Author - Noah Jones

I spent most of my earlier days writing at local Newspapers in Los Angeles. I'm also a graduate of UCLA having studied Journalism and Creative Writing, earning two different degrees in one. So have fun reading

Humans Are Awesome

When Psychological Warfare Becomes an Art

No one in the near quarter-century history of modern mixed martial arts has ever had quite a year like the one Irish superstar Conor McGregor experienced in 2016. McGregor did what no fighter in the history of the UFC (Ultimate Fighter Championship) could ever pull off – he held two weight class titles at the same time. Its not even that he appears to be a better Mixed Martial artist than others, his unique ability to use psychological warfare makes him rise above the rest.

Psychological warfare (PSYWAR) has been around for centuries and is one of the oldest weapons in the arsenal of human beings. Alexander the great of Macedonia, for example, used this technique. He conquered most of the world during his reign. Each area he conquered, he left a portion of soldiers behind to stay and occupy the cities. Alexander soon came to realise that he had spread his army too thin and was in danger of losing to a larger army. Alexander was forced to flee and regroup with the armies he left behind. He knew that the opposing army would pursue him, catch up with him, and then turn him into mincemeat. So what did Alexander do? He ordered his armourers to make several over-sized breastplates and helmets that would fit ‘giants’, men 8 feet tall. He then scarpered during the night with his small army, leaving behind the giant armour. The opposing army eventually found the armour that Alexander left behind. This left the opposing army as scared as a hog at a barbeque because they thought they would have to fight an army of giants. Coupled with the rumours spread around the villages about Alexander’s army, the opposing army decided not to chase him. Pretty clever, huh?
So, what is Psychological warfare? It is intended to demoralise and break the enemie’s will to fight. Various techniques are used and are aimed at influencing the opponents value systems, belief systems, emotions, motives, reasoning, and behavior. It is intended to cause terror, which encourages the opponent to mentally retreat. It is used in political campaigns, war, business, sport, and even in some everyday households between families. There are varying degrees to PSYWAR ranging from mild to extreme. You can say that ‘reverse psychology’ is one of the PSYWAR tactics.

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Now lets bring back the focus on Conor McGregor.

4 tactics Conor McGregor uses:

1) Learned Helplessness

McGregor’s opponents are made to feel that It’s useless to resist his verbal attacks because everything they say makes things worse. He frequently turns his opponents into objects of laughter in front of the media, putting them into an awkward and embarrassing situation. In time, opponents get used to past effects of their words and start limiting their expressions because of the fear of being humiliated again.

2) Discrediting

Discrediting is a major goal of most psychological warfare campaigns. The way it’s used is through third parties rendering a judgement against opponents. Prior to the judgement, McGregor will often discredit his opponent in the eyes of onlookers through a combination of harassment by his large base of loyal fans and some more PSYWAR with the goal of changing his opponent’s perception of the people and the world around them. This leads to the opponent putting doubts in their own mind.

3) Invisible Control

Since Conor McGregor is the most valuable UFC fighter due to his major earnings, many of his opponents believe that the company is on his side and that he is a “favorite” employee. This results in suspicion among other employees which can lead to a moral loss.

4) Reputation Attack

Conor has a habit of verbally insulting and tiring his opponents, causing them to feel furious and over-react while they’re in the octagon. When the opponents lose control over their emotions, Conor aims to make them unable to stay focused during the fight. Talk about genius, right?!

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting”. -Sun Tzu

No one in the near quarter-century history of modern mixed martial arts has ever had quite a year like the one Irish superstar Conor McGregor experienced in 2016. McGregor did what no fighter in the history of the UFC (Ultimate Fighter Championship) could...

Entertainment

Look Into the Future of Music for 2017

2016 staged some unexpected comebacks like All Saints, Craig David and Rick Astley. There is so much upcoming music that we can look forward to listening to and possibly even dancing to by ourselves at 4 am while no one else is watching! Of course, 2016 had brought us major music that had exceeded our expectations, but the wait for more music is already showing us what is in store. Continue reading this article to feel the excitement and joy.

1. Ed Sheeran

Our dear Ed Sheeran has completed his work on his third album which doesn’t have a title yet. Except for the fact that several songs were recently registered with his publisher, there is not much that we know about the record. Some titles, though, have come up such as 21th Century Fox, Sure, and Fall. Amy Wadge, Ed’s Thinking Out Loud co-writer seems to be very enthusiastic about the release. We now have a reason to blame Ed Sheeran if our email gets hacked, because Amy told to Newsbeat that the new material would “break the internet”.

