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Tag: British
Got no personal interest in closing it down (October 13 2012) Got no personal interest in closing it down (October 13 2012)

John Christensen the British economist co-founder of the Tax Justice Network and director of its London-based International Secretariat, plays a leading role in campaigning for tighter regulation and control of tax havens and offshore finance centres. Christensen told Aljazeera: “In many cases it’s the politicians and their cronies and their families and the business people who sponsor the political parties who are using these offshore financial services so they got no personal interest in closing it down. If they wanted to close it down they could do it tomorrow. It’s not a question of rocket science and how difficult to do that, all they have to do is improve information exchange between countries and require disclosure of information about offshore accounts, offshore companies, offshore trusts. The fact of the matter is they don’t want to do it because they themselves are complicit with the process.” An Aljazeera article states “A new report has now revealed that some of the world’s richest people have more than $30 trillion stashed in offshore tax havens. A global elite group of super-rich has exploited gaps in cross-border tax rules to hide an extraordinary amount of wealth offshore. Research commissioned by the campaign group Tax Justice Network says the value is as much as the gross domestic products of the US and Japan combined. …the world’s super-rich have taken advantage of lax tax rules to siphon off possibly as much as $32 trillion from their home countries and hide it abroad. In fact, G20 member countries, both developed and emerging economies, have been pledging to close down tax havens since 2008.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Save India

The twin child of the Big Bang (October 9 2012) The twin child of the Big Bang (October 9 2012)

Frank Close the 67 year old British particle physicist, Professor and author has published an article in the Prospect Magazine titled ‘The twin child of the Big Bang’ discussing the first moments of the universe, how we may soon find out why matter overpowered antimatter, its mirror opposite. Close states “…We know how the energy in the heat of the Big Bang created the basic seeds of matter, and how over the eons these particles have formed galaxies of stars, including our own Milky Way and solar system. …Matter is not the Big Bang’s only child. It was born with a long-lost twin: antimatter. Matter and antimatter are the yin and yang of reality. … When the energy of the Big Bang congealed into the fundamental particles of matter, an imprint in the form of metaphorical holes, their antimatter siblings, was also formed. …Experiments have shown that quarks are the basic seeds of matter as we know it. There are also exotic forms of matter, containing what are known as strange, charm or bottom quarks, which rarely exist independently, except under very special conditions, such as briefly during or just after the Big Bang. They are unstable and their decays produce the stable forms from which our mature universe is made. …tantalising results are beginning to emerge. As data accumulate, the experiments at Cern will reveal sharper images of the processes at work in the immediate aftermath of the Big Bang. Why the Big Bang happened is likely to remain an enigma. Why the universe managed to survive, and evolve, may soon be answered.”


Inspired by Prospect Magazine image source

Sea ice at the frontline of climate change (September 28 2012) Sea ice at the frontline of climate change (September 28 2012)

John Vidal the British Author and environment editor for The Guardian newspaper has published an article titled ‘The staggering decline of sea ice at the frontline of climate change’ highlighting how scientists on board Greenpeace’s vessel exploring the minimum extent of the ice cap are shocked at the speed of the melt. Vidal states “The vast polar ice cap, which regulates the Earth’s temperature and has been a permanent fixture in our understanding of how the world works, has this year retreated further and faster than anyone expected. The previous record, set in 2007, was officially broken … a reduction of nearly 50% compared to just 40 years ago. … This year, 11.7m sq km of ice melted, 22% more than the long-term average of 9.18m sq km. …The record hasn’t just been broken, it’s been smashed to smithereens, adding weight to predictions that the Arctic may be ice-free in summer months within 20 years, say British, Italian and American-based scientists on board the [Greenpeace ice breaker] Arctic Sunrise. They are shocked at the speed and extent of the ice loss. …All over the Arctic the effects of accelerating ice loss and a warming atmosphere are being seen. The ecology is changing rapidly as trees and plants move north, new beetles devastate whole forests in Canada, Siberia and Alaska, and snowfall increases. Inuit and other communities report more avalanches, the erosion of sea cliffs and melting of the permafrost affecting roads and buildings. Whole coastal communities may have to be moved to avoid sea erosion.”


