• I Rode All the E-Scooters. Most of Them Are Awful Except Two

    So sieht es im paradiesischen Wunderland des Transport-Sharing aus : #ASAB Alle Roller sind Mist, außer einem, und der ist genau genommen kein Roller. Und in Berlin? Sind das bessere E-Roller Made in Germany ? Wohl kaum. Tragt bloß einen Helm!

    Matt Farah, 6/10/19 3:45pm - One weekend morning toward the end of 2017, I woke up at home in Venice, CA and took a walk, only to see something entirely new: people on electric scooters. And I mean lots of people on electric scooters. Literally overnight, a new company called Bird, founded just two miles away in Santa Monica, had launched an app and dumped thousands of dockless scooters all over the place. A few things happened very quickly after that:

    Bird Scooters became litter. Freelance chargers, or “Juicers” as Lime would later call their not-employees, would do their best to place the scooters in an orderly fashion, out of the way in common areas. But since people only have respect for a.) things they, themselves personally own or b.) are locked down or are being watched, kicking, destroying, throwing them in the ocean, and more turned into Venice’s favorite new sport. The other morning, I watched someone line up a dozen or more scooters neatly, get into their van, and drive off. Not 10 seconds later, someone used a shopping cart as a bowling ball, turning the whole thing into some kind of bramble.
    Everyone wanted to compete with Bird. Lime was next, with its fun, fruit-themed livery. Bird and Lime were the new disruptors, and the OG disruptors, Uber and Lyft, wanted in on that sweet, sweet last-mile dollar. So those two started dropping their own scooters all over.
    E-Mobility Scooters have absolutely decimated the bike rental industry in Venice. Enterprising bike rental shop owners began to moonlight as scooter chargers or repair facilities. Some bike rental shop owners began buying and renting out their own scooters. Now, just 18 months later, on any given weekend, well over 50 percent of the wheeled traffic on the Venice bike path is battery powered.

    There were injuries. Lots of injuries. Anecdotally, I regularly see people wiping out and getting hurt on mobility scooters. It happens enough that I have made something of a pastime watching a specific corner on the bike path near my house. Business Insider reports over 1,500 injuries serious enough to record in the U.S., in 2018 alone, plus four fatalities.

    For the record, I sympathize with local residents who resent them taking up sidewalk space in front of their home, hate them for becoming litter in a neighborhood that often has too much of that already, and who have to deal with yet another way for dumb, lost tourists to be dumb and lost.

    I’ve found scooters blocking my own front door or garage on several occasions. And folks tend to want the best of all worlds while riding one: they want the rights of a pedestrian, the rights of a bicycle, and the rights of a car, all at the same time, which is an incredibly dangerous mindset.

    Also, for the record, I have found some extremely convenient uses for the scooters when I need to get somewhere that is just out of walking range, or to “run to the store to pick up some forgotten ingredient” while a recipe is in the oven. I have used every brand of scooter at one point or another, with extremely mixed results. I will factor in previous experience into my rankings.

    The Test: My goal was to find out which mobility company provides the best motoring experience for the rider, for their money. A showdown, for which scooter is best.

    For purposes of this piece, we will not be discussing company policy, only the scooter itself, and whether or not you should get down with it when you come hang out with me on Venice Beach.

    The Circuit

    Allow me to introduce you to The Mobiliring: a 3.4-mile handling circuit featuring a variety of surface changes, corners, crags, obstacles, sand, and people.

    You begin at the Venice Beach Parking lot at 2100 Ocean Front Walk, with the densest population of scooters around. Proceeding straight across the parking lot to the bike path, you go north on the bike path over a winding way made of slatted, rough, sandy concrete, all the way to the Santa Monica border, where you turn back south because mobility scooters can’t be ridden on the bike path at all in the city of Santa Monica.

    You ride south on Speedway, basically a decaying alley full of potholes, but appropriately named, as it was LA’s first paved road. Take Speedway south to Windward Avenue, the heart of Venice, and turn right, weaving across the freestyle dance skating grounds, through the throngs of tourists, and back to the bike path where it meets the legal graffiti area. Continue south on the bike path until you get to the Venice pier, then turn left on Washington Blvd and an immediate left to go north on Speedway, taking you right back to Start/Finish.

    This course is approximately 60 percent unlimited-speed bike path and 40 percent public roads, and in order to successfully complete a lap, you must pay attention and obey all posted road signs and laws.

    (Before you ask, Yes, I bought the Mobiliring domain name. Yes, I will be inviting you to post your own lap times.)

    The Contenders: We’ve restricted our entrants to scooter-type vehicles (as opposed to e-assist bicycles) available on the street for rent in Venice, CA as of May 13, 2019. For this test, that means Bird, Lime, Lyft, Jump (Uber), and Wheels are in the game. Now let’s see how they did on our handling course.

    5th Place – Jump – DNF

    Jump, along with Lyft, uses the Segway / Ninebot ES2 scooter with 19 miles of range and a claimed top speed of 15 mph. This scooter also uses two independent braking methods: regenerative via a toggle on the handlebar, and direct friction via a pressure plate on the rear tire. But, as with shared platforms in cars, the difference is often in the fine tuning, and here, the tuning mattered a lot.

    Our test started well. I picked up a fully charged and seemingly brand-new Jump scooter a few road blocks from the Mobiliring’s Start/Finish line. On the road, it seemed reasonably well made and stable, and reached the claimed top speed of 15 mph relatively drama-free. Then, just after starting off my official lap time, I hit the bike path, and it told me “no.”

    This is important. You see, the Venice bike path is exactly what it sounds like: a dedicated path for bikes, separate from cars and pedestrians. How each of these scooters deals with the bike path, as we will learn, is a defining factor in their Mobiliring time. The bike path and some of the surrounding pedestrian areas, a few of which are on-course, are “restricted” for some scooters, but not for others.

    While each scooter company deals with the bike path its own way, Jump has elected not to deal with it at all. The scooter refused to move, the app told me to take it back off the path, and into a “parking zone,” to lock it up and end my ride.

    I pushed it back where I found it, and even though my phone knew where I was, the scooter disagreed, and I was penalized for $5 for, ultimately, parking it legally.

    4th Place – Lime S – 44 minutes - $7.60

    Lime, the second scooter brand on the scene after Bird, has just released a heavier-duty version of their scooter, called the “Gen 3.” It features an underfloor battery for better stability, improved front suspension, bigger wheels, and a 30-mile range with all-weather capability.

    Unfortunately, since California doesn’t need that as badly as, say, Boston, we don’t get those. Here in Venice, we get the original Lime S scooter, also by Ninebot, but with a 18 mile range and a top speed of 14 mph. The Lime S has the tallest handlebars of all scooters and a single, rear-wheel bike-style cable and disc brake.

    In my previous experience, I’ve found the Lime S to be the fastest of the stand-up scooters, regularly exceeding the claimed 14 mph number, but also with the twitchiest handling in part because those handlebars are so high up and with a column full of heavy batteries in the front. Allegedly the handling issues are solved in the new scooter, but I will have to wait to see on that.

    Lime has decided that an appropriate speed for the Venice bike path should be 3 mph. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to operate a two-wheeled vehicle at 3 mph, but it’s actually quite a lot of work. Three is just barely enough speed to keep a two-wheeled vehicle standing up. It’s slow enough that I was passed by old people walking.

    It’s so slow, that you really can’t keep it in a straight line, which means the ride takes that much longer because you have to cover more zig-zaggy distance, and have I mentioned you’re going three? 

    I was openly mocked, to my face. I realize how mean-spirited you need to be to mock someone to their face for doing nothing besides silently riding a scooter very slowly on the bike path, but honestly, no one has just randomly mocked me on the street really ever in my lifetime. That’s how embarrassingly slow Lime wants you to go on the bike path.

    To make matters worse, Lime’s GPS calibration is so bad that, not 20 feet away from me on the pedestrian foot path I was passed by a dozen Limes going full-tilt, weaving between pedestrians, while I was a rolling chicane on the bike path, being passed by folks going slower than my own top speed.

    3rd Place – Lyft – 31 minutes, 47 Seconds - $7.01

    As I noted earlier, both Lyft and Jump use essentially the same Ninebot ES2scooter, painted different colors. But the difference between Jump’s DNF and Lyft’s podium finish? The software.

    Jump uses a basic LED display with a speedometer, whereas Lyft just has five little lights to indicate battery status. You could say that makes Jump better, but in fact it makes Jump worse, because there is nothing worse than looking at a powered vehicle’s speedometer and seeing a number lower than where you’d set the treadmill during cool down.

    Lyft’s “Prince Purple” and black livery also features a metal cage surrounding the column-mounted auxiliary battery pack, Mad Max style. I guess they follow @BirdGraveyard.

    I actually tested the Lyft before Lime and Jump, so when I hit the bike path and got stuck with a 5 mph limiter for the first mile and a half, it was bad. I thought that was, at the time, as embarrassed as I could be on a motorized vehicle, traveling barely faster than a walk. The thumb throttle, remained fully depressed for a solid 20 minutes, and my right hand began to cramp. I suddenly realized that, if the other scooters were this bad (they were worse) the test was actually going to take all day (it did).

    In unrestricted zones, the electrons flowed like a burst dam; the combination of power delivery and incredibly cheap, low-grip tires mean that you can actually get wheelspin on the sandy stuff – man this thing is fast. Maybe Lyft doesn’t put a speedometer on the handlebars because they are hiding the fact that their scooters are massively juiced up? Maybe it’s like Japan in the 1990s where everyone says their car makes 276 horsepower, and this is the R34 Skyline actually pushing 450?

    Southbound on Speedway, there were sections where I couldn’t use full throttle because it was just way, way too fast. With these tiny wheels, and this amount of power, when you hit the pavement head first (your only option when the front wheel “pivot point” of a crash is 4” in front of your toes), your head will explode like a Gallagher watermelon.

    The regenerative braking system on these Ninebot scooters is really cool, except, like most cheap regen systems, it stops working at low speed. So you really do have to use the friction brake on the rear wheel to come to a full stop.

    Considering the speed, you do not want to be standing on your toes on your back foot, which means you have to do a mid-brake foot shuffle to get that back foot planted on the brake to stop it. It seems like a good idea, and probably adds to the range to use regen as much as possible, but in a panic, complex braking systems are not good.

    Nevertheless, the bike path clearly took a lot away from Lyft’s time here, and so if you live in a city without restricted zones, commuting on one of these could be faster than you think. Wear a helmet.

