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January 11 2011

April 29 2010

China: The 42th anniversary of Lin Zhao's death

By Oiwan Lam

Lin Zhao (林昭), a Peking University student, was arrested in 1960 during the Anti-Rightist Campaign launched by Mao Zedong in 1957 and sentenced to death on 29 of April (today) in 1968, 42 years ago at the age of 35. She could have exchanged for her freedom and life by a writing a political confession, instead, she chose to write in the prison with her blood.

Lin was once a devoted supporter of the Chinese Communist Party and participated in the Land Reform. When she was studying in the Peking University, she sided with CCP leader Peng Dehuai's camp criticizing Mao Zedong's extremism in the Great Leap Forward and People's Commune Movement and was then labelled as an anti-revoluntionary rightist.

In 1981, the Shanghai Higher Court vindicated Lin Zhao's case but her file is still defined as state secret. Below is a portrait of Lin:


In 2003, independent film maker Hu Jie(胡杰)released documentary titled as “In Search of the Soul of Lin Zhao” (detailed report see Washington post). The documentary can be found in youtube.

Lin is now the icon of political dissidents and human rights activists in China. Ran Yunfei explains in bullogger:

林昭与人类有史以来,最为强暴的政权的对抗,不仅是中国人的精神资源,甚至可以说是人类 共同的精神遗产。但对她抗暴的相关努力,由于至今尚未解档,官方的遮蔽掩盖,致使她的行止丰仪语焉不详,不为外界大多数人所知。与此同时,一些与她有过联 络的人,或者同学们也由于这样或那样的顾虑,不愿接受采访,承担一点相应的作为朋友或者同学的责任,这岂止令人遗憾!虽然我尊重每个人的选择,但正是这样 的懦弱,造就了残暴的专制政权。再者,提篮桥监狱监管并虐待林昭的人,也不能完全用体制之罪来为自己的恶行推脱。只要档案不被毁,正义一定等得到审判邪恶 的那一天,虽然迟来的正义其价值已经减弱,但不忘记邪恶可以在一定程度上伸张正义。

Lin Zhao struggled with the most violent state power in human history, she is the spiritual resource for all Chinese people and the legacy for the whole world. Her effort in fighting against violence has not been unveiled yet. The government continues to cover up and most of the people do not know much about her. At the same time, for those who know about her, her friends and classmates, out of anxiety and fear, they refused to talk about her. This is so regretful. Although I respect individual's choice, such kind of cowardliness has brought about the cruel authoritarianism. The prison guards who tortured Lin Zhao in Tinan Bridge prison could not use the excuse of the system for their crime. So long when the record is preserved, the evil will be judged. It is a belated justice, but the retrieval of people's memory will bring light to the dark history.

Zhongshan University Professor and independent film maker Ai Xiaoming started an online event: “100 things you can do to remember Lin Zhao” and suggested various ways to remember Lin, such as

1. to learn about Lin's life history
2. to watch and share the documentary “In Search of the Soul of Lin Zhao”
3. to write about Lin Zhao, to visit Lin's tomb
4. to read Lin's writings, and etc.

You can join the event via facebook.

On 28 of April, a number of concerned citizens visited Lin's tomb in Jiangsu, Suzhou City, Mudu town and citizen journalist Tiger Temple recorded the activities:

In Beijing, artist Yen Zhenxue(嚴正學)who was sentenced to three year imprisonment on 18 of October 2006 under sedition charge and released on 17 of July 2009, completed Lin Zhao's sculpture in early April and planned an exhibition in 798 Art District on 10 of April. But he was assaulted by security guards and hospitalized on 3 of April. Below is Yen's finishing artwork:


Chinese netizens keep sharing Lin's writing via blogs, forums and twitter in the past few days. Below is one of the poems devoted to her prosecutor by Lin under the series “Roses devoted to the Prosecutor”:


Inject this drop of blood into my mother country's blood stream
This drop sacrificed my beloved freedom
Wipe it! Rub it! Clean it!
This is blood!
The blood of a Martyr
Who can wipe it away?
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Reposted bySchrammelhammelMrCoffeinmybetterworldkonikonikonikonikoniambassadorofdumbgroeschtlNaitliszpikkumyygittimmoe

