FEATURED THIS WEEK : MARK KLETT
In 1860 a young American geologist-explorer named Raphael Pumpelly journeyed west via stagecoach to Tucson, Arizona. There he found a lawless and dangerous land, which he described in a vivid memoir, Across America and Asia. A century and a half later, photographer Mark Klett has been tracing Pumpelly's adventures on the Camino del Diablo through the Sonoran Desert, much of which is now a bombing range. From the murderous territory to the militarized landscape, he finds a place "located at the intersection of danger and beauty."
CHANGE OBSERVER : MANISHA SHARMA
Girls are considered a burden in Indian society and over seven million have been aborted in the last decade, simply because they were girls. Previous research points at social, cultural and economic factors for the gendered arrangement, but a comprehensive understanding is still missing. The problem is spreading like an epidemic and the impact is felt in various forms in different parts of India. In academia the issue is popularly known as the “missing girls” phenomenon.
OBSERVER MEDIA : DEBBIE MILLMAN
On this episode of Design Matters, Debbie Millman talks to Jean-Louis Cohen about Le Corbusier — Cohen reveals a Le Corbusier who was not only a great architect, but also a savvy promoter of his own ideas and work. He tells how Le Corbusier derived his name and explains why he feels this is the right time for a major retrospective of Le Corbusier's work.
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OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER
Recently, in The New Yorker
online, I read a fascinating article by Reed Johnson relaying his description of a rare and undecipherable manuscript said to have been written and illustrated more than six centuries ago. Reed tells the story of the modern discovery of the manuscript in 1912 by Wilfred Voynich, a rare book dealer who found the tattered manuscript in Rome. The wonderfully maddening aspect of this book is that, despite the best efforts of cryptologists and code breakers — not a word has ever been officially declared deciphered.
OBSERVATORY : DENNIS O'DRISCOLL
It's an old joke to make explicit the self-promotion implicit in memoir. Nietzsche's Ecce Homo
had sections titled "Why I Am So Clever" and "Why I Write Such Good Books." What appeals to me in Dennis O'Driscoll's variation on the theme is the brevity of the poem and the range of the narcissism, the sheer number of lies and half-truths and the ease with which you can hear someone saying each part of them, if never in order and always supposedly in jest. The poem is like a collage of lines from pompous cocktail parties, more coherent when he takes them out of place.
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CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE
Rock Girl in Cape Town offers real and symbolic safe places for girls and women.
PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2008
The non-profit sector is a major player in promoting green urbanism. Here's what's happening in Little Rock.