    2nd Place – Bird Zero – 20 minutes - $6.20

    Bird is the Kleenex of mobility, the Google of mobility, the iPod of mobility. They were the first on the scene and made everyone else play catch-up. The original Bird scooter was a modified Xiaomi unit (sidebar: the guy who modified it is super interesting on his own and races a very fast and aero-fied Nissan GT-R in the Global Time Attack series), which proved not to be durable enough to stand up to the abuse put forth by Americans handling items they don’t own. So they first did a stint with Ninebot before developing their own in-house scooter, the Bird Zero, which is what I rode.

    The Zero has the widest deck of any standup scooter available, making it the most comfortable and stable to ride. (EDIT: New “Bolt” Scooters in LA have wider decks, but were not online at the time of my test). The handlebars fall between Jump and Lime height, so right in the middle, and between your hands is a speedometer and battery indicator.

    Though Bird says the Zero will go 25 km/hr (15 mph), the onboard speedometer would stop at 11.5 mph, and if you actually hit 12 mph (like on a small downhill), it would kill power until you dropped down to 9 mph, an incredibly annoying bug.

    It has larger wheels than the Ninebots used by Lyft, Jump and Lime, and what appear to be grippier tires. At 11 mph and change, you feel like you’re moving along pretty good, but it’s not sketchy fast, and the combination of (slightly) larger wheels and a basic front suspension mean the cracks in the sidewalk aren’t so jarring. The only brake is a bicycle-style cable disc brake on the rear wheel. The cable is exposed, so it’s vulnerable to tampering, but it’s intuitive and effective.

    (Side note: Yes, people are constantly messing with the brakes of these scooters. I regularly find cut cables, and on a few occasions, have started riding only to find out while in motion that the cables have been cut or removed entirely. Check any scooter before riding for functional brakes.)

    I took my first lap ever around the Mobiliring on a Bird, figuring they would be the one to beat, and frankly, Bird is the gold standard for a reason. The Zero is unrestricted on the bike path, and maintained its top speed for the entire first twisty section. The handling is predictable, and there is more grip than other scooters, right up until it gets sandy. Turning southward on Speedway at the north end of the course, the Zero absorbed many of the bumps and ruts in the road better than other scooters. Because I didn’t bump up on any stupid limiters, the entire lap was quite pleasant and relaxing.

    Having tried all three generations of Bird scooter, the Zero is a vast improvement from the first two, and if you’re going to scoot on your feet, not on a seat, Bird is probably the one to ride.

    1st Place – Wheels – 15 Minutes, 16 seconds - $5.60

    “Wheels” is the newest mobility company on the scene; their miniature bicycles only appeared in Venice a few months ago. These bikes are, frankly, genius. In theory, they go up to 35 km/hr, (21.7 mph), though I never saw more than 33.5 on the display.

    Because they are the first mobility option with hot-swappable batteries, the bikes themselves never go out of service during daytime hours. Wheels “Transporters” pick random bikes from where they are left, swap the batteries, and return the bikes to “hubs,” where, in my experience, you can pretty much always find at least one.

    The fact that they are more like bicycles than Razor scooters is, itself, a major advantage. Sitting, rather than standing, means stability. It means your knees and ankles aren’t a suspension component. It has 14-inch wheels with pneumatic tires. It uses dual disc brakes from a high-end bicycle. It has a twist-grip throttle, like a motorcycle. And it has Bluetooth speakers, so you can play your music from the bike itself, freeing you from having to dangerously (and in Santa Monica, illegally) ride on the street wearing headphones.

    A Wheels has enough power that you don’t have to push-start it, real tires so you can ride confidently on sandy tarmac, and the kind of brakes you’d want on a vehicle capable of keeping up with, and passing, folks on geared bicycles, or even cars in urban traffic. The kind of bumps that would sail you headfirst into a parked car on a traditional scooter are mere inconveniences on a Wheels.

    I knew it would be faster than the scooters on specs alone, but honestly, it was also so much more fun. Every single scooter is kinda terrifying, because a crack or a bump can come up so quickly, with really bad consequences. Even while having fun, it’s virtually impossible to escape this train of thought. Especially since right when you do, that’s when you crash.

    A Wheels is like riding an electric Honda Grom. The bike path, unrestricted on a Wheels, might as well be Angeles Crest Highway. I was taking apexes, leaning it down, balancing the brakes, and leaning into the throttle on exits. You can actually look up and around, rather than four feet in front of you, because you aren’t terrified of uneven pavement anymore.

    Best of all, because it looks more like a bike than a Razor scooter, many folks are riding them in more appropriate places than sidewalks, because they no longer see themselves as pedestrians.

    And the speed, Lord, the speed. It completed the Mobiliring a full five minutes faster than Bird, in half the time of Lyft, 1/3 the time of Lime, and for less money than all of them—after all, you’re literally renting these things by the minute, not the mile. Time is money.

    Downsides? Admittedly, there are two: First are the exposed brake cables for the dual disc brakes. During the single day of this test, I found three Wheels with intentionally cut brake lines. Someone not as vigilant as myself might not notice, which, considering where they were cut, I believe was the sadistic intent.

    Secondly, 20 mph is fast enough to have a crash where you can get hurt pretty badly, and Wheels is getting awfully close to moped territory; those do require helmets. While you’re no longer worried about pavement quality, you are going fast enough to misjudge things and just, crash. I hate to say it, but helmets should probably be mandated. And if I’m nit-picking, a height-adjustable seat would be nice, although not having to pedal negates most of the negative effects of a fixed seat.

    When scooters first arrived in Venice, I rolled my eyes and said to myself, “Great, at last a substitute for walking.” And in some ways, I was right. These scooters do expose us at our most slovenly, both in how we treat them when no one is looking, and in how tourists do actually use them, right in front of me, every day: as a walk you don’t have to walk; as a bike you don’t have to pedal.

    But they also do give mobility to people who don’t otherwise have it. 30 miles in LA is a pretty long way; you could ride a Wheels from Venice to Beverly Hills and back, for less than an Uber or Lyft, and without having to be a sweaty mess when you got there. Bird scooters and their ilk are good for short trips that are just out of walking distance, as long as you don’t have to deal with restricted zones and the surface is good.

    A Wheels is good for that too, but it can also be a bicycle. And frankly, it’s safer. Wheels wins this one by a mile.

    But as I write this, some three more e-scooters are coming to Venice in the next month. I guess the Mobiliring’s work isn’t done yet.❞

    #USA #Elektroroller #Verkehr

  • A beginner’s guide to Philippine feminism

    Sister #Mary_John_Mananzan, the co-founder of women’s organization Gabriela, was a political activist in the Philippines before she became a feminist.

    It was only when she went to a women’s conference in Venice, Austria and heard discussions about incest and wife-beating that she felt the need to call herself a feminist. “It dawned on me, ‘My goodness these [abuses] are in the Philippines too,” she says. “[I realized] you cannot have a social transformation unless this gender question is resolved.”

    Another known feminist, #Ging_Deles, who helped develop one of the first laws protecting women in the Philippines, got into feminism in the ‘80s. She says that she was working in the social development sector, but after meetings of bigger social development conferences, women began gathering together. Through these smaller get-togethers, it became clear how the issues of women were largely different from men, urging them to further push for women’s rights.

    Mich Dulce, a designer and co-founder of the women’s community collective Grrrl Gang, shares that she got into feminism because of music. In a previous interview with CNN Philippines Life, she said: “The [feminist music movement of the ‘60s] was what led me to become a feminist. I was not born ‘woke.’ I lived in a bubble for such a long time.”

    Deles, Mananzan, and Dulce all call themselves feminists and yet they all had different access points to feminism. We all come from diverse contexts, so if you’re looking for an entry point towards understanding the women’s movement in the Philippines, here’s a list of literature, films, and video discussions that you can consume:

    “The Woman Question in the Philippines”

    According to Gantala Press’ Faye Cura, this booklet by Sr. Mary John Mananzan offers an introduction to the state of women in the Philippines. “It contextualizes the oppression of Filipinas within the country’s colonial/neocolonial history,” she says. “It [also] discusses the challenges faced by women today — inequality and discrimination, gender-based violence, trafficking, and poverty, as well as Filipina women’s constant efforts to overcome these through feminism and the women’s movement.”

    “Daloy I” and “Daloy II”

    Batis AWARE (Association of Women in Action for Rights and Empowerment) is an organization that advocates for the rights of Filipino migrant women. In 2016, together with the publishing outfit Youth and Beauty Brigade, Batis AWARE published “Daloy 1,” a zine that features writings of Filipino migrant women. In 2018, Batis AWARE and YBB published “Daloy 2,” which dives deeper into the issues of Filipino migrant women — their day-to-day struggles, the abuses they face, and the continuous fight for their rights, among others.

    “Centennial Crossings: Readings on Babaylan Feminism in the Philippines”

    While there is a scarcity of recorded historical data on pre-colonial Philippines, there have been pieces of literature that reveal the central role women play during this era. A significant icon of pre-colonial Philippines is the babaylan, a healer or shaman who is usually a woman. In the book “Centennial Crossings: Readings on Babaylan Feminism in the Philippines,” the editors Fe Mangahas and Jenny Llaguno shine a light on how babaylanism is the inherent source of a Filipina’s strength and that babaylanism may perhaps be the forebearer of the women’s movement in the country.

    “Amazons of the Huk Rebellion: Gender, Sex, and Revolution in the Philippines”

    Written by Vina Lanzona, this book details how women in the Philippines were central to the revolution against Japanese occupation. “[This] provides an in-depth narration and analysis of the life and heroism of women warriors of the Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon (Hukbalahap),” says Faye Cura. “[It begins] at the onset of the Japanese occupation of the Philippines until after the war has ended and the ‘Amazons’ were vilified in popular imagination. A must-read for all Filipinos.”

    ... and so on...
    #femmes #féminisme #Philippines #femmes_philippines #livres #livre

  • Who Was Shakespeare? Could the Author Have Been a Woman? - The Atlantic

    On a spring night in 2018, I stood on a Manhattan sidewalk with friends, reading Shakespeare aloud. We were in line to see an adaptation of Macbeth and had decided to pass the time refreshing our memories of the play’s best lines. I pulled up Lady Macbeth’s soliloquy on my iPhone. “Come, you spirits / That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,” I read, thrilled once again by the incantatory power of the verse. I remembered where I was when I first heard those lines: in my 10th-grade English class, startled out of my adolescent stupor by this woman rebelling magnificently and malevolently against her submissive status. “Make thick my blood, / Stop up th’ access and passage to remorse.” Six months into the #MeToo movement, her fury and frustration felt newly resonant.

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    Pulled back into plays I’d studied in college and graduate school, I found myself mesmerized by Lady Macbeth and her sisters in the Shakespeare canon. Beatrice, in Much Ado About Nothing, raging at the limitations of her sex (“O God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the marketplace”). Rosalind, in As You Like It, affecting the swagger of masculine confidence to escape those limitations (“We’ll have a swashing and a martial outside, / As many other mannish cowards have / That do outface it with their semblances”). Isabella, in Measure for Measure, fearing no one will believe her word against Angelo’s, rapist though he is (“To whom should I complain? Did I tell this, / Who would believe me?”). Kate, in The Taming of the Shrew, refusing to be silenced by her husband (“My tongue will tell the anger of my heart, / Or else my heart concealing it will break”). Emilia, in one of her last speeches in Othello before Iago kills her, arguing for women’s equality (“Let husbands know / Their wives have sense like them”).
    I was reminded of all the remarkable female friendships, too: Beatrice and Hero’s allegiance; Emilia’s devotion to her mistress, Desdemona; Paulina’s brave loyalty to Hermione in The Winter’s Tale; and plenty more. (“Let’s consult together against this greasy knight,” resolve the merry wives of Windsor, revenging themselves on Falstaff.) These intimate female alliances are fresh inventions—they don’t exist in the literary sources from which many of the plays are drawn. And when the plays lean on historical sources (Plutarch, for instance), they feminize them, portraying legendary male figures through the eyes of mothers, wives, and lovers. “Why was Shakespeare able to see the woman’s position, write entirely as if he were a woman, in a way that none of the other playwrights of the age were able to?” In her book about the plays’ female characters, Tina Packer, the founding artistic director of Shakespeare & Company, asked the question very much on my mind.

    Doubts about whether William Shakespeare (who was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564 and died in 1616) really wrote the works attributed to him are almost as old as the writing itself. Alternative contenders—Francis Bacon; Christopher Marlowe; and Edward de Vere, the 17th earl of Oxford, prominent among them—continue to have champions, whose fervor can sometimes border on fanaticism. In response, orthodox Shakespeare scholars have settled into dogmatism of their own. Even to dabble in authorship questions is considered a sign of bad faith, a blinkered failure to countenance genius in a glover’s son. The time had come, I felt, to tug at the blinkers of both camps and reconsider the authorship debate: Had anyone ever proposed that the creator of those extraordinary women might be a woman? Each of the male possibilities requires an elaborate theory to explain his use of another’s name. None of the candidates has succeeded in dethroning the man from Stratford. Yet a simple reason would explain a playwright’s need for a pseudonym in Elizabethan England: being female.
    Who was this woman writing “immortal work” in the same year that Shakespeare’s name first appeared in print?

    Long before Tina Packer marveled at the bard’s uncanny insight, others were no less awed by the empathy that pervades the work. “One would think that he had been Metamorphosed from a Man to a Woman,” wrote Margaret Cavendish, the 17th-century philosopher and playwright. The critic John Ruskin said, “Shakespeare has no heroes—he has only heroines.” A striking number of those heroines refuse to obey rules. At least 10 defy their fathers, bucking betrothals they don’t like to find their own paths to love. Eight disguise themselves as men, outwitting patriarchal controls—more gender-swapping than can be found in the work of any previous English playwright. Six lead armies.

    The prevailing view, however, has been that no women in Renaissance England wrote for the theater, because that was against the rules. Religious verse and translation were deemed suitable female literary pursuits; “closet dramas,” meant only for private reading, were acceptable. The stage was off-limits. Yet scholars have lately established that women were involved in the business of acting companies as patrons, shareholders, suppliers of costumes, and gatherers of entrance fees. What’s more, 80 percent of the plays printed in the 1580s were written anonymously, and that number didn’t fall below 50 percent until the early 1600s. At least one eminent Shakespeare scholar, Phyllis Rackin, of the University of Pennsylvania, challenges the blanket assumption that the commercial drama pouring forth in the period bore no trace of a female hand. So did Virginia Woolf, even as she sighed over the obstacles that would have confronted a female Shakespeare: “Undoubtedly, I thought, looking at the shelf where there are no plays by women, her work would have gone unsigned.”

    A tantalizing nudge lies buried in the writings of Gabriel Harvey, a well-known Elizabethan literary critic. In 1593, he referred cryptically to an “excellent Gentlewoman” who had written three sonnets and a comedy. “I dare not Particularise her Description,” he wrote, even as he heaped praise on her.

    All her conceits are illuminate with the light of Reason; all her speeches beautified with the grace of Affability … In her mind there appeareth a certain heavenly Logic; in her tongue & pen a divine Rhetoric … I dare undertake with warrant, whatsoever she writeth must needs remain an immortal work, and will leave, in the activest world, an eternal memory of the silliest vermin that she should vouchsafe to grace with her beautiful and allective style, as ingenious as elegant.

    Who was this woman writing “immortal work” in the same year that Shakespeare’s name first appeared in print, on the poem “Venus and Adonis,” a scandalous parody of masculine seduction tales (in which the woman forces herself on the man)? Harvey’s tribute is extraordinary, yet orthodox Shakespeareans and anti-Stratfordians alike have almost entirely ignored it.

    Until recently, that is, when a few bold outliers began to advance the case that Shakespeare might well have been a woman. One candidate is Mary Sidney, the countess of Pembroke (and beloved sister of the celebrated poet Philip Sidney)—one of the most educated women of her time, a translator and poet, and the doyenne of the Wilton Circle, a literary salon dedicated to galvanizing an English cultural renaissance. Clues beckon, not least that Sidney and her husband were the patrons of one of the first theater companies to perform Shakespeare’s plays. Was Shakespeare’s name useful camouflage, allowing her to publish what she otherwise couldn’t?
    Shakespeare’s life is remarkably well documented—yet no records from his lifetime identify him unequivocally as a writer.

    But the candidate who intrigued me more was a woman as exotic and peripheral as Sidney was pedigreed and prominent. Not long after my Macbeth outing, I learned that Shakespeare’s Globe, in London, had set out to explore this figure’s input to the canon. The theater’s summer 2018 season concluded with a new play, Emilia, about a contemporary of Shakespeare’s named Emilia Bassano. Born in London in 1569 to a family of Venetian immigrants—musicians and instrument-makers who were likely Jewish—she was one of the first women in England to publish a volume of poetry (suitably religious yet startlingly feminist, arguing for women’s “Libertie” and against male oppression). Her existence was unearthed in 1973 by the Oxford historian A. L. Rowse, who speculated that she was Shakespeare’s mistress, the “dark lady” described in the sonnets. In Emilia, the playwright Morgan Lloyd Malcolm goes a step further: Her Shakespeare is a plagiarist who uses Bassano’s words for Emilia’s famous defense of women in Othello.

    Could Bassano have contributed even more widely and directly? The idea felt like a feminist fantasy about the past—but then, stories about women’s lost and obscured achievements so often have a dreamlike quality, unveiling a history different from the one we’ve learned. Was I getting carried away, reinventing Shakespeare in the image of our age? Or was I seeing past gendered assumptions to the woman who—like Shakespeare’s heroines—had fashioned herself a clever disguise? Perhaps the time was finally ripe for us to see her.

    The ranks of Shakespeare skeptics comprise a kind of literary underworld—a cross-disciplinary array of academics, actors (Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance are perhaps the best known), writers, teachers, lawyers, a few Supreme Court justices (Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, John Paul Stevens). Look further back and you’ll find such illustrious names as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, Henry James, Sigmund Freud, Helen Keller, and Charlie Chaplin. Their ideas about the authorship of the plays and poems differ, but they concur that Shakespeare is not the man who wrote them.

    Their doubt is rooted in an empirical conundrum. Shakespeare’s life is remarkably well documented, by the standards of the period—yet no records from his lifetime identify him unequivocally as a writer. The more than 70 documents that exist show him as an actor, a shareholder in a theater company, a moneylender, and a property investor. They show that he dodged taxes, was fined for hoarding grain during a shortage, pursued petty lawsuits, and was subject to a restraining order. The profile is remarkably coherent, adding up to a mercenary impresario of the Renaissance entertainment industry. What’s missing is any sign that he wrote.

    From January 1863: Nathaniel Hawthorne considers authorship while visiting Stratford-upon-Avon

    No such void exists for other major writers of the period, as a meticulous scholar named Diana Price has demonstrated. Many left fewer documents than Shakespeare did, but among them are manuscripts, letters, and payment records proving that writing was their profession. For example, court records show payment to Ben Jonson for “those services of his wit & pen.” Desperate to come up with comparable material to round out Shakespeare, scholars in the 18th and 19th centuries forged evidence—later debunked—of a writerly life.

    To be sure, Shakespeare’s name can be found linked, during his lifetime, to written works. With Love’s Labour’s Lost, in 1598, it started appearing on the title pages of one-play editions called “quartos.” (Several of the plays attributed to Shakespeare were first published anonymously.) Commentators at the time saluted him by name, praising “Shakespeare’s fine filed phrase” and “honey-tongued Shakespeare.” But such evidence proves attribution, not actual authorship—as even some orthodox Shakespeare scholars grant. “I would love to find a contemporary document that said William Shakespeare was the dramatist of Stratford-upon-Avon written during his lifetime,” Stanley Wells, a professor emeritus at the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute, has said. “That would shut the buggers up!”
    October 1991 Atlantic cover

    In 1991, The Atlantic commissioned two pieces from admittedly partisan authors, Irving Matus and Tom Bethell, to examine and debate the argument:
    In Defense of Shakespeare
    The Case for Oxford

    By contrast, more than a few of Shakespeare’s contemporaries are on record suggesting that his name got affixed to work that wasn’t his. In 1591, the dramatist Robert Greene wrote of the practice of “underhand brokery”—of poets who “get some other Batillus to set his name to their verses.” (Batillus was a mediocre Roman poet who claimed some of Virgil’s verses as his own.) The following year, he warned fellow playwrights about an “upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers,” who thinks he is the “onely Shake-scene in a countrey.” Most scholars agree that the “Crow” is Shakespeare, then an actor in his late 20s, and conclude that the new-hatched playwright was starting to irk established figures. Anti-Stratfordians see something else: In Aesop’s fables, the crow was a proud strutter who stole the feathers of others; Horace’s crow, in his epistles, was a plagiarist. Shakespeare was being attacked, they say, not as a budding dramatist, but as a paymaster taking credit for others’ work. “Seeke you better Maisters,” Greene advised, urging his colleagues to cease writing for the Crow.

    Ben Jonson, among others, got in his digs, too. Scholars agree that the character of Sogliardo in Every Man Out of His Humour—a country bumpkin “without brain, wit, anything, indeed, ramping to gentility”—is a parody of Shakespeare, a social climber whose pursuit of a coat of arms was common lore among his circle of actors. In a satirical poem called “On Poet-Ape,” Jonson was likely taking aim at Shakespeare the theater-world wheeler-dealer. This poet-ape, Jonson wrote, “from brokage is become so bold a thief,”

    At first he made low shifts, would pick and glean,
    Buy the reversion of old plays; now grown
    To a little wealth, and credit in the scene,
    He takes up all, makes each man’s wit his own

    What to make of the fact that Jonson changed his tune in the prefatory material that he contributed to the First Folio of plays when it appeared seven years after Shakespeare’s death? Jonson’s praise there did more than attribute the work to Shakespeare. It declared his art unmatched: “He was not of an age, but for all time!” The anti-Stratfordian response is to note the shameless hype at the heart of the Folio project. “Whatever you do, Buy,” the compilers urged in their dedication, intent on a hard sell for a dramatist who, doubters emphasize, was curiously unsung at his death. The Folio’s introductory effusions, they argue, contain double meanings. Jonson tells readers, for example, to find Shakespeare not in his portrait “but his Booke,” seeming to undercut the relation between the man and the work. And near the start of his over-the-top tribute, Jonson riffs on the unreliability of extravagant praise, “which doth ne’er advance / The truth.”

    From September 1904: Ralph Waldo Emerson celebrates Shakespeare

    The authorship puzzles don’t end there. How did the man born in Stratford acquire the wide-ranging knowledge on display in the plays—of the Elizabethan court, as well as of multiple languages, the law, astronomy, music, the military, and foreign lands, especially northern Italian cities? The author’s linguistic brilliance shines in words and sayings imported from foreign vocabularies, but Shakespeare wasn’t educated past the age of 13. Perhaps he traveled, joined the army, worked as a tutor, or all three, scholars have proposed. Yet no proof exists of any of those experiences, despite, as the Oxford historian Hugh Trevor-Roper pointed out in an essay, “the greatest battery of organized research that has ever been directed upon a single person.”
    Emilia Bassano’s life encompassed the breadth of the Shakespeare canon: its low-class references and knowledge of the court; its Italian sources and Jewish allusions; its music and feminism.

    In fact, a document that does exist—Shakespeare’s will—would seem to undercut such hypotheses. A wealthy man when he retired to Stratford, he was meticulous about bequeathing his properties and possessions (his silver, his second-best bed). Yet he left behind not a single book, though the plays draw on hundreds of texts, including some—in Italian and French—that hadn’t yet been translated into English. Nor did he leave any musical instruments, though the plays use at least 300 musical terms and refer to 26 instruments. He remembered three actor-owners in his company, but no one in the literary profession. Strangest of all, he made no mention of manuscripts or writing. Perhaps as startling as the gaps in his will, Shakespeare appears to have neglected his daughters’ education—an incongruity, given the erudition of so many of the playwright’s female characters. One signed with her mark, the other with a signature a scholar has called “painfully formed.”

    “Weak and unconvincing” was Trevor-Roper’s verdict on the case for Shakespeare. My delving left me in agreement, not that the briefs for the male alternatives struck me as compelling either. Steeped in the plays, I felt their author would surely join me in bridling at the Stratfordians’ unquestioning worship at the shrine—their arrogant dismissal of skeptics as mere deluded “buggers,” or worse. (“Is there any more fanatic zealot than the priest-like defender of a challenged creed?” asked Richmond Crinkley, a former director of programs at the Folger Shakespeare Library who was nonetheless sympathetic to the anti-Stratfordian view.) To appreciate how belief blossoms into fact—how readily myths about someone get disseminated as truth—one can’t do better than to read Shakespeare. Just think of how obsessed the work is with mistaken identities, concealed women, forged and anonymous documents—with the error of trusting in outward appearances. What if searchers for the real Shakespeare simply haven’t set their sights on the right pool of candidates?

    Read: An interview with the author of ‘The Shakespeare Wars’

    I met Emilia Bassano’s most ardent champion at Alice’s Tea Cup, which seemed unexpectedly apt: A teahouse on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, it has quotes from Alice in Wonderland scrawled across the walls. (“off with their heads!”) John Hudson, an Englishman in his 60s who pursued a degree at the Shakespeare Institute in a mid-career swerve, had been on the Bassano case for years, he told me. In 2014, he published Shakespeare’s Dark Lady: Amelia Bassano Lanier, the Woman Behind Shakespeare’s Plays? His zeal can sometimes get the better of him, yet he emphasizes that his methods and findings are laid out “for anyone … to refute if they wish.” Like Alice’s rabbit hole, Bassano’s case opened up new and richly disorienting perspectives—on the plays, on the ways we think about genius and gender, and on a fascinating life.

    Hudson first learned of Bassano from A. L. Rowse, who discovered mention of her in the notebooks of an Elizabethan physician and astrologer named Simon Forman. In her teens, she became the mistress of Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon, the master of court entertainment and patron of Shakespeare’s acting company. And that is only the start. Whether or not Bassano was Shakespeare’s lover (scholars now dismiss Rowse’s claim), the discernible contours of her biography supply what the available material about Shakespeare’s life doesn’t: circumstantial evidence of opportunities to acquire an impressive expanse of knowledge.

    Bassano lived, Hudson points out, “an existence on the boundaries of many different social worlds,” encompassing the breadth of the Shakespeare canon: its coarse, low-class references and its intimate knowledge of the court; its Italian sources and its Jewish allusions; its music and its feminism. And her imprint, as Hudson reads the plays, extends over a long period. He notes the many uses of her name, citing several early on—for instance, an Emilia in The Comedy of Errors. (Emilia, the most common female name in the plays alongside Katherine, wasn’t used in the 16th century by any other English playwright.) Titus Andronicus features a character named Bassianus, which was the original Roman name of Bassano del Grappa, her family’s hometown before their move to Venice. Later, in The Merchant of Venice, the romantic hero is a Venetian named Bassanio, an indication that the author perhaps knew of the Bassanos’ connection to Venice. (Bassanio is a spelling of their name in some records.)

    Further on, in Othello, another Emilia appears—Iago’s wife. Her famous speech against abusive husbands, Hudson notes, doesn’t show up until 1623, in the First Folio, included among lines that hadn’t appeared in an earlier version (lines that Stratfordians assume—without any proof—were written before Shakespeare’s death). Bassano was still alive, and by then had known her share of hardship at the hands of men. More to the point, she had already spoken out, in her 1611 book of poetry, against men who “do like vipers deface the wombs wherein they were bred.”

    Prodded by Hudson, you can discern traces of Bassano’s own life trajectory in particular works across the canon. In All’s Well That Ends Well, a lowborn girl lives with a dowager countess and a general named Bertram. When Bassano’s father, Baptista, died in 1576, Emilia, then 7, was taken in by Susan Bertie, the dowager countess of Kent. The countess’s brother, Peregrine Bertie, was—like the fictional Bertram—a celebrated general. In the play, the countess tells how a father “famous … in his profession” left “his sole child … bequeathed to my overlooking. I have those hopes of her good that her education promises.” Bassano received a remarkable humanist education with the countess. In her book of poetry, she praised her guardian as “the Mistris of my youth, / The noble guide of my ungovern’d dayes.”
    Bassano’s life sheds possible light on the plays’ preoccupation with women caught in forced or loveless marriages.

    As for the celebrated general, Hudson seizes on the possibility that Bassano’s ears, and perhaps eyes, were opened by Peregrine Bertie as well. In 1582, Bertie was named ambassador to Denmark by the queen and sent to the court at Elsinore—the setting of Hamlet. Records show that the trip included state dinners with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, whose names appear in the play. Because emissaries from the same two families later visited the English court, the trip isn’t decisive, but another encounter is telling: Bertie met with the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, whose astronomical theories influenced the play. Was Bassano (then just entering her teens) on the trip? Bertie was accompanied by a “whole traine,” but only the names of important gentlemen are recorded. In any case, Hudson argues, she would have heard tales on his return.

    Later, as the mistress of Henry Carey (43 years her senior), Bassano gained access to more than the theater world. Carey, the queen’s cousin, held various legal and military positions. Bassano was “favoured much of her Majesty and of many noblemen,” the physician Forman noted, indicating the kind of extensive aristocratic associations that only vague guesswork can accord to Shakespeare. His company didn’t perform at court until Christmas of 1594, after several of the plays informed by courtly life had already been written. Shakespeare’s history plays, concerned as they are with the interactions of the governing class, presume an insider perspective on aristocratic life. Yet mere court performances wouldn’t have enabled such familiarity, and no trace exists of Shakespeare’s presence in any upper-class household.

    And then, in late 1592, Bassano (now 23) was expelled from court. She was pregnant. Carey gave her money and jewels and, for appearance’s sake, married her off to Alphonso Lanier, a court musician. A few months later, she had a son. Despite the glittering dowry, Lanier must not have been pleased. “Her husband hath dealt hardly with her,” Forman wrote, “and spent and consumed her goods.”

    Bassano was later employed in a noble household, probably as a music tutor, and roughly a decade after that opened a school. Whether she accompanied her male relatives—whose consort of recorder players at the English court lasted 90 years—on their trips back to northern Italy isn’t known. But the family link to the home country offers support for the fine-grained familiarity with the region that (along with in-depth musical knowledge) any plausible candidate for authorship would seem to need—just what scholars have had to strain to establish for Shakespeare. (Perhaps, theories go, he chatted with travelers or consulted books.) In Othello, for example, Iago gives a speech that precisely describes a fresco in Bassano del Grappa—also the location of a shop owned by Giovanni Otello, a likely source of the title character’s name.

    Her Bassano lineage—scholars suggest the family were conversos, converted or hidden Jews presenting as Christians—also helps account for the Jewish references that scholars of the plays have noted. The plea in The Merchant of Venice for the equality and humanity of Jews, a radical departure from typical anti-Semitic portrayals of the period, is well known. “Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions?” Shylock asks. “If you prick us, do we not bleed?” A Midsummer Night’s Dream draws from a passage in the Talmud about marriage vows; spoken Hebrew is mixed into the nonsense language of All’s Well That Ends Well.
    Stephen Doyle

    What’s more, the Bassano family’s background suggests a source close to home for the particular interest in dark figures in the sonnets, Othello, and elsewhere. A 1584 document about the arrest of two Bassano men records them as “black”—among Elizabethans, the term could apply to anyone darker than the fair-skinned English, including those with a Mediterranean complexion. (The fellows uttered lines that could come straight from a comic interlude in the plays: “We have as good friends in the court as thou hast and better too … Send us to ward? Thou wert as good kiss our arse.”) In Love’s Labour’s Lost, the noblemen derisively compare Rosaline, the princess’s attendant, to “chimney-sweepers” and “colliers” (coal miners). The king joins in, telling Berowne, who is infatuated with her, “Thy love is black as ebony,” to which the young lord responds, “O wood divine!”

    Bassano’s life sheds possible light, too, on another outsider theme: the plays’ preoccupation with women caught in forced or loveless marriages. Hudson sees her misery reflected in the sonnets, thought to have been written from the early 1590s to the early 1600s. “When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes, / I all alone beweep my outcast state, /And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries, /And look upon myself and curse my fate,” reads sonnet 29. (When Maya Angelou first encountered the poem as a child, she thought Shakespeare must have been a black girl who had been sexually abused: “How else could he know what I know?”) For Shakespeare, those years brought a rise in status: In 1596, he was granted a coat of arms, and by 1597, he was rich enough to buy the second-largest house in Stratford.

    Read: What Maya Angelou meant when she said ‘Shakespeare must be a black girl’

    In what is considered an early or muddled version of The Taming of the Shrew, a man named Alphonso (as was Bassano’s husband) tries to marry off his three daughters, Emilia, Kate, and Philema. Emilia drops out in the later version, and the father is now called Baptista (the name of Bassano’s father). As a portrait of a husband dealing “hardly” with a wife, the play is horrifying. Yet Kate’s speech of submission, with its allusions to the Letters of Paul, is slippery: Even as she exaggeratedly parrots the Christian doctrine of womanly subjection, she is anything but dutifully silent.

    Shakespeare’s women repeatedly subvert such teachings, perhaps most radically in The Winter’s Tale, another drama of male cruelty. There the noblewoman Paulina, scorned by King Leontes as “a most intelligencing bawd” with a “boundless tongue,” bears fierce witness against him (no man dares to) when he wrongly accuses Queen Hermione of adultery and imprisons her. As in so many of the comedies, a more enlightened society emerges in the end because the women’s values triumph.

    I was stunned to realize that the year The Winter’s Tale was likely completed, 1611, was the same year Bassano published her book of poetry, Salve Deus Rex Judæorum. Her writing style bears no obvious resemblance to Shakespeare’s in his plays, though Hudson strains to suggest similarities. The overlap lies in the feminist content. Bassano’s poetry registers as more than conventional religious verse designed to win patronage (she dedicates it to nine women, Mary Sidney included, fashioning a female literary community). Scholars have observed that it reads as a “transgressive” defense of Eve and womankind. Like a cross-dressing Shakespearean heroine, Bassano refuses to play by the rules, heretically reinterpreting scripture. “If Eve did err, it was for knowledge sake,” she writes. Arguing that the crucifixion, a crime committed by men, was a greater crime than Eve’s, she challenges the basis of men’s “tyranny” over women.

    “I always feel something Italian, something Jewish about Shakespeare,” Jorge Luis Borges told The Paris Review in 1966. “Perhaps Englishmen admire him because of that, because it’s so unlike them.” Borges didn’t mention feeling “something female” about the bard, yet that response has never ceased to be part of Shakespeare’s allure—embodiment though he is of the patriarchal authority of the Western canon. What would the revelation of a woman’s hand at work mean, aside from the loss of a prime tourist attraction in Stratford-upon-Avon? Would the effect be a blow to the cultural patriarchy, or the erosion of the canon’s status? Would (male) myths of inexplicable genius take a hit? Would women at last claim their rightful authority as historical and intellectual forces?

    I was curious to take the temperature of the combative authorship debate as women edge their way into it. Over more tea, I tested Hudson’s room for flexibility. Could the plays’ many connections to Bassano be explained by simply assuming the playwright knew her well? “Shakespeare would have had to run to her every few minutes for a musical reference or an Italian pun,” he said. I caught up with Mark Rylance, the actor and former artistic director of the Globe, in the midst of rehearsals for Othello (whose plot, he noted, comes from an Italian text that didn’t exist in English). A latitudinarian doubter—embracing the inquiry, not any single candidate—Rylance has lately observed that the once heretical notion of collaboration between Shakespeare and other writers “is now accepted, pursued and published by leading orthodox scholars.” He told me that “Emilia should be studied by anyone interested in the creation of the plays.” David Scott Kastan, a well-known Shakespeare scholar at Yale, urged further exploration too, though he wasn’t ready to anoint her bard. “What’s clear is that it’s important to know more about her,” he said, and even got playful with pronouns: “The more we know about her and the world she lived in, the more we’ll know about Shakespeare, whoever she was.”
    Related Stories

    Such Ado: The Fight for Shakespeare’s Puns
    Shakespeare in Love, or in Context

    In the fall, I joined the annual meeting of the Shakespeare Authorship Trust—a gathering of skeptics at the Globe—feeling excited that gender would be at the top of the agenda. Some eyebrows were raised even in this company, but enthusiasm ran high. “People have been totally frustrated with authorship debates that go nowhere, but that’s because there have been 200 years of bad candidates,” one participant from the University of Toronto exclaimed. “They didn’t want to see women in this,” he reflected. “It’s a tragedy of history.”

    He favored Sidney. Others were eager to learn about Bassano, and with collaboration in mind, I wondered whether the two women had perhaps worked together, or as part of a group. I thought of Bassano’s Salve Deus, in which she writes that men have wrongly taken credit for knowledge: “Yet Men will boast of Knowledge, which he tooke / From Eve’s faire hand, as from a learned Booke.”

    The night after the meeting, I went to a performance of Antony and Cleopatra at the National Theatre. I sat enthralled, still listening for the poet in her words, trying to catch her reflection in some forgotten bit of verse. “Give me my robe, put on my crown,” cried the queen, “I have / Immortal longings in me.” There she was, kissing her ladies goodbye, raising the serpent to her breast. “I am fire and air.”

    • L’épave du pire naufrage de migrants en Méditerranée exposée à Venise

      L’épave du pire naufrage de migrants en Méditerranée, en avril 2015, sera exposée à la Biennale d’art contemporain qui s’ouvre samedi à Venise, comme une invitation à la réflexion sur un des phénomènes majeurs du XXIe siècle.

      Dans la nuit du 18 au 19 avril 2015, ce bateau de pêche chargé d’un millier de migrants a percuté un cargo portugais envoyé à son secours et a coulé à pic, sous les yeux horrifiés de l’équipage qui n’a pu sauver que 28 personnes.

      Le gouvernement de l’époque, dirigé par Matteo Renzi (centre gauche), a déboursé 10 millions d’euros pour renflouer l’épave, qui gisait à 370 mètres de profondeurs, et l’amener en 2016 en Sicile afin de tenter d’identifier les victimes et leur donner une sépulture digne.

      Par une ouverture rectangulaire que l’on distingue nettement sur les flancs balafrés de cette grosse barque à la peinture bleue et rouge écaillée, les pompiers sont allés récupérer les restes des centaines de personnes entassés dans la coque.

      Des dizaines de médecins-légistes se sont relayés pour participer à l’examen des 800 à 900 victimes. Ils ont retrouvé des documents du Soudan, de Somalie, du Mali, de Gambie, d’Ethiopie, du Sénégal, de Côte d’Ivoire, d’Erythrée, de Guinée Bissau et du Bangladesh.

      Ils ont aussi trouvé des petits sachets de terre que certains emmenaient de leur pays et le bulletin scolaire qu’un adolescent avait cousu dans ses vêtements comme passeport pour une nouvelle vie.

      Les victimes sont désormais inhumées dans différents cimetières de Sicile et l’épave, au départ promise à la destruction, a été finalement été préservée pour intégrer un projet de « Jardin de la mémoire » en Sicile.
      « Invitation au silence »

      Mais en attendant, l’artiste suisse Christoph Buchel a obtenu l’autorisation des autorités italiennes et du Comité du 18 avril - qui représente les victimes - pour transporter et exposer l’épave à Venise dans le cadre de son projet « Barca Nostra » (Notre barque).

      Lors de la Biennale de 2015, cet artiste avait créé la polémique en installant une mosquée dans une ancienne église de Venise.

      Portée sur une barge, l’épave est arrivée à Venise, où elle offre un contraste saisissant avec les élégants palais byzantins et les ponts délicatement ornés de la cité des doges.

      Elle est exposée à l’Arsenal, les immenses chantiers navals vénitiens. Aucune installation autour, aucune explication devant.

      « C’est un lieu silencieux, à l’abri du bruit, une invitation au silence et à la réflexion », a expliqué à la presse le président de la Biennale, Paolo Baratta.

      Au-delà de l’épave, le commissaire de cette Biennale, l’Américain Ralph Rugoff, a invité 79 artistes contemporains à créer des oeuvres sur les drames du monde moderne. Le Coréen Lee Bul a dédié une installation à un autre naufrage, celui du ferry Sewol, qui a fait 304 morts, pour l’essentiel des lycéens, en avril 2014 au large de la Corée du Sud : une montagne de vieux chiffons se gonfle pour représenter la douleur, la peur, l’étonnement et l’impuissance.

      C’est encore la rage, l’impuissance et la mort qui émanent du travail de la Mexicaine Teresa Margolles : elle expose un mur érigé de barbelés et constitué des blocs de ciment d’une école où l’on peut voir les impacts de balles là où quatre personnes ont été tuées.

    • I have seen the tragedy of Mediterranean migrants. This ‘art’ makes me feel uneasy

      The vessel that became a coffin for hundreds has gone on display at the Venice Biennale. It intends to stir our conscience – but is it a spectacle that exploits disaster?

  • Les trottinettes électriques ont fait des centaines de blessés aux Etats-Unis

    Deux personnes conduisent une trottinette électrique à Venice, quartier de Los Angeles, en Californie.

    Au moins 1 500 personnes ont été soignées après des accidents survenus en trottinette électrique aux Etats-Unis depuis fin 2017, début de l’engouement pour ce mode de transport, selon une organisation de défense des consommateurs.
    Consumer Reports, qui édite un magazine sur les questions de consommation, précise que ces chiffres, fondés sur des statistiques hospitalières et services de police, n’est pas exhaustif et n’inclut pas quatre décès liés à des trottinettes électriques et rapportés par la presse.

    En contactant 110 hôpitaux et 5 services d’urgences dans 47 villes américaines où sont présentes les trottinettes en libre-service d’au moins un des deux plus gros noms du secteur, Bird et Lime, Consumer Reports a dénombré 1 542 cas de soins d’urgences pour des blessures liées à ces engins.

    Les trottinettes à louer via son smartphone sont devenues un mode de transport très en vogue dans de nombreux pays, dont la France. Mais elles apportent aussi leur lot de dangers, que ce soit sur la route ou sur les trottoirs.
    Consumer Reports affirme que beaucoup de professionnels lui ont indiqué que les chiffres étaient forcément sous-évalués car les hôpitaux, pompiers ou policiers ne précisent pas forcément dans les dossiers si la victime était sur une trottinette.

