Friday 29 July 2016


"I'm very sad. And, I'm angry, too. But, I don't think it's good to be angry. I really don't know what to say, all I can say is what's inside. I'm Negro, and I respected and loved Dr. Martin Luther King very much. And I know he lived and died for one reason - and I want all of us to be togehter. Not just the black man but the white man and everybody ... whe should walk together."
Diana Ross

The Supremes were starring at the Copacabana in New York City on 4 April 1968 when Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot in Memphis. Diana Ross was "in a deep depression" and felt "a sense of hopelessness". The Supremes cancelled their performances out of respect. The next day, they received an invitation to appear at a special programme of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, a programme dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr.
The group performed Leonard Bernstein's "Somewhere". Instead of delivering a spoken interlude about romance, as Diana Ross usually did in the middle of this song, she talked about King's dream (starts at 1:45 in clip below) and used words from his famous speech "I Have a Dream" (Taraborrelli, 2007).

Photograph: The Supremes at Martin Luther King's funeral

"I felt the pain for Coretta, and I loved her beauty and how regally she held herself. I had marveled at how Jackie Kennedy had conducted herself, too. And I wondered about myself: would I have been able to be as strong, to stand as tall as these women had? I thought about that as I sat at the funeral and later at Dr. King's burial."
Diana Ross

“Yes, there's a place for each of us, Where love is like a passion, burning like a fire. Let our efforts be as determined as that of Dr. Martin Luther King, who had a dream that all God's children, Black men, white men, Jews, Gentiles, Protestants, and Catholics, could join hands and sing that spiritual of all: "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we are free at last!"
Diana Ross

::: Diana Ross sings "Somewhere" live in London, 1973: LISTEN/WATCH
::: Tom Waits sings "Somewhere": LISTEN/WATCH (unofficial clip)
::: Shirley Bassey sings "Somewhere", 1973: LISTEN
::: Aretha Franklin and Hugh Jackman sing "Somewhere": LISTEN/WATCH
::: Julie Andrews sings "Somewhere": LISTEN/WATCH
::: Pet Shop Boys sing "Somewhere": LISTEN/WATCH
::: Barbra Streisand sings "Somewhere": LISTEN/WATCH

Somewhere (West Side Story)

There's a place for us,
Somewhere a place for us.
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us

There's a time for us,
Some day a time for us,
Time together with time to spare,
Time to learn, time to care,
Some day!

We'll find a new way of living,
We'll find a way of forgiving
Somewhere . . .

There's a place for us,
A time and place for us.
Hold my hand and we're halfway there.
Hold my hand and I'll take you there
Some day,

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Related posting:
-  Quoting Diana Ross
-  "I'm so happy that you didn't sneeze."

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- Taraborrelli, J. R. (2007). Diana Ross. A Biography. Citadel
- photograph via

Wednesday 27 July 2016

The day Nina Simone's skin grew a little more black

Nina Simone, born Eunice Waymon, had her first town recital when she was eleven years old. Her parents came to watch their daughter play. They had, in fact, been there rather early to make sure that they did not miss her recital and sat in the front row .... only to be asked to give up their front row seats to a white family. Little Eunice at the piano stood up and refused to play.
It was her first concert and it was the very day she became aware of racism for the first time. To her it was like "switching on a light". Her parents were allowed to keep their seats but it was too late to make them stop feeling embarrassed. Eunice Waymon felt "cut raw" yet "the skin grew back again a little tougher, a little less innocent, and a little more black." (Loudermil, 2013)

Related posting: Nina Simone

More Nina Simone:
::: Stars & Feelings (Montreaux 1976 Jazz Festival): WATCH/LISTEN
::: Sinner Man (Montreaux 1976 Jazz Festival): WATCH/LISTEN

