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The Philosophy Special (guest post)

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 02/08/2022 - 6:30pm in

“I suspect I’m not alone among philosophers in finding colloquia almost universally frustrating: the speakers are more interesting than the conventional talk allows them to be…”

The following is a guest post by Kieran Setiya, Professor of Philosophy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It is part of the series of weekly guest posts by different authors at Daily Nous this summer.


The Philosophy Special
by Kieran Setiya

My colleague Steve Yablo once described teaching as “standup with low expectations.” He had in mind, I think, the undergraduate lecture. It has the form of the comedy special or Edinburgh show: holding the attention of an audience for 50 minutes with nothing but words. Anticipating boredom, students can be grateful for the feeblest of dad jokes. Steve is much funnier than that—as though a standup comedian had the philosophical firepower of Bertrand Russell.

It’s not just philosophers who see a connection here; it happens the other way around. In a 2015 interview, the fabulous Moshe Kasher was asked what he would have been if he hadn’t been a comedian. “I wanted to be, at one point, an academic,” he replied. “But I started to realize … what I wanted was the part where you teach, and that’s just comedy.”

Now, it isn’t comedy, exactly, but they do have things in common: not just the battle for attention, but the balance of ideas and entertainment, the power of crowdwork or audience interaction, the moments of improv. Of course, there are differences, too: there’s a curriculum to cover when you teach, with new material each class, and standups rarely use handouts—though they sometime use slides.

In some ways closer to the standup special is the colloquium talk: the same material, practiced in advance and delivered to different audiences, roughly an hour in length. But as a rule, few colloquia are very much fun.

There are exceptions. In his Presidential Address to the APA in 1985, Rogers Albritton packed in an awful lot of zingers:

No doubt we’re free as birds. … But how free are birds?

Feed line, punch line, then a topper:

Let no bird preen itself on its freedom. There are cages. There are tamers of birds.

There are plenty more like this: Albritton is a Borscht Belt Wittgenstein. Some of his best arguments are jokes:

I don’t see (do you?) that my freedom of will would be reduced at all if you chained me up. You would of course deprive me of considerable freedom of movement if you did that; you would thereby diminish my already unimpressive capacity to do what I will. But I don’t see that my will would be any the less free. … Suppose I am chained up so that I can’t walk. … Do I have reason to think not only, “They’ve chained me up!” but, “Good God, they’ve been tampering with my will!”?

Albritton is an exception to the rule, then; Yablo is, too. (Feel free to mention others in the comments.)

Perhaps it’s appropriate that the colloquium talk is not a standup set, and is not primarily about fun. After all, the common form does not imply a common purpose. One is meant to inform or convince, the other to entertain.

Yet there’s no inherent conflict between informing or convincing and entertaining. Some standups give what are, in effect, comedic lectures—I am thinking of Mark Watson and Josie Long, or more recently, Hasan Minhaj and Hannah Gadsby.

And there’s a sharp contrast in how far professional standups adapt themselves to the form—how far they think about what it can do and how to do it well—and how far professional philosophers think about the form of the philosophy colloquium. When we do not simply read a paper, we extemporize on a handout or slides that summarize our main points; there is little comedy, or suspense.

Comics sometimes talk about the form of what they are doing as they’re doing it. My hero Stewart Lee is a master of this:

Now this show is called “Carpet Remnant World.” … It was supposed to be about idealized notions of society and how we behave as collective groups… But I’ve been a bit busy with one thing or another. It’s not really worked. So, but what I will do is about five minutes from the end … at about 10:00 … I will repeat the phrase “Carpet Remnant World” over some music and that will give the illusion of structure.

And big laughs down here, for that, people down here. The people who bought tickets first, they’ve seen me before. They’re going, “Of course there’ll be content and structure. We’ve seen him before. This is a comedic double bluff. Ha-ha,” right? But up there, there’s a lot of people they don’t really know what they’ve come to … and they’ve been whispering all through it up there, in the top bit there. Like, “Is this who you wanted to see? It seems like an aggressive lecture.”

When philosophers talk about the form of the colloquium, we often conclude, plausibly enough, that it’s discrepant with its purpose: an hour-long monologue is not the best way to communicate an intricate line of thought. There is a strong case to be made for a read-ahead format in which the reasoning is put in writing.

