Archive for the ‘art’ Category
The Need for a More Radical Solidarity in the Work for Justice based on Spirituality, Mindfulness, and Self-Care.
by: Victor Narro on July 19th, 2016 | Comments Off
You are not obligated to complete the work,
but neither are you free to abandon it.
Do not be daunted
by the enormity of the world’s grief.
Do justly, now.
Love mercy, now.
Walk humbly, now.
- Rabbi Tarfon in Pirke Avot (Ethics of Our Fathers)
For the past few years, I have ended my classes at UCLA with a reflection with my students about this excerpt from a poem by Rabbi Tarfon and its significance for them. Many of us who work for social justice often work on organizing campaigns with short timelines, with little resources, and moving on all pistons at a grueling 24-7 pace. This extreme pace can consume the important things in life that contribute to a person’s well-being. It’s a kind of martyr’s code that measures a person’s commitment to justice by their willingness to sacrifice personal time, health, and relationships.
by: Kylie A. Gorski on July 15th, 2016 | 1 Comment »
The webseries is an often snubbed medium. It is written-off as sub-par and too easy: any kid can grab a camcorder and some friends right? Webseries has often been viewed as television’s disowned cousin. The truth is that webseries is the future of entertainment and the most honest medium in existence today; it is also so often, due to low budgets and time constraints, a labor of love.
Still, it takes something special for just any webseries to rise above the din of the rest, because anybody can grab a camera and some friends. The internet is for most, though not all, free and easily accessible. No one makes a webseries for the money, because there isn’t much to be made. Even the most well known and frequently awarded series are constantly grasping for sponsorship.
by: Sarah Asch on July 13th, 2016 | Comments Off
With her bright blue scales, yellow tail, and sleek build, Dory is one good-looking fish, and Finding Dory, Pixar’s latest moneymaker, serves as a 105-minute animated broadcast of constant cuteness about her, a type of Indo-Pacific surgeonfish that is called a blue tang. It may seem harmless enough, but unfortunately Finding Dory has the potential to cause environmental destruction, all because a large swath of consumers in the United States are often incapable of seeing something they like on screen without wanting to possess it. Some marine biologists warn that if people flock to pet stores after seeing Finding Dory to buy blue tangs it could add significant strain to already over-taxed coral reef ecosystems and could seriously harm the blue tang as a species.
Scientists and researchers have precedent for being worried. After the 2003 release of Finding Nemo, clownfish flew off the shelves at pet stores worldwide, despite the fact that the movie is specifically about why fish belong in the ocean and not a tiny aquarium in a child’s bedroom. The movie’s moral stance on keeping fish as pets cannot be mistaken or overlooked. The movie is made for children and it doesn’t deal in subtleties, yet the clownfish was all the rage after its release. In research published by National Geographic, Andrew Rhyne, an assistant professor of marine biology at Rodger Williams University, estimates clownfish sales went up thirty to forty percent after Finding Nemo came out. The spike in clownfish popularity led to the organization Saving Nemo, which works to keep clownfish in the wild and out of fish tanks.
Phliando Castile was an African-American Nutrition Services Department supervisor at a Montessori School in suburban Minnesota. He was shot dead by police on July 6 after being stopped for a broken tail light. His girlfriend, Diamond Lavish Reynolds, immediately began narrating his murder on her phone (sent out via Facebook) as she sat beside him while he was dying in the car. Her four year old daughter, also in the car, witnessed everything.
This is for you, Diamond Lavish Reynolds,
before your name disappears among so many
others, before your voice
is forgotten, before you wake up
one morning, still just 24, your child
beside you, and find only the goneness
on the other side of the bed.This is for you
on the morning you wake and wonder
what you are going to do now
with your life, how you are going to talk
to the four-year-old child who saw the cop
fire the gun at Philando, the child you called
your “angel,” your first consolation.
This is for you when the news has stopped talking
about what happened, when the news has passed on
to other deaths.This is for you
in this country of guns, of cruelty, of dismissal;
for you, Diamond
Lavish Reynolds, on some humid morning
in August, as you push the blankets
away, your child
curled in sleep, so small,
and walk into the bathroom and look for the first
time in weeks carefully
at your face in the mirror, ask yourself how
you are going to live
now with only this absence,
one of your eyes consumed with grief, the other
with outrage.How can we hold this
with you, how can we make your tears not
another deleted narrative?
Anita Barrows is a poet, translator, and psychologist in Berkeley, California. She is a professor at The Wright Institute and maintains a private practice.
by: Rabbi Michael Rothbaum on July 11th, 2016 | Comments Off
If God is all-Powerful
Can he make a rock so large he himself
Cannot lift it
Cannot move it
Made up of the stone shavings of
Carved out of the rock
Huddled in a pile
On the ground
The names so large
He himself cannot lift them
From the hearts
Of the bereaved
The empty spaces
Left in the rock
He himself couldn’t lift
There but not
The black blood that is
There but not
by: Umberto Saba, translated from the Italian by Paula Bohince on July 6th, 2016 | Comments Off
At that moment when I was happy
(God forgive me the word so vast,
so tremendous), who drove almost to tears
my brief joy? You will say, some
beautiful creature passing
who smiled. No, a balloon instead,
a stray blue balloon
in the blue air, and my native
sky as never before, clear and cold,
noon winter resplendent
sky with some white clouds
and the windows of the houses, sun blazing,
tenuous smoke from one or two chimneys,
the divine in every
thing, globe by the incautious hand
of a child escaped. He cried
in the crowd, his pain
his great pain in Stock
Exchange Square, where I sat in a café
admiring through the glass with shining
eyes the climb or fall of its goodness.