- Fluch, K. (2016) Das Tremolo des Widerstands. Gerechter Zorn, ewige Kunst: Das Boxset "Nina Simone. The Philips Years", Der Standard, 23. Juli 2016, S. 20
- Loudermilk, A. (2013) Nina Simone & the Civil Rights Movement: Protest at Her Piano, Audience at her Feet. Journal of International Women#s Studies, 14(3), 121-136.
- photographs via and via and via

Monday 25 July 2016

The Death of Emmett Till

"Have you ever sent a loved son on vacation, and had him returned to you in a pine box, so horribly battered and water-logged that someone needs to tell you this sickening sight is your son, lynched?"
Mamie Till

"Two months ago I had a nice apartment in Chicago. I had a good job. I had a son. When something happened to the Negroes in the South I said, 'That's their business, not mine.' Now I know how wrong I was. The murder of my son has shown me that what happens to any of us, anywhere in the world, had better be the business of us all."
Mamie Till

Photograph: Emmett Till's mother, "Mamie Till Mobley collapses when her son Emmett’s body arrives at the old Illinois Central Railroad station after his murder by racists in Mississippi. On her left, with the white collar, is Alva Doris Roberts’ husband, Bishop Isaiah L. Roberts, who presided over the funeral. On the right, also dressed in clerical black, is Bishop Louis Henry Ford, who did the youth’s eulogy. An Illinois freeway is named after Bishop Ford" (via).

Photograph: Mamie Till Mobley at her son's funeral on 6 September 1955 in Chicago.

"He was a black skin boy
So he was born to die"
Bob Dylan

The Death of Emmett Till, written by Bob Dylan
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::: Listen to the song (starts after short documentary at 1:54): LISTEN
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Twas down in Mississippi not so long ago
When a young boy from Chicago town stepped through a Southern door
This boy’s dreadful tragedy I can still remember well
The color of his skin was black and his name was Emmett Till

Some men they dragged him to a barn and there they beat him up
They said they had a reason, but I can’t remember what
They tortured him and did some things too evil to repeat
There were screaming sounds inside the barn, there was laughing sounds
out on the street

Then they rolled his body down a gulf amidst a bloody red rain
And they threw him in the waters wide to cease his screaming pain
The reason that they killed him there, and I’m sure it ain’t no lie
Was just for the fun of killin’ him and to watch him slowly die

And then to stop the United States of yelling for a trial
Two brothers they confessed that they had killed poor Emmett Till
But on the jury there were men who helped the brothers commit this
awful crime
And so this trial was a mockery, but nobody seemed to mind

I saw the morning papers but I could not bear to see
The smiling brothers walkin’ down the courthouse stairs
For the jury found them innocent and the brothers they went free
While Emmett’s body floats the foam of a Jim Crow southern sea

If you can’t speak out against this kind of thing, a crime that’s so unjust
Your eyes are filled with dead men’s dirt, your mind is filled with dust
Your arms and legs they must be in shackles and chains, and your blood
it must refuse to flow
For you let this human race fall down so God-awful low!

This song is just a reminder to remind your fellow man
That this kind of thing still lives today in that ghost-robed Ku Klux Klan
But if all of us folks that thinks alike, if we gave all we could give
We could make this great land of ours a greater place to live

