The Conformist – I Racconti Tue, 22 Nov 2022 03:11:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Conformist – I Racconti 32 32 Why Descendant isn’t the director Margaret Brown had in mind. Mon, 21 Nov 2022 20:40:51 +0000 “If I’m going to make a movie, it should be about whiteness,” Brown told IndieWire of his film’s genesis. In her 2008 documentary “The Order of Myths,” director Margaret Brown explores the separate Mardi Gras celebrations in Mobile, Alabama. In the process, she also tends to the last slave ship, the Clotilda, which was sunk […]]]>

“If I’m going to make a movie, it should be about whiteness,” Brown told IndieWire of his film’s genesis.

In her 2008 documentary “The Order of Myths,” director Margaret Brown explores the separate Mardi Gras celebrations in Mobile, Alabama. In the process, she also tends to the last slave ship, the Clotilda, which was sunk in Mobile Bay over 160 years ago. She never expected to revisit that story — then ‘Descendent’ happened.

After “The Order of Myths,” Brown was drawn like a magnet to the Clotilda’s ongoing research, with her “The Order of Myths” consultant, professor of African-American studies and folklorist Kern Jackson, who became the co-writer and co-producer of “Descendant”. “We never stopped talking,” Brown said.

In early 2018, in Africatown, they found the wrong ship, the Notilde, but the news went global. One morning in Los Angeles, SXSW film impresario and producer Lewis Black said to Brown, “Margaret, are you crazy? You have to go back!”

He wrote her a breakfast check and she was on a plane to Mobile the next morning. Four years later, the film premiered at Sundance, where it was acquired by Netflix and Barack and Michelle Obamas’ Higher Ground Productions – but that happy outcome was never a surefire thing.

In 2018, Brown was on the right track with the new documentary when she realized the balanced portrayal she had planned for the history of Africatown, near her hometown of Mobile, was not going to happen.

She had assumed she would be able to interview people from all sides of history, like she did with “The Order of Myths.” After all, she had spoken to many white families she wanted to interview again – including, most important to her story, the Meahers. In 1860, their ancestor brought the Clotilda to Mobile Bay, burned her and sank her. Some of the surviving Africans were sold as slaves; others ran into nearby forests. Their descendants purchased the land which became Africatown.

Years ago, Brown’s mother told him that the ancestor of Helen Meaher, the young Mardi Gras queen that year, was slave trader Clotilde Tim Meaher. “It was a tradition in Mobile,” Brown said in a recent Zoom interview. “Now they found a boat, and in White Mobile it was like a whisper campaign. You didn’t talk about it.

Brown has a complex relationship with Mobile. After graduating from Brown University, the Austin-based filmmaker focused her three feature films and numerous shorts on the city, where she frequently records herself at home. “Even though when I was finishing high school and we were in college, I wanted to go as far as possible in the most liberal place I could find, I’m pretty obsessed with where I come from and complexity. of it,” she said. “The things that repelled me growing up, that I thought were so conformist, I’m curious to examine – and see what I find.”


sun dance

When she returned to Clotilda’s story for “Descendants,” the first thing to do was line up the cast of characters to tell the story of Africatown, Clotilda’s descendant Veda Tunstall, and marine archaeologist and diver Kamau Sadiki to Emmett Lewis, the great-grandson of Clotilda survivor Cudjoe Lewis. In the documentary, Emmett reads the late Zora Neale Hurston’s interview with Cudjoe in the posthumously published “Barracoon”, which tells the story of his great-grandfather.

But archival research also yielded footage of Cudjoe shot by Hurston herself. “Every bit of film I found of Zora Neale Hurston,” Brown said. [“I thought”], ‘She’s such a good shooter.’ It’s crazy how good she is. I knew early on that I wanted ‘Barracoon’ to be a common thread throughout the film, with people reading. I just became obsessed with her, the complexity of her voice, what I needed to be front and center in telling the story.

If Brown couldn’t get someone on board, she kept backtracking. But in the end, she had to face the facts. Even though Helen Meaher texted him, none of the Meahers would be recorded.

“I thought the Meaher family would talk to me when I started,” Brown said. “That’s one of the reasons I decided to do the movie, because I thought, ‘If I’m going to do a movie, it should be about whiteness.’ If I had known what was going to happen I wouldn’t have started I thought because Helen Meaher was in my other movie and traveled to Sundance and other countries with that movie, that she would be in this film, even though this family would not openly tell anyone else about the Clotilda, once there were rumors that they found it. Radio silence. I was wrong when it came to that. No, I still haven’t been allowed in.

