Textile art protest against the Iraq war by Adrienne Sloane from the USA


Truth to power, by Adrienne Sloane

From the Boston Globe in the USA:

Textile artist knitting war protests

By Susan Chaityn Lebovits

September 2, 2007

Bombs and missiles have inspired Adrienne Sloane to use a weapon of her own: 30-gauge craft wire. The Watertown resident, who spent a decade creating whimsical hats in colorful yarn, is expressing her views on the war in Iraq by knitting sculptures such as “Body Count” and “Faces of Good and Evil” in wire and linen.

Her studio, inside the Munroe Center of the Arts in Lexington, houses an eclectic mix of messages and mediums. A wire tutu adorned with carpenter nails is titled “The Pain of Growing up Female,” and 14 anatomically correct male bodies, made of linen, are tacked horizontally to the wall to make up “Cost of War II.”

The original “Cost of War” won the Director’s Award at the Fiberart International show in Pittsburgh last spring and is touring the country through April 2010.

In the corner of her studio is a clothesline with 12 knitted hands and feet hanging lifeless. She calls the piece “Dirty Laundry.”

“Its our dirty laundry over there” in Iraq, said Sloane, 57. “That’s what we’re doing; we’re killing people.”

When asked to discuss the meaning behind some of her work, Sloane answered, “I would prefer that the reader did with it what they wanted.”

Given the intensity of Sloane’s art, one might assume she spent her 20s at antiwar rallies, protesting Vietnam, but that wasn’t the case. Sloane said she was not politically active during that time, distracted by her own personal story, her parents’ divorce.

At peace with her past, Sloane is focusing on the present. “Our national policy is causing ripple effects in our personal lives and will do so for years to come,” said Sloane, who has a teenage son, Asa.

History of censorship in Britain


This video from Britain is called Walter Wolfgang – Against Islamophobia.

‘Walter Wolfgang – a Jewish refugee from Nazi anti-semitism in Germany- speaks out against the wave of anti-Muslim racism unleashed by the military disasters in Iraq & Afghanistan’.

From British daily The Morning Star:

The Establishment gag

(Sunday 02 September 2007)

Freedom’s Frontier by Donald Thomas

(John Murray, £30)

GWYN GRIFFITHS looks at the history of censorship in modern Britain.

This often entertaining, impressively detailed book offers much food for thought. Professor Donald Thomas may not offer answers to all the questions that he raises, but he ensures that we are sufficiently well informed to come to intelligent opinions on some delicate and important issues.

Thomas begins with the infamous roughing-up of 82-year-old Walter Wolfgang by new Labour bouncers at the party’s 2005 annual conference. Wolfgang was just one of 426 people stopped and questioned under anti-terrorist legislation in Brighton that week.

Every age has its causes and censorship issues. From religion, with arguments as to what constituted blasphemy in 1841 and still echoed today, to the fate of “obscene” publications later in the same century. As ever, with badly drafted laws, the judiciary made what they would of them and heaven help anyone who came before an unsympathetic judge.

Translations of distinguished French works by Maupassant, Emile Zola‘s La Terre and, more understandably, by the Marquis de Sade, incurred the wrath of the authorities. There were problems, too, for long-forgotten early 20th-century authors such as Elinor Glyn, Hubert Wales and Filson Young.

Also forbidden were stage portrayals of the deity, members of the royal family – dead or alive – and the heads of friendly foreign states. Prosecutions were even brought against those who mocked Hitler in the spring of 1939. A portrayal of John F Kennedy in 1961 was another case in point.

A botanical garden with many conifers


In this video are some cycads at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami, Florida, USA, on January 14, 2007.

Pinetum Blijdenstein in Hilversum in the Netherlands is a somewhat unusual botanical garden. In most such gardens, the emphasis is on flowering plants, after the age of dinosaurs the majority of the world’s plant species.

However, in this pinetum, as the name says, the emphasis is on gymnospermic plants, especially conifers. There are over 500 coniferous species in the world. Outside in the garden of the pinetum, those conifers are surrounded by gingkos, rhododendrons and poppies. In the greenhouses, there are, under specific climatological conditions and accompanied by cycads (about 70 species in this pinetum), subtropical and even tropical conifer species. There is also an extensive collection of Tasmanian plants.

The pinetum has 2500 species, including 49 of the 63 coniferous species worldwide threatened by extinction.

In both outdoor and (greenhouse) indoor pools, turtles are swimming. They are two subspecies of Trachemys scripta: the red-eared slider, and the Cumberland turtle. In the outdoor pool, also pondskaters. In the subtropical greenhouse pool, goldfish. Plants in that greenhouse include the Bhutan cypress, and Araucaria nemorosa.

In the hottest greenhouse are the Lebombo cycad from South Africa, and young plants of Kaori blanc from New Caledonia.

Cycads in Belgium: here.

Turtles in New York City: here.

Red-eared slider turtles in Australia: here.