Inspired by The Guardian image source Twitter

Described as a “not-to-be-missed attraction” (September 26 2012) Described as a “not-to-be-missed attraction” (September 26 2012)

Andy Goldsworthy the 56 year old British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist who produces site-specific sculpture and land art situated in natural and urban settings has been commissioned by an Australian State government to create a sculpture that is designed to disappear into the environment over time, located in the remote Australian wilderness. Nicholas Forrest in a Blouin Artinfo article states “After a one hour hike along a track accessible only with a four wheel drive vehicle, hikers, tourists and art lovers will be confronted by a striking 12-feet-tall granite sculpture described as a “not-to-be-missed attraction” …Constructed in picturesque Conondale National Park, Goldsworthy’s sculpture, titled “Strangler Cairn,” consists of hundreds of blocks of hand-cut granite sourced from a local quarry and tightly packed into a “dry wall” system. Carved into stone at the top of the sculpture is a small dish in which a rainforest strangler fig sapling has been planted. It is the artist’s intention that over time the fig’s roots will grow to eventually cover and “strangle” the sculpture, essentially causing it to dissolve into its environment. According to the Queensland Government department that commissioned the project, “During his initial visit in 2009, Andy Goldsworthy found inspiration in a natural clearing in the rainforest of Conondale National Park where a large strangler fig had fallen.” …Noted for his sensitive response to the environment, which made him a perfect choice for working in the national park, Goldsworthy is renowned for his temporary works of art that make use of natural materials readily available in the remote locations he visits such as twigs, leaves, stones, snow, ice, reeds, and thorns.”


Inspired by Nicholas Forrest image source Twitter

When Do We Become Truly Conscious? (September 20 2012) When Do We Become Truly Conscious? (September 20 2012)

Daniel Bor the British cognitive neuroscientist believes the new science of consciousness should change how we think about thorny ethical dilemmas, has published an article on Slate titled ‘When Do We Become Truly Conscious?’ Bor states “The investigation of our own awareness is a blossoming scientific field, where experiments are illuminating exciting details about this most intimate of scientific subjects. In my book The Ravenous Brain, I describe the latest consciousness science and how we are closing in on establishing a consciousness meter—a way to measure levels of awareness in any being that may be able to experience the world. Consciousness is in many ways the most important question remaining for science. But the nature of consciousness is not just a vital question for science; it’s also the source of some of society’s thorniest, most fundamental ethical dilemmas. …questions about consciousness lie at the heart of many of our most fundamental ethical debates, one of which is abortion and the right to life. …If science could come up with some means of testing for the presence of consciousness in other animals and perhaps also a way of gauging the extent of consciousness when it’s found, this would have a huge impact on all ethical spheres of the animal rights debate. …Consciousness research informs other political issues as well. For instance, how can we assess the level of consciousness remaining in someone who has suffered severe brain damage and is in a vegetative state? At what point should we let such patients die? And it is possible that in the decades to come, we might also need to start thinking about how we assess artificial forms of consciousness and what rights we consequently need to bestow on such beings.”


Inspired by Slate image source Twitter

Pre-Raphaelites were YBAs of their day (September 11 2012) Pre-Raphaelites were YBAs of their day (September 11 2012)

Fiona MacCarthy the 71 year old British biographer and cultural historian has published an article in The Guardian titled ‘Why the pre-Raphaelites were the YBAs of their day’ claiming their art was as shocking and controversial as anything by Damian Hirst. MacCarthy states “…ardent, ambitious and serious artists and poets. Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais were the leaders of the movement formed in 1848. The pre-Raphaelite brotherhood embodied protest. William Morris was later to describe it as a “really audacious attempt” to reject the prevailing academic forms of art in favour of truth to nature. It was an audacity that applied to literature as much as to painting and the decorative arts. They called themselves pre-Raphaelites defiantly, taking up the purist values of pre-renaissance art of the period immediately before Raphael, drawing on the past to make their own mid 19th-century artistic revolution. We need to remember these were still very young men. Holman Hunt was 21, Rossetti only 20, Millais just 19. They formed a cohesive in-group, shutting out the unbelievers. Their dazzling manifesto on the true meaning of art proved terribly obscure to both the critics and the public. They were clever and sardonic. Their irreverence still makes them seem curiously modern. …They were radical in their ways of looking, viewing their subjects with an intense psychological acumen. They were radical, too, in their techniques of painting. That pre-Raphaelite super-realism was achieved through meticulous attention to detail. The artists preferred painting outside the studio, the strange and often shocking candour of their vision exaggerated by the effects of natural light. The brotherhood was wonderfully wilful and obsessive.”


