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Wanted posters target Puerto Rico Fiscal Control Board ‘mercenaries’

first_imgPhiladelphia — Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated Puerto Rico in September 2017. But over a year earlier, in June 2016, President Barack Obama unleashed economic devastation in the island/archipelago when he signed into law PROMESA — the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act. The legislation triggered a new phase in class struggle on Puerto Rico, and eliminated any doubt that it is a colony of the U.S.In essence, PROMESA is a collection agency to serve Wall Street bondholders. For that purpose, it created a dictatorial Financial Control Board referred to as the “Junta” by Puerto Ricans. The FCB is headed by insurance broker José Carrion III. Board members include Andrew G. Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington; financier Carlos M. García and banker José R. González, both with connections to Santander Bank; Arthur J. González, retired chief judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York; and David A. Skeel, Jr., a professor of corporate law at the University of Pennsylvania.Skeel, who teaches bankruptcy law, lives and works in Philadelphia.  Philadelphia native Julia Keleher was hired by the FCB to serve as Puerto Rico’s “Education Secretary” despite her lack of education experience. Both have been targeted by a “wanted poster” campaign in Philadelphia exposing their service to rich Wall Street bondholders.In summer 2018 the wanted posters began to appear on the University of Pennsylvania campus, including one posted on Skeel’s office door.  Demonstrations were held there to call attention to Skeel and Keleher’s roles in the theft of Puerto Rico’s resources.Skeel responded in a Sept. 13 op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal. He noted the posters claimed he was a “mercenary” who “demands the blood of Puerto Rican people to pay rich Wall Street bondholders.”Skeel’s defense? Simply that “PROMESA instructed the oversight board to help ‘achieve fiscal responsibility and access to the capital markets.’”But the record of Skeel, a legal bankruptcy specialist, shows why the posters describe him as a “mercenary.” In a 2014 Wall Street Journal article, he argued that management of the debt crisis in Puerto Rico could be a test case for attacking workers’ rights. He cited parallels to U.S. states facing similar hardships, such as Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and cities like Philadelphia.In the article Skeel noted that, unlike local officials reluctant to make drastic cuts because they are subject to reelections, a board appointed by congressional mandate could get away with attacking public employee unions and cutting programs, jobs and benefits.He wrote: “There may be a silver lining in these financial clouds.”All-out class war on workers and poorSo who gets to line their pockets with that silver, obtained through the “restructuring” of Puerto Rico’s debt? The members of the FCB, appointed by the U.S. president and chosen by leaders of the House and Senate, were given broad powers to serve the interest of bondholders, with no accountability to the people of Puerto Rico.The FCB’s powers include instituting automatic hiring freezes and reducing the minimum wage of workers under 25 years old from $7.25 to $4.25.Layoffs, cuts in basic services and increases to the cost of living then exacerbated hunger and poverty, worsening after Maria struck. Foreclosures of mortgages on homes and repossessions of automobiles became widespread.Under the pretext of “stimulating the economy,” the Law of Transformation and Labor Flexibilization, passed in 2017, stripped workers of hard-won gains, including the eight-hour day, while cutting wages, vacation and sick days, reducing bonuses and extending workers’ probation periods.The passage of the Single Employer’s Law impacted public sector workers by establishing the government as a single employer that could move workers from one agency to another, even to the private sector. Workers who are moved face the loss of protections won under collective bargaining agreements including seniority.In addition to the draconian attacks on workers’ rights, the FCB also imposed more taxes and increases in fines and tolls across the board, while cutting municipal subsidies and allocations for art, culture and sports programs and programs protecting women.PROMESA opened the way for the sale of profitable public properties so private capital could grab windfall profits in the millions. Profitable public possessions were bankrupted and sold “at fire sale prices.”On the environmental front, PROMESA proposed the “transfer” of responsibility for cleanup of massive contamination of Vieques from the U.S. Department of the Interior to the government of Puerto Rico. The pollution on that island municipality came from 60 years of U.S. Navy bombing practice. This plan would limit the Puerto Rican government, the municipality and individuals from claiming damages resulting from contamination from the Navy’s operations.Other FCB cuts included $1 billion from health care, a 10 percent reduction in pensions, a cut of more than $600 million in the budget of the University of Puerto Rico, and the closure of hundreds of schools under the tenure of Keleher, a consultant paid $250,000 to work as education secretary.On her “wanted poster,” Julia Keleher is described as a “ruthless mercenary hired to kill public education; proven to be completely ignorant about the Puerto Rican values, culture, history, literature and language of the children under her mandate.”Using disasters to dismantle public educationHired in January 2017, Keleher introduced an unpopular strategy to close public schools. The local Department of Education budget was cut by half a billion dollars. In 2018 the Junta demanded an additional $200 million in cuts, including $80 million from special education.Following Hurricane Maria, parents and teachers came together to repair schools and juggle classroom lineups due to many families departing to the mainland. Things were slowly moving back toward normal until Keleher struck. Teachers were laid off, hundreds of schools were closed, and children, including those with special needs, were packed tightly into classrooms.  When they protested these “reforms” in street demonstrations, teachers and students were brutally attacked by police.A month after Hurricane Maria, Keleher tweeted a recommendation that “islanders use the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina ‘as a point of reference’ and an ‘opportunity to create new, better schools.’ ” Following Katrina, New Orleans fired most teachers, closed almost all public schools and replaced them with charters.In an October 2017 interview with Education Week, Keleher approved of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ proposal that Congress waive funding requirements for adult and special education in districts recovering from natural disasters. DeVos had just released funding reduction guidelines for states and regions, including Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. (tinyurl.com/ycpwq2j7)The 120 years of U.S. occupation of Puerto Rico will be brought to trial at the International Tribunal on U.S. Colonial Crimes in Puerto Rico on Oct. 27 in New York City. PROMESA will definitely be in the list of criminal activities to be indicted. Testimony will be livestreamed direct from Puerto Rico — from activists fighting against the mercenaries of capitalism like Skeel and Keleher.Community activists, students and workers in the states Skeel cited should take notice of what he and other FCB members have engineered in Puerto Rico and learn from the protests there since June 2016.  When the FCB held its first conference on Aug. 31, 2016, youth, labor and social organizations demonstrated against PROMESA and blocked access to the conference until police had to clear the way.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Khaled Drareni support committee launches #WeAreKhaled campaign

