Author - Peter Boskov

I pass time by writing and educating others about life, fun and humor. Are you having fun yet?

City Life

Talks in the Cuban Art

The conversation with Elizabeth Cerejido, organizer of the Dialogues in Cuban Art project, that is explained as a week-long artist exchange that took place in Havana last year and Miami this spring. Cerejido described the exchange on a more personal and private level, while she’s looking for the project’s next phases.

She talked about activities scheduled for the Havana group in Miami this spring, and gave an explanation of a studio visit.

They made a visit with Maria Martinez-Canas. Ceredijo claims that she is one of the most important artists in Miami. She has numerous awards that were given to her by galleries and museums all around the world. Her work is deeply connected with Cuban history, and whose cultural identity is profoundly Cuban American.

They had a merging of various narratives that everyone shared, in different ways though. There was a common interest to everyone, artists and cultural producers but also as Cubans.

María provided a highly, well-organized presentation about her work and progress. She showed her collage negatives from which she printed out much of her famous work from the 1990s, like the Totems.

She also showed some materials from the Jose Gomez Sicre collection, which she is in the process of documenting. There were also some photographs and letters that fascinated the group.

Her typical day goes about something like this: The bus would wait for the group outside the hotel at 9 a.m. sharp. She claims that even though gathering people can be fun it can also be really stressful. Sometimes their work would last until late in the night.

She gave one day as an example. There was a tour that was led by Cesar Trasobares that included visits to public art works that have become highly popular in Miami, such as Ed Ruscha permanent installation at the main library that is situated in downtown of Miami and Claes Oldenburg that is also in the same area. Cesar is an ex executive director of Metro Dade’s Art in Public Places Program, and he would talk to the group about the inside stuff that happens in the program, where do funds come from, and discussed the political and logistical issues that happen.

After downtown Miami, they would go to Little Havana and have lunch at a traditional Cuban cafe, El Rey de las Fritas (Many didn’t now what a frita was it’s part of Cuban exile cuisine.).

And then they would end up at the Cuban Memorial Boulevard. Cesar talked about Ana Mendieta’s work that is carved on one of the boulevard’s ceiba trees, he would also put her in work in the context of the politically filled space in which it’s situated. Casa del Preso Politico is close to the boulevard we were next to, that’s the place where Afro-Cubans leave their offerings- at the base of that very ceiba tree, or the statue of a Virgin that is not that far away from the tree. That particular area witnesses Cuban painful political history.

The conversation with Elizabeth Cerejido, organizer of the Dialogues in Cuban Art project, that is explained as a week-long artist exchange that took place in Havana last year and Miami this spring. Cerejido described the exchange on a more personal and...

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Ethnic diversity in museum staff

Two studies that are made not that long ago showed a lack of ethnic and racial diversity in museum staff in the US. People of color present 38% of USA’s population, they make only 16% in museum administration, conservators and educators, and 9% of museum boards. This shocking number tells a lot about offices and boardrooms of US cultural institutions. Those institutions have to decide what has to be done about this problem that occurred.

A year ago New York City Department of Cultural Affairs surveyed about 1000 local cultural organizations, they committed one million dollars to help to support diversity in city institutions. Institutions such as Metropolitan Museum of Art and Bronx Historical society were some of the institutions that were partaking in this program. Paid internships are being evaluated in order to help the removal of the barriers that are stopping people who can not afford to work for free.

After they surveyed 181 museums in partnership with the Mellon Foundation last year The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) decided to acknowledge this problem and talk about it on their annual meeting in May. The survey results were eye opening, only 4% of curators, educators, conservators and top administrators are African American, 3%  are Hispanic, and %6 are Asian.

At the AAMD conference they were talking about how you build an institution that has cultures of inclusive excellence, rather than thinking of diversity as something that is a deficit that you need to fix in order that your program has a certain quality. In March the foundation launched a project with the help of Hunter College that will help students from under-represented and marginalized groups with their careers as New York City arts organization.

