Monday, 19 July 2021
Tuesday, 6 July 2021
An "interesting" year has passed. Many people suffered from the symptoms of the virus, many died, many got insane and turned to conspiracy theories ... the pandemic was launched by Asians, by gays, by the Jewish, by non-Christians, by foreigners, lizards are coming ... When beds become scarce, we are willing to sacrfice the old, the disabled as if it were the most natural thing and no discussion follows. Half of the people lost forever were in retirement homes. Surely more could have been done to prevent their deaths but societies couldn't care less. Because age is not part of the diversity discussion. And if people die in other countries, it is because these "others" don't have such an advanced health system as "we" do.
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photograph (c) by MLM
Sunday, 4 July 2021
Manuel Gräfe is planning to sue the German Football Association for age discrimination. When he turned 47 in the last season, he was no longer allowed to continue to work as a referee despite being in shape, good performances and enjoying his job. Gräfe points out that the German Football Associaton states to stand up for diversity and to fight racism and discrimination but is at the same time keeping up the age limit.
In the Netherlands, the age limit was abolished about twenty years ago (via), FIFA announced to eliminate age limits for international referees in 2014 (via and via), the Scottish Football Association made the announcement in 2012 (via).
"We have seen examples elsewhere of match officials maintaining standards beyond the previous cut-off of 47 and it will be a major benefit to us in Scotland." John Fleming, SFA's head of referee development
"The retirement age of a referee was 48 back in 2000, but today, luckily, we don't have an age limit." Mike Dean, Premier League referee
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photograph (PA Archive/Press Association Ima), 1963 via
Friday, 2 July 2021
photograph by Gil Rigoulet via
Wednesday, 30 June 2021
Paul McVeigh, Belfast-born writer
"Photographer Toby Binder has been documenting the daily life of teenagers in British working-class communities for more than a decade. After the Brexit referendum he focused his work on Belfast in Northern Ireland. There is a serious concern that Brexit will threaten the Peace Agreement of 1998 that ended the armed conflict between Protestant Unionists and Catholic Nationalists who live in homogeneous neighborhoods that are divided by walls till today. Old conflicts may recur, compromising the youth’s future prospects on both communities. Nevertheless, being underage, most teenagers were not allowed to vote in the referendum. Problems they struggle with are similar – no matter which side of the “Peace Walls” they live on. And whatever the effects of Brexit will be, it‘s very likely that they will strike especially young people from both communities." (via)
photographs by Toby Binder via
Tuesday, 29 June 2021
Sunday, 27 June 2021
A family with just sons is considered unlucky, because only daughters can assure the continuity of a clan. The succession after maternal line guarantees girls and women in Meghalaya a unique economic and social independence compared to general indian conditions.
To disrespect a woman in the Khasi culture means to harm the society.
Between 2013 and 2015 I spent ten months in the khasivillage of Mawlynnong in north-east India, a village of just 95 dwellings. In this series I concentrate on the girls themselves in contextualizing them in their everyday physical environment through a sensitive balance between documentation and composition."
Saturday, 26 June 2021
This essay questions this assumption, arguing that the camera's gaze doesn't necessarily identify the old as confused and in decline. Close readings of photographic images and series demonstrate how photographers like Avedon or Sheikh have created less constricting, more flexible representations of the old that transcend the problematic nature of the normative gaze. (Ribbat, 2011)
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- Ribbat, C. (2011). "Out of it?" Old Age and Photographic Portraiture. Amerikastudien/American Studies, 56(1), 67-84.
- photograph by Gil Rigoulet (1970s) via
Friday, 25 June 2021
According to "Save the Children" estimations, every day, about 300 babies die worldwide due to the effects of war, including indirect effects such as hunger, denial of aid, poor sanitation. In 2017, 420 million children were living in conflict zones (via and via).
In the past ten years, in Syria alone, one child was injured or killed every eight hours, in other words, 12.000 since 2011 (via). The countries hit the hardest are Afghanistan, Yemen, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria, and Somalia. Often, children who survive are targetet to become children soldiers or suicide bombers (via). This year, more than two million Yemeni children are expected to suffer extreme malnutrition, 400.000 of them are likely to starve to death (via).
