Wednesday 19 October 2011

One Voice - Patti Smith

In the garden of consciousness
In fertile mind there lies the dormant seed
When blooming as charity
Conscience breathes a sigh of relief
The confessions of sleep
The awakening seed
Moved by love to serve
We celebrate all
Merit in life
Ah, the confessions of sleep
Unfolding peace
As we extend
According to need
And you will hear the call
All action great and small
Received joyfully
Heaven abounds
Let love resound
If he be mute
Give him a bell
If he be blind, an eye
It he be down, a hand
Lift up your voice
Lift up your voice
Lift up your voice
Give of your mind one mind
Give of your heart one heartGive of your voice
One voice

song by Patti Smith and Jay Dee Daugherty.

from Patti Smith's album Gung Ho (2000)

Monday 17 October 2011

Nobel Peace Prize 2011

A post long overdue.

The Nobel pecae prize of 2011 was awarded to

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Prseident of Liberia),

Leymah Gbowee (from Liberia) and

Tawakkul Karman (from Yemen)

"for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work".

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2011 is to be divided in three equal parts between Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work. We cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world unless women obtain the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of society.

In October 2000, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1325. The resolution for the first time made violence against women in armed conflict an international security issue. It underlined the need for women to become participants on an equal footing with men in peace processes and in peace work in general.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is Africa’s first democratically elected female president. Since her inauguration in 2006, she has contributed to securing peace in Liberia, to promoting economic and social development, and to strengthening the position of women. Leymah Gbowee mobilized and organized women across ethnic and religious dividing lines to bring an end to the long war in Liberia, and to ensure women’s participation in elections. She has since worked to enhance the influence of women in West Africa during and after war. In the most trying circumstances, both before and during the “Arab spring”, Tawakkul Karman has played a leading part in the struggle for women’s rights and for democracy and peace in Yemen.

It is the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s hope that the prize to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman will help to bring an end to the suppression of women that still occurs in many countries, and to realise the great potential for democracy and peace that women can represent.

Oslo, October 7, 2011

find out more about their work and about the Nine Nobel Women by clicking on the links on this post's tile.

text and images source:

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Niki de Saint Phalle at Gimpel Fils

An exhibition with works by late artist and visionary Niki de Saitn Phalle (1930 - 2002) has opened tonight at Gimpel Fils in London.

vive l'amour

Spanning over 40 years of creative endeavours of this great artist, the exhibition encompasses with its key artworks the pain, fun, darkness, colours, boldness and child-like eccentricity conveyed on St Phalle's sculptures, drawings and paintings.

Gimpel Fils has a long tradition of representing de artistic avant gard in London (Yves Klein, Susan Hiller, Josef Albers amongst many other illustrious names).

The exhibition goes until November 12th and it's free. If the weather in London starts to get too grey for your liking, drop by and discover that even from the darkest corners of our souls, we can find colours to express the resiliance of the human heart.

Gimpel Fils is located just behind Bond Street Station (central Line).
30 Davies Street London W1K 4NB UK
tel. +44 (0)20 7493 2488
fax. +44 (0)20 7629 5732

Kate Bush to release new album

"50 Words For Snow" is the title of Kate Bush eagerly anitcipated follow up to Aerial (2005). Six years is not such a long time waiting considering how long it took for Kate Bush to return to the studio since her 1993 release, The Red Shoes (1993).

The album is out on the 21st of Novemeber, and for those who cannot wait that long, you can pre-order on through Kate Bush's official website (click on the link that is this post's title and you'll get there!)

The album's first single Wild Man, was broadcast exclusively on BBC Radio 2 yesterday (Oct 10th). You can listen to the track here (the track starts at 1:46:35 in case you do not fancy listening to 2 hours of radio on the computer!)

The Mistress Bookshelf: Dreamers of a New Day by Sheila Rowbothan

I will try and share some suggestions for interesting and enlightening reads. This one's on my Christmas wish list!

I stumbled upon a review of this particular book on the latest issue of BBC History magazine - from which I present an extract here on this post. For the original review, please click on the link that is this post's title.

Dreamers of a New Day: Women who Intevented the Twentieth Century
by Sheila Rowbotham
RRP: £10.99

review by Sue Wingrove

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries a confluence of factors encouraged women to envisage changes in their circumstances.

Discoveries in science and technology, the rise of global trade and a world war were among developments which inspired – and seemed to offer the chance for – real political and social change.

In this book Sheila Rowbotham, professor of gender and labour history at the University of Manchester, looks at how, from the 1880s to the 1920s, women “armed with only the sketchiest of maps” tried to take control of their destinies. She covers not just Britain but also the United States where besides the politics of gender and class was added that of race, as African-American women struggled to bring that onto the agenda.

The author has deliberately “sought out obscure dreamers” who questioned prevailing assumptions, adding to the pantheon of women’s history a whole new cast of characters. This is a story of hundreds of different movements, campaigning on everything from welfare reform to the right to ride a bicycle.

On every aspect of change there were conflicting ideals, typified by that surrounding the right to practise contraception – or even the right to write about it. Did it allow women to choose motherhood or did it simply enable men to expect sex whenever they wanted?

Those who sought to keep women from taking a wider role liked to characterise the vanguard as unsexed, oversexed or simply deranged. So although campaigners may have had different agendas, they would all learn, in the words of reformer Mary Beard in 1912, that “everything that counts in the common life is political”.

It was a message the world would hear again, in another great period of struggle for women’s rights: “the personal is political” was a frequently heard feminist rallying cry in the 1960 and 1970s.

Sue Wingrove is former deputy editor of BBC History Magazine


In this blog I intend to do some historical justice to the many, many women who have contributed with their genius, creativity, adventurous spirit, nurturing - amongst other qualities - to the apparent linear and male dominated prescribed notion of History. This is just the beggining.