first_imgAlgeria is ranked 146th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index, five places lower than in 2019 and 27 places lower than in 2015. The Algeria correspondent of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the French TV channel TV5 Monde and editor of the Casbah Tribune news site, Drareni was arrested in March on charges of “inciting an unarmed gathering” and “endangering national unity” because of his coverage of Algeria’s “Hirak” protest movement. During the trial, the prosecution also accused him of criticizing the Algerian political system on Facebook. Algeria pressures reporters by delaying renewal of accreditation August 17, 2020 Khaled Drareni support committee launches #WeAreKhaled campaign RSF_en “In solidarity with Khaled Drareni, the victim of judicial persecution for simply exercising his right to provide independent news coverage, and in response to the absurd, arbitrary and cruel nature of his sentence, we urge social media users to replace their profile photo with the #WeAreKhaled visual and to voice support for Khaled in their personal news feed,” the committee said. to go further After an initial launch on social media, the campaign will be publicized in the press, in banners on public buildings and via every other possible medium worldwide. The support committee also envisages organizing events in major cities in various parts of the world as soon as the northern hemisphere’s summer vacation is over. May 18, 2021 Find out more News Organisation AlgeriaMiddle East – North Africa Activities in the fieldCondemning abusesProtecting journalistsOnline freedomsMedia independenceProtecting sources Conflicts of interestCorruptionImprisonedImpunityInternetFreedom of expressionPredatorsEconomic pressureJudicial harassment Help by sharing this information Shocked and outraged by the three-year jail term and 50,000-dinar fine imposed on Drareni by a court in the Algiers district of Sidi M’hamed on 10 August, the organizations and well-known figures who set up the committee in July reached this decision at a meeting held the day after he was sentenced. News News Receive email alerts News May 12, 2021 Find out more Algeria : Reporter jailed after covering Tuareg protests in southern Algeria AlgeriaMiddle East – North Africa Activities in the fieldCondemning abusesProtecting journalistsOnline freedomsMedia independenceProtecting sources Conflicts of interestCorruptionImprisonedImpunityInternetFreedom of expressionPredatorsEconomic pressureJudicial harassment Follow the news on Algeria The international committee that supports the imprisoned Algerian journalist Khaled Drareni has decided to step up pressure for his release by launching a major international solidarity campaign entitled #WeAreKhaled. Harassment of Algerian reporters intensifies in run-up to parliamentary elections April 29, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Arctic blast heads for Eastern U.S. on holiday weekend

