Connect with us

Uncategorized

Ai Weiwei to distribute free artworks for Human Rights Day

Published

on



Ai Weiwei is staging an art performance at London’s Hyde Park this Saturday (10 December 2022), signing blank sheets of A4 paper with invisible UV ink and distributing them free from 2-4 pm at Speakers’ Corner. The event is the renowned Chinese artist and dissident’s way of recognising Human Rights Day, which marks the anniversary of the drafting of the University Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. It’s an occasion ‘to review and re-understand the meaning and value of human rights’, he explains in an interview with Wallpaper*.The issue of human rights is personal to Ai. ‘My father [the eminent poet and activist Ai Qing] was exiled as a dissident since my birth. When I was born, I was already a political refugee in my home country. It was only when I was forced to leave China in 2015 and move to Europe that I fully understood this,’ he explains.His arrival in Europe coincided with a new global refugee crisis, largely prompted by the Syrian civil war. The events inspired him to make the 2017 documentary film Human Flow, shot in over 20 countries to convey the staggering scale of forced migration. ‘In this time of uncertainty, we need more tolerance, compassion and trust for each other since we are all one,’ he wrote in his director’s statement.While Ai has been steadfast in his championing of refugee rights, producing two further documentaries (2018’s The Rest, about the disintegrating humanitarian aid system in Europe, and 2021’s Rohingya, focusing on the eponymous ethnic group forced out of Myanmar), and speaking about the issue worldwide, he observes that the plight of refugees has only exacerbated.‘In 2017, there were around 65 million refugees worldwide. Today there are more than 100 million refugees.‘The refugee issue, once in the media spotlight, has become marginal nowadays. Very few people are concerned about the political situation in Afghanistan [following the Taliban takeover]. Meanwhile, the continuing Russian invasion of Ukraine has made Europe the place of origin for refugees for the first time [in many years].’Asked if there are reasons for optimism, Ai appears despondent. ‘With ongoing wars, poverty aggravated by the Covid pandemic, food crisis, and all kinds of political instability, the refugee crisis will only get worse.’Still, he is insistent on doing his part to alleviate the situation. That Refugee International – a Washington DC-based non-profit that advocates for lifesaving assistance, human rights, and protection for displaced people around the world – appointed Ai to its board this November is a reflection of the artist’s stature as a humanitarian. ‘For me, this is an honour and a spur, prompting me to do more things for the same ideals,’ he explains.The event this Saturday will take place at Hyde Park’s Speakers’ Corner, the oldest living free speech platform in the world, where the likes of Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and George Orwell have publicly expressed their political opinions. It’s ‘a place that is related to history,’ says Ai.The blank sheets of paper that Ai is distributing are an homage to recent protests in China, prompted by the persistence of stringent Covid restrictions at a time when most of the world has reopened, but also expressing frustration at a general lack of freedom under the rule of President Xi Jinping, who secured an unprecedented third term as the country’s leader this October. The absence of text on these sheets offers a silent but powerful critique of a harsh censorship regime. ‘A blank piece of paper as a symbol of resistance is ironic,’ describes Ai. ‘It appeared in protests in Russia, in Hong Kong, and now in China. It is almost not saying anything, but there is a strong moral power; under the condition of not saying anything, everything has been said.‘Expression has become an extremely difficult thing in authoritarian societies. In China, those students and young people who stood up and resisted were arrested and disappeared. In a society without judicial independence, they are in a dangerous situation.’The UV ink is likewise a comment on the difficulty of political expression. ‘Even if you do express, it is like you have not expressed. The state of free expression is extremely fragile at the moment; if written under unusual circumstances such as UV ink, it is almost not existing,’ adds the artist. He is pragmatic in his assessment of the impact that this event can have: ‘I don’t think my act can change the world in any real sense, but it is an attitude and a direction. I am very concerned with the resistance and turmoil in China and share the same feelings of anxiety and confusion with any kind of resistance. It is only through a symbolic act that I can be part of it.’Following Saturday’s event, Ai will sell further editions of his UV ink signature on blank A4 paper on Maybe.art, the independent display and retail space run by his partner, Wang Fen. These are available for £100 until 20 December 2022, with full proceeds going to Refugee International.In Ai’s view, that many parts of the world are going through difficult times, thanks to rapidly rising costs of living and an impending recession, is reason to double down on activism. ‘Today in the UK, in Europe and in the US, we are at a moment that might be a turning point,’ he concludes. ‘If we are not concerned about people’s basic rights and insist on free speech at this moment, we are all in the process of becoming refugees and losing our basic rights.’Ai Weiwei is at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, London on 10 December 2022, from 2-4pm. Following the event, the signed edition (£100) will be available for sale on maybe.art until 20 December 2022, with all proceeds donated to Refugee International. refugeesinternational.org (opens in new tab); maybe.art (opens in new tab)

