The year was 1983. On the tele, there was a news report about the tenth anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s death. As a child, I knew nothing about fine arts and artistic movements. But, his name was instantly recognisable. The word ‘Picasso’, appeared often in family and school colloquialisms. To say someone was a ‘Picasso’, was, on occasion to mock. Mostly though, it was used to praise artistic talent. On the old living room carpet in 1983, it was likely the first time that I had seen Picasso’s face. Also, I think it might have been the first time I’d seen his paintings and had the experience of people chatting about what he’s done. Picasso’s face, often photographed with a steely gaze, lends itself well to news reports. A gaze that somewhat helped me be drawn into the stories of his influences on art and society.
A visual reminder/provocation from Banksy. Poignant as ever. The imagery in Banksy’s video, allows us to recognise that the many migrant crises are not just legal or military problems. It reminds us that we should see it as a moral problem. We need to build a moral aptitude. And by ‘we’, I mean ‘we’ who perceive ourselves as secure. If we can see the ‘fleeing’ in the video through the ‘deus ex machina’ of the red balloons. Then, we should be able to receive those who flee and come to us. This is not to say that nothing else must be done with regards to those crises, or that there would not be other consequences. We should not be morally vacant as we enjoy and feel entitled to our security. One should not think there is strong moral justification that permits confusing one’s anxieties about future needs with the present needs of those who flee.
Originally seen on ESIL’s interest group on the History of International Law blog (http://esilhil.blogspot.com/)
Call for Papers:
CFP: After Empire: The League of Nations and the former Habsburg Lands (Vienna, 11-12 December 2015); DEADLINE: 31 January 2015
The call for papers for this workshop is now open. If you would like to apply please submit a paper abstract of around 200 words by the end of January 2015 to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
If the Austro-Hungarian empire gave way to a new order of nation-states at the end of the First World War, the birth of that order coincided with a broader new international settlement with the League of Nations at its heart. Continue reading
FutureLearn is offering a course designed in partnership with the BBC to commemorate World War I. Professor Tams leads the course which reassesses the aspirations for a new world order by those participating in the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Christian J. Tams is Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow. The course begins 13 October 2014.
The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 not only ended the Great War, but also redrew the map of the world. By doing so, the events leading to the conference and its treaties ushered in a new era of international relations. Often criticised as naive, the peace-makers in Paris set up the precursor to the United Nations, a ‘world organisation’ called the League of Nations.