April 26 2010


April 23 2010

Here be monsters

When the world was still being discovered, maps were not only images of power, but retained elements of the fabulous and the mythical. And – long before landscape paintings – they were displayed as works of art

Red arteries spread like roots over the paper – is this an anatomical sketch? A vision of vessels branching from the heart? Yet the page from Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Arundel notebook in the Treasures gallery of the British Library is not – or not directly – a study of human anatomy. It is a map: a geographical plan, a piece of the world reduced to a flat depiction. It shows the riverbed of the Arno near Florence and was made in about 1504 for a practical purpose. Florence, at war with its neighbour Pisa, had hatched a plan to divert the Arno and so deprive the enemy city of its lifeblood. Leonardo was surveying the river to work out how it could be turned from its course.

And yet, if it is practical in purpose, and scrupulous in method – Leonardo has walked the riverbed, surveyed it – this little sketch map is cosmic in scope. It is a vision of the world, touched into life in a few strokes of red chalk. It expresses, magically, an entire philosophy. For it is no coincidence, still less a poetic flourish, that all the bloody strands of the riverbed make you think of anatomy. Leonardo and his contemporaries conceived the earth as a living creature, a macrocosmic mirror of our own inner life. As he put it:

Man has been called by the ancients a little world, and certainly the name is well given, for if a man is made of earth, water, air and fire, so is this body of the earth; if man has in him a lake of blood, where the lungs increase and decrease in breathing, the body of the earth has its ocean which similarly rises and falls . . .

When Leonardo drew his map of the Arno, the shape of the entire earth was changing. Just three or so years later, the Lorraine map-maker Martin Waldseemüller would publish what is arguably the most influential map in history: not only does it accurately depict the shape of Africa, but a thin sliver of land in the western sea is named, for the first time, "America". The maps of the age of discovery boggle the mind with their intellectual conquest of space. In the mid-15th century, a state-of-the-art map created by the Venetian cartographer Fra Mauro had seen the world as a huge disc, with south at the top, Africa just a vague shape, and nothing to the west of the Fortunate Isles (the Canaries). Not just the knowledge of world geography but the very conceptualisation of space in this late medieval map looks to us remote and arcane. It seems an incredible leap that just over a century later maps of the world looked much as they do today – the same continents, their coastlines instantly recognisable, planned out on paper in a mathematically consistent manner.

The period from 1500 to 1700 is the golden age of maps. Scientific achievement is central to that story – or is it? For Leonardo's little sketch of the Arno reveals that maps still had something about them of the fabulous and the mythical. They were works of imagination as well as calculation. This is why the maps of these centuries still give us a warm glow of pleasure, why they are treasured by collectors and daydreamers – because this was still a time when monsters haunted the oceans, even on the most forward-looking charts. The world was being discovered, its shape analysed, but it was imagined – Leonardo shows us – as an organic and mysterious entity. Rivers were arteries, the seas lungs. Nature was a synthesis of the four elements, fire, earth, air and water: maps were records of its marvels.

Nothing could convey the wondrous and strange nature of geographical knowledge more spectacularly than the Klencke Atlas, which stars in an ambitious exhibition, Magnificent Maps, at the British Library, as well as in the accompanying BBC4 series The Beauty of Maps, featuring the exhibition's curator, Peter Barber. This book is taller than a man: bound in leather and closed with huge metal clasps, it opens to reveal a succession of printed maps each of which is more than 2m wide. This is the biggest atlas in the world, according to Guinness World Records – the macrocosm to the microcosm of Leonardo's Arno sketch. In November 1660 the diarist John Evelyn saw it in Charles II's cabinet of curiosities, together with portrait miniatures, precious stones and "a curious Ship model": it was a present fit for a king, presented to the new and restored monarch on his coronation by a group of Amsterdam merchants.