2. Katy Perry

The one and only Katy Perry is also in the studio working hard. Donald Trump’s US election victory forced Katy to ditch half of her fourth album so that she could make some songs about the situation. Earlier this month she wrote: “It’s funny, sometimes people who disagree with me just say, ‘Shut up and sing’. Boy, will I do so in a whole new way… next year. Hell hath no fury like a woman REBORN”. The US inauguration should be one entertaining show to watch; we will obviously see how many musicians there will be that will come out in support of Mr. Trump, and Katy will be one of those who will stay thousands of miles away.

 

3. Drake

Mr. Drake is being very serious and shows no sign of stopping. The world’s most-streamed artist has booked an eight night residency in London’s O2 arena. The Canadian singer and producer has two or maybe even three records coming in the next year. The first one, More Life, is billed as a “playlist project” featuring the artists signed to Drake’s OVO record label and Drake himself. Another masterpiece under construction is a collaborative album with Kanye West. There is also an album that is rumored to be a collaberation with Taylor Swift, and if the story is true than the excitement will keep everyone anxious to hear it.

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4. Liam Gallagher

Liam’s debut solo album will also be an attempt to show who he really is and what he’s made of. Noel Gallagher, Liam’s brother, has seen his career from the beginning when Oasis split, and also watched while Beady Eye fell apart very ingloriously. The expectations from star’s new album are pretty high, but there won’t be a shortage of critical drubbing. He said: “The press will probably hate it but they hate everything anyway. I don’t think people care any more. Music’s judged by social media now, not by The Guardian.” And those are the wisest words that one could say regarding the news.

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This has been a short list, but there will definitely be more artists coming out with the most prestigious music we will be hearing. In the meantime, look up these artists and embrace their music that has been previously released. Happy listening!

2016 staged some unexpected comebacks like All Saints, Craig David and Rick Astley. There is so much upcoming music that we can look forward to listening to and possibly even dancing to by ourselves at 4 am while no one else is watching! Of course, 2016 had...

Animals Entertainment

Beware- Alien: The Covenant is Coming to Theaters

Alien, directed by Ridley Scott in 1979, is a combination of sci-fi and horror where a monster called Xenomorph was stalking the crew of the Nostromo. But that only lasted until Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) defeated this creature to the grave. At that point, this film had become a classic and a whole franchise was started. Three sequels were made throughout the ’80s and ’90s. Ridley Scott returned to the franchise in 2012 and started a prequel series in Prometheus, and later a follow-up,  Alien: Covenant.

Alien: Covenant, starring Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), shows a colony ship and its crew on a distant planet that looks like a really great place. As it turns out, it’s not so lovely after all.

Looking into Alien: Covenant, we will see that it fits into the overall franchise as a sequel to Prometheus. Waterston said: “I think it has elements of both films. Like, it’s got some aspects that are similar to Prometheus and then it does feel, in many ways, like a return to the original. But again, it’s its own thing, too, and sometimes I think describing things in those terms limits it in a way and gives the audience information it’s better for them not to have”.

When I first saw the original Alien, I didn’t even know what I was about to see, I had never seen a trailer or anything. My friend’s older brother put it on to traumatize us — which it did – and I think that will be the most fun way to watch this movie too — with fresh eyes. So I don’t like to give too much away about that. But obviously you look at IMDB, you know Michael Fassbender’s in it, so there is going to be a connection from Prometheus.”

Katherine Waterston’s colleagues in this movie will be Michael Fassbender as Walter, in addition to reprising his role as the Prometheus android David; Guy Pearce and Noomi Rapace will play Peter Weyland and Dr. Elizabeth.

There are not many details about the connection between Alien: Covenant and Prometheus  and the original Alien movie. Because Waterston didn’t want to say much about it, the movie will probably be a story Scott and Fox are trying to keep from fans all over the world so that they could go into Alien: Covenant with fresh eyes. That is one reason. Second is that there could be another movie before the prequel series connects to Alien. Scott did reveal his plans for potentially a third and fourth movie in the Alien series in which the last prequel will be directly connected to the first 1979 film.

After the rebooted series, starting with Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, there will most likely only be two more movies. But, it seems like Fox has another film in development: Alien 5, directed by Neill Blomkamp, which takes place after the event of Alien: Resurrection and it should complete Ellen Ripley’s story. There is a lack of details about the connection between Alien: Covenant and the original Alien but it shouldn’t bother us because Ridley Scott’s world is coming to us soon. Alien: Covenant will hit theaters in May next year.

Alien, directed by Ridley Scott in 1979, is a combination of sci-fi and horror where a monster called Xenomorph was stalking the crew of the Nostromo. But that only lasted until Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) defeated this creature to the grave. At that...

Uncategorized

Similarity Between Baroque and Christmas

Baroque makes a comeback at this time of the year. Everything is decorated, from our houses, to whole streets and city squares. Garlands and angels are everywhere.

The idea of Christmas decorations comes from 19th century. The first Christmas tree was placed in Britain by Queen Charlotte in 1800. Illustrated London News put on their cover the Victorian Christmas image of the Prince Consort and the Queen standing with their children around their tree. This came out in December 1848 and launched the German-invented Christmas tree and its decorations into English popular culture.

But, the fairies, lights, gold and silver, flamboyance and spectacle of modern decorations, actually began with art style that existed long before the Victorian age, exactly two centuries before that, and it was called the Baroque. It was made of spectacular architecture, painting and sculptures. Europe’s churches, pyramidal ornaments, city squares with giant cherubs, lashings of gold and opulent baubles, were really shining. This was somewhere between 17th and 18th century.

If you ever saw the Throne of St Peter, created in the middle of 17th century in St Peter’s basilica by Gianlorenzo Bernini, your Christmas tree will not seem that gracefully anymore. The Throne of St Peter is made of many angels that swarm in a molten cloud of gold which cascades upward. Instead of fairy lights, that obviously did not exist back in 1648, there was a heavenly host from which were emerging golden rays of light with a luminous window in the middle.

Baroque and Christmas decorations could remind us of each other, because they both have something so beautifully gratuitous about them. Hundreds and thousands of lights are placed all across our city streets and trees in public squares at this time of the year.

Baroque art is even more expressed trough today’s modern Christmas decorations and that can be very beautiful. Christmas tree is one thing that can especially remind us of baroque style. It is like some kind of a sculpture, and the shape of its fir makes it naturally pyramidal, pointing towards the top. Favorite form of baroque public art is exactly this. Christmas tree-like decorations in the streets of Naples, are made of marble and they stretch up in the sky. These wonderful decorations were built for a reason. They are made to celebrate the end of an epidemic of the plague. They proudly taper upwards, just like Christmas trees, and are also beautifully decorated.

Another Christmas decoration that brings baroque age to life, are cherubs. Plastic cherubs can be hung on our Christmas trees. The good example for this is the baroque architectural masterpiece made by Sir Christopher Wren. Gigantic cherubic faces are floating among fruit and foliage very nicely carved from stone, and because of that, the exterior of St Paul’s cathedral in London looks absolutely magnificent. They can be seen throughout the whole year in London because they are the greatest Christmas decorations in this city.

The energy and ecstasy of baroque art can be better understood by the help of our own love of fairy lights and sparkles at Christmas. The bright lights of Christmas can be, at the same time, profound and ridiculous. The big urge to decorate is something very spiritual and beautiful, but in some ways, it could also be truly merry and manic. We usually get that strange sense of wonder. Ceiling paintings and fountains of Europe’s baroque share that same sense of wonder. Don’t you agree?

Baroque makes a comeback at this time of the year. Everything is decorated, from our houses, to whole streets and city squares. Garlands and angels are everywhere.
The idea of Christmas decorations comes from 19th century. The first Christmas tree was placed...

Celebs

The deaths of George Michael, Prince and David Bowie made us all go into tears

When we talk about music in 2016, there will probably be more musicians who’s careers ended, then the ones who just started getting our attention. Sadly, this calendar year was just like this; multiple music geniuses left us for, let’s hope, some better place.  The deaths of George Michael, Prince and David Bowie made us all go into tears, especially because of how unexpected they passed away. Before we were ready to let go of them, George, Prince and David were gone, although they should still be alive.

People who think that Michael’s professional career was not on the same level as David Bowie’s and Prince’s because his popularity was not that long, they are making a big mistake. Michael’s latter years were a little bit quieter, but nevertheless, this British native musician was able to deliver the most “catchiest” songs in his era with his unique and naturally soar voice. He was not shy of the genre that he got to the perfection with his gift that he was well aware of.

Michael once said in a 1988 Rollin Stone cover story:” If you listen to a Supremes record or a Beatles record, which were made in the days when pop was accepted as an art of sorts, how can you not realize that the elation of a good pop record is an art form? Somewhere along the way, pop lost all its respect. And I think I kind of stubbornly stick up for all of that.”

Beside his voice, Michael had other hidden talents that few people knew about. He was also a great studio musician and a producer. There was an extremely small number of collaborators on Michael’s 1987 Faith album, that was completely produced by him. Both Bowie and Prince shared Michael’s ability to evolve and that is exactly what made them all-timers. That is the same reason why these three brilliant musicians have a connection. All of them could stick to their early successes and try to replicate themselves, but they demanded more.

The movie Purple Rain and soundtrack that came out in 2001, were fueled by ambition because of Prince’s success of his singles two years before that. When “Space Oddity” hit the charts in 1969, Bowie invented a new type of performative rock that has almost a five-decade run. Both of them had some bold statements about sex, love and social defiance in their music but also in life. That made a “job” of a rock star not just to sing four-minute singles. Prince became a grand funk wizard and teacher to female rock artists.

Our imagination is captured by pop artists and they have critical and commercial success. But for how long does that last? Usually, it is just for only one song or album. Maybe, if they get lucky, it can last for a couple of years before the interest wanes, but that’s it. This year took George Michael, Prince and David Bowie. Although all of them forged wildly different paths, they will not be forgotten in hundred years from now, and who knows, maybe even more. Another common thing about these three is that thousands of musicians have tried to duplicate them, but only maybe a few have been able to do that. We can all learn a valuable lesson from them, and that is to never settle down for what already was.

When we talk about music in 2016, there will probably be more musicians who’s careers ended, then the ones who just started getting our attention. Sadly, this calendar year was just like this; multiple music geniuses left us for, let’s hope, some better...

Celebs

James Franco Mixes Art & Movie

Many actors just want to try themselves in another form of art, and if they succeed, they rarely have a chance to mix the two art forms into one piece. Well-known actor, who’s also an artist, James Franco reveals that he had the opportunity to combine his passions in his latest project. His newest Hollywood film, called “Why Him”, is a romantic comedy concentrated on a life of an eccentric young internet billionaire, played by Franco. The young billionaire is in love with the daughter of a character played by Bryan Cranston. The comedy follows the series of events that occur between these two men.

As his character is tattooed, this talented actor designed the majority of body art by himself. He said to the media: “I drew some of them, and I don’t think this is spoiler, but there’s a big tattoo on my back of the whole family.” He also confirmed that many paintings that appear in the movie are versions of his own works.  He said: “There’s a bunch of kind of silly paintings on the wall… some of them have been sold. They’re just replicas of the ones that have been sold.”

This is not Franco’s first appearance in the world of fine art. Two years ago, he faced huge embarrassment, when he made the homage to legendary photographer Cindy Sherman, which was displayed at Pace Gallery in New York. The event was widely panned by critics. He also regularly makes portraits of his star colleagues, such as comedian Randall Park, with whom he played in a comedy “The Interview” in 2015.

The Oscar-nominated actor also took part in a charity project AIDS charity RED, helping them raise money by giving fans a chance to win an artwork painted by Franco for a donation of at least 10$. Earlier this year, James also had a solo exhibition, named “Koo Koo” at the Siegfried Contemporary gallery in the Swiss ski resort of Gastaad. Visitors were able to see various displays of his bird paintings.

James Edward Franco was born April 19, 1978. His first significant acting role was the lead character Daniel Desario on the hit television program Freaks and Geeks. After that, he played the main role in the TV biographical film James Dean in 2001, for which he earned a Golden Globe Award. HE was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for the role in 127 Hours in 2010. Besides these awarded movies, he also played in Spider-Man, Pineapple Express (2008), Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Spring Breakers (2012), Oz the Great and Powerful (2013), and King Cobra (2016) and had some TV roles in General Hospital and 11.22.63.

Franco was volunteering for the Art of Elysium charity, and teaching film classes at New York University, the University of Southern California, UCLA, and Palo Alto High School. He directed a documentary named Saturday Night, which shows a weekly life in the production of an episode of SNL. In 2010, the fictional character from General Hospital held an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, while the real Franco had an exhibition at the museum, based on his soap opera experiences.

