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'Artist. Designer. Writer. Committed -yet preoccupied- citizen of the world.
And much more, I guess.

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Aug 12, 2013


Zhangye Danxia, China
This is not a painting, but natural rocks. This is Planet Earth.

Joe Hanson, It’s Okay To Be Smart.

Jul 29, 2013


China’s Non-Interference Policy and Growing African Concerns
The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the principles of “Do No Harm”

Two weeks ago, I read an interesting article on African Arguments by Alula A. Iyasu, the Managing Director of Bridge International, Corp.,  an investment and trade advisory group with a focus in Sub-Saharan Africa. Iyasu provides a great insight into China’s non-interference policy and its economic relations with Africa: Non-interference policy has been serving China well since 1954.  The policy derives from the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence: mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence. The policy was designed to reach out to non-communist countries in Asia as well as reflect solidarity with newly independent post-colonial states in Africa, with an emphasis on territorial sovereignty defined in the most rigid and traditional Westphalian terms.  Although non-interference applies to military interventions and regime change, the principle has been China’s modus-operandi in its investment and economic interactions…Read more

Oct 7, 2012


Skwak launches SNEAKYMOB lifestyle boutiques in China

I love everything French artist Skwak does. So much I have created a Skwak tag on this blog. I bought several of his toys and plushes, I downloaded his app on my iPhone, but I’m still looking for the umbrella (I don’t use umbrella but this one I might). From Jeremy Brautman’s Blog ‘Jeremyriad’ (including picture below): ‘Partnering with Chinese entrepreneur, Tye Chen, SKWAK launched SNEAKYMOB, a pair of lifestyle boutiques in Shanghai and Chengdu […] SKWAK designed a range of graphic and character merchandise including shirts, denim, hats, housewares, textiles, furniture and there’s even colorful SNEAKYMOB wristbands…’ I’m glad for Skwak’s fans from China but what about the ones in Europe, France?

Sep 22, 2012


The Inconvenient Truth Behind the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands

I read a lot about the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands dispute but it’s hard to fully understand what this dispute really is about. Hopefully, Nick Kristof published on his blog On The Ground, an article written by Han-Yi Shaw is a Research Fellow at the Research Center for International Legal Studies, National Chengchi University, in Taipei, Taiwan. ‘Japan’s recent purchase of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands has predictably reignited tensions amongst China, Japan, and Taiwan. Three months ago, when Niwa Uichiro, the Japanese ambassador to China, warned that Japan’s purchase of the islands could spark an “extremely grave crisis” between China and Japan, Tokyo Governor Ishihara Shintaro slammed Niwa as an unqualified ambassador, who “needs to learn more about the history of his own country”. The Japanese government maintains that the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands are Japanese territory under international law and historical point of view and has repeatedly insisted that no dispute exists. Despite that…Read more

Mar 18, 2012


Sudan: divide and rule, the winning strategy

Sudan is back on the front pages. Since the past few days, I can hear, here and there, people saying: ‘Amazing, George Clooney has been arrested!‘ or ‘George Clooney was in handcuffs in Washington today!‘. Then I asked: ‘Do you know why he has been arrested?‘ The replies were: ‘It was at a protest outside some embassy…’ or ‘I don’t care, watch the video to see him handcuffed!‘. This publicity stunt worked very well but I’m not sure the reasons that motivated it spread beyond the Atlantic Ocean… Although I can’t deny this media strategy worked before. Five years ago in Tall oaks from little acorns grow, I wrote: ‘Most of the people I know only discovered the crisis in Darfur in late 2006 early 2007 when George Clooney came back from Sudan’. I added: ‘Kinda confusing an actor known to be ‘the world’s sexiest man’ and a man who ‘used to be the next…Read more

