Magazine article Artforum International

Leilah Weinraub: Born and Raised in Los Angeles, Leilah Weinraub Is a Film Director Currently Based in New York, Where She Recently Performed Ideas: Present Them, a Lecture Series about Independent Inventors. Her Feature-Length Documentary Shakedown Is Scheduled to Premiere in 2012

Magazine article Artforum International

Leilah Weinraub: Born and Raised in Los Angeles, Leilah Weinraub Is a Film Director Currently Based in New York, Where She Recently Performed Ideas: Present Them, a Lecture Series about Independent Inventors. Her Feature-Length Documentary Shakedown Is Scheduled to Premiere in 2012

Article excerpt

1 FATIMA AL QADIRI Born in Senegal and raised in Kuwait, composer Fatima Al Qadiri uses a complex set of references to create her mostly electronic-based music. In addition to her current musical projects--Ayshay, CHLDRN, and Future Brown--Al Qadiri is also a regular contributor to web-based Dis magazine's world music column, Global.wav. In all that she makes, she offers an evolving critical response to world pop culture, informed both by the West and by traditional Muslim values and aesthetics--only to reconstruct these diverse narratives and create new outlets via dance music.

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2 BLACKMANVISION, RAGGA GYAL D'BOUT! (1993) This short documentary video by English director Campbell X (aka Blackmail Vision) features female fans of ragga, offering an appraisal of the subculture by its own members--one that talks back to the mainstream, countering conceptions of dancehall music as misogynistic and homophobic. My favorite line: "[Ragga] tells you how glamorous and beautiful you look, and if I as a black woman was to wait for the wider media to actually portray me in a beautiful and positive light ... I'd be old and gray."

3 GHE20 GOTHIK As a recent transplant to New York, I just survived my first year in this city. So far, it seems like a "guys rule" kind of town, which is pretty different from Los Angeles, where I'm from and where "pretty girls" top the social pyramid. Both social arrangements affect the way the city works, each situation producing a particular kind of culture to which you have to adapt. I'm still learning how to have fun in the NYC scene and this party helps. It's been interesting listening to what the public has to say about GHE20 G0THIK, a night with a loyal fan base and a real voice; conversations about it span issues of race, commerce, cash, feminism and its backlash, and what, if anything, nightlife can offer. But the party is also very fun, a headbang, lose-your-mind time. Much needed.

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4 NINA TOTENBERG According to a FindLaw.com survey, two-thirds of Americans polled last year couldn't name a single current Supreme Court justice. However, National Public Radio correspondent Nina Totenberg has been reporting on Supreme Court hearings (which prohibit the use of cameras or other recording devices) for more than three decades, and her voice has become a primary conduit for transmitting to Americans the inner workings of their nation's power structure. More than other legal correspondents, Totenberghas a deep understanding of the interpersonal dynamics of the justices, revealing to her listeners not just the proceedings of the court but the personalities that ultimately make this country's most critical legal decisions.

5 DUKES v. WAL-MART AND WAL-MART v. DUKES Despite six years of Wal-Mart employment, for which she was given consistently good performance ratings, Betty Dukes failed to receive an increase in either position or pay; so in 2000 she took her complaint to state district court. Citing similar stories, 1.5 million female Wal-Mart workers joined her, making for the largest civil tights class action suit in US history. More than a decade later, the case has still not been resolved, and the retail giant has now initiated a suit of its own. arguing that due to its outsize organizational structure it cannot be held responsible for the minor management decisions of its individual stores and that therefore Dukes's original case should not qualify as "class action." In other words, the nation's largest employer is petitioning the US Supreme Court to revise the very legal definition of the term. …

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