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Justice and Britain’s Colonial Legacy
Philippe Sands is a novelist, Professor of Law at University College London and a practicing barrister. Human rights lawyer, he has been involved in many important cases, including Pinochet, Congo, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Iraq, Guantanamo and the Yazadis. The duty to remember and the question of responsibility run through all his books. He argues that ecocide should be brought before the International Criminal Court. His multi-award winning books include East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity. (Retour à Lemberg / Albin Michel, 2021).
“We were like animals in that slave ship,” Liseby Elysé remembered of her 20-year-old self. She was four months pregnant. Her child was subsequently stillborn. Her story is the guiding thread of Sands’ last book The Last Colony (Weidenfeld/Albin Michel 2022). Elysé was called to the International Court of The Hague by Philippe Sands in 2018 to represent the people of the Chagos Islands, the Indian Ocean archipelago from which, in 1973, the entire population was forcibly removed by the British colonial administration in order to establish a US military base. “People were dying of sadness.” Elysé spoke to the 14 international judges of the court about that history for just under four minutes. But no one present would forget her testimony.
By Abir Mukherjee
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Abir Mukherjee, born in 1974 in London, is a British novelist of Indian origin who writes historical crime fiction. Abir grew up in Scotland and currently lives in Surrey. He graduated from the London School of Economics and worked for twenty years in the world of finance.
In 2013, he began to write and published his first novel, A Rising Man, in 2016. This marked the first volume in a series of thrillers set in 1919 Calcutta featuring Captain Sam Wyndham, a former Scotland Yard inspector now part of the Imperial Police and Sergeant Surrender-Not (Surendranath) Banerjee.
These detective stories allow Abir Mukherjee to revisit the history of the Raj. Through them, he tries to put in perspective the outlook received during his British education and the Indian vision of colonisation transmitted by his Calcutta-born parents, a city that fascinates him and in which he regularly immerses himself.
William A. Ewing is an author, lecturer and curator of photography. Director of the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne from 1996 to 2010, his many publications on photography include The Body (1994) and Civilization (2018), published by Thames & Hudson.
Danaé Panchaud is a lecturer specializing in photography. She was the director and curator of the Photoforum Pasquart in Bienne, from 2018 to 2021. She is currently the director of the Centre de la photographie Genève.
Their stunning book Flora Photographica (Thames & Hudson, 2022) offers an overview of one of the most innovative areas of contemporary photography in presenting images of flowers by over 120 of the world’s leading practitioners such as Cindy Sherman, Thomas Ruff, Vik Muniz, Valerie Belin, Viviane Sassen and Martin Schoeller. There has never been a period in the history of photography where flowers have not been a central focus. Their book is both a celebration of organic beauty and a close look at the significance of flowers in human culture.