Edvard Munch’s The Scream Takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

 

Edvard Munch The Scream Ice Bucket ChallengeAt one shocking moment, the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch suddenly felt the icy existential horror of the human experience. Then he wrote:

I was walking along the road with two friends
The Sun was setting – the Sky turned blood-red.
And I felt a wave of Sadness – I paused
tired to Death – Above the blue-black
Fjord and City Blood and Flaming tongues hovered
My friends walked on – I stayed
behind – quaking with Angst – I
felt the great Scream in Nature
So I challenge the Mona Lisa and Whistler’s Mother

Via: Neatorama

World Map Made of Coins

World-Map-Made-of-Coins

Back in 2009, Swedish graphic designer Perniclas Bedow created an award-winning map of the world using coins from various countries. The map contains about 3,000 coins of varying currencies. See if your country’s coins are there.

Portraits of Reconciliation from Rwanda

20 years after the genocide in Rwanda, reconciliation still happens one encounter at a time.  Check out these fab photos and article in The New York Times, via Lyndhurst Deanery:

Last month, the photographer Pieter Hugo went to southern Rwanda, two decades after nearly a million people were killed during the country’s genocide, and captured a series of unlikely, almost unthinkable tableaus. In one, a woman rests her hand on the shoulder of the man who killed her father and brothers. In another, a woman poses with a casually reclining man who looted her property and whose father helped murder her husband and children. In many of these photos, there is little evident warmth between the pairs, and yet there they are, together. In each, the perpetrator is a Hutu who was granted pardon by the Tutsi survivor of his crime.

The people who agreed to be photographed are part of a continuing national effort toward reconciliation and worked closely with AMI (Association Modeste et Innocent), a nonprofit organization. In AMI’s program, small groups of Hutus and Tutsis are counseled over many months, culminating in the perpetrator’s formal request for forgiveness. If forgiveness is granted by the survivor, the perpetrator and his family and friends typically bring a basket of offerings, usually food and sorghum or banana beer. The accord is sealed with song and dance.

The photographs on the following pages are a small selection of a larger body on display — outdoors, in large format — starting this month in The Hague. The series was commissioned by Creative Court, an arts organization based there, as part of “Rwanda 20 Years,” a program exploring the theme of forgiveness. The images will eventually be shown at memorials and churches in Rwanda.

At the photo shoots, Hugo said, the relationships between the victims and the perpetrators varied widely. Some pairs showed up and sat easily together, chatting about village gossip. Others arrived willing to be photographed but unable to go much further. “There’s clearly different degrees of forgiveness,” Hugo said. “In the photographs, the distance or closeness you see is pretty accurate.”

In interviews conducted by AMI and Creative Court for the project, the subjects spoke of the pardoning process as an important step toward improving their lives. “These people can’t go anywhere else — they have to make peace,” Hugo explained. “Forgiveness is not born out of some airy-fairy sense of benevolence. It’s more out of a survival instinct.” Yet the practical necessity of reconciliation does not detract from the emotional strength required of these Rwandans to forge it — or to be photographed, for that matter, side by side.

Here’s a few of the photos:

Rwanda Reconciliation 2

Jean Pierre Karenzi – Perpetrator (left)

Viviane Nyiramana – Survivor

KARENZI: “My conscience was not quiet, and when I would see her I was very ashamed. After being trained about unity and reconciliation, I went to her house and asked for forgiveness. Then I shook her hand. So far, we are on good terms.”

NYIRAMANA: “He killed my father and three brothers. He did these killings with other people, but he came alone to me and asked for pardon. He and a group of other offenders who had been in prison helped me build a house with a covered roof. I was afraid of him — now I have granted him pardon, things have become normal, and in my mind I feel clear.”

Rwanda Reconciliation 3

Godefroid Mudaheranwa – Perpetrator (left)

Evasta Mukanyandwi – Survivor

MUDAHERANWA: “I burned her house. I attacked her in order to kill her and her children, but God protected them, and they escaped. When I was released from jail, if I saw her, I would run and hide. Then AMI started to provide us with trainings. I decided to ask her for forgiveness. To have good relationships with the person to whom you did evil deeds — we thank God.”

MUKANYANDWI: “I used to hate him. When he came to my house and knelt down before me and asked for forgiveness, I was moved by his sincerity. Now, if I cry for help, he comes to rescue me. When I face any issue, I call him.”

