Tammam Azzam

The digital collages of Syrian artist Tammam Azzam provoke questions about war, protest and diplomacy through the juxtaposition of familiar images of art history on the disturbing images of rubble from the current Syrian conflict.

  1. Statue of Liberty, 2014
  2. Syrian Museum - Dali, 2013
  3. Barrel, 2014
  4. Conscript, 2013
  5. Beautiful World, 2013
  6. Death Vehicle, 2013
  7. Syrian Museum - Andy Warhol, 2013
  8. Freedom Graffiti II - Peace, 2014
  9. Back to School, 2014
  10. Freedom Graffiti, 2013, Lightbox, 75 x 75 cm. Edition of 5, images posted with permission of the artist.

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gifs are from the lovely firstenchantervivienne ^^

Grand chapel on the top floor of the Divine Lorraine Hotel, 2006.  The Divine Lorraine has a storied and interesting history, which began with a rather tame (by his own standards) Willis G. Hale-designed 10-story luxury apartment building constructed in North Philadelphia in the 1890s.  Of course, by the standards of the day, the building was gaudy, absurdly ornamental, and generally over-the-top, but much less so than some of Hale’s other buildings - most of which are now gone.  It was eventually converted into a hotel - and then the hotel was purchased by the Reverend Major Jealous Divine, the leader of a congregation that preached, among other things, complete abstinence from earthly pleasures, including drinking, smoking, gambling, cursing, wearing revealing clothing - and any form of sex.  Thus, sexes were segregated by floor; Divine slept in a room a floor above that his wife slept on, and their marriage was never consummated.  But quirks aside, Divine preached integration from very early on - it was an integral part of his Peace Mission Movement from at least the early 1940s.  The Divine Lorraine was the first integrated hotel in Philadelphia, and a civil rights landmark.  In 1944, Johnny Mercer attended a sermon by Divine entitled “You got to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative”.  He turned it into the popular hit song.  Sadly, due to the lack of procreation from Divine’s teachings on abstinence, the congregation died out, and by 2005, only one tenant remained - David Peace, the last member of the Peace Mission Movement, who watched over the building alone for many years.  In 2006, unethical developer Michael Treacy Jr. purchased the foreclosed hotel, gutted it for architectural salvage, and left it to rot; today it is a graffitied gutted shell.  For more on the Divine Lorraine, read my blog post here.

Prints available here.

Happy birthday, Jackie Robinson! 

Born today in 1919, Robinson became the first African-American to play major league baseball when he debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers (now Los Angeles Dodgers) in 1947.

Before breaking down racial barriers in the world of sports, though, he was challenging them in the military. In 1942, Robinson was drafted into a segregated Army cavalry unit in Fort Riley, Kansas. His efforts to join officer training were purposely delayed because of his race. After eventually receiving his commission, Robinson was stationed at Camp Hood, Texas, where he was court-martialed for disobedience because he refused to move to the back of a bus. He was later cleared of all charges, and received an honorable discharge.

Martin Luther King, Jr. credited Robinson as an inspiration, citing his achievements in sport and devotion to non-violent protest. Upon retiring from baseball, Robinson became increasingly involved in the civil rights movement, and attended the 1963 March on Washington with his son, David, as seen here.

Image: “Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. [Former National Baseball League player, Jackie Robinson with his son.], 08/28/1963


Mixed Signals: Approximately one month after the great Moriarty Return, Sherlock contacts Molly over the chat, but their fragile civility is too large an elephant for him to ignore. But where some truths are revealed, others are kept hidden.

(Note: this chat takes place roughly 7 - 8 months after the last chat, and this story is working with the theory that the Moriarty return is actually fake.)

Outrage toward the bill mounted throughout the day. The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, which is suing the federal government over its surveillance programs, released a statement saying: “Canada has utterly failed to respond to the urgent need for national security oversight and instead, proposes an unprecedented expansion of powers that will harm innocent Canadians and not increase our public safety.” The group says it’s especially concerned about the provision that will allow police to detain people who haven’t been charged for longer periods of time.

Hamed El-Said, an advisor to the UN Counter Terrorism Implementation Task and author of the book New Approaches to Countering Terrorism released earlier this month, said in an interview that the laws Canada already has on the books are “more than enough to deal with terrorism.” And new criminal offences coupled with more powerful police forces will likely translate to more convictions that carry long prison sentences.

“New legislations like this will fill up the Canadian prison system,” he said. “The number of inmates will only go up.” Having conducted research on radicalization in prisons around the world, he says the chances of people becoming radicalized, when they weren’t so already, can increase when they are convicted and imprisoned for crimes around freedom of expression.