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Parkour for Kids

The Dirt

zorlu1 Zorlu Center playground / © IJreka

Since its founding nearly 20 years ago, Carve Landscape Architecture in the Netherlands has become one of the most interesting landscape architecture firms creating adventure-filled playgrounds. Their projects are immediately recognizable, with their use of bold colors, architectural forms, and incorporation of challenging obstacles, including steep-looking climbing objects and chutes and slides. Their embrace of strong forms and color and adventurous play makes the typical American playground, which has been made so safe out of the fear of lawsuits, look rather bland and tame in comparison. Their playgrounds are like parkour courses for kids, of all ages. Increasingly international, they’ve moved beyond the Netherlands to create exciting new projects in Turkey and Singapore.

In Istanbul, Turkey, Carve partnered with mutlti-disciplinary design firm WATG last year to create Zorlu Center playground, the largest in Istanbul. The result is a play space like no…

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Deconstructing the Visuals of Martin Hudáček’s Anti-Abortion ‘Memorial’

Jeanne de Montbaston

'Memorial for Unborn Children' by Martin Hudáček ‘Memorial for Unborn Children’ by Martin Hudáček

You may well have seen this image – it’s not newly out there – but the other day a friend of mine mentioned it again, and I wanted to take a minute to pin down what’s so disturbing about it. Obviously, it’s easy to get angry at the basic message, the idea that a male sculptor has decided to guilt-trip women in this particular way. It’s also easy to take shots at the twee aspect – the toddler touching the crying woman on the head is cheaply emotive, designed to provoke a cascade of sympathetic reactions before we read what the subject matter is. But I wanted to go deeper than that, to explain why I find this so particularly disturbing in its connotations.

There’s a visual vocabulary here that’s subtle and manipulative.  If you know Christian art, you know that the child’s…

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Squam and the Poetry of Place

Sarah Sousa

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I’ll write a longer blog post in a few days about my amazing experience leading seven writers through a six-hour found poetry workshop at the Squam Arts Retreat where we braved the chill of our renovated sugar house classroom (COLD few days in NH), dodged some well-fed, yet still hungry mosquitoes, but were rewarded with the above: blue sky, blue water, sun (almost 70)  and, in my case, the sight of two deer swimming toward shore at 6 a.m. Whew, that was one sentence, kind of sums up those intense five days of Squam for me.

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Home for five days, my cottage (which I shared with an old friend from Maine) aptly named ‘Bungalow’

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The day I broke camp fireplace rules (because I didn’t read the rules) and kept the fire burning all day. The night before had been in the 40s, outside and in. ‘Nough said.

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Standing in the…

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Video: Frida Kahlo (rare footage)

Vox Populi

A montage of short clips of Frida Kahlo set to Esa Noche a song by Café Tacuba. We see Kahlo working in her studio, as well as talking with her husband Diego Rivera and posing with her lover Leon Trotsky.

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Frida_Kahlo,_by_Guillermo_Kahlo

Frida Kahlo in 1932, photographed by her father.

Frida Kahlo de Rivera (1907 – 1954) was a Mexican painter, best known for her self-portraits. Her work has been celebrated in Mexico as emblematic of national and indigenous tradition and by feminists for its uncompromising depiction of the female experience.

Mexican culture and Amerindian cultural tradition are important in her work, which has been sometimes characterized as naïve art or folk art. Her work has also been described as surrealist, and in 1938 André Breton, principal initiator of the surrealist movement, described Kahlo’s art as a “ribbon around a bomb”. Frida rejected the “surrealist” label; she believed that her work reflected more…

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