Thursday, 24 June 2021
Macnamara justified British superiority over Germans by pointing out the heritage of ethnic mixture: so-called Teutonic (Nordic), Iberian (Mediterranean), Mongolian (Alpine) qualities, a mix that made sure the Anglo-Saxons were flexible and avoided any religious or socio-political extremism ... things that might be difficult to achieve by the pure Teuton, he said (Bertolette, 2004). Here some stereotypical features of the "Iberian", "Mongoloid", and "Teutonic"..
Iberian: chivalrous, courteous, patriotic, impulsive, ostentatious, proud, musical, cruel, passionate, revengeful, unreliable
Mongoloid: religious, peace-loving, imaginative, sensitive, artistic, hosptable, indolent, unstable, lacking individuality
Teutonic: self-reliant, self-respecting, reliable, patriotic, ordely, freedom-loving, laborious, slow, persevering, courageous, warlike, enterprising, domineering- - - - - - - - -
- Bertolette, W. F. (2004). German stereotypes in British magazines prior to World War I. Master's Thesis: Louisiana State University, link
- Macnamara, N. C. (1900). Origin and Character of the British People. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- photograph by Tony Ray-Jones (May Day celebrations, 1967) via
Wednesday, 23 June 2021
Tuesday, 22 June 2021
A decade after Enoch Powell's speech on immigration, in anticipation of its anniversary, the Sunday Times Magazine commissioned British photographer Chris Steele-Perkins to travel to Wolverhampton to capture the effects of Powell's words on ethnic minorities (via).
"I sensed that people would rather not talk about it. It was a nasty stain, but they wanted to move on. This [the series] happened ten years after Powell, but this stuff doesn’t wash out that quickly." Chris Steele-Perkins
In the 1950s, Wolverhampton's economic growth was booming needing more workforce. Newspapers published stories stating that Britain's boom could only be maintained by attracting recruits from abroad, i.e. the "Continent", Ireland, and the colonies. Commonwealth immigration was encouraged by the governement, however, it was unprepared for the number of people seeking employment in the factories which led to tensions between native residents and immigrant newcomers. The immigrant population (mostly West-Indian and South-Asian) was blamed for lowering wages and taking jobs. In the context of this tension, Enoch Powell, then Conservative MP for Wolverhampton, gave a controversial anti-immigration speech (via).
“It wasn’t a surprise. Powell was on the right of the Tory party, and he had been banging on about immigration before. It was just that this was the most extreme version of this kind of prejudice that he had come out with.” Chris Steele-Perkins
When Steele-Perkins visited Wolverhampton, he found a city different from the rest of Britain, immigrants who were alienated and given second-hand opportunities (via).
"I am essentially aware of it, as I am not part of the mainstream group. I have a Burmese mother and an English father, and I wasn't born in this country. I can't pretend it's something that happens to other people and is not connected with me." Chris Steele-Perkins
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Enoch Powell's "Rivers of Blood" speech, excerpts (1968)(...) A week or two ago I fell into conversation with a constituent, a middle-aged, quite ordinary working man employed in one of our nationalised industries.
After a sentence or two about the weather, he suddenly said: "If I had the money to go, I wouldn't stay in this country." I made some deprecatory reply to the effect that even this government wouldn't last for ever; but he took no notice, and continued: "I have three children, all of them been through grammar school and two of them married now, with family. I shan't be satisfied till I have seen them all settled overseas. In this country in 15 or 20 years' time the black man will have the whip hand over the white man."
I can already hear the chorus of execration. How dare I say such a horrible thing? How dare I stir up trouble and inflame feelings by repeating such a conversation?
The answer is that I do not have the right not to do so. Here is a decent, ordinary fellow Englishman, who in broad daylight in my own town says to me, his Member of Parliament, that his country will not be worth living in for his children.