Photograph: Thousands of people mourning at Emmett's funeral

In his song, Bob Dylan tells the story of Emmett Till's short life and mentions that there are "things too evil to repeat". Here are a few more facts including those that are too evil to repeat.
Emmett Louis Till, who would celebrate his birthday today, was born on 25 July 1941 in Chicago. On 21 August 1955, when he was fourteen years old, he went to Money in rural Mississippi to spend the summer with relatives. He stayed with his great-uncle Moses Wright.  Emmett had been warned by his mother that the South was different and that his behaviour tolerated in the North could lead to violent reactions in the South. On 24 August, Emmett Till went to a grocery store. What exactly "happened" there nobody knows for sure as accounts vary. The most likely version probably is that the teenager whistled at the store's cashier, Carolyn Bryant - a white woman. In the early hours of 28 August (at about 2 a.m.), Roy Bryant (the cashier's husband) and his half brother J. W. Milam forced their way into Moses Wright's house with a .45 Colt automatic pistol and kidnapped Emmett Till. They brutally beat him, shot him, then threw his corpse into the river.
Emmett's great-uncle reported the kidnapping and Bryant and Milam were arrested the following day. On 31 August, the boy's corpse was discovered, with an unrecognisable face. Emmett's mother had given him a monogrammed ring that had once belonged to his father. It was the ring that made positive identification possible.
The sheriff, as Emmett's mother Mamie Till Mobley recalled, wanted an immediate burial as he knew it would not be good for the state of Mississippi to see what had happened to the 14-year old child. And the only way was "to get him out of sight". The family was told to come to the church where everything had already been prepared, including Emmett's grave. Mamie Till Mobley, however, demanded the return of her son's body. On 2 September, his remains arrived in Chicago. When the box arrived, Mamie Till Mobley collapsed. As she said that was only the beginning and the size of the box was "the easy part" compared to what followed.
"When I discovered that the box could not be opened then I wondered 'What on earth in the world is going on?' (...) How do I know what's in the box?" Mamie Till Mobley
The funeral director was prohibited from opening the box. Mamie Till Mobley was determined to open it, asked for a hammer and finally got help. She was told to go home, to relax a little bit and return when she was called. When she got back to the funeral home, she said: "about three blocks away an odour met me that nearly knocked me out". It was the odour of a body that had been in the river for days. And then she saw her lynched son for the first time; beaten, mutilated, shot, his head cut in half with an axe, ... She wanted his casket open, wanted to show the brutality to the tens of thousands who attended the funeral. The horrible photographs appeared in magazines (and can also be seen online).
Then the trial of his killers began, on 9 September. There were jars everywhere in the town of Sumner to collect money for the defence of the two men accused of murder. The all-white-all-male jury acquitted Bryant and Milam after a little more than an hour of deliberation. In fact, it only took an hour because they wanted to be correct about the way they delivered the answer. The answer was a foregone conclusion. As the foreman of the jury said: "It wouldn't have us taken that long but they told us to make it look good." So the jury had some soda and beer, waited a little while and came back with the verdict.
"In this category were the defense lawyers, who, concededly [sic.], are honorable men. Only one of the five, in preparing the defense, dared ask Milam if he had, in fact, killed the young Negro. Milam cleared his throat to speak, but the lawyer, on second thought, stopped him.
The attorneys preferred, as was their legal right, to conduct the defense and erect smoke screens about the “forefathers” and the “Southern way of life” and to attack the “identification of the corpus delicti” without having asked their clients for the facts.
One lawyer told me: “No, I didn’t question them. I guess I assumed they’d killed him; but my wife was worried, and every night after we turned out the light, she had been asking me if they were guilty and I had been telling her no. So I figured the less I really knew the better.”
That was the figuring of most of the literate Southerners who defended Milam and Bryant and “Mississippi.” They preferred to “defend”–to “beat off their enemies”–without determining the truth." William Bradford Huie, Look 22 (January 1957)
A few months later, January 1956: Milam (who could "handle Negroes better than anybody in the country") and Bryant were offered money for an interview; the article was published in the Look magazine. But it was not just an interview, it was a confession. Knowing about the protection from further prosecution by double jeopardy statues, they were honest which also meant not showing the slightest hint of remorse. Milam's brother Leslie, by the way, made a deathbed confession and admitted his own involvement. Emmett Till had been lynched for whistling at a woman, for not being afraid of Milam, for claiming that he had had white women. In the years before Emmett had arrived in Mississippi, about 500 black men had been lynched; mostly for having been associated with white women (via and via and via and via).  Here an excerpt from the interview:
Milam: "Well, what else could we do? He was hopeless. I'm no bully; I never hurt a nigger in my life. I like niggers -- in their place -- I know how to work 'em. But I just decided it was time a few people got put on notice. As long as I live and can do anything about it, niggers are gonna stay in their place. Niggers ain't gonna vote where I live. If they did, they'd control the government. They ain't gonna go to school with my kids. And when a nigger gets close to mentioning sex with a white woman, he's tired o' livin'. I'm likely to kill him. Me and my folks fought for this country, and we got some rights. I stood there in that shed and listened to that nigger throw that poison at me, and I just made up my mind. 'Chicago boy,' I said, 'I'm tired of 'em sending your kind down here to stir up trouble. Goddam you, I'm going to make an example of you -- just so everybody can know how me and my folks stand.'"
::: The complete "Killers' Confession in Look" (1956): READ

