ORIENTAL SOUVENIRS

Some items, photos and souvenirs  collected here and there over the years reminding me of many surprising and varied travels in the vast Oriental world:

Photo of main temple at Abu Simbel near the border to Sudan, Egypt, 1985

Inlay work on wooden box, Damascus, Syria, 1994

Ancient postcard of Palmyra, Syria, 1995

Photo of Krak des Chevaliers, Syria, 1996

“Ironically, the basis for the growth in the age of the Crusades
lay in the stability and good relations between the Muslim world
and the Christians, both in the Holy Land itself and elsewhere.”

from:  Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan

Postcard with view on mosque of old Tunis, Tunisia, 1997

Rai music cassette, Algiers, Algeria , 1999


Berber music cassette, Oasis of Tamerza, Sahara, Tunisia, 2001

“If someone hits you with a stone,
hit him with bread,
your bread will return to you
and his stone will return to him.”

Old Tunisian saying

Special stamp on postcard, Tripoli, Libya, 2004

Photo of junction, Oasis of Douz, Sahara, Tunisia, 2006

One Dinar, Kuwait-City, Kuwait, 2008

“The love of money is the root of all evil.”

Proverb from England

Thanks for following this short expedition thru time and space.

But now it’s definitely summer vacation time, see you soon again, salut, ciao, tschüss!

INUIT ART AT CAPE DORSET, NUNAVUT, ARCTIC CANADA

Prologue

In one of these never ending arctic polar nights when only some ravens were loafing through the icy roads of Cape Dorset loudly cawing, the pretty hard polar wind had only one intention whispered at the next corner: I have to find the shaman of Nunavut to raise my question that why is the owl not that what it seems to resemble. But the shaman was very busy because he had an important appointment with the other world which cannot be found in a snow crystal or the sky with all its strange sparkling stars.

Shamanhunter, 2015, carving by Pitseolak Qimirpik

This made the wind quite upset, angry and naughty because the wind could never visit this special shaman’s world. So he embraced and fixed the shaman with his mighty icy robot-arms and blew him in a short moment which lasted less than a second all over the ocean westwards into the far away German landscape of Berlin. Now, the shaman-hunter is standing in front of me in my room completely frozen and fixed to a serpentine stone, and my calendar utters simply breathless that we are right now in November 2017.

Emblem of Nunavut

The land of the Inuit is called Nunavut written in their own language like this ᓄᓇᕗᑦ. This term means simply our home-land and stretches over a big arctic territory in the North of Canada. The Inuit culture is – in remote settlements partly until today – a relatively uniform hunting culture, which until the middle of the 20th century, was specialized on the hunting of marine mammals (seals, walruses, whales), but also of land based animals (caribou, polar bears). The social structure of the traditional Inuit society was largely egalitarian which means that each person had basically the same access to resources and there were only very small differences in rank.

Arctic Madonna, 1980, drawing by Pittaloosi Saila

In the 1960s, the Canadian government funded the establishment of secular, government-operated high schools in the Northwest Territories (including what is now Nunavut) and Inuit areas in Quebec and Labrador along with the residential school system.  This was a real wake-up call for the Inuit, and it stimulated the emergence of a new generation of young Inuit activists in the late 1960s who came forward and pushed for respect for the Inuit, their culture and territories.

View on Cape Dorset in May 1997, photo by Ansgar Walk

Cape Dorset is an Inuit village at the Southern tip of Baffin Island  in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada. The Inuktitut name is Kinngait ᑭᙵᐃᑦ  which stands simply for high mountain as to be seen on the photo. In 2016 the population comprised 1,411 residents, an increase of 5,7 % compared to 2006. A handful of unnamed dirt/gravel roads (unpaved because of winter conditions) cross the village but do not connect beyond Cape Dorset.  Near the village the remains of the Thule (Tuniit, Dorset Culture) were discovered who lived between 1,000 BC and 1,100 AD. Cape Dorset was named by Captain Luke Fox after Edward Sackville, 4th Earl of Dorset, on 24 September 1631.

First craft centre of Cape Dorset in the 1950s

Caribou, 1957-1958, experimental print by Kananginak Pootoogook

Cape Dorset is also known as the capital of Inuit art, since the 1950s the place has been a centre for drawing, printmaking and carving. Today these ambitions continue to be the community’s main economic activities with some 22 % of the labour force employed in the arts. In 1957, James Archibald Houston, created a graphic arts workshop right here which was considered a away for the community to generate income by adapting traditional art forms to contemporary techniques. The artists have much experimented with etching, engraving, lithography and silkscreen. They produce annual catalogs advertising the limited edition prints. The most wellknown artist from Cape Dorset is Nuna Parr, his carvings are internationally recognized and his work is exhibited in the National Gallery of Canada.

Cover of Inuit art-booklet from 1988
by Pangnirtung Eskimo Co-operative, Baffin Island

Raven’s Earth, 1995, stonecut by Mayoreak Ashoona

In the old Inuit mythology the raven was seen as creator of the entire world and all living beings with beats of his wings. He also had the power of both a man and a bird, and could change easily from one to the other simply by pulling his beak over his head as one lifts a mask. According their tradition the first human being was born from a pea-pod plant, because the raven also filled the land with growing pea-pod plants, and when after some time one of the pea-pods burst open, out popped a fully grown human being, the first to walk around raven’s earth.

