Sunday, December 25, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Radical Camera: New York’s Photo League 1936-1951

Marvin E. Newman's “Halloween, South Side,” from 1951
One of many artistic casualties of the McCarthy-era blacklists was the Photo League, a New York school and salon for amateur and professional photographers. Progressive in its politics and uncompromising in its aesthetics, the league was the place to be if you had a hand-held 35-millimeter camera and a left-leaning social conscience — and particularly if you believed, to borrow a bit of contemporary parlance, that photography was fine art for the 99 percent.

Its members — among them Berenice Abbott, Aaron Siskind and Weegee — are now reunited in “The Radical Camera: New York’s Photo League 1936-1951” at the Jewish Museum. This stirring show traces the group’s history through some 145 vintage photographs.

A collaboration between the Jewish Museum and the Columbus Museum of Art, which both have extensive holdings of Photo League work, “Radical Camera” was organized by the team of Mason Klein (from the Jewish Museum) and Catherine Evans (from the Columbus Museum).


SMH 23 December 2011

Thuso Lekwape has always been bold.
As a four-year-old in Johannesburg, he knocked on the door of Australian journalists Sharon Davis and Geoff Parish and asked, ''Can I come in?''

In drama classes at International Grammar School in Ultimo, he was ''always willing to take risks'', his head of drama, Rita Morabito, said.

And at his NIDA audition this month, the institute's acting tutor, Jennifer Hagan, said the 19-year-old showed great power and passion. ''He was fearless, but that was coupled with great intelligence,'' Hagan said. ''I just thought, 'Here's an actor' - as simple as that.''

Lekwape not only beat almost 2000 hopefuls to get in to NIDA, he was also offered places in the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and the Victorian College of Arts.

He made the list of distinguished achievers in HSC drama and will appear in February in OnSTAGE, a presentation of performances and projects by outstanding HSC drama students.
Lekwape, who has lived in Australia for four years, modestly puts his achievements down to ''pure luck''. Hagan credits his talent, saying: ''He's already a great natural.''

But Davis, who, with Parish, acts as Lekwape's guardian, said drive and hard work were behind his success.

Read more

Monday, December 19, 2011

Melbourne at night


St Andrew’s Cross Spider --- Argiope keyserlingii

yellow flower

tree flower

yellow door

Melbourne lace

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hindsight: William Cuffay

ABC Hindsight Tuesday 20 December 2011 2:00PM

William Cuffay in Newgate Gaol 1848
In 1848 William Cuffay, the son of a freed slave, was arrested and transported to Van Diemen's Land by a government fearful of revolution that was sweeping through Europe. Aged 60 Cuffay, a tailor and leader of the London Chartists, was campaigning for the right to vote as part of the first mass working class movement in the world. His transportation to Australia didn't end his political activity. He continued to organise and agitate for democratic rights in Tasmania for another 20 years until his death in 1870, at the age of 82.

Cuffay's Chartist legacy is today enshrined in parliaments in Britain and Australia. His lifelong political activism remains an inspiration to those who believe in workers rights, human rights and democracy. Although Cuffay died a pauper, newspapers in three states -- Tasmania, NSW and Victoria -- published obituaries. One observed that his grave had been 'marked', should a memorial to him be built at some future time. The memorial never transpired, and Cuffay was forgotten in Australia and Britain. But now there's a move to build one -- or perhaps even a statue!

see also
'Cuffay, William (1778–1870)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011