Showing posts with label activism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label activism. Show all posts

Sunday, September 4, 2011

March of the Million: 14 Spectacular Photos from Israel's Biggest Ever Demonstration

Some say 400K, others count 430K and - as a matter of fact - the official title was actually 'March of the Million' but the exact figures are obviously minor by now. This way or another Israel saw its biggest ever cross-country demonstration yesterday night, demanding social justice and a lower cost of living. The largest demonstration took place in Tel Aviv, where approx. 300K took part. Additional 50,000 protested in Jerusalem, 40,000 marched in Haifa and many others in smaller protests in dozens of other towns and cities. The following are 14 of the most spectacular moments from yesterday's events.

Bird-Eye Views

The following bird-eye views were taken above Kikar Hamedina square in Tel Aviv from a police helicopter. More in the official Facebook album of the Israeli police.

And here are a couple above Iben Gavirol St. nearby the Kikar Rabin square:


Ground Views

The following faceshots were all published on Haaretz newspaper's Facebook page. More in this Facebook album.

Nearby Building Views

And here are 3 more of Kikar Hamedina, taken by Oren Ziv of ActiveStills.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Handmade Craftivism: 3 Ways to More Precious and Less Ultra-Slick Stuff for Kids

Handmade Cfaftivism: 3 Ways to More Precious and Less Ultra-Slick Stuff for Kids

By nitsanbmg

Could handmade products be the new avant-garde of modern design? It may be the irrepressible inflation economy, or the fact people are fed up with their children playing with lead-tainted toys such as My Baby brand silicone pacifier, but it seems that handmade is a new trend. According to The Statement, with their often "loosely constructed and decidedly amateurish-looking look" handmade products find their way to shops like Urban Outfitters as well as to upscale firms such as furniture designer Donghia. In contrast to "ultra-slick, high-touch and high-performance" products, people look at handmade things as "infinitely more precious than all the ultra-slick stuff". They do so, because handmade reflects honesty and authenticity, or in The Statement's words: "speak of our humanity in a time when people are being replaced by machines".

Handmade is not just a fashion trend but also a form of Craftivism or a way to improve life and the world at large. Ask anyone of more than 29,000 people who already took the pledge to buy handmade this holiday season and ask others to do the same for them. Read Why Buy Handmade for more details or simply enjoy the following works of three creative mother artists who make spectacular handmade and personally customized products for children. A little less ultra-slick, maybe, but definitely more precious.

Jasmin Sasky: Personalized Canvas Portraits

Jasmin Sasky: Personalized Canvas Portraits

Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina and artistically educated in Israel, Jasmine Sasky is a fascinating Canadian illustrator, painter and clay sculptress. While some of her comissioned paintings are displayed at children hospitals, schools, private clinics and restaurants across North America, Sasky has recently ignitioned a new service she calls "Personalized Canvas Portraits".

Personalized Canvas Portraits: Maya's canvas

The Personalized Canvas Portrait process is simple: parents email Sasky a photo of their child and list special traits, hobbies and background preferences. She then replies with a sketch, receives approval and start painting. Sasky uses mixed media meterials including oil pastels, dry pastels, acrylics, glitter and embellishments. All paintings are then covered with a final clear coat for extra-ptotection.

Personalized Canvas Portraits: Maya in her room

Each of Sasky's kid portraits is a unique and special work of art with no duplicated copy anywhere in the world. Isn't that the most fantastic way for a parent to treat a child with a non-commercial non-mass-produced present that will last for lifetime? It is, if you ask Maya, shown above, with her beautiful blond curls and personal customized canvas. Always cheerful and happy as a bee...

Personalized Canvas Portraits: Yoel and Eitan

Another great example is the double portrait of Yoel and Eitan. They love the movie Toy Story but also are great fans of dressing up as pirates and cowboys.

Personalized Canvas Portraits: Kiara and Cienna

Kiara and Cienna love fairy tails and butterflies. Same as with Yoel and Eitan, dressing up (with skirts that can spin around them) is also part of their world. Their favorite colors are pink and purple.

Personalized Canvas Portraits: Camille

Camille as a "sweet" character taken from a children book: Being Camille the middle child of three, her parents asked for her character to be placed in the center of the painting, with her beloved brothers showing in the background. In her arms Camille holds the family pet.

Personalized Canvas Portraits: Katy

Katy's mom asked to match the painting colors with Katy's room color and decoration. So, the color palette here is of pink, magenta, light turquoise and polka dots in black and white. The result is in a perfect match with an interesting color scheme. For more:

Lizette Greco: Stuffed Dolls based on Kid Drawings

Lizette Greco creates custom hand-made dolls based on children's drawings with her young daughter and son. The dolls are made using only thrifted and recycled materials aiming to "create artwork that celebrates a child's perspective of the world and will hopefully be passed from generation to generation." Some of this perspective is, well, clearly shown in the above 'Bigfoot Inside and Out' made with recycled and thrifted fabrics to "consume less and recycle more" and Sixfoot Cyclops (below) - thrifted fabric, recycled polyfill stuffing based on original drawing by six-year-old boy.