Many actors just want to try themselves in another form of art, and if they succeed, they rarely have a chance to mix the two art forms into one piece. Well-known actor, who’s also an artist, James Franco reveals that he had the opportunity to combine...

Entertainment

This Year’s Music Retrospective

After almost two decades of piracy and scalping, the music business in 2016 can be considered as “not terrible” at least. There were many artists who intended to push the big scene a bit higher this year. There were many events and artists on the surface, such as Beyonce, Drake, Chance the Rapper, Rihanna, the return of Guns N’ Roses, Axl Rose fronting AC/DC. There were also all the songs you could ever want to stream, available on various streaming services.

It’s not like the good old days with $18 CDs are back again, but the record industry has been constantly growing during the last straight years. It’s the first time since 1999. The Recording Industry Association of America says that music spending grew 8.1 percent in the first half of the year. The event promoters also realized that it’s smart to put the Who, the Stones and other veteran rock superstars on the main stage, they could even make $150 million.

Record labels bring in money

Not so long ago, YouTube announced it paid $1 billion to musicians and record labels in 2016. RIAA says that their revenues jumped from $3.2 billion in 2015 to $3.4 billion in the first half of 2016. Those are all good news, but it’s not quite like the artists are getting rich again thanks to their albums and singles. Earlier this year, the manager of Eagles, Irving Azoff sent an open letter to YouTube, saying: “You have built a business that works really well for you and for Google, but it doesn’t work well for artists.” Azoff is leading a coalition of artists critical of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which allows YouTube to post any song as long as it takes it down with the artist’s permission. He added: “They’re working harder to get tools to make it easier for you to take stuff down, but I get no sense they’re getting ready to pay anything near what they should pay per user.”

 

Super-healthy concert business

Pollstar claims that the ticket sales jumped 3.1 percent by mid-year. Live Nation says that record-setting revenues and stars like Adele, Stones, Beyonce, Madonna and Paul McCartney were at its best. Beyonce, Luke Bryan and Coldplay were the ones to fill whole stadiums in 2016. Live Nation president of global talent, David Zedeck says: “It’s just strong. There are bands playing stadiums and multiple arenas already in 2017. We’re coming off a strong year and ’17 is going to be the same way.”

Festivals are bigger than ever

Desert Trip, which included artists such as the Stones, McCartney, Bob Dylan, and The Who, overcame “Oldchella” by the reputation, gaining an estimated $150 million in 2015 in Indio, California. And while some significant festivals had an off-year, Coachella, with its’ 600,000 fans and Lollapalooza, with 400,000 fans, had record crowds.

Album releases grab attention again

Beyoncé published “Lemonade” as a surprise via Tidal and HBO, while Drake had benefits from a multimillion-dollar Apple Music marketing campaign. Kanye West struggled with “The Life of Pablo” for some time before finally turning it into an official release for Tidal release. Rihanna, Chance the Rapper and Frank Ocean followed Beyoncé’s “secret” recipe as well.

After almost two decades of piracy and scalping, the music business in 2016 can be considered as “not terrible” at least. There were many artists who intended to push the big scene a bit higher this year. There were many events and artists on the...

Uncategorized

Can Brexit harm art?

The main names from the art world expressed concerns about the influence of Brexit on art in near future. They believe that diversity and the ramifications of Brexit could be the key industry issues of 2017. People like playwright Tanika Gupta, director Michael Grandage and Birmingham Hippodrome chief executive Fiona Allan warned public about the upcoming events in the sector and shared some thoughts on how it should respond.

 

Gupta believes that the main challenge will be to ensure that the gatekeepers of this industry realize “who is holding the pen, whose stories we are telling and whose point of view we are promoting”. She added: “I want to see a broader spectrum of writers getting their plays on in the theater, less talk about diversity and more action through productions.” Fiona Allan agreed with Gupta’s thoughts, saying: “Now more than ever the arts need to reflect an inclusive, contemporary British society and to bring people from all walks of life together.”

 

The National Theater Wales artistic director, Kully Thiarai claims that the biggest challenge now is ensuring that that theater celebrates the full diversity of the UK. She said: “The whole UK arts sector must step up and take responsibility for this.” They all agreed that the way in which Brexit would impact on the sector is the key issue for 2017.

