Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged human rights

Challenging the Prison-Industrial Complex: Activism, Arts, and Educational Alternatives

As a feminist concerned with social justice, in the past year or so I’ve become convinced that dismantling the prison-industrial complex should be a top priority amongst feminists.

Un/common Cultures: Racism and the Rearticulation of Cultural Difference

In a book about race, class and cultural differences, the author argues that a global common culture focused on human rights may be emerging. Proving an excellent example of the gulf between academics and activists, research and experience, the book’s reader strains through reams of multi-syllable words, only to confront a mass of contradictions and confusions, statements unsupported by facts or logic, and conclusions that are unfair or just plain wrong. The author analyzes race and caste and claims that we are reminded daily that we live in a post-racial world.


Winner of the Amnesty International Film Prize at the Berlin Film Festival in 2009, Storm is the story of prosecutor Hannah Maynard’s (Kerry Fox) and key witness Mira Arendt’s (Anamaria Marinca) struggle to obtain justice through the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague. This docudrama directed by Hans-Christian Schmid derives from the real life story of international criminal prosecutor Hildegard Uertz.

The Blessing Next to the Wound: A Story of Art, Activism, and Transformation

As a survivor of government sanctioned torture in Colombia, Hector Aristizabal was left with unsettled anger and fear. His wariness towards both his country and his future there worsens when one of his brothers is murdered by paramilitary soldiers. Aristizabal is eventually able to cast aside his bitterness, and find ways to aid others in their struggles by holding workshops for prisoners and victims of violence in the United States.

Forgetting Children Born of War: Setting the Human Rights Agenda in Bosnia and Beyond

In Forgetting Children Born of War, R. Charli Carpenter explores a perplexing question: Why has the human rights community ignored a critically vulnerable population, the children born to women who were raped during war? These children are subject to infanticide, neglect, abuse, and abandonment—both within their own families and within the societies into which they are born.

Infectious Ideas: U.S. Political Responses to the AIDS Crisis

From the early appearance of AIDS as deviant in conservative America in the early 1980s to a full blown global battle in the 2000s, Infectious Ideas charts the activism behind the disease and how it never once wasn’t a political problem. What readers will learn with this book is that knowledge of the disease evolved alongside activist work.

Water First: Reaching the Millennium Development Goals

Four thousand children die every day as a result of the lack of access to clean water. Water First opens with this unbelievable figure, along with a montage of poverty-stricken African children. Luckily, the film moves beyond voyeuristic sentimentalism and goes on to make the case that access to clean water should be recognized as one of the most important global issues.  The country of Malawi is used as a case study, along with the nonprofit organization Fresh Water Malawi, run by retired firefighter Charles Banda.

Gaining Ground: A Tool for Advancing Reproductive Rights Law Reform

Any act, implicit or implied, that limits or refuses a woman reproductive self-determination is a violation of her human rights. Countries have begun to move forward on this issue via the reformation of existing laws and the implementation of new ones. While progress appears to be afoot, many women remain without access to a safe pregnancy and childbirth, the right to a legal abortion, the right to use birth control and the right to equal partnership within a marriage.

Maquilapolis: City of Factories

Who made that pen you’re using? Who put your television together? Who sewed your pants? And what does any of this have to do with women in Mexico? Well, thanks to the initiation of NAFTA in 1994, big US corporations can make maximum profit off of the cheap labor of women in other countries.

The Daughters of Juarez: A True Story of Serial Murder South of the Border

I have always assumed that every feminist knows about the murders in Juarez, Mexico. I have been obsessed with the murders and available news reports (or lack there of) for the past couple of years. So when I saw that the first non-fiction book to be published about the Juarez femicide was coming out, I was incredibly excited to see that these events would finally be discussed in an accessible format. As I started reading the book, I couldn't put it down. I carried it with me everywhere, as these women's stories filled my head and my heart.