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Archive for September Thursday, 2009

Kodachrome

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Une histoire assez peu ordinaire.

Une chercheur tombe par hasard sur des vieux Kodachrome, système qui permet de réaliser les premières photographies en couleur (je ne suis pas spécialiste) et découvre une série de commandes pour le Ministère de l’Agriculture Américaine.

Voici un témoignage émouvant sur l’Amérique de la Grande Depression et du début de la Guerre.

Un diaporama de Time Magazine.

Il me rappelle Apocalypse, que vous avez peut-être regardé ces jours-ci à la télé, sur France 2, sinon ne ratez pas la suite de ce documentaire.

F W de Klerk praises Nelson Mandela

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

F W de Klerk, the last president of South Africa during apartheid, hailed Nelson Mandela as one of the greatest figures of the last century in a 90th birthday tribute on Thursday to his successor.

De Klerk, who stood down after Mandela won the first multi-racial elections 14 years ago, said his co-winner of the 1993 Nobel peace price was a born leader with the “humility and the grace of a true natural aristocrat.”

“He is the most famous South African who has ever lived and is universally regarded as one of the greatest figures of the 20th century,” said De Klerk in a statement.

The former National party leader acknowledged his working relationship with Mandela went through some rough patches both in negotiations leading up to the end of whites-only rule in 1994 and in a two-year stint as deputy president.

“He was a hard, sometimes remorseless, negotiating partner and our relationship was often severely strained,” he said.

“Nevertheless, whenever the situation demanded it …we were able to overcome our differences and take concerted action to defuse the crises as they arose.

“After his inauguration, Nelson Mandela used his personal charm to promote reconciliation and to mould our widely diverse communities into an emerging multicultural nation. This, I believe, will be seen as his greatest legacy.”

Mandela, who turns 90 on Friday, served one term as South African president before standing down and being succeded by the current head of state Thabo Mbeki in 1999.

Taken from Cape Times

Why the Irish dance that way

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

A short and funny video …

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John Millington Synge

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

John Millington Synge ((1871-1909), poète, écrivain et accessoirement musicien, était aussi photographe. Issu de la bourgeoisie protestante irlandaise, il passa une partie de sa vie à voyager pour étudier les arts et la littérature.

En 1897, malade, il décide de vivre entre Paris et Inis Meàn, dans les îles d’Aran. Il y effectue un véritable travail d’ethnologue, sillonnant la campagne avec son appareil-photo, collectant récits et chansons à chacun de ses passages.

En 1907, il publie son livre Les Iles d’Aran, illustré par Jack Butler Yeats. Les photos prises par Synge dans les îles d’Aran entre 1898 et 1902 ne seront rassemblées et publiées qu’en 1971 dans un recueil intitulé My Wallet of Photographs aux éditions Dolmen Press.

Synges_wallet1.jpghttp://www.aran-isles.com/1224246671468_4.jpgSynges_wallet7.jpgSynges_wallet3.jpg

Synge was 27 when he went to the Aran Islands for the first time in l898, armed with l9th-century contemporary technology: a typewriter and a second-hand camera called a Klito he had bought from another visitor in Kilronan. Recovering from an operation for Hodgkin’s disease and a frustrated love affair, he was open, vulnerable and receptive. The images he took, record everyday island life – the women at the spinning wheels, the men gathering seaweed or hauling their currachs – but they also chronicle a dramatic news event, one of the last evictions on the island of an old woman turned out of her house after 30 years.

In his pictures of people, there’s an intimacy, a familiarity in the attitude towards the camera, a sense of ease in facing a friendly rather than an intruding lens. The photographs were used by Jack Yeats for his illustrations for a series of articles Synge wrote for the Manchester Guardian in June and July 1905 and the original sketch of the family on Inis Oírr now hangs in the Niland Gallery in Sligo.

“These photographs are important because they are among the first to portray the cultural revival in Ireland at the turn of the century and are among the most visual statements of Irishness from a cultural national perspective,” says Walsh, who first came across the photographs on a visit to Inis Meáin two years ago. “Synge was someone who believed that here was a reservoir of pure unadulterated Irishness, much more rooted and organic and, in a way, like an alternative lifestyle that came from the people and the elemental forces that surround them.” Other photographers of the time, he argues, did not have the same empathy, did not speak Irish, and were transients passing through with a camera, or scientists clinically recording what they perceived as a primitive way of life.

Synge was a close observer of nature and an accomplished musician who had ways of engaging with islanders and entertaining them. He could also be inconspicuous when he wanted to, and the portrait of the family on Inis Oírr, the man moving away from the woman and child, has a kind of epic grandeur, almost cinematic in its formality and setting.

He noticed details of island dress, “the local air of beauty”: the flannel trousers, the veists or báiníns, the pampooties, cowhide shoes and, of course, the red petticoats and indigo stockings “on the powerful legs” of the women. He certainly didn’t write about white cabled Aran sweaters, which did not exist then, and the idea of drowned fishermen being identified by their knitted jumpers was a later, mythical invention. Early visitors to the island were always impressed by the colour and unity of the dress, and the contrast between the farmers on Aran and those of their counterparts in Wicklow in their top hats, suits and boots could not be more striking.

L’Irlande fête les 70 ans de Seamus Heaney, poète et Prix Nobel

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Seamus Heaney, né en 1939 en Irlande du Nord, a fêté lundi dernier ses 70 ans en compagnie du pays tout entier. L’Irlande, pays des poètes, a mis à l’honneur, lundi 13 avril, celui qui a consacré sa vie à la poésie – et a reçu le prix Nobel de littérature 1995 pour l’ensemble de son œuvre.

Elevé dans le milieu rural du nord de l’Irlande, il poursuit ses études à l’université de Belfast. Ce clivage entre racines gaéliques et culture britannique marquera profondément son œuvre.

Je vous joins une petite vidéo illustrant un de ses poèmes.

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U2 Live at Croke Park

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Juillet 2009: le groupe irlandais mythique joue à Croke Park à Dublin ses plus gros succès et ses nouveaux titres. Retour “à la maison” pour les Irlandais dans LE temple du football gaélique, un des sports les plus populaires en Irlande.

J’ai personnellement visité Croke Park et un stade de 80,000 places, c’est quand même impressionnant !

C’est quand même  le quatrième plus grand stade d’Europe, après le Camp Nou à Barcelone, Wembley en Angleterre et San Siro à Milan !

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Times of Crisis

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

je vous invite à aller voir ce diaporama  interactif  réalisé par l’agence Reuters à l’occasion de cette première année passée dans la crise (à la suite, je vous le rappelle, de la faillite de la Banque Lehman Brothers)

Vous y trouverez la chronologie de la crise (Timeline).

Bonne visite !