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June/July 2006
Editorial: Just Noise

By Catherine Clyne

“My hearing’s fine. It’s whether I’m listening that’s the issue.” Recent wise words from a close friend.

It’s hard to truly listen when we are constantly bombarded with noise: a relentless roaring of information, headlines, stories and words containing important facts or just flat-out BS. Here at Satya, we have spent time really listening, trying to separate out some of the most powerful stories from the din.

In this double issue, we offer for your summer reading a collection of extraordinary stories of ordinary people who, when faced with certain circumstances, simply chose to do something about it. In original interviews, these individuals offer you unique voices, a certain undeniable truth and perspective.

A Few Introductions
What happens when you give a tape recorder to a South African teenage girl, who is full of life and love? Find out when you read Thembi’s story, of her struggle with AIDS, her coming out about it to her boyfriend and parents, and in doing so, inspiring others to embrace who they are and learn to live with disease.

Meet Vera Ngassa and Beatrice Ntuba, two Cameroonian women who listen to the plights of their fellow country-women and make (legal) changes for the better.

We also bring you interviews with some of the story collectors, radio producer Joe Richman and documentary filmmaker Kim Longinotto. Find out what journalist Jimmie Briggs learned when he spent six years seeking the stories of child soldiers. And Meet Nina Berman, who has been photographing injured soldiers recently returned from Iraq and hear their experiences in war and of being wounded.

Have you been able to make sense of the noise over the Darfur peace process? Hear the unique perspective of a Darfurian rebel who has been directly involved in negotiations. Find out why he feels the agreement doesn’t address the root causes of the conflict and what it all means for the people of Darfur. How do you make peace with a genocidal government? Where is the justice?

Get to know punk rocker Ian Mac-Kaye, most commonly known as the singer of Minor Threat and Fugazi. Many know of his music, but in the first of a two-part interview, he shares some of his thoughts on politics and his personal worldview.

These are but a few of the many extraordinary stories in our pages.

So sit back and listen to their voices. Be moved by them. What you choose to do with the inspiration is up to you.

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