Red foxes in central Amsterdam


In this October 2017 Dutch video, two twin brother biologists look for red foxes in the Vondelpark in central Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Advertisements

Hornets, red admiral butterflies drink birch tree juice


This 5 October 2017 video shows hornets and red admiral butterflies drinking juice from an injured birch tree.

Karl Hammer made this video near Zundert town in North Brabant province in the Netherlands.

German pro-peace artist Käthe Kollwitz


This video from South Korea says about itself:

From the ashes of war, German artist Kathe Kollwitz uncovers humanity

18 March 2015

Works by a famous German artist who is known for her emotionally powerful artwork are on display here in Seoul.

Our Yim Yoonhee joins us with more about this very moving exhibition.

Käthe Kollwitz created strong images that touched millions of lives around the world for their depictions of people struggling with the poverty and devastation in the aftermath of war.

This is a rare opportunity to see these works.

Have a look.

A mother, desperate to feed and fend for her children in a country ravaged by war.

The image is one of over 50 original works by the 20th century German painter, printmaker and sculptor Käthe Kollwitz that are being shown at the Seoul Museum of Art.

But inside these charcoal sketches, inside the shadows, are hungry children, traumatized mothers,… the victims of poverty and World War I,… people that artist Kollwitz just couldn′t ignore.

“After the war, the remaining families had a very hard time. There was no relief in sight, no counseling and no one to defend them. This artist chose to bring attention to them.”

The exhibition is divided into two parts one dedicted to the squalid lives of members of the working class prior to 1914, while the latter part shows works that illustrate the living hell experienced by people in Germany in the aftermath of World War I.
Kollwitz was a well-recognized and respected artist in the art community, but she went beyond being an artist and contributed to humanity, bringing awareness to those left in the shadows of this world.

What was the artist′s relationship to the war?

Kollwitz was married to a doctor who often tended to the poor, and that greatly affected her career.

In terms of the war, she lost her youngest son to World War I, which you can imagine had a great influence on her works.

Many of her works have names such as “Grieving Parent”, “The Widow” and “The Sacrifice”, so it′s clear that art really became her outlet.

And what legacy does the artist leave behind, other than her works?

There are over 40 German schools named after the artist, but many books, movies and even modern dance pieces have featured characters inspired by Kollwitz.

There are also many statues, some made by Kollwitz herself and some created after her works that are housed at many locations throughout Germany… to commemorate the war and especially its victims.

The artist really brought much-needed attention to all of the unseen suffering during wartime.

By Jenny Farrell in Britain:

An artist of peace and the people

Saturday 7th October 2017

Jenny Farrell pays tribute to the great German artist and sculptor KÄTHE KOLLWITZ

Käthe Kollwitz’s work reflects the events of the first half of the 20th century yet she continues to stand tall among anti-war artists and champions of the dispossessed of the present time.

Kollwitz broke completely with bourgeois aesthetics and made the subjugated and humiliated working class her sole artistic subject. Her work eloquently expresses the force, resistance and humanity of this class. Very often, she focuses on individuals or small groups who exemplify the fate of thousands, balancing their misery with dignity and human kindness.

This year marks the 150th year since her birth in Kaliningrad. The daughter of a bricklayer who recognised his daughter’s artistic talent early on, she was barred from studying art as a woman in her hometown and moved to Berlin and Munich to pursue her education.

There, she met radical artists of her time and married the socialist Karl Kollwitz, a medical doctor who lived among, and treated, the poor of Berlin. Together they dwelled in the then impoverished working-class — now gentrified — Prenzlauerberg district for most of their lives. Here, she gave birth to two sons and created her substantial oeuvre.

Kollwitz’s breakthrough work, which defined her artistic signature, was the cycle The Weavers, inspired by witnessing in 1894 the premiere of Gerhart Hauptmann’s drama of the same name about the uprising of Silesian weavers a half century before.

Over and above connecting present misery with that of the past, Kollwitz focused on resistance against social injustice. Reflecting on this early experience, she noted in her autobiography that the play, research and work on the weavers’ rising was a key event in her artistic development.

The cycle consists of three lithographs — Poverty, Death, and Conspiracy — and three etchings — March of the Weavers, Riot, and The End — with The March of the Weavers becoming Kollwitz’s best-known work.

Käthe Kollwitz, The march of the weavers, 1897

Stirred by her working-class surroundings and involvement, Kollwitz’s second cycle The Peasant War, going back to the German uprising of the 1520s, also centres on the rebellion of the exploited and suppressed against social injustice.

Peasant War is worked in a variety of techniques — etchings, aquatint and soft ground and the cycle is counted among Kollwitz’s greatest achievements.

In one of the images, After the Battle, a mother searches through the dead at night, looking for her son; and the sense of loss and grieving became a central theme in Kollwitz’s work after the death of her son Peter in the early days of WWI.

Käthe Kollwitz, After the battle, 1907

From then on, mothers protecting their children, fighting for their survival and grieving their death became an ever-present motif in Kollwitz’s work. She conveys a profound sense of unspeakable tragedy and of human responsibility to fight against death-spawning militarism and war. The people, the victims, are also those where humanity is found and the only source of resistance.

In 1919, Kollwitz began work on the woodcut cycle War, responding to the tragedies of WWI. Seven images reflect her unspeakable pain. Stark, large-format woodcuts feature the anguish of war. In The Sacrifice, a mother sacrifices her infant, while in The Volunteers Kollwitz depicts her son Peter beside Death, who leads a group of young men to war in a frenzied procession.

Once again eliminating specific references to time or place, Kollwitz created a universal condemnation of such slaughter.

The January 1919 assassination of Karl Liebknecht — sole German parliamentarian to vote against further war loans in the summer of 1914 — by right-wing militias, occasioned her famous woodcut In Memoriam Karl Liebknecht. It is a moving tribute to this communist leader, mourned by the people he represented, who pay their final respects in a shocked, yet gentle fashion.

Kollwitz, Germany's children are starving, 1924

In 1924, Kollwitz created her three most famous posters, Germany’s Children Starving, Bread and Never Again War. After the nazi rise to power, in the mid-1930s, Kollwitz completed Death, her last great cycle of eight lithographs.

More heartbreak was wrought on her in 1942, when her grandson Peter fell victim to Hitler’s war. This death came after that of her husband Karl, who had died of illness in 1940.

Kollwitz died just a few days before WWII ended, on April 22, 1945. She has left us with unforgettable images of the horrific events and epic struggles of her lifetime. Her images remain profound indictments of a system that perpetuates such social injustice and crimes against humanity.

The free exhibition Portrait of the Artist: Käthe Kollwitz runs at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham until November 26, details: here.

Jane Goodall, chimpanzees, new film


This video says about itself:

First Look at Jane | National Geographic

5 October 2017

Dr. Jane Goodall’s groundbreaking chimpanzee research redefined what it means to be human. Brett Morgen’s critically acclaimed film JANE will be released in select theaters starting Oct. 20.

Puerto Rico still devastated, storm Nate threatens


This video says about itself:

Special Report: Puerto Ricans in Vieques Cope with Devastation & Fear Toxic Contamination from Maria

6 October 2017

We end today’s show where we began the week: in Puerto Rico. Doctors say the island’s health system remains crippled two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit the island, leaving more than 90 percent of the island without electricity and half of its residents without drinking water. That’s at least according to statistics published by FEMA on Wednesday.

But on Thursday, FEMA removed data about access to drinking water and electricity in Puerto Rico from its website. Democracy Now!’s Juan Carlos Dávila is on the ground in Puerto Rico, and this week he managed to make it to the island of Vieques to speak with residents of the area that the U.S. Navy used as a bombing range for decades.

Since the 1940s, the Navy used nearly three-quarters of the island for bombing practice, war games and dumping old munitions. The bombing stopped after a campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience, but the island continues to suffer. The Navy says it will take until 2025 to remove all the environmental damage left by more than 60 years of target practice. Juan Carlos filed this report from Vieques in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

By Rafael Azul:

Puerto Rico continues to languish as tropical storm Nate threatens US Gulf Coast

7 October 2017

The current hurricane season in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico is proving to be one of the most destructive on record.

On October 5, tropical storm Nate struck Central America and skirted Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula; it is now headed toward the Gulf Coast of the United States.

Nate is fast moving and is headed in the direction of the Mississippi River Delta; New Orleans, Louisiana; Mobile, Alabama; and Pensacola, Florida, where it is expected to strike late tonight as a category one hurricane, with winds of 75 miles an hour.