Inspired by The Guardian image source Oxford University

Control of internet has become critical (September 5 2012) Control of internet has become critical (September 5 2012)

John Kampfner the 49 year old British external adviser to Google on free expression and culture and an adviser to the Global Network Initiative, which brings together technology companies and civil society to address human rights issues, has published an article in The Guardian titled ‘The fight for control of the internet has become critical’. In the article he argues that if plans to put cyberspace under a secretive UN agency go through, states’ censoring of the web will be globally enshrined. Kampfner states “Over the past few years, largely out of sight, governments have been clawing back freedoms on the internet, turning an invention that was designed to emancipate the individual into a tool for surveillance and control. In the next few months, this process is set to be enshrined internationally, amid plans to put cyberspace under the authority of a largely secretive and obscure UN agency. If this succeeds, this will be an important boost to states’ plans to censor the web and to use it to monitor citizens. Virtually all governments are at it. Some are much worse than others. …All governments, whatever their hue, cite similar threats: terrorism and organised crime, child pornography and intellectual property are the ones most commonly used. Unsurprisingly these, and local variants, are used by dictatorships, who need merely to point to precedents set in the west to counter any criticism with the charge of hypocrisy. The internet, as originally envisaged, was borderless. In theory, anyone could – if they had access to the bandwidth – find out information anywhere and communicate with anyone.”


Inspired by The Guardian image source Twitter

Arctic summer sea ice loss is 50% higher (September 1 2012) Arctic summer sea ice loss is 50% higher (September 1 2012)

Robin McKie the British Science and Technology editor for the Observer has published an article in The Guardian titled ‘Rate of Arctic summer sea ice loss is 50% higher than predicted’ discussing the new satellite images that show polar ice coverage dwindling in extent and thickness. In the article McKie states “Sea ice in the Arctic is disappearing at a far greater rate than previously expected, according to data from the first purpose-built satellite launched to study the thickness of the Earth’s polar caps. Preliminary results from the European Space Agency’s CryoSat-2 probe indicate that 900 cubic kilometres of summer sea ice has disappeared from the Arctic ocean over the past year. This rate of loss is 50% higher than most scenarios outlined by polar scientists and suggests that global warming, triggered by rising greenhouse gas emissions, is beginning to have a major impact on the region. In a few years the Arctic ocean could be free of ice in summer, triggering a rush to exploit its fish stocks, oil, minerals and sea routes. Using instruments on earlier satellites, scientists could see that the area covered by summer sea ice in the Arctic has been dwindling rapidly. But the new measurements indicate that this ice has been thinning dramatically at the same time. For example, in regions north of Canada and Greenland, where ice thickness regularly stayed at around five to six metres in summer a decade ago, levels have dropped to one to three metres.”


Inspired by The Guardian image source Twitter

No understanding what their planet is (August 31 2012) No understanding what their planet is (August 31 2012)