Milam and Bryant led miserable lives after the confession (both of them lost two sons each at about the same age as Emmett, both had financial problems; blacks would no longer work for Milam and he had to employ white men at higher pay, could not rent land as landowners declined to do so, was refused a loan by the Bank of Charleston and Bryant had trouble getting a job after closing his shop) (via). Emmett Till's murder acted as a spark for the early Civil Rights Movement and was said to have changed the world (via). Bryant died in 1994, Milam in 1980. Emmett's mother Mamie Till passed away in January 2003, in 2004 the case was reopened by the FBI. In 2009, the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation was founded to honour her legacy and preserve the memory of her son.
"Milam and Bryant will not be tried again; but as landless white men in the Mississippi Delta, and bearing the mark of Cain, they will come to regard the dark morning of August 28, 1955, as the most unfortunate of their lives." William Bradford Huie, 1957, one year after publishing the "killers' confession" in Look
One month before she passed away, Mamie Till talked about not hating Milam and Bryant despite everything.
"It seemed like someone took a giant eraser and my mind had become a chalkboard. And everything, all memories of Mr Milam and Mr Bryant were erased from my thoughts. (...) I can say that for 47 years I have not wasted any time hating Milam and Bryant." Mamie Till , 2002

- The Untold Story of Emmett Luis Till, documentary by Keith Beauchamp, 2005: WATCH
- The Murder of Emmett Till, documentary: WATCH
- Mamie Till talks about not hating Milam and Bryant, December 2002: WATCH
- Bob Dylan's amazing "The Death of Emmett Till", 1962 Freewheelin' Outtake: LISTEN
- The Ghosts of Emmett Till, The New York Times Magazine: READ
- Simon Wright, Emmett Till's cousin, recalls the events surrounding Emmett's murder and talks about how his cousin's casket went to the Smithsonian: READ

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photographs via and via and via and via and via

Friday 22 July 2016

They say refugee. We say talent.

They say refugee. We say talent, dreams, dignity, integration, pride, skills, independence, hope, network, stability, motivation, friendship, trust, opportunity, future.

Action Emploi Réfugiés is a job platform to connect refugees and employers (more).

Wednesday 20 July 2016

The Writers Lab

Meryl Streep, together with New York Women in Film and Television and other female filmmakers, helped fund a screenwriting lab for female writers over 40 to bring in more diverse writers and more female roles on screen (via). As figures clearly show, age discrimination in Hollywood (and not only there) is worse for women and things do not seem to get better.

"The Writers Lab is dedicated to developing narrative feature screenplays written by women over the age of 40. We feel it is critical to nurture the voices of mature women that have not been heard and are in danger of being lost entirely. We look forward to a new landscape where the female narrative is in equal proportion to the male narrative, sharing our stories to strengthen our ties to one another and empower younger generations." The Writers Lab
During the 2013-14 TV season, women composed 29% of employed TV writers, a decline from 30.5% in the 2011-12 season. Of the top 250 US-films, only 10% are female screenwriters. When women are not represented behind the scene, they are not represented on screen, or - if they are - often in limited stereotypical ways. Women over 40, for instance, are almost non-existent or "often stale stereotypes". According to director and casting director Risa Bramon Garcia, "The problem happens when writers and producers don't see women as being sexual after 40 - by sexual I mean complex human beings who are attractive and appealing, vital and powerful, in their 40s and 50s and beyond." (via).


