Archive for July, 2009



lyrics/music: Marilena Zackheos
performed by Wife of Bisclavret

I’ve been sewing buttons but they just won’t stay put
I washed the dishes thrice until the paint peeled off
I touched my book cover not once today
I ironed my good blouse to no more good use

I am my own housewife, I am my own housewife

Saw myself as mary in a pre-raphaelite today
Been listening to the same damn beat my head hurts
Been plucking out my eyebrows to no no no more left
Been covering my wrinkles with paste that’s overpriced

I am my own narcissist, I am my own narcissist

I am no calendar girl, I am no objective dream
I’m a thank you girl please do that once again oh won’t u please
I am no calendar girl, I am no objective dream
I’m a thank you girl please do that once again oh won’t u please


Leave my bras in the closet
Keep my heart in my pocket
Hold my wishes in mittens
Bring myself down from believing

I am all these common things, what do u care, what do u, what do u, what do u
Don’t u ask me how I been, be my silent face silent face, silent be my silent
Make a puzzle out of me, what do u care, what do u, what do u, what do u
I am my own mystery, what do u care what do u what do
When u don’t care

I am no calendar girl, I am no objective dream
I’m a thank you girl please do that once again oh won’t u please
I am no calendar girl, I am no objective dream
I’m a thank you girl please do that once again oh won’t u please

I am no calendar girl, I am no objective dream
I’m a thank you girl please do that once again oh won’t u please
I am no calendar girl, I am no objective dream
I’m a thank you girl please do that once again oh won’t u please

Big thank you to Marilena for permission to post her lyrics.


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TV music channel MTV has created MTV EXIT which aims to increase awareness and prevention of human trafficking through television programs, online content, live events, and partnerships with anti-trafficking organizations. They recently teamed up with UNICEF, US AID and British film director David Slade (Hard Candy, 30 days of Night) to produce a 4 minute public-service-announcement to raise awareness about sex trafficking. Titled “Goodnight, Travel well”, the soundtrack was produced by pop-rock band “The Killers“. Interesting storyline with a twist, but I find the closing slogan weak.

The rock band “Radiohead” provided the soundtrack to the MTV’s pervious PSA
Watch here

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From Cyprus Mail

image: werejustsayin.blogspot.com

THE NUMBER of women sexually exploited has dropped significantly compared to last year, the House Human Rights Committee heard yesterday.

According to Maria Kyraizi from the social welfare department the number of reported cases so far this year is eight, a dramatic drop from the 104 last year.

The House committee met to discuss moves to further strengthen Cyprus’ position combating the trafficking and sexual exploitation of women.

Following widespread accounts of sexual exploitation in the entertainment industry, deputies have been discussing measures to further ensure that women who enter the country to work in bars and cabarets do not find themselves being manipulated and taken advantage of.

There are roughly 120 cabarets, 300 ‘bars’ and a number of other massage parlors islandwide that employ foreign women for roles including waitresses, dancers and masseuses. However, the role of many of these venues as platforms for prostitution is well known The issue of the categorisation of venues was also discussed during the meeting, as the majority of nightspots where foreign women work are simply classified as ‘bars’, and are therefore very hard to monitor.

President of the house committee Sophocles Fittis said new rules that will govern the way in which artistes’ visas are handled will soon be in place.

From September 1, the process of approving entry to women seeking work in caberets and bars will become more strict to give authorities a clearer picture of reasons for employment, qualifications and final destinations of applicants. There will also be a number of amendments to rules governing which women are allowed to work in restaurants, bars and cabarets, with any women applying for such positions needing to prove that they have had at least one year’s experience in the given field, to be part of a troupe of no less than four, and to be over 21 years old.

Referring to the cases of exploitation and trafficking that had reached her department, spokeswoman for the Department of Population and Migration Archive Katerina Papachristodoulou said that the eight cases all pertained to women from the Dominican Republic. As a result, applications from women from the Dominican Republic and Uzbekistan to work in cabarets and dance centres will not be considered for approval in the future.

The measures are part of the government’s campaign to eradicate human trafficking from the island.

Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2009

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“The ninth annual Trafficking in Persons Report sheds light on the faces of modern-day slavery and on new facets of this global problem. The human trafficking phenomenon affects virtually every country, including the United States. In acknowledging America’s own struggle with modern-day slavery and slavery-related practices, we offer partnership. We call on every government to join us in working to build consensus and leverage resources to eliminate all forms of human trafficking.”
–Secretary Clinton, June 16, 2009

Download full report

excerpt from Cyprus section:

Cyprus is a destination country for a large number of women from Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Russia, Latin America, and the Philippines trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Recent trends indicate an increasing number of women trafficked to Cyprus from Latin America, Morocco, and Syria. Source countries for identified victims in 2008 include the Dominican Republic, Romania, Moldova, the Philippines, Uzbekistan, Syria, Russia, and Ukraine. Some trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation also occurs. In 2008, most identified victims of sex trafficking were fraudulently recruited to Cyprus on three-month “artiste” work permits to work in the cabaret industry, on “barmaid work permits” to work in pubs, or on tourist visas to work in massage parlors disguised as private apartments. Some victims are trafficked through the area administered by the Turkish Cypriots into the Republic of Cyprus-controlled areas.

The Government of Cyprus does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the reporting period, the government undertook efforts to prevent trafficking by abolishing its “artiste” category work permit, launching a country-wide general awareness campaign, and dedicating significant resources to the protection and assistance of trafficking victims. Although these steps mark important progress, future assessments of the Cypriot government’s anti-trafficking efforts will consider whether the government has demonstrated more vigorous prosecution efforts and convictions against traffickers to sufficiently punish and deter trafficking in Cyprus. Moreover, future assessments will look to whether the government has taken measures to prevent sex trafficking through misuse of the new “creative artist” and “performance artist” work permits or through an upsurge in issuances of “barmaid” work permits. The government should also implement public awareness campaigns specifically targeting “clients” that comprise the demand for sex trafficking victims.

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How to Write a Good Story – WikiHow

How to Write Children’s Stories – WikiHow

10 tips for creative writers – Dennis G. Jerz

How To Write A Children’S Short Story – All Sands

Writing Picture Books: The Basics – Margot Finke

Writing children’s picture books – Essortment

Writing for children – Bethany Roberts

20 Tips for Writing Children’s Books – Pat Mora

How to Write a Children’s Picture Book – eHow

Children’s Picture Book Authors & Illustrators on Twitter – Tara Lazar

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Sex at the Margins: Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry
by Laura Maria Agustin (see her blog)

From Amazon


“Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality.” — Lisa Adkins, Goldsmiths, University of London

“In restoring those living on the fringes of western societies to their full humanity, this invigorating book undermines our stereotypes and provides a challenging but unforgettable picture.” — Jeffrey Weeks, London South Bank University

“Sex at the Margins elegantly demonstrates that what happens to poor immigrant working women from the Global South when they ‘leave home for sex’ is neither a tragedy nor the panacea of finding the promised land. Above all, Agustín shows that the moralizing bent of most government and NGO programs have little to do with these women’s experiences and wishes. This book questions some of our most cherished modern assumptions, and shows that a different ethics of concern is possible.” — Arturo Escobar, University of North Carolina

Product Description

This groundbreaking book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work; that migrants who sell sex are passive victims; and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label “trafficked” does not accurately describe migrants’ lives and that the “rescue industry” disempowers them. Based on extensive research among migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustín, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry. Although they are treated like a marginalized group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice.

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Picked up the following article from INDEX.
In her article No laughing matter: the politics of anti-trafficking cartoons, Claudia Aradau argues that instead of showing the violence of exclusion and domination at the heart of civilization, anti-trafficking cartoons draw lines that isolate human trafficking as an external phenomenon to ‘civilization’.

The anti-trafficking cartoons tell stories of overt violence, in which victims of trafficking are abused by traffickers, employers and customers. In representing human trafficking as extreme violence, cartoons focus on what Etienne Balibar has called the excess of ‘ultra-subjective violence’, intentional violence with a determinate goal perpetrated by subjects upon other subjects. Anti-trafficking cartoons display images of women who are brutalized by other men. This cartooned visibility of ultra-subjective violence functions to render invisible other forms of violence. The violence associated with trafficking is reduced to cruelty and obscures the forms of state violence. It makes the forms of violence implicated in human trafficking unidentifiable as structural forms in which power positions and relations of domination are played out. When the violence ‘poor and insecure circumstances, by economic and political hardships’ is recognized as defining the vulnerability conditions of victims of trafficking, this is the other excess of violence recognized by Balibar, ‘ultra-objective violence’. Ultra-objective is the excess of structural violence that is no longer recognized as such, but appears to take the character of natural catastrophes. Poverty appears as the ‘naturalised’ catastrophic condition of particular populations.

What gets erased in these representations of ‘extreme’ violence as either ultra-subjective or ultra-objective is the multiple ways in which structural violence functions: the violence of borders, the continuing ascription of abjection to those who cross borders, state violence, the violence of policing and the violence of capitalist accumulation. In the world of anti-trafficking cartoons, another embodiment of mass culture, there are no longer any real conflicts, as they have been replaced by the ‘surrogate of shocks and sensations that seem to erupt from outside’ (p. 60). By visualising violence as either ultra-subjective or ultra-objective, cartoons deny existing conflicts over labour rights or the rights of migrants and obscure the possibility of freedom that exists within situations.

Read the whole article here

Also check out Understanding Comics: the invisible art by Scott McCloud

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