first_imgABC News(NEW YORK) — The severe weather pattern that dumped more than 10 inches of rain in parts of Texas and Louisiana is now heading east toward Florida.In the Northern Plains and Great Lakes region, another winter storm is forming, which could bring half a foot of snow to the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan over the next 24 hours. Six states have winter weather alerts Friday morning.Snow already is falling in the Dakotas. It’s expected to spread eastward Friday evening, with the heaviest accumulation stretching from North Dakota to Michigan. Some areas may get as much as 9 inches.An arctic blast will chase behind the storm system throughout the Midwest and Great Lakes, pushing Sunday morning wind chills to below zero in some parts.That core of cold air will slide into the Northeast by Monday, pushing wind chills in Boston into the teens and in New York into the lower 20s.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Maleah Davis, 4, to be laid to rest in colorful ‘My Little Pony’ casket

first_imgcmannphoto/iStock(HOUSTON) — Maleah Davis, a 4-year-old Houston girl whose remains were found weeks after she went missing, will be laid to rest in a colorful “My Little Pony” themed casket.Graphic designer Courtney Sublett said she worked with the little girl’s family to design the exterior of the casket, which highlights Maleah’s favorite “My Little Pony” character — Rainbow Dash — and has lots of pink: her favorite color.The casket also features rainbows, Sublett said, because “we just kind of wanted to show her being sent off over the rainbow because that’s where she is now — in heaven.”“We really wanted to incorporate her in something beautiful and something that would bring a smile to everybody’s face,” Sublett told ABC News on Thursday. “In such a tragic situation, it’s a little bit of positivity.”Maleah, whose disappearance captured the attention of the nation, was reported missing on May 4. Her remains were found in Arkansas on May 31.Maleah’s mother’s ex-fiance, Derion Vence, was arrested in the case, charged with tampering with evidence, said police. More charges are possible, authorities said.Vence, who was caring for Maleah while her mother was away, had told police the 4-year-old was abducted by three men, including one who knocked him out during a carjacking.Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, however, quickly said detectives didn’t believe his story.Investigators found the family’s car in Missouri City, Texas, and authorities said cadaver-sniffing dogs detected the scent of human remains inside.Community activist Quanell X said Vence confessed to dumping the 4-year-old’s body in Arkansas. Detectives then raced to the scene and the little girl’s body was recovered.She will be laid to rest at a private funeral on Saturday, reported ABC Houston station KTRK.“It’s really sad, but I was just so grateful that I got to bring a little light to her story,” Sublett said. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Musculoskeletal risk factors

first_imgMusculoskeletal risk factorsOn 1 Jun 2002 in Musculoskeletal disorders, Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Workers who are highly exposed to physical and psycho-social workplace riskfactors are more likely to report symptoms ofmusculoskeletal disorders thanworkers who are simply exposed to one or the other, scientists have found. The study in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine(59:269-277) said this suggested there was an interaction between physical andpsychosocial risk factors in the workplace that increased the risk of reportingsymptoms. The study, led by Dr Jason Devereux of the University of Surrey’s RobensCentre for Health Ergonomics, looked at 869 manual handlers, delivery drivers,technicians, computer operators, and general office staff. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Modern HR and sweeping reforms help to cut police force sick days

