A bird's eye view of the vineyard
Has Turkey closed the straits? (Eng subs) Thu Dec 08, 2022 23:20 | The Saker
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The Coming Purge of the China-Hands Thu Dec 08, 2022 22:48 | The Saker
by Thorsten J. Pattberg for the Saker blog Thousands of China collaborators are under surveillance. Some are on the brink of ruin, others don?t even know what?s in store for them There
The Islamic Republic of Iran, the US-Zionists-UK unholy trinity, and Domains of Grand Illusions Wed Dec 07, 2022 21:05 | The Saker
by Mansoureh Tajik for the Saker blog We were defining success. Having lavishly financed and miserably failed all options that were on, under, above, besides, and in secret compartments of
Are Ukrainians Russians? Tue Dec 06, 2022 20:41 | The Saker
Are Ukrainians Russians? Seems like a simple question, but in reality it is immensely complex. I will try to outline a few of the issues, assumptions and implications this question
Moveable Feast Cafe 2022/12/06 ? Open Thread Tue Dec 06, 2022 07:00 | herb
2022/12/06 07:00:01Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of
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A Blog About Human Rights
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Twitter Censored and Shadowbanned Lockdown Sceptics, Twitter Files Reveal Fri Dec 09, 2022 11:00 | Will Jones
Twitter kept a 'secret blacklist' of topics and accounts, including prominent lockdown sceptics such as Stanford's Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, to prevent them from trending, according to data obtained by journalist Bari Weiss.
The post Twitter Censored and Shadowbanned Lockdown Sceptics, Twitter Files Reveal appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.
An Odd Couple for Our Odd Times Fri Dec 09, 2022 09:00 | Toby Young
In a brilliant article in the National Review, Michael Brendan Dougherty says the debate on London Calling between #TeamToby and #TeamJames is ?the most relevant ongoing conversation on planet Earth?. No, really.
The post An Odd Couple for Our Odd Times appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.
How the Obsession With Antibodies Has Failed Us Fri Dec 09, 2022 07:00 | Amanuensis
The obsession with antibodies has let us down badly because there's more to the immune system than antibodies, not all antibodies protect well against respiratory infection, and some antibodies cause auto-immune attacks.
The post How the Obsession With Antibodies Has Failed Us appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.
News Round-Up Fri Dec 09, 2022 01:57 | Will Jones
A summary of the most interesting stories in the past 24 hours that challenge the prevailing orthodoxy about the virus and the vaccines, the ?climate emergency? and the supposed moral defects of Western civilisation.
The post News Round-Up appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.
Why Does Harry And Meghan?s Website Still Say the Queen is Alive? Thu Dec 08, 2022 20:15 | Will Jones
Harry and Meghan's website appears to have been hacked by evil racists ? it says the Queen is still alive, making it look like they?re such preening narcissist they can't be bothered to update their own website.
The post Why Does Harry And Meghan’s Website Still Say the Queen is Alive? appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.
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Hotel Ballymun - Uplifting Art or Poverty Tourism?
arts and media |
Monday April 02, 2007 17:48 by ex Shanliss
Ballumun tower block
"Hotel Ballymun" is "a unique short stay hotel" which is open to the public between 31st of March to the 27th of April 2007. It is located on the top floor of the Clarke Tower, one of the last remaining tower blocks in Ballymun, an impoverished suburb in North Dublin which has been extensively "regenerated" over the last few years.
The project was commissioned by Breaking Ground, the Ballymun Regeneration per cent for art scheme and it intends to "re-consider the utopian architecture of 1960’s Ballymun and encourage the practice of salvaging and re-imagining objects, spaces and resources from the past, which can be re-used inventively to meet contemporary needs."
However, the project is not without its critics. One indymedia contributor has launched a brutally frank attack on the project and similar artistic endeavours in the suburb, likening them to "showing an episode of "MTV Cribs" in deepest sub-saharan Africa - as if to say, here is what we have in our part of the world, you have none of this, we bet you'd like it but you're poor so fuck you."
New: an alternative view in photo story from hotel ballymun
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From Ballymun to Los Angeles - public housing residents meet at the Project Arts Theatre
from the newswire: "Hotel Ballymun" can go and fuck itself.
As per usual the Breaking Ground 1% people manage to piss off and unexcite the local residents in equal measure with their "cutting edge" condescending art-wank. Several years ago I had the misfortune to cycle up to a projection "installation" being shown on the side of one of the 4-storey blocks near the old roundabout by some artistes. It was images of the city centre - with no sound - being put up on the side of the building. What exactly is the point of this? I heard myself asking. I read the blurb, some sort of bullshit nonsense about showing the divide between the city and Ballymun. Great, like as if it needed reinforcement. It struck me as the equivalent of showing an episode of "MTV Cribs" in deepest sub-saharan Africa - as if to say, here is what we have in our part of the world, you have none of this, we bet you'd like it but you're poor so fuck you.
