Art and Literature

Ismail Kadare Wins Jerusalem Prize

February 9, 2015
Ismail Kadare Wins Jerusalem Prize

Advertisment Ismail Kadare has been awarded the Jerusalem Prize, an award that is given to writers whose focus is on human rights. Ismail Kadare is Albania’s leading writer, a man whose appeal has gone far beyond the borders of his small nation in the Balkans. Much of his literary career was spent writing under the […]

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The Taxing Company of Eccentric Artists

January 21, 2015
The Taxing Company of Eccentric Artists

Advertisment How often does an eccentric, wannabe artist tax the fortunes and patience of friends and family? How often does he or she turn out to be like a penny stock that defied all expectations? Advertisment

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Remembering Bertolt Brecht

August 15, 2014
Remembering Bertolt Brecht

Advertisment Although he was known primarily as a playwright, the poetry of Bertolt Brecht is increasingly recognised as being worthy of note.One of my favourites The Mask of Evil was translated into English as follows. On my wall hangs a Japanese carving, The mask of an evil demon, decorated with gold lacquer. Sympathetically I observe […]

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Visits to the Museum

August 14, 2014
Visits to the Museum

Advertisment Following is an edited version of an article that appeared on Magdeburgerjoe.com back in 2010. One of my past times as a child was looking at my parent’s art books. I didn’t like going to the museum. That meant passing up an afternoon of play and stuffing myself into clothing that made me feel […]

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The Real Story of the von Trapp Family and the Sound of Music [Videos]

December 10, 2013
The Real Story of the von Trapp Family and the Sound of Music [Videos]

Advertisment     It is well-known that The Sound of Music is based upon a real life story.  The von Trapp family is certainly real. They were indeed opponents of hitler and the Nazis. Beyond that, there were many departures from true accuracy that were made in doing the film. Prologue Magazine lays out some […]

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Looking At Banknotes From Around the World [Videos]

October 20, 2013
Looking At Banknotes From Around the World [Videos]

Advertisment Some of the most interesting artwork in the world is found on paper currency. Collecting the currency of the world can provide a fascinating and colourful glimpse of the nations of the world. Although currency in Europe became a lot more boring with the adoption of the Euro, there are still a lot of […]

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Banksy and the World of Graffiti Art [Videos]

October 19, 2013
Banksy and the World of Graffiti Art [Videos]

Advertisment British superstar graffiti artist Banksy is the target of a citywide manhunt, Reuters News reports. Lame dork mayor Mike Bloomberg explained the misuse of police manpower by explaining “Graffiti does ruin people’s property.” but had nothing to say about ticket blitzes and nanny state laws that have blighted life in New York City during […]

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To This Day: A Video About Bullying by Shane Koyczan [Video]

April 3, 2013
To This Day: A Video About Bullying by Shane Koyczan [Video]

Advertisment The following video about bullying is painful to look at. The easiest part about watching it was identifying with the protagonist. The hardest part of watching it is recalling the times I passed the pain on by becoming a bully myself to stay away from the bottom of the food chain. And the saddest […]

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The Man Who Had To Sing [Video]

March 18, 2013
The Man Who Had To Sing [Video]

Advertisment   The following cartoon is an animated fable by Milan Blažeković of Croatia. He made it back in  in 1970 when Croatia was still part of Yugoslavia. It was produced by the famed Zagreb Film.  Its original title: Čovjek koji je morao pjevati. Is the man just annoying, or is his song a variation […]

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Pointillism Is Alive And Well Through Les Conroy

January 27, 2013
Pointillism Is Alive And Well Through Les Conroy

Advertisment One of my big complaints about modern art is when it completely loses any resemblance to the world we see, such as with the art of Jackson Pollock. Another pet peeve of mine is the work of Andy Warhol, who managed to get thousands of dollars for painting a Campbell’s soup can. All too […]

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The Art and Life of Ben Shahn [Video]

January 16, 2013
The Art and Life of Ben Shahn [Video]

Advertisment Ben Shahn was born in Lithuania in 1898 to orthodox Jewish parents. Living under czarist rule gave him early exposure to brutality and injustice. Coming to America and seeing the impoverished flip side of America’s opportunities became a powerful influence on Ben Shahn’s social realist form of art. For Shahn, art was never separate […]

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Painter of the Day, Alexei Savrasov [Videos]

October 30, 2012
Savrosov portrait

Advertisment While looking for paintings of storms, I came across the paintings of Alexei Savrasov, who was was a Russian landscape painter who lived from 12830 to 1897.He started to show artistic ability at the age of eight, and eventually studies at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, from which he graduated in […]

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Censored Books Throughout the Ages

April 4, 2012
Censored Books Throughout the Ages

Advertisment   The history of censorship goes back to ancient Greece. Far from being the exclusive province of ham fisted dictators like the Nazis and the communists, even the United States has engaged in censorship for reasons other than reasons of profanity or sexual explicitness.Amazingly enough an ancient Greek play Aristophanes’s “Lysistrata,” written in 411 […]

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Yuri Norshteyn, Master of Animated Film [Videos]

November 20, 2011
Yuri Norshteyn, Master of Animated Film [Videos]

Advertisment Yuri Norshteyn is an animated film producer from Russia, who produced a great deal of work back when Russia was still the hub of the USSR. He was born in 1941 to Jewish parents who were fleeing deeper into the Soviet Union to escape advancing Nazi armies. When viewing Norshteyn’s films, one notes a […]

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Film of the Day From Iran “Baran” [Video]

July 26, 2011
Film of the Day From Iran “Baran” [Video]

Advertisment   Iranian films are getting well deserved respect abroad. One critically acclaimed film is Baran, a 2001 film about a Kurdish worker who falls in love with an  Afghan girl. The film reveals the ethnic divisions in Iranian society between different ethnic groups, as well as the tension between illegal foreign workers and the […]

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A child draws a picture in Theresienstadt

A child draws a picture in Theresienstadt

The drawing of a child in Theresienstadt "model" concentration camp.

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“A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.”

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We cannot appeal to the conscience of the world when our own conscience is asleep.... Carl von Ossietzky

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Leopold Trepper, who spied for the USSR as part of the Red Orchestra spy group and cost Nazi Germany countless casualties

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