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  • People protest against executions and human rights violations in Iran on a square near the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, March 25, 2014.

    People protest against executions and human rights violations in Iran on a square near the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, March 25, 2014. | Photo: Reuters

A new lecture series opening in New York City Thursday is set to explore the issues of terror, militarization, occupation, and migration. 

A new lecture series opening in New York City Thursday is set to explore the issues of terror, militarization, occupation, and migration. 

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"It is our way of institutionalizing these conversations in New York," Suchitra Vijayan, founder of the Polis project collective and organizer of the lecture series told teleSUR.

The first of the lectures, "Un-heard of Things" that is opening at the City University New York, CUNY features an Ethiopian-American writer and photographer, Maaza Mengiste, as the opening speaker who will talk about the ethics involved in bearing a witness when behind a lens. 

"Our lecture series is not about fluffy things, it is rather dense, our speakers have been working in their respective fields for a long time," Vijayan said. 

Another speaker, Kavita Rajagopalan, author of 'Muslims of Metropolis: The Stories of Three Immigrant Families in the West,' "will be talking about the questions of immigration and migration, contextualizing, what it means in this day and age, when Rohingya Muslims are being made refugees, and then DACA, even when DACA is seen a very Trumpian atrocity, you have to realise that Obama was the deportation-in-chief," Vijayan added. 

The lecture series is a way to get the narrative right. 

"It's not very uncommon to go to the New York Times website and read a piece about how the women in Afghanistan have come out from the shackles of Muslim patriarchy, without understanding the role of colonialization and other factors."

Another speaker will talk about Guantanamo diaries, a memoir written by Mohamedou Ould Slahi who was imprisoned at the detainee camp in Guantanamo Bay between 2002 and 2016. The conversation would be "how to talk about torture when one's reading a first-hand account of torture," Vijayan said. 

"We populate a reading list and distribute to the audiences as a takeaway, the idea is that these lectures themselves, could become resources, that people can use and read, listening to incredible and hard conversations, is in itself is educative," she concluded. 


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