Just got back from a week on the island of Kaua'i where an inspiring mayoral race is underway. New candidate, Dustin Barca, a native of Kaua'i, returned to the island after a tour as a professional surfer and took his activist spirit into the political realm by running for mayor. (Mayors govern each individual island in Hawaii.) We saw signs, bumper stickers, shirts promoting him everywhere on the island.
Even in his campaign posters, he is approachable in a t-shirt and kind face, standing in a field -- and after reading interviews and campaign literature, it's clear he's a passionate advocate for his home. He is focusing specifically on the restoration of Kauaian culture; sustainable agriculture; restoring the islands original waterways and addressing the local drug problem through rehabilitation programs and less imprisonment. "For the people, from the heart."
Barca impressively launched his campaign with a literal "run" for mayor by completing a 4-day, 90-mile marathon across the entire island to get the word out. Best of luck, Barca!!
The right laptop bag is hard to come by. I'm feeling this tote by Daame, a small new biz that launched with this product only. They donate 5% of all profits to a featured organization that supports women in some way.
Currently, donations go to Outliers International, dedicated to providing safety and education for girls in the village of Minawar, Pakistan where the literacy rate for women is as low as 12%.
Pre-order the tote ($395, was $465) which ships later in April.
Jonas Dahlberg's Memory Wound project is the finalist in Oslo’s July 22 Memorial competition, which sought a memorial to honor the 77 victims of the two separate and solo-operated terrorist attacks that occurred on July 22, 2011. What a beautiful design for so painful a memory for Norway.
Dalhberg's own description: The concept for the Memorial Sørbråten proposes a wound or a cut within nature itself. It reproduces the physical experience of taking away, reflecting the abrupt and permanent loss of those who died. The cut will be a three-and-a-half-meters-wide excavation.
...Visitors begin their experience guided along a wooden pathway through the forest...Then the pathway will flow briefly into a tunnel. This tunnel leads visitors inside of the landscape and to the dramatic edge of the cut itself. Visitors will be on one side of a channel of water created by the cut. Across this channel, on the flat vertical stone surface of the other side, the names of those who died will be visibly inscribed in the stone.
The names will be close enough to see and read clearly—yet ultimately out of reach....It should be difficult to see the beauty of the natural setting, without also experiencing a sense of loss. It is this sense of loss that will physically activate the site. .
(*via Notcot via ArchDaily)
These beautiful textiles for the home are made by Elephant Landing, an inspiring social enterprise. The products are each made by hand in India as a part of a training program for women, who receive a sewing machine upon graduation to continue their trade back in their home village. 100% of profits are used to educate and employ more women in neighboring villages of India.
(*via The City Sage)
Marisols offers these stunning handmade umbrellas using African wax prints. Naturally, the fabrics are imported but the umbrellas are assembled in Brooklyn.
"Twenty percent of the net profits are donated to women survivors of sexual violence in The Democratic Republic of Congo to rebuild their lives at The City of Joy, a revolutionary healing and training center created by women on the ground and sustained by V-Day, a worldwide activists’ movement to end violence against women."
(*via In / Out)
1. Peter Gabriel performing Biko live in 1988.
2. Nelson Mandela by The Specials:
3. Nelson Mandela Song Iqalapha by Nomfusi & The Lucky Charms
4. Tracy Chapman at the same 1988 tribute:
rest in peace.
Yesterday I watched a moving and interesting TED Talk by Jake Barton, design principal of the firm Local Projects, who was behind the development and design of Storycorps among many other major projects.
His current focus is on the exhibits of the 9/11 Memorial Museum and this talk explains their approach as well as his view of the significance of story in how we remember history. Hope you enjoy it too and that it adds something to your awareness of today's significance.
Gavin Aung Than illustrates inspiring quotes in the form of comic strips on his blog, Zen Pencils. I loved this one featuring a quote from Bill Watterson (the brilliant Calvin and Hobbes creator/author/illustrator) in a graduation speech he gave at Kenyon College in 1990.
(*via my awesome sister! ...and Slate.com)
A masked man who goes by the name "Maeztro Urbano" in Honduras' capital city Tegucigalpa, is creating street art to draw attention to the social issues his community faces, particularly violence. According to a story I heard on NPR, he holds a day job in advertising -- it's his knowledge of how advertising works that got him interested in spreading a message through mural painting and graffiti. From the interview: "He says we put this message in the streets for all the people who can't, because of the repression in our country. We are their voice."
This project, "Cut and carry / Recortar para llevar" represents the empty promises from politicians (food, education, security, etc.), who paste their campaign posters all over the city's walls.
This week I attended the annual party/fundraiser for The Street Vendor Project, an amazing organization providing legal support and advocacy to the thousands of street vendors who line our streets with good food, accessories and artwork. They are one of the most remarkable elements of this city. Most are immigrants to the United States who face discrimination from the city government and police, as well as the hardships of sustaining a living in this city through small business. SVP fights on behalf of them.
The above video was presented at the event; trust me that you will enjoy it.
This has been all over the place but just in case you haven't seen it yet, window washers dressed up as superheroes for their day of work at a children's hospital in Memphis back in October. A heart melting idea.
(*via my sis)
Chavela Vargas, above
Last weekend, the New York Times Magazine was devoted to a collection of essays titled "The Lives They Lived." I found it very moving and an inspirational/educational way to reflect on the past year. Each essay is written by a different author, artist, critic, whatever. I encourage you to visit the interactive feature online and explore the collection fully. It's also a beautiful collection of photography and artistic representations.
You click on the names along with these images to read the corresponding essay. There are many more names in the article but these were a few of my favorites. Enjoy!
Above, photograph of Italian actress Silvano Mangano by Eve Arnold.
Dave Brubeck (paper illustration by Katrin Rodegast)
The Lives They Lived, The New York Times
Dana Tanamachi is a lovely person and an extremely talented lettering artist. Her new prints ($60) are beautiful. Even more remarkable, through the end of 2012, 100% of the proceeds of this poster will go to Restore NYC, an organization providing long-term aftercare for women who are survivors of sex trafficking in New York City.
My favorite organization to support at Christmas time is Stockings With Care.
About Stockings with Care:
Stockings with Care works with families either living in homeless shelters or who are in jeopardy of becoming homeless and can not afford to celebrate their holiday. Social workers work with the parents to make their wish lists. These lists are passed on to Stockings with Care.
SWC makes sure that every child gets at least two things on their list and that each child has at least three gifts to open on Christmas morning by securing donations from people who sign up to be a Santa. Thousands of gifts are wrapped and delivered to the parents, empowering them to create magic for their kids.
Of course, lots of kids ask for what every kid wants - toys. But there are an equal number of requests for life's essentials. Clothes. Books. Strollers, Diapers. One year, a child even asked for dog food so that they didn't have to give up the family dog that they could no longer afford. SWC delivered a year's supply of dog food.
And/or volunteer to help pack it all up the weekend of December 8th.