I suspect I’m not alone among philosophers in finding colloquia almost universally frustrating: the speakers are more interesting than the conventional talk allows them to be. I tend to be impatient for the Q&A, a form much better suited to its purpose—like a roomful of hecklers, but they have to raise their hands, and the speaker has to invite the heckle. Even better, I think, is the conversation at the after-colloquium dinner, when more informal questions can be asked. (It was partly missing this under lockdown that inspired me to start a podcast.)

So the situation is not good. What can we do to improve it? There are two questions here. First, what other formats should we try? We rarely have panel discussions in philosophy, but they can be freewheeling and fun. We rarely have one-on-one debates, or structured Q&A, like a talk show, in which one philosopher interviews another before opening things up to the audience. Why not experiment with these formats, among others?

The other question is what to do with the colloquium talk if we hold its format fixed. What philosophical projects are best suited to the hour-long special? Should colloquium speakers tell more jokes? Should they do more crowdwork? Should they err towards the sorts of claims and arguments they wouldn’t make in print—taking advantage of the intimacy of the venue, as a comic might try new material in a club?

What would it be for philosophers to think of the colloquium as intellectual performance art?

True Colors

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 21/07/2022 - 1:59am in

Aura has become one of the internet’s favorite ways of rendering personality.

RIP: Rob Brouwer 1938-2022

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 10/06/2022 - 8:27pm in

In a few weeks, Neglected Classics of Philosophy 2 (OUP, 2022) will appear. As you can see at books.google, it's dedicated to "Anneke Luger-Veenstra, Jan Stronk, and Rob Brower, my learned high school teachers, who encouraged a love of the classics." Two days ago my high school classmate, Jorine Lamsma, called my attention to an announcement in the newspaper that Rob had died June 1, 2022. The memorial service and funeral are today.

Rob was my high school Latin teacher for four years at Amsterdam's Vossius Gymnasium. My class (1c, 2c, 3c) was known to be 'trouble' and quite a few teachers fought trench warfare with us, as we found ever more creative ways to prank and be disruptive. But not in Rob's classroom. We called him "Mijnheer Brouwer," of course. He was not on first name basis with his charges.

Rob commanded our instant respect not because he was strict (which he was) and unperturbable (which he was), but because he somehow managed to convey that he instantiated the promise of bildung (without having to say so); he wasn't aiming to reach some learning target decomposed in weekly grammar, vocabulary, and syntax acquired. But rather he always made clear that whatever task of memorization and repetition we were assigned was in the service of our introduction to the classics and, without veneration, their wider cultural significance. As another classmate, Max Rosenberg, put it, each class was part of a much broader whole. And as the years passed, I slowly grasped -- hence my use of 'bildung'  --, these classics in turn would be good friends accompanying me in a life-time of imperfect self-cultivation.

Once, I was fourteen or so, a classmate pushed his button, and the unfathomable happened: the boy (no, not me) got sent out of class, with the archaic, 'gaat heen' and Rob, visibly steadying himself, pointing a finger at the door. For years we could get a good laugh trying to mimic that 'gaat heen,' but we had to acknowledge simultaneously that we were in awe of him. 

Not just because of his formal language and dress, Rob seemed like a character from a different age -- his classroom had the surprisingly bittersweet smell of his pipe --, he was the subject of myths: his son had died tragically (which turned out to be true), he suffered from Leukemia (which turned out to be true), he had studied to be a Jesuit (possible), and he was dating the German teacher, Erika Langbroek (which also turned out to be true). 

I had a very checkered high school career; I should have flunked out at the end of my third and fourth years (ninth and tenth grade). Mevrouw Luger played a big role in bending the rules my way each year. But I always passed my Latin, and to this day, I recognize that I have built a scholarly career on the years Rob put into me. (And I often regretted he was not my Greek teacher.) 

I forget if it was my junior or senior year, but I got wind that Rob was doing a reading group in philosophy with some interested class-mates at his home not far from the school in an apartment on the Beethovenstraat. (At this point he wasn't my teacher anymore, but it was before he moved into a different apartment with Erika also on the Beethovenstraat.) I invited myself along for the wine and the mystique. They were reading Die Kritik der reinen Vernunft (in German). I would like to say it got me excited about philosophy, but I suspect the main effect of the reading group was to make me excessively and irresponsibly fearless in the face of any text. 

Some time after college, I got back in touch with Rob. I suspect in order to brag to him that I had been taking philosophy classes with Dan Dennett (he was underwhelmed) and Martha Nussbaum. Rob, it turned out, was a real fan-boy of Nussbaum who, in graduate school, was one of my supervisors of my qualifying paper on the puppet image in Plato's Laws. Alongside E.B. England's commentary, Rob's wisdom became instrumental in helping me figure out the nuances of Plato's Greek and thought.

But perhaps I had simply bumped into him with Erika at the kleine zaal at Concertgebouw. Even long after he was struck by an increasingly visible Parkinson, he was a transfixed presence in the little balcony. I didn't share his love for nineteenth century Lieder, but we often discovered that we (or, in my case, my mum) had acquired season tickets for the same chamber music series.

We started to see other more frequently during my Summer visits back home while I was in graduate school. I am also unsure of the exact sequence of events that led to our first reading group with Martin Claes, then a Jesuit getting a PhD (now a pastor and a scholar), on Augustine's De Magistro. I  never asked Rob if he identified with Augustine's loss of his son. He never spoke of him to me, but he often expressed pride in his daughter (a lawyer). It was the start of numerous partially overlapping, reading groups with Rob in varying combinations with people from his life -- often people who adored Dante or choir (or both) -- or my own circle of Dutch academics and friends. 

Meanwhile, we started corresponding and as I look through our letters, I see that he never stopped trying to broaden my horizon. His letters reflect his curiosity, even an excessive strain of enthusiasm; he offered a never ending stream of suggested novels or works of scholarship. While in his own work, he had an exacting low tolerance for minute error, in his reading habits he was primarily searching for bold and expansive interpretations. As I advanced in academia he relished keeping me informed of scholarly fashion that had somehow captured the imaginations of the culture and book sections even editorial pages of the Dutch broadsides.

In addition to being a teacher, Rob was a scholar, translator, and poet. His translations of Dante's Divine Comedy, Statius' The Thebaid, Lucan's Bellum Civile, Virgil's Bucolica/The Eclogues combine vast erudition with linguistic and poetic sensitivity. He also translated Epictetus. He would probably be very amused to hear me claim modest credit for triggering his renewed interest into Lucan just as he was completing his stupendous Dante translation. But it's true: while teaching the Treatise in my first seminar at Wesleyan in 2002, I was confused by the way the motto of book 3 of Hume's Treatise had been translated in the then new 'student edition' published by OUP. (The motto is from Lucan.) We started a correspondence about it, and I date to it the start of my interest into Seneca.

When I heard Rob had died, I looked at our correspondence to see when we last had written. I noticed to my horror he had never acknowledged my word that I had dedicated the forthcoming Neglected Classics volume to him. I had not registered this silence at all during the depths of my own illness.

Before I close, I don't want to suggest Rob was an ethereal personality only. He was happy whenever he could talk about Erika or Sabine. And our reading groups were carefully planned around not just his choir practices, but also his cycling holidays.

I also don't mean to suggest he was above name-dropping. Once he asked me slyly if I knew who Henny Vrienten was. They had met swimming their laps in de Zuiderbad. Later Vrienten became involved in the recording of Rob's Dante.

Near the end of De Magistro, Augustine suggests that when we praise a teacher, we're really praising ourselves and this never seems to me more true than in the Academy during the many, lovely ritual practices of acknowledging the roles of supervisors in one's education. Self-praise does not strike me as a sin, but I have to admit that all of these academic practices (fests, collections, memorial conferences, etc.) seem, however sincerely felt and expressed, a bit tainted by the multiplicity of self-advancing roles they play in our prestige hierarchies and zero-sum political economy. (Perhaps this also accounts for the sincerity.)

We encounter our high school teachers through their words, their curriculum, their classroom, and features of their personality as well as the school yards myths about them. The older, and more experienced I get in the classroom, the more it seems to me they -- I mean all true teachers -- use a feature of their personality, perhaps made excessively visible to the student, to find a way to connect with the longings and desires, perhaps vanity even (as Adam Smith claims), of their students, and turn this connection, however tenuous, into the engines of shared enquiry. This also means that not every teacher is the right fit for each student.

The reason why when we praise a teacher, we're really praising ourselves according to the closing lines of De Magistro is that teachers are kind of puppets or actors speaking thoughts of others and that it's the student's reason or intuition that is doing the real work of understanding even if the words of the official teacher trigger or guide such understanding. The Platonic idea with which De Magistro closes, that nobody teaches another anything, has, thus, generated learned philosophical commentary that betrays non-trivial professional anxiety.

Augustine does make an exception to this quite general claim at the start of De Magistro, which I doubt is retracted during the dialogue. He suggests that when we ask questions we're really teaching something about our needs or our plans. The latter includes, of course, the path of inquiry, as Augustine explicitly notes. Rob was magisterial in asking questions that directed our gaze to the inner, guiding light that we need on life's path.

 

 

Home Is Where the Art Is

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 03/06/2022 - 1:20am in

Everybody in Düsseldorf knows Michael Hermann by his nickname “Hörman.” His bright red beard and impish smile distinguish him from his peers who sell the magazine fiftyfifty on street corners. “Love on the streets,” is the headline of the most recent issue, approaching “the taboo topic” with sensitivity and care.

Fiftyfifty derives its name from its founding idea 25 years ago: The mostly unhoused street vendors who sell it keep fifty percent of the sales price, currently 2 euros and 80 cents (about $3 USD). The other half finances the magazine’s monthly production. But for Hermann, selling fiftyfifty means much more than a few euros. After over two decades on the streets, fiftyfifty bought him a place to live in 2017 — not just a bed in a shelter, but a brand new studio apartment all to himself — thanks to a glamorous blonde photographed in stunning black and white by the late Peter Lindbergh. 

Michael “Hörman” Hermann. Credit: fiftyfifty

Hermann’s social worker, Oliver Ongaro, does the math: Celebrity photographer Lindbergh donated 14 pictures to the Düsseldorf gallery operated by fiftyfifty. Each print was auctioned for 4,200 euros. From these proceeds, plus a few smaller donations, fiftyfifty purchased Hermann’s apartment for 64,700 Euros (about $70,000 USD) including the cost for renovations. 

“This is basically the amount two years of care for him would have cost anyway,” says Ongaro, referring to the German social system that covers assisted living, temporary shelters and emergency health care for people experiencing homelessness. “So we might as well get him a permanent home for that.” 

Hermann decorated his 300 freshly renovated square feet with a comfy couch and well-organized wall unit. Every corner shines as if newly scrubbed. The best part: Hermann left his heroin addiction at the doorstep of his new home, along with his penchant for alcohol binges. “When I know where I can stay for sure, I can establish myself permanently, build lasting connections with my neighbors and tackle my issues,” he says.

The art of ‘Housing First’

The nonprofit fiftyfifty, which receives not a cent from the state, derives funding not only from its newspaper — which regularly publishes renowned authors — but also from its aforementioned gallery, which features some of the biggest names in contemporary art: Gerhard Richter, Thomas Ruff, Jörg Immendorff, Imi Knoebel, Wim Wenders, Günther Uecker, Andreas Gursky, Katharina Sieverding, Candida Höfer, Markus Lüpertz, Katharina Fritsch, Beat Streuli, and many more. Each one has a connection to Düsseldorf, having studied or taught at the renowned local arts academy, the Kunstakadamie, and this bond with the city underpins their support of fiftyfifty’s pioneering housing project. The artists donate their art for auction, and fiftyfifty uses the revenue to purchase permanent housing for the city’s unhoused residents, who pay only a small fee to contribute to the expenses. 

Today, fiftyfifty owns 50 apartments that house 60 people permanently, plus about a dozen more apartments that wealthy locals have “lent” at no cost to unhoused people. The success rate is immense: nearly 100 percent of the housing recipients are still in their homes. “One family moved back to Croatia for personal reasons, some need help with keeping their homes clean, and we had one woman who we just got into supervised housing because she could not kick her drug addiction,” says Ongaro. 

fiftyfiftyThe mostly unhoused street vendors who sell fiftyfifty keep 50 percent of the sales price, about $3 USD. Credit: fiftyfifty

What also makes fiftyfifty unique is that they focus on the toughest cases: the people who have been homeless the longest, with the most challenging addiction problems or mental health issues. “A lot of nonprofits want to take the cream of the crop so their results look impressive,” Ongaro says without a hint of judgment. “We’re the opposite. We want to show that this approach works for the people who have been on the street for over a decade and who might be battling more than one addiction or mental health issue at once.”

With its artsy touch, fiftyfifty brings a unique twist to the “Housing First” approach, which posits that people should be housed before they’re expected to tackle their other challenges. The model is still comparatively new in Germany, but has been successful in reducing chronic homelessness in countries such as Finland and Canada. 

Ongaro, a jovial social worker with salt-and-pepper hair and a winning smile, has been with fiftyfifty for nearly 20 years. He is all too familiar with how social services normally work in Germany. Getting permanent housing is all but impossible for someone struggling with severe addiction and no stable job because affordable housing is usually tied to conditions such as sobriety and a regular income.

“There is no way someone like Hermann gets an apartment on the housing market,” Ongaro says. Five times, Hermann got a bed in one of Düsseldorf’s residential care homes, where contracts are always limited to 18 or 24 months. “It’s really inhumane,” Ongaro says. “Towards the end, there is always stress because it’s always the same: He has to leave and no other place is available and he’s back on the street. More often than not, this leads to a relapse in addiction, and that is massively hazardous to people’s health.” The person needing a home then starts again at the beginning of the process. Ongaro calls it “the revolving door effect.”

Without art, fiftyfifty’s housing fund would not exist. It was actually Gerhard Richter, at the time the highest valued contemporary artist, who kickstarted the Housing First effort by donating his entire Cage f.ff. I-VI series, 30 colorful abstract paintings, in 2015. Each offset sold for 80,000 to 130,000 euros. This became the seed money for fiftyfifty’s housing fund. Together with the Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband NRW, a powerful regional lobbying platform for 3,200 social organizations in North Rhine-Westphalia, fiftyfifty established the fund in 2017.

Today it holds more than 1.2 million euros with which it aims to buy 100 apartments. The limit of 100 apartments was set by fiftyfifty itself. “We don’t want to become a professional real estate investor, and we can’t be the stopgap for misguided state politics,” says fiftyfifty’s founding director and editor-at-large, Hubert Ostendorf. But he hopes other organizations and cities will copy this model and continue this work.

fiftyfiftyContemporary artist Gerhard Richter kickstarted fiftyfifty’s Housing First effort with his own paintings. Credit: fiftyfifty

Since then, Richter has been donating repeatedly. For instance, he once called Ostendorf out of the blue and said, “I have two versions of a new painting but I only need one. Do you want the other?” It was one of his famous “Mother and Child” photo paintings. The answer was easy. “Yes,” Ostendorf said. The next day, he got in his car and fetched the treasure. The deal is that Ostendorf spends the money as soon as possible. The same week, Ostendorf spotted an affordable apartment for sale and bought it outright. Richter, now 90 years old, studied at the Kunstakademie, the very institute where Sigmar Polke, Joseph Beuys, Anselm Kiefer and later photographers such as Thomas Ruff, Andreas Gursky and Candida Höfer also mastered their crafts. 

“The artists trust us,” says Ostendorf, dressed in black from head to toe like most of his artists. Passionate about art, he had worked with local artists even before he started the gallery. For instance, photo artist Thomas Struth organized a photo campaign in 2003, distributing cameras to unhoused people who took pictures of the passersby. 

Ostendorf auctions the donated art online or at the gallery at a price he negotiates with the artists. He describes the relationships as grounded in mutual respect that has grown over a quarter century. It’s a win-win: Art lovers get exquisite art at a very fair price (but often double the sum as a donation), and the most vulnerable Düsseldorf residents get a permanent home.

Ongaro raves about how stable housing changes his clients. Hermann’s wall unit, for instance, didn’t fit into the elevator. “It was awesome to see that he didn’t give up,” Ongaro remembers. “It was enormously important for him to decorate his apartment beautifully, and his own appearance changed, too. It’s about self-worth — and that from a man who has tried for 20 years to destroy his body.”

Staying ahead of the market

Housing First was pioneered in the U.S. and Canada. By giving people permanent housing with a lock and a key — no bunk beds, no cubicles, no theft — social workers help them address other issues, such as debt, addiction or joblessness. 

The model has proven itself in dozens of cities and countries. One study examined its success in five European cities: Amsterdam, Lisbon, Budapest, Copenhagen and Glasgow. “80 to 90 percent of long-term homeless people stayed in their apartments when we looked after two to five years,” summed up researcher Volker Busch-Geertsema. “The social integration works.” But Housing First does not mean Housing Only, adds Busch-Geertsema. “It’s not about giving people a key and saying, ‘Good luck!’ There are additional services, but accepting them is not a condition of keeping the apartment.” Housing First also works best, he found, when the apartments are not all clustered in one place. This matches the experience of fiftyfifty. Neighbors often are not even aware that they live next to someone whose last address was a street corner. 

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The pandemic threatened to undo some of fiftyfifty’s progress. During the lockdown in the spring and summer of 2020, hardly anybody wanted to approach a street vendor selling the fiftyfifty magazine. “It was almost like we were the only people on the street,” Ongaro remembers. The magazine rescued itself by establishing online subscriptions to recover its costs, but it was a rough two years.