Rwanda Reconciliation 4

Juvenal Nzabamwita – Perpetrator (right)

Cansilde Kampundu – Survivor

NZABAMWITA: “I damaged and looted her property. I spent nine and a half years in jail. I had been educated to know good from evil before being released. And when I came home, I thought it would be good to approach the person to whom I did evil deeds and ask for her forgiveness. I told her that I would stand by her, with all the means at my disposal. My own father was involved in killing her children. When I learned that my parent had behaved wickedly, for that I profoundly begged her pardon, too.”

KAMPUNDU: “My husband was hiding, and men hunted him down and killed him on a Tuesday. The following Tuesday, they came back and killed my two sons. I was hoping that my daughters would be saved, but then they took them to my husband’s village and killed them and threw them in the latrine. I was not able to remove them from that hole. I knelt down and prayed for them, along with my younger brother, and covered the latrine with dirt. The reason I granted pardon is because I realized that I would never get back the beloved ones I had lost. I could not live a lonely life — I wondered, if I was ill, who was going to stay by my bedside, and if I was in trouble and cried for help, who was going to rescue me? I preferred to grant pardon.”

Shop uses mannequins modelled on the bodies of disabled people

Shop uses mannequins modelled on the bodies of disabled people

A fashion mannequin has an implicit message: this form is beautiful.  If your own body doesn’t look like that form—not even remotely—then you may not feel that way about yourself.

The Swiss charity Pro Infirmis helps people with disabilities. To remind them that they are beautiful, too, they commissioned mannequins modelled on the bodies of four people with disabilities. The video below shows the process. Craftsmen measured the bodies of the models, then reshaped mannequins to fit those specifications.

After finishing construction, Pro Infirmis placed those mannequins, now dressed in fashionable clothing, in a storefront in Zurich. Watch the responses of the models and passersby.

 

See London Light Up in This Stunning Time-lapse Video

london-time-lapse

Although London is famous for its foggy weather, you wouldn’t know it based on this stunning time-lapsevideo of the city’s sunny days and shimmering nights

Paul Richardson, the photographer behind the above clip, writes that it took 18,000 photographs to create a rough cut of his time-lapse video, according to a description on Vimeo:

“Whenever I visit London, I’m always surprised by the true 24/7 nature of the city; it really is a place that never sleeps.  That was exactly what I wanted to capture, the ‘hustle and bustle’ of everyday life.”

Play-Doh’s 2013 Year in Review

When you think about the children’s modeling clay brand Play-Doh, a social commentary of 2013 is not top of the list of things I would expect.  The brand has released this 2013 Year in Review, re-creating some of the year’s most memorable moments with the play-doh.  From the birth of Prince George, the Royal Baby to Twitter’s IPO, the list is surprisingly diverse for a brand that markets to 5-7 year olds.

Royal Baby play-doh

NASA selfie is out of this world

Selfies have become the big thing in 2013.  But on Christmas Eve, they literally went out of this world, as astronaut Mike Hopkins, a flight engineer on NASA’s Expedition 38, took this selfie, during the second of two spacewalks on the International Space Station. The image was posted on NASA’s website.

NASA selfie

While any selfie from space is clearly a legendary feat, Hopkins gets bonus points for being photobombed by none other than planet Earth.

Books I have read: London, You’re Beautiful

London You're Beautiful

I’ve enjoyed over the last few months dipping in and out of London, You’re Beautiful: An Artist’s Year by David Gentleman.  For a number of years I’ve had a love affair with London – the vibrancy and diversity of the city.

This little book (approx. A5 size), contains 400 pages of on-the-spot sketches and more polished studio works rather than the usual book of photographs of the city.  The watercolours bring something different to the many familiar views covering a large range of the city over one calendar year showing the seasons and weather that London experiences.

It is clear from this book just how much Gentleman loves London and this book will be enjoyed by anyone who shares his love of this great city.

A 30-year Tradition with Father Christmas

Gray brothers Father Christmas 1

Gray brothers Father Christmas 2

Gray brothers Father Christmas 3

Mike Gray first posed for a picture with Santa as a baby in 1980. His younger brother Martin joined in 1984. Every year since then, the two brothers have posed for a Christmas picture with Santa Claus -even as adults, at which time they started putting their own children into the picture as well. You can see all 34 photos together at imgur. They’ll keep this up and one day find they are older than Santa Claus!