 

 

The chief executive of the Creative Industries Federation, John Kampfner said that it would be a huge concern, but that his organization was working hard to keep the arts and creative industries in negotiations as best as they could. Nikolai Foster, the artistic director of the Curve, says that it is essential for theater to lead the way in this long journey, as a tolerant, compassionate and socially inclusive industry, that should cope with all these issues given by Brexit and Trump.

The Shadow culture secretary, Tom Watson believes that Brexit will have ramifications for the arts that people haven’t thought of yet, from funding to copyright law. He added: “The arts need a seat at the negotiating table.” Alistair Spalding, Sadler’s Wells chief executive, says that, as the United Kingdom is on its way to leave the European Union, the industry needs to continue engaging with government and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. He thinks it’s the best way to ensure that this sector has the proper access to talent, skills and specialist workers.

Watson also warns that cuts to regional theaters are likely to be a major concern, following the research he published earlier this year. Michael Grandage explains that the industry should not follow, but lead the way, or this whole case for the subsidy will be left in a wasteland. Culture minister Matt Hancock thinks that improving access to arts and culture will be vital in this pre-stage. The federation’s chief executive, John Kampfner said: “our job now is to be intensely practical and not to indulge in laments, but to work very closely with government to deal with problems and also to identify opportunities for beneficial change.”

The main names from the art world expressed concerns about the influence of Brexit on art in near future. They believe that diversity and the ramifications of Brexit could be the key industry issues of 2017. People like playwright Tanika Gupta, director...

Uncategorized

Homeless People in Montreal Opera

When was the last or the first time that you heard of homeless people making opera? Well, it is very rare, but that’s exactly what’s happening at l’Opéra de Montréal these days. Opera house is collaborating with the local agency that helps people who live on the streets, aiming to create a Street Opera project. A number of formerly itinerant people are participating in the realization of a piece which is supposed to be based on their lives.

 

All of them are clients of Le Sac à Dos, a day center in downtown Montreal, with 15-suite apartment block for homeless people. José Acquelin and Éric Champagne will write this piece, which will be performed in May next year. All these Sac à Dos participants will take part in building sets and costumes, and putting the show on stage. Singers from the OM’s Atelier Lyrique and theatre-craft professionals will help them set it all up.

Nicole Blouin of Sac à Dos says: “I have always believed that art is not just about making beautiful things, but about social change as well.” She was the one who initiated the development of this idea, linking the opera company with it. Blouin, who studied dance and theater, believes that this creative stage experience could help these participants expand their horizons and involve themselves more into society once again.

“Opera is a total art form that is very good at expressing extreme emotions. People who have experienced homelessness have lived in conditions of extreme stress and high emotion,” says Blouin. One of the participants, Sylvain says: “Opera is a marginal art. We are marginal people. I look forward to experiencing the meeting of these two marginalized elements.”

This project is can be seen as the effort of opera company to reach programs for prospective new audience members and donors. OM director of communications, outreach and education, Pierre Vachon says that the goal is not to sell the huge amount of tickets, but to engage with a marginalized part of the population and to reduce prejudice about the homeless. “What is the meaning of art in our time, how important is it? That’s the discussion we’re having now,” says Vachon.

Blouin was already a member of the opera house when she discovered that similar projects were happening in Great Britain since 2000. Streetwise Opera has worked with around 800 homeless people in five British cities, including London and Manchester. In 2014, Streetwise Opera managed to make some of its former homeless participants to perform on the stage at the Royal Opera House. A community chorus trained and assembled by Peacock’s company performed in Royal Opera House production of Francis Poulenc’s “Les Dialogues des carmélites”.

Vachon thinks that the opera is a mirror of society, where various people and functions must be made to work together to make one great show happen. Blouin added: “These are our fellow citizens. They are coming out of a difficult situation, but they also have an experience of life through hardship from which they can contribute something to the community.”

When was the last or the first time that you heard of homeless people making opera? Well, it is very rare, but that’s exactly what’s happening at l’Opéra de Montréal these days. Opera house is collaborating with the local agency that helps...

Uncategorized

Best Photography Books in 2016

With the year coming to is end, now is a good time to review the best photography books release this year. It wasn’t an easy task to recommend to best ones; there are really so many good books out there. Here are out top 5 books picks for 2016. Enjoy!