At that moment Amsterdam was the world centre of map-making. Maps were engraved and printed there not just for monarchs but for merchants and their families. The virtue of the atlas conceived by Johannes Klencke was, through sheer extravagance, to ennoble something that was actually increasingly universal. The maps in the great book are the same printed maps you see in Vermeer's paintings of Dutch merchant houses: in his Woman in Blue Reading a Letter, painted almost contemporaneously with the Klencke Atlas in the early 1660s, a young woman stands in the pale light from a window, her eyes fixed on the message she's reading. The light shines on her blue silken tunic and blue-upholstered chairs, which might suggest a lover far away across the blue sea. Behind her, dominating the whitewashed wall, is a printed map, mounted on wooden poles and hung like a painting to decorate the chamber. It is on the same big scale as the prints in the Klencke volume. It shows fractured peninsulas and islands separated by water, a Dutch geography of vulnerability that matches the woman's mood.

Big printed wall maps appear in many of Vermeer's paintings, as well as in such contemporary scenes as Pieter de Hooch's A Woman Drinking with Two Men (1658) in the National Gallery. These views of everyday life bear witness to an almost totemic cult of maps. What, exactly, was the appeal of a huge woodcut map hanging on your wall? As much as we want to read simple emotional messages into Vermeer's paintings, the wrinkled, breeze-touched, black and white paper maps he depicts also attest to a fascination with maps as such, with what they are – and this, for him, is enigmatic.

Magnificent Maps leads us deep into the mentality of awe and wonder his pictures of maps communicate. It tells the story of mural maps – geographical statements that were hung on walls or even painted into the very plaster of palaces as frescoes. It argues that maps in early-modern Europe were as likely to decorate a room as paintings or tapestries were – and so puts a new twist on the truth that maps can be works of art in their own right.

No one who has walked along the seemingly endless Galleria delle Carte Geografiche in the Vatican Museums would doubt this. This hypnotic corridor is today walked by streams of tourists heading for the Sistine Chapel, punctuated along its straight-as-a-ruler marble funnel by souvenir stalls. But it is a bizarrely memorable walk that grips your imagination and stays with you as one of the sights of Rome – for the entire corridor is frescoed with mammoth maps of Italy's regions and cities. Painted by Ignazio Danti in the mid-16th century, these epic cartographies create a terrestrial theatre that in its way rivals the heavenly theatre of the Sistine Chapel itself. The maps are realistic, detailed and on a colossal scale – but were they ever any use to anyone? It is hard to picture a Renaissance pope standing on a stepladder to study a detail of Volterra or Venice to decide some political move. There were manuscript maps in the Vatican Library that could be spread out on a table for real strategic meetings. These painted maps are images of power, designed to amaze and to stupefy. As you progress further along the corridor, the cavalcade of city plans becomes repetitive, narcotic and sublime. It is a spectacle as deliberately excessive as the Klencke Atlas, a majestic display of ownership and control of space. The architecture of the long gallery is itself a daunting demonstration of spatial majesty – an unfurling of absurdly generous proportions – and the maps mirror its grandeur.

The British Library exhibition can't, obviously, bring the Vatican frescoes to London – although it includes large-scale photographs of this and other cartographic interiors – but does have the Klencke Atlas and a range of maps made in the same spirit of daunting excess. Jacopo de' Barbari's bird's-eye view of Venice, created in 1500, is on a scale that would fit quite easily among the city plans in the Vatican: nearly 3m wide. But de' Barbari's map is a woodcut, black ink on paper, that sent the image of Venice around the world to hang in foreign palaces as evidence of the Most Serene Republic's power.

What a map. It seems for all the world to have been surveyed from the air. The incline of the earth as de' Barbari looks down on Venice, seeing the exact shape of its islands in the ethereal setting of the lagoon, uncannily resembles an aerial photograph. But obviously he did not have a flying machine. He projected this image in his imagination, tilted up towards us at just such an angle as to reveal the overall shape of Venice while also allowing the eye to zoom in and see, as in a topographic painting, the scene on St Mark's Square. Ships teem around the Arsenale while a colossal triton rides a sea monster at the mouth of the Grand Canal – the real marries the fabulous as Venice is wedded to the sea.

The artistic glory of Renaissance maps lies in the ambiguity of their nature, for it is impossible to decide if this a map in the modern sense or a landscape picture. It hovers magically between the two. A straightforward plan of Venice would reveal the contours of the city and the layout of the canals, but would not capture the living reality of city life; while a painting at street level, such as Carpaccio's Miracle at the Rialto, though it conveys the forest of chimneys and the intimacy of bridges, can give no sense of the city's overall design. There is a genius and a freedom to de' Barbari's bird's-eye view that gives him both perspectives simultaneously – near and far. In the 21st century, a user of Google Maps can explore similar variations in perspective – moving from a city plan to a more detailed map of a neighbourhood to photographs taken on the street. This masterpiece gives all of that in one rich image.

