COLORS 75 / Cease-Fear

Treviso, March 2009. The countdown for Guantanamo and its torture methods has begun, but the “dark skin + Muslim = terrorist” equation is likely to leave a long and lamentable legacy.

From the tragedy of the Twin Towers to the recent events in Mumbai, for many the threat of a new major act of terrorism necessitates relentless political, technological and day-to-day approaches to defense. But growing suspicion and fear of ‘the other’ has been the price of that defense.

Colors 75 examines this fear and its consequences: From traveling, daily life and the little frailties we can smile at, to the often-concealed violations of human rights committed in the name of security.

The case of Sami El-Haj, imprisoned in Guantanamo for six years without charge then released without an explanation, is one example featured in the magazine. David, arrested for failing to look at a policeman while taking the underground to his girlfriend’s place, is another.

Mark, Ardeth, Kevin and Hicham are just four among the thousands who can no longer fly without worrying about the color of their skin or the reputation of their religion. And as many line up jadedly at the airport check-in desk, Paul in Utah builds an anti-terrorism-attack bunker for €2500/m2, an elderly lady buys an electric pistol for €400, two Kentucky pensioners patrol their local river for terrorists, bees are trained to detect explosives and police in London cordon off a Thai restaurant after the smell of frying chili arose the suspicions of the neighbors.

Bruce Schneier and Loretta Napoleoni, a security expert and an economist, respectively, attempt to break down all this fear. “Terrorism,” says Schneier, “is a crime against the mind that uses violence as a totally casual weapon.” So casual that the “chances of being hit by lightning,” says Napoleoni, “are higher than those of dying in a terrorist attack.” If you don’t yet know whether you’re apocalyptic or integrated, find your path out of terror using the orange pages, Colors’ mini encyclopedia on terrorism and its diverse remedies.

Colors 75 / Cease-Fear: on sale from March 2009.

In three bilingual editions – English plus Italian, French or Spanish.


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