Jason deCaires Taylor the 38 year old British sculptor specialising in the creation of contemporary underwater sculptures which over time develop into artificial coral reefs has been profiled by Randal C. Archibold for the New York Times. In the article Archibold states “Most people head off to an art exhibit with comfortable shoes and a deep appreciation for creativity. Jason deCaires Taylor’s work requires flippers and, to really appreciate it, a depth of at least 12 feet. Mr. Taylor labors over his sculptures for weeks, five-ton concrete figures of men, women and children, many of them modeled after people in the fishing village near here where he lives and works. …he fusses over their lips and noses. Gets the hair just right. Adjusts their clothing. Then he sinks them in the sea. There, they rest in ghostly repose in the Museo Subacuático de Arte here, serving at once as a tourist attraction and as a conservation effort by drawing divers and snorkelers away from the Mesoamerican Reef, the second-largest barrier reef system in the world, and toward this somewhat macabre, artificial one. The nearly 500 statues, the first ones placed in 2009 and 60 added this year, have acquired enough coral, seaweed and algae to give them the look of zombies with a particularly nightmarish skin condition. Eventually, in six years or so, the coral will completely overtake them, leaving only suggestive shapes. “Foremost, it’s an opportunity to view this other world,” Mr. Taylor said. “We are surrounded by water, but people have no understanding what their planet is. It helps see ourselves as part of the world.”


Inspired by New York Times image source Twitter

150 million people went missing in India (August 26 2012) 150 million people went missing in India (August 26 2012)

Johnny West the British journalist and founder of OpenOil a Berlin-based consultancy in oil and other extractive industries has published an article on Aljazeera titled ‘How 150 million people went missing in India’, in which he discusses how the media coverage of the country’s blackouts paid little attention to the millions of Indians who were not on the grid to begin with. West states “Reports [media] spoke of the 600 million people affected by the blackout across India’s north and east as cities plunged into darkness for two nights in a row – and the high priests of capitalism worried about the effect on what is euphemistically termed “global economic growth”. In fact, the real figure was more likely to be 450 million people – but that’s actually bad news. …A mere reporting glitch, of course, nothing intentional. But one that speaks volumes for the state of the global discussion about energy, how stuck it is in the 20th century, how riddled with ancient ideological canards. Those 150 million people who literally didn’t count belong to a global underclass of up to two billion people across Africa and Asia, mainly, who are off-grid. Who yesterday, today and every day, often go to sleep when it gets dark and live and work through summers of up to 50 degrees or winters of minus 20, without any means to cool or warm themselves other than keeping to the shadows or burying themselves in a mountain of blankets. In order to include them in the global energy debate, it is time for socially progressive thinking to revisit the issue of energy subsidies.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source

Never been someone for make-up (August 22 2012) Never been someone for make-up (August 22 2012)

Sarah Lucas the 50 year old British Artist who emerged as part of the generation of Young British Artists during the 1990s. Lucas’s works frequently employs visual puns and bawdy humour, includes photography, collage and found objects. Lucas has been profiled by Christina Patterson for the Independent titled ‘Sarah Lucas: A Young British Artist grows up and speaks out’. Patterson states in the article “[Lucas] says, “never been someone for make-up”. She has, in fact, had “fun” not “using her femininity” because “people find it so odd”. At the Groucho club, where the YBAs used to hang out, she’d stare at the women “in their summer dresses and perfume, flirting with men”, and enjoy the fact that she wasn’t. “You realise,” she says, “that you’ve got some other charisma.”You can say that again. It’s quite rare to meet a heterosexual woman who’s making no attempt at all to make herself attractive to men, but who – how shall I put this? – radiates sex. But it’s also quite hard to think of an artist whose work is so much about it. …This is what Sarah Lucas does. She takes… “ordinary things” …and she does something to them that can actually make you blush. She doesn’t just take ordinary objects and say they’re art. Quite a lot of the YBAs, and the people they have influenced, do. They seem to think that if you say something’s art it’s art, and if you say something’s shocking, it is. They seem to forget that the person to decide whether something’s shocking, or powerful, or moving, isn’t the person who made it.”


