Culture Worriers – The libertarian struggle to understand contemporary art

by Rachel Wetzler

“Freedom: Art as the Messenger.” “We are living in an era where people are finding their combative voice but having little conversation or dialogue. The goal of this exhibition is to provide a medium for that conversation,” the call for entry read. “A full spectrum of interpretation is invited … addressing Freedom in all its manifestations through art.” When the exhibition was formally announced, the description took on a more polemical thrust:

Freedom means something different to every person, yet its value is a common bond between Americans. In these polarized times, Freedom: Art as the Messenger aims to provide a unifying platform of civility and creativity. Artists from across the country … share innovative and thought-provoking perspectives on freedom and the enduring need for its protection.

For four decades, Cato’s only position on the arts was “defund the NEA.” Suddenly, it wanted to stake a claim to culture.

thebaffer.com

 

YOU ARE WHO I LOVE

by Aracelis Girmay

You, selling roses out of a silver grocery cart

You, in the park, feeding the pigeons
You cheering for the bees

You with cats in your voice in the morning, feeding cats

You protecting the river   You are who I love
delivering babies, nursing the sick

You with henna on your feet and a gold star in your nose

You taking your medicine, reading the magazines

You looking into the faces of young people as they pass, smiling and saying, Alright! which, they know it, means I see you, Family. I love you. Keep on.

You dancing in the kitchen, on the sidewalk, in the subway waiting for the train because Stevie Wonder, Héctor Lavoe, La Lupe

You stirring the pot of beans, you, washing your father’s feet

You are who I love, you
reciting Darwish, then June

Feeding your heart, teaching your parents how to do The Dougie, counting to 10, reading your patients’ charts

You are who I love, changing policies, standing in line for water, stocking the food pantries, making a meal

You are who I love, writing letters, calling the senators, you who, with the seconds of your body (with your time here), arrive on buses, on trains, in cars, by foot to stand in the January streets against the cool and brutal offices, saying: YOUR CRUELTY DOES NOT SPEAK FOR ME

You are who I love, you struggling to see

You struggling to love or find a question

You better than me, you kinder and so blistering with anger, you are who I love, standing in the wind, salvaging the umbrellas, graduating from school, wearing holes in your shoes

more …

Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels 2019 – Sebastião Salgado:

Der Börsenverein zeichnet mit ihm einen Bildkünstler aus, der mit seinen Fotografien soziale Gerechtigkeit und Frieden fordert und der weltweit geführten Debatte um Natur- und Klimaschutz Dringlichkeit verleiht. Zugleich hat Salgado mit seinem ‚Instituto Terra‘ eine Einrichtung geschaffen, die einen direkten Beitrag zur Wiederbelebung von Biodiversität und Ökosystemen leistet. Mit seinem fotografischen Werk, das in zahlreichen Ausstellungen und Büchern veröffentlicht ist, nimmt er die durch Kriege oder Klimakatastrophen entwurzelten Menschen genauso in den Fokus wie jene, die traditionell in ihrer natürlichen Umwelt verwurzelt sind. Dadurch gelingt es Salgado, Menschen weltweit für das Schicksal von Arbeitern und Migranten und für die Lebensbedingungen indigener Völker zu sensibilisieren. Indem der Fotograf seine aufrüttelnden, konsequent in schwarz-weiss gehaltenen Bilder als ,Hommage an die Grösse der Natur‘ beschreibt und die geschändete Erde ebenso sichtbar macht wie ihre fragile Schönheit, gibt Sebastião Salgado uns die Chance, die Erde als das zu begreifen, was sie ist: als einen Lebensraum, der uns nicht allein gehört und den es unbedingt zu bewahren gilt.

Sebastião Salgado

Eine Erinnerung an Solferino

In der Kartause von Parma hatte Stendhal das Getümmel der Schlacht von Waterloo geschildert; in den Sewastopler Erzählungen hatte Tolstoi die Kameradschaft in den russischen Feldschanzen beschrieben. Aber es gibt wohl keine schonungslosere Darstellung als Dunants Buch Eine Erinnerung an Solferino

Michael Ignatieff – Die Zivilisierung des Krieges

Solferino

SIGNUM MORTIS – Doppelheft und Ausstellung

November 2019: Kunsthandel Boesner Hannover

Frühjahr 2020: Goethe Institut Zagreb

Herbst 2020: Poetenfest Erlangen

more …

RIP: …my old friend Johnny, le Zoulou Blanc

Scatterlings of Africa (1987)

Copper sun sinking low
Scatterlings and fugitives
Hooded eyes and weary brows
Seek refuge in the night

They are the scatterlings of Africa
Each uprooted one
On the road to Phelamanga
Where the world began

I love the scatterlings of Africa
Each and every one
In their hearts a burning hunger
Beneath the copper sun

“Who made me here and why
Beneath the copper sun?”

African idea
African idea
Make the future clear
Make the future clear

They are the scatterlings of Africa

Each uprooted one
On the road to Phelamanga
Where the world began

I love the scatterlings of Africa
Each and every one
In their hearts a burning hunger
Beneath the copper sun

And we are the scatterlings of Africa
Both you and I
We are on the road to Phelamanga
Beneath a copper sky

And we are the scatterlings of Africa
On a journey to the stars
Far below, we leave forever
Dreams of what we were

Elevate Festival 2020

In which war do you dream?
Wie über Krieg berichten – Marko Dinić im Gespräch mit dem Fotografen Wolf Böwig
Elevate Festival

worldwide readings

The international literature festival berlin [ilb] calls upon individuals, schools, universities, the media, and cultural institutions to join a Worldwide Reading on September 11, 2019 to support freedom of expression. These readings are especially intended to draw attention to  the fate of imprisoned or disappeared authors and human rights activists who are denied these rights due to their respective political circumstances. More than 100 authors from 40 different countries have supported this call so far – including Margaret Atwood and Nobel Prize in Literature winners Elfriede Jelinek, Wole Soyinka and Orhan Pamuk.

worldwidereadings

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