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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Banksy’s Mural Support for Zehra Doğan

Zehra Dogan

On Thursday, 15 March 2018, the anonymous graffiti artist Banksy, in cooperation with another “graffiti artist [named] Borf“ unveiled a mural depicting Zehra Doğan behind bars on the Bowery in New York City. The anonymous artist even spoke to the New York Times in an attempt to draw public attention to the plight of the imprisoned Turkish artist. Banksy said the following: “I really feel for her. I’ve painted things much more worthy of a custodial sentence”, adding that Dogan had been “[s]entenced to nearly three years in jail for painting a single picture“.1

Zehra Dogan 2 (Banksy, March 18)

Last year, the London-based wrtie and photograpger Perwana Nazif explained that the Turkish-Kurdish painter and journalist Zehra Doğan has been sentenced to two years, nine months, and 22 days in prison for creating a painting which depicted the destruction caused by Turkish security forces in the Nusaybin district of Mardin province, a Kurdish region in Turkey . . . According to Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, the Mardin Second High Criminal Court in Turkey handed down the sentence because she drew Turkish flags on buildings destroyed by Turkish forces. However, according to Artforum, the court expressed that Doğan’s sharing of the image of her work, featuring current military operations, was the cause for her prison sentence“.2

Zehra Dogan (Banksy, March 18)

Doğan herself tweeted “I was given two years and 10 months [of jail time] only because I painted Turkish flags on destroyed buildings. However, [the AKP-led Turkish government] caused this. I only painted it”.3 The tweet has since apparently been deleted. There had been a two-year cease-fire in place between Turkish security forces and the PKK, when the negative election outcome in July 2015 led the Prez Tayyip Erdoğan and his AKP henchmen to renew hostilities in order for popular sentiment to become more amenable to a renewed AKP mandate . . . which was successfully delivered in a election re-run in November — Turkey’s so-called November Surprise. Since then, all-out war between the two parties has erupted anew, a war which has now also swept into Syria, where the AKP-led government is currently fighting the PKK-affiliated PYD with the help of its Jihadi terrorist warriors carrying the misleading moniker FSA or Free Syrian Army.

Zehra D

1Tom Powell, “Banksy unveils New York art mural as a protest against jailing of Turkish artist Zehra Dogan” Evening Standard (16 March 2018). https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/banksy-unveils-new-york-mural-in-protest-against-jailing-of-turkish-artist-zehra-dogan-a3791411.html.

2Perwana Nazif, “Turkish Artist Zehra Doğan Sentenced to Prison for Painting of Kurdish Town Attack” Artnet News (24 March 2017). https://news.artnet.com/art-world/painter-zehra-dogan-sentenced-to-jail-for-artwork-902015.

3Perwana Nazif, “Turkish Artist Zehra Doğan Sentenced to Prison for Painting of Kurdish Town Attack”.




‘As European leaders prepare to meet Turkey’s President Erdoğan at the NATO summit this week, [the Cartoonists Rights Network International] is just one among many human rights orgs urging the Presidents of the European Commission and Council of Europe to ensure that protection of human rights and detention of journalists in Turkey remain a central point of discussion’.

The CRNI published a public letter addressed to the Turkish Prez and his European interlocutors:

Your excellencies,

Turkey has been a member of the Council of Europe for almost sixty years and is party to the European Convention on Human Rights.

In a meeting with the European Committee on Foreign Affairs held in Strasbourg on May 15th Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council made the following statement with reference to journalists arrested in Turkey on charges pertaining to support for terrorist organisations:

“… there is case law [in the European Court of Human Rights]… that one cannot have a journalist in pre-trial detention for more than four months.”

Staff from the Cumhuriyet newspaper including our colleague the acclaimed and internationally respected cartoonist Musa Kart were formally arrested on November 5th 2016. They were finally indicted on April 4th 2017 – a gap of five months.

Last week they spent their two hundredth consecutive day in custody. When the first hearing of their trial takes place, scheduled for July 24th, they will be approaching the end of their ninth month. And their circumstances are far from unique; Amnesty International’s figures indicate that a third of the world’s imprisoned journalists are in Turley.

By any measure of jurisprudence the protracted detention of these journalists constitute a violation of rights accorded to those awaiting trial.

Furthermore we reject the charges levelled against Kart and his colleagues, who have done nothing more than pursue careers in journalism.

We urge President Tusk and his delegation to press President Erdoğan on conditions for journalists and media workers in Turkey and remind him that, in the word of Sec.Gen. Jagland:

“… [the ECHR] has communicated to the journalists that their[s] are cases of priority.”