Inspired by Christina Patterson image source Facebook

Hoard hidden from taxman by global elite (August 21 2012) Hoard hidden from taxman by global elite (August 21 2012)

Heather Stewart the British business and economics editor for the Observer has published an article in The Guardian titled ‘£13tn hoard hidden from taxman by global elite’ discussing how private banks help the wealthiest to move cash into havens. Stewart states “A global super-rich elite has exploited gaps in cross-border tax rules to hide an extraordinary £13 trillion ($21tn) of wealth offshore – as much as the American and Japanese GDPs put together – according to research commissioned by the campaign group Tax Justice Network. …[wealth] leaked out of scores of countries into secretive jurisdictions such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands with the help of private banks, which vie to attract the assets of so-called high net-worth individuals. …The detailed analysis in the report, compiled using data from a range of sources, including the Bank of International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund, suggests that for many developing countries the cumulative value of the capital that has flowed out of their economies since the 1970s would be more than enough to pay off their debts to the rest of the world. Oil-rich states with an internationally mobile elite have been especially prone to watching their wealth disappear into offshore bank accounts instead of being invested at home, the research suggests. Once the returns on investing the hidden assets is included, almost £500bn has left Russia since the early 1990s when its economy was opened up. Saudi Arabia has seen £197bn flood out since the mid-1970s, and Nigeria £196bn.”


Inspired by The Guardian image source Twitter

A truly liberal society is a multicultural society (August 19 2012) A truly liberal society is a multicultural society (August 19 2012)

Mehdi Hasan the British television current affairs journalist with a philosophy politics and economics background has published an article on Aljazeera titled ‘In defence of Britain’s multiculturalism’, in which he questions if  multiculturalism is really dead in the UK as the political, media and theological establishments seem to suggest. In the article Hasan states “Multiculturalism is dead in the UK …. seems to be the depressing verdict of senior members of the British political, media and even theological establishments. In recent years, they have lined up to deliver the last rites for multiculturalism, their condemnation and critiques cutting across party and ideological lines. …attacks on “the British multicultural model” continue and intensify – and Islamophobia is on the rise. Multicultural cities such as Bradford, in the north of England, with big Muslim populations, are denounced as failures, smeared as ghettoised societies. Structural factors such as racism, poverty and industrial decline are ignored. …But I for one can’t help but be a defender of the UK’s multiculturalism …I am, after all, a product of multiculturalism; I consider myself to be British, English, Asian and Muslim. I see no contradiction between these ethnic, national, cultural and religious identities. …Britain has come a long way from the nativist and assimilationist 1960s; opinion polls suggest this is a nation at relative ease with its racial, religious and cultural diversity in all walks of life. It is now 2012, not 1965. In this age of globalisation and devolution, Britain cannot return to some fantasy of a halcyon mono-cultural past. In the 21st century, identity isn’t finite; loyalties do not have to compete. And the truth is that a truly liberal society is a multicultural society.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source

Left us as the sole survivors (August 12 2012) Left us as the sole survivors (August 12 2012)

Christopher Brian Stringer the 65 year old British anthropologist, one of the leading proponents of the recent single-origin hypothesis or “Out of Africa” theory, has been interviewed by John Noble Wilford for the New York Times. Stringers hypothesizes that modern humans originated in Africa over 100,000 years ago and replaced the world’s archaic human species, such as Homo erectus and Neanderthals, after migrating within and then out of Africa to the non-African world within the last 50,000 to 100,000 years. During the interview Stringer states “…if we went back 100,000 years, which is very recent, geologically speaking, there might have been as many as six different kinds of humans on the earth. All those other kinds have disappeared, and left us as the sole survivors. … We evolved globally, all over the world. There was a view that in the different regions an earlier species, Homo erectus, evolved relatively seamlessly to modern humans. This idea was known as multiregionalism. The argument went that we remained one species throughout that evolutionary process, because there was interbreeding among the different populations. It meant that the Neanderthals in Europe, for example, would be the ancestors of modern Europeans; Homo erectus in China would be the ancestor of modern Asians. And Java Man would be a distant ancestor of modern Australian aboriginal populations. What we have seen since then is a growth in the fossil record, in our ability to date that record and to CT-scan fossils and get minute details out of them. DNA studies have had a huge impact on our field. We now have the genomes of Neanderthals and of these strange people in Siberia called the Denisovans.”


