From the Editors
Up the Creek: Art, Yoga and Abu Ghraib
Number 4.4 – 1 August 2007
In the words of Thomas Jefferson: The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
But how do we define freedom? The right to move about at will? The right to declare our innocence until we are proven guilty? The right to humane and ethical treatment if we are detained for an alleged crime? And if it comes down to an accusation of guilt, the right to a fair and honest trial?
In June 2006, I received an email from writer and yoga teacher Jennifer Schelter. She was traveling to Istanbul, she said, to transcribe testimony from the detainees who had been tortured at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Would I consider sending a donation to help cover her expenses?
She added that the lawyers handling the case, Susan Burke and Shareef Akeel, had gathered previous testimony in Amman, Jordan. But this time, for safety reasons, they were traveling to Istanbul, a city I have visited numerous times; a city where western and eastern culture has mingled, sometimes uneasily, for centuries.
I called Jennifer and learned that in addition to transcribing testimony, she would guide Burke and Akeel through yoga and meditation practices, something Burke felt was crucial to the process of taking difficult testimony from the detainees.
I have never asked Jennifer if she received all the donations she needed, but she went to Istanbul anyway, with Burke, Akeel, artist Daniel Heyman, and documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy (The Ghosts of Abu Ghraib). What they discovered about the arrest of many innocent Iraqis, the torture of detainees at Abu Ghraib is chronicled in our three-part series “The Other Side of Abu Ghraib”.
But the story of Abu Ghraib doesn’t end there. In her essay and review of the film “The Prisoner, or How I Killed Tony Blair”, media executive and Fulbright scholar Elizabeth Sheldon portrays another detainee at Abu Ghraib, Yunis. She compares Yunis to K in Franz Kafka’s book The Trial. “Yunis is never brought before a judge,” she writes, “nor does he have a lawyer, since apparently he has no rights. What good is a lawyer when you are arrested, presumed guilty just because you are arrested, and there is no judge or jury?”
Across the world, in the interest of global commerce, the Professor arrives with his fellow business travelers in Macao, the Las Vegas of China. In the glitzy Hotel Lisboa, they find another kind of prison, one of vice and the opportunity for pleasure at a cost.
In Chapter 4 of her novel Blood Grip, Connie Garcia-Barrio explores these questions in the context of American slavery, as she continues to chronicle the story of escaped slaves Jerusalem and Jake Stone who track down their mother, Ilsie, in a brothel.
In her continuing series “The Mystic Pen,” Katherine Schimmel Baki writes of spirituality, redemption, and a great library rising from the tragic sinking of the Titanic. In the Widener Library on Harvard’s campus, Baki finds solace and redemption in literature.
While the story of the Abu Ghraib detainees doesn’t exactly offer solace, the work of lawyers like Burke and Akeel, their love of the law, and their ability to use language for the common good, provides a story and context for the complicated actions of human beings.
In 2006, Joy E. Stocke founded Wild River Review with Kimberly Nagy, an outgrowth of the literary magazine, The Bucks County Writer, of which Stocke was Editor in Chief. In 2009, as their editorial practice grew, Stocke and Nagy founded Wild River Consulting & Publishing, LLC.
With more than twenty-five years experience as a writer and journalist, Stocke works with many of the writers who appear in the pages of Wild River Review, as well as clients from around the world.
In addition, Stocke has shepherded numerous writers into print. She has interviewed Nobel Prize winners Orhan Pamuk and Muhammud Yunus, Pulitzer Prizewinner Paul Muldoon, Paul Holdengraber, host of LIVE from the NYPL; Roshi Joan Halifax, founder of Upaya Zen Center; anthropologist and expert on end of life care, Mary Catherine Bateson; Ivonne Baki, President of the Andean Parliament; and Templeton Prizewinner Freeman Dyson among others.
In 2006, along with Nagy, Stocke interviewed scientists and artists including former Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman and Dean of Faculty, David P. Dobkin for the documentary Quark Park, chronicling the creation of an award-winning park built on a vacant lot in the heart of Princeton, New Jersey; a park that united art, science and community.
She is president of the Board of Directors at the Cabo Pulmo Learning Center, Cabo Pulmo, Baja Sur, Mexico; and is a member of the Turkish Women’s International Network.
