The Danger of a Single Story
This talk by Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adichie is not to be missed by anyone interested in stories, language, reading and writing, not to mention class, politics, history, cultural and imperial hegemony, mental colonization, and so much more.
Guinier on Redefining Merit
A brilliant lecture by Lani Guinier, professor of law at Harvard and civil rights activist, on what merit means, why we need to redefine it, the benefits of diversity in approaching complex problems, and more.
An intelligent British documentary that looks at our ideas of success and failure, the anxiety we feel over our careers, the envy our peers evoke in us, and why it's harder now to feel calm than ever before.
Arab Poetry of Resistance
Sudhanva Deshpande recites a few poems of resistance from the great poets of the Arab world, including Palestine and the Middle-East.
Race vs. Class: The Future of Affirmative Action
An excellent 2009 debate and Q&A on the following motion: "Affirmative action policies should focus on class and wealth rather than race and ethnicity."
Ramadan and Zizek on Egypt
Riz Khan talks to Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan and Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek about the power of popular dissent, the limits of peaceful protest and the future of Egyptian politics.
The Roots of Mideast Terror
A brilliant lecture by Mahmood Mamdani, Herbert Lehman Professor at Columbia. He provides a necessary corrective to the mostly obtuse and ignorant discourse on Islamic terrorism in the U.S.
Schneier on Security
Know any examples of an absurdly disproportionate response to a security failure? Check out Bruce Schneier on how to think about security.
Are Genes Left Wing?
"The right loves genetic explanations for poverty or mental illness," claims Oliver James. The problem, he says, is that a decade of scientific research does not support their views.
The Lost Art of Democratic Debate
The inimitable Michael Sandel's TED talk, a short digest of his brilliant Harvard course that I heartily recommend for one and all.
On Power, Human Nature, Justice
A 1971 exchange between Chomsky and Foucault (I especially resonate with the latter's take on these topics).
Harrowing footage from 2007 of a US Apache helicopter attack in which two Reuters employees as well as nine others get hunted down like animals in a Baghdad public square.
Radical Women, Embracing Tradition
"Kavita Ramdas of the Global Fund for Women talks about three encounters with powerful women who fight to make the world better—while preserving the traditions that sustain them."
Basharat Peer on Kashmir
Kashmiri journalist Basharat Peer, author of the memoir Curfewed Night, on the Kashmir conflict. Basharat's readings from his book are vivid and moving, and provide a window into ordinary life during the two-decade old Kashmir conflict.
Tariq Ramadan on Muslims in the West
Al Jazeera interview by Riz Khan, in which Tariq Ramadan, Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University, talks about a range of issues that relate to the experience of Muslims in the West.
What to Make of the Naxalites?
How much does the Maoist cause of overthrowing the Indian state have in common with the Adivasi/Dalit cause of social justice and autonomy?
Rakesh Sharma's acclaimed documentary about the Gujarat riots reveals how the events unfolded, how the madness spread, and the stories of the people caught in its wheels. A must see for anyone interested in the politics of hate that grips humanity from time to time
Tariq Ali on Afghanistan and Pakistan
British-Pakistani writer, journalist, and historian Tariq Ali disagrees with Obama's strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, describes what is happening in the two countries, and raises several awkward questions.
India's Wall of Death
India is building a 2000 mile border fence with Bangladesh, patrolled by 80,000 armed guards. Part of it is already built but abuses by the Indian guards are rampant. Scores of farmers, villagers, and cattle herders have been shot for getting too close to the fence.
Vietnam: American Holocaust
A 2008 documentary by Clay Claiborne and narrated by Martin Sheen, with some of the most disturbing war footage I have ever seen. The oddly persistent idea that the United States was/is a "benevolent hegemon" seems utterly depraved in light of this.
The View from Gaza
An outstanding documentary on the Israeli-Palestinian war of Dec'08-Jan'09. Watch it for a glimpse of how the brutal Israeli assault was experienced by ordinary Palestinians.
Wired for War
Amy Goodman in conversation with PW Singer, author of Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century.
The Century of the Self
A remarkable BBC documentary by Adam Curtis that examines how those in power in the last century, including PR professionals and politicians, exploited Freudian insights into human nature to make money, engineer consent, and manage the masses.
On China's Confucian Revival
An interview with Daniel A Bell, author of China's New Confucianism: Politics and Everyday Life in a Changing Society
Who Speaks for Islam?
A debate between Irshad Manji and Dalia Mogahed. Manji, a vocal critic of Islam, sees herself as a reform Muslim. Mogahed identifies herself as a mainstream Muslim who is "passionate about moderation."
The Romance of the Nation-State
A thought-provoking and often amusing lecture by Ashis Nandy, prominent Indian political psychologist and social philosopher...
LGBT Pride Parade, 2008
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Celebration & Parade in San Francisco, 2008