In fact, a map such as this is so close to landscape art that it urges us to ask – do early-modern maps ape landscape pictures, or is it the other way around? Mapping and landscape art evolved together in the Renaissance, and this exhibition reveals something quite shocking to conventional art history: that maps were displayed as works of art before landscape paintings were similarly valued.

One of the earliest exhibits in the show is a facsimile of the Hereford Mappa Mundi, created like other medieval maps to stand alone and be studied like a painting or a stained glass window. The curators also attempt to reconstruct the world map that is known to have hung in Henry III's bedchamber in Westminster Palace in the 1230s. That is centuries before landscape art was valued in its own right. The first dated landscape drawing in European history – meaning a landscape that is not a background, but a theme in itself – is currently on view in the British Museum's exhibition of Italian Renaissance drawings: it was done on 5 August 1473 by Leonardo da Vinci. While its mountainous foreground is a fantasia of landscape, the plain in the distance rolling away towards the sea resembles a map in its outlines of fields.

Just like Jacopo de' Barbari – but in a uniquely sustained and complex way – Leonardo saw landscape art and map-making as intimately related. His drawings and paintings navigate an intricate course between the viewpoint of a landscape artist and a geographer. Unlike de' Barbari he actually did try to build a flying machine and hoped to use it for skyborne observation – he writes in a notebook of "surveying" the land from his "great bird". But he probably never did get his machine off the ground. Instead his bird's-eye views are feats of imagination, like de' Barbari's woodcut of Venice. Leonardo experimented with every point of view for map-making: his maps range from views of mountains in deep relief, the earth tilted up for our pleasure, to straightforward plans, to unique hybrids of the two. The vertiginous landscape of his painting The Virgin and Child with St Anne in the Louvre is itself as satisfying as a geographic atlas: the detailed rocks in the foreground stretch away to a blue vista of alpine mountains that has the sweep and scope of a map.

Leonardo was a pioneer of landscape but his landscapes are legitimated, as artistic subjects, by religious narratives – there is no pure landscape painting by him. One of the first such paintings is by Albrecht Altdorfer and portrays a bridge and a castle in a forest (it's in the National Gallery): this is almost an anti-map, as it tells us nothing of where the place is, or its wider geographical context. But when painters started successfully to sell landscapes in the 17th century they took their cue from Leonardo's cartographic approach, and their paintings aspired to the status of maps.

In 17th-century Europe maps were honoured and admired. The fresco maps of the Vatican and of other Italian palaces – Danti, who painted the Vatican maps, cut his teeth creating a fabulous room of maps in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence – were emulated across the continent. Printed maps, often hand-coloured, were designed to be displayed, as Dutch paintings show them to have been. If maps were hung like paintings, cartography also produced a new genre of sculpture – the globe. The exhibition has a pair of globes – terrestrial and celestial – created by Emery Molyneux in London at the end of the 16th century, that were the most renowned such objects in Elizabethan England.

Maps of this age provided extraordinary density of information. Jacques Callot's map of the siege of Breda (1628-29) is not just a geographical but a historical image. It shows the battle for the Dutch town of Breda in complex detail, bearing witness to atrocities as well as recording the victory of Spain, and combining the human detail of a history painting with the spatial information of a map. It is a work of art in its own right and its topographic details also feature in the eerie vista of Velázquez's masterpiece of history painting, The Surrender of Breda.

Landscape painters looked hard at such maps and their popularity. The landscapes of Ruysdael and Cuyp in the Netherlands, of Poussin and Claude in Italy and France, aspire to be maps. If you look at these paintings they all, in different ways, relate intensely to mapmaking. Dutch landscape artists go flat on the land, exploring its details: their paintings are like maps turned on their sides. In accuracy and detail they strongly resemble the printed maps streaming out of Amsterdam.

