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July 06, 2006

Tsunami miniseries

 
Wandee Sae-hong pays homage June 16, 2006, at a spirit house in front of her home in Baan Nam Kem to victims of the 2004 tsunami that hit her village in southern Thailand. Wandee objected to the making of a BBC/HBO miniseries about the tsunami in her village, which lost about half its 5,000 residents in the disaster. The two-part miniseries is slated to air later this year on BBC2 and HBO. (AP Photo /Sakchai Lalit)

Tsunami miniseries sets off debate (AP)
By MICHAEL CASEY, Associated Press Writer
Thu Jun 29, 4:50 PM ET

KHAO LAK, Thailand - Initially, Boonlue Mongkhol objected to his village being used for a TV miniseries about the 2004 tsunami. He lost his loved ones in the disaster and didn't want to relive the tragedy.

But when the British Broadcasting Corp. advertised for extras, the 38-year-old businessman put aside his personal feelings and spent five days portraying a corpse and a body collector — earning $13 a day.

"My father, niece and nephew died there," said Boonlue, who also lost his house, seafood restaurant and mini market when the massive waves hit Khao Lak on Dec. 26, 2004. "I didn't want to do it but there is no other way to earn money."

The filming of "Aftermath" — a two-part miniseries produced by the BBC and HBO, shot along Thailand's tsunami-battered coast — has set off a debate over the merits of bringing the tragedy to the screen so soon after the disaster.

Supporters say it's an important story, touching on universal themes of hope and loss, while many survivors say reviving the tsunami has hit them with more heartache.

Similar debates among survivors have played out in the United States with "United 93," the first big-screen treatment of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and in Australia when there was talk of making a movie about the 2002 Bali bombings, the victims of which were mainly Australians.

"You are exacerbating the healing process," said Anie Kalayjian, whose non-governmental Association for Trauma Outreach and Prevention has provided counseling to survivors of the tsunami and last year's Pakistan earthquake.

"On some level, they need to distance themselves from the devastating impact of the event to heal," she said. "Post-trauma means the trauma has to end and you need a certain distance before you can process your feelings and make meaning and sense out of the unimaginable."

Billed as a compelling story of survival and courage, the two-part series to be shown on HBO and BBC Two later this year follows eight characters in the aftermath of the tsunami including a young couple searching for their child, an Englishwoman whose husband and son are missing, and a Thai man who lost his family and village.

 

Continue reading "Tsunami miniseries" »

April 07, 2006

Perpetual (Tropical) Sunshine and other projects

 

Christophe Guignard is an architect based in Switzerland. He created fabric | ch, an electronic architecture studio, along with Patrick Keller (architect), Christian Babski (computer engineer) and Stéphane Carion (telecomengineer). Here are some projects that demonstrate their approach to weather and contemporary architecture:

Perpetual (Tropical) Sunshine, 2005 - http://www.fabric.ch/pts
Composed of 300 infrared light bulbs, Perpetual (Tropical) SUNSHINE transposes the state and image of a summer sun on the 23rd South parallel, thanks to live information transmitted by a network of weather stations all over the Tropic of Capricorn and around the globe. Standing in this space built on dimensional handling, out of sync both temporally and climactically, the spectator can constantly experience an abstract and never-ending, planetary form of day and of summer.

RealRoom(s), 2005 - http://realrooms.fabric.ch
RealRoom(s) is an experimental architectural project for the Nestlé World Headquarters in Vevey (Switzerland). This project proposes to insert a series of spatial entities into the air conditioned spaces of the building: The RealRoom(s). These RealRoom(s), informed by atomic clocks, luminosity, heat, pressure and humidity sensors, are distributed in a regular framework across a space representing the entire globe (one RealRoom per time zone, on 0°, +/-30°, +/-60° and +/-90° latitude). They recreate, in an artificial but perceptible way, a kind of global "terrestrial spatiality". spatiality".

i-weather, 2001 - http://www.i-weather.org
i-weather is the first artificial climate which aims is to satisfy the metabolic and physiological requirements of a human being in an environment completely removed from all earthly influences. i-weatheracts as a kind of personalized artificial sun, oscillating over a 25-hour period between a maximum light intensity of 509 nm and a minimum intensity close to that of ultra-violet. In collaboration with Rahm & Décosterd, architects

February 08, 2006

The Snow Show 2006

 

(left) Jaume Plensa and Foster and Partners, ‘Where are you?’,Courtesy of Fung Collaboratives and ALBION PROJECTS
(right)Yoko Ono and Arata Isozak ‘Penal Colony’, Courtesy of Fung Collaboratives and ALBION PROJECTS

       

THE SNOW SHOW 2006
03 February - 19 March 2006.
Sestriere, Turin


via e-flux:

The Snow Show 2006, the third to be curated by Lance Fung, will be presented prior to the opening of the XX Winter Olympic Games in Turin in February 2006. The event will bring together six new collaborative examples of snow-built cutting-edge contemporary art and architecture. The teamed participants include Kiki Smith and Lebbeus Woods, Yoko Ono and Arata Isozaki, Carsten Höller and Williams & Tsien, Daniel Buren and Patrick Bouchain, Paola Pivi and Cliostraat, Jaume Plensa and Norman Foster.

