Follow by Email

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Greek Islands for Sale



Fancy an island? Look here

Scotland, the Polls and the Democratic Verdict: 55% Reject Independence







What, I wonder, would Henry have voted?

The Midlothian outcome.

Final Results (from Robin Brant)

I listened all night, as the results came in.

Henry would certainly have felt proud to be both Scottish and British,
and he would surely have voted in the interests of Scotland and the United Kingdom.

The incredible 84% turn-out gives a resounding answer to Hugh MacDiarmid's rhetorical question:

"When will Scots people begin to know
As much about Scotland as ghosts in a fog
And not care far less?"

(from Scotland, 1934)

The Scots people have demonstrated how much they do care about the future of the country.

The Prime Minister speaks


First Minister of Scotland to step down (FT)

Kostas Balafas, Photographer of Epirus



A reminder of Balafas' wonderful black and white photographs of Epirus (248 images)

The book:

"Epirus is Balafas’ photographic portrait of his birthplace, the mountainous region in the North West of Greece, and its people. Taken from 1945 to 1970, the 300 photographs in the collection make up a narrative of local history through the lens of landscape and tradition. At the same time, as Angelos Delivorias points out in his introduction, history is but the reality of life. Each of Balafas’ photographs is a unique testimony to the passage of time in one place, and to the artist’s experience of it. In this respect, the photographer becomes a poet and his work a mythmaking narrative. Kostas Balafas was born in 1920 of peasant parents in a mountain village of Epirus. He took part in the Resistance (1941-44), fighting against the German occupiers, and recording it in an album of photographs entitled "The Rebel Army in Epirus". From 1951 he was an employee at the Greek Public Electricity Company, devoting his spare time to photography. His photographic style and subjects are greatly influenced by the hard conditions of his childhood and the struggles of the Greek people for independence, which he witnessed: Balafas portrays the toil and sufferings of the poor; young workers, old women and small children on their way to earn the day’s bread; and the rough landscape surrounding them."

Dorset: Tunnels Beneath Dorchester



From the Dorset Echo

A mosaic and a network of tunnels

Rebetika Music at King's College, London, 18 October 2014



One for the diary 18 October:

"The popular musics of Greece, Turkey, Egypt and the Levant shaped an affective underground across the region for much of the twentieth century, the popular styles of one country spilling over into the next thanks to radio, film and recordings. Post war migration made them a subterranean presence in London’s soundscape, too, from Green Lanes to the Edgware Road and beyond. What imbued these hybrid, cosmopolitan musical practices with such power, persuasion and resilience? What did the authorities, from place to place, from era to era, fear in them, exactly? How did the musical underground of one country become that of another? What cultural and political labor do these genres still perform? What charge do they still carry?

Roderick Beaton, Director of the Centre for Hellenic Studies and Koraes Professor of Modern Greek and Byzantine Language and Literature, and Martin Stokes, King Edward Professor of Music, will give two short, illustrated talks, exploring the idea and the allure of a musical underground, focusing on rebetika and broader Eastern Mediterranean soundscapes, respectively.

The performance element will connect King’s College London research with some prominent voices in the Greek, Turkish and Arab communities of the city.Cigdem Aslan and Friends explore Smyrnaic and Piraeus rembetika, in both Greek and Turkish. Oxford Maqam represent the underground of the early Egyptian sound recording era, from Sheikh Salah Abd al-Hayy Hilmi to Sayyid Darwish, from Sami Shawwa to the famous Cairo dance orchestras of the era".