The housing crunch has been exacerbated by soaring housing prices, which have doubled and tripled in German cities over the last few years, especially in already overpriced markets like Berlin, Munich and Düsseldorf. Asked how Housing First can secure affordable housing in an overheated market, Busch-Geertsema reels off a list of measures cities and communities can take: force real estate investors to allocate up to 20 percent of new apartments as affordable, guarantee landlords their rent if they lease their property to an unhoused tenant, or motivate churches to allocate some of their real estate to people experiencing homelessness. Also, Busch-Geertsema points out that it is just as important to help housed people not slip into homelessness in the first place. “It’s much easier to support someone in their home than to start all over on the streets.” Or, as the late fiftyfifty supporter and enfant terrible artist Jörg Immendorff put it: “We need badass action from the state.” 

Despite the taxed resources, on the other hand, the pandemic made some wealthy people even wealthier. An often underestimated aspect of fiftyfifty’s concept is that it gives people a reliable tool to help the neediest. “People who buy renowned art usually have disposable income,” Ongaro has learned. “But when they give donations to organizations, it is often unclear where the money goes exactly or how much is skimmed for administrative costs. Our process is very simple: You have the money to buy an apartment, and we handle everything else. This way, the donor knows exactly whom they are helping. They can even visit the person if they want to or receive regular updates. It’s very clear cut.”

People who don’t have that kind of money but love art might purchase one of the cheaper prints in the gallery, starting at 120 Euros (around $127 USD). If they have hardly any money to spare, they could volunteer their services, for instance, to renovate an apartment, sell the fiftyfifty newspaper or simply buy a subscription online.

As of April 1, Germany had registered around 300,000 refugees from Ukraine, some of which use the same resources as fiftyfifty’s clients. Fiftyfifty has allocated two apartments for Ukrainian families, and Ongaro is on the board of a refugee nonprofit called Stay that fiftyfifty founded 13 years ago. Even with these added pressures, however, Ongaro is convinced that fiftyfifty will reach its goal: “We want to show that we can solve homelessness in this city.” 

The post Home Is Where the Art Is appeared first on Reasons to be Cheerful.

Love in the time of COVID

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 02/06/2022 - 3:00am in

Tags 

art


fishtime

UB, 31 Dec 2021

Everyone smells like fish… What’s wrong with just being human…? Maybe this is just a bad dream. All I need to do is hold my breath and swim for the surface…

Out in the Street

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 01/06/2022 - 11:30pm in

Tehching Hsieh defiantly foregrounded his own vulnerability.

Tricks of the Trade

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 26/05/2022 - 12:13am in

In Emily Hall’s “The Longcut,” an artist prevaricates endlessly about the nature of her work.

How We Remember Leads Us to What We Remember

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 11/05/2022 - 2:00am in

Tags 

art, history

No Monument, contained within one and a half rooms on the first floor of the Noguchi Museum complex, challenges institutional accounts of Japanese Americans detention—often illustrated using photographs of disconsolate families surrounded by a few remaining possessions—by celebrating personal expression in a time of hardship. ...

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Kelly & Rembert Win Pulitzer Prize

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 10/05/2022 - 9:01am in

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art, Racism

Erin Kelly, professor of philosophy at Tufts University, together with the late Winfred Rembert, have won the the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for biography/autobiography for their book, Chasing Me to My Grave: An Artist’s Memoir of the Jim Crow South.

The book (see the previous post about it here) tells the story of Rembert, an artist, who was imprisoned and forced to work as part of a chain gang owing to his involvement in the civil rights movement in Georgia. The Pulitzer Prize announcement calls the book “a searing first-person illustrated account of an artist’s life during the 1950s and 1960s in an unreconstructed corner of the deep South—an account of abuse, endurance, imagination, and aesthetic transformation.”

The prize includes $15,000.

Rembert died in March, 2021.

(via Afton Greco)

The Invisible Labor of Asian Americans in New York Fashion

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 10/05/2022 - 2:00am in

Tags 

art, fashion

To make plain the fact that there exists no singular Asian American aesthetic, the student organizers of this FIT exhibit made the unusual choice not to make reference to the specific heritages of the featured creatives: “We want viewers to focus on the craftsmanship that goes into the work the designers create. By not individually presenting each designer’s background they are not singled out by their personal identities.” ...

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