II. Other kinds.
Ask me anything
Challenged about how it might affect her daughter, she abruptly revealed something from her own past: “Should I share something for you, honestly? For some years I also been a boy.”
As the first child of her family, Mrs. Rafaat assisted her father in his small food shop, beginning when she was 10, for four years. She was tall and athletic and saw only potential when her parents presented the idea — she would be able to move around more freely.
She went to a girls’ school in the mornings, but worked at the store on afternoons and evenings, running errands in pants and a baseball hat, she said.
Returning to wearing dresses and being confined was not so much difficult as irritating, and a little disappointing, she said. But over all, she is certain that the experience contributed to the resolve that brought her to Parliament.
“I think it made me more energetic,” she said. “It made me more strong.” She also believed her time as a boy made it easier for her to relate to and communicate with men.
Mrs. Rafaat said she hoped the effects on Mehran’s psyche and personality would be an advantage, rather than a limitation.
She noted that speaking out may draw criticism from others, but argued that it was important to reveal a practice most women in her country wished did not have to exist. “This is the reality of Afghanistan,” she said.
As a woman and as a politician, she said it worried her that despite great efforts and investments from the outside world to help Afghan women, she has seen very little change, and an unwillingness to focus on what matters.
“They think it’s all about the burqa,” she said. “I’m ready to wear two burqas if my government can provide security and a rule of law. That’s O.K. with me. If that’s the only freedom I have to give up, I’m ready.””
John BaldessariThrowing Three Balls in the Air to Get a Straight Line (Best of Thirty-Six Attempts) (detail), 1973Portfolio of fourteen photolithographs, 9 11/16 x 12 7/8 inches
Some photographers think the idea is enough.
I told a good story in my Getty talk, a beautiful story, to the point: Ducasse says to his friend Mallarmé — I think this is a true story — he says,
“You know, I’ve got a lot of good ideas for poems, but the poems are never very good.”
Mallarmé says, “Of course, you don’t make poems out of ideas, you make poems out of words.”
Really good, huh? Really true. So, photographers who aren’t so good think that you make photographs out of ideas. And they generally get only about halfway to the photograph and think that they’re done.”
i’m trying to figure out, is a dam a building?
i mean, it’s built, and it can hold people both on and in it, so i guess that makes it a building? which in turn makes it architecture?
ok, great. because this dam (conveniently hidden in the middle of hollywood) is beautiful, whether it’s architecture or engineering or a happy combination of the two (i mean, i guess all buildings are a combination of architecture and engineering).
according to the fancy plaque on this fancy dam it was built in the 20’s by the same person who built another dam that had previously fallen down. so, to prevent this dam from falling down they put a few million tons of earth on it’s south face, thus reducing it’s south face from a few hundred feet tall to about 50 feet tall. and thus giving hollywood even more odd parkland (apparently there are a couple of juvenile mountain lions co-habitating in the park created at the base of this once tall dam).
the dam itself is just the right combination of utilitarian and ornamental, looking at times like a giant water fortress and at times like an art deco wall decorated with bears heads (see the picture).
i’m hesitant to tell you where the dam is, as even though it’s open to the public it’s never crowded.so, if you find it, or if you already know about: great. but otherwise you can pretend that it’s some art deco brigadoon-esque fortress that only shows up once every 40 years.
oh, and i hope you had a nice weekend.
p.s-just for fun i did some old timey processing to one of the pictures so we can all pretend it’s 1927 and we’re working for the wpa.
Textile detail from the Smolyan region in Bulgaria.
"Les différents types de chikwangue traditionnelle commercialisés à Brazzaville"
Chikwangue is a type of gelatinous bread made from cassava (manioc) of which I am rather fond.
“ Reactions that I’ve heard both abroad and at home have been interestingly divided. The most common objection is that, even if it works, this kind of one-on-one, on-site mentoring “isn’t scalable.” But that’s one thing it surely is. If the intervention saves as many mothers and newborns as we’re hoping—about a thousand lives in the course of a year at the target hospitals—then all that need be done is to hire and develop similar cadres of childbirth-improvement workers for other places around the country and potentially the world. To many people, that doesn’t sound like much of a solution. It would require broad mobilization, substantial expense, and perhaps even the development of a new profession. But, to combat the many antisepsis-like problems in the world, that’s exactly what has worked. Think about the creation of anesthesiology: it meant doubling the number of doctors in every operation, and we went ahead and did so. To reduce illiteracy, countries, starting with our own, built schools, trained professional teachers, and made education free and compulsory for all children. To improve farming, governments have sent hundreds of thousands of agriculture extension agents to visit farmers across America and every corner of the world and teach them up-to-date methods for increasing their crop yields. Such programs have been extraordinarily effective. They have cut the global illiteracy rate from one in three adults in 1970 to one in six today, and helped give us a Green Revolution that saved more than a billion people from starvation. ”