The View from Here: June 2011 Archives

Guca, Serbia: brass bands and nationalism

Trubaci blast their horns while onlookers take it all in, in Guca, Serbia (photo/Lisa Hale)

The View from Here:  Guca, Serbia

Brass bands and the Balkans have a long history -- and Guca, Serbia hosts a global gathering of horn players every summer. Pre-competition performances are already underway at this year's Guca Madness 

Canadian journalist Lisa Hale was there last year and found good times and good beer were top of the agenda -- though some folks were keen to hijack it when it came time to strike up the band.

 Lisa's View from Guca       The June 16 Dispatches program page    


Nothing but mammals 

CBC correspondent, Connie Watson had a dodgy musical voyage of discovery herself, in the Balkans. After hearing her tale you may never think of the Discovery Channel in quite the same way again.

 Connie recounts the story to Rick    The June 23 Dispatches program page


The Khmer Rouge and Foxy Lady

The trial of four high-level Khmer Rouge leaders underway in Cambodia  might cast light on the murder of the only Canadian to die at the hands of the genocidal rulers back in the late 1970s.

Dave Kattenburg wrote in the Toronto Star:

"Richmond B.C. native Stuart Robert Glass died in August 1978, at the age of 27, while sailing a little yacht (Foxy Lady) off the coast of Democratic Kampuchea -- as Cambodia was called under the ultra-Maoist Khmer Rouge.

Glass's bullet-riddled body was abandoned. His mates, a New Zealander and an Englishman, were trucked off to a Phnom Penh death house, codenamed S-21, tortured into declaring they were CIA agents, and finally killed. Four Americans and two Australians suffered the same fate. One of them may have been burned alive...

One of the accused now on trial is Khmer Rouge ideologue and internal security chief Nuon Chea, called Brother Number Two. He was the one who ordered S-21's captive yachtsmen killed and their bodies burned, Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, testified at his 2009 trial."

Kattenburg, a frequent Dispatches contributor, is also authour of Foxy Lady: Truth, Memory & The Death Of Western Yachtsmen In Democratic Kampuchea.  

He read several passages for Dispatches.

  Dave's first visit to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.

Looking for signs, at a later visit   (click below for more of his account, and link)

Read more »

Remembering Andrew Princz

Andrew, at Machu Picchu.

Andrew Princz, a longtime contributor to Dispatches, died of a heart attack in Quito, Ecuador on June 24.

He was 40, and at the peak of a career as, what he called, a cultural navagator. 

Based in Montreal, Andrew toured the world to help others create their own adventures, and along the way filled a website with colourful stories and pictures of some of the most amazing spots on the planet.

More info about Andrew, his work and his memorial are on his facebook page

So is Andrew's biography       

His many stories are on his website: www.ontheglobe.com/

Andrew on Dispatches:

Andrew visited the breweries of The Czech Republic back before it was a popular tourist trek. He found tradition (exemplified in a splendid performance of The Hymn Of The Hops), a growing post-Communist micro-brewing industry -- and a battle between that new republic and the North American beer barons of who stole the name Budweiser.

  Andrew went to Peru to trace the origins of thousands of artifacts from Machu Picchu that are still in the vaults of Yale University. He climbed to the this ancient Inca city and heard the demands -- from right up to the president of Peru -- for their return to their home country for the 100th anniversary of their "discovery."

 Just this past May, we aired Andrew's adventures in a headhunters' longhouse in Borneo 

World fight against cruel treatment of drug users

The Campaign to Stop Torture in Health Care sent us this release about cruel mistreatment of drug addicts in many countries.

Global: Torture in Drug Treatment Detention
Reports by Campaign to Stop Torture in Health Care

(New York, June 24, 2011) - People identified as drug users in many countries are confined to abusive locked detention centers for months - or even years, say two reports released today by The Campaign to Stop Torture in Health Care. Such detention centers are supposedly mandated to treat and "rehabilitate" drug users, but the "treatment" they receive in some cases amounts to torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, said the campaign, an Open Society Foundations initiative that Human Rights Watch, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, and Harm Reduction International have joined.

Click read more to continue with the release, or go to the reperts' websites 

To read Treated With Cruelty: Abuses in the Name of Drug Rehabilitation

To read Treatment or Torture? Applying International Human Rights Standards to Drug Detention Centers

Read more »

Haiti's disabled: can it be cruel to be kind?

Mike Landry helps carry a former patient to her home. But is it her new "prison"? Photo/Fiona Stephenson

When the earthquake ravaged Haiti, the world tried to help.  But it remains a country of damaged homes, and damaged people. 

That's been troubling Mike Landry.

He answered Haiti's call, treating victims with spinal cord injuries. 

He's a Canadian physiotherapist, a professor at the University of Toronto.  And a frontline kind of guy with 15 years' experience in global rescue missions.

It's been his life's work. You'd think he'd be happy.  Instead, he's wracked with guilt and doubts.

Landry returned to Haiti, to see how the people he treated are doing. And to deal with the nagging questions his inner voice is asking.

He lets Dispatches evesdrop on that voice, as he searches for answers amid Haiti's fragments and the faces of those he cares for.

 Listen to Mike's dispatch

The June 24 Dispatches program and podcast 

Mike Landry is a physical therapist, a professor at the University of Toronto, and a scientist at the Toronto Rehab Institute. His experience with emergency missions include Bosnia, Kosovo, Guatemala, Sri Lanka and Haiti.

After we first aired his story, he found himself in the midst of a growing debate. Many told him the same problems confront Canadians who can't get the rehabilitation care they need. So he's now working on a documentary film grappling with the issues raised by forgotten survivors with broken bodies. 

What do you think? Is Mike being too hard on himself or right to question the way we respond to a global crisis? We'd like your thoughts. Email dispatches@cbc.ca.

A Space Shuttle, a premier, and an ocean

Space shuttle Atlantis (Photo/AP)

Well down at the Kennedy Space Centre right now, they're prepping for the final flight of the shuttle program. 

It's due to go up July 8 for the very last time. 

NASA's vision for economic, re-useable transportation delivering people and payloads -- and perhaps space's secrets itself -- is a casualty of earthbound budget cuts after more than 40 years.

But when Atlantis does go up, Rick already knows a particular song will run through his head with the same painful intensity as the roar of the shuttle's solid rocket boosters.

 Rick's essay