Provoke: Between Protest and Performance (Steidl)

This is the detailed overview of the Provoke movement, which unfolded from the protest colored turbulences in Japan, during the late 1960s. Its focus is not just on the famous proto-zine which included disturbing images of photographers like Takuma Nakahiri and Daido Moriyama, together with writers like Takahiki Okada. It’s also about the about the whole social context that carried it all. For anyone who is into Japanese photography and photobook making, this would be the real adventure.

Discordia by Moises Saman and Daria Birang (self-published)

Discordia by Moises Saman is one strange take on photo journalism, a piece which can be placed somewhere between art and reportage. It includes some long sequences of images that go well with the linear narrative of this genre, containing some interesting passages of prose as well. Initiated in the Middle East, this work emerged from the 4 years shooting for Magnum during the Arab spring. The other face of this artwork is the usage of photo-collages made by the co-author Daria Birang, the Dutch-Iranian artist. This mix displays the repetitiveness of street protests, including actions like running away, stone throwing and kicking tear gas canisters, which are isolated. This is the book that explains these modern turbulent times very well.

ZZYZX by Gregory Halpern (MACK)

Gregory Halpern was working on ZZYZX project for 6 years. The part of it was traveling to various locations in California, which he randomly picked, using Google Maps. This project, named after a village in the area of the Mojave desert in San Bernardino County, California, aims to study the sense of unreality that visitors can often find in Los Angeles. Chris Killip, the veteran documentary photographer, shared his thoughts with public, saying that Halpern had significantly fractured “the sanctified cliched reverence” of traditional landscape photography in the United States.

Astres Noirs by Katrin Koennig and Sarker Protick (Chose Commune)

This is a strange visual discourse between two photographers who live and work thousands of kilometers apart but, managing to make one entity together. Sarker Protick is from Bangladesh, while Katrin Koennig lives in Australia, originally from Germany. The common tools of their work is using the mobile phone to explore the sky and the earth, watching stars, light rays, shadows, water falling and small details on the road. The style of these images is grainy and dark, but also luminous at the same time. This is the right thing for those who love collaboration and close observation.

In the Beginning by Diane Arbus (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

This is the catalog of the exhibition at the Met in New York. It is like a chronicle of early years of Diane Arbus, as a wandering street photographer. It displays very well her ability to spot the eccentric and the grotesque. With circus performers from Coney Island and Times Square, she also shows the sadness of the city in these images of passing children and adults.

With the year coming to is end, now is a good time to review the best photography books release this year. It wasn’t an easy task to recommend to best ones; there are really so many good books out there. Here are out top 5 books picks for 2016...

Galleries

Celebrities Beautiful Genes

As the old saying goes, the apple never falls too far from the tree! They were born into the most famous and rich families in the world. And more than that – they are extremely gorgeous! We compiled a whole list of celebrities and their children, who not only resemble their parents in looks, but also in careers and successes. – Starting with…

Madonna & Lourdes Leon

Celebrity-Children Look-Alikes

Lourdes, Madonna’s firstborn with Carlos Leon, fulfilled her mother’s dreams more than she expected. Born in 1996, Madonna was pregnant with Lourdes during the filming of Evita, and Mary Cross’s “Madonna: A Biography” states: “Now 38 years old, Madonna had, at last, triumphed on screen and achieved her dream of having a child, both in the same year. She had reached another turning point in her career, reinventing herself and her image with the public.”

Lourdes (Lola) in mainly known for her music, but in addition, she founded with her mother a new fashion line “Material Girl” (naturally) and models in her spare time for Stella McCartney.

Liv Freundlich & Julianne Moore

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Redheads are a dying breed. Thank God we still have Julianne Moore and her daughter Liv to keep the gene going for at least a little longer. Oddly enough, Liv, at the age of 15 is already taller than Julianne.

Liv made her cinematic debut acting alongside her mother in “Trust The Man” when she was only 3. It’s a good thing her father, and Julianne’s long time romantic partner and Liv’s father Bart Freundlich directed it and they were able to keep it all in the family. Her next film was a small part in The Rebound which was an artistic and box office fiasco. Since then she has focused on her school studying and we expect to see more of her after she finishes high-school.

There’s More…

As the old saying goes, the apple never falls too far from the tree! They were born into the most famous and rich families in the world. And more than that – they are extremely gorgeous! We compiled a whole list of celebrities and their children, who...