Musings about music, writing, Portland, my new house, my travels, my family, politics, whatever.....

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Darfur Diaries

Went to a reading at Powell's tonight. A woman named Jen Marlowe who wrote "Darfur Diaries: Stories of Survival." She also made a documentary based on the same material. I had met Jen just about a year ago at a Peaceworks conference in Olympia, WA. Peaceworks was started by the Rachel Corrie Foundation. Rachel Corrie being the 23-yr-old activist from Evergreen State College who went to Palestine in 2003 and stepped in front of an Israeli tank to try to prevent them from demolishing a house and was killed. Jen had done a lot of work with Israeli and Palestinian youth and got to know the Corries in the years following Rachel's death. So she spoke at the conference about the situation and her work. She was a really cool thirty-something woman from Philadelphia, and we ended up talking, having some beers together, etc. I knew at the time that she had also been doing some documenting of the crisis in Darfur, but she didn't talk about it as much since that's not what we were there for at the time.

When I saw Jen on the Powell's calendar this week, it seemed like a great chance to see her again and learn more about her work in Darfur, as well as the general situation, which I'm fairly ignorant about. She gave a great talk and read a few passages from her book, also showed a very short bit of the documentary. She's very down-to-earth, and doesn't get into a lot of esoteric political stuff (though she did explain things well), which I appreciate. I learned a lot, bought the book, and we had a nice chat. I'm too tired to get into the whole issue here, but go to the web site and check out what Jen and her colleagues are doing, go to a reading or screening near you, buy a book, learn a little about it.

Jen is also the co-founder of Rachel's Words and still involved in activism around the Israel/Palestine conflict. There's an amazing play being staged in Seattle right now called My Name is Rachel Corrie. I have read some of and am hoping to go up there for it. Info about that on the Rachel's Words site.

And stay tuned for some plugs of other books by people I know that I highly highly recommend, as soon as I have time to write about them. (They would be Monica Holloway and Ariel Gore. Ariel is reading at Powell's on Thursday night.).


  • At April 10, 2007 at 8:17 PM, Blogger Deb said…

    You are so fun to read! And full of great tips, too. Glad I made the jump over here. See you at Powell's Thursday night.


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