ILLUMINATION DOWN-TOWN

Impressions from the Berlin leuchtet / Berlin lights 2017 event which took again place in the 1st half of October with illuminated facades and buildings all over the city each evening from sun-set till midnight.

For the beginning of autumn the city decided to disguise again in colorful visions and pictures of light like another kind of carnival. Even sharp historical contours are now easily softening when diverse light artists are projecting their moving grafitti-like pictures and untamed motives on classical or modern facades serving now as an open cinema of profound collective imagination.

The steady buildings transmute to simple illusions of sparkling tales, abstractions, comics or other visual stories, even funny children’s drawings were used this year being projected on the classical walls of old Humboldt University, a nice and vivid contrast to the usual daily life taking place there normally. This event takes place each year now starting usually end of September till mid of October here in Berlin and is really worth a visit.

linked to   The Daily Post  Weekly Photo Challenge “Glow”

 

LIGHT AND SHADOW

The iden of October are a real spotlight in the maize of annual seasons when colorful leaves on trees paint a temporary collage of mindful sensations.  Shadows grow instantly like dangerous signs in the circle of the year pointing on the rapid approaching dull and unscalable Autumn fogs knocking at the door of our lives. But a light-house at the far away horizon will lead safely to glorious Midwinter when a new cycle will be opened during the wild roaring seven nights – a final liberating catharsis escorting us again out of this misleading cosmic darkness to the surreal fortress of brilliant sparkling stars.

 

FADO NIGHT DREAMS OF LISBON

The real spirit of a town can be often heard and felt in its typical music. The acoustic sentiment of Lisboa is the Fado music which you will find in a lot of restaurants each evening somewhere at the old town named Alfama. The name Alfama most probably has its origin in the Arabic word  الحامة (al-hamma) which is meaning bath or fountain. During the time of the Moorish seizure of the Iberian countries the Alfama comprised the whole ancient town which lateron grew to the contemporary Baixa.

The influence of the former Moorish residents is still vivid in architecture or typical Portuguese floral ceramics but also in the Fado music while the gloomy and sentimental sound is reminding me really to the melancholic desert music of the Sahara nomades at the Maghreb. Today people quite often only speak about things which separate us from each other, but our European culture was on a large scale influenced also by the Arabic world which saved for example the heritage of Greek philosophy, even our figures 1-2-3 are Arabic while the Arabs use nowadays the Indian ones in daily life, quite strange at all.

So in case you visit Lisboa sometime in your life, do not miss a Fado life performance at night because otherwise you have not really been there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SANDY CLUES OF SAGRES / ALGARVE

When the sunset is reflected in the moisty sand of the legendary and quite windy beach of Sagres at the Algarve (Portugal) – being used mostly by surfers today due to the breezy and quite rough sea – a lot of people always join this daily spectacle at this most South-Western part of the European mainland. The region used to be always a mythical place, so not far away near the villages of Vila de Bispo and Raposeira still more than 100 menhirs can be found from the Neolithic era (ca. 3,000 – 4,000 BC). All of them were overturned and also partly destroyed lateron by Christian missionaries, but at least one menhir was re-erected (Menir do Padrão) in the meantime. The ancient Greeks named this place Ophiussa (land of the snakes) and its inhabitants Oestrimni (people of the utmost West). The Romans who seized this region 2,000 years ago preferred to call the site Promontorium sacrum (holy footlands), a magical place at the end of the world where the deities use to live and where the sun is engulfed by the ocean.

linked to  Dutch goes the Photo / Tuesday Photo Challenge Sand

INDIAN SUMMER IN THE CITY

Summer is not really over in my mind, but autumn has yet begun. Even some house facades here in the big old town now change their colours showing red and orange, but also still a lot of green. Truly one of the nicest periods in the year, especially when the sun is shining like on these photos here in late September. After a rather rainy 2017 summer here in the centre of Europe, such a colorful intermezzo in the circle of the year does please everyone.

Enmeshed in these thickets of a metropole I now say good-bye in the time being as some real summer is now waiting for me in the South.

 

linked to   The Daily Post  Weekly Photo Challenge “Glow”

 

DARE NOT BE A SCHMOCK!

This story about Italian fascism, herewith related mental arsonists in the 20th century and nowadays’s implications has at least a partial good end – for sure not self-evident in this time era of crucial nationalist leaders creating a deadly and hazardous world. First of all a schmock is Yiddish and just means idiot or useless person, and in the picture here under you can obviously recognize one real sucker from Hollywood but I talk about no individual couching in bed, instead of Hal Roach, the film producer of the popular comedy duo Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel, a smart looking guy hiding a yawning abyss.

Oliver Hardy, Stan Laurel & Hal Roach, ca. 1935

Shall we consider that all monsters have fur and fang? In his book Real Nazis the Polish artist Piotr Uklanski shows 203 historical photos and pictures of German Nazis in diverse uniforms (SS, Wehrmacht, NS-party) or without. A lot of them look so unobtrusive like friendly neighbors at the next corner, and this innocent seeming banality disturbs gravely and misleads a lot. The evil often hides behind facades of a boring normality like it is the case with psychopathic murders in our contemporary daily life.

In case of Hal Roach, being better known as a producer of silent movies like Our Gang (1922) or Safety Last! (1923) with Harold Llloyd, he was also a fervent devotee of the Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini until the very end of his long lifetime. In 1927 Hal Roach brought together the goofy duo of Oliver Hardy  and Stan Laurel which as Laurel & Hardy have become the most famous comedy duo in cinematic history. In 1931 the duo was acting in its first full-length sound film Pardon us produced by Hal Roach. Now the Italian version of Pardon us  became also known to the dictator Benito Mussolini who admired this film very much.

Benito Mussolini in typical posture, ca. 1931

Hence, Hal Roach got invited to Rome by Benito Mussolini where he was treated like a guest of state. When being interviewed some years later he defiantly uttered: “Benito Mussolini is the only square politician I’ve ever seen.” So he praised him to be unique honest, an absolute deluded view of the world. And when visiting the international film festival Berlinale in 1992 shortly before his death, he would not like so much to speak with reporters about his former employees Laurel & Hardy but when the topic changed to Benito Mussolini he eventually spoke about Il Duce with great passion and glowing eyes, so he never changed his mind.

In 1937 — two years before the war — the dictator sent his son Vittorio to Hollywood. There, he struck a deal with Hal Roach because they founded  a film company called “R.A.M.” which stood for “Roach and Mussolini.” They were to make movies and comedies, but of course also promotional films about the fascist Italy. This business alliance with Mussolini finally led to an intervention of the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League and as well  by MGM, this forced Hal Roach to pay his way out of this venture. Therefore, Laurel & Hardy were really lucky as they subsequently never had to act amusingly for Il Duce, the original idea and intention of the dictator in this regard.

Hal Roach and Vittorio Mussolini at a Hollywood studio

Alessandra Mussolini, a direct descendant and granddaughter of Il Duce, is a leading promoter of neo-fascism today in Italy. Actually as a member of Forza Italia she also holds a seat at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. One of her well known remarks reads as follows: “Better to be a fascist than gay.” So the ghosts of the past are indeed lumbering amongst us again in the present and creating many tensions and fears. Only fundamental resistance will stop this ugly chauvinist zeitgeist now spreading everywhere on Earth.