There was a striking change in the approach of this issue among directors. For example Rod Bigelow of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas, received a board endorsement to revise his title to executive director and chief diversity and inclusion officer, which means that these are the values he is responsible of. The museum hiring targets are based on the demographics of the early 2020s.

The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, has announced a new initiative couple of weeks ago that they will hire diverse-owned investment first to take care of a portion of its 116 million dollars endowment.

The survey results are not a surprise for those who are working to change the sameness of the museum sphere; the statistics are going to help with the measuring of the improvement. „Information can be a powerful agent, those are the words from Holly Sidford of Helicon Collaborative, and she is working on promoting equity in cultural organizations. She knows that this topic is hard to talk about, but it’s the only way of solving the problem.

But some people have different ideas about the future changes. The New York- based development officer Nicole Reiner says that the funds should be given to struggling community organizations that are multicultural rather than trying to change the diversity of well funded more popular institutions.

Two studies that are made not that long ago showed a lack of ethnic and racial diversity in museum staff in the US. People of color present 38% of USA’s population, they make only 16% in museum administration, conservators and educators, and 9% of museum...

Entertainment News

Spider-Man comics

 

Spider-Man is one of the most famous Marvel Comics super heroes. Spider-Man’s character was created by the editor Stan Lee and writer artist Steve Ditko, his first appearance was in the Amazing Fantasy #15 in the Silver Age of Comic Books. Peter Parker (Spider-Man) is an orphan who was raised by his Aunt May and Uncle Ben, he is a teenager that lives a normal life, but when he puts his suit on he becomes a crime fighter. He is super strong and has an ability to cling to surfaces, shoots spider web using his wrist-mounted device. He also has his “Spider-sense” that helps him with his reactions and his fighting. Later on Peter Parker found his company called Parker Industries.

When the first Spider-Man comic book appeared in 1960s, teenage super heroes were rarely protagonists. Spider-Man was the first comic book that had a high school student Peter Parker as the main character. It was created in a way that teenagers can relate to the character because of his teenage years and everyday problems. Spider-Man never had a role of sidekick, and he never had a mentor. “With great power there must also come great responsibility”- is the line that originally came from the comic book, but it was retroactively added to his Uncle Ben

Spider-Man has appeared in many comic book series, but the most famous one is the super popular The Amazing Spider-Man. Years have passed and Spider-Man went from the shy high school student to an outgoing college student, to married high school teacher to, later on a freelance photographer. In the 2010s, he joins the Avengers, Marvel’s famous super hero team.

Spider-Man is one of the most popular super heroes world wide. He appears in all the forms of the media TV shows, movies and comic books. Spider-Man first appeared in a movie in the 1977, and he was played by Nicholas Hammond, the movie had a simple title Spider-Man. Later on he was portrayed by actors Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland. Spider-Man’s popularity is huge and he is considered to be one of the most famous super heroes alongside with DC Comics characters Superman and Batman.

Spider-Man has fought many super villains over the years. Villains are usually animal-themed, and their super powers come from scientific accidents or the misuse of technology. Spider-Man has multiple arch enemies.

Doctor Octopus is considered to be Spider-Man’s worst enemy.  Doctor Octopus is also a leader of the Sinister Six, a group that Spider-Man is fighting in the comic books.

Norman Osborn as Green Goblin is also Spider-Man’s enemy, he even killed Spider-Man’s girlfriend in one of the most famous comic books that was ever released.

Another Spider-Man’s archenemy is Venom. Eddie Brock as Venom is described as the evil Spider-Man. Venom is trying to ruin Spider-Man’s life. Venom is one of the most popular Spider-Man’s enemies, famous enough to get his own comic book.

Spider-Man comic books were translated to many languages and a bite from a radioactive spider triggers mutations in Peter Parker’s body achieved big popularity.

 
Spider-Man is one of the most famous Marvel Comics super heroes. Spider-Man’s character was created by the editor Stan Lee and writer artist Steve Ditko, his first appearance was in the Amazing Fantasy #15 in the Silver Age of Comic Books. Peter...