Cudjoe Lewis, survivor of Clotilde

This meant that Brown, a white filmmaker, was now telling a story about Black Africatown. She relied on producers, Essie Chambers and Kern Jackson, who are black, and Kyle Martin, who is white, to help tell the story. She also shared images with her subjects, which was a first for her. “I feel like I have blind spots as a white person telling a black story,” she said.

Brown felt a great responsibility to the community “to be a vehicle for their story, especially as a white person,” she said. “I made this film in a very collaborative way, very different from my other projects. I’d like to believe that anyone can tell any story, but I also think they should think about why they’re drawn to the story, why they should tell that story, they should really think about it.

The slave ship Clotilde


“Descendant” has garnered acclaim in some quarters: from Sundance’s Special Jury Award for American Documentary for Creative Vision, to Cinema Eye Honors (Best Director, Outstanding Original Score) and Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards (Best Documentary Feature) nominations. , director, and best historical documentary), as well as inclusion on the influential DOC NYC Short List. However, the film was notably overlooked by the IDA Awards. Will the Academy’s documentary branch suggest that Brown shouldn’t have told this dark story? We’ll see when the Oscar slate is announced on December 21.

A positive sign is that at Sundance, the Obamas came with their Netflix Higher Ground label, as they did with the eventual Oscar-winning “American Factory.” Additionally, during post-production, Amir “Questlove” Thompson – a descendant of Clotilda – joined the project as executive producer, about a year after his first Oscar-winning film, “Summer of Soul”, made its own. premiere at Sundance.

Fellow Roots member Ray Angry teamed up with Rhiannon Giddens and Dirk Powell to compose much of the score, while Questlove’s company Two and Five were involved in Participant’s impact campaign. “They’ve certainly been very vocal about the decisions,” Brown said. “Questlove has a lot of political views.” As the film wrapped, Questlove met her family via Zoom. “Questlove meeting his loved ones was amazing to watch,” Brown said.



La Clotilda was a key character in the film, and Brown knew it would be an enticing way to engage the audience in her story. “When I started meeting people, I felt like they all knew the ship was there,” she said, noting how many people had grown up with stories about their ancestors. “So that was obviously true – if they find it, it’s going to be this huge plot point.”

One of the film’s most poignant moments shows a room full of people, including many of Clotilda’s descendants, standing in front of a large model of the slave ship, taking in the hideous geography of what their ancestors endured. Brown’s cameras captured the reactions on the faces. “The whole movie could be that scene,” she realized at the time. “I was trying to keep my composure and not show any expression during filming; it was extremely difficult for the crew.

In the editing room, Brown had to make decisions about how to act out what they saw. “There were things that we didn’t even put in place,” she said. “Muted things that white people were saying in the room: ‘Like really? Did you just say that? How much of that can you put in the movie? So there were a lot more moments like that.

Finally, in a statement to Clotilda’s descendants posted to NBC News via email on October 15 around the film’s release, Meg and Helen Meaher responded to “Descendant.” The actions of their ancestor Timothy Meaher, they said, “were wrong and unforgivable and had consequences that impacted generations of people. Our family has been silent about this for too long. However, we hope that we, the current generation of the Meaher family, can start a new chapter.

In a statement in response from Clotilda’s descendants, they expressed hope that the Meahers would share any “historical records, artifacts or oral history that may bring clarity” to the ongoing narrative.

Brown said she learned a lot about making documentaries about people who don’t share her background. “It’s about really looking at ‘What are your biases? What are your blind spots?’” she said. “Are you willing to listen to someone who might not see things the way you do?”

“Descendant” is now streaming on Netflix, along with Brown’s previous “The Order of Myths.”

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It’s a cliché to say that women are accomplished multitaskers, but it’s true: Meeta Gutgutia, Founder, Women Listed Sat, 19 Nov 2022 11:50:07 +0000 Did you know… that there are 13.76% (8.05 million) female entrepreneurs out of the total number of entrepreneurs in India which stands at 58.5 million, according to the 6th Economic Census. Certainly the numbers must be more than that. It’s no secret that being a working woman involves juggling work, family, finances, and a myriad […]]]>

Did you know… that there are 13.76% (8.05 million) female entrepreneurs out of the total number of entrepreneurs in India which stands at 58.5 million, according to the 6th Economic Census. Certainly the numbers must be more than that. It’s no secret that being a working woman involves juggling work, family, finances, and a myriad of other responsibilities. Professional women have always been known for their ability to multitask.

However, the advent of various online and digital platforms has made it easier for entrepreneurs to do business, while dealing with various business complexities. Similarly, Women Listed, a start-up led by serial female entrepreneur, Meeta Gutgutia, is poised to promote and organize women-led businesses, enabling them to thrive and reach greater heights.

