Book review: Exile Cultures, Misplaced Identities

July 12th 2011

Review of Exile Cultures, Misplaced Identities, by Paul Allatson and Jo Mc Cormack (Eds.) 2008. Critical Studies Vol. 30. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi.

This review has been published in Journal of Iberian and Latin American Research, 17:1, 121-127.

Exile Cultures, Misplaced Identities questions Edward Said's idea that exile always engenders sadness and estrangement, and asks if there are other ways of experiencing and imagining exile. Its thirteen case studies present a broad array of exile experiences, questioning how we can possibly define exile if it comes in so many different forms.

Excavating Ocupa Rio II: Trouble on Love Street

July 12th 2011

David Thompson has been travelling around South America since he completed his Honours thesis on cosmpolitanism and urban poverty in Latin America at The Univeristy of Sydney, Australia, in late 2010. He is currently in Rio de Janeiro, where he is flash-researching the Ocupa Rio protests.  On Monday 7th November Part I of this two-part series, 'Excavating Ocupa Rio I: 'We are the 99%!?', was published.

Alongside its cosmopolitan image, Ocupa Rio is presented as a site of permanence which belies the actual transience of the protests and protestors. For example, while there are currently over a hundred tents set up in two lanes within the plaza, a large number of them are unoccupied, with their owners returning staying over some nights and returning home in others.

UCI Institute for Money, Technology & Financial Inclusion awarded $4.17 million

July 12th 2011

UC Irvine’s Institute for Money, Technology & Financial Inclusion has received a $4.17 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to continue research on current and potential uses of mobile technology in providing banking and financial services to people in developing countries. The four-year grant brings the IMTFI’s total Gates Foundation funding to more than $6.13 million since the institute’s founding in 2008.

Life, lack and luck on $5 per day

July 12th 2011

According to Haitian law, all employees must pay their staff a minimum legal wage of $5 per day. This law was passed amidst great debate: Aristide wanted to it to be higher; businesses wanted it to be lower, and Préval eventually compromised on the current rate.

The minimum wage is supposed to provide security from the worst forms of exploitation and cover the most basic living expenses. It is supposed to be low enough for employees to hire more staff than they realistically need, thus keeping chronic and widespread unemployment under some rubric of control.