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A political act: Activist defends removal of African art from Paris museum

Issued on: 01/10/2020 – 07:28

Is dislodging African artwork from a European museum a political sta..



Issued on: 01/10/2020 – 07:28

Is dislodging African artwork from a European museum a political statement, or a criminal act? That's the question a French court weighed Wednesday in an emotionally charged trial centered around a Congolese activist campaigning to take back art he says was plundered by colonizers.

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“It belongs to us!” shouted a Black woman watching the trial, breaking down in tears and storming out after a lawyer for Paris' Quai Branly Museum insisted that its holdings — including tens of thousands of artworks from former colonies — belong to the French state.

Congo-born Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza and four other activists went on trial on attempted theft charges for removing a 19th century African funeral pole from its perch in the museum in a June protest livestreamed on Facebook. Guards quickly stopped them; the activists argue that they never planned to steal the work but just wanted to call attention to its origins.

Lurking beneath nearly every exchange in the courtroom was the question of whether and how former empires should atone for colonial-era wrongs. The question took on new urgency after this year's global protests against racial injustice unleashed by George Floyds death in the U.S. at the knee of a white policeman.

Diyabanza seized on that mood and has staged three livestreamed museum protests in recent months — in Paris, Marseille and the Netherlands.

French officials denounced the Quai Branly incident, saying it threatens ongoing negotiations with African countries launched by President Emmanuel Macron in 2018 for legal, organized restitution efforts.

If convicted of attempted group theft of a historical object, Diyabanza could face up to 10 years in prison and a 150,000 euro fine ($173,000). However, the lawyer for the French state did not ask for prison time, demanding only modest fines. A verdict is scheduled Oct. 14.

There is a frustration

Diyabanza defended what he called a “political act” and said its about time that Africans, Latin Americans and other colonized communities take back ill-gotten treasures. He accuses European museums of making millions on artworks taken from now-impoverished countries like Congo, and said the pole, which came from current-day Chad, should be among works returned to Africa.

“We are the legitimate heirs of these works,” he said. But he insisted that “appropriation wasn't my goal. … The aim was to mark the symbolism of the liberation of these works."

The presiding judge asked the activists why they thought they had the right to take the law into their own hands. He insisted that the trial should focus on the specific funeral pole incident and that his court wasn't competent to judge France's colonial era as a whole.

Quai Branly lawyer Yvon Goutal argued that because of the discussions underway between France and African governments, “there is no need for this political act." The French state “is very committed to this, and serious" about following through, he said. The prosecutor said the activists should have made their point via more peaceful means.


Defense lawyer Hakim Chergui argued that it shouldn't have taken this many decades after African coRead More – Source

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Improving Reception For Children With Cancer – Basque Family Support Association



The association “Tous avec Agosti” wants 2023 to rhyme with new dynamics. For nine years now, the structure has been working to welcome families of hospitalized children in Bayonne. Since 2018, 47 families have been able to find some respite in an apartment in Anglet.

Apartment in Anglet

Since she has benefited from an apartment in Anglet, the association “Tous avec Agosti” has enabled nearly 50 families of patients hospitalized at the Center Hospitalier de la Côte Basque to stay close to their loved ones. This represents 600 overnight stays, 47 families from 23 departments and even from Belgium and Spain. At the beginning of 2023, the structure has just had its prefectural approval renewed and sees things big.

“We have been working in our area for years,” notes Frédéric de Arroyave, the association’s president, but “in 2023, we will show ourselves much more, on the markets for example, but also in acts. The apartment we have in Anglet is a haven of peace for families going through terrible times, but for some it is difficult to access”. The apartment is located on the alleys of the Jardins d’Arcadie, near Biarritz – Pays Basque airport. We want to get closer to the Bayonne hospital.

The association “Tous avec Agosti” was born in 2015. Agosti, 10 years old, is suffering from cancer and taken care of at Bordeaux hospital for 6 months. His father, Frédéric de Arroyave, living in Ahetze, has the possibility of integrating a parents’ house and can stay with his child. Such a structure did not exist in Bayonne, so he launched the project and the association which lives today thanks to donations from contributors and the dozen (very) active volunteers. Each year, approximately 4,000 children are hospitalized in Bayonne.

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How to Develop Healthier Eating Habits?




The key to building healthier eating habits is to get to know your body. You’ll discover what works for you and what doesn’t.

A well-stocked pantry and freezer can make it easy to eat healthy. Try to limit your intake of processed foods and sugary drinks.

Keeping a food diary will help you identify any unhealthy eating habits. This will also help you recognize good habits, such as limiting snacking. It’s important to replace these bad habits with healthy alternatives.

Healthy eating should include plenty of fruits and vegetables. Make sure to eat three meals a day. Avoid skipping meals, because this can lead to overeating and binging.

Maintaining a balanced diet is essential to keeping your hormones happy. Drinking plenty of water and low-fat dairy will help you stay hydrated.

Avoid eating when you’re tired or stressed. If you’re hungry, eat a small portion of food. Eating slowly will tell your brain that you’re full.

Avoid processed foods, which contain a lot of added salt, fat, and sugar. These ingredients are often hidden in packaged foods. Use a reusable water bottle in your purse to help you avoid grabbing high-sugar beverages.

Set aside a time each week to go shopping for healthy foods. You can get bulk items when they’re on sale. Pick up a few things at the farmer’s market.

Developing healthy eating habits is a gradual process. It takes practice and diligence to develop these habits. However, once they’re established, they can become a natural part of your daily life.

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Kraken Subvariant: Understanding The Unknown



It could cause a new wave of Covid-19 cases in Europe but in reality, apart from its great ability to spread, not much is known about the new “Kraken” subvariant yet. This is highlighted by the latest ECDC report according to which “there is a risk that this variant could have a growing effect on the number of COVID-19 cases in the EU/EEA, but not within the following month, as the variant is currently present only at very low levels in the EU/EEA” and specifies that “due to the uncertainties associated with the growth rate of the variant, this assessment is associated with a high degree of uncertainty”.
In the aftermath of the two cases of subvariant detected in Romania, XBB.1.5 – this is the scientific name – is under careful surveillance.

To date, in fact, most of the reports come from the United States (4,111 sequences) and the United Kingdom (202 sequences) but the subvariant has also been detected in several other countries, including European ones: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark , France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. But, underlines the ECDC, “the proportion of the variant in the EU/EEA is less than 2.5% in the last two weeks of 2022 for all countries where it is possible to accurately estimate the proportions of the variant at this low level”.

According to The Data Collected

According to the data collected so far, this variant appears to have a large growth advantage over previously circulating lineages in North America (109%) and Europe (113%). But due to the uncertainty associated with the estimate, it is not yet clear whether the variant will become dominant in the US in the coming weeks: “The rapid growth in the US does not necessarily mean that the variant will become dominant in the EU/EEA, as during the important differences in the circulation of variants between North America and Europe have been observed several times during the pandemic”.

“At the moment – the Center’s experts specify – there is not enough information available to evaluate any change in the severity of the infection associated with the variant”, however it seems that Kraken is able to bind more successfully to ACE2, the receptor present on the surface of the cells of different organs, through which the virus enters the body.

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