Currently, this platform is a thriving community of over 1000 registered women. Who has taken responsibility for bringing together women entrepreneurs from all walks of life and also provides engaging content on categories such as Career, Money & Finance, Health & Fitness, Social Issues, and many more .

On Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, SME Futures sat down with Meeta Gutgutia, the founder of Women Listed, to talk about the different facets of women’s entrepreneurship and discuss her new platform to understand how it caters to women. country workers.

Edited excerpts:

What is your perception of female entrepreneurship?

Female entrepreneurship is like any entrepreneurship. I’ve always believed that what a man can do, a woman can do too, which can be better with our multitasking skills and emotional bandwidth. All we have to do is step out of our comfort zones, get our priorities straight, understand our biases, and make our career an important goal in our lives.

But we shouldn’t have this comparison based on gender and should treat all individuals equally. In a professional space, we should judge them for what they bring to the table, based on their abilities, vision, and skills. Through Women Listed, I want to make female entrepreneurship a norm, so that the divide ceases to exist.

What is your opinion on the social and financial gender bias in the country when it comes to entrepreneurship?

There’s no denying that men in offices and women in kitchens are what we’ve seen for decades. There is deep rooted conditioning that we need to understand and then fight to bring about change. I see women adhering to outdated beauty standards, engaging in behavior that people like, and seeking validation, and the list of conforming behaviors for women is much longer than that.

Sacrificing our dreams in the name of family is so normal that we fail to realize that it causes a thinking mind to question its choices and that pursuing dreams becomes a selfish endeavor. Men and women should be proud to share household expenses and chores.

Women must mobilize to assume the financial burden of their families and to do this, they need the social and family support of the men around them and of society in general. The intellectual and creative needs of a human being must be valued and supported with the same enthusiasm.

How to make a difference in an entrepreneurial society dominated by men?

To say that women are versatile and multitasking is a cliché, but it’s true. If more women are included in our economy, not only will they contribute to growth on multiple fronts, but they will also contribute significantly to India’s GDP. We just need to organize ourselves and improve ourselves in the areas offered by Women Listed. I’m sure there are more, but research and analysis have shown us that these are the main barriers, which is why we created Women Listed to fill these gaps.

Tell us about your latest business—Women Listed and how it’s making a difference.

The idea of ​​Women Listed came from several basic needs. For example, situations like not being able to find women who make amazing products and services. They cannot be found because they are not listed on Google or Amazon.

I would only get to know these professionals through referrals from friends or through WhatsApp groups. This thought led me to create a platform to give professional women a designated space to connect and grow.

Women Listed is a need for women entrepreneurs because in India most households have entrepreneurs but they belong to the unorganized sector and are not considered as financial contributors. They mostly designate their career as a part-time hobby, so they don’t focus on development, marketing, and networking. At Women Listed, we support women in development, networking and marketing, which are essential to the growth of any business module. The ultimate goal is to see them become independent and grow in their careers.

How does this app work? Shed some light on its features as well.

Women Listed is a new idea. We started as a pilot project with 100 entrepreneurs, practitioners, advisors and service providers and received positive feedback. The number of professionals and patrons visiting our platform continues to increase.

We will soon launch its software application by the end of November 2022. And like all other social media applications, all you need to do is just register as a user/professional (depending on your preferences ), and to list you if you are a professional. You can then access the list of your services/products and obtain customers/clients. You can also access our social feed and post content. There is a unique self-marketing dashboard through which you can also promote your social networks/profiles.

From now on, we don’t charge any subscription fees. Signing up to our app and activating most features is free.

So what is your revenue model?

Our revenue model is our database. The more women we manage to list here, the more features we can offer. From now on, being featured on our app/web, our networking sessions and our marketing dashboard are our sources of monetization.

What are your future goals and roadmap for Women Listed?

Women Listed is a one-stop platform that not only provides a social space for women entrepreneurs to connect and grow, but also provides them with skills development and marketing support. We target all professional women, conventional or unconventional, from diverse professional spaces and from a myriad of backgrounds.

So given that, I can say that we are on a mission to reach and raise awareness of financial independence for 5 million women by 2025. At Women Listed, we are on a mission to empower women to be better understand their role, making them realize the importance of having a career and reaching their full potential in life.