Inspired by New York Times image source Natural History Museum

Thin line between ethnic cleansing and genocide (August 1 2012) Thin line between ethnic cleansing and genocide (August 1 2012)

William Lloyd George the British freelance journalist warns of an impending humanitarian crisis in western Myanmar where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims are threatened by an increase in sectarian violence. George in an article published on Aljazeera states “There is a thin line between ethnic cleansing and genocide. Hitler carried out ethnic cleansing on Jewish communities for years before he attempted genocide. With the whole country, including the democracy movement, seemingly behind the government’s plans to expel the Rohingya, urgent intervention is needed to save the Rohginya from a humanitarian crisis, and the potential for a violent campaign by the state, alongside Rhakine extremists backed by local authorities. The two communities should not be separated as the government plans; instead there is an urgent need to bring the communities back together, and return the region to normality. Conflict resolution programmes and development is needed as soon as possible. The longer the two communities are apart, the more radicalisation – of both groups – will fester, and whether the government allows it to take place, supports it, or just turns a blind eye, a return to some form of violence will be almost inevitable. …Myanmar’s democracy activists, human rights defenders, and vibrant civil society, should immediately address the impending humanitarian crisis and potential devastation of the Rohingya people.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source rtrfm

Population of totally locked-in patients (July 15th 2012) Population of totally locked-in patients (July 15th 2012)

Adrian M Owen the 46 year old British neuroscientist has discovered a way to use brain scans to communicate with people previously written off as unreachable. David Cyranoski in an article published on describes how he is attempting to make his methods available in a clinic environment. Cyranoski states “Currently, there are tens of thousands of people in a vegetative state in the United States alone. Owen reckons that up to 20% of them are capable of communicating; they just don’t have a way to do so. “What we’re seeing here is a population of totally locked-in patients” …Owen now wants to put his technique into the hands of clinicians and family members. … Even if a person in a vegetative state is ‘found’, there is no guarantee that he or she will later be able to return a normal life. Owen nevertheless insists that “clarifying” a patient’s state of consciousness helps families to deal with the tragedy. “They want to know what the diagnosis really is so that they can move on and deal with that. Doubt and uncertainty are always bad things.” …Owen’s methods raise more difficult dilemmas. One is whether they should influence a family’s or clinician’s decision to end a life. …Even more ethically fraught is whether the question should be put to the patients themselves. …Owen hopes one day to ask patients that most difficult of questions, but says that new ethical and legal frameworks will be needed.”


Inspired by image source Simon Strangeways

UK's most senior minority-ethnic politician (July 3rd 2012) UK’s most senior minority-ethnic politician (July 3rd 2012)

Sayeeda Hussain Warsi the 41 year old British Baroness solicitor and politician who was created a life peer in 2007 has been defended by Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari of The East London Communities Organisation, in an article he published on Aljazeera. Bari states ” Media and political pressure has been piling on Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, the Conservative Party co-chairman and minister-without-portfolio in the coalition government. Unpopular with the Tory Right, the guns have turned on her following the Conservative Party’s dismal electoral performance in last month’s local elections. … There is barely a week that goes by without someone, usually a Tory, calling for her head. The Labour Party has seized upon her plight and called for her to step down. … Lady Warsi is the UK’s most senior minority-ethnic politician. She was initially seen as a shining light in the Conservative Party, long-struggling to recruit from the black and minority ethnic (BME) communities. Is she going to be a scapegoat for the sliding unpopularity of the Conservative Party? …Lady Warsi is not a political maverick. She is sharp, charismatic and she speaks her mind. As such, she has brought a distinctive appeal to the Conservative Party, traditionally viewed as led by a white middle (or upper) class elite.”


Inspired by Muhammad Abdul Bari image source UK Cabinet Office

Tracey Karima Emin the 48 year old British artist, part of the group known as Britartists or YBAs (Young British Artists), has been featured by novelist Jeanette Winterson in The Independent under the title ‘The evolution of Tracey Emin’. Winterson states from a discussion with Emin, ““Wherever I am, I am aware of where I am, and the me that is in the where I am. So I am always a little bit outside of anywhere, and wondering about it.” But Tracey, what happens when the iconoclast becomes an icon? “I’m a role model, yeah, but that doesn’t mean I belong.” But doesn’t fame and fortune put you in the elite, not the outsiders? …Warhol began the idea of artist as artwork. At its most corrupt it has become celebrity culture where making news is a much more important activity than making anything worthwhile. It is vacuity and spin. Tracey Emin does make things; she has made a lot of things, and recently in her continual re-visions of hand and eye, body and brain, her work has suffered a sea-change into something rich and strange. The ugly feral shock of My Bed. The defiant beauty of the blue nudes. It’s all Tracey Emin – she can see that. Look at her.”