(Translated from the Italian by Paula Bohince)
In quel momento ch’ero già felice
(Dio mi perdoni la parola grande
e tremenda) chi quasi al pianto spinse
mia breve gioia? Voi direte: “Certa
bella creatura che di là passava,
e ti sorrise”. Un palloncino invece,
un turchino vagante palloncino
nell’azzurro dell’aria, ed il nativo
cielo non mai come nel chiaro e freddo
mezzogiorno d’inverno risplendente.
Cielo con qualche nuvoletta bianca,
e i vetri delle case al sol fiammanti,
e il fumo tenue d’uno due camini,
e su tutte le cose, le divine
cose, quel globo dalla mano incauta
d’un fanciullo sfuggito (egli piangeva
certo in mezzo alla folla il suo dolore,
il suo grande dolore) tra il Palazzo
della Borsa e il Caffé dove seduto
oltre i vetri ammiravo io con lucenti
occhi or salire or scendere il suo bene.
Umberto Saba (1883-1957) was born as Umberto Poli in Trieste and became one of the most important figures in Italian Twentieth Century poetry. He also wrote prose and served as a soldier in World War I. He died in Gorizia, Italy.
Paula Bohince is the author of three poetry collections, including Swallows and Waves (Sarabande, Jan. 2016). Her translations from the Italian have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Agni, PN Review, and the Journal of Italian Translation. She lives in Pennsylvania.
by: Paul Buhle with Ben Dale and Karen Dale on May 24th, 2016 | 1 Comment »
Paul Buhle is one of the foremost historians of American radicalism and the American Left. He is also the editor of 12 comic art books including Yiddishkeit and most recently has been editor of the project Bernie Sanders Comics (www.BernieSandersComics.com).
In an earlier blog post, Buhle wrote that the “project brings together the ‘Underground Comix’ generation of the early 1970s with artists who are now in their mid-twenties and at the onset of distinguished careers. Each artist has made a unique contribution, in both narrative and in comic art style.”
Last week we here at Tikkun Daily started running a series of blog posts by Buhle about Bernie Sanders, comics, and the 2016 presidential election. With each post we also published comic art by Buhle and the other artists at Bernie Sanders Comics.
by: Paul Buhle with art by Sharon Kahn Rudahl on May 23rd, 2016 | 1 Comment »
Readers who appreciate the Bernie Sanders Comics series may be interested to know that half of the artistic contributors boosting the Jewish candidate happen also to be Jewish.
Comic art, the comic strip and the comic art book, owe less to the Jewish tradition than do film or theater (a favorite quip reads: it would be easier to write a history of American Jews without theater than American theater without Jews … because American theater without Jews would hardly be a history at all). But the tradition, continually growing and changing, still owes a lot to the Jewish tradition, and in several interesting ways.
The comic strip of the daily newspapers – the origin of modern comic art going back to the 1890s – saw giants like Rube Goldberg, Harry Hershfield, and Milt Gross, with millions of devoted readers into the 1930s and 1940s. Often, their characters were also delightfully ‘ethnic’ with the Jewish ‘look’ and language of the immigrant generation, the lively, colorful lower-middle class, malapropisms and all.
Earlier this month, the Guggenheim Museum announced it had received a “a major grant from the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation to support Guggenheim Social Practice, a new initiative committed to exploring the ways in which artists can initiate projects that engage community participants, together with the museum, to foster new forms of public engagement. As part of the initiative, the museum will commission two separate artist projects, one by Marc Bamuthi Joseph and one by Jon Rubin and Lenka Clayton, which will be developed and presented in New York City in 2016 and 2017, respectively.”
The museum curators who conceived and run this initiative join a growing cohort of gatekeepers at institutions and foundations creating programs shaped by the aesthetic and ethic I’ve started to call the Game of Ones. To play it, you create a competition (whether public and visible or private and quiet, the form remains a contest) which richly rewards – with funds and fanfare – a small number of winners from within a large field of practice.
The Guggenheim has chosen three artists who taken as a group deflect some of the criticisms of the category “social practice,” which has accumulated resources in direct proportion to its trendiness. (For a little background, check out “Artification,” a piece I wrote about it a few years ago; the title comes from Rick Lowe’s quip that “social practice is the gentrification of community arts.”)
To counter the accurate charge that most artists who identify with the label are white and disconnected from both ground-level social realities and the movements for social justice that drive community-based collaborative arts projects, the Guggenheim has chosen an African American artist deeply rooted in community-based work (Joseph) and two white artists from Rust Belt Pittsburgh whose work touches on issues such as international conflict (Rubin) and feminism (Clayton).
My concern is not with the artists chosen, nor with their willingness to undertake the selected projects. Congratulations to them! If I were anointed with a “major grant” from the Rothschild Foundation, I’d take the money – wouldn’t you? I’ve got a few books queued up to write and a bank account that reflects a lifelong addiction to social and cultural activism, so if anyone is considering nominating me for the next fellowship or prize, feel free!
The bone I want to pick is with the institutional aims and values that have produced the Game of Ones, a framework that ratifies the social order we sum up nowadays with a phrase: “the one percent.”