Lizette Greco: Stuffed Dolls based on Kid Drawings

Greco accepts commissions for artwork using ("only") your children's drawings. You children don't draw so nicely? No problem. Greco's eight and nine-year-old artist team will get in the mood just for you.

Lizette Greco: Colorful Bunny

Colorful Bunny: thrifted fabrics, linen lint stuffing, original drawing by five-year-old boy.

Lizette Greco: Svea's doll

A little girl named Svea turned 5. As she happens to be a very good friend with the Greco's, Svea was lucky enough to receive the above super-personalized doll based on one of her drawings, of course. The doll comes in its own customized box and includes a few trading cards...

Lizette Greco: Bird

Bird, based on Lizette's son drawing, is covered with lines and wiggles. According to Lizette, translating this drawing into a "softie" was harder than the usual. "The lines needed to be seen and appreciated, so embroidering made sense." For more:

MyKangaroo: Handmade Shaped Crayons

MyKangaroo: Handmade Shaped Crayons

Crayons can be creative in many ways but this particular neat venture is clearly part of the new customization-personalization trend. With MyKangaroo you can personalize a gift using your child's name or even create a special message. Each personalized Your Name in Crayons set (above) can include up to 9 letters and is packaged in a cute tin with paper inside.

MyKangaroo: HAPPY BIRTHDAY spelled out in assorted colored crayons

Above: HAPPY BIRTHDAY spelled out in assorted colored crayons. Includes a 1 1/2 inch crayon shaped gift. Letters are 1/2 inch tall.

MyKangaroo: 5 spooky Halloween crayons

This set comes with 5 spooky Halloween crayons. Get one witch hat, cat, pumpkin, owl and haunted house in the price of one. Sizes vary in shape but are approximately 1.5 to 2 inches.

MyKangaroo: more crayon patterns

Nearly every pattern you can think of is an option here and possibilities are endless. Above are a few more interesting patterns.

MyKangaroo: How it's done

How it's done, in case you'd like to try for yourself.

MyKangaroo: The Jewel Crayon set

MyKangaroo: The Jewel Crayon set

It appears that not only we at CultCase think MyKangaroo are awesome. When The Jewel Crayon set was featured on Etsy Finds, a popular section on Etsy website, the orders, according to the official MyKangaroo blog, just "came pouring in". Above you can see what success looks like (in craftivism business...) Way to go MyKangaroos! For more:

Monday, September 1, 2008

4 Contemporary Art Projects Exploring Women: Heroic. Liberated. Classic. Erotic.

From the ultimate enigmatic look of La Gioconda in Da Vinci's masterpiece to Anna Karina in Godard's Vivre sa vie who abandons her family to become an actress – women soul has been the subject for some of the most fascinating and intriguing works in art history. The following are 4 contemporary art projects from different places across the globe. Though their origins, intentions and languages differ greatly, all of them explore womanhood, share similar fascination yet offer original and unique perspective.

JR: Women Are Heroes

Through the portraits of women for whom crime and violent loss of loved ones are part of everyday life, French photographer JR tells the story of brave modern women, testifying of their force, courage and noble struggle to exist in Kenya, South-Sudan, Sierra-Leone, Liberia and recently Favela da Providencia - the first squatter camp of Rio de Janeiro and the most dangerous and deadly of all Favelas.

Using a special technique, portraits are printed to large oversized posters and then pasted on the various parts of the neighborhood with the help of the community, including buildings, stairways and large asphalt spans. While each photo reflects a particular woman’s expression, the overall outcome is as a spectacular thought provoking mixture of earth, urban structures and people into a single slowly vanishing face.

To the limits of contemporary art, according to JR, Women Are Heroes aims to "underline their pivotal role and to highlight their dignity by shooting them in their daily lives and posting them on the walls of their country." Furthermore, by creating a media echo around the images in Western countries, the project encourages everyone to "feel concerned by their condition and connects, through art, the two different worlds."

During the rest of 2008 and 2009, JR plans to continue his project in India, Cambodia, Laos, Marcs and then return to Kenya, where the project has started. Here are a few more snapshots of JR's previous work in Africa.