An early count shows seven casualties in Costa Rica and 15 in Nicaragua. Costa Rican authorities also reported that 15 people are missing and some 5,000 were evacuated to emergency shelters. Louisiana has declared a state of emergency and ordered evacuations of low-lying areas.

Further to the east torrential rain and high winds are being predicted for Puerto Rico this weekend, still languishing from hurricane Maria, which struck more than two weeks ago knocking out the US territory’s entire electrical grid. Approximately 90 percent of the island remains without power and access to clean drinking water is limited.

Rain fell hard in Ponce and other southern cities on Friday increasing the danger of flash floods and mudslides. There are predictions of 10 inches of rain across the island by Sunday. Puerto Rican authorities issued a flash flood warning for the entire island.

Lares and Utuado, in the center of the island, are among the most damaged by Hurricane María, and still largely isolated, facing floods and mudslides. Directly to the north from them are the cities of Quebradillas and Isabela, close to the damaged Guajataca Dam. If this weekend’s rains force authorities to release more water from the dam into the Guajataca River, more flooding will impact those two cities and other coastal communities. The rainstorm is also limiting shipping around the island.

Meanwhile, Trump administration officials have continued to insist that President Donald Trump did not mean to say in a Tuesday night interview on Fox News that Puerto Rico would not have to pay its $74 billion debt obligation.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders declared that the president does not believe that the debt should be erased. What he really meant, said Sanders, is that the island should continue with the bankruptcy process under the Promise Act, administered by the Financial Oversight and Management Board.

“There’s a process for how to deal with Puerto Rico’s debt, and it will have to go through that process to have a lasting recovery and growth,” Sanders insisted. “This was a process that was put in place and set up under Obama, and that has a board of advisors that deals with that debt. And it will go through that process as we move forward.”

Sanders spoke a day after White House budget director Mick Mulvaney urged people not to take the president’s remarks literally.

The grim reality is that a $74 billion debt that was “not payable” in 2015, in the words of Governor Alejandro Padilla, before the one-two punch of Hurricanes Irma and María, is ever more so now that there are no significant assets for the vulture funds to pillage, and as a greater portion of the Puerto Rican population migrates to the US. Puerto Rico will now have to raise some $90 billion just to rebuild the inadequate infrastructure and housing that existed the day before Irma struck.

Recovery across the island is slow, there are reports that some public schools may reopen by the end of the month, and electricity is being restored at a snail’s pace. People continue to cue up for gasoline and for cash. According to one resident, “fuel has become like gold.” Forty percent or more of the population continues to be out of water.

The existence of water distribution centers, which in many cases consist of just one faucet or garden hose, are often not being advertised by the government with people finding out about them through word of mouth. The lack of water combined with no electricity to power air conditioners and fans in the island’s tropical heat is fast becoming a public health catastrophe.

Two weeks on there has yet to be a credible accounting of the extent of the damage, of how many people actually died from the storm; how many were injured; how many remain missing; an exact count of destroyed homes and businesses; how many people are still employed; or how the mosquito population exploded bringing with it the danger of Zika and other diseases.

As with London’s Grenfell Tower Fire, authorities are keen on hiding this information, surely out of concern that it will trigger a social explosion. Many of the reports coming in appear in the Facebook pages of volunteer groups in the mainland organizing the delivery of supplies and the rescue of those of that need to leave the island.

New information, particularly from the south and southeast, where the hurricane hit first and hardest, indicates that conditions are much worse than initially expected. Eleven thousand homes were destroyed in just four suburbs of Ponce, for instance. Yauco and Juana Díaz to the west survived the harshest pummeling of the storm only to be inundated a day after by the flooding of the Luchetti River, entirely covering many homes with water.

On Wednesday a resident of a Río Piedras home for the elderly committed suicide in desperation. Meanwhile, in at least one hospital, the stench of rotting corpses in its morgue forced it to sharply curtail all but emergency operations.

Slow lorises saved from criminal pet trade


This video says about itself:

Slow Lorises Rescued From Illegal Pet Trade | National Geographic

3 October 2017

Officials in West Sumatra, Indonesia, rescued nine slow lorises from being sold on the illegal pet market.