Feb 19, 2012


In Sudan, Seeing Echoes of Darfur. And still waiting for diplomacy…

Sudan’s ongoing military campaign in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states is a reality but not one you can see. One you guess from satellite imagery, one you read from witnesses’ stories. Now we have something more, a report by Nicholas D. Kristof, a columnist for The New York Times and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. Kristof has just reported from Yida, South Sudan. Some interesting points from his article, full version here. “Bombings, ground attacks and sexual violence — part of Sudan’s scorched-earth counterinsurgency strategy — have driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes in South Kordofan” “While the Sudanese government is trying to suppress an armed rebellion in the Nuba Mountains, it is civilians who bear the brunt of the suffering” “The Sudanese government bombed this refugee camp in November, and, just a week ago, it bombed the nearby town of Jau, in South Sudan” “Unless outside countries…Read more

Feb 5, 2012


Syria: against mass killings, but business comes first. Always.

Russia and China vetoed on Saturday a UN resolution aimed at stopping the ongoing violence in Syria. Why shouldn’t we be surprised? It has been a long time since we accepted the ostrich policy, it is a shame we accept to put economic and political interests before human rights. In fact, Russia and China joining forces in a double veto to knock down a Western-Arab U.N. Security Council resolution is an exchange of good process which strengthens China, Russia and Syria mutually. From CNN today: ‘China and Syria gave each other understanding and support on issues concerning each other’s core and major interests,” the statement said. “China showed consistent understanding and firm support for Syria’s position on the Golan Heights while Syria remained committed to the one China position and rendered China staunch support on matters related to Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang and human rights […] The total value of Syrian contracts with…Read more

Jun 19, 2011

Sunday Roundup

Sunday Roundup on Sudan and South Kordofan

When will international community take action? This is the question asked on Twitter by Susan Morgan, co-founder and the Director of Communications for Investors Against Genocide (I mention them here). Many people are asking the same question right now. I wrote many times about #Sudan and #Darfur and I’m glad I could, for over two decades now (since the bloodless coup d’état by Omar al-Bashir in 1989) bring my humble contribution to raising awareness about the situation in the country. But as the years pass, the question remains: When will international community take action? Rebecca Hamilton, author of the book ‘Fighting for Darfur: Public Action and the Struggle to Stop Genocide‘ (I organized a reading group, I will post about it soon) said on Twitter: ‘Perhaps more depressed on #Sudan than I have felt since 2005‘. First time I heard about Sudan I was a teenager; now I’m not anymore…Read more

Jun 5, 2011

Sunday Roundup

Sunday Roundup: Abyei, Ai Weiwei, Artmaking…

U.N. probes absences amid Sudan clashes. Since Northern Sudanese forces seized Abyei, many rightfully think northern and southern fighting over Abyei could reignite a full blown war in #Sudan. And we thought U.N. peacekeepers in Sudan would protect the people of Abyei from the attacks; apparently we were wrong. According to Reuters: ‘U.N. peacekeepers in Sudan stayed holed up in their barracks for two days during violent clashes between northern and southern forces that sparked the flight of tens of thousands of civilians, diplomats told Reuters‘. We can also read: ‘Diplomats described the peacekeepers’ failure to maintain a visible presence in Abyei during a period of heightened conflict — which they said is crucial for deterring attacks — in disparaging terms. One senior diplomat described their performance as “pathetic.” Another said it was “terrible” […] “The Americans and Europeans don’t want to send their troops into the field, and yet…Read more

May 31, 2011


Dancing with a dictator in Sudan, again.

Northern Sudanese forces seized Abyei, why should we be surprised? It looks like what I wrote almost 4 years ago: Darfur: when History is a never ending story… is still up to date. Since I first wrote about #Sudan in the late 80s (yes, it has been a while), every new event taking place in the country confirms the more we wait, the worse it gets. Twenty years have past and nothing appears to have changed. Baby steps, that is. But they have saved lives so it’s far better than nothing, we can’t deny it. But are baby steps the most efficient response to what has been happening in South Sudan and is still happening in #Darfur? And now that Sudan’s northern army seized control of the disputed, oil- producing Abyei region, many rightfully think northern and southern fighting over Abyei could reignite a full blown war in Sudan. Here…Read more

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