The latest nonsense, Hotel Ballymun, seems to be nothing but an exercise for richer people to come out and sample the views from the last tower without ever having to actually interact with any real people (bar the very small population of people already involved in the arts there via Axis etc who show up to these events). I nearly pissed myself laughing when I heard that the "exhibition" had to be postponed for a week because of safety concerns over people going up in the tower. Strange that, for years the lifts were always problematic but there was a similar amount of concern for the residents there.
If I recall correctly I saw an ad in one of the national broadsheets a couple of weeks ago advertising this project. I talked about it to a friend from Balcurris a few days later because I hadnt heard anything else about, and she said that she was amused because apparently the "guests" at this hotel have swipe cards to get in through a secure door, there's a reception desk, and a 24 hour concierge/security at the door to ensure the safety of people there - something she wasnt afforded while she was living in a flat before she got a shared ownership house reasonably close.
This big, professionally graphically designed ad in the paper couldnt have contrasted more sharply with a report from the Northside People (scanned in and attached below) recently about one of the last families to be left in the Thomas Clarke tower while waiting for their house to be finished. Lana McCarthy talked about how the flat below her was set on fire, after the front door of the block was left open and people got into a vacant unit. No 24 hour concierge for them, obviously. She rightly castigates the Hotel Ballymun experiment, saying its light hearted nature is in stark contrast to the shit that they have to put up with every day.
"Dont be so negative" I hear you saying. "Ballymun needs art along with its regeneration". Yep - thats fair enough. But the way that it usually works is that an artist from outside the area, usually with incredibly grand notions about "the inherent decay of urban space in the socio-economic processes of neoliberal blah blah whatsit marxist interpretation of concrete etc etc", is drafted in by the arts council to supposedly push the boundaries of art yet at the same time fulfil their duty to involve "the community", which basically involves the curating artist(s) dictating their big idea to the people and how they're going to be a part of it, via meetings and workshops. Once the piece or event is finished, the artists packs his bag with a "I went to Ballymun and involved the community" stamp on his CV, and the process begins again a year or two later, with pretty much minimal local involvement at the top level.
"So whats your solution then?" I dont have one. I dont live in Ballymun and I never lived in the Clarke Tower so I cant authentically say what way I'd feel about loads of curious strangers coming over and poking around in my home I used to live for years like an empty zoo, or what way I'd like it to be artistically interpretated or used. But I like the idea that Des Bishop had for his recent comedy show - no, not the one about getting a workshop going, but going out into the street, picking up wandering young lads who were messing about, and filming them with an angle grinder in an abandoned flat. Bishop isnt my favourite comedian but he made the good point that most of the people who come to these trendy art workshop things in Ballymun are the people that are already "saved", what about those that arent? Anto or Mick or Paula can do good graffiti, fix a car or a bike, or are handy with tools but because they cant read, they're told they're "illiterate" and hence that's the end of the line for them.
How about an art scheme or event that involves them? They get turned loose on the tower with a thousand cans of flourescent UV spray paint and scaffolding all around it on the exterior, and get paid to write or draw whatever they want every day for a week, with a big curtain covering their efforts. Just before the tower gets imploded, the curtain is taken down for half an hour, so everyone gathered around for the implosion gets to see their work (every tower implosion brings thousands of watchers, from all around the local area). So what if its crude, haphazard and not as cutting edge as you might like - when anyone starts out making art their first piece isnt a Picasso, everyone has to start somewhere. The public get to see it and the "artists" get a life-affirming buzz when that curtain comes down off the tower as people applaud and cheer their work before the building comes down, maybe opening their eyes up to an art world that is in reality a million miles away from their lives.
Art doesnt always have to be about changing society but when hordes of bangwagon jumpers arrive en masse into a rougher part of town because the art event has been billed as "urban" or "gritty" you have to ask questions about what exactly is the point of this all. Is it so people involved in higher-thinking activities or comfortable backgrounds can assuage their guilt about having zero involvement with the area up until this point (when the possibility of further arts council funding is dangled there like a golden carrot in front of their noses)? Once its over everyone will go home with a brief satisfaction in their thinking they "know" Ballymun now, or at least they saw it. Meanwhile once the show's rolled out of town, the local residents will just get on with their usual daily lives (and protesting regularly against the delays of BRL), only four or five miles up the road from town but metaphorically a million miles away from the world of "art", its patrons, and its condescending attitude wrapped in a layer of involvement or experimentation.