Finally we call upon President Erdoğan to consider his own words last year following the attempted coup against his government:

“I feel that if we do not make use of this opportunity correctly, then it will give the people the right to hold us by the throat.”

Time for Turkey to behave “correctly” i.e. like the robust, mature, lawful democracy and valued world player her friends in Europe know her to be.

Joel Pett, President, CRNI”.(1)




Molly Crabapple: Drawing Blood


‘From sex workers in the US to prisoners in Guantanamo, artist and journalist Molly Crabapple has been there. Her bold and powerful work has also taken her to Abu Dhabi’s migrant labor camps, and with rebels in Syria. Her new memoir, Drawing Blood, was just released in December [2015]. She is a contributing editor for VICE and has written for publications including The New York Times, Paris Review, and Vanity Fair. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. This episode also features a commentary from Laura on the dark magic of the art market. Published on Jan 12, 2016′.

About three years ago, Molly Crabapple wrote that “Camp X-Ray is the first place that the US held detainees in Guantanamo. Captives lived there for four months in 2002 while the military built permanent prison camps. Prisoners lived in open mesh cages under the brutal Cuban sun. Their cells had no running water. Guards gave them two buckets: one for water and one for shit. The classic photos of GTMO, (dogs, marines, hooded captives in orange jumpsuits) were taken here. With its watchtowers, clapboard interrogation huts, and rings of barbed wire, X-Ray looks like nothing so much as a concentration camp in the Caribbean”.[1]





[1] Molly Crabapple, “Molly Crabapple Draws Guantanamo’s Camp X-Ray” VICE (20 June 2013). http://www.vice.com/read/molly-crabapple-draws-gtmos-camp-x-ray.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go at Burning Man!

‘Based on Dr. Seuss’s final book before his death, this is a story about life’s ups and downs, told by the people of Burning Man (Uploaded on Jan 6, 2012)’.  

‘Directed by: Teddy Saunders (http://tedsaunders.com), Parker Howell (http://parkerhowell.com), William Walsh (http://willpowercinema.com). Produced and Edited by Teddy Saunders’.  

The Wonderful World of Albert Kahn

‘In 1909 the millionaire French banker and philanthropist Albert Kahn embarked on an ambitious project to create a colour photographic record of, and for, the peoples of the world. As an idealist and an internationalist, Kahn believed that he could use the new autochrome process, the world’s first user-friendly, true-colour photographic system, to promote cross-cultural peace and understanding. Kahn used his vast fortune to send a group of intrepid photographers to more than fifty countries around the world, often at crucial junctures in their history, when age-old cultures were on the brink of being changed for ever by war and the march of twentieth-century globalisation. They documented in true colour the collapse of both the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires; the last traditional Celtic villages in Ireland, just a few years before they were demolished; and the soldiers of the First World War — in the trenches, and as they cooked their meals and laundered their uniforms behind the lines. They took the earliest-known colour photographs in countries as far apart as Vietnam and Brazil, Mongolia and Norway, Benin and the United States’.[1]

Europe on the Brink

[1] “About Albert Kahn” The Wonderful World of Albert Khan. http://www.albertkahn.co.uk/about.html.

ARTS.21: The Culture of the Dogon – On View in Germany

The Dogon culture blossomed in the spectacular rocky landscape of Bandiagara in what is now Mali. The natural and cultural heritage of the Dogon has been on the UNESCO world heritage list since 1989. More than 270 of the most beautiful objects from the region, including masks, sculptures and jewelry, are on show at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn. ARTS.21 visited the Dogon people in Mali.


Collecting Ancient Central America: Museums, Explorers, & Archaeologists in Pursuit of the Past

Starting in the late 19th century, travelers, amateur scientists, businessmen, politicians, and later, professional archaeologists returned from Central America with never-before-seen artifacts. Many of these ceramic, stone, gold, and jade objects ended up in museums and many entered private collections. Regardless of their final destination, these early collections have helped, and continue to help, define a unique and unparalleled ancient history of Central America. This symposium delves into this history by looking at both early antiquarians and more recent scholarly approaches to collecting and understanding the past. It focuses on individuals, institutions, and the social and political factors that have impacted the collecting of objects from Belize and Guatemala in the north, down to Panama in the south. By extension, this conversation is also about understanding the history of archaeology, the history of museum building, and how we construct the past. Featured scholars include Dr. John Hoopes (University of Kansas), Dr. Francisco Corrales (National Museum of Costa Rica), Dr. Rosemary Joyce (University of California, Berkeley), Luis Sánchez (Department of Environmental Management, Costa Rican Institute of Electricity), Dr. James Snead (California State University Northridge), Dr. Elin Danien (University of Pennsylvania), and Dr. Alexander Benitez (George Mason University).