International cartoon festival, Brussels, opens 27 April


International cartoon festival, Brussels

From the organisers of the international cartoon festival, in Brussels, Belgium, today:

A year has passed since the murderous attacks in Brussels’ airport and metro. For a brief moment last March, the city seemed empty. We weren’t simply shocked by the senseless violence, but also anxious: could we still live safely here? Against this backdrop, the major international cartoon exhibition scheduled for April 2016 was cancelled.

The scars remain, but life goes on. We must continue to work towards mutual understanding, emphasizing the shared needs, hopes and values that lie hidden beneath our outward (personal and political) differences.

The festival You, the West and the Middle East offers a selection of cartoons intended to encourage reflection and dialogue on the work of living together. Out of more than 1000 submissions from around the world, we have selected 120 outstanding works. How have cartoonists engaged with developments in the Middle East? What do they reveal (or question) about the culture of the region? What is their take on the refugee issue? And what does their work teach us about the craft of living together?

The exhibition will be accompanied by diverse fora for listening, discussing, engaging and simply coming together. The festival seeks to encourage mutual understanding and respect and rejects all efforts to provoke senseless confrontation between people and cultures.

YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO “DE MARKTEN” FOR THE OPENING OF THE FESTIVAL

Oude Graanmarkt 5, 1000 Brussels
Thursday, April 27th at 19.30h

Your host for the evening will be Jan Hautekiet. Ward Treunen, Rachida Aziz and Keltoum Belorf will tell you more about the festival. Jan Vromman will present “Say No.” Charles Ducal will also be there, together with Bilal Bilal, wrote a letter to us. Kamel Badarneh will provide a soundtrack for the evening. The reception starts at 20:00. Omnya will be in charge of the hors d’oeuvres, and you will be free to explore the exhibition.

With many thanks for your consideration, and in hopeful anticipation your attendance, please accept our warmest greetings,

on behalf of all the partners,

Sincerely,

Nora De Kempeneer & Ward Treunen

International cartoon exhibition, 27 April 2017

From the exhibition organisers:

YOU, THE WEST AND THE MIDDLE EAST is not only an international cartoon exhibition, but also a whole series of activities during the month of May on how we experience and look at the Middle East.

Every day we are seeing bombings on ou[r] TV screen, we read about radicalization, IS [ISIS], terrorist attacks, we’re watching soldiers patrolling our streets, we question the situation in the Middle East, we ask ourselves how to treat refugees humanely and we try to live a normal life under terror threats …

The current situation leaves no one untouched and needs more insight and understanding of what is happening today in the world.

How can we try to better understand this region, which we only know as a permanent war zone, where everyone seems to be fighting everyone. Should we not start discussing and imagining a possible and liveable future for the Middle East?

This project aims to promote mutual understanding, rather than getting involved in a pointless confrontation between ‘different’ cultures.

Cartoonists from around the world put together a compelling and confrontational exhibition, that will be presented in May 2017: from May 2 to May 31 in De Markten, Vieux Marché aux Grains 5 in 1000 Brussels – free access from 12:00 to 18:00 on Tue-Wed-Thu-Fri-Sat-Sun (Thursdays until 20:00).

Additionally, you can meet the cartoonists, you can watch enlightening documentaries and attend lectures and workshops.

More information can be found on this website. Do you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please let us know at info@lightintimetocome.org

This video says about itself:

Cartoonists – foot soldiers of democracy – trailer

1 August 2014

12 loveable lunatics, capturing the comic and tragic in all four corners of the earth: cartoonists who risk their lives to defend democracy, with a smile on their faces and a pencil as their only weapon. They are French, Tunisian, Russian, American, Burkinabese, Chinese, Mexican, Algerian, Ivorian, Venezuelan, Israeli and Palestinian.

This film will be shown at the Brussels festival on 2 May.

This video says about itself:

WE ARE MANY – OFFICIAL TRAILER

24 April 2015

We Are Many tells for the first time the remarkable story of the biggest protest in history, and how it changed the world.

Eight years in the making, filmed in seven countries, and including interviews with John Le Carre, Damon Albarn, Brian Eno, Danny Glover, Mark Rylance, Richard Branson, Hans Blix and Ken Loach amongst others, it charts the birth and rise of the people power movements that are now sweeping the world, all through the prism of one extraordinary day.

On February 15th 2003, over 15 million people marched through the streets of 800 cities on every continent to voice their opposition to the proposed war in Iraq. This unprecedented global march was organised, against all odds, by a patchwork of peace campaigners in many countries, who reveal how they pulled of the historic demonstration, and whose legacy is only now unfolding.

For more information about the film please visit here.

This film will be shown at the Brussels festival on 10 May.

On Tuesday 23 May: a lecture by Mary Ann Wright. She is a retired United States Army colonel and retired U.S. State Department official, known for her outspoken opposition to the Iraq war.

Rembrandt exhibition on film


This video from Britain says about itself:

4 November 2014

Watch the new Rembrandt from the National Gallery, London and Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam cinema trailer, part of EXHIBITION ON SCREEN – your front row seat to the world’s greatest art.

Every Rembrandt exhibition is eagerly anticipated but this major new show, focused on the final years of his life and hosted by London’s National Gallery and Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum is the biggest in many years. Given exclusive & privileged access by both galleries, the film documents this extraordinary show and interweaves Rembrandt’s life story with the behind the scenes preparations at both institutions. For many, this is the greatest artist that ever lived – this film will take a close look at the man behind such acclaim.

On 15 April 2017, I went to see this Rembrandt exhibition film. Another film in the Exhibition on Screen series was about Hieronymus Bosch.

The theme of the exhibition is Rembrandt’s later years, 1651-1669. Usually, art historians take 1651 as a starting point, as Rembrandt then changed technically, using broader brush strokes in his paintings.

During the preparations for the exhibition, people discovered that Rembrandt had made changes compared to the earliest versions of his works of art. In one case, Rembrandt had done quite some work on a painting, but did not finish it, and later made another painting on that canvas.

The film names four influences on Rembrandt: Caravaggio; Rubens; Lucas van Leyden, from the same Leiden city as Rembrandt; and Pieter Lastman, who taught the young Rembrandt. Lastman inspired Rembrandt to make paintings about biblical history, antique history and mythology. Yet, if we (not the film) compare what Rembrandt painted about and what his older contemporary and inspiration Rubens painted about, then we see a striking difference. 75% of Rubens’ work had religious or antique historical and mythological subjects. With Rembrandt, only 25% of his work fitted into these categories. While 70% of Rembrandt’s work were portraits, including self-portraits. Only 15% of Rubens’ work were portraits; 0% self-portraits.

In this, Rembrandt went against the traditional view of which visual art categories were supposedly superior and which were supposedly inferior. Traditionally, painting Christian religious or antique historical or mythological scenes was seen as more ‘noble’ than painting portraits. However, the seventeenth century Dutch republic was different in this, the film remarks. In other European countries, painters worked for the Roman Catholic church (or for princely or other noble courts, the film makers might have added). In the Netherlands, the urban bourgeois, recently victorious in the revolt against the monarchy of Spain and its aristocratic old order, wanted portraits of themselves. And Rembrandt and others painted them. While in Rubens’ southern Low Countries (roughly what later became Belgium) the Spanish armies had managed to suppress the revolt and save the old social and religious order. The film, describing the revolt against the Spanish kings in Dutch national terms, does not use words like ‘bourgeois’ or ‘class’; but studying the context of Rembrandt’s and Rubens’s works suggests them.

There were not only painters inspiring Rembrandt. Rembrandt himself inspired many later painters. Including Francisco Goya. Goya said: ‘I had three teachers: nature, Velazquez, and Rembrandt’.

One can speculate whether Rembrandt was also an inspiration for Goya in depicting monarchs’ relatives unflatteringly. Rembrandt got one commission from the princely court in Holland (princely, as the Stadhouders in the Low Countries were also absolute monarchs in the tiny statelet of Orange in southern France). But when his portrait of Princess Amalia von Solms turned out to be not flattering enough, he never got a commission from that court again. Maybe a bit in the vein of Goya a century and half later, who is said to have mocked the Spanish royal family in his portrait painting of them.

