a. Bunce Island was the largest British slave castle founded around 1670 on the coast of West Africa. It is now a landmark for the African slave trade because it was home base for traders to imprison thousands of Africans before they were sent to America. Because of their experience of growing rice in West Africa, these slaves were traded to plantation owners in the South to apply their knowledge. b. Edward Hopper was a Famous American artist at a time in art history when we were trying to find our style. He is most famous for his genre scenes because they perfectly depict classic America. He was innovative and created paintings that were not offensive and appealed to everyone. Hopper is most famous for “Nighthawks,” painted in 1942. c. Georg Telemann is a famous German composer who’s work we heard at the Chicago Symphony. He composed hundreds of pieces throughout his lifetime, many of them famous. d. The Kumbh Mela is the largest and most sacred pilgrimage in the world that occurs four times every twelve years. Each location is near a river where ritual bathing, religious discussions, devotional singing, and the mass feeding of holy men, women, and the poor take place. e. The great rift is 3,700 miles long and stretches from Syria in Southwest Asia to central Mozambique in East Africa. Because it is continuously moving, it could result in the continent of Africa to split. f. A savanna is flat grassland found in both tropical and subtropical regions. They are considered to be transitional places between dessert and forest. g. The Porte de L’Afrique, the gateway to Africa, is a famous poster advertising this port located in Marseille, France. This port bridges the gap between France and Africa. h. Mesoamerica Innovations: 1. Roadways and Canals 2. Irrigation Systems 3. Non-toxic ceramics #2. Art absolutely is, and has always been a reflection of society ever since the beginning of time. Much of the art we saw in the Chinese, Indian, and African galleries at the Art Institute were idols and sculptures placed in society for people to pray to or ask for healing. Many of the Chinese and Indian sculptures were gods and warriors that could be placed in someone’s home to bring good fortune or ward off evil spirits from their families. All of these ancient relics were purely culturally and religiously-based, and they tell a story of a particular time in world history. The wonderful thing about art is that it appeals to people from all walks of life. At the Dusable Museum, the first thing we saw was a huge wooden mural entitled “Freedom Now.” This piece transcended time throughout African American history, from pre-slave trade to the civil rights movement. It showed the fundamental beliefs of not only the African culture, but also the counter culture they were exposed to throughout history. Our tour guide there gave us some advice when viewing art. He told us to first look at the artist’s name, then the time period in which it was created, and then lastly the title of the work. Although I do not always apply it, this technique definitely helps the viewer determine what the artist was thinking when they created their work because society and world issues are clearly represented in art whether it is intentional or not. Our tour guide at the Spertus museum continuously repeated the theme of their art exhibition, “What does it mean to you?” Each series was a clear reflection of how history and culture directly impacted each Jewish artist. I thought this theme was interesting because it is totally open to interpretation by both the artist and viewer, just as the Torah is taught to be questioned. Hypothetically, you can consider just about anything in the world art as long as it means something to the artist or touches the viewer in a way, shape, or form. When we saw the Camp Grenada board game, it instantly triggered a childhood memory for Dr. Scherer, and that is what art is all about. #4. Although I didn’t exactly understand everything Reza Azlan had to say in his lecture on God and globalization in the Middle East, he did command my attention and make me contemplate about our current situation. One of his pain points, which we all learned in kindergarten, was that words do in fact matter. Azlan kind of ragged on president O’Bama, but he did acknowledge that he has created a “sea change” in many Islamic young people thus far in his term. Also, O’Bama recognizes that we are dealing with groups and organizations with no single ideology. Religious nationalism is a global phenomenon. All that Islam wants stops at the borders of historical Palestine, and Jihadists want the world. In reality, there is no way that these terrorists will destroy all state structures and rule the world under one single world order, but Azlan thinks that we are definitely letting them take a crack at it. I’m just glad that the world is not up for negotiation.
Posted at 11:54 AM by Bekah Mathiesen