According to a study conducted by the Writers Guild of America, West, "(w)omen and minorites have actually lost ground as compared to their white male counterparts". Minority writers saw a 7% decline, employment of female writers fell 5%. Concerning writers in general, no matter which gender, the study came to the conclusion:
“Although writers over 40 continued to claim a majority of all staff writer positions, data from the most recent TV season show that their employment prospects drop dramatically after age 50. Such stark statistics continue to illustrate that the entertainment industry remains a glaringly unlevel playing field.” (via)
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photographs of Meryl Streep via and via and via

Monday 18 July 2016

Quoting Sidney Poitier

"There are many aspects of my personality that you can explore very constructively. But you sit here and ask me such one-dimensional questions about a very tiny area of our lives. You ask me questions that fall continually within the Negroness of my life. I am artist, man, American, contemporary. I am an awful lot of things, so I wish you would pay me the respect due."
Sidney Poitier

"I lived in a country where I couldn't live where I wanted to live. I lived in a country where I couldn't go where I wanted to eat. I lived in a country where I couldn't get a job, except for those put aside for people of my colour or caste."
Sidney Poitier

"I never had an occasion to question color, therefore, I only saw myself as what I was... a human being."
Sidney Poitier

"I was the only Black person on the set. It was unusual for me to be in a circumstance in which every move I made was tantamount to representation of 18 million people."
Sidney Poitier

"I was fortunate enough to have been raised to a certain point before I got into the race thing. I had other views of what a human is, so I was never able to see racism as the big question. Racism was horrendous, but there were other aspects to life."
Sidney Poitier

"The impact of the black audience is expressing itself. They look to films to be more expressive of their needs, their lives. Hollywood has gotten that message - finally."
Sidney Poitier

"I knew what it was to be uncomfortable in a movie theater watching unfolding on the screen images of myself - not me, but black people - that were uncomfortable."
Sidney Poitier

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photograph via

Friday 15 July 2016

We're the Superhumans

Channel 4 has done it again: a most impressive contribution to inclusion. Four years ago the British broadcaster covered the Paralympic Games very extensively, was lauded and won the Bafta award. And this year: "Channel 4 is proud to present this three-minute trailer: We're the Superhumans. BSL and Subtitled, and Audio Described versions are also available on the episode page." (MORE)

“All of us who were lucky enough to be involved four years ago felt it was the most amazing experience of our careers. It was a wondrous thing, 2012, so the idea of doing it again was an enormous amount of ecstasy for us, but then a tiny smidgen of agony that we’d have to make it better than last time.”
Dan Brooke

“As a self-funded public service broadcaster, we’ve got a remit here to try and change society’s attitudes and lead by example. The dictionary definition for ‘disabled’ is very negative and limiting. We wanted to change that and turn it into an extraordinary thing.”
Dan Brooke

Wednesday 13 July 2016

Breast Cancer & Gender

"Although it happens more rarely in men, breast cancer is not gender-specific. I was in Costa Rica, and in the shower I felt this lump under my left nipple. It was very small, mind you, but enough to make me call my doctor."
Richard Roundtree

There are a many perfectly designed, viral going campaigns to raise awareness for breast cancer. What they all do have in common is ... they exclusively target women. In men, breast cancer is rare, but it is there. In the UK, for instance, each year around 50.000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women compared with 350 in men (via). As it is a rare situation, most studies are very small (via). In addition, getting support can be more difficult for men with breast cancer (via). The American Cancer Society estimates that about 440 men will die from breast cancer in 2016 (via).
"Breast cancer in men is a rare disease. Less than 1% of all breast cancers occur in men. In 2016, about 2,600 men are expected to be diagnosed with the disease. For men, the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000." Breast Cancer
"Because so many cases of breast cancer occur in women and it is very rare in men, a lot of the information is directed towards women. But much of the information that men with breast cancer need is the same."
Cancer Research UK
::: More information: Cancer Research UK & Breast Cancer