Red Bull Racing’s Christian Horner, longest-serving Formula 1 team principal, makes history Mon, 14 Nov 2022 12:00:00 +0000 Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner arrives at the circuit on a boat ahead of F1 … [+] Monaco Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) Getty Images With six drivers’ championships and five constructors’ titles in less than two decades, Oracle Red Bull Racing’s rise to the top is […]]]>

With six drivers’ championships and five constructors’ titles in less than two decades, Oracle Red Bull Racing’s rise to the top is “in the people”, as team principal Christian Horner explained.

Horner’s comments came just after Max Verstappen cemented his second consecutive Formula 1 championship with four races remaining in 2022. Red Bull’s dominance in 2022, taking a combined 16 wins with Verstappen and Sergio Perez, dethroned Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team after eight consecutive constructor titles.

“We have always lived by the principles that we are a race team, here to race,” Horner said while in Brazil for the penultimate race weekend of the year. “We are not afraid, sometimes, to make difficult and bold decisions. We are not a business-run organization. We have always been independent and a bit maverick.

“We have sometimes been anti-conformist. We are an inspiring brand and an inspiring team that is embodied in everything we do and the way we run.

Red Bull’s historic 2022 campaign could be cemented if Perez can edge past Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to give the team its first-ever double in the drivers’ standings. It was not without drama, however, as Verstappen failed to listen to team orders in Sunday’s race to allow Perez to pass him near the end of the race to give him the advantage over Leclerc. .

“It would be a huge sum,” said Horner, who is from Britain. “Obviously that would be something we’ve never done before. I think that would mean a lot to Checo. For the team, it would cap off an incredible year.

Horner, himself a former Formula 3000 driver, joined Red Bull in 2005. The Austrian energy drink maker entered Formula 1 under the leadership of its founder Dietrich Mateschitz, who died on October 22, 2022.

It was Horner who created a long-term plan for Red Bull, which took Formula 1 by storm. His immediate success with Red Bull helped land superstar drivers and young prospects, such as Verstappen, who would become ultimately the best drivers in the team.

In 18 years, Oracle Red Bull Racing has become one of the most successful teams in Formula 1 history. Horner’s tenure as Formula 1’s longest-serving team principal led Red Bull to the fifth in the all-time wins list with 91 wins, only behind Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and Williams, all teams that have been around since 1978 or earlier.

Horner, when asked if he imagined the team would be so successful, said, “I don’t think anyone could have imagined. You dream, but we have a phenomenal team with great strength and depth. What we’ve managed to accomplish over the past 18 and a half seasons has been an incredible journey. »

As Horner reflects on his journey with the British-based team, he believes he was chosen because Red Bull’s philosophy was to invest in the youth movement of Formula 1. At the time of his signature, he was only 31 years old.

“They gave me this opportunity, and it’s something you have to grab with both hands and make the most of it,” Horner said. “We have had tremendous support over the past 18 seasons. Like I said, it’s a people thing. It’s about having the right people, the right roles and having the right spirit and culture in a racing mentality.”

There is, of course, another layer to the team’s success. On the side of signing key partnerships to ensure Red Bull are at the top of their game on and off the track.

Oracle Red Bull Racing has partnered with Poly, part of HP
portfolio of hybrid work solutions, creates premium audio and video products for people to have clear meetings.

When Poly met Oracle Red Bull Racing for the first time, team members sometimes struggled with several different communication devices and wasted precious seconds that could have been better spent on the action on the track. As such, their IT team was responding to an ever increasing volume of service tickets to assist with voice calls and troubleshooting.

Poly engineers worked with the Oracle Red Bull Racing team to identify the different working styles of their team members. This renewed confidence in communication has allowed Oracle Red Bull Racing to send fewer people to the track and maneuver resources into other critical areas of the business.

“Poly is an important partnership for us because it’s a technology partnership for us,” said Horner. “It’s not just a sticker with the team. This is the technology we use. They play a key role in helping us win those races and those championships. This goes far beyond commercial recognition. This is the technology we use and the product plays a key role.

Oracle Red Bull Racing has integrated Poly Studio X30 and X50 video bars, as well as Voyager 4320 headsets and Voyager Focus 2 headsets, CCX 500 phones and Poly Sync 20 speakers. Plans are in place to roll out more solutions throughout the partnership for business support and design, in meeting rooms and the new Oracle Red Bull Racing Powertrains facility.

As Red Bull continues to fight to stay ahead of the Formula 1 grid, the team will start competing with its own engine program in 2026. Currently Red Bull uses Honda engines.

Horner’s team have already started work on their brand, called Red Bull Powertrains, which will take place alongside the new Formula 1 engine package. The 2026 season will see more electric power, as well as 100 fuels % durable.

“In engine terms, 2026 is tomorrow,” said Horner. “We are all in and we have a great group of talented people. The first Red Bull engines are operational on the dynamos, which is great to see. We have a steep learning curve and a great group of engineers and a fantastic culture.

