Monday, 28 March 2011

Beauty in the City: March visit to Lincoln

This month I have popped across to Lincoln to see what counts as Beauty there.
Lincoln seems to be a difficult place to get to and also to leave - we had a few problems getting the train back home on the Sunday, but apart from that the city was really beautiful.
One of the things we noticed was how many independent shops there are in the city.
Especially in the Steep Hill area (and yes, the hill lives up to its name.)This sweet shop sold selections of sweets from different eras - and there was a little bar that came down when the shop was too full of children.The there was a little arts and crafts shop which had a very pertinent notice in the window. I was very aware during the day wandering around Lincoln that in London thousands of artists were joining the March for the Alternative - and in many ways I felt perhaps I should have been there. So this may have been why I was picking up on notices like this - and also I liked that Lincoln had a Speakers Corner.Lincoln is also well known for its canal - The Fossdyke is thought to be the oldest man-made navigation in the country, so we thought we would go down and have a look at the Brayford Pool - a naturally occurring pool where the canal meets the River Witham, and take a walk along the canal to see the life going on there.
What is really beautiful is the way the boaters each take care of their outdoor space - creating lovely gardens all along the canal walk.One of my favourites is this 'outsider art' style garden - featuring Twyfords decorative toilet and gnomes.The visit was finished off with a delicious cream tea at Stokes Cafe, a wonderful mock tudor building overlooking the river.

Friday, 25 March 2011

there is beauty in the city:bilbao

there is beauty in the city:bilbao is now well underway - a week into the preparations.
keep up to date here - you may need the translate option

Thursday, 17 March 2011

zana rasool - sulaymanyah, kurdistan

It is important for me to leave the card in the place, Bardam saray Sulaymanyah, where the majority of people come together for demonstrations in the city center of Sulaymanyah. This place, from its very beginnings, has always been the main meeting point for people to express their views on a political issues.

Sulaymaniyah (Kurdish: سلێمانی / Silêmanî); is a city in Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan. It is the capital of Sulaymaniyah Governorate. Sulaymaniyah is surrounded by the Azmar Range, Goizja Range and the Qaiwan Range in the north east, Baranan Mountain in the south and the Tasluje Hills in the west. The city has a semi-arid climate with very hot and dry summers and very cold winters. Sulaymaniyah served as the historic capital of the Kurdish principality of Baban from 1784 to 1850.
The modern city of Sulaymaniyah was founded on 14 November 1784 by the Kurdish prince Ibrahim Pasha Baban who named it after his father Sulaiman Pasha. Because it was founded as the capital of a powerful Kurdish principality, Sulaymaniyah has developed into a large city with a population of about 1.041.490 people. It is the cultural center of the Sorani-speaking Kurds and an important economic center for Iraqi Kurdistan.

The region of Sulaymaniyah was known as Zamwa prior to its founding in 1784. The capital of the Kurdish Baban principality (1649–1850), before Sulaymaniyah was a territory named "Qalachwalan". At the time of the Babani's rule there were major conflicts between the Safavid dynasty and the Ottoman Empire. Qalachuwalan became a battle ground for the two rivals.[2]
Being of strategic importance and lying deep inside Safavid territory, there was major concern that Qalachwalan would be attacked and captured if the Babanies did not give the Safavids military support, as both Sultan Mahmud II and Nadir Shah were trying to gain the support of the dispersed Kurdish Emirates.[2] This obliged Mahmud Pashah of Baban in 1781 to think about moving the center of its Emirate to another safer place. He chose Melkandi, then a village, to construct a number of Serahs for his political and armed units.[2]
In 1783 Ibrahim Pashah of Baban undertook the rule of the Emirate and began the construction of a new city which would become the capital of the Baban Emirate. In 1784 he finished erecting a number of palaces for trade called Qaiseries and bazars, which were used as baths as well, and began inviting people from the surrounding villages and even Emirates to move over to the newly established city, soon Malkandi which was originally intended to be the city itself instead became one of its quarters and still is today.[2]
Sulaymaniyah has since its foundation been the center of Kurdish nationalism, and it was from here that Mahmud Barzanji sparked the first rebellion against the British occupation on May 22, 1919 with the arrest of British officials in Sulaymaniyah and declared an independent Kurdistan at that same year. On 10 October 1921, a statement was issued in Sulaymaniyah, then the capital of Kurdistan, to establish the Kingdom of Kurdistan.[2] Sheikh Mahmud Barzanji, now backed by the British, declared himself as the King of the Kingdom of Kurdistan
The British occupation declared Sheikh Mahmud as king in order to silence the residents of Sulaymaniyah and stop their rebellion, but Sheikh Mahmud acted and ruled independently from the British, and wanted them out of the kingdom. As a result, in the same year, he was exiled for several years to the Andaman islands in India by the British occupation, only to return and raise another unsuccessful rebellion centered in Sulaymaniyah in 1923.
In 1925 mass revolts broke out against British occupation. Winston Churchill argued ‘in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes’ but contrary to recent claims, there is no evidence that it was ever used.[3] In January 1926 the League of Nations gave the mandate over the territory to Iraq, with the provision for special rights for Kurds. In 1930-1931,Sheikh Mahmud Barzanji made his last unsuccessful attempt to free Kurdistan, he retreated into the mountains, and later signed a peace accord with the Iraqi government and settled in the new Iraq in 1932.
Since liberation in 1991, it has been administered by Kurdish Government and serves as one of the metropolises of Iraqi Kurdistan.

يةكةم خؤثيشاندان لة بةردةركى سةراى سليَمانى 6 ئةييلول1930
ئةم خؤثيشاندانة  داواى سةربةخؤى كوردستانكرا وة خؤثيشاندانةكة دذى بةيةننامةى عصبە الامم بوو كة ناوى كوردى تيانةهاتبوو لة ضوارضيَوةى عراقدا.

barham ismael - sulaymanyah, kurdistan

trying to save an old tree from cutting down

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

behjat omer abdulla - halabja, iraq

behjat omer abdulla has recently travelled back to iraqi kurdistan and has sent this image.
March 16, 1988 is the commemoration of when the chemical weapon used by the Iraqi government forces in the Kurdish town of Halabja in Iraqi Kurdistan. This image is just by the gate to the graveyard.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

There is Beauty in the City: la conversación - #4

No. 4 in a series of conversations with Bilbao and PhotoArteKomite's Igor Calvo.
alhóndiga from iparraguirre street

It is true that, in those cities sharing an industrial past, there is a longing or sort of melancholy set up in the collective mentality of their citizens with respect to "those years of work, production, development and progress" of the city (despite the huge abuses committed in labor and environmental issues we still could not get rid of completely).

However, it is also true that we must overcome this nostalgia and look forward to a futureof work, production, development and progress”, without ties and having learned from the mistakes of the past.

The new Alhóndiga Bilbao is a good example of that. Maintaining the original structure of one of the most representative buildings in Bilbao, the old industrial wine warehouse (more than 100 years old, remained empty from the 70’s) has been reborn to become a great culture and leisure centre, transcending its walls to spread the surrounding streets with new designs and structures that invite us to rethink about the streets as a collective and creative spaces.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

there is beauty in the city : the conversation - #3

Hanley greyhound racing and speedway stadium. closed 1964
the dilemma facing the post-industrial city seems to be how to balance the understandable propensity for nostalgia, without that yearning for a past becoming a suffocator for a future.