Monthly Archives: April 2015

Blixen’s own room

Baroness Karen Blixen with her brother, Thomas Dinesen, in Kenya. https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Karen_Blixen_and_Thomas_Dinesen_1920s.jpg

Baroness Karen Blixen with her brother, Thomas Dinesen, in Kenya. https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Karen_Blixen_and_Thomas_Dinesen_1920s.jpg

Karen Blixen started her writing career in earnest as a man. Not like some Orlando, who experienced an acute sex change overnight, but because she understood that in the 1930s her writing might have more weight if everyone thought she was a man. Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesen was published in Denmark and Great Britain in 1934 and won her some acclaim. When she wrote Min Afrikanske Farm or Out of Africa about her 18 years in Kenya, she wrote and published as herself in 1937. And the rest is history, including film history.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Danish diversity

Provocatively, Hassan Preissler is depicted dressed as Helen Bannermann's Little Black Sambo - the story of the Indian boy who cheats the tigers so they turn to butter and his mother, Mumbo, makes pancakes from the butter for Sambo and his father, Jumbo. Photo: Lone. 2015.

Provocatively, Hassan Preisler is depicted dressed as Helen Bannermann’s Little Black Sambo – the story of the Indian boy who cheats the tigers so they turn to butter and his mother, Mumbo, makes pancakes from the butter for Sambo and his father, Jumbo. Photo: Lone. 2015.

Since I have been back in Denmark I have noticed things about the Danes that I would probably not have had second thoughts about had I not lived half my life away from this small country. Some are great, like the love of the bicycle for transportation – which I simply took for granted during the first half of my life, but had to shelve in hilly Brisbane with its high density of bike-hating drivers. Some are less charming, like the absolute rudeness of cyclists to each other and to pedestrians – like not stopping for the red light to let a pedestrian cross, riding out right in front of the unaware pedestrian on the foot path or on the pedestrian crossing or blocking the footpath with rows and rows of parked bikes.

Continue reading

Who misses out when we share?

Mobilising tiny resources can make a big difference. Photo: Mick, 2015.

Mobilising tiny resources can make a big difference. Easter eggs by my family. Photo: Mick, 2015.

The rise and rise of digital has enabled a new form of value production through the so-called sharing economy. Artisans sell their wares on Etsy, home owners sell their spare room on airbnb, car owners sell trips on Uber, digital workers sell their skills on Elance, creatives have their idea supported by the crowd on Kickstarter. Not all value is about money: the coproduction of Wikipedia delivers information about almost everything, at 97% accuracy.

Continue reading

Heart of pinkness

The river runs through a pink landscape - Richard Mosse: Platon (2012). Photo: Mick 2015.

The river runs through a pink landscape – Richard Mosse: Platon (2012). Photo: Mick 2015.

Colour blindness comes in a version where green and red are indistinguishable. I cannot imagine not being able to see the many greens that colour spring and summer or the reds of tulips and cherry blossoms that are starting to show.

Richard Mosse (1980) is an Irish artist whose work The Enclave (2013) is exhibiting at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art presently. This work explores the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, changing hues of green to hues of red and pink. Mosse used the now discontinued Kodak Aerochrome to film events in DRC – the US Army used this surveillance film to show invisible infrared light, turning green into red and pink to detect camouflage. This war is largely ignored by Western media and therefore largely unknown outside Congo and Rwanda, even though more than 5.4 million people have died in this war since 1998. Continue reading