poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Music fades out in Pakistan frontier city

PESHAWAR (Pakistan) May 9 - The music has finally died in Dabgari Bazaar - the hub of folk musicians in Pakistan's northwest frontier city Peshawar.

The artists' quarters - old, wood-and-mud-built rooms above shops - are shut and large banners sporting slogans denouncing the singers stretch are slung across the road.

The silencing of the minstrels-for-hire is the outcome of 15 years of on-and-off tussles with neighbourhood conservatives, who have grown bold in the past 18 months with the arrival of Islamic parties in the provincial North West Frontier parliament.

Times are tough for Dabgari's musicians.

Posters have been tied in front of shops and electricity polls calling for a ban on musicians. Residents and traders alike heap scorn on the drummers, singers, sitarists, and fiddle players.

``These people are not artists. They are perverts, prostitutes,'' Zahir Shah, the bearded president of a new residents' group calling itself the Movement for Removal of Obscenity, told AFP.


Gay teens say student bullying interferes with school
The Associated Press
An openly gay teenager at James B. Hunt High School in Wilson who lost a free-speech court fight to tout his homosexuality on posters for student body president says another student was suspended last week for insulting and then pushing him.

Jarred Gamwell, a junior, said it was the only time anyone has been punished for the harassment he regularly endures.

"It can be very hostile at times," said Gamwell, 17. "I don't like walking down the hall by myself. You never know what is going to happen."

Some gay and lesbian teenagers say they draw more ridicule and torment from their peers than any other group of students. They and their advocates say most schools' policies against bullying don't go far enough to protect them from abuse based on sexual orientation


Gay Couple Denied Communion In Northern Minnesota Church

Warroad (AP) A gay couple in northern Minnesota is angry and upset over being told they no longer should take communion or sing in the choir at their church because of their lifestyle.

Dale Sand and Tom Pepera, who have been together for five years, say their priest has asked them to restrict their participation in church activities after a letter Sand wrote was printed in the Grand Forks Herald on Easter Sunday.

In the letter, Sand responded to previous letters warning against gay marriage and homosexuality in general. He wrote that being gay wasn't a choice and said God had made him that way.

In response, the Rev. Larry Wieseler, who serves at St. Mary's parishes in Baudette, Williams and Falun, telephoned Sand and told him he and Pepera should no longer come up to receive Eucharist during Mass nor serve communion to others or sing in the choir. That led the couple to quit the church in Baudette.


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