Inspired by Jeanette Winterson image source Tyrenius

Ben White the British journalist and human rights activist specialising in Palestine/Israel, has published an article on Aljazeera claiming ‘Israel has a Jewish majority today because of the expulsions and denationalisation of most Palestinians living there’. White’s article titled ‘Jewish democracy founded on ugly battles’ states, …the Nakba [Day of the Catastrophe] is ongoing, in the daily acts of piecemeal ethnic cleansing from the Jordan Valley to the Negev, and secondly, the way in which the historical facts of “transfer” undermine the mythology of Israel as a supposed “Jewish and democratic” state. …Discussing Israel without mentioning the Nakba is linked to the myth of the Jewish state miraculously emerging from an unpopulated, arid wasteland. …the “invisibility” of the Arabs was self-serving. Palestine at the time of first Zionist settlement was not empty of people, but of people deemed worthy by Europeans of controlling their own country. …With the Nakba in clear view, current attempts to reconcile both “Jewish and democratic” components of Israel’s identity can be seen for what they are: a grand exercise in missing the point. The only reason why there is a Jewish majority in Israel today is because of the expulsions and denationalisation of most Palestinians who would have become citizens in the new state.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source prc

Siobhan Courtney the British freelance broadcast journalist and writer, argues when the UK’s water infrastructure is already in severe drought, why is fracking even being considered? Courtney published an article on Aljazeera titled ‘Fracking: A dehydrated UK, watered only by capitalism’, stating “Only after the first attempt at fracking in the UK resulted in two minor earthquakes, did the department of energy and climate change decide to commission a panel of (government led) experts to investigate hydraulic fracturing further. Published in April, the first official British report [PDF] advises ministers to allow fracking to be extended across Britain. Quite how this decision was reached is staggering, as the report is full of confusing contradictions that only highlights the risks and consequences. …There has been a huge amount of attention and focus on the contamination process and structural damage caused by fracking. These concerns are of course, extremely valid, but attention, analysis and focus must be directed towards the sheer volume of water used in the fracking process. Water: nature’s most important and kindest gift to humanity. How ironic it is then, that humanity shows its gratitude by intentionally wasting and poisoning this precious life source.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source BBC

Carne Ross the 45 year old British director of a diplomatic advisory group ‘Independent Diplomat’, founded after he resigned from the British Foreign Office having giving then-secret evidence to a British inquiry into the Iraq invasion. Ross has published an article in The Nation titled ‘Occupy Wall Street and a New Politics for a Disorderly World’. In the article Ross states “The global financial crisis has provoked a profound and necessary questioning of the prevailing political and economic orthodoxy. So pervasive is this disillusionment with the current order that it is hard to find anyone prepared to defend it. Disorder is the new order; disequilibrium rules, and old assumptions no longer hold. …The defenders of the status quo claim that only their methods can maintain order. They are, in fact, achieving the opposite. The politics proposed here, and already evident in Occupy and elsewhere, can foment a deeper order, where people are connected to one another, reweaving our tattered social fabric, where work is fulfilling and responsible, and where everyone in society is given their proper voice and their interests are accounted for. Our current political and economic forms have made avowal of these ideals seem archaic, almost absurd. How ridiculous to wish for such virtues! We cannot let such cynicism triumph. A new way is possible, but it has to be enacted, not asked for.”