    Ainsi, plus de la moitié des services contactés n’avaient pas de données détaillées. Pas moyen non plus de calculer le taux d’incidents par rapport à la distance parcourue, ce qui permettrait de comparer la dangerosité de la trottinette à d’autres modes de transport, comme le vélo par exemple.

    • Ces chiffres manquent de contexte et ne prennent pas en compte le fait que les trottinettes réduisent le trafic automobile, a réagi dans une déclaration écrite Paul White, directeur de la sécurité chez Bird. « Conduire est bien plus meurtrier pour tout le monde, comme le montrent les 6 000 piétons tués sur les routes américaines en 2017 », a-t-il estimé. « Nous sommes fiers de proposer une alternative de transport qui permet d’éviter la voiture, non seulement pour réduire la mortalité sur les routes mais aussi pour contribuer à aider le climat, et aider les villes à aller vers un avenir plus sûr et plus connecté pour nous tous », a-t-il encore assuré.

    • Ce truc se déploie à Bruxelles les derniers temps. Il y a quelques soucis : on peut les laisser « où on veut » d’après les loueurs. Oui mais non, il y a le respect d’autrui, des règles et lois... Aucun rappel de ces éléments de base par les loueurs. Elles traînent partout. Elles emmerdent les PMR, les commerçants, les personnes agées...

      Il parait qu’il n’y a pas de statut clair pour le type de véhicule : la route ? La piste cyclables ? Le trottoir ? Le fait est que sur le trottoir c’est ou devrait être 6km/h la vitesse max, sinon ce n’est plus un endroit pour piétons. Les derniers temps je vois plein de trottinettes qui tracent entre 20 et 25km/h sur des espaces piétons. C’est dangereux, nombriliste et individualiste, comme la bagnole solomobile. Ni plus ni moins. En l’état, je suis contre. Que les trucs à moteur aillent sur la route et basta.

  • The rent is too damned high because money-laundering oligarchs bought all the real-estate to clean their oil money / Boing Boing

    In an absolutely epic Twitter thread (unrolled here) author CZ Edwards lays out an incredibly compelling explanation of spiralling real-estate prices: oligarchs need to launder a lot of oil money — think Russia, Iran, ex-Soviet basket-case states, Saudi — and so they plow the money into offshore Real Estate Investment Trust that then cleans it by outbidding any actual real-estate investors or would-be homeowners, bidding up and snapping up all the property in desirable cities, and then realizing the rental income-flows as legitimate, clean money.

    It’s as neat and compelling a way of describing the link between oligarchy and spiraling real-estate prices as you could ask for. Shelter is not optional, so people will spend whatever it takes to get a roof over their heads. Cities are not infinitely sprawlable, so it’s possible to corner the market on places to live in them. Eventually, the parasites will devour the hosts and leave the cities empty shells (ahem, Venice), but by then the money-launderers have sold up and moved on.

    And of course, since real-estate is a great way to launder money, real-estate developers are often mobbed up af, which explains a lot about the president and his grifter inner circle.

    Edwards points out that her work on money-laundering came out of her research on a novel called “Rien’s Rebellion: Kingdom” (" Once upon a time, a nation’s fate depended on an informant, a lawyer and a warrior. They all lived under a good Monarch’s leadership. Until he was assassinated.").

    e. A few over-priced, stupid apartments? Does it really matter. Not as much, no, but that’s not where most of the laundering happens. It happens at the basic apartment building level. Because of a thing called a Real Estate Investment Trust. Let’s take... a California dingbat apartment building. Usually 4-8 apartments. (Earthquakes can be a problem...) They sell for $10-$20M, depending, and bring in $8K-16K month in revenue.

    So... let’s say you’ve got 25 money laundry clients, all with about $3 million (after you & your washing cut) they need to invest. $75 mil? Let’s buy 6 dingbats and put them in an REIT. Which hires a management team, which collects $2K rent from each apartment, each month. 6 buildings, 8 apartments each x $2K: $96K month in revenue. The management company takes 20%.

    Your money laundry clients get $76K per month of clean money- it all came from legal, legit rent investment income property. REITs clean the money better than a dry cleaner. I am oversimplifying, but not by much. There are some shell corps in there, some in Caymans or Seychelles, but also Delaware, Wyoming, North Dakota, and Nevada.

    What happens when there’s not much real estate to put in a REIT?

    Well, remember, there’s loss in money laundering? A REIT backed by money laundering doesn’t really care if it costs $5M for $10M for an apartment building. In a way, the $10M apartment building is better, because it cleans more money in one go. And they can outbid someone looking to own a 6 apartment dingbat.

    If the REIT buys a building for an inflated price, and they’re getting clean money monthly? They can just sit on it until someone legit comes along, having convinced a bank to make them a very large mortgage on an inflated price.

    Look at expensive cities. It’s not an accident.

    #capitalisme #crime #spéculation

  • Ten sailors dead, 14 saved after two ships catch fire near Crimea | Reuters

    Smoke rises from a fire at a ship in the Kerch Strait near Crimea January 21, 2019 in this still image taken from Reuters TV footage.
    REUTERS/Reuters TV

    Ten crew members have been found dead and 14 have been rescued after two ships caught fire in the Kerch Strait near Crimea, Russia’s transport ministry said on Monday, with a rescue operation still underway.

    The ministry said earlier on Monday that crew members were jumping into the sea to escape the blaze, which probably broke out during a ship-to-ship fuel transhipment.

    Both ships were under the Tanzanian flag - Candy (Venice) and Maestro - and had a combined total of 31 crew members. Of them, 16 were Turkish citizens and 15 from India, it said.

    • Le transfert bord à bord risqué et l’incendie qui s’est déclaré en Mer Noire serait une conséquence des sanctions états-uniennes contre l’approvisionnement en hydrocarbures de la Syrie.

      Exclusive: Ship in deadly Black Sea blaze was turned away from port over sanctions | Reuters

      An aerial view from a helicopter shows a rescue vessel during a fire-fighting operation following an accident involving two ships, which caught fire in the Kerch Strait, near the coast of Crimea in this handout photo released by Russian Emergencies Ministry January 22, 2019.
      Russia’s Ministry for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters/Handout via REUTERS

      Two ships ablaze in the Black Sea region, leaving at least 10 crew dead, caught fire while transferring fuel mid-sea after one vessel was barred from using its usual port in southern Russia due to U.S. sanctions risk, two sources told Reuters.

      The vessels, which caught fire on Monday, have the same names as two gas-transporting tankers, the Maestro and Venice, which were included on a U.S. sanctions advisory note last year for delivering fuel to Syria.

      The U.S. Treasury note, published in November, advised that any dealings with these or other vessels involved in transporting fuel to Syria could result in sanctions.

      The Maestro was subsequently barred from using Temryuk port in southern Russia by the owners of its only gas terminal, Maktren-Nafta, two industry sources said, where it had previously loaded liquefied petroleum gas of Russian and Kazakh origin for export to the Middle East.

      Temriouk est situé à la base de la presqu’île de Taman (détroit de Kertch), côté mer d’Azov.

    • At least 10 dead as fire rages on Black Sea ships | Reuters

      Ten crew died and another 10 were missing presumed dead in a fire that broke out on two ships while they were transferring fuel in the Black Sea, Russia’s Transport Ministry said on Tuesday.

      Twelve people were rescued from the burning vessels but there was little hope of finding any more survivors, a spokesman for the Transport Ministry’s maritime unit said. The focus had switched from a rescue operation to a search for bodies, he added.

      The spokesman said the vessels, which had a combined crew of 32, were still on fire and rough no attempts were being made to put out the blaze because of rough sea conditions.

      Russian maritime officials said on Monday that the vessels were carrying out a ship-to-ship transfer of fuel in the Kerch Strait, which separates Crimea from Russia.

  • Une machine à extraire l’#eau de l’air gagne un XPrize | Actualités | Le Soleil - Québec

    Ainsi, quand M. Hertz a appris il y a quelques années qu’un prix serait offert à quiconque pourrait proposer un moyen novateur et peu coûteux de produire de l’eau douce et propre pour un monde qui n’en a pas assez, il a décidé de se lancer à fond.

    À l’époque, sa petite machine à eau produisait environ 570 litres par jour, dont une grande partie était destinée aux sans-abri vivant dans la ruelle derrière le Studio of Environmental Architecture, la société de M. Hertz située dans la région de Venice Beach et spécialisée dans la création de bâtiments verts.

    Son épouse - une photographe commerciale - et lui, et leur partenaire Richard Groden qui a assemblé la plus petite machine, ont créé The Skysource / Skywater Alliance et se sont mis au travail. Ils ont provoqué de petites tempêtes de pluie dans les conteneurs en chauffant des copeaux de bois afin de produire la température et l’humidité nécessaires pour extraire l’eau de l’air et du bois lui-même.

    • « L’un des aspects fascinants des conteneurs d’expédition réside dans le fait qu’il y a plus de produits importés qu’exportés, il y a donc généralement un excédent », explique M. Hertz . . .

  • Delta Landscape 2100

    Delta Landscape 2100 is the third book of a series, including Delta Landscapes. Building Scenarios within Fragile Territories (2010) and Delta Landscapes. Geographies, Scenarios, Identities (2011).

    What will the Po river delta region look like in 2100? Envisioning such a #scenario is the key endeavor of this volume. As with many other deltaic territories, the Po delta is a fragile region, with both social paradoxes and ecological dilemmas. Delta Landscape 2100 argues that today, at the beginning of the 21st century, imagining the fate of similar territories, affected by the drastic phenomena of ongoing climate change, is of the utmost importance.

    Collecting a range of empirical inquiries and theoretical reflections, Delta Landscape 2100 provides an attempt at interpreting such a complex territory, which culminates in two visions for the future of the Po river delta region. The ensuing design project aims to become a reference for other fragile territories around the world.

    Delta Landscape 2100 gathers reflections and design proposals developed by an international research team based at the University IUAV of Venice, the University of Sheffield, the Vilnius Gediminas Technical University and the Ion Mincu University of Bucharest, with Latitude – Platform for Urban Research and Design. The team has worked intensively with local institutions, organizations and citizens.
    #Po #fleuve #delta #territoires_fragiles #livre

  • BibliOdyssey: Eccentric Characters

    Illustration plates (lithographs) from ’The Book of Wonderful Characters: Memoirs and Anecdotes of Remarkable and Eccentric Persons in all Ages and Countries, Chiefly from the Text of Henry Wilson and James Caulfield’, 1869.

