Celebrating Unity in Kassel

Documenta-Oguibe-1

Lovely day in Kassel, at about 4:30 am, workers from a local construction company began dismantling Olu Oguibe’s “contro­versial obelisk made for Documenta 14, titled “Monument to Strangers and Refugees,” (“I was a stranger and you took me in”: Matthew 25:35) with two heavy cranes.

Oguibe-2

By 9:30 am, the obelisk was entirely gone, strapped to a flatbed truck and sent to a construction site on the outskirts of the city (where it now remains).

Oguibe

Hmmm …

Well, I suppose … we couldn’t burn it.

via hyper­allergic and again

Brace brace brace … and fight fight fight.

Shame

hms bulwark
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HMS Bulwark lives up to her name and turns her back on migrants dying in the Mediter­ranean … after all it was only a temporary assignment … until the public outcry had evaporated.
After all the ship was built to put marines ashore to kill people we don’t like. That’s what they do. Though like a school art show or poor inner city kids dancing at a civic opening it looks good plucking desperate people from the sea.
And the weird thing of living somewhere other than London, is that we know people serving on Bulwark and Ocean — they’re not just blocks on a map.

A New Blood Libel?

blood
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OK … trying to be honest.
I posted just the Muslim part on my Portfolio and now I’m not sure I got it right.

UPDATE: (In fact I’ve swapped it for this “wider” version now.)

Essen­tialist crap — all muslims are … the jews are … is a major part of what got us into this cesspit … not to mention colonial wars, support for brutal dictat­or­ships, global­isation, proxy wars and all the shit we’ve visited on “our” brown cousins abroad.

I’m accidently privileged — no-one’s going to ask me to choose just one allegiance to my country right or wrong, to a particular religious authodoxy, or to a specific racial identi­fic­ation for that matter.
I’d be hard pressed to find any values I do share with Cameron, Merkel or even Hollande but I pass … as “normal”, vanilla (though I’m not O).

Wow, Europeans have very short memories … all of ‘em 🙂

Still, a blood trans­fusion might well be a sensible precaution before visitng Birmingham again.

Je suis Charlie

… sort of.

hebdo-magritte
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René Magritte seems to make sense for all sorts of reasons.

Hardly know what to think or even where to start … shock, outrage, even a twinge of fear but a lot of other things too.

Nothing worth saying can be artic­u­lated in a sound bite or on a badge or a banner. A picture, however …

If we’re going to hold the line against the bullying binary thought police of left or right, religious or atheist, radical or reactionary, control freaks or anarchists, we need to embrace ambivalence, nuance, complexity, fluidity and constant negoti­ation and debate, learning and thinking and listening … and at least try to be honest … and make lots of lists.

We don’t have the death penalty here for murder; never mind for being a bigot, being rude or just a knob … not even (officially) for being brown.
Here.
Elsewhere however … ?

Hari Kunzru, Martin Rowson and Gary Younge were life belts in the tsunami of sancti­mo­nious smug.

Mare Nostrum

medusa hand
link to portfolio

Just added this to my Portfolio.
Been strug­gling with this image for a while. Wanted to use Géricault’s Raft of The Medusa because of its artic­u­lation of, and call to, public outrage, which seems horribly absent nearly 200 years later.

It strikes me that The Mediter­ranean is what binds us in Europe to Africa rather than a moat dividing us.
To turn our backs on fellow people in ultimate need is to turn our backs on our humanity.

I originally had an image from a dream — a hazy mist, a milky, flat sea with tiny reaching hands breaking the oily surface like a matt of seeweed, bobbing rather than waving.
It was too dead, too final.
Just the one strong hand, of one of Géricault’s survivors, still striving, reaching for the horizon and dawn’s rescue was much more powerful and direct.