Tech News

About the ballpoint pen

When people talk about art, devices and materials there are some kind of ranks. Generally ballpoint pen art is considered to be low art, some say it’s because ballpoint pens only make solid lines. But is that the case? Is this form of art getting enough attention?

Trent Morse manager editor at Introspective traced a the history of the ballpoint pen all the way back to Giacometti, with his vastly and densely drawn portrait heads, and to Alighiero Boetti who was the first man to use the ballpoint pen as the primary medium, all the way to the Korean artist Il Lee who is considered to be the best ballpoint artist of today. He uses a special technique that requires him to heat up the tip of the pen and let the ink flow more freely. We learned that paper needs more ink than canvas.

Morse divided the ballpoint pen art in two categories: “Creatures and Characters” and “Space and Structures” that include figures and faces in the first section and geometrical shapes and abstractions in the second. The artist Thomas Nozkowski the famous artist who uses lines to create his abstract cartoons falls in to the second category, while the famous Italian artist Seb Patane falls into the first.

So what draws that many artists to the medium of ballpoint pen? Rebecca E. Chamberlain has said that her love for this type of art does not come from the possibility to make all kinds of different lines, but rather to the ink itself and the blueness that it makes. She drains the ink from the Bic pens and uses it as paint; her work is based on portraying interior spaces such as offices. She basically takes the pens back home.

Artist Dawn Clements gives the ballpoint pen the credit for the fact that the pen does not smudge in the way the pencil does, she thinks that the pens are clean and easy to use. She also portrays the interior.

These words from artists that come from all around the world give the ballpoint pen a good name. They try to explain what drained them to the medium.

Ballpoint’s art potential is evident to the maximum in the work of Belgian Conceptualist Jan Fabre, who explains why he likes the ballpoint pen. He says that pens are cheap and easy to use and carry. Drawing is something that he loves and with the ballpoint pen he found the way to do what he loves anywhere he goes. His favorite pen is the famous, Bic pen. He draws on many different things such as bathtubs and wood houses.

Thomas Hirshhorn a German conceptualist is also talking about his passion for the ballpoint pen. He was asked by critics why he was using the Bic pen, whose produces is financing and supporting the right-wing French politician Jean-Marie Le Pen. His answer was straight forward and he thinks that there’s no place for politics in art. He uses them because of the things many other artists have said, they are cheap and universal.

When people talk about art, devices and materials there are some kind of ranks. Generally ballpoint pen art is considered to be low art, some say it’s because ballpoint pens only make solid lines. But is that the case? Is this form of art getting enough...

City Life

Matisse Colloquium to be held in Philadelphia

A conference about Henri Matisse is going to be held at the Barnes Foundation from 13th to 15th of October. It will bring scholars to Philadelphia to talk about artist’s long lasting legacy. Lectures and panels will talk about Matisse’s interest in non-Western art and will include historians Claudine Grammont and Helene Ivanoff.

“Our goal is to assess the state of our knowledge on Matisse today and to outline what could be done next in terms of future study, research, exhibitions, and collections; these are the words from the conference’s organizer, Sylvie Patry, the Barnes’s deputy director and chief curator. She thinks it is always amazing for public to comprehend that some of the famous artists such as Matisse; scholars always manage to find a new way to look at his art.

The Barnes has a long lasting connection with Matisse. In 1912, the founder Albert Barnes bought his first two work by the artists, the paintings The Sea Seen from Collioure that was painted in 1906 and Dishes and Melon that was painted somewhere between 1906 and 1907. Years have passed and Barnes continued with the support of Matisse’s work, they even invited him in 1930 to paint a canvas triptych mural for three arches at the foundation building outside Philadelphia in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania. The Project was completed in 3 years, cost Barnes $30,000 and helped Matisse to feel better who had difficulties during his years in Nice between 1917 and 1930, states the art historian Yve-Alan Bois. Bois, who was the editor of the book Matisse in the Barnes Foundation published by Thames and Hudson in January, will also speak at the conference.