first_imgThe number of days lost to sickness in the police force has dropped byalmost 10 per cent following the introduction of modern HR techniques andsweeping reforms. The annual report of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC)shows the number of working days lost per officer has fallen from 12.2 in2000-2001 to 11.5 in 2001-2002. The number of police officers retiring on medical grounds has also dropped,with 1,114 leaving the force in 2001-2002, compared to the previous figures of1,209. The report attributes the improvement to the increased provision of privatehealth care, better management and closer monitoring of sickness. It also highlights the use of individual case reviews and better managementback to work of officers on long-term sick leave. Inspector Peter Tickle, head of occupational health and welfare atLancashire Police, said a range of new schemes and long-term targets helpedreduce sickness days at his force from 12.5 to 11.6 per officer. “We have put a lot of effort into reducing sickness and this showswe’re going in the right direction. We hope to continue this by reaching atarget of nine days by 2005,” he said. “We’re happy with the progress on sickness absence but the police as awhole must now concentrate on tackling long-term sickness, which can sometimesdrag on,” he added. Health professionals at Lancashire now hold weekly meetings to discuss new sicknesscases and ensure an early intervention with all absent staff contacted by anurse or welfare officer. The force also has introduced its own physiotherapy programme to help getinjured officers back to work and employed external counsellors for traumacases. Lancashire now allows officers that are physically unfit for normal work toreturn on restricted duties with a back to work plan, detailing their progress.Tickle said a new fast-track surgery programme had helped to speed up therecovery of injured officers by getting them treatment much earlier. Top performing areas 2000-2001Days lost          Days lost to      Days                Days lost          Days lost to      Days                to sick             long-term          lost per             to sick             long-term          lost per             leave                sickness            officer               leave                sickness            officer               2000/2001                                                       2001/2002 Bedfordshire                13,544             7,812               12.9                 10,145             5,745               9.5 Humberside                 16,485             11,271             8.6                   17,353             10572              8.6 Northamptonshire        11,416             5,211               9.8                   10,151             3,649               8.5 Northumbria                33,666             26,502             8.8                   35,515             29,117             9.0 Suffolk                        12,179             8,735               10.8                 10,659             5,716               9.0 England and Wales      1.51m              761,300           12.2                 1,46m              927,526           11.5 Source: HerMajesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Modern HR and sweeping reforms help to cut police force sick daysOn 14 Jan 2003 in Police, Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Clean access, measurement, and sampling of Ellsworth Subglacial Lake: a method for exploring deep Antarctic subglacial lake environments

first_imgAntarctic subglacial lakes are thought to be extreme habitats for microbial life and may contain important records of ice sheet history and climate change within their lake floor sediments. To find whether or not this is true, and to answer the science questions that would follow, direct measurement and sampling of these environments are required. Ever since the water depth of Vostok Subglacial Lake was shown to be>500 m, attention has been given to how these unique, ancient, and pristine environments may be entered without contamination and adverse disturbance. Several organizations have offered guidelines on the desirable cleanliness and sterility requirements for direct sampling experiments,including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research. Here we summarizethe scientific protocols and methods being developedfor the exploration of Ellsworth Subglacial Lake in WestAntarctica, planned for 2012–2013, which we offer as aguide to future subglacial environment research missions.The proposed exploration involves accessing the lake usinga hot‐water drill and deploying a sampling probe and sediment corer to allow sample collection. We focus here onhow this can be undertaken with minimal environmentalimpact while maximizing scientific return without compromising the environment for future experiments.last_img read more

PF Task Unit Heads for Seychelles

first_img Share this article View post tag: Navy Training & Education View post tag: Unit PF Task Unit Heads for Seychelles December 19, 2011 View post tag: Naval View post tag: Seychellescenter_img Pacific Fleet (PF) task unit led by large ASW ship Admiral Panteleyev attending the international anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden has finished escorting of the sixth convoy and, having replenished water and fuel supplies from tanker Boris Butoma, laid a course for the Seychelles.PF mariners will call at the capital city of Seychelles – port of Victoria – on Dec 19. During the visit to Seychelles, Russian sailors will have a rest and meet with city authorities, Russian diplomatic corps, local military authorities, and representatives of Russian diaspora.When the visit is over, the Russian task unit will continue patrol in the Indian Ocean.This is the sixth PF task unit formed in Aug 2011 to perform anti-piracy activities.[mappress]Naval Today Staff , December 19, 2011 View post tag: heads View post tag: PF View post tag: Task View post tag: News by topic Back to overview,Home naval-today PF Task Unit Heads for Seychelles last_img read more

Oxford gears up for Pride Festival

first_img“We are also thrilled to be working with Westgate to create our first Community Area in Leiden Square. This will be complete with a community stage featuring local acts that will also include a few well-known faces. The festival this year has the theme HoldTight, in response to a government survey in 2018 which showed that over 2/3 of LGBT+ people have avoided holding hands with others for fear of backlash from others. The Pride Festival is running between May 17 and June 2. It is described by Oxford Pride as “a fabulous festival celebrating queer life in Oxfordshire and our unique city of Oxford.” The festival is focused partly on showcasing the cultural output of Oxford’s queer community. Oxford Pride describes their goal as curating “an open group show and also promoting exhibitions arranged by other associated artists, galleries and venues around Oxford during the annual Oxford Pride Festival”. Events have included a Queer Arts Exhibition in the University Church, exploring the HoldTight theme. Debbie Brixey, chair of Oxford Pride, said: “Our Festival and events aim to encourage everyone to hold tight to those that they love and celebrate the good things we have accomplished so far. This year we are pleased to form new partnerships with a number of Faith groups. The affirmation service on Pride Day at Bonn Square has been created to celebrate all relationships in whatever form they take. Henna Khanom, Co-Chair of the OUSU LGBTQ+ campaign, told Cherwell: “This years’ Pride offers a chance for the city and student communities to come together to celebrate queer histories, movements and legacies. Particular highlights are the Alain Locke Memorial Lectures, the Beyond Brideshead: Queer Oxford talk at the Ashmolean, and of course the day itself, which thousands of people are expected to attend.” “#HoldTight is also to remind people that we should be holding onto our values and the fight for equal rights. Even in some parts of the UK equality still has a long way to go; in Northern Ireland same sex marriage has been vetoed five times by politicians there despite it being part of British law, and gender recognition, discrimination and conversion therapy all fail to match laws in the rest of the UK.” center_img There will also be a comedy night, involving performances from the Oxford Imps and several of Oxfords stand-ups. The Pride march itself will culminate in a wide range of LGBT+ musical acts and other performers playing at Leiden square in Westgate. “The LGBTQ+ Campaign will be marching as while the Queer movement has accomplished so much, there is so much left to be done; something especially important given that this year is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.” Other speakers participating included Hannah Boschen, a Stonewall Role model at the University of Oxford. The event also involved two panels, including a Queer Panel considering how to move forward into a new era. Oxford Labour Councillor Tom Hayes participated in the panel, alongside Valentino Vechietti and Charlotte Stacey. Oxford Brookes also hosted the Oxford Pride Symposium on Thursday, inspired by 2019 being 50 years since the Stonewall riots. The symposium involved performance and debate from a lot of different groups. Ashanti, a poet, writer and actor, gave a spoken word performance at the event. As Oxford gears up for it’s sixteenth Pride parade on June 1st , a wide range of events to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community are running both within the University and across the city. last_img read more

In search of sacred spaces

first_imgIn a video from Burning Man, the quirky Nevada desert festival, a naked man rides past on a bicycle. A woman in sunglasses wears a hat that looks like a salad. A lean young man comments on the festival at large: “This is the ultimate expression of human nature.”In another video, this one of a windswept English coastline at night, dozens of lighted tents glow near the ruins of a castle. People stroll reverently around, like worshippers in an outdoor church.Can temporary public space have a spiritual dimension? If so, what is the role of the artist in creating it?Those questions were at the heart of “Sacred Spaces,” a public conversation between installation artist Helen Marriage and Rahul Mehrotra, professor of urban design and planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). The March 29 event was part of a series of such conversations on creative disruptions to daily urban life, a specialty of Marriage, who is a Loeb Fellow this year. Such disruptions, she said, often have a spiritual dimension, even in an increasingly secular age.Marriage is co-founder of Artichoke Trust, a London-based producer of large-scale events designed to break the arts out of theaters and galleries. She helped to design Peace Camp, the eight-site 2012 installation of glowing tents, including one at Dunstanburgh Castle in Northern England.The installation — “a refugee camp from heaven,” said Marriage, quoting an observer — prompted non-religious yet spiritual feelings. “Tonight, although we are faith-less,” one man said in a video shown at the talk, “truth enters our heart.”Mehrotra is an architect and theorist of informal public space. He attended part of this year’s Kumbh Mela, a 55-day spiritual gathering held at the confluence of India’s holy rivers. This transitory religious city is a tradition thousands of years old.His students study the Kumbh in class, said Mehrotra, and Burning Man, too. The first involves millions of people of all ages, has ancient beginnings, and, as a gathering of Hindus and Buddhists, has explicit religious underpinnings. Burning Man is fewer than three decades old, attracts a demographic that is largely “young and good-looking,” and is capped at 50,000 people. The participants’ main religion, if you stretch the concept of organizing the sacred, seems to be a celebration of transitory communalism and eccentric forms of self-reliance.“These temporal landscapes exist in every society,” said Mehrotra of transitory public spaces. He used the example of the urban American farmers market, a temporary setting for commerce. “I’d never seen a farmers market,” said Mehrotra, who grew up in India, but he remembers thinking, “My God, all of Mumbai is like this.”Such places have “a retrospective charm,” he said, and they illustrate human beings’ universal need “to organize themselves … by jumping protocols.” Mehrotra has studied urban places that seem to defy orderly conventions. He calls them kinetic cities, vibrant urban centers that seem in constant motion and that are in tension with the static cities portrayed in maps and monuments.But are such transitional places sacred? Not always, he said, though the Kumbh certainly is. And are they always creatively disruptive, as Burning Man is, and as Marriage strives to be as an artist? Not always that, either, said Mehrotra. For one, the Kumbh is not disruptive, but very orderly and controlled, “a counterpoint to our urban life in India,” he said, and while it exists the cleanest city in the country, with the best trash pickup and the best access to social services.The audience of 40, squeezed into Knafel 354, soon chimed in — partly in defense of Burning Man. For all its apparent disruption, it’s orderly and clean, said one veteran of the Black Rock Desert event. “You’re practicing for utopia.”Marriage reached for a parallel between Burning Man and the Kumbh. “People do the same thing. They take their clothes off. They paint their bodies.”Yes, both events share “an aesthetic of the temporal,” said Mehrotra, and both are elastic in the ways they counter urban norms. Both refuse to incorporate meaning in fixed structures. (The Kumbh is a temporary city of tents. Burning Man is the same, and the “temple” erected there every year is ritually burned.) Both offer a way to “break away from an overwhelmingly organized life,” he said, but they also take care. “We all have to be careful of universalizing the relevance of something.” For instance, said Mehrotra, the Kumbh is not — as Burning Man is — a place where “you can choose your own adventure.” It’s a city of religious enclaves, each ruled by a guru or leader.Finding relevance, even a kind of sacredness, in public space captivates Marriage. “It might not be universality,” she said in answer to Mehrotra. “But it’s still that transformation to something else.”Artists can help to set the tone, she said, as with the illuminated tents. And a carefully chosen site can help, by recovering lost feelings of the sacred. The installation in seaside Northern England, for one, resonated with both history (a 14th century castle) and nature (the crashing sea and waving grasses). “Some days, although we cannot pray,” a voice says in the tents video, “the prayer utters itself.”These and other temporary installations are antidotes to “the frantic nature of life,” said Marriage. “They connect back with spiritual space, even though it is not about spirituality.”Where religion is not readily available in the modern world, at least in the way that is available at the Kumbh, there remains a need for something like it. “The question is need,” she said. “The question is absence.”Something akin to a spiritual experience can be had in a space like that created by the illuminated tents, said Marriage, and through other “strange moments” arranged by artists. One of those was the Lumiere festival that she and others at Artichoke Trust created in 2011. It transformed Durham, a cash-poor medieval English city, into a temporary setting of fairytale lights, with 35 installations meant to evoke history, wonder, and hope.“We want to change people’s feelings about themselves in the world,” said Marriage. Her group will try the same transformation this fall in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland, an edgy, religiously divided city.In that case, the creation of something both civic and sacred will be a special challenge, and could even be dangerous. “It’s the only city in Europe with intact city walls,” she said, which are an expression of religious divisions that not long ago were routinely violent. “I want to change the norm.”The Derry project is “a controlled experiment,” said Marriage, intended “to bring a moment of peace to a very fragmented population. … We hope that something new and good will come out of it.”Is public art of this kind, reaching for the sacred, sort of a new religion? Marriage was openly tempted by the idea. In the end, the concept is not so different from the Kumbh — a seemingly chaotic break from the norm that within has order. “The disruption we love to create,” and that may inspire near-sacred moments, said Marriage, “is very controlled.”“The Power of Cultural Disruption” continues with “Streets of Gold,” featuring Ben Cameron, program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Foundation, and Anita Contini, head of the arts at Bloomberg Philanthropies. The talk will be held April 5, 1:15-3 p.m., at the Graduate School of Design in room 111. “City in Flux” concludes the series on April 12.last_img read more