The appeal of ultra-portable computers is kinda self-explanatory: they’re ultra portable! Or that’s the idea, at least — the combination of light weight and low profile means you can take them just about anywhere. Anywhere? Well, let’s see. In conjunction with our friends at Samsung, we’ve equipped one of our intrepid editors — specifically, music editor Tom Hawking — with the new Samsung Series 9 laptop and sent him off on a trip likely to really put the machine through its paces: a journey through Africa for three weeks! First stop: Cairo, home of the Pyramids and of Tahrir Square, a city that’s both a hotbed of social change and the home to a history that’s the envy of the rest of the world. Click through after the jump to read what he’s been getting up to. … Read More
By now, images of tent cities in public spaces have become synonymous with Occupy Wall Street. Yet, before the Occupy Movement, as Arab Spring uprisings took shape in Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, and beyond, the Arab world was changing. In Egypt, the people revolted against censorship, unemployment, inflation, brutality, and corruption. Violent clashes echoed through the news channels. Mubarak resigned. Egypt’s socio-politcal changes became increasingly complex. Journalist Stephen Yang photographed Cairo from November 27th to December 12th, during and after the parliamentary elections, the country still “temporarily” ruled by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. He visited the protest tent cities remaining in Tahrir Square, though smaller after suffering violence at the hands of police forces — still fighting, still being attacked.
In our slideshow, Yang shares a few of his images, along with some first-person insight into the state of protestors still camping out in Tahrir Square, certain misconceptions perpetuated by the “Western mainstream media,” how an outsider journalist avoids conflict, and how Egyptian citizens self-police internal violence. It’s just one perspective, but it’s certainly a fascinating one. … Read More
Graffiti has long been a way of asserting power, splashing and spraying imagery of cultural resistance over the structures and buildings of the ruling elite. And so it is no surprise that, as the uprisings in Middle East countries like Egypt have gradually become the white noise of the Western news cycle and public protests have become far harder to stage, graffiti has exploded into the streets.
Where in the United States, graffiti art has become something of a fetish among collectors, curators, and celebrities alike, in the Middle East, it is a political tool, a far cry from the subject of a blockbuster retrospective, like Jeffrey Deitch’s Art in the Streets. Additionally, as the popularity of graffiti and its begrudged brother, street art, has grown in the US, its identity has become increasingly fragmented. Battles over street artists vs. graffiti artists (i.e. art school kids who create intricate wheatpastes in their studios vs. those who spray paint with bottles in illicit dark spaces) pervade the genre, as well as questions like: Is exhibiting with celebrity curators like Deitch selling out? Is working with major fashion brands like Louis Vuitton selling out? Is working with real-estate moguls like Tony Goldman — aka king of gentrification in New York’s Soho and Miami’s South Beach, the same Tony Goldman that partially subsidizes the graffiti-happy New York gallery The Hole, which also curates the Houston wall, one of the most legendary graf-spots in New York — selling out? If so, then a substantial number of American graffiti artists, are, well, sold. … Read More
Over at his always excellent blog Spine Out, designer John Gall has posted a collection of political protest posters and defaced leaders from the Middle East and elsewhere, imploring us to ignore for the moment the political messages, and consider them as art, as the most “passionate form of visual communication.” He contrasts the wild, urgently defaced posters with the coolly Photoshopped American versions – though, to be fair, the citizens in our country are not under the kind of distress as those in the countries where these posters were made. Though these posters were not created as art, they represent a boiling over of emotion and cultural expression that rivals many pieces made with artistic intention. Click through to see the most compelling pieces from Gall’s roundup and let us know your thoughts in the comments. … Read More
Welcome to the debut of Conversation Pieces, a new Friday feature in which Flavorpill curates five articles from the past week that you should read. Some are long, others are short. Some are from major publications, others aren’t. The only thing all these articles have in common is that they’re interesting. This week we discuss the search for originality in the art world, what fictional characters can teach us about our non-fictional lives, the role new media plays in revolutions, the Super Bowl — because sports can be culture, too — and more.
Take the leap, and find something exciting to discuss at the bar this weekend, after the jump. … Read More
A brilliant person from Reno, Nevada named Joseph has put Hosni Mubarak up for sale on eBay, with 100% of the proceeds going to Oxfam America. Here’s some additional info from the listing: “Buy your very own used Egyptian dictator! President Hosni Mubarak is 82 years old. He is currently the… Read More
Juju, an 8 year old Saudi Arabian girl, shares her thoughts on Egypt’s President Mubarak and the current protests going on in Cairo. We particularly like it when she leans in conspiratorially to tell him that “by the way,” some of his police officers are deserting their posts and joining the people. You go, girl. Video after the jump! … Read More
Bas Princen’s photo of Mokattam Ridge, a slum on the outskirts of Cairo, is not a doctored warning against urban pollution. Since the ’50s, the economy of “Garbage City” has revolved around collecting and recycling Cairo’s garbage. The Zabbaleen (Arabic for garbage collectors), a community of Coptic Christians who traditionally disposed of the waste, did so by feeding it to their pigs. Post-swine flu epidemic, that isn’t possible thanks to a state-wide slaughter of over 300,000 pigs.
Learn more in a recent documentary called Garbage Dreams. Peep additional images after the… Read More