“In the Nice period, (Matisse) was very frustrated, because he had been surpassed by Picasso as a champion of the avant-grade, and so he retreated” Bois claims. “The end of the 1920s was a difficult period for him. He was bored to death by his Odalisque paintings, even though they were very successful on the market. When the Barnes commission arrives, he is offered a great surface to decorate and suddenly he is plunged back into his youth.”

“The Barnes request inspired Matisse to work on something new outside of his style. “His sketches for The Dance are extraordinary because they are just a few strokes,” Bois says. “There is absolutely no description; they’re just schematic indications of the movement of the dancer. He realizes he doesn’t have to be so guarded. In the early 1930s there is definitely a change in the way he understands drawing and painting and he starts to value work that is not completely controlled.””

 

Henri-Emile-Benoit Matisse was born in December 31st in 1869. He was a French artist known for his use of color and his originality. He was a printmaker, draughtsman and sculptor but is known by his paintings. He is considered do be one of the artists who helped to define the plastic arts alongside with Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp.

A conference about Henri Matisse is going to be held at the Barnes Foundation from 13th to 15th of October. It will bring scholars to Philadelphia to talk about artist’s long lasting legacy. Lectures and panels will talk about Matisse’s interest in...

Entertainment

Who is the mysterious woman on Degas’s painting?

After scanning Degas’ painting Portrait of the Woman scientists have found Emma Dobignys’s face. Finally, after 140 years scientists agreed that Emma, who was one of the favorite French impressionist’s models in that time, is hiding beneath Edgar’s Degas’s original painting.

Young woman’s face characteristics emerged when Australian scientists scanned the portrait with a special technique called x-ray fluorescence, it shown the original composition that was later on covered.

The portrait they discovered recalls to Emma Dobigny, a model who was an inspiration to many French artists. With her dark hair and pale skin, she is looking down to the left, totally different from the portrait that was painted over her.

X-ray fluorescence revealed model’s face in a super high resolution that even tracked how the artists used the paintbrush. It’s obvious that Degas painted the young woman’s face first, but spent more time painting the ears into a more fitting shape.

Degas wasn’t the only artists who over painted his works, but Degas used a really thin layer of oils in his Portrait of a Woman that after many years the original face started to show under the top layer. Experts in 1922 have put out a claim that the portrait has traces of discoloration due to the underlying image.

National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne researchers that worked on the project used a really thin, but highly intense x-ray beam that the synchrotron machine have made to scan the 46cm by 38cm canvas. Once the x-ray beam was done it was clear that there was another face hiding beneath the original layer.

After the scanning the process made multiple „elemental maps“ of the painting, which once they are put together reproduce the original portrait of Emma Dobigny, the young model Degas painted seven years before he over painted it. The machine was working for 33 hours in ordered to make a 31.6 megapixel map of the painting, the fact that each pixel measures only 60 thousand of a millimeter is stunning.

It was discovered that Emma Dobigny was Degas model for 20 years, her face was used in many of his paintings. Her face wasn’t only Degas inspiration, many other French artists such as Puvis de Chavannes and Camille Corot had Emma as their model.

It seems like Degas had a special connection for Dobigny. In a letter he sent her, found in his private collection, he wrote: “Little Dobigny, another session and right away if possible.”  It was speculated that two of them were in some kind of a relationship.

Scientists are now hoping that they’ll use the x-ray technique on other paintings. This is really important for the art historians, because it gives them a new perspective on the artworks they are talking about. Experts say that Degas’s Portrait of a Woman was a perfect painting to analyze because of the thin layer Degas used to cover Dobigny’s face. If Degas covered the original painting with a thick layer of oils the image probably couldn’t be reconstructed.

After scanning Degas’ painting Portrait of the Woman scientists have found Emma Dobignys’s face. Finally, after 140 years scientists agreed that Emma, who was one of the favorite French impressionist’s models in that time, is hiding beneath...

Entertainment

History of Batman comic books

 

Batman is an American comic book series featuring the hero of the DC Comics, Batman. This character first appeared in Detective Comics #27 in 1939. Batman became popular after the publication of a self-titled comic book series that first came out in the 1940.

