This article presents the Swiss-Iraqi director Samir Jamal Aldin and his thriller Baghdad in My Shadow (2019) and puts it into a context of the re-negotiation of identities in a culturally diverse Europe. The director’s intention is presented as a wish to deal with taboo issues related to gay rights, women’s emancipation, and religious fundamentalism within an Iraqi community in contemporary London.
The film is analysed with the help of (1) theories analysing tensions between liberal-secular and religious-fundamentalist standpoints, and (2) theories about film viewers’ engagement, amplifying audiences’ emotions and thoughts about complex societal issues.
The film could be said to advocate a standpoint of dynamic secularism promoting individual rights. The article argues, furthermore, that Samir as a Swiss-Iraqi filmmaker encourages thick viewing through his thriller format and invites the audience to a deeper emotional and intellectual understanding of liberal principles, honour culture, and hybrid identity positions in contemporary Europe.
Since the 1960s when the majority of African countries acceded to independence, the continent is still without its own political formula that can reconcile and accommodate the claims of ethnic identity on the one hand, and party politics, democracy and patriotism on the other. This is because the majority of the continent is made up of a conglomeration of ethnic groups and cultural traditions that lay primary claim to the loyalty, sense of belonging and identity of their peoples. Africa needs a political model rooted in traditional reality that can check and curb rivalries among communities based on ethnic and party lines. The old traditions of governance can provide such a political formula for democratically choosing leaders and organizing governance that overrides the influence of ethnicity and political parties; a formula based on societal interests and concerns and promoted by non-governmental organizations, trade unions and professional associations.
Growth-regulating insecticides are used for several cotton pests when immature, and although not registered for Anthonomus grandis, their use causes a satisfactory population reduction in adults. However, it is not known which mechanisms are involved in this reduction. Thus, we studied which tissue and cellular changes may be involved in this process. Adults were fed with flower buds treated with lufenuron (4 ml commercial product /l) for 24 h. Then, the histology of the gonads, oxidative stress and apoptosis were evaluated after periods of 24 h and 48 h. Our study revealed that lufenuron activates the oxidative stress pathway in A. grandis, causing significant changes at the cellular level. These changes may have been caused by stimulation of the production of oxygen ions, free radicals and hydrogen peroxides, resulting in an increase in lipid peroxidation 48 h after treatment. These effects were confirmed by the presence of histopathologies in the gonads of this pest such as disorganization of the follicular cell epithelium, reduction of the yolk, disappearance of the germinal vesicle, reduction of sperm bundles and cysts. Such alterations injured the gonads and impaired tissue homeostasis. It is concluded that together these factors lead to a desirable population reduction when it comes to managing the pest in the field, because the aim is to keep it below the control level. In addition to this desired effect, it is worth noting that lufenuron is safer when compared to other commonly used products, another feature that makes its use quite interesting.
β-catenin is an important signal transduction protein in the canonical Wnt/β-catenin pathway, which is widely involved in the development of animals. However, the role of β-catenin in crustaceans is still unclear. In this study, the cDNA of β-catenin from Exopalaemon carinicauda (Holthuis, 1950) was identified and characterized. The open reading frame (ORF) is 2424 bp, which encodes 807 amino acids containing an N-terminal region of a GSK-β consensus phosphorylation site and a central region of 11 armadillo (ARM) repeats. The tissue distribution showed that β-catenin was highly expressed in ovary, testis, hepatopancreas, heart, and gills. During embryonic development, the transcript of β-catenin was relatively high in the zygote, and the thirty-two-cell stage, blastula stage, gastrula stage, and nauplius stage. The transcripts of β-catenin in haemocytes, gills, and hepatopancreas were significantly up-regulated after infection with Vibrio anguillarum Bergeman, 1909. These results indicate that β-catenin participates in the regulation of embryonic development and in the immune response in E. carinicauda.