    Joseph Clark, The Famous Posture-Master

    “He frequently diverted himself with the tailors, by sending for one of them to take measure of him, and would so contrive it as to have a most immoderate rising in one of the shoulders: when the clothes were brought home, and tried upon him, the deformity was removed into the other shoulder; upon which the tailor asked pardon for his mistake, and altered the garment as expeditiously as possible: but, upon a third trial, he found him perfectly free from blemish about the shoulders, though an unfortunate lump appeared upon his back. In short, this wandering tumour puzzled all the workmen about town, who found it impossible to accommodate so changeable a customer.”

    Matthew Lovat, crucified himself at Venice, July, 1805

    “Having become a shoemaker by necessity, he never succeeded either as a neat or as a quick workman; the ordinary fate of those who are employed contrary to their inclinations. [..]

    As his age increased, he became subject in the spring to the giddiness in his head, and eruptions of a leprous appearance showed themselves on his face and hands. [..] His life was regular and uniform; his habits were simple, and comfortable to his rank in society; nothing, in short, distinguished him but an extreme degree of devotion. He spoke on no other subject than the affairs of the church. [..]

    [H]aving shut himself up in his chamber, and making use of one of the tools belonging to his trade, he performed upon himself the most complete general amuptation, and threw the parts which he had deprived his person from his window in to the street. [..] [I]s it not reasonable to think, considering the known character of the man that his timid conscience, taking the alarm at some little stirrings of the flesh against the spirit, had carried him to the resolution of freeing himself at once and for ever of so formidable an enemy? [..]

    [H]is old ideas of crucifixion laid hold of him again. He wrought a little every day in forming the instrument of his torture, and provided himself with the necessary articles of nails, ropes, bands and the crown of thorns &c. [Lovat managed to spear his side and nail himself to the cross]

    These bloody operations being concluded, it was now necessary, in order to complete the execution of the whole plan he had conceived, that Matthew should exhibit himself upon the cross to the eyes of the public. [..] [The cross] with the poor fanatic upon it, darted out at the window, and remained suspended outside of the house by the ropes which where secured to the beam inside.”
    {Lovat was soon after cut down and sent to a hospital for a a few weeks of wound treatment and then on to a lunatic asylum where he died from pneumonia a month after his attempt at self-crucifixion}


      Remarkable Persons

      “There are no descriptions of persons who excite public curiosity more than those who have been ushered into notice by circumstances of peculiar notoriety, particularly such as have not been restrained by the laws of their country, or influenced by the common obligations of society. [..]

      Very different are the multitude who are noticed only as instances of the deviation of nature, such as giants, dwarfs, strong men, personal deformity, &c. In like manner are distinguished those persons who have lived to an extraordinary age; others, as empirics and quacks, buffoons, prize-fighters, and adventurers, serve but to fill up the class of Remarkable Characters; and if eccentricity of manners characterises another description of persons, that very eccentricity entitles them to a place in the present work.”

      Mrs Sarah Mapp

      “Mrs. Sarah Mapp, a female of masculine habits, distinguished herself by some extraordinary cure she effected, merely resulting from personal courage. She was called the bone-setter, or shape mistress. Her maiden name was Wallin. Her father was also a bone-setter, at Hindon, Wilts; but, quarrelling with him, she wandered about the country, calling herself crazy Sally. [..] In most cases her success was rather owing to the strength of her arms, and the boldness of her undertakings, than to any knowledge of anatomy or skills in chirugical operations. [..] [S]he was a character considerable enough to deserve the satire of Hogarth.”

      Margaret Finch (Queen of the Gypsies at Norwood)

      “The most remarkable [modern Cleopatra] was Margaret Finch, born at Sutton, in Kent; who, after travelling the whole of England in the double capacity of gipsy and thief, finally fixed her place of residence at Norwood. [She] adopted a habit, and afterwards a constant custom, of sitting on the ground with her chin resting on her knees, which caused her sinews to become so contracted, that she could not extend herself of change her position. [..] The singularity of her figure, and the fame of her fortune-telling, drew a vast concourse of persons from the highest rank and quality to that of the lowest class in life. Norwood, and the roads leading to it; on a fine sunday, resembled the scene of a fair; and, with the greatest difficulty only, could a seat or a mug of beer be obtained, at the place called the Gipsy-house.”

      Esther Hammerton (Female Sexton)

      “She was a woman of a strong and robust constitution, of a good countenance and complexion; but at the time the chapel fell on her, she received a hurt which prevented her ever afterwards from wearing stays. Her usual dress, in consequence, was a man’s waistcoat and hat, a loose long gown, and a silk-hankerchief tied round her neck; but on sundays and holidays she would dress extremely neat and clean, in a gown of the best fashion, a mob-cap, with a frilled border, gay ribbons, and a nosegay in her bosom. She studiously avoided every sort of female employment; but was particularly partial to all kinds of manly sports and pastimes, as cricket, foot-ball, bull-baiting, sliding, skaiting &c.; frequenting most of the country-clubs, and joining in the smoaking, drinking and singing, of every convivial party she entered.” {1711-1773}

      Ann Mills (Served on Board the Maidstone Frigate)

      “Among the female adventurers and candidates for military or naval glory, none in their time stood more forward than Ann Mills. By what chance, or in what capacity she first commenced her career on shipboard, is not known; but, about the year 1740, she was serving as a common sailor on-board the Maidstone frigate; and, in an action between that ship and a French enemy, she so greatly distinguished herself, by personal prowess, as to be particularly noticed by the whole crew. It is, by the circumstances of her portrait being taken with a Frenchman’s head in her hand, that we are naturally led to imagine the service she performed must have been of a most desperate nature, or of being boarded by the enemy; and, probably, after the conquest cut off the head of her opponent, as a trophy of victory.

      In all likelihood, some love affair induced this woman to assume the male character, in order to follow the fortune of a favourite lover, who had gone to sea. Mary Read and Anne Bonny, two notorious female virago pirates; Christian Davis, commonly called Mother Ross; with Hannah Snell, which latter two served in a military capacity, all pleaded the tender passion as an apology for assuming masculine pursuits and habits.”

  • The gondola and the speedboat: Venice as a crucible of culture | Thinkpiece | Architectural Review

    As a melting pot of art and culture, Venice has historically been a source of inspiration for many

    On 21 March 1945, Wing Commander George Westlake led the one and only authorised Second World War air raid on Venice. Operation Bowler had been planned by Air Vice-Marshal ‘Pussy’ Foster. He named it so because he knew that if the city itself was damaged, he and Westlake would be ‘bowler hatted’ or returned, that is, to civilian life. The target was the docks that – now that the RAF had made key northern Italian railway lines and major roads impassable – were the one seemingly sure way the Germans could supply their occupying armies, along canals lined with villas by Palladio.

    Diving near vertically from 10,000ft, Westlake led more than a hundred Mustangs and Kittyhawks to their target. The operation was a resounding success. One aircraft was shot down, its pilot rescued, while not a single Venetian life was lost, nor, aside from the odd shattered window, a Venetian building damaged outside the docks. My friend and former AR contributor, Tudy Sammartini, a future pupil of Carlo Scarpa at the time and one of the city’s most engaging conservationists from the great flood of 1966, told me that Venetians crowded on rooftops to watch the raid. ‘It was intense’, she said, ‘but we cried, Bravo!’


  • Italy moves to force big ships to take back route to Venice

    Gondolas and water taxis will never again have to vie with big cruise ships for space in front of Venice’s iconic St. Mark’s Square, an Italian governmental committee decided on Tuesday.

    Venetians and environmentalists have long voiced concerns about floating pleasure palaces sailing close to the fragile city, dwarfing its Gothic and Byzantine churches.

    Under the new rules, which follow a temporary limit imposed three years ago, the largest ships weighing more than 100,000 tonnes or more will take a less glamorous route to the industrial port of Marghera, far from the Grand Canal.
    Work needs to be done on the new route, which will open within four years, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Graziano Delrio said at a news conference in Rome.

    Ships weighing more than 96,000 tonnes were banned from the Giudecca canal in 2013, while the number of smaller ships using the waterway was limited to five a day, but that legislation was overturned at the end of 2015.

  • Artist Creates Illustrations of a Modern Tarot Card Deck Inspired by Social Media and Internet Culture

    Venice, Italy illustrator and designer Jacopo Rosati created The Social Network Tarots, a series of illustrations imagining a modern tarot card deck inspired by social media and internet culture.

    cc @fsoulabaille

  • Venice 2017: Lubitsch and Pickford, finally together again

    Rosita (1923).

    KT here:

    Few of Ernst Lubitsch’s and Mary Pickford’s silent films are as little known to modern viewers as Rosita (1923). It survived only in an incomplete print in the Soviet film archive, and a few other archives had copies of that print. Specialist researchers could see it, as I did while working on Herr Lubitsch Goes to Hollywood. (You can get a downloadable copy here.) Now the Museum of Modern Art has made a 4K restoration that played here at the Venice International Film Festival as a special screening on the night before the festival opening. Curator Dave Kehr introduced the film.

    Rosita has gained an unwarranted reputation as an inferior Lubitsch film. In Kevin Brownlow’s interview with Mary Pickford published in The Parade’s Gone By, Pickford claims that she was (...)

    #regular #snth01

  • Shakespeare’s Cure for Xenophobia | By Stephen Greenblatt

    What “The Merchant of Venice” taught me about ethnic #hatred and the literary imagination.

    What #Shakespeare bequeathed to us offers the possibility of an escape from the mental ghettos most of us inhabit. Even in his own world, his imagination seems to have led him in surprising directions. At a time when alehouses and inns were full of spies trolling for subversive comments, this is a playwright who could depict on the public stage a twisted sociopath lying his way to supreme authority. This is a playwright who could have a character stand up and declare to the spectators that “a dog’s obeyed in office.” This is a playwright who could approvingly depict a servant mortally wounding the realm’s ruler in order to stop him from torturing a prisoner in the name of national security. And, finally, this is a playwright who almost certainly penned the critical lines we find preserved in the British Library’s manuscript of an Elizabethan play about Sir Thomas #More. (The play was probably banned from performance by the censor.) The lines speak movingly to one of our most pressing contemporary dilemmas. Shakespeare depicts Thomas More confronting an angry mob that demands the expulsion of the “strangers”—the foreigners—from England. “Grant them removed,” More tells the mob:

    Imagine that you see the wretched strangers,
    Their babies at their backs and their poor luggage,
    Plodding to the ports and coasts for transportation,
    And that you sit as kings in your desires . . .
    What had you got? I’ll tell you: you had taught
    How insolence and strong hand should prevail,
    How order should be quelled; and by this pattern
    Not one of you should live an aged man,
    For other ruffians, as their fancies wrought,
    With self same hand, self reasons, and self right,
    Would shark on you, and men like ravenous fishes
    Would feed on one another.