Batman comic book started as a quarterly publication but it later became a bimonthly series through the late 1950s, after it became monthly publications and has remained ever since. The first original series ended in 2011 and was relaunched with a new plot.

The relaunch of the series was announced at the 2016 WonderCon as DC Rebirth“. The new Batman comic book „Batman Rebirth #1“ was released on June 15, 2016.

The Golden Age

In spring of 1940, when Batman #1 was released readers were introduced to Catwoman and Batman’s arch enemy the Joker. Alfred Pennyworth, Batman’s family butler was introduced in a comic book Batman #16 in 1943.

Editor Whitney Ellsworth assigned a Batman story to artist Dick Sprang in 1941. Sprang’s first published Batman comic book was Batman #19 in 1943.

Villains that were first shown during this early era were the Mad Hatter in the Batman #49 that was published in October 1948; the Killer Moth was first shown in issue #63 that came out in 1951.

In early strips, Batman’s career as a vigilante earns him the ire of the police.

 

The Silver Age

When the Silver Age of Comic Books came we first saw Batman in science fiction themed comics. Mr.. Freeze and Betty Kane, the original Bat-Girl were first introduced characters at the beginning of this era.

Julius Schwartz was set to retrieve the old batman titles in 1964. Schwartz’s first Batman comic book was Batman #164 that acme out in June 1964. The Riddler came back after eighteen-year absence in #171. Readers were introduced to new villains such as Posion Ivy in #181 that was published in June 1966. The comic book was highly affected by the Batman television series that was really popular during the 1960s.

Batman meets and regularly works with other heroes during the Silver Age, most notably Superman.

The 1970s

Writer Dennis O’Neil and artist Neal Adams started a new re-infused, darker Batman in 1971. They introduced the readers tot he new villain named Ra’s al Ghul, and also gave Joker his homicidal maniac murderer look.

The 1980s

Marv Wolfman was appointed to work on Batman #331 in January 1981. And many other writers and artists worked on the Batman Comic book series during the 80s.

The 1990s

Tim Burton’s 1989 movie Batman highly impacted the comic book and gave it a darker tone. Neal Adams designed a new costume for Robin in issue #457 that was published in 1990 in a story by Alan Grant. During the 1990s the main writers were Grant, Doug, Moench and Chuck Dixon. In 1990s comic books Batman’s back was broken by the super villain Bane.

2000-2003

Writer Larry Hama and artist Scott McDaniel issued seven titles. At issue #582 a writer Ed Brubaker was introduced as the writer to the series and he wrote about villains such as Penguin, Zeiss and Deadshot

Batman is one of the most popular superheroes world wide. The character’s presence has extended beyond his comic book origins.

 
Batman is an American comic book series featuring the hero of the DC Comics, Batman. This character first appeared in Detective Comics #27 in 1939. Batman became popular after the publication of a self-titled comic book series that first came out in...

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Trump Installation on Walk of Fame

As we all know the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, not only as a politician, but also as an American celebrity, the anonymous L.A. based street artist called Plastic Jesus selected the real estate mogul on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to make his new and bizarre art installation. A week ago, visitors of this world famous tourist attraction stumbled upon a miniature concrete wall surrounding the star of Donald Trump, clearly separating it from the rest of the walk.

This small sculpture is surrounded by a tiny barbed wire, American flags at its corners and some “Keep Out” sings. It’s a direct hit to Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall all along the Mexican border. Plastic Jesus said: “There’s been a lot of personal attacks on Donald Trump, both politically and by artists. I think really what we should be focused on is attacking ridiculous policies that will damage the US.”

As Donald Trump became an usual mocking subject in modern political art, his star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, made in 2007, has become a target this year. There were numerous acts of vandalism, even the recent case with swastika, and humans and their dogs spitting, peeing and defecating on this famous tile. A couple of months ago, CNN wrote: “Not even Bill Cosby‘s star draws as much controversy here as the one belonging to Donald Trump.” The work of Plastic Jesus was installed only for two days there.

