From the Stacks: January 27, 2006

Utne receives some 1,200 magazines, newsletters, journals,
weeklies, and zines. Add in hundreds of books, CDs, and DVDs, and
it’s a flood of media that lines the walls of our library and piles
high on our desks. All the ideas, people, and stories inspire
lively daily chatter, but can’t all fit into our bimonthly
magazine. So we’ve decided to share the gems here: Welcome to ‘From
the Stacks,’ a new weekly feature on
Utne.com. Check in
every Friday for the freshest highlights of the independent and
alternative media
.

We’ve just
received issues #7 and #8 of
Chimurenga, a
pan-African journal subtitled ‘Who no know go know,’ published from
offices in Cape Town, South Africa. Issue #7 includes a report by
self-described guerrilla filmmaker Judy Kibinge (a Kenyan who says
she was born ‘a century ago in Nairobbery’) describing the frenetic
scene at the annual Sithengi
film market
. It’s Africa’s biggest such event, Kibinge says,
and it’s peopled by everyone from Nigerian lawyers sporting canes
to ‘White Men in Suits’ looking ‘anxious and needy.’ Issue #8
focuses on Nigeria (‘We’re All Nigerian!’) and contains ‘When You
Kill Us, We Rule! Some Last Words from Fela Anikulapo Kuti,’ a
conversation with the influential musician, recorded in Fela’s
living room in November 1996. — Chris Dodge

‘[C]heck out the number of women’s bylines and
books by women reviewed in any mainstream publication you can name:
it’s barely changed since 1983, when Women’s Review was
founded.’ So says Amy Hoffman, editor in chief of the
Women’s Review
of Books
. Last fall, after more than twenty years as a
woman-focused alternative to mainstream book reviews, Women’s
Review
joined a tide of other small publications forced to
suspend operations and lay off staff. Book-lovers and feminists
alike will be excited to hear that it has become one of the few to
resurrect itself. In its ‘comeback issue’ (Jan./Feb.), readers will
find a top lineup of reviewers (including author Dorothy Allison
and Bitch editorial and creative director Andi Zeisler),
poetry by Maxine Kumin, a review of peace activist Kathy Kelly’s
Other Lands Have Dreams: From Baghdad to Pekin Prison, and
an interview with Moroccan novelist and feminist Doha Boraki. —
Beth Petsan

John Peterson, head farmer of the successful
community-supported agriculture project Angelic Organics and
subject of the documentary
The
Real Dirt on Farmer John
($$), has added
a cookbook to his pro-produce repertoire:
Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables.
Filled with amusing anecdotes and insights into the human
condition, this is not your average cookbook, but it does have
recipes for every vegetable from asparagus to zucchini. It’s due
out in May from Gibbs Smith. — Bennett Gordon

Child’s play takes a haunting turn in a few entries that
surfaced this week. From
The Washington
Report on Middle East Affairs
(Jan./Feb.), Mohammed Omer
reports that Palestinian children have taken to playing ‘Jews and
Arabs’ (a.k.a. ‘Army versus Militants’ or ‘settlers and villagers’)
— a role-playing game enacted with such realism that adults who
overhear the game ‘find it unbearable to listen,’ Omer says. In
another world, time, and genre, author Donna Tartt tells the story
of a little girl recruited by a neighborhood boy to reenact his
father’s death in Vietnam as a daily ritual during a long, hot
summer. The piece appears in the literary quarterly
Tin House‘s Winter
edition, which is dedicated to the art of the apology. —
Hannah Lobel

Unless you’re a web design professional, you might not have
heard of EContent
magazine
. But you don’t have to be slaving away on Dreamweaver
to find the Jan./Feb. cover story enlightening. Ron Miller writes
about a too often ignored aspect of the net today — accessibility
for people with disabilities. While the article focuses on making
websites friendly to screen-reader technology for the blind, people
with other conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, also are
considered. It’s an issue businesses are taking note of, Miller
reports, as an opportunity to bring in more customers. A few
companies are even making a name for themselves as
web-accessibility consultants. — Beth Petsan

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