Inspired by The Nation image source Jenny Diamond


Timothy David “Tim” Minchin the 36 year old British-Australian comedian singer describes in an article published in the Guardian, how in Texas he “came across my first proper religious nut”. Minchin is an atheist as well as a skeptic, and cannot understand how someone can call them self a skeptic and still be religious. “If you apply doubt to anything … the whole religion thing is obviously a fantasy.” In the article Minchin discloses an email from the company booked to supply him a piano: CANCEL !!!!!!!!!!. I need to decline after watching that insane Tim Minchin. What a God-hater. So sorry, please cancel the Entire Event In Dallas. Go back to Australia we do not appreciate Tim Minchin in TX. WE ARE NOT DELIVERING THE GRAND PIANO!!! NOT FOR 1 MILLION $ HA HA HA. You probably agree. Find a better comedian (not a demon). Love in Christ.


Inspired by Tim Minchin image source ticketupdates

Richard William Hamilton the 89 year old UK painter and collage artist had been preparing for a major museum retrospective at the time of his recent death. The retrospective was scheduled to travel to four cities in both the US and Europe over the coming two years. Hamilton was renowned as the father of ‘Pop Art’ with the beginnings going back to 1956 with his collage titled ‘Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?’, he is also credited with the first coining the phrase “pop art” itself. In a statement from his gallery representative stated that Hamilton was a “pioneering artist of unparalleled skill, invention and lasting authority. His influence on subsequent generations of artists continues to be immeasurable.” Hamilton was also often politically outspoken in his artistic practice.


Inspired by Helen Stoilas image source artprofessor

Giles Coren the 41 year old British food critic is at risk of being held in contempt of the UK High Court after referencing an Anonymised privacy injunction know as a Super-injunction on his Twitter stream postings, "god, ANOTHER injunction tonight. another footballer. and SUCH a boring one. fucking shit midfielder... he's yet another very ugly married man who's been carrying on with a gold-digging flopsie he should have seen coming a MILE away...". The Premier League footballer Coren referred to was granted the super- injunction over his extra-marital affair with a reality TV celebrity, claiming that publishing details how he had been unfaithful to his wife could provoke the cruel chants of supporters. Lawyers acting for the footballer have begun proceedings against Twitter, likening people breaking injunctions on the site to “burglars”. Inspired by Nick Collins image source Ugly married man with a gold-digging flopsie (June 2 2011)

Giles Coren the 41 year old British food critic is at risk of being held in contempt of the UK High Court after referencing an Anonymised privacy injunction know as a Super-injunction on his Twitter stream postings, “god, ANOTHER injunction tonight. another footballer. and SUCH a boring one. fucking shit midfielder… he’s yet another very ugly married man who’s been carrying on with a gold-digging flopsie he should have seen coming a MILE away…”. The Premier League footballer Coren referred to was granted the super- injunction over his extra-marital affair with a reality TV celebrity, claiming that publishing details how he had been unfaithful to his wife could provoke the cruel chants of supporters. Lawyers acting for the footballer have begun proceedings against Twitter, likening people breaking injunctions on the site to “burglars”.


Inspired by Nick Collins image source

This work is about iconic people, places and events of our day.  Recorded visually through daily compilations of manipulated digital images, the work is posted online and disseminated via online media and social networks. The works are diaristic in nature, that metaphorically record a spectator’s experience of the contemporary digital age.  The resulting work intentionally has a painterly aesthetic acknowledging the artists historical painting practice. 

Adapting Pop Art’s notion of mass media imagery into a context of the contemporary digital age, the work draws on a myriad points of reference. Utilizing fractured images to provide an allusion to the digital noise pounding away daily into our sub consciousness.  The work diverges from the traditional Pop Art notion of a pronounced repetition of a consumer icon, instead this work focuses on the deluge of contemporary digital content. The compilation of the fragmented imagery is vividly distractive, not unlike cable surfing or a jaunt through Times Square.

The work is premised on the basis that Pop art in its beginnings, freeze-framed what consumers of popular culture experienced into iconic visual abstractions. With the advent of the techno age, visual information circulates in such quantities, so rapidly and exponentially, that to comprehend a fraction of it all becomes a kind of production process in itself.  Hence this work considers fragmented elements of Pop Culture through an artistic and conceptual exploration of specific people and events of the day.

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