The French landscape artists who worked in 17th-century Rome may seem less obviously geographical, but to look at their paintings is to look at pictures that sum up the world as encyclopedically as Leonardo does: again and again these paintings aspire to include every kind of scenery in one view – woodlands, rocks, sea, mountains – so that a painting has the satisfying completeness of a map of the world. Not until the 19th century would painters rebel against this tendency for each landscape to be a kind of world map – a summary of the nature of landscape as such. A beguiling example of such paintings is Francisque Millet's Mountain Landscape with Lightning (1675). Here it is not just a variety of scenery that is encompassed: every one of the four elements is on view. The Leonardesque view of the Alps encloses a rich anthology of natural and human terrains, a world map in one glorious vista.

Even so, it is no more compelling, as a work of art, than the maps of the age. Only when geography became truly rationalist, when maps were purified into utilitarian tools, did landscape art rule the gallery alone – and that transformation around 1700 was a loss to the imagination. Art and science both lost blood when monsters vanished from the maps.

Magnificent Maps: Power, Propaganda and Art opens at the British Library, London (01937 546060) on 30 April. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

April 13 2010

Historiker Shlomo Sand: Es gibt kein jüdisches Volk | Frankfurter Rundschau - Top-News 20100413

[...] Jetzt aber erklärte man ihm [...], dass in der Fachwissenschaft kein Mensch mehr an die Vertreibung der Juden durch römische Truppen glaube [...] Es sei zunächst christliche Lehre gewesen, dass Gott die Juden bestraft habe - für den Gottesmord oder dafür, dass sie nicht Christen geworden seien oder für beides - und ihnen ihr Land nahm [...] [W]as ist dann Israel? [...] Ihr habt uns dorthin getrieben. Die Nazis. Aber nicht nur die. [...] Niemand wollte uns haben. [...] Niemand. Darum ließen sie uns Israel. Und wir nahmen das Land und vertrieben seine Bewohner. Die [...] machten wir zu Bürgern zweiter Klasse. Israel muss das begreifen. Sonst wird es nicht überleben.[...] Es muss der Staat seiner Bürger werden [...] [der] nicht die Burg ist, auf die sich in der Not alle in der ganzen Welt verstreuten Mitglieder eines imaginären jüdischen Volkes flüchten können. [...] Das Existenzrecht Israels können wir nicht aus der Geschichte ableiten. Kein Staat der Welt kann das.

April 12 2010

Dada, as it occurred in Hannover, was basically Kurt Schwitters' one-man show. He'd been denied membership in Berlin's Club Dada for not being "political enough," so shrugged his shoulders and formed the Dada sub-movement of Merz (a fragment of the word "Kommerz," taken from a bank's newspaper advertisement and incorporated into an early piece). Though Merz' membership was limited to Schwitters, he often collaborated with other Dadaists.
Theo van Doesburg and Kurt Schwitters - Small Dada Evening - Kleine Dada Soirée - 1922
Reposted fromhenteaser henteaser

March 21 2010

Der Regensburger Bischof Gerhard Ludwig Müller hat den Medien in Zusammenhang mit den Missbrauchsfällen eine Kampagne gegen die Kirche vorgeworfen. Der Bischof rückte die laufende Berichterstattung in die Nähe der kirchenfeindlichen Haltung der Nationalsozialisten. "Jetzt erleben wir wieder eine Kampagne gegen die Kirche", sagte Müller am Samstagabend nach Informationen des Bayerischen Rundfunks in einer Predigt im Regensburger Dom.
Missbrauchsfälle in der katholischen Kirche - Regensburger Bischof hetzt gegen Medien - Politik -
Reposted fromkellerabteil kellerabteil

March 12 2010

January 28 2010


by Democracy Now! Howard Zinn (1922-2010): A Tribute to the Legendary Historian with Noam Chomsky, Alice Walker, Naomi Klein and Anthony Arnove


We pay tribute to the late historian, writer and activist Howard Zinn, who died suddenly on Wednesday of a heart attack at the age of eighty-seven. Howard Zinn’s classic work A People’s History of the United States changed the way we look at history in America. It has sold over a million copies and was recently made into a television special called The People Speak. We remember Howard Zinn in his own words, and we speak with those who knew him best: Noam Chomsky, Alice Walker, Naomi Klein and Anthony Arnove. [includes rush transcript]

