Freedom rings


Yesterday’s snow has turned, almost entirely, to slush. It’s incredible how fast it has all melted. Meaning everything is wet. The rain in the evening probably did not help. Because I was getting almost no work done in the apartment, I went to the library in the afternoon and got, well not a lot of work done. The book I’m trying to finish, Harri Englund’s “Prisoners of Freedom,” is somewhat uneven. As a result, some chapters take hours, some take fifteen minutes. A bit jarring, and the theory heavy sections make me drowsy.

Like last week’s book, this is a localized study combined with a grand theory. Both are actually pretty neat, but again, the connection is a bit difficult. Englund studies the role of ‘human rights’ and NGOs in Malawi. The paradoxical title is a reference to the idea that the ‘freedom’ that activists and NGOs have brought to Malawi, via the vehicle of human rights, have actually limited and in fact ‘imprisoned’ (at least discursively) the Malawians that it is supposedly helping.

The good news is that I finished in time, and Dad in fact make it home (with a full, one-day delay). The bad news is I’m dog tired and tomorrow morning is only 5 hours away.

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