In addition, Stocke has written extensively about her travels in Greece and Turkey. Her memoir, Anatolian Days and Nights: A Love Affair with Turkey, Land of Dervishes, Goddesses & Saints, based on more than ten years of travel through Turkey, co-written with Angie Brenner was published in March 2012. Her cookbook, Tree of Life: Turkish Home Cooking will be published in March, 2017 by Quarto Books under the Burgess Lea Press imprint . Stocke and Brenner are currently testing recipes for a companion book, which will feature Anatolian-inspired mezes from around the world.
Stocke’s essay “Turkish American Food” appears in the 2nd edition of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America (OUP, 2013). The volume won both International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) for Beverage/Reference/Technical category, 2014; and the Gourmand Award for the Best Food Book of the Year, 2014.
She is the author of a bi-lingual book of poems, Cave of the Bear, translated into Greek by Lili Bita based on her travels in Western Crete, and is currently researching a book about the only hard-finger coral reef in Mexico on the Baja Sur Peninsula. She has been writing about environmental issues there since 2011.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with a Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Journalism from the Agriculture Journalism School where she also received a minor of Food Science, she participated in the Lindisfarne Symposium on The Evolution of Consciousness with cultural philosopher, poet and historian, William Irwin Thompson. In 2009, she became a Lindisfarne Fellow.
Works by Joy E. Stocke in this Edition
AIRMAIL – LETTERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
AIRMAIL – VOICE FROM SYRIA
ARTS – ART
COLUMNS – THE MYSTIC PEN
FOOD & DRINK – ANATOLIAN KITCHEN
FREYMAN & PETERSON- Your Life is a Book: How to Craft and Publish Your Memoir
LITERATURE – BOOK REVIEWS
LITERATURE – ESSAYS
LITERATURE – MEMOIR
LITERATURE – POETRY
LIVE FROM THE NYPL
The Euphoria of Ignorance: Being Jewish, Becoming Jewish, The Paradox of Being Carlo Ginzburg
Fountain of Curiosity: Paul Holdengraber on Attention, Tension and Stretching the Limits of Conversation at the New York Public Library
Paul Holdengraber – The Afterlife of Conversation
2013 – Three Questions: Festival Director Jakab Orsos talks about Art, Bravery, and Sonia Sotomayor
Critical Minds, Social Revolution: Egyptian Activist Nawal El Saadawi
INTERVIEW – Laszlo Jakab Orsos: Written on Water
Tonight We Rest Here: An Interview with Poet Saadi Youssef
Georgian Writer David Dephy’s Second Skin
On the High Line: Diamonds on the Soles of Our Shoes
Car Bombs on the West Side, Journalists Uptown
New York City – Parade of Illuminations: Behind the Scenes with Festival Director Jakab Orsos
The Pen Cabaret 2008: Bowery Ballroom — Featuring..
Anatolian Days and Nights: A Love Affair with Turkey, Land of Dervishes, Goddesses and Saints
Daring Collaborations: Rolex and LIVE from the NYPL at the New York Public Library Composing a Further Life: with Mary Catherine Bateson
WRR@LARGE: From the Editors – UP THE CREEK
Up the Creek: Volume 1, Number 1
Up the Creek: Volume 1, Number 2.5
Up the Creek: Volume 1, Number 3.3
Up the Creek: Number 4.4
Up the Creek: Beautiful Solutions
Up the Creek: Blind Faith, July 2009
Up the Creek: Create Dangerously
Up the Creek: What Price Choice?
Up the Creek: Before and After: September 11, 2001
Up the Creek: Candle in a Long Street
Up the Creek: Crossing Cultures: Transcending History
Up the Creek: Man in the Mirror; A Map of the World
Up the Creek: Stories and the Shape of Time
Up the Creek: The Divine Road To Istanbul
Up the Creek: What It Means to Yearn
WRR@LARGE – WILD COVERAGE
UNESCO World Heritage Site Under Threat of Mega-Devlopment Sparks International Protests
The Other Side Of Abu Ghraib — Part One: The Detainees’ Quest For Justice
The Other Side of Abu Ghraib – Part Two: The Yoga Teacher Goes to Istanbul