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photograph via

Monday 11 July 2016

The Female Robot

'1923, from English translation of 1920 play "R.U.R." ("Rossum's Universal Robots"), by Karel Capek (1890-1938), from Czech robotnik "forced worker," from robota "forced labor, compulsory service, drudgery," from robotiti "to work, drudge," from an Old Czech source akin to Old Church Slavonic rabota "servitude," from rabu "slave," from Old Slavic *orbu-, from PIE *orbh- "pass from one status to another" (...). The Slavic word thus is a cousin to German Arbeit "work" (Old High German arabeit). According to Rawson the word was popularized by Karel Capek's play, "but was coined by his brother Josef (the two often collaborated), who used it initially in a short story."'
Online Etymology Dictionary

Robots do not necessarily need to have a gender. Nevertheless, they are usually gendered. In fact, when there are no gender cues at all, people tend to assume the robot is male (via). NASA, for instance, designed Robonaut, a gender-neutral robotic astronaut assistant. Despite lacking gender clues, people assigned a gender to the robot, i.e., 99% male. And the robot's perceived gender can change how a person interacts with it/her/him (via). Disembodied voices are mostly female while "something fully humanoid", a more sophisticated robot is usually male. "And when humanoid robots are female, they tend to be modeled after attractive, subservient young women (via). If - hypothetically speaking - there is a link between how "fembots" and real women are treated, then "the technology we're creating says an uncomfortable amount about the way society understands both women and work" (via).

“Tay is designed to engage and entertain people where they connect with each other online through casual and playful conversation. The more you chat with Tay the smarter she gets.” Microsoft
In March 2016, Microsoft launched "Tay" on Twitter, an artificial intelligence chatterbot. Within 16 hours, Tay caused controversy releasing highly racist and sexually-charged messages in response to Twitter users. As The Guardian put it, Tay got "a crash course in racism from Twitter". In most cases it was only repeating other users' inflammatory statements; at the same time it was learning from these interactions (via). Twitter seems to be the perfect "learning" environment: 88% of abusive social media mentions occur on Twitter (via), 10.000 racist tweets (although not all slurs are said to have been used in a derogatory way) are sent every day (via). Add sexist tweets and the number gets even higher.
"As many of you know by now, on Wednesday we launched a chatbot called Tay. We are deeply sorry for the unintended offensive and hurtful tweets from Tay, which do not represent who we are or what we stand for, nor how we designed Tay. Tay is now offline and we’ll look to bring Tay back only when we are confident we can better anticipate malicious intent that conflicts with our principles and values." Microsoft

"Siri behaves much like a retrograde male fantasy of the ever-compliant secretary: discreet, understanding, willing to roll with any demand a man might come up with, teasingly accepting of dirty jokes." Amanda Marcotte
Xiaoice, Cortana, Alexa, Siri, Google Now, ... There are many more examples leading to the question if tech firms - companies with an overwhelmingly male workforce (Microsoft: 83%, Google 82%) - are obsessed with female digital servants (via).
"Right now, as we’re anticipating the creation of AIs to serve our intimate needs, organise our diaries and care for us, and to do it all for free and without complaint, it’s easy to see how many designers might be more comfortable with those entities having the voices and faces of women. If they were designed male, users might be tempted to treat them as equals, to acknowledge them as human in some way, perhaps even offer them an entry-level salary and a cheeky drink after work." Laurie Penny