Formula 1’s season finale, the Etihad Airways Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi, takes place on Sunday, November 20 at 8 a.m. ET on ESPN.

The Complete Guide to Glenfiddich Holiday Gifts 2022 Fri, 11 Nov 2022 04:33:28 +0000 As the long-awaited holiday season approaches, shopping lists and gift ideas become a priority to celebrate Canadians from coast to coast. Whether it’s a holiday gift wrapped and curled under brilliantly decorated pine trees, a gift to surprise an incredibly artistic friend, or the perfect gift for your favorite host or hostess, giving the right […]]]>

As the long-awaited holiday season approaches, shopping lists and gift ideas become a priority to celebrate Canadians from coast to coast.

Whether it’s a holiday gift wrapped and curled under brilliantly decorated pine trees, a gift to surprise an incredibly artistic friend, or the perfect gift for your favorite host or hostess, giving the right gift can say a lot. .

“With so many innovative variations, you’ll always find the perfect gift with Glenfiddich,” comments Jamie Johnson, National Brand Ambassador Glenfiddich of Canada. “From experimental maverick to luxurious time series, giving Glenfiddich this holiday season is a thoughtful way to give any friend or family member of legal drinking age a thoughtful gift that suits their tastes. It really is a spirit for everyone.

A true maverick, Glenfiddich works tirelessly to pioneer the Scotch whiskey category with each of its unique innovations. Across its portfolio, the world’s most awarded Scotch whiskey is free-spirited and innovative in its expressions, continuing to challenge the status quo of the single malt Scotch category with each of its releases.

“We are constantly pushing the boundaries of the Scotch whiskey category by challenging traditions, exploring new flavors and welcoming unique collaborations,” comments Brian Kinsman, Glenfiddich Malt Master. “Maverick is not a label, it’s a state of mind. And the world has never needed it so much.

From your best friend who’s an ace behind his bar at home, to the uncle who has it all, and everyone in between – Glenfiddich has the perfect scotch to match an expression of personal taste on any occasion, so that you can give an iconic gift that means more.

The classic guide: Gifts for mom and dad, your boss and friends who like to splash around in spirits during the holidays. Oh, and some last-minute ideas, because no matter how much you plan ahead, you know you’ll need them.

  • For your dad: Glenfiddich 18 years old.: A Glenfiddich classic with an elevated twist, the 18 Year Old is a truly exceptional single malt resulting not just from eighteen years of care and attention, but from knowledge passed down from generation to generation.
  • For your mom: Glenfiddich 15 years old.: This accessible, time-tested favorite exemplifies the Glenfiddich family tradition of innovation. Perfect to be enjoyed neat or in cocktails with warm notes of spice, honey and rich fruit.
  • For your grandfather: Glenfiddich 14 years old.: The 14 Year Old is a classic Glenfiddich variant, with a touch of Bourbon barrel that will inspire Scotch and bourbon lovers. Ask Grandpa to try it on in an Old Fashioned!
  • For the home bartender: Glenfiddich 14 years old.: For the friend who likes to stir up new things in their home bar. Glenfiddich 14 YO is aged in Bourbon barrels, which gives it a structured framework for cocktails with notes of vanilla, brown sugar, fresh pear and apple.
  • For your boss: Glenfiddich 15 years old.: For your patron, we suggest Glenfiddich 15 Year Old. This time-tested favorite is an approachable twist with notes of warm spice, honey, and rich fruit, making it a thoughtful gift that won’t go unnoticed. Once you’ve tried it, it’s easy to see why.
  • For the Scottish lover: Glenfiddich Orchard Experience: For the aficionado who has seemingly tried everything, we suggest Glenfiddich’s newest variant, Orchard Experiment! With notes of pear balanced by delicate oak, this is a fresh take on Scotch they’re sure to enjoy.
  • For the Whiskey-Dabbler: Glenfidditch IPA: This variant of Glenfiddich is the first version of the Glenfiddich Experimental series, a unique and accessible scotch blending the notes of single malt with IPA.
  • For the Scottish beginner: Glenfiddich 12 years old.: Glenfiddich’s signature expression, 12 YO is a classic, approachable, beginner-friendly single malt with notes of fresh pear and subtle oak.
  • For the spirits collector: Glenfiddich Gran Reserve: For the spirits collector who deserves something unique, Gran-Reserva is sure to please. Uniquely finished in rum casks with beautiful packaging, it is sure to excite collectors.
  • For the whiskey expert: Glenfiddich Fire and Cane: