Category Sociology

Manhattan in Motion


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By Mindrelic

1 ) mute speakers
2 ) play video

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Memorial to the Ancestors

Via ArchDaily, by Andrew Rosenberg

Architects / Team Leaders: Travis L. Price III, FAIA, Principal, Travis Price Architects; Founder, Spirit of Place-Spirit of Design, Inc., Adjunct Professor, The Catholic University of America- School of Architecture and Planning / Kathleen L. Lane, Assoc. AIA, Director, Spirit of Place Institute; and Lecturer, The Catholic University of America- School of Architecture and Planning
Location: Namje-Thumki, Nepal
Students from The Catholic University of America: Kayode Akinsinde, Andrew Baldwin, Miguel Castro, Liz-Marie Fibleuil Gonzalez, Scott Gillespie, Carrie Kramer, Gina Longo, Patrick Manning, Ashley Marshall, Kristyn McKenzie, Andrew Metzler, Ashley Prince, Chloe Rice, Abigail Rolando, Arvi Sardadi, Mandira Sareen, Lucia Serra, Allie Steimel, Kevin Thomson, Spencer Udelson, Lauren Warner, Evan Wivell
Students from The Corcoran College of Art & Design: Suzanne Humphries
Students from Aalto University: Wilhelmiina Kosonen, Inka Saini
Project year: 2011
Photographs: Travis Price Architects, Price III, FAIA

Travis Price, FAIA (Principal of Travis Price Architects, Washington, DC) and Kathleen Lane, Assoc. AIA, of Travis Price Architects and Spirit of Place-Spirit of Design, Inc., led 18 architecture students from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC and two students from Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland on a design-build expedition to Nepal. Over 9 intensive days, students constructed a Memorial to the Magar Ancestors at the remote villages of Namje-Thumki in the eastern foothills of the Himalayas.

Located on the highest hill of the Thumki village, the Memorial to the Magar Ancestors is located in an ancient burial ground surrounded by the growing fields of a newly-established sustainable agricultural education center. Alongside the built memorial project, Price taught students of a spring semester graduate design studio at Catholic University to explore and envision new models for rural community spaces for sustainable agriculture and eco-tourism in the village. It is envisioned that the memorial will not only honor the dead, but will be a symbol of regeneration of the deepest aspects of the culture of the villages to inspire new development for housing, tourism, education, and employment within this community, and as a model for other villages in remote Nepal.

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Educational Building in Mozambique

Via ArchDaily, by Andrew Rosenberg

Project team professors: Andrè Fontes, Sixten Rahlff & Bror R. Hansen
Location: Chimundo, Mozambique
Project team students: Gøran Johansen, Stine Bjar, Silje Klepsvik, Larisa Sarajlija , Olafia Zoëga, Birgitte Haug, Tord Knapstad, Kristian Endresen, Anette M. Basso, Mathias Wijnen, Dan Paul Stavaru, Naeem Searle, Siri Nicholaisen, Maria Flores Adamsen, Monica Xiao, Irmelin Rose Fisch Wågen, Tale Marie Haaheim, Ina Bakka Sem-Olsen, Eirik Solheim Aakhus
Project team organizer: Bror Hansen
Client: Sister Catarina
Budget: 45000 NOK ($8500)
Project year: 2009
Sponsors: Bergen School of Architecture, Norway
Photographs: Ina Bakka Sem-Olsen, Tord Knapstad, Stine Bjar, Olafia Zoëga, Sixten Rahlff, Bror Hansen

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Sodom and Gomorrah

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By Chris Caliman

Agbogbloshie is a suburb of Accra, Ghana known as a destination for legal and illegal exportation and environmental dumping of electronic waste (e-waste) from industrialized nations. Often referred to as a “digital dumping ground”, millions of tons of e-waste are processed each year in Agbogbloshie

Processing electronic waste presents a serious health threat to workers at Agbogbloshie. The fumes released from the burning of the plastics and metals used in electronics are composed of highly toxic chemicals and carcinogens. Workers often inhale lead, cadmium,dioxins, furans, phthalates and brominated flame retardants.

Exposure to these fumes is especially hazardous to children, as these toxins are known to inhibit the development of the reproductive system, the nervous system and the brain.

Zero

By Zealous Creative

Blank City


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By Celine Danhier

Documentary – 94min

BLANK CITY tells the long-overdue tale of a disparate crew of renegade filmmakers who emerged from an economically bankrupt and dangerous moment in New York history. In the late 1970’s and mid 80’s, when the city was still a wasteland of cheap rent and cheap drugs, these directors crafted daring works that would go on to profoundly influence the development of independent film as we know it today.

Directed by French newcomer Céline Danhier, BLANK CITY weaves together an oral history of the “No Wave Cinema” and “Cinema of Transgression” movements through compelling interviews with the luminaries who began it all. Featured players include acclaimed directors Jim Jarmusch and John Waters, actor-writer-director Steve Buscemi, Blondie’s Debbie Harry, Hip Hop legend Fab 5 Freddy, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, photographer Richard Kern as well as Amos Poe, James Nares, Eric Mitchell, Susan Seidelman, Beth B, Scott B, Charlie Ahearn and Nick Zedd. Fittingly, the soundtrack includes: Patti Smith, Television, Richard Hell & The Voidoids, The Contortions, The Bush Tetras, Sonic Youth and many more.

blankcityfilm.com

©2010 Pure Fragment Films

Dérive, SF

What is Possible

Dialectical method excludes the possibility that there can be nothing more to say about the human or about any domain of human activity. On the contrary, it supposes that the knowledge of man and his realization are mutually inseparable and constitute a total process. To penetrate ever more deeply into the content of life, to seize it in its shifting reality, to be ever more lucid about the lessons it has to teach is—this is the essential precept of research.

Henri Lefebvre, What is Possible, Critique of Everyday Life, Volume 1, Verso, p. 182

High Fascism, by Rhonda Garelick

From NY Times

Fashion is more than business in France: it’s a mythology, a secular religion, a source of national pride, especially during Fashion Week, when the country recalls its history as the birthplace of haute couture.

In recent days, though, in response to the anti-Semitic diatribe by Christian Dior’s creative director, John Galliano, the French have been recalling a far more ominous chapter in their history.

According to witnesses, a drunken Mr. Galliano exploded at a woman seated near him in a Paris bar. “Dirty Jewish face, you should be dead,” he is said to have told her. “Your boots are of the lowest quality, your thighs are of the lowest quality. You are so ugly I don’t want to see you. I am John Galliano!”

France is highly sensitive to such matters, and reprisals came quickly. Dior fired Mr. Galliano, who now faces charges of using a racial insult, a crime in France. But beyond the spectacle of one man’s abhorrent politics, the episode invites consideration of the curious relationship between French fashion and fascism.

During the Occupation, the Nazis and their French allies recognized the power and national prestige of the French fashion industry and sought to harness it. When the collaborationist Vichy government took over direction of the French lifestyle magazine Paris Soir, it announced in its pages a “summer of couture … and shopping.” The Nazis were so enamored with fashion’s place in French culture that in their plans for postwar Europe, they stipulated that, unlike other industries, the fashion sector would remain in France.

“Every woman in Paris is a living propaganda poster, the universal function of the Frenchwoman is to remain chic,” wrote one fashion journalist in the early 1940s. “Frenchwomen are the repositories of chic, because this inheritance is inscribed in their race,” wrote another. And as Vichy continued to toe the Nazi line about Aryan physical fitness, more French fashion magazines began focusing on exercise and diet for women.

At the root of the whole system is the most elusive myth of all: the impossible promise that fashion can vanquish physical inadequacy and aging, conferring the beauty and youth we see on the runways and on every page of Vogue — a cult of physical perfection very much at home in the history of fascism.

And although we insist on the racial diversity of fashion’s current standards of beauty, the fascists’ body ideal has persisted and expanded far beyond Europe. The hallmarks of the Nazi aesthetic — blue eyes, blond hair, athletic fitness and sharp-angled features — are the very elements that define what we call the all-American look, still visible in the mythic advertising landscapes of designers like (the decidedly non-Aryan) Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein.

Last week the French daily Le Monde declared that by firing Mr. Galliano, Dior had sounded the “death knell for the myth of the omnipotent designer.” That may be premature, given the myth’s deep roots. But the drunken ramblings of one man in a bar may have set off an important discussion about a less pretty undercurrent in a multibillion-dollar industry. Happy Fashion Week.

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Rhonda Garelick, a professor of English and performing arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is working on a cultural biography of Coco Chanel. Image by Jillian Tamaki.

JR & INSIDE OUT

From TED

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