venerdì 21 febbraio 2014

mercoledì 19 febbraio 2014

The Gutchrlein Sisters - Eleanor & Karla

Karla and Eleanor Gutchrlein, better known as Sisters G. Born in Germany, their father being a colonel on the Prussian Guards. They were first discoveres by Lincoln Eyre, the American war correspondent, dancing ina atown near Berlin. Since that, their advance has been rapid. Oddly enough, their biggest hits have been scored in Parisian revues. These two star actresses appeared in a numerous musical pictures but they left late in 1930 due to a backlash against musicals after appearing in only two more pictures, which proved to be their last.

mercoledì 12 febbraio 2014

Un voyage musical avec la band Tinariwen

The desert is a place of hardship and subtle beauty, a stark world that reveals its secrets slowly and carefully. Life in the desert is resilient and strong, and the people are gentle giants among the sand, storms, and sun. For saharan blues band Tinariwen, the desert is their home, and their hypnotic and electrifying guitar rock reflects complex realities of their homebase in north west africa.

They are tuareg, descended from nomadic people who have wandered the dunes for millennia, but the music of tinariwen travels too, reverberating far from dusty plains of mali. Their 2011 album tassili, recorded in the algerian desert — in a tent and under the stars with a esteemed cadre of musicians including nels cline and tv on the radio’s tunde adebimpe and kyp malone — won a grammy award for best world music. Now their new record emmaar returns to their roots, delivering stripped-down dirges, effervescent anthems, and above all, a return to simplicity and honesty.

Due to political instability in their country, the band recorded away from their homeland for the first time,
setting up shop in another desert: joshua tree, california. “this is the first time we are recording out of africa it has to be in a desert,” says bassist eyadou ag leche. “we would like to live in peace in the north of mali, but this is very difficult, there is no administration, no banks, no food, no gas. Joshua tree is in the high desert of california, we love all the desert, these are places where we feel good to live and to create.”

Recorded over three weeks in studio built in a house in the region known for spaced-out rock ‘n’ roll and psychedelic cowboy folk, emmaar showcases an organic feel from the rolling hand drums and meandering guitars of album opener “toumast tincha” chants to the galloping beats of the forward-marching “chaghaybou.” “we were not in a proper studio or outside in the desert like tassili,” ag leche says, “we built a studio in a big house in joshua tree. Everybody in the same room, with no separation. We wanted something which sounded natural and live.”..

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mercoledì 5 febbraio 2014

A Tale of Love and Revolution - Burhan Karkutli

Burhan Karkutli, was a Syrian Arab artist with a strong Palestinian and Arab sense of belonging. Born in Damascus in 1932, he studied the art of painting in Cairo, Madrid and Berlin and lived in Syria and Morocco before settling in Germany for the last 30 years of his life. His artistic works were exhibited in several Arab capitals, in many European countries, in some countries in Latin America, and in most cities and towns of Germany. 
Karkutli produced many paintings and had many exhibitions between the late 60s and the early 90s. He moved a lot, carrying his paintings with him from one city to another, exhibiting his works in art halls, universities and schools, in the alleys, streets and on the corners of popular neighbourhoods. He never sought fame; on the contrary, fame was always following him. He was very humane and made sure that he never harmed or hurt anyone even unintentionally. He loved to help others. He was adamant in clinging to his principles at all costs.

Karkutli believed in Palestine and in the right of Palestinians to their homeland - all of it. When the Oslo Accords were declared, he read them and thought deeply about them but was not convinced, and he declared his opposition to them, which cost him a lot. He felt frustrated, which caused him to abandon painting. Following Oslo, Karkutli became a storyteller at popular German theatres. He told people popular Arab stories in German and made them smile. He told them about the many Arab causes, mainly the issue of Palestine, through cynical and symbolic stories he used to invent. He was an interesting speaker to whom one would want to listen for hours.

Karkutli’s paintings were popular and loved all over the Arab world. Palestine was always present in his paintings and works and was the theme and inspiration for most of his works of the 70s and 80s. “Jerusalem is Ours and Victory is Ours" (1975) is probably his most famous painting. His works were among the most important pieces to be shown at exhibitions organised by the Palestinian Artists’ Federation worldwide. Karkutli specialized in graphic art (i.e. painting with black ink in all its variations). He used to colour some of his black and white works with popular primary colours. He made some oil paintings but most of his works were graphic drawings in black and white. 

As he became more experienced in the field of painting, Karkutli tackled topics from popular folklore and portrayed images of  Arab life and in particular Syrian life. In the late sixties, the Palestinian cause became his obsession and main theme, but he did not give up the painting and drawing of popular life in Greater Syria. He loved to paint Arab and Palestinian young girls and women with their beautiful eyes and slender shapely bodies, in addition to the portrayal of popular occasions such as feasts and weddings. He also drew portraits of Arab and Palestinian figures such as Sheikh Izziddin Al-Qassam and Abdul Qader Al-Husseini. He used Arab (and sometimes western) handwriting as an ornamental style in most of his works as an important aesthetic element that distinguished his art and as a means of conveying his message which was in the form of words, verses, poetry, or rhymes.... 

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lunedì 3 febbraio 2014


Yva at work
Else Ernestine Neuländer-Simon (1900-1942) was born in Berlin where she opened her first photo studio in 1925. Yva soon became a popular fashion and portrait photographer and published in many prestigious newspapers and magazines such as Die Dame, Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung and Münchner Illustrierte Presse. At the height of her career, she employed up to ten employees in her studio.

Due to her Jewishness, Yva was prohibited from exercising her profession (Berufsverbot) after the Nazis had seized power in January 1933. Her studio was now officially run by her "arian" friend Charlotte Weidler. In 1936, the later famous photographer Helmut Newton began his apprenticeship in Yva's studio. Two years later, Yva had to finally give up the studio. She then worked as a radiographer in the Jewish Hospital in Berlin. In 1942, Yva and her husband, Alfred Simon, were arrested and deported to the Majdanek concentration camp where they were killed most probably in 1942.