The artist who wanted to remove the work after it grabbed so much attention in the area, said: “It was attracting a huge crowd of people flocking to it to photograph themselves with this wall. Edward Scissorhands was getting a bit upset because it was getting way more attention than he was, so he attacked it!”

This was not the first time that Plastic Jesus put Donald Trump’s image in his art. Several months ago, this street artist made installations in city streets of L.A., New York, Chicago and Washington, adding metal parking signs saying “No Trump Anytime”. Also this year, people could also see Plastic Jesus’s “Kardashian Parking Anytime” piece.

During the Republican debate in Southern California in September last year, Plastic Jesus created a series of $100 bills with Trump’s orange coloured visage, wrapped in currency straps saying “completely worthless”. The artist commented: “Things like human rights, equality, freedom, and law and order—all of these things have improved drastically over the last few decades. I think Trump will actually set this country back about 30 years. The US is made great by immigrants—to try and to build a wall… it’s just ludicrous.” He reminded us that he has immigrated to the U.S. from the U.K. nine years ago.

Magazine Vanity Fair says that the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce denies rumors about the Hollywood Historic Trust to reconsider removing Donald Trump’s tile because of all the negative attention, since it was first placed. We just have to wait and see will this star with a miniature concrete wall change their mind.

 

image source: artnews.com

As we all know the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, not only as a politician, but also as an American celebrity, the anonymous L.A. based street artist called Plastic Jesus selected the real estate mogul on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to make...

Health

Caring and Generosity through Music

It’s not so hard to be cynical when it comes to pop stars who record songs suggesting people caring more about others. And of course, this kind of idea in music can make them feel a bit guilty because of their lavish lifestyles. So, can a song actually change people’s behavior? The answer is yes. Sometimes it can. It is the conclusion of the newest study which discovered that playing songs with kind of pro-social lyrics in a German cafe actually increased the chances that patrons would spend some more for free-trade coffee.

Nicolas Ruth from the University of Wuerzburg, explained in the journal “Psychology of Music”: “Songs that deal with social topics seem to have an impact on our cognition and behavior. Musicians espousing such messages would be pleased to know that their music has a real — if small — effect on people’s behavior.”

Some laboratory studies, starting with the one from 2008, have concluded that exposure to lyrics that promote peace and love increases listeners’ general empathy. Nicolas Ruth wanted to test whether this would hold true in a real life, and produce visible changes in people’s behavior after a while.

The study started at a café in the city of Wuerzburg, in southern Germany. For over eight days between 10 a.m. and noon, the background music consisted of several specially prepared playlists. One list included songs with pro-social lyrics, and another had the same artists, but singing songs with neutral lyrics. The good example would be Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” or Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World”, as a part of the first playlist. The other list included same artists singing “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Dirty Diana”.

Nicolas Ruth explained: “As an indicator of global pro-social behavior, people had the option of buying organic fair-trade coffee for all of the hot drinks containing coffee.” It wasn’t a sort of expensive study about showing “environmental and social consciousness”, considering that the fair-trade coffee costs only 0.3 Euros extra, around 34 cents.

The results of the study proved to be astonishing. Ruth wrote: “Information about fair-trade coffee, including its benefits, was presented on a blackboard in the center of the café. People who were exposed to the pro-social music ordered more than twice as much fair-trade coffee than those in the neutral condition.” The 38 percent of people ordered the free-trade coffee when they heard songs like John Lennon’s “Imagine” played in the background. Only 18.4 percent of people were exposed to non-political songs.

Nicolas Ruth noted: “It is unclear whether the guests were subconsciously influenced, or were consciously aware of the content of the music. Either way, however, the songs seem to have inspired many of them to spend a little more for the greater good.”

This whole research reminds us that environmental factors can really influence our behavior, even in positive ways. So, we always knew that music can change the way we feel at the moment, depending on its emotion. But this study added another idea to the influence of music on us, which is the change of behavior, not only emotions.

It’s not so hard to be cynical when it comes to pop stars who record songs suggesting people caring more about others. And of course, this kind of idea in music can make them feel a bit guilty because of their lavish lifestyles. So, can a song actually...