I simply do not have the right to shrug my shoulders and think about something else. What he is saying, thousands and hundreds of thousands are saying and thinking - not throughout Great Britain, perhaps, but in the areas that are already undergoing the total transformation to which there is no parallel in a thousand years of English history.
In 15 or 20 years, on present trends, there will be in this country three and a half million Commonwealth immigrants and their descendants. That is not my figure. That is the official figure given to parliament by the spokesman of the Registrar General's Office.
There is no comparable official figure for the year 2000, but it must be in the region of five to seven million, approximately one-tenth of the whole population, and approaching that of Greater London. (...) Whole areas, towns and parts of towns across England will be occupied by sections of the immigrant and immigrant-descended population. (...)
The natural and rational first question with a nation confronted by such a prospect is to ask: "How can its dimensions be reduced?" (...)
The answers to the simple and rational question are equally simple and rational: by stopping, or virtually stopping, further inflow, and by promoting the maximum outflow. Both answers are part of the official policy of the Conservative Party.
It almost passes belief that at this moment 20 or 30 additional immigrant children are arriving from overseas in Wolverhampton alone every week - and that means 15 or 20 additional families a decade or two hence. Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. We must be mad, literally mad, as a nation to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependants, who are for the most part the material of the future growth of the immigrant-descended population. It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre. So insane are we that we actually permit unmarried persons to immigrate for the purpose of founding a family with spouses and fiancés whom they have never seen. (...)
Nothing is more misleading than comparison between the Commonwealth immigrant in Britain and the American Negro. The Negro population of the United States, which was already in existence before the United States became a nation, started literally as slaves and were later given the franchise and other rights of citizenship, to the exercise of which they have only gradually and still incompletely come. The Commonwealth immigrant came to Britain as a full citizen, to a country which knew no discrimination between one citizen and another, and he entered instantly into the possession of the rights of every citizen, from the vote to free treatment under the National Health Service.
(...) The sense of being a persecuted minority which is growing among ordinary English people in the areas of the country which are affected is something that those without direct experience can hardly imagine.
I am going to allow just one of those hundreds of people to speak for me:
“Eight years ago in a respectable street in Wolverhampton a house was sold to a Negro. Now only one white (a woman old-age pensioner) lives there. This is her story. She lost her husband and both her sons in the war. So she turned her seven-roomed house, her only asset, into a boarding house. She worked hard and did well, paid off her mortgage and began to put something by for her old age. Then the immigrants moved in. With growing fear, she saw one house after another taken over. The quiet street became a place of noise and confusion. Regretfully, her white tenants moved out.
“The day after the last one left, she was awakened at 7am by two Negroes who wanted to use her 'phone to contact their employer. When she refused, as she would have refused any stranger at such an hour, she was abused and feared she would have been attacked but for the chain on her door. Immigrant families have tried to rent rooms in her house, but she always refused. Her little store of money went, and after paying rates, she has less than £2 per week. “She went to apply for a rate reduction and was seen by a young girl, who on hearing she had a seven-roomed house, suggested she should let part of it. When she said the only people she could get were Negroes, the girl said, "Racial prejudice won't get you anywhere in this country." So she went home.
“The telephone is her lifeline. Her family pay the bill, and help her out as best they can. Immigrants have offered to buy her house - at a price which the prospective landlord would be able to recover from his tenants in weeks, or at most a few months. She is becoming afraid to go out. Windows are broken. She finds excreta pushed through her letter box. When she goes to the shops, she is followed by children, charming, wide-grinning piccaninnies. They cannot speak English, but one word they know. "Racialist," they chant. When the new Race Relations Bill is passed, this woman is convinced she will go to prison. And is she so wrong? I begin to wonder.” The other dangerous delusion from which those who are wilfully or otherwise blind to realities suffer, is summed up in the word "integration." To be integrated into a population means to become for all practical purposes indistinguishable from its other members. (...)
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photograph by Magnum photographer Chris-Steele Perkins via
Monday, 21 June 2021
On 15th of September 1963, the Ku Klux Klan bombed a church killing four girls aged 11 to 14 (Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole obertson, Cynthia Wesley) and injuring many more.