Talking about Rembrandt and princely families: he twice made a painting about Lucretia, a woman from ancient Roman historical tradition. According to that tradition, in 509 BC the son of the king of Rome, Sextus Tarquinius, raped Lucretia. Sextus Tarquinius thought he could commit that crime with impunity, as he was a man, Lucretia a woman; he was a prince, Lucretia a subject. Like in 2015 a scion of the Saudi royal family harassed women sexually in the USA, saying: ‘I am a prince and I do what I want. You are nobody!’ Sextus Tarquinius told Lucretia that if she would not submit to being raped, then he would kill both her and one of her slaves, place their bodies together, and claim he had defended her husband’s honour when he caught her having adulterous sex. In despair, after the rape Lucretia then committed suicide.

The film points out that Rembrandt’s first Lucretia painting shows the subject (in seventeenth century rather than Roman antiquity clothes) on the verge of killing herself with a dagger, still a bit uncertain whether she would do it.

Rembrandt, Lucretia preparing to stab herself

While the second painting shows Lucretia just after she had become sure about her decision, having inflicted a lethal wound in her breast, and ringing an alarm, summoning witnesses to tell them Prince Sextus Tarquinius had raped her, as her last words before dying.

Rembrandt, Lucretia after stabbing herself

Anger in Rome about the rape and suicide of Lucretia led to a revolt in which the royal family was deposed and replaced by the Roman republic.

That Roman republic became an inspiration for later revolutions in which monarchs were overthrown and replaced by republics. Like the eighteenth century American revolution against King George III of Britain, in which the first president of the USA, George Washington, was compared to Roman republican statesman Cincinnatus. During the French revolution against King Louis XVI revolutionary painter David painted scenes from Roman republican history.

Earlier, during Rembrandt’s lifetime, the Roman republic had been an inspiration for English revolutionaries who deposed and beheaded King Charles I and made England a republic.

The film is quite elaborate on how Rembrandt painted Lucretia’s clothes, her blood and her facial expressions telling about her inner feelings. However, the film does not ask why Rembrandt considered Lucretia a worthy subject. According to ancient Roman historiography, Sextus Tarquinius’ royal dynasty were tyrants, killing people and taxing the people heavily. They were also Etruscans. These Etruscan royals did not speak their Roman subjects’ Latin, but a very different language as their mother tongue. Like taxation and bloodshed had been causes of the Etruscan-Roman royals’ downfall, Spanish royal taxes and the Spanish inquisition burning Protestants at the stake had also been factors in the Dutch revolt. May Rembrandt not have seen a parallel between the royal dynasty of Rome and King Philip II and his successors in Spain; and between the successful republican revolt in Rome, and the succesful (at least in the northern Low Countries) Dutch revolt against the monarchy?

I don’t know any writings by Rembrandt confirming that; so, for the moment this is just speculation by me.

In the film, there is another speculation: that the exiled French philosopher Descartes and Rembrandt knew each other and influenced each other. Again, as far as I know, neither in writings by Descartes nor in writings by Rembrandt there is proof of that.

Finally, the film mentioned and illustrated that Rembrandt was an important innovator in art techniques. In painting, and also in etching.

Pablo Picasso’s anti-fascism


This 8 April 2017 video is called Pablo Picasso‘s Fight Against Fascism.

15 years jail for graffiti art in Detroit, USA?


Gabriela June Gibson, graffii artist

By Tyler Van Dyke in the USA:

Detroit woman faces 15 years in prison over graffiti incident

8 April 2017

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and his administration continue to pursue vindictive penalties in cases involving graffiti. Dozens of charges have been laid against graffiti artists since Duggan, a Democrat, took office in 2014.