Seadiver, 1998, carving by Itulu Itidluie

A local carver at his workshop, photo by Ansgar Walk

The “Shamanhunter” and “Raven’s Earth” are also to be found at my home, these fascinating works inspired me to writing this feature about a strange and unique place where I have not been so far. So this post here is also my anticipative call for discovering endless Canada sometime in reality.

Quiviuq, 1973, printing by Armand Tagoona and Ruby Arngna’naaq

 

Linked to Cathy’s wanderessence blog:

anticipation & preparation: egypt in 2007

 

ELEMENTAL ABUNDANCE

You are crazy, my child.
You must go to Berlin.

Franz von Suppé, 1800

Especially in spring an irresistible desire for yet another unknown land emerges suddenly at dusk somewhere in the nowhere. Time for a small picture story of Berlin through enigmatic shallows and at multiple urban shores.

Can you hear me?

Word War II and the later division of Berlin have led to a lot of unused infrastructure, railways, empty factories and abandoned places till today. So there are really many possibilities getting lost in the labyrinth of the town.

Looking for enlightenment in a deserted factory at Treptow

Kitsch in an allotment garden at Charlottenburg

The city is changing quickly every day, but the spirit used to be indeed much more rebellious here in former times. Some wild street art reflects these eternal inflammatory ambitions sprouting from undergrounds.

Mural at Kreuzberg near Moritzplatz

Former railway tunnel at natural park Südgelände-Gleisdreieck

Large urban areas are covered with lakes and endless woods on sandy soil left by glaciers of the last ice age. Here the approaching predatory and brutal gentrification of many city districts does not play any role so far.

Krossinsee at Köpenick in early April

The journey is not yet over here – just a short excursion of my homeland today, thanks for reading.

Painting at Bernauer Str. reminding to Berlin’s division (1961-1989)

 

 

VAST DIVERSITY OF WROCLAW IN DATELESS SILESIA, POLAND

Wroclaw is also called the ‘Venice of Poland’ due to its settlement on several islands in the river Oder, so let’s have a closer look.

Confrontation with the Centennial Hall from 1913

The old city of Wroclaw in Silesia can be followed back in a moving history for more than 1,000 years. Diverse actors played a role during all this time so that the town can profit from diverse influencing cultures and people till today.

Breslau during the Seven Years’ War, 1760, Johann-Gottfried Rüder

Some catastrophies did happen ever again like town fires in medieval times whereas the town has been only wiped out two times by crucial war actions. After the invasion of the Mongolians in 1241 the city was completely plundered and destroyed. But only shortly thereafter the city was again quickly reconstructed by German settlers what was finalized in 1261. Till 1945 the Germans (more precisely the Silesians) remained the formative power in town which’s name was Breslau for more than 700 years.

Postcard featuring nice spots of old Breslau, early 20th century

Breslau’s New Market at the end of WW II in Summer 1945

At the end of World War II the Nazis declared the whole municipal area as a military fortress to be defended by all means. The subsequent house-to-house combat between the German Wehrmacht and the Soviet Red Army ravaged and destroyed large areas of Breslau. Afterwards the city became a double symbol of forced displacements and migration because according an agreement of the Allies first all remaining German citizens had to leave Breslau and Silesia to render place for expatriated Polish people living in Polish areas in the East which were claimed and then finally occupied by the former Sovietunion.

Outlook on the new Capitol Theatre

Impression of the Dome Island

Early morning on Tusk Bridge

The new Polish citizens and residents in town have invested much time and energy in the reconstruction of the destroyed town after the atrocities of the wartimes such creating a new town now named Wroclaw. Today you can admire again a lot of historical buildings from diverse epochs and multiple styles in the old town being really worth a visit.

 

Gateway in the old town

Dreamy bridge inside the  amazing Botanical Garden


White Stork Synagogue from 19th century

Sculpture and green near the dome

We have just spent 48 hours here in Wroclaw by early July of 2019 and have found so much cultural richness although having seen just a little bit of the Silesian capital, so we really need to return someday again.

Linked to restlessjo:

Jo’s Monday walk : Cosmopolitan Horta

 

WATER FOR THE CITY

Architect Richard Schultze and the English engineer Henry Gill built the Friedrichshagener waterworks in 1893. It is one of the largest of its kind in Europe and is an exciting testimony to Berlin’s industrial culture. Visitors to the museum will be amazed by its unusual buildings.

Six engine houses of red brick and their turrets are more reminiscent of a monastery than urban facilities. The museum itself is located in a disused part of the system, a former powerhouse amongst several sand filters, outbuildings and tenements.

Its centrepiece is the original machine shop with an accumulation of huge wheels, tubes, boilers and pressure gauges as to be seen on the above photos.

In the year 2019 the actual water supply situation is quite challenging after the heavy and extreme drought in Europe of 2018 which has continued over the winter till now. The ground water levels tend to be very low not only in Eastern-Germany but also in Western-Poland – the same applies for the usually big river Oder at the border of both countries  The drought map of Germany hereunder with the many red and/or dark red areas shows very clearly the critical situation and dry path lying actually infront of us.

Drought monitor for Germany from end of June 2019 issued by Helmholtz Institute

 

Jo’s Monday walk : Simply Sáo Jorge

 

 

 

 

 

NETART ANTHOLOGY

Rhizome from New York presents an exhibition reflecting on the process of narrating archives and histories of online artistic practice. The netart anthology is Rhizome’s major online exhibition featuring one hundred works that sketch a possible canon for net art.

via:     https://anthology.rhizome.org/

Pictures in this post show collective network collages from 1985 being created by several persons in Germany, France, Italy and Emgland while using the postal services for transport of the works from and to each other (including me).