Week In Review
The Week In Review is a roundup of interesting, inspiring or thought-provoking things I've read this week. "How are you to imagine anything if the images are always provided for you? To defend ourselves...we must learn to read. To stimulate our own imagination, to cultivate our own consciousness, our own belief system. We all need these skills to defend, to preserve, our own minds." -- Adrien Brody
In London, the Rise of Old-Fashioned Fashion | Alexander Fury, T Magazine
It also seems right for the time, plunging as we are into a reactionary era of isolationist foreign policy and right-wing politics that rivals the 1980s. On the one hand, these Young Fogey clothes resemble those times — a pussy-bow blouse feels very Margaret Thatcher or, to American eyes, Nancy Reagan. As we push to extremes — right-wing to alt-right, isolationism to imperialism— there’s a shallow comfort to be found in dressing with the propriety and dignity that appears to be lacking elsewhere in the world. Plus, if you really want to fight the new powers that be, you’ll probably be taken more seriously in a skirt-suit than a slogan tee.
Why Are We Still Obsessed With Princess Diana’s Style? | Elizabeth Patton, The New York Times
“Diana: Her Fashion Story” explores how the princess learned to master her own image and use fashion to champion the causes she cared about. And as the first exhibition on the princess by the palace in a decade, its unveiling also poses a question: Why are we still so obsessed with her clothes?
Saramurillo: A Hope for Justice for Peru's Amazonian Peoples | Sarah Kerremans and Sophie Pinchetti, The Chaikuni Institute via Truthout
Could the recent mobilization held at Saramurillo in the Northern Peruvian Amazon be remembered as the one that finally brought much needed justice to indigenous peoples affected by over 40 years of irresponsible oil activity? In mid-December 2016, 49 agreements were signed between Peruvian government officials and indigenous peoples. Will things be different this time, will the accords be complied with? In the wake of too many state promises left unfulfilled and the constant oil spills on their territories, hopes are nevertheless high for the thousands of native peoples who united during 117 days in the native community of Saramurillo to demand respect for their rights and to call for an end to the oil destruction of the Peruvian Amazon.
Tom Perez Narrowly Defeats Keith Ellison for DNC Chair | John Nichols, The Nation
Fighting is the key. But it must be more than a fight against Trump. It must be a fight for the aggressively progressive vision that provides a clear alternative to Trumpism. As Sanders said immediately after the vote, “It’s imperative Tom understands that the same-old, same-old isn’t working and that we must bring in working and young people in a new way. The Democratic Party must make clear it will stand up to the 1% and lead in the fight for social, racial, economic and environmental justice.”
In the Trump era, the DNC must be more than a traditional opposition party. It must, as Ellison proposed, align itself with the burgeoning grassroots resistance to the new administration and its allies in Congress. Perez has to come out fighting. But to fight right, Perez must ally with Sanders, Ellison and grassroots activists who are more concerned with principles than partisanship.
Here is The Nation's recap of the major things Trump (and his administration) have done (or un-done) in week 5.
The World Zooming In: Remembering Ren Hang | Karl Smith, The Quietus
“I'm never sure
The world is zooming in
Or I'm shrinking.”
– Ren Hang
A brightly exploded view of desire and of longing, of the intensity of the physical and emotional connections that exist between people – a visual representation of the dialogue that exists between a body, the person who inhabits it and the world around them – Hang’s work is challenging for all sorts of reasons. But most importantly it’s human in a way that extends far beyond his use of the human form as a mode of expression.
Also, you can find a collection of the artist's work via Artsy here.
How to Know Everything About Everything: Laura Riding’s Extraordinary 1930 Letters to an 8-Year-Old Girl About Being Oneself | Maria Popova, Brain Pickings
In the first of the four letters, a meandering meditation on young Catherine’s remark that grownups sometimes seem to “know everything about everything,” Riding explores the nature of knowledge and its essential seedbed of self-knowledge. She writes:
"A child should be allowed to take as long as she needs for knowing everything about herself, which is the same as learning to be herself. Even twenty-five years if necessary, or even forever. And it wouldn’t matter if doing things got delayed, because nothing is really important but being oneself."
...In an essential caveat that teases out the nuance of her point, Riding notes that rather than selfishness or narcissism, such thinking about oneself is the only way to conceive of one’s place within a larger world and therefore to think of the world itself.