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

E-posta hesabınız yayımlanmayacak. Gerekli alanlar * ile işaretlenmişlerdir

Uncategorized

ICE London 2023 to feature exhibitors from record 68 nations – IAG

Published

on

By



Industry trade show ICE London will feature exhibitors from a record 68 nations, topping the previous best of 65 set three years ago, according to organizer Clarion Gaming.
ICE London returns as a full-sized show for the first time since 2020 from 7 to 9 February, with the total 623 exhibitors representing everything from Argentina to Australia and Macau to Mexico.
“No other exhibition in the gaming space can come anywhere near the internationalism of ICE,” said Clarion Gaming Managing Director, Stuart Hunter.
“To have 68 nations represented by our community of exhibitors means that visitors are immediately part of what is a global experience with unique access to the smartest gaming innovators drawn from every corner of the world. There are very few exhibitions of scale in any industry sector which are able to compare with such international representation and legitimately lay claim to being a ‘global’ or a ‘world’ event.
“Once an event is recognized as being genuinely international, stakeholder groups including brands, regulators, trade associations, media groups and strategic industry-wide bodies focus their activities accordingly.
“Research that we’ve undertaken has shown that for many people ICE and iGB Affiliate London actually start on the Sunday preceding and finish on the following Saturday. In that week we estimate that over 100 gambling industry events will take place outside of the show hours providing a new and compelling perspective on why ICE and iGB Affiliate London are so influential and important to the world industry.”
IAG will have a team of four at ICE London next week. Visit us at Stand ND7-C.

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

David Ford and Annie Dressner Live in London

Published

on

By


There’s something special about London on a Saturday night – there’s a certain buzz in the air as you head into the Capital city. For me that buzz was extra special, as I was going to see David Ford and Annie Dressner at The Lexington in Islington. I literally listened to their ’10 Days (Live)’ album for the first time a week ago, but since then it’s been on repeat and heading in I knew that the night was going to be special.
The Lexington is a great place for music, with a bar on the ground floor before heading up the winding stairs to the spacious venue itself. And as the crowd started coming in, the atmosphere in the room was growing by the minute.
Opening the night was Scottish singer songwriter Gary Stewart. He set the night off really well, with an engaging set that got the crowd onside from the start. He opened with his 2021 single ‘Hot To Trot‘ and you already knew the set was going to be a good one – a rousing folk song with great lyrical dexterity. The highlight of the set was ‘Frontlines’, a simply gorgeous song (check out a YouTube video of the song here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDCLwYwsesk). Gary ended with a fine cover of Paul Simon’s ‘Song for the Asking’.
It was time for a quick visit to the bar before settling down for the main event. 
The duo appeared on the stage to great applause, David in an orange shirt and Annie in a sparkling black dress. They opened with ‘Easy Falling’, the first song that I’ve ever heard of theirs, and a song that convinced me I needed to listen to the rest of the album. This slow and moving number is a touching love song and shows off the brilliant harmonies of David and Annie – there’s something special about the English (David) and US accents (Annie) mingling in the way that they do. 
Throughout the set, there were so many highlights. ‘Something I’ll Have to Learn‘ is a song with an almost timeless feel that feels like a conversation in song, Annie’s original ‘Strangers Who Knew Each Other’s Names‘ was simply brilliant and ‘Some Folks Are Lucky I Guess‘ is a song with a great sentiment. ‘Can’t Help What I Want‘ (below) is a great example of those brilliant harmonies that the two share.

‘Trash‘, a cover of the Suede hit, was a particular highlight – a song that was a nice surprise on the live album. As they break into ‘Oh maybe, maybe it’s the clothes you wear‘ it almost feels like this was a song that Suede wrote for David and Annie, their version is that good. Outstanding.
The set had a second cover, a song that Annie introduced as ‘an American classic‘. This classic was ‘Ain’t No Pleasing You‘ from Chas and Dave, a song that typified the cockney sound of London back in the 1980’s. I love the way they re-worked it and there was something special about the way Annie sings the word ‘Darling’ in her US twang that just resonated and put a smile on my face.
There were great moments of humour throughout the night, the chat between the two great. At one point mid-song, Annie passed her guitar to David, exclaiming ‘I knew there were chords in this song, I just didn’t know which ones‘ which had the crowd laughing.
The best of the night was saved till last. ‘Warning Sign’ had quickly become my favourite song from the pair and hearing it live in person lived up to all expectations. There’s such a beauty in live music, and hearing songs like this with other people in a venue can really bring a song home – and almost even change your own personal relationship with a song.
The final song of the night (there was no encore as David explained that they literally had no more songs!) was ‘Put Me In A Corner’. Annie’s vocals take the lead in this track and it was just magical, the emotion of the song emanating from the stage and filling the room. You can listen and see for yourself below.

You never know what to expect when you see an artist or artists perform for the first time. Some exceed expectations and some just don’t hit the heights you expect. In David Ford and Annie Dressner, it was definitely the former. The gig was stripped back – just two people on a stage creating a moment. And what a moment it was.
Annie and David and reviewer Nick Cantwell
Check out their websites and hit and follow the social links!
http://www.dressnerford.com/

Home


http://anniedressner.com/
***Note – I need to say a word about the audience for the gig. The audience was impeccable, with barely any talking at all at any point (apart from whispered orders at the bar). Credit goes to Gary, Annie and David, who managed to grab the audience from the start, but also to everyone there. If you were there yourself, give yourself a high five!***
Review written by Nick Cantwell (instagram.com/nickcantwellmanagement)
 
 
 


Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Graduate Organist vacancy in London and Home Counties – Church Times

Published

on

By



Graduate Organist vacancy in London and Home Counties  Church Times

Continue Reading

Trending

101thingsbeforeyoudie All Rights Reserved. - © 2022