Art from every quarter of the world in Kassel
The names of the participating artists will be announced one month
before the opening of Documenta 11 on June 8, 2002. The event in
the German city of Kassel, which is held once every 5 years, is
one of the foremost surveys of contemporary art. The guest curator
this time round is the Nigerian Okwui Enwezor. As anticipated, he
is inviting considerably more non-western artists than his predecessor.
As an introduction to the exhibition, Enwezor has organised conferences
in Lagos and New Delhi and on St. Lucia. One of the most frequent
topics at these 'platforms' is the dynamics of globalisation.
More information: Documenta
Film about September 11
Eleven directors are going to make a film about September 11, 2001
- the day of the attacks in New York. The directors come from India,
Burkina Fasso, Iran, Israel, Mexico, the United States and Egypt,
among other countries. The objective of the project is to place
the terrorist attacks in a broader perspective. The film will consist
of eleven separate films, each exactly eleven minutes and nine seconds
long. The film will premiere on September 11, 2002 in a number of
United Nations Children's Summit in New York
"We are the children whose voices are not heard. It is time
you pay attention to us." This is what the Bolivian Gabriela
Azurduy Arrieta (13) and Audrey Cheynut (17) from Monaco said to
government representatives from more than 150 countries. They appeared
as spokespeople for several hundred children that attended the Children's
Summit at the United Nations, from May 8th - 10th in New York.
The conference was preceded by a warning by the World Bank that
education in Africa is being jeopardised by aids. Many teachers
are dying of the disease. Children do not go to school because they
must take over their parents' tasks.
Aids is also taking its toll among minors. In spite of this the
United States, the Vatican and Islamic countries voted against children's
right to sexual information and preventive measures.
Nations Special Session on Children
'Don Quixote the best book in the world'
A hundred renowned authors from over fifty countries have voted
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes as the best book in the world.
The vote was organised by a Norwegian book club that is associated
with the Nobel Prize Institute. The jury compiled a list of one
hundred works of fiction, primarily works by western male authors.
Those voting selected the seventeenth century masterpiece by the
Spaniard Cervantes by a large majority.
More about the jury members and the books nominated:
Is 'nigger' allowed in the dictionary?
Publisher Van Dale Lexicografie should remove the words 'nigger'
and 'creole' from its Unabridged Dictionary of the Dutch Language
in the opinion of the Foundation for Honour and Reparations for
the Victims of Slavery in Surinam. According to the Foundation these
words were originally terms of abuse used by whites; in the Foundation's
opinion including them in the Unabridged Van Dale offends Surinamese
people. Earlier this year the spokesperson for the Foundation organised
a public book burning of Van Dale dictionaries, but the event was
cancelled. Now a complaint has been submitted to the Commission
for Equal Treatment. The Commission will make a ruling regarding
this issue soon.
This is not the first time the Van Dale has received comments about
the inclusion of politically incorrect words. In September 2001
a Dutch citizen of Turkish descent complained about the definition
of the word 'Turk'.
ANC participate in beauty pageant
(ANC Youth Association) is going to collaborate with Sun
International, the organiser of the Miss South Africa beauty
pageant. The members of the political association wants more girls
from poor areas to be able to participate in the pageant. In an
effort to promote this, they are going to help young women from
the townships with the preparations for the sometimes complicated
preliminary rounds. The ANC youth denies that racial motivations
are involved. The last election was won by a 21-year old while South
More information: ANC
Saartjie Baartman goes home
The mortal remains of a South African woman are going home after
two centuries. The person involved is Saartjie Baartman (1789) of
the Khoi tribe. Many members of her tribe were murdered by Dutch
colonists, including Baartman's family. Then an English physician
took the slave, who was twenty at the time, to England. Because
of here large buttocks and genitalia, she put her in a carnival
side show. The woman, who came to be known as the 'Hottentot Venus',
died six years later in Paris as a prostitute. Because doctors regarded
here as a rarity, here brains and sex organs were placed in formaldehyde.
They also made a plaster copy of her body, which was displayed in
the Parisian Musée de l'Homme until 1974.
South Africans believe it is important for Baartman's remains to
be buried in her own soil and not only because this will allow her
soul to find peace, as the Khoi tribe believes. It is also a way
of showing respect to a suppressed people. Moreover, it is hoped
that the remains of more of her former countrymen and women will
be released from the repositories of European museums.
Nelson Mandela has personally campaigned to have Baartman's remains
returned to Africa since 1994. The French had to pass a special
law to make it possible to do this. They want to prevent other countries
from being able to demand the return of items taken from their countries.
Soccer film too funny
According to reports China has banned the successful Hong Kong
film Shaolin Soccer. The box office hit, also known as Siu lam juk
kau, won prizes for best actor, best director, best film and best
visual effects at the Hong Kong Film Awards in 2001. The Chinese
say that the comedy by director Stephen Chow makes fun of soccer.
According to the authorities this cannot be allowed now that China
is participating in the World Cup Championship.
Parool, Trouw, de Volkskrant, Het
The Guardian, Documenta,
norske Bokklubbene, ANC