Summer is upon us and with it, some sun, maybe some sand, and ideally some longer afternoons to dive into issues related to peace and security. So whether you’re on a well-deserved vacation or simply have some more time on your hands, your friendly neighborhood Inkstick editorial team has compiled a list of recommendations to bring you deeper insight into some of the biggest stories of the year.
WANT TO WATCH A MOVIE?
With summer blockbusters not exactly busting the block, decide to curl up with some popcorn at home and check out Kevin Macdonald’s “The Mauritanian” about the true story of Mohamedou Ould Slahi, who was held without charge in Guantanamo Bay for 14 years. Besides an extraordinary performance from Tahar Rahim, the film does one thing films about Guantanmo Bay and the US torture program usually fail to do: center the voice of someone who actually suffered as a result of US policies.
Extra Credit: Want to expand your horizons and venture into foreign film? Watch Abderrahmane Sissako’s “Timbuktu,” which presents a series of vignettes depicting life under Ansar Dine’s occupation of Timbuktu while subtly illustrating how the climate crisis fuels conflict in the Sahel. While it may be a few years old, this gorgeous film remains chillingly relevant to today’s crises.
WANT TO LISTEN TO A PODCAST?
We’ve all been a little preoccupied with the retreat of democracy recently. So, once you’re all caught up on the latest season of Things That Go Boom, listen to Day X — a five-part series on the resurgence of far-right extremism in Germany — from The New York Times. With the threat of the far right increasing, this short podcast series details the unique character of this new far right, and how it might pose a threat to democratic governments.
WANT A LONGER READ?
In the wake of evictions in Sheikh Jarrah, the bombardment of Gaza, and an emerging mass protest movement in support of Palestinian equality, the human rights crisis in Israel and Palestine has captured frequent headlines in recent months. With some free time on your hands, step away from the rapid news cycle and get some vital context by reading Nathan Thrall’s essay, “A Day in the Life of Abed Salama,” over at the New York Review. Utilizing the agonizing story of one family’s tragedy, the essay illustrates the painful realities of Palestinian life under Israeli occupation. And in the process, it offers vital insight into current Israeli policies, why they exist, and how we got here.
WAIT, YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO READ BOOKS?
It has become pretty obvious that women are excluded from all kinds of spaces, so it’s no surprise that women have been excluded from the stories we tell about war. Christina Lamb’s “Our Bodies, Their Battlefields” seeks to fix that by foregrounding women’s experiences in conflict. The book documents the brutality against women in conflict zones, highlighting the gaps in international law that ignore women’s unique experiences in war. Above all, it breaks the silence on sexual violence during war. It’s a painful, but vital read.
Mis/dinformation on your mind? Wondering how the US elections became a victim of Russian interference? Frustrated with the role of social media in promoting mis/disinformation? If so, Nina Jankowicz’s “How to Lose the Information War” is a must read. It starts in Ukraine, which has been the frontline of Russia’s information war, and details the disinformation campaigns run by Russian and other malign actors, how to beat them, and what’s at stake for democracy if we fail.
Happy watching, listening, and reading!