::: Birmingham Sunday: LISTEN/WATCH
Saturday, 19 June 2021
"Brazzaville and Kinshasa are on opposite banks of the Congo River, almost directly across from one another, yet they have different styles. In Brazzaville, La Sape is mainly 'French style' (think exquisite suits), but in Kinshasa anything goes, from Japanese Yamamoto coats to Scottish kilts. True Sapologie is about more than expensive labels: the true art lies in a sapeur's ability to put together an elegant look unique to their personality...
Tuesday, 15 June 2021
...The first to go underground with miners in South Africa, to photograph in colour racial segregation in America. The first, above all, not to hide from the camera, becoming in her turn the subject of a reportage documenting, under the powerful and tender gaze of her colleague Alfred Eisenstaedt, her battle with Parkinson's disease, which would leave her immobile and lead to her death. In those moments, Margaret, who was renowned for her elegance and innate dress sense, was not afraid to show herself, old and frightened, in all her vulnerability."
"This was the first I heard the words I was to hear repeated thousands of times: "We didn’t know. We didn’t know." But they did know. I saw and photographed the piles of naked, lifeless bodies, the human skeletons in furnaces, the living skeletons who would die the next day because they had had to wait too long for deliverance. Buchenwald was more than the mind could grasp. People often ask me how it is possible to photograph such atrocities. I have to work with a veil over my mind. In photographing the murder camps, the protective veil was so tightly drawn that I hardly knew what I had taken until I saw prints of my own photographs. It was as though I was seeing these horrors for the first time."
"Mine is a life into which marriage doesn’t fit very well. If I had had children, I would have drawn creative inspiration from them, and shaped my work to them. Perhaps I would have worked on a children’s book, rather than going to wars. One life is not better than the other; it is just a different life."
text from, photographs taken (by MLM) at exhibition "Margaret Bourke-White. Prima, Donna.", Milan, Palazzo Reale.
Monday, 31 May 2021
Saturday, 29 May 2021
According to a British survey carried out among 2.000 women(!) aged 18 to 65 by Retire Savvy and commissioned by Diet Chef, women believe miniskirts would be a "no-no" for anyone aged 35 or more. Once you hit 36, text talk is no longer acceptable, 38, no tattoo, 39, no infamous night-club hotspots, 40, no see-through chiffon blouse, no holidays without family or partner, 41, no longer watching reality TV, 42, don't wear a football shirt, 44, no trainers (unless for sport), no discos, 45, no leggings, no Ugg boots, no more festivals, 47, no knee high boots, no bikini, no skinny jeans, no twitter, 49, delete your facebook profile, 51, no high heels, 51, no ponytail, 52, no longer staying out past midnight, 53, no long hair, 61, no swimsuit (via and via).
One in ten bought clothes and soon took them back to the shop fearing it was "too young" for them, 5% said they had been warned by a shop assistant the item was not right for their age. Women also often hear warning from friends and family (via and via and via).
Bollocks. After 43 you should walk past the queues of nightclubs, shoulders back, chest out – tits and teeth. Stride up to the bouncer and shake his hand. (...) And I couldn’t give a toss what people think. Although my grandson told me I was too old to wear Adidas Stan Smiths, while two Romanians stopped me in the toilets to shake my hand because I‘m 'DFC' – dead fucking cool. Confidentials's Gordo
In an article, published in The Guardian, Emma Soames claims that women lose their instinct for knowing what suits them as they get older. I think we should be more careful with these ideas and reflect on where they come from and what impact they have before selling them as facts. On the contrary, perhaps style is something that needs time to develop and people dress better the older they get. And, surely, there is one major issue Ms Soames is not seeing: People are judged mildly, if at all, for wearing "not suitable" clothes when young and judged more harshly when older. Since women's "fashion antennae just shrivel with age", she continues, they need "some sartorial rules". The first one: You need to dress "appropriately", avoid the ultra feminine and the very short, dress classically (via).