Play fullscreen
GRITtv remembers rebel historian Howard Zinn.
GRITtv with Laura Flanders brings participatory democracy onto your computer screen and into your living room, bridging the gap between audience and advocates. Watch any show, at any time:

January 21 2010

January 01 2010

Creative impulses: A history of the world in 100 objects

Source: The Economist (12-31-09)

Man is one of a number of animals that make things, but man is the only one that depends for its very survival on the things he has made. That simple observation is the starting point for an ambitious history programme, "A History of the World in 100 Objects", which BBC Radio 4 will begin broadcasting on January 18th. A joint venture four years in the making between the British Museum (BM) and the BBC, the series features 100 15-minute radio broadcasts, a separate 13 episodes in which children visit the museum at night and try to unlock its mysteries, a BBC World Service package of tailored omnibus editions for broadcasting around the world and an interactive digital programme involving 350 museums in Britain which will be available free over the internet.

The presenter is Neil MacGregor, the BM's director, who has moved from the study of art to the contemplation of things. "Objects take you into the thought world of the past," he says. "When you think about the skills required to make something you begin to think about the brain that made it." From the first moment (the ghostly magnetic pulse from a star that exploded in the summer of 1054, as recorded at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics) this series is radio at its best: inventive, clever, and yet always light on its feet.

Mr MacGregor is less interested in advertising the marvels of the 250-year-old universal museum he heads than in considering who made the objects he discusses. That involves drawing together evidence of how connected seemingly disparate societies have always been and rebalancing the histories of the literate and the non-literate. "Victors write history; the defeated make things," he says. This is an especially important distinction when considering Africa. The great Encyclopedia Britannica" of 1911 assumed that Africa had no history because it had no written history. The statues of black pharaohs that Mr MacGregor discusses in an early programme, for example, are the best visual evidence that a Nubian tribe once seized control of ancient Egypt and that Africans ruled over the Nile for more than a century.

Of the 100 objects, only one has not been selected yet. Mr MacGregor is waiting until the last possible moment to pick out the best symbol of our own time. Suggestions, please, on a postcard to: British Museum, London WC1B 3DG.

Reposted fromsigalonhistory sigalonhistory

January 04 2009


- einige der hier ersichtlichen Icons sind herunterladbar auf PICOL Iconlibrary -
- some of the icons you see on the graphic you may download from the Iconlibrary -

(PICOL: Picture Communication Language)

Link to the credits of this movie:

"History of the internet" is an animated documentary explaining the inventions from time-sharing to file-sharing, from arpanet to internet.
The history is told with help of the PICOL icons, which are also a part of my diploma. The icons are soon available for free on

(PICOL = Picture Communication Language)

See the whole diploma >>

Director & AnimatorMelih Bilgil
Voice over Steve Taylor
Matthias Grübel
Translation – Karla Vesenmayer
Scientific Managment – Prof. Philipp Pape
Thanks toBarbara Bittmann, Johannes Schatz

Mercedes Bunz - Vom Speichern zum Verteilen: Die Geschichte des Internet
Computer Networks - The Heralds Of Resource Sharing (Arpanet, 1972)



May 11 2008

The Real News: Obama, Wright, and the Black Church (3)

Farrakhan, AIDS, and Rev. Wright - Saturday May 10th, 2008 - Prof. Dwight Hopkins of the University of Chicago talks to Paul Jay about Rev. Wright’s statements about Farrakhan and AIDS, and the effect his comments have had on Senator Obama’s president

The Real News: Obama, Wright, and the Black Church (1)

From Trinity church in Chicago, Rev. Moss calls on the congregation to love Wright and Obama. - Saturday May 10th, 2008 - Prof. Dwight Hopkins of the University of Chicago talks to Paul Jay about Rev. Moss’s rejection of the divide and conquer mentality

The Real News: Trinity United church sermon part 2

Rev. Moss of Trinity church Chicago tells his congregation that love can transform America - Saturday May 10th, 2008 - Prof. Dwight Hopkins of the University of Chicago talks to Paul Jay about Rev. Moss’s rejection of the divided and conquer mentality t
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