In the News: Apocalypse, Saints & Breadsticks

A round-up of recent religion news. Continue Reading →

In the News: Pamela Gellar, Prophesy, PEN, and more!

A round-up of the week’s religion news. Continue Reading →

Pictures at an Exhibition

By Abby Ohlheiser
Photos by Merel van Beeren

“Why should a dog, a horse, a rat have life, and the Hartmanns perish??” –Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky

I was sitting in a French-style chain cafe (sorry America), finishing my croissant, talking to Merel, when we heard the opening notes of “The Star Spangled Banner.” It was a restrained, beautiful choral rendition, and we listened. It was all kind of a relief: we were just blocks from Ground Zero, at around 8:30 AM on the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001, but the only signs we’d seen of something solemn going on were the expressions on the cops’ faces as they watched us leave the subway at Fulton Street, as they told us to keep walking in a no-gawking zone, as they told confused spectators no, not that crosswalk, you have to go around the block. This moment, listening, would be the closest we would get to the ceremony at the memorial plaza finally established on top of the former World Trade Center site. Instead, we spent the day in the blocks around the site, in the throngs of tourists, New Yorkers, missionaries, and protestors. We watched as a block’s worth of people waited to move one block forward, in front of St. Paul’s.  Merel said, “I wonder what this would look like as painted by Norman Rockwell.”

Here is what I, and the rest of the crowd, saw on the outskirts of Ground Zero during the ceremony, on the other side of the police checkpoints and “you can’t go theres” between us and the heartbreaking, mourning substance of the official ceremony. Continue Reading →

Remembering Differently: Coping with 9/11 Fatigue

by Jeremy F. Walton

9/11 fatigue is a fully comprehensible, affective response to the cadences of nationalism that have accompanied public commemoration of the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001. But this fatigue should not constitute the alibi for indifference, solipsism, or cynicism.

Several weeks after September 11, 2001, I participated in what was surely a frequent sort of event at the time:  a hastily organized panel of academic experts summoned to reflect upon the radical political upheavals of the recent weeks.  This particular panel occurred at the University of Chicago, where I was then a second-year graduate student in Anthropology; the first speaker was the Haitian anthropologist Michel-Rolph Trouillot, an early mentor of mine.  Rolph, as we affectionately called him, struck a dramatic note:  “A pillar of impenetrable, black smoke in the firmament.  The echo of jet engines above, weapons of war.  On all sides: death.”  He went on to describe the brutal and tragic events of September 11, but not the September 11 that we had gathered to reckon—his own narrative was set in Santiago, on September 11, 1973, the date of the coup d’état that constituted the bloody birth pangs of Augusto Pinochet’s military junta in Chile.  Rolph’s rhetorical and political point was as sharp as his description was vivid:  Already, in a mere two weeks, the meaning and collective memory of “September 11” had come to exclude everything other than the national trauma of the United States. To this day, I continue to wonder how Chileans interpret and experience each anniversary of September 11 (and note that September 11 can now only exist as an anniversary), especially if they happen to find themselves in the United States at the time. Continue Reading →

Patriot Acts: Narratives of Post-911 Injustice, Tuesday Sept. 13

Catch The Revealer books editor Scott Korb moderating an event tomorrow night at Gallatin (Jerry H. Labowitz Theater for the Performing Arts, 1 Washington Place) at 7 pm.

The panel will include Alia Malek, editor of Patriot ActsAdama Bah, Noor Elashi (daughter of Ghassan Elashi, who’s been placed in a “Communications Management Unit”), Ebadur Rahman, a student at NYU’s Gallatin School, and NYU’s Imam Khaled Latif.

For more information, see the Gallatin event page and the Voices of Witness page. Continue Reading →