In the most recent incident, Gabriela Gibson, 27, faces three felony charges carrying 15-year prison sentences. She is charged with lying under oath when questioned about the tagging of a long abandoned building on Detroit’s east side. Her license plate information was allegedly captured by an eyewitness while driving away from the scene after spray-painting faces on the building.

Prosecutors claim to have found information about other graffiti incidents while searching Gibson’s phone and text messages. Two other individuals, Nathan Koorhan and Craig Kowalski, face similar charges. Both face up to 10 years in prison for breaking and entering, and “malicious destruction” of one of Detroit’s many abandoned schools.

Detroit, America’s largest poor city, has been a target of graffiti for decades.

The three defendants are the latest victims of the crackdown against non-violent crimes by city officials.

The Duggan administration has also been issuing thousands of tickets to property owners in Detroit, giving them only seven days to remove graffiti from their buildings or be fined. Some residents, caught in the bureaucratic morass of the deeply underfunded and understaffed city, have been fined without being adequately warned about removing the graffiti.

Retired postal worker Freddie Jones, Jr. told the Detroit Free Press that the city had sent a crew to remove the tags off the side of his building and fined him $1,121 just three days after being warned.

“They’re doing it to get money,” Jones told the Free Press, “Had I been given an opportunity I would’ve done it no problem. I wasn’t even allotted the opportunity to clean up my own property.”

Another small business owner, Roosevelt Hendrix, barely avoided paying a $1,500 fine. He told the Free Press, “We just got lucky, man. I think we got lucky by doing it ourselves because $1,500–who has $1,500 for some graffiti, man? … $1,500 for nothing?”

Buildings where graffiti has been removed will often be tagged again in a matter of days.

The Duggan administration continues to try and present itself as “returning democracy to Detroit,” while working behind closed doors to turn the city of Detroit into a haven for big investors and speculators.

Duggan is up for re-election this year and will no doubt use his bullying policing tactics as an example of how he has helped the city by cracking down on petty crime. This is known as “broken window policing” or “quality of life policing,” the premise of which is that if small crimes are responded to harshly this will deter more serious crimes from occurring. The unconstitutional “stop-and-frisk” program in New York City is associated with this approach.

Duggan, a longtime proponent of “broken window policing,” said in 2003, when he was Wayne County prosecutor, “I consider these quality-of-life crimes serious issues,” and commented further that “They will have a ripple effect on other crimes.”

The “theory,” of course, is both unfair and anti-democratic and has no essential effect on conditions and crime rates that are the product of the overwhelming decay and devastation of America’s inner cities.

As great numbers of people realize full well, the true “vandals” in Detroit, guilty of “malicious destruction” on a vast scale, are the auto and other giant corporations that have destroyed hundreds of thousands of decent-paying jobs over the past 35 years, reducing the city’s population to levels of misery seen in so-called Third World countries. Duggan and the Democrats have presided over the social carnage, acting with one goal in mind: to suppress popular anger and protect the wealth of the city’s elite.

The imposition of tougher penalties for petty crimes, including the brutal treatment of Gibson, is intended to intimidate the population and muzzle potential opposition. Both the graffiti artists and the property-owners threatened with fines are victims of the same social process.

Duggan has received wide bipartisan support for his re-election bid, with many politicians and corporate figures already announcing support for him.

Health insurance corporation Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s political action committee, BluesPAC, sent out a letter in late February to “more than 1,000 Blue Cross employees … asking for donations of $1,000 for corporate officers, $500 for vice presidents, $250 for directors and $100 from managers and others to support the Mike Duggan for Detroit Committee,” according to Crain’s Detroit Business .

Duggan served as Wayne County Prosecutor from 2001 to 2004. Soon after leaving that office he took a position as president and CEO of the Detroit Medical Center. After DMC was sold to Vanguard Health Systems in 2010, Duggan walked away with more than $2.4 million, along with sizeable stock options.

After an attempt to run for mayor of suburban Livonia in 2011, Duggan decided to campaign for mayor of Detroit in 2014. Because of his reputation as a cost cutter, Duggan secured the backing of major sections of Detroit’s ruling elite.

Among those donating the nearly $2 million to the 2014 Duggan mayoral campaign were political action committees associated with Quicken Loans CEO Dan Gilbert; Ford executive Bill Ford; Compuware founder Peter Karmanos; Roger Penske and executives from Vanguard Health Systems. All of these firms and individuals have continued to prosper under Duggan’s administration.

Brook lamprey, Hieronymus Bosch, De Stijl art


This March 2014 Dutch video is about brook lamprey mating season in a stream not far from Apeldoorn city in Gelderland province.

There is a stream in the Apeldoorn city center as well: the Grift.

This January 2013 video is about how the Grift was reconstructed a few years ago, back from underground to above ground, in Apeldoorn.

Brook lampreys now mate in the center of Apeldoorn. This species is a sign of good water quality. Northern pikes now live in the center of Apeldoorn as well.

On 2 April 2017, we went to Apeldoorn. In the Grift stream, we saw many water plants, and a brook lamprey.

We continued to the CODA museum. There was an exhibition of modern jewelry by twelve artists, inspired by paintings of Hieronymus Bosch.

Sylvia Blickman, fantastic animals, 2 April 2017

Eg, there were these fantastic animals, inspired by Bosch, made in aluminium (and gold) in 2016 by Sylvia Blickman from Haarlem. All photos in this blog post are cellphone photos.

Sylvia Blickman, fantastic animals detail, 2 April 2017

Sylvia Blickman, fantastic animals, on 2 April 2017

Also by Sylvia Blickman, also from 2016 and in aluminium, these other Hieronymus Bosch-inspired fantastic animals.

There were other exhibitions in the museum as well.

Eg, an exhibition on De Stijl, the well-known abstract art movement founded in 1917, a century ago.

One artist who joined the De Stijl movement, in 1924, was César Domela (1902-1992). He was a son of the first Dutch socialist MP, later anarchist, Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis.

César Domela, Neoplasticist composition, 1928

However, already in 1925 Domela clashed with prominent De Stijl member Piet Mondriaan. According to Mondriaan, a true De Stijl artist should only depict horizontal and vertical lines. While Domela started to use diagonal lines as well. De Stijl founder Theo van Doesburg, likewise, started to use diagonal lines, contrary to Mondriaan‘s rules.

César Domela, 1948 work

De Stijl influenced not only painting, but also, eg, furniture design; and toy design.

ADO toy cars, 2 April 2017

These are toy cars, made in the 1925-1955 period in Apeldoorn and elsewhere, designed by Koo Verzuu, inspired by the simple geometric De Stijl forms. They were called Ado toys (nothing to do with The Hague football club ADO).

ADO toy van, 2 April 2017

Syrian refugee artist donates work in Scotland


This video from England says about itself:

27 August 2014

‘Syria’s Apex Generation’, an exhibition featuring recent works by artists Nihad Al Turk, Abdul Karim Majdal Al-Beik, Othman Moussa, Mohannad Orabi, and Kais Salman. Curated by art historian and Ayyam Gallery Artistic Director Maymanah Farhat, the exhibition will spotlight a new school of Syrian painting in the midst of expansion despite the disintegration of the Damascus art scene, its original centre. This multi-venue group show will be held at Ayyam Gallery’s London location from 7 August until 12 September.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Syrian artist donates work to thank supporters

Thursday 23rd March 2017

A SYRIAN artist who came to live in Scotland as a refugee has donated some of his work to a charity auction to thank those who helped him.

Nihad Al Turk, who had won awards for his artwork in Syria, came to Edinburgh in 2015 on the first flight for refugees from Lebanon.

With support from The Leith School of Art (LSA), Mr Al Turk created a mural to mark Refugee Week.

His work features mythological creatures, used as metaphors for his experiences of war in Syria.

Speaking through an interpreter, he said: “I worked hard for many years to build my career as an artist at home. But the war meant all that was lost and it became too dangerous to stay there.

“My aim is to start all over again and build my reputation in this new country that has been so kind to us.”

He has donated three works to an auction to raise funds for LSA outreach programmes.