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Monument for Drug Dealers in Berlin

Currently living in Berlin, the American artist Scott Holmquist has called people to support him in his efforts to raise a monument in the park of district Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, to honor African drug dealers. But, what’s even crazier, he’s gained the political support for it. He submitted a petition to the Pirate Party, a leftist party that advocates direct democracy and civil participation. The party occupies four out of 51 seats in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district assembly. The artist explained: “Drug dealers perform a socially valuable service appreciated by many people—especially where they are easily reached, in the middle of the neighborhood, and especially in parks.”

Scott Holmquist thinks that African drug dealers in Berlin are victimized unjustly. He said: “The erection of a monument would be a sensible and important recognition of this high-risk profession, and a potent reminder of the ongoing struggle against the consequences of colonialism.” In the email sent to media, he added: “The idea for the monument has two main levels. One explores the possibility of making any monument at all to a hero in our time. The second celebrates, dignifies and remembers people who have been subject to extreme bigotry, violence and persecution while they perform dangerous work at the forefront of social advancement.”

At the moment, his petition is being debated by the Pirate Party. The spokesman of the party, Felix Just said: “We welcome this proposal because it allows for the discussion about the conditions in Görlitzer Park to be expanded beyond a debate over criminality. The situation relates to many aspects of social life, such as flight and refuge, drug trafficking and smuggling, and dealing with asylum seekers. A monument doesn’t always need to be equated to a distinction, it can—and should—stimulate thought and debate.”

There’s a huge number of those opposed to this proposal, which is not a surprise. The area where Görlitzer Park is located is one of the most problematic areas in the city of Berlin. According to German research, there are 500 open drug-related police investigations, and residents of this part of town are very concerned. One Berliner, Tom Cenic, commented on this online petition: “Be honest. How stoned do you have to be to submit something like this? Should we also erect a monument for Georgian burglar gangs? Or North African gropers? The Pirate Party increasingly appear to be a pseudo-party of crazies. Please come back to reality. Society as a whole is at stake, not your silly individual ideas.”

Felix Just explained that the Pirate Party will make all the efforts to put this petition forward, in the district assembly’s legislative period, which will occur in October. He said: “I’m afraid this proposal doesn’t have particularly good prospects to be accepted because the politics and policy on drugs and addiction in Germany is unfortunately still very tense and are largely characterized by unfounded fears. We still look forward to the debate on this subject.”

Whatever the outcome of this odd political situation will be, Holmquist commented: “I will erect a monument, if only temporarily, in late 2017.”

Currently living in Berlin, the American artist Scott Holmquist has called people to support him in his efforts to raise a monument in the park of district Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, to honor African drug dealers. But, what’s even crazier, he’s gained...

Entertainment

Most powerful Hollywood franchises – part 2

Here’s the rest of our most powerful Hollywood franchises list.

  1. The Fast and the Furious

It’s a $3.8 billion franchise with 7 movies so far. It was hard to predict that this street racing series would become such a hit when it started in 2001. At first, it seemed like a modest undercover cop thriller. But 15 years later, we have a new adventure that will occur in Cuba and beyond. The strength of this one is that multicultural ambience that changes from country to country, traveling around the globe. The weakness can be found in aging of Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, who need to be in a racing shape all the time.

  1. Transformers

This is a $3.7 billion franchise with 5 movies so far. Paramount Pictures invests boldly in this project, planning new several installments. The next one is kicking off in 2018, called “Transformers: The Last Knight”. It will even cross over “G.I. Joe.” The strength is in robots and computers that generate them, because they don’t & won’t age. Another advantage is in humans who are interchangeable. That means that they could make these films a long, long time. The weakness would be in the novelty of cars that turn into robots. It seems like we have huge number of toys that do the same thing. So, do we really need more?

  1. Despicable Me

It’s a $2.7 billion franchise with 3 films. It’s all about minions, minions and tones of minions. Universal and Illumination seem very capable of driving forward with these new installments of the well known animated franchise. The strength is hidden in the endless merch of possibilities. These films play surprisingly well overseas. The weakness is in the majority of audience, the children. We all know that they can be fickle audiences. When they get enough of some characters, it really means they’re through with it.

  1. X-Men

It’s a $3.8 billion franchise with 7 movies so far. We can say that some the movies of this franchise are better than the others, but the success of this story lives safely. The last outing “X-men: Apocalypse” earned $285 million worldwide thus far. The strength is in “Deadpool” actually. It showed that there’s always a fresh life for the central metaphor of this saga, pulling $763 million worldwide, and “Mutants” are stand-ins for no matter what class society is discriminating against these days. The possible weakness is in Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, who could easily stop having fun with current costumes and makeup. They might wanna get real a bit.

  1. Jurassic Park

It’s a $3.6 billion franchise with 4 movies. For those who were born in late 80’s, Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” could be their “Star Wars”. It is evident that all these folks showed up in theatre to see “Jurassic World”, which made magnificent $1.6 billion worldwide. Chris Pratt will be at the center of a new cycle of stories, so the nostalgic curiosity is likely to drive people to fill the theaters. The strength of this one is simply in Dinosaurs. But at the same time, we ask ourselves for how long will dinosaurs be enough.

Here’s the rest of our most powerful Hollywood franchises list.

The Fast and the Furious

It’s a $3.8 billion franchise with 7 movies so far. It was hard to predict that this street racing series would become such a hit when it started in 2001...

Entertainment

Most powerful Hollywood franchises

With the advance of the 3d technology, the characters became the new movie stars. But, starting the franchise would be the new coin of the Hollywood realm. Movie studios flourish or disappear by how many franchises they have in their pocket. All these characters that come from the pure fiction have their golden age running for decades, and they doesn’t seem to get boring. The reason is that there’s a always a new generation eager to get to know these fictive worlds.

  1. Marvel Cinematic Universe

It’s a $9.3 billion company with 13 movies so far. Some of Marvel characters like Captain America, Iron Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy will not go to oblivion, as the company made the plan to make movies till at least 2020. The strength of this studio is the inexhaustible recourse of comic based adventures and the hunger of new generations of kids, ready to fall in love with this style of movies. The weakness would be replacing the star. Nobody knows how will the audience respond to a new Tony Stark. At some point, making Marvel’s actors will eventually become too expensive.

  1. Star Wars

It’s a $6.7 billion franchise with 8 movies so far. After taking over for George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy has changed the Lucasfilm, having a new purpose. It is to release “Star Wars” movie every single year in the future. As “The Force Awakens” confirmed its bond between the audience and Luke, Leia and Han, there’s no fear that the people won’t show up for ecah new film. The strength of this franchise is that multi-generational appeal and a proven merchandising muscle. The main weakness is that nostalgia-driven success, that raises a question “How long can this looking backward gonna work?”

  1. James Bond

It’s a $5 billion franchise with amazing 25 movies so far. There are not many franchises that can survive Roger Moore’s leisure suits. It started in 1962 and broke attendance records with Daniel Craig’s outings recently. So, there’s no reason to think that Mr. Bond will ever stop going to his missions. The strength of this one is the constant freshening of actors in the lead role, so the return is always a possibility. The weakness is the lack of definition of who and what 007 actually is. It’s time for some updates.

  1. Harry Potter

It’s a $7.7 billion franchise with 8 films made. The original books of Harry Potter were really massive just like the movies. Possible above-the-line capacity doesn’t really need to work again, if the consumer doesn’t want to. The strength is hidden in that continuous gain of the new audience with books and the hunger for Rowling’s characters doesn’t stop. It is also important that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at two Universal Studios theme parks gives the opportunity to the fans to buy everything Hogwarts. The weakness of this one is the unclear future of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, when we’re talking about the audience feedback.

With the advance of the 3d technology, the characters became the new movie stars. But, starting the franchise would be the new coin of the Hollywood realm. Movie studios flourish or disappear by how many franchises they have in their pocket. All these...