    #antisémitisme #littérature #xénophobie

  • Defend Israel’s anti-occupation group Breaking the Silence -

    Justice Minister Shaked is investigating the spokesman for the army veterans’ group for breaking the silence on what he did in Hebron – nobody else among the countless veterans who’ve told similar stories and worse, just him

    Iris Leal Jun 27, 2017
    read more:

    I arrived at the train station in central Tel Aviv last Wednesday and, as usual, got lost. I was en route to the Palestinian village of Sussia to attend an unusual book launch for the Hebrew edition of “Kingdom of Olives and Ash,” a collection of essays about the occupation written by authors from around the world. The ceremony took place in the most appropriate possible place, a hut in a Palestinian village whose residents have been uprooted from their land seven times, while across the road the settlers of Jewish Susya lie in ambush for them night and day, casting covetous eyes on their land.
    As usual, I didn’t manage to find “Venice,” the bus rented by the Breaking the Silence organization, which was waiting at the entrance to the parking lot. A pleasant young man with a beard came to my rescue: Dean Issacharoff, as he introduced himself, the organization’s spokesman.
    The next day, two weeks after Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked urged the attorney general to open an investigation against him, the Hebron police rose to the challenge and, with permission from State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan, questioned Issacharoff at length under caution, as a suspect in a crime.
    Issacharoff, a former officer in the Nahal Brigade and a man of honor, did the deed that lies at the heart of the organization to which he belongs: He broke the silence. A video clip disseminated by a group called Reservists on Duty shows him telling about how, during his military service in Hebron, he beat a Palestinian who threw rocks at him. His testimony confirmed what everyone knows at differing levels of denial and self-deception: There is no sterile occupation. Violence is an inseparable part of our military presence in the territories.
    Shaked, who did everything she could to erase Breaking the Silence from our lives by passing legislation to harass left-wing organizations, found a roundabout way of abusing Issacharoff. She didn’t, heaven forbid, order investigations into the piles of complaints about attacks on Palestinians. She displayed no interest in other stories by soldiers about the violence that was an integral part of their military service. Instead, she targeted this case only and hastened to write the attorney general that “in light of the great importance I attributed to preserving Israel’s good name and that of Israel Defense Forces soldiers, I saw fit to ask you to look into the veracity of this incident. If it turns out to be true, the full force of the law must be applied immediately.”

  • Bruce Langhorne, Guitarist Who Inspired ‘Mr. Tambourine Man,’ Dies at 78 - The New York Times

    Bruce Langhorne, an intuitive guitarist who played a crucial role in the transition from folk music to folk-rock, notably through his work with Bob Dylan, died on Friday at his home in Venice, Calif. He was 78.

    From his pealing lead guitar on “Maggie’s Farm” to his liquid electric guitar lines on “Love Minus Zero/No Limit” and “She Belongs to Me,” Mr. Langhorne was best known for his playing on Mr. Dylan’s landmark 1965 album, “Bringing It All Back Home.” He also contributed hypnotic countermelodies to tracks like “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.”

    Mr. Langhorne also became friends with a fellow guitarist, Sandy Bull, with whom he shared an enthusiasm for African and Middle Eastern music, as well as for the reverb-steeped guitar of Roebuck Staples, the patriarch of the family gospel group the Staple Singers. Mr. Bull lent Mr. Langhorne the Fender Twin Reverb amplifier into which he plugged his acoustic 1920 model Martin guitar to create the electrifying sounds that helped give birth to folk-rock.

  • La Question Interstellaire (1/2) : une perspective écologique

    On a déjà parlé de Rachel Armstrong (@liviingarchitect) dans les colonnes d’ Cette architecte est en effet connu pour ses travaux futuristes, souvent à la limite du « design fiction » et s’inspirant largement de la biologie de synthèse comme Future Venice ou l’Hylozoic Ground. Les enjeux de l’exploration interstellaire Elle a (...)

    #Articles #Débats #Futurs #design-fiction #espace #Science-fiction

  • Italy curtails appeal rights and expands rebranded detention centres

    On 10 February, the Italian Council of Ministers adopted a law that foresees the acceleration of asylum procedures and returns, following heavily criticised plans set out in the second half of 2016. The Decree Law is only provisionally binding until it is voted on in the Parliament.

    The new law creates specialised immigration chambers to hear asylum appeals. These chambers are established in 14 courts (Bari, Bologna, Brescia, Cagliari, Catania, Catanzaro, Florence, Lecce, Milan, Palermo, Rome, Naples, Torino and Venice), and are competent to decide on asylum appeal cases under a single judge. The reform also limits the possibility to be heard in such appeals: asylum appeal procedures are to be accelerated, as a decision by the specialised chamber must be taken within four months instead of six, and the decision can no longer be appealed to the Court of Appeal.
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Italie #renvois #expulsions #procédures_accélérées #procédure_d'asile #loi #législation #réforme #recours

  • Femmes en mouvement - La Vie des idées

    Ni passante, ni piétonne, la flâneuse a été laissée en dehors des livres d’histoire. Pourtant, la flânerie est liée à l’émancipation, et aussi à la révolte. L’espace urbain serait-il un enjeu féministe ?

    Recensé : Lauren Elkin, Flâneuse. Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice and London, Londres, Chatto & Windus, 2016, 317 p.

    « Allons-nous en donc, toi et moi… »
    -- T. S. Eliot, « La Chanson d’amour de J. Alfred Prufrock », (1917)

    Hanter boulevards et avenues et se laisser captiver, capturer par leurs sinueux tours et détours ; s’ancrer, par le pas, dans la ville et lui appartenir ; s’inscrire, par l’écrit, dans le lieu que l’on habite en marchant : telles sont les flâneries des flâneuses dont est Lauren Elkin. Il y a quelque chose d’envoûtant et de viral dans son invite à aller par les rues et à suivre sa dérive amoureusement érudite.

    #féminisme #émancipation

  • “Vento d’Oriente”, Lebanese art in Venice Palazzo Priuli Bon, july 2016 - #Culture

    The wind blew from the East on the city of Venice in Italy, and more particularly on the Palazzo Priuli Bon, where the exhibition “Vento d’Oriente”, featuring 16 Lebanese artists, dazzled with its colors and energy. #mode

  • “Vento d’Oriente”, Lebanese art in Venice Palazzo Priuli Bon, july 2016 - #Accessories

    The wind blew from the East on the city of Venice in Italy, and more particularly on the Palazzo Priuli Bon, where the exhibition “Vento d’Oriente”, featuring 16 Lebanese artists, dazzled with its colors and energy. #mode

  • L’Unesco demande à Venise de bannir les navires de croisière

    Pour l’Unesco, le passage des grands navires de croisière à proximité immédiate de Venise menace son patrimoine architectural.
    Photo : DR

    Le site de Venise classé patrimoine mondial en danger au même titre que les sites antiques de la Syrie ou de la Libye en guerre ? C’est la menace brandie par l’Unesco. En cause, notamment, le passage des grands navires de croisière à proximité immédiate de la Cité des Doges.
    Réuni le 15 juillet en assemblée générale à Istanbul, le comité des Nations unies pour l’éducation, la science et la culture n’a pas hésité à adresser un véritable ultimatum aux autorités italiennes en leur laissant jusqu’au 1er février 2017 pour présenter un plan de mesures concrètes pour la sauvegarde de Venise et de sa lagune.
    Parmi les attentes prioritaires du comité de l’Unesco, l’interdiction de navigation des grands paquebots à proximité immédiate de la cité lacustre mais aussi celle des pétroliers dans la lagune à destination du port industriel de Marghera.
    L’Unesco suggère également la réduction de la vitesse des petites embarcations à passagers dans les canaux ou encore l’adoption de modèles de coques générant moins de houle.
    Plus largement, et cela ne s’adresse pas uniquement à l’industrie de la croisière qui représente 520 escales de paquebots pour 1,5 millions de passagers, soit 6 % des 25 millions de touristes annuels de Venise, l’Unesco demande aux autorités la mise en place d’un plan de développement touristique durable.
    Les grands navires de croisière naviguant en Adriatique sont toujours autorisés à entrer dans la lagune de Venise et à naviguer le long du canal de la Giudecca jusqu’à la gare maritime. Selon plusieurs études, leur passage déplace du sable et crée des vagues qui fragilisent les pilotis sur lesquels reposent palais et maisons. Mais, pour le moment, les projets de routes alternatives ne se sont pas concrétisés.

    • La résolution de l’Unesco : un tournant historique pour Venise et sa Lagune | Gruppo 25 aprile

      La résolution de l’Unesco adoptée à l’unanimité aujourd’hui 14 Juillet 2016 par l’Unesco, crée un environnement comparable à celui qui a entraîné l’adoption de la première Loi spéciale de 1973 sur Venise.

      Le groupe 25Aprile se félicite et salue cette résolution de l’Unesco qui va finalement créer la pression morale nécessaire pour remuer les eaux stagnantes de l’administration locale et nationale.

      Le groupe 25 Aprile lance un appel au gouvernement national, dans la mesure où l’Italie est signataire de la Convention et que c’est à l’Italie de répondre à tout manquement avant le délai fixé par l’Unesco (février 2017) afin d’éviter la honte que représenterait l’inscription de Venise sur la liste des sites du patrimoine mondial de l’humanité en danger : une honte sans précédent dans l’histoire de notre pays.

      Le groupe 25 Aprile souligne comme cela a été fait aujourd’hui lors de la retransmission en mondiovision de la conférence (en webstreaming) que l’Unesco a parlé du risque pour Venise de devenir un simple “village touristique” et d’une administration locale impuissante (“l_ocal powers unable to cope_”) face à la situation actuelle. De par notre propre expérience, nous ne pouvons que confirmer cette affirmation grave mais véridique.

  • Typology: Factories | Thinkpiece | Architectural Review

    Commodities flowed from them, along with money for their owners - but the factory also produced new ways of living, of thinking, and of designing

    If one building can be said to have produced modernity, it is this. Richard Arkwright’s Cromford Mill, built in 1771 near Derby, supplanted the workshops of feudalism and brought workers together in great numbers. Earlier buildings such as Venice’s Arsenale had amassed labouring bodies, but they lacked powered machinery. This innovation concentrated wealth in the hands of the mill owners (Arkwright died the richest untitled man in Britain), but it also created the proletariat as a self-conscious class. Marx predicted that the bourgeoisie had thereby dug its own grave, as the united workers would inevitably revolt; they did, but that grave still lies empty. The factory has filled plenty of others since: the dark satanic mills killed men, women and children in their thousands, and they still do in many countries. Those who survived endured unspeakable conditions inside these buildings, and beyond: the factory blackened the landscape, and great grim cities grew around them.