"In the not-too-distant future, robots will be social beings upon which we can heap all kinds of preexisting social constructs. Already, robots are helping with tasks like caring for the elderly and teaching—both fields traditionally associated with women. Research on human-robot interactions is revealing that gender plays a big role in how people perceive, communicate with, and treat robots, much like it does with humans. And a lot of what we’re bringing over to our technological companions of the future is old, tired stereotypes." Laura Dattaro
"The creators of robots, then, have both a fantastic opportunity and a very real responsibility to consider what gender means as they design the machines that are becoming increasingly present in our hospitals, our schools, our homes, and our public spaces at large. Some researchers suggest gender stereotypes could be beneficial for robot interfacing, by, for example, capitalizing on our tendency to be more comfortable with women as caretakers. More feminine home health care robots could put patients at ease. But that might be a dangerous path, one that’s antithetic to the decades of ongoing work to bring women into fields like business, politics, and particularly science and technology. If robots with a feminine appearance are built only when someone wants a sexbot or an in-home maid—leaving masculine robots with all the heavy lifting—what does that say to the flesh-and-blood humans who work with them?" Laura Dattaro
Interesting read:
::: Artificial Intelligence's White Guy Problem, The New York Times: LINK
::: Ex Machina and sci-fi's obsession with sexy female robots, The Guardian: LINK
"Consider the climactic scene in Ex Machina, where the megalomaniac cartoon genius Nathan, who roars around the set like Dark Mark Zuckerberg in Bluebeard’s castle, is shown hoarding the naked bodies of previous fembot models in bedroom. For Nathan, the sentience of his sex-slaves is beside the point: meat or metal, women will never be fully human. For the fembots, the men who own them – whether it’s mad billionaire Nathan or sweet, hapless desk-jockey Caleb – are obstacles to be overcome, with violence if necessary." Laurie Penny

photographs (Dr. Who's Daleks) via

Thursday 7 July 2016

Batman vs. Reality

"Because no child should be part of war. Ever."
War Child Holland

War Child is a non-governmental organisation that was founded in the UK in 1993. Soon afterwards, War Child organisations followed in Canada and the Netherlands. War Child Holland was founded in 1994 by Dutch peace activist Willemijn Verloop after she had visited the war zone of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The organisation focuses on the psychosocial needs of children who have suffered from war or armed conflict (via).*

"Fantasie is vaak de enige manier om te ontsnappen aan de realiteit."

Wednesday 6 July 2016

Three years. Time for the blue bird to visit.

Three years, 447 postings, 5121 subscribers, many many beautiful comments and just a few trolls or attempts to sell products for fast muscle gain on the comments section. Thank you so(!) much for passing by, for subscribing and - most of all - for your wonderful feedback, for sharing your thoughts. I do appreciate every single comment. Thank you. Danke. Grazie.

Photograph (c) Paperwalker

Tuesday 5 July 2016

Narrative images: Justin & Bassel

Justin Trudeau, the prime minister every diversity specialist dreams of, marched in a pride parade that took place in Toronto last Sunday, 3rd of July. The composition and Trudeau's expression on this photograph would suffice to call it a "one million dollar photo". But there is another, an additional aspect that makes it so beautiful. Next to Trudeau (front right, wearing baseball cap) is Bassel Mcleash, a 29-year-old Syrian refugee who had arrived in Toronto this May through a programme for LGBT Syrians.

“Just the idea of attending a pride parade was a dream. To march in it was like an extreme dream. But to march in the parade next to the prime minister – not in my wildest dreams would I ever have thought about having a day like this.”
Bassel Mcleash

Mcleash had hoped to be able to see Trudeau at least from a distance and if possible to thank him: "I wanted to tell him thank you, that I'm Syrian, I arrived here a month ago." He found himself walking the entire parade route next to the Canadian prime minister. Halfway through the route, Mcleash thanked Trudeau for opening the doors to tens of thousands of refugees. “He told me that Canadians were the ones who asked him to take in refugees. I literally wanted to cry. I was barely able to contain myself.” (via)

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photograph by Mark Blinch/AP via

Monday 4 July 2016

Love America.

"To love America is to love all Americans. John Cena takes a break between dropping body slams to drop some truth – that patriotism is more than pride of country, it’s love beyond labels." (via)