Aria- A Live chat with Nazanine Hozar

Event Description: Join us for a live discussion with Nazanine Hozar, author of Aria our selection of March-April 2020.

About the Book: It is the early 1950s in a restless Iran, a country powerful with oil wealth but unsettled by class and religious divides and by a larger world hungry for its resources. One night, a humble driver in the Iranian army is walking home through a neighborhood in Tehran when he hears a small, pitiful cry. Curious, he searches for the source, and to his horror comes upon a newborn baby girl abandoned by the side of the road and encircled by ravenous dogs. He snatches up the child, and forever alters his own destiny and that of the little girl, whom he names Aria.

Nazanine Hozar’s stunning debut takes us inside the Iranian revolution–but seen like never before, through the eyes of an orphan girl. Through Aria, we meet three very different women who are fated to mother the lost child: reckless and self-absorbed Zahra, wife of the kind-hearted soldier; wealthy and compassionate Fereshteh, who welcomes Aria into her home, adopting her as an heir; and finally, the mysterious, impoverished Mehri, whose connection to Aria is both a blessing and a burden. The novel’s heart-pounding conclusion takes us through the brutal revolution that installs the Ayatollah Khomeini as Iran’s supreme leader, even as Aria falls in love and becomes a young mother herself.

All we Knew But Couldn’t Say- A Live chat with Joanne Vannicola

Event Description: A live chat with July/August Book Club selection author, Joanne Vannicola and Gender Rights Campaigner Jacqueline Hansen; discussing Joanne’s book All We Knew But Couldn’t Say, navigating gender identity in life and their career, and activism for LGBTI rights.

About the Book: Joanne Vannicola grew up in a violent home with a physically abusive father and a mother who had no sexual boundaries. After being pressured to leave home at fourteen, and after fifteen years of estrangement, Joanne learns that their mother is dying. Compelled to reconnect, they visit with her, unearthing a trove of devastating secrets.

Joanne relates their journey from child performer to Emmy Award-winning actor, from hiding in the closet to embracing their own sexuality, from conflicted child and sibling to independent adult. All We Knew But Couldn’t Say is a testament to survival, love, and the belief that it is possible to love the broken, and to love fully, even with a broken heart.

A Fable for Our Time – A Live Audio Performance of an Original Adaption of George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’, by Maeve Colleary-Damico 

Event Description: Orwell's masterpiece 'Animal Farm,' is the classic political allegory of the Twentieth Century. Which tells of a failed Rebellion among farm animals and exposes how idealism is betrayed by corruption and lies. Written as a simple Fable, “so it would be widely understood and translated,” it speaks of the hunger of power, the abuse of power and the means by which power is entrenched.

'Animal Farm' originally reflects events leading to the Russian Revolution and Stalin's Reign of Terror, yet his fable and characters serve as a universal metaphor or blueprint, which defines the oppressive means by which individual liberty is systematically destroyed by tyrants and totalitarian regimes throughout human history.

The event was hosted virtually on Zoom and featured a cast of your fellow Amnesty International members, organizers and group members! The 'Audio Only' format is intended to focus on bringing Orwell's words to life, with the least distraction. 
Suffer the Little Children: Genocide, Indigenous Nations and the Canadian State- A Live Chat with Tamara Starblanket 

Event Description: Many settler Canadians have expressed shock at the findings of ground-penetrating radar at the sites of former residential schools across the country, which have revealed the remains of thousands of Indigenous children forcibly transferred by the colonial state from their homes and families and Nations. These horrifying ‘discoveries’ are already known to Indigenous Nations attempting for years to get justice.

Justice as defined by the Canadian and international legal systems is far from adequate. Legal scholar Tamara Starblanket carefully prepared her masters thesis on this issue, which became the book "Suffer the Little Children: Genocide, Indigenous Nations, and the Canadian State" (Clarity Press, 2018).

This powerful work turns the western legal system against itself despite the shortfalls of legal recourse that were founded in colonialism and imperialism. Yet, her work does demonstrate the Canadian state is culpable for genocide and violates international customary law. It explains in detail how the crime of genocide was conceptualized following World War 2 by the international community, how colonial countries, including Canada, sought to shield themselves against possible prosecution and sidestep the link between cultural genocide and colonialism.
Who Killed Berta Cáceres? Dams, Death Squads and an Indigenous Defender’s Battle for the Planet- A Live Chat with Nina Lakhani 

Event Description:  Join us as journalist Nina Lakhani reads from her powerful new book about the life and death of inspiring Lenca earth defender Berta Cáceres, followed by a conversation with Berta's son Salvador Zúniga Cáceres, of COPINH, about courageous, precedent-setting efforts to achieve justice and change. 

About the book: Nina Lakhani tracked Cáceres remarkable career, in which the defender doggedly pursued her work in the face of years of threats and while friends and colleagues in Honduras were exiled and killed defending basic rights. Lakhani herself endured intimidation and harassment as she investigated the murder. She was the only foreign journalist to attend the 2018 trial of Cáceres’s killers, where state security officials, employees of the dam company and hired hitmen were found guilty of murder. Many questions about who ordered and paid for the killing remain unanswered. Drawing on more than a hundred interviews, confidential legal filings, and corporate documents unearthed after years of reporting in Honduras, Lakhani paints an intimate portrait of an extraordinary woman in a state beholden to corporate powers, organised crime, and the United States.