Sestriere, in the Italian alps, has a unique topography that will allow the six new projects to take advantage of the varied settings, providing different levels for vantage and entrance points for each of the projects. As the event coincides with the Winter Olympics, the participants have taken into account the implications of sport and incorporated it into their design, bringing architecture and contemporary art to an international and mainstream audience of millions.

For full information on The Snow Show 2006 please have a look on the website, http://www.thesnowshow.com

 

 

From the Curatorial Statement (Lance Fung, Chief Curator of The Snow Show, ca. 2002): 

Throughout human history, shelters and constructed environments have been key manifestations of civilization. The act of making places for ritual use is the earliest form of the human need for expression. Whether natural or manufactured, shelters were transformed into architecture through purposeful use and demarking them as special (and sometimes sacred) places. As time passed, inhabitants accentuated their dwellings through various forms of marking for story-telling purposes, which later evolved into a form of narrative decoration. On every continent human ritual has spawned acts of architecture and art. As society developed, human activity diverged and specialized. For art and architecture this created a rift between fields that share common roots. The condition in the twenty-first century shows our society is becoming increasingly complex-and hence problems can no longer be easily separated and resolved through a single discipline.

The Snow Show provides a unique opportunity to reexamine the ritual spirit, through the collaboration between the worlds of art and architecture. This method of working illustrates the interconnected origin, knowledge and the character of problem solving in these adjacent fields. The Snow Show will be a first-of-a-kind exhibition of artist/architect collaboration that is realized on a significant scale, consisting of thirty structures made of natural materials. A ritual is formed between paired artists and architects that will be manifested in snow and ice. By replacing materials that are both familiar and permanent with ones that are freshly unusual and ephemeral, the curators hope to neutralize initial fixity of ideas. This partnership of artists and architects in a unique setting will encourage a freeing flow of communication that allows an overlap in their individual interests and expertise. Practitioners of both disciplines will utilize their critical approaches to determine standards of quality, and illustrate their ability to work together in creating works that are both intellectually challenging and beautiful (as are the most successful works of public art or architecture).

The pivotal power of The Snow Show is that it's a laboratory for the collaboration as a productive direction for the visual and practical arts. Since September 11th, the arts community has confronted the question: Where is the new art, and how do recent events affect the arts? The curators of The Snow Show respond with "collaboration" as an alternative to the typical (and romantically individualistic) view of the individual artist working away, isolated in his studio. "Global Art" has been championed as the "new art form", yet as a concept it often falls short to our expectations. Global Art is so "global" that art from around the world can begin to look the same. Cultural and personal distinctiveness are what should make art worthwhile. [read on...]

December 28, 2005

After the Tsunami


Editorial: NYTimes:
One Year After the Tsunami
Published: December 28, 2005

The tsunami that cut a swath of destruction through the Indian Ocean region last year was an extraordinary catastrophe. It struck 12 countries and displaced more than two million people, according to the United Nations, destroying their livelihoods, tearing apart families, annihilating entire towns. The ensuing natural disasters that have followed in the 12 months since then - from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to the earthquake in Kashmir - have been measured against the horror of the number left dead by the Indian Ocean tsunami: at least 183,172.

The tsunami also generated a record $13.6 billion in pledges for immediate and regional aid, and long-term help for specific countries. About three-quarters of that aid has actually been secured. Clearly, the world can make good on its promises when it wants to.

Indeed, the pledges actually exceed the initial requests for help. According to the United Nations Office of the Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, the estimate of the amount needed for long-term tsunami recovery in each of the affected countries was $10.12 billion, and the amount pledged was $10.51 billion. Indonesia, which was hit the hardest, needs an estimated $5.5 billion; it got $6.5 billion in pledges. Sri Lanka asked for $2.15 billion; it got promises of almost $3 billion.

Given the devastation involved and the extreme poverty of many victims, the money pledged is by no means over the top. But the agencies entrusted with spending the donations have a special responsibility to spend wisely.

There's some good news: swift intervention by aid groups prevented major outbreaks of disease. A tsunami early warning system in the Indian Ocean region, which would prepare every country's weather service to receive warnings, should be ready for installation in mid-2006. In Sri Lanka and Indonesia, nearly all of the children affected by the tsunami are back in school.

The progress report on relief and reconstruction remains mixed. Only 20 percent of the people left homeless are in permanent homes, with many thousands still languishing in refugee tents. In Sri Lanka, squabbles over aid money, combined with a legacy of distrust between the Tamil separatists and the backers of the government, have sent the country to the edge of a renewed civil war.

Still, the good by far outweighs the bad, and it is important that both the donor governments and the countries hit by the tsunami stay the course in reconstruction.

This is a rare opportunity to do things right, to actually put muscle behind all the usual talk of rebuilding stronger and better, and to heed the tsunami's greatest lesson: early warning saves lives. There are few people involved who wouldn't trade that surplus aid money to get back a few of those more than 183,000 lost lives.

via the UNDP & Tsunami Recovery page:

UNDP has published a report on its assistance to the tsunami recovery and reconstruction efforts for the past year. It is meant to provide examples of how UNDP is helping people who survived the tsunami rebuild their lives now, and for the future.

Download Report (PDF 2.0 Mb)

More links:

Commons

Wikimedia Commons: Media, Maps, Photos, Diagrams, etc. related to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake

 

Wikinews
Wikinews has news related to this article the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami