery no longer a crime in Mexico

Whatever we may think of infidelity and adultery, many usually agree that a two year prison term might be rather too harsh a penalty for the one who has stepped outside of the marital boundarys. Therefore we are glad to hear that Mexico has now decided on removing the law from now on. As such laws based on morality usually hits harder upon the female part of the population (women tend to be accused and convicted to a higher extent and more harshly than men), we feel that this is also a step in the right direction for womens rights in Mexico.

Nucleic analisys in seawater (Fukushima March 23)

The file and analisys is from TEPCO. The rise of zirconiumlevels, indicates damages to the spent fuelrods [LINK].

March 23, 2011

March 22, 2011

Access Info wins case against Council on open legislative procedure





General Court of the European Union rules refusal illegitimate

Access Info wins case against Council on open legislative procedure

22 March 2011: The General Court of the European Union today found that the Council of the EU wrongly refused to disclose the identity of countries taking positions on reform of the EU’s access to documents rules.

Ruling on an application brought by Access Info Europe, the Court found that the Council had “in no way demonstrated” how publication of the country names would “seriously undermine its decision-making process”.

The Court stated that “If citizens are to be able to exercise their democratic rights, they must be in a position to follow in detail the decision-making process” and that they should “have access to all relevant information.”

Decision in Access Info Europe v Council of the European Union, case T-233/09

The Council had asserted that: “If written contributions were made fully accessible to the public … positions of the delegations [would] become entrenched, since those delegations would lose some of their ability … to justify before their public a compromise solution, which may differ from their initial position.”

The Court responded that “By its nature, a proposal is designed to be discussed … not to remain unchanged …Public opinion is perfectly capable of understanding that the author of a proposal is likely to amend its content subsequently.”

Countering the argument put forward by the Council that: “If delegations were deprived of the chance of having calm discussions … it would make it difficult for the Council to move the revision of the regulation forward,” the 

Court noted that: “it is in the nature of democratic debate that a proposal for amendment of a draft regulation … can be subject to both positive and negative comments on the part of the public and media.”

The Court’s ruling comes a day after Access Info Europe published “The Secret State of EU Transparency Reforms” which demonstrates the need for greater openness in the Council if the public is to follow and participate in the EU legislative process.

“The judgment and the case illustrate that political debate is essential before legislation is adopted”, said Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info Europe. “This ruling means that the European public will be better informed about and have a say in the decisions that affect our everyday lives,”

For more information – in English or French - please contact:

Pam Bartlett Quintanilla, Researcher, Access Info Europe | +34 699 354 215

Helen Darbishire, Executive Director, Access Info Europe | +34 667 685 319