Above: Liberia. Below: Sierra Leone

For more women heroes see project trailer below, download this PDF or got to the official project website at

For another fascinating projects by JR such as Face 2 Face where Israelis and Palestinians portraits were past on the separation wall in March 2007, go to

LaVonne Sallee: Altered Barbie Dolls

I'm a Barbie girl, in the Barbie world
Life in plastic, it's fantastic!
You can brush my hair, undress me everywhere
Imagination, life is your creation
Come on Barbie, let's go party!
(Barbie Girl - Aqua, 1997)

Nothing can stop the best-selling fashion doll and one of the most profitable toys ever made from keeping its figure and celebrating its 50th birthday next year. Not even the $100M Barbie-maker Mattel Inc. has been awarded yesterday in its copyright fight against MGA Entertainment, inventors of the Bratz doll. Inspired by a German doll called Bild Lilli, Barbie is remains a powerful culture icon, a major source of revenue, a desired collector item for hundreds of thousands and - also - a source of inspiration for many innovative artists. 60 of them have recently presented their creations at the Art 94124 gallery in San Francisco during the 6th Altered Barbie Show - an annual reuse celebration of three-dimensional art, photography, dance and music. The Altered Barbie Show also includes quilts, print making, poetry, film, workshops on altering Barbie and alternative wedding ceremonies described as "self-marriages".

We feel all Altered Barbies are really cute but we particularly fell for those from LaVonne Sallee, a 62 years old American artist from San Francisco who runs a website named Sallee says she feels sorry for Barbie because she has no nipples (ever noticed that??) so she became a Barbie nipple expert: "many of my Barbies are bare-chested, so I can give her a beautiful set of nipples. She likes that". This is clearly seen in items from the "Mermaid series" such as Barbie Mermaid Silver Tail on Blue Dolphin and Barbie Mermaid, Burgandy Tailw / White Seal (both shown above). You may also be interested with:

Barbie Finds a Mate with an Equal Body Fat Ratio

Dominatrix Barbie with GI Joe on a Leash

Electrified Barbie

Black Karate Barbie Sets on a 3 Headed Pit Bull

Lastly, while we are on the subject, we simply could not avoid this great bubblegum pop cult masterpiece, voted the fourth "Best Number One of All Time" in a VH1 poll as well as #32 on VH1's "Most Awesomely Bad Songs... Ever" and #27 in the top 50 Guilty Pleasures by MuchMoreMusic in 2007.

For more Altered Barbie art from LaVonne Sallee go to For more incredible Altered Barbies from other artists go to or simply check on the Altered Barbie blog.

Bessie Potter Vonnoh: Sculptor of Women

Best known for her small domestic scenes bronzes and for her garden fountains, American sculptor Bessie Potter Vonnoh (1872-1955) is for may the leading sculptor of American womanhood of her time as well as a pioneer among female artists. Gladly, this coming fall, the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut, will present the first ever (!) exhibition dedicated to Vonnoh's work. We think its just about time.

According to Julie Aronson, curator of American painting and sculpture at the Cincinnati Art Museum and organizer of the exhibition, Vonnoh’s women portrayals reflect "the contemporary social attitudes of her time" and the new exhibition provides a "perfect setting for all generations to converse about the woman’s role, how it has changed throughout history, and how artists have contributed to this global conversation."

The Bessie Potter Vonnoh: Sculptor of Women exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalog co-published with Ohio University Press and edited by Aronson. The 308-page publication is the first ever exclusively dedicated to Vonnoh's art and will be available from the Florence Griswold Museum Shop.

Photos: top - Bessie Potter Vonnoh: Sculptor of Women catalogue cover. Doubles, left to tight: (1) A Young Mother, 1896, Bronze; 14 x 12 1/2 x 15 1/2 in. photographed by Flickr user at the San Diego Museum of Art, California (2) Mildred, Cast bronze, 8.25 inches. Tyler Museum of Art (3) Fountain Figure, 1931, Bronze, Wikipedia (4) Enthroned, photographed by Flickr user (5) House Sparrows, photographed by Flickr user at the Burnett Memorial Fountain in the Conservatory Garden, Central Park (6) Burnett Memorial Fountain, photographed by Flickr user in the Conservatory Garden, Central Park.

Post Modern China Doll: Portraits of the Female Genitalia

From her studio in the center of Beijing, a Chinese-American artist nick-named Post Modern China Doll seeks women ("of all background and ethnicity") for a truly unique conceptual art project entitled Portraits of the Female Genitalia. Obviously, the identities of the models remain entirely anonymous but the models are also offered with nude photographs or portraits of their own as a form of payment. Portraits of the Female Genitalia will be edited into a book to be co-published by Minotaurus (Berlin) and Trolley Books (Berlin).

One of the axes of the Portraits of the Female Genitalia project we find particularly interesting, defined as "Face, genitalia", is the personification of the female genitalia utilizing an ancient theme known as Baubô - the mythical vulva. According to the artist "If we operate a 90° visual rotation of the photograph, we can see, by a visual contamination of sort, a face that superimposes on the structure of the genitalia. The face is often deemed the most human and the genitalia the most animal part of our being". Thus, according to Post Modern China Doll, this "visual confusion destabilizes established hierarchies".

The Female Genitalia Project was also featured in the popular Chinese magazine Hope in its March issue this year. "With the hypersensitive attitude of the government and with the coming of the Olympics" says Post Modern Doll. "I thought it would never make it". So did we, but what do you know - it did (scan above). More information about this project including a making-of video where the models talk about their experience and their views about the subject on

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