No long hair, no high heels, no Ibiza, no facebook, no swimsuit... The message? Don't look like a woman, don't be active, don't have fun, don't go out. Just hide. Don't irritate with your presence. You no longer have a gender, you are either female or old. Dress in an age-appropriate manner and act your age by being invisible. That is the only way to age gracefully, by disappearing. We definitely still have a long way to go when it comes to raising awareness about the absurdities of internalised ageism.
photograph by Leon Levinstein via
Saturday, 22 May 2021
Because we want to develop our own culture,
Because we want to overcome stereotypes,
Because we refuse to have "equal rights" in a corrupt society,
Because we want to survive, grow, be ourselves...
We took over a building to put into action
with women those things essential to women
- health care, child care, food consipracy,
clothing and book exchange, gimme
women's shelter, a lesbian rights center,
interarts center, feminist school, drug rehabilitation.
We know the city does not provide for us.
Now we know the city will not allow us to provide for ourselves.
For this reason we were busted.
We were busted because we are women acting independently of men, independently of the system...
In other words, we are women being revolutionary.
- cited in Weisman, L. K. (1981). Women's Environmental Rights: A Manifesto. In B. Marks et al. (eds.) Makring Room. Women and Architecture (6-8).
- photograph (Times Square, 1961) via
Thursday, 20 May 2021
- Bereczkei, T. & Meskó, N. (2006). Hair length, facial attractiveness, personality attribution: A multiple fitness model of hairdressing. Review of Psychology, 13, 35-42.
- photograph (Audrey Hepburn, 1953) via
Wednesday, 19 May 2021
(...) Just look at how older women are portrayed! A man can still be regarded as looking wonderful when his face shows wrinkles. When a woman's face reveals life and wrinkles, she is no longer attractive. Her face has to be smooth, the hair curly.
When fashion industry chooses older women, they are as beautiful as women in their forties, have no wrinkles. And if they have any, they wear huge, neon green glasses. Older women are never shown as older women. Photographs show them doing fitness, which is absurd. Why are men not taken pictures of that way? They have huge bellies which they confidently show and nobody would question or criticise their body or clothes. Obviously, when it comes to men, inner values count."
"The female gaze is certainly different. I would like to say from the outset that the female gaze is one that perceives the entire surrounding – the children need something to eat, they are crying, there is work still to be done, and so on. The male gaze is focused. That is already a fundamental difference between female and male. And when I see naked women or men, my primary concern is that the models feel comfortable in their role, that they don’t feel exposed or that they have to pretend. When I photographed underwear, for example, it was very important to me that everyone felt very comfortable. And that everything was very loose. It was also rather comical."
photograph (self portrait, 2000, © Elfie Semotan) via
Sunday, 16 May 2021
Friday, 14 May 2021
Wednesday, 12 May 2021
Germany: A bunch of teutonic robots who play unsexy but merciless and efficient football in rigid formations, and always seem to make at least the semi-finals of everything. They never crack under pressure, suffer injuries, or have major disciplinary issues.
Italy: Gesticulating prima donnas who worship at the altar of the beautiful game and fly into the air screaming and clutching at their limbs at the slightest tap. Often disappointments, but when everything clicks, (...), it’s beautiful.
England: A bunch of egotistical Premier League superstars who on paper should be dominant but can never quite figure out how to play together. No matter the tactical genius of whatever European coach has been brought in, they always end up just hoofing it downfield over and over and largely failing to score. Utterly doomed if things go to penalties.
Brazil: Forever the kings of football, whose legendary stars like Pele and Ronaldo could create goals out of nothing and dance around whole teams with a smile on their face.
Argentina: They run circles around everyone and score some of the most beautiful goals in football’s history, but they’re also dirty rotten cheaters. Wait, can you tell this is being written by an England fan?
United States: Chipper, harmless underdogs who just learned how to play “soccer” (lol wut) last week or so and probably compete in some sort of amateur league back home. Weirdly good at producing internationally renowned goalies. Can’t seem to decide on a color for their uniform—are they red? White? Blue? Some combination featuring stripes? (literally via)
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photograph (Gigi Riva) via
Monday, 3 May 2021
Sunday, 2 May 2021
"Honour" killings are mostly seen as culture-bound but these culture-based frames are not the only approach. Multicultural societies also offer gender-based frames defining the concept of so-called honour as patriarchal rather than cultural and regarding "honour" killings as part of violence against women (Ercan, 2014) since the victims are women and girls (via). Gender-based frames are seen as way to avoid the division of majority and minority culture. According to an analysis of problem definitions in Britain and Germany, "the British debate focuses on the gender-related dimension of 'honour killings'" and sees it as violence against women while in Germany, "honour" killings are discussed as "a culturally specific type of murder" (Ercan, 2014).
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- Ercan, S. A. (2014). Same Problem, Different Solutions: The Case of 'Honour Killing' in Germany and Britain. In A. K. Gill et al. (eds.) 'Honour' Killing and Violence. Palgrave Macmillan
- photograph via
Saturday, 1 May 2021
Claude Cahun (1894-1954), born Lucy Renee Mathilde Schwob, was a French Surrealist photographer who explored gender identity and protested gender norms. She chose "Claude" since the name was ambiguous and could refer to both a man and a woman. This very ambiguity became a theme in her exploration.
Together with muse and lover Marcel Moore (a pseudonym), Cahun became active as a resistance worker - disguised as non-Jews - placing pamphlets in soldiers' pockets. In a church, they hang a banner saying "Jesus is great, but Hitler is greater – because Jesus died for people, but people die for Hitler" (via and via and via and via).
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photograph (1927) via
Friday, 30 April 2021
"(...) though we were all slaves, I was so fondly shielded that I never dreamed I was a piece of merchandise (...). When I was six years old, my mother died, and then, for the first time, I learned, by the talk around me, that I was a slave. (...)
Jacobs, H. (2000). Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Harriet Jacobs writing as Linda Brent. With an Introduction by Myrlie Evers-Williams. New York. A Signet Classic.
Wednesday, 28 April 2021
C: "You may say I'm a social worker. I've come to do what I can for the town. The integration problem."
W: "Oh that. But that's all over. I mean they've got ten n***ers enrolled already in the school. And they're starting Monday."
C: "Yes, I know. But do you think it's right?"
A: "No, I sure don't. Neither does nobody. But it's the law."
C: "Whose law?"
::: The Intruder: WATCH
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Tuesday, 27 April 2021
Florence Welch (British Summer Time, Hyde Park, 2019)
"I definitely consider myself a feminist and it matters. The idea of what a feminist is is changing. I have so many strong women in my life. Throughout making this record I was really supported, consoled and held by the women in my life. My mother is a professor of renaissance history so I spent a lot of time in France as a child. Going to the Duomo and seeing St. Agatha with her breasts cut off was particularly shocking and made a mark. When you have a history of women behind you, you are constantly being floored by something powerful. It’s like waves of truth. It is humbling to listen to strong women and it makes me realize my capacity. I had to go through this as I was making the record. Through advice from other women, I felt like I [gained] more strength."
YouTube Mini Selection
::: Dog Days Are Over: LISTEN/WATCH
::: Kiss With a Fist: LISTEN/WATCH
::: You've Got the Love: LISTEN/WATCH
Sunday, 25 April 2021
"The West thinks of itself as masculine - big guns, big industry, big money - so the East is feminine - weak, delicate, poor."
Liling (cited in Atkins, 2005)
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- Atkins, G. L. (2005). My Man Fridae: Re-Producing Asian Masculinity. Seattle Journal for Social Justice, 4(1), 67-100.
-Eng, D. I. (2001). Racial Castration: Managing Masculinity in Asian America. Durham: Duke University Press.
- Kee, J. (1998). (Re)sexualizing the Desexualized Asian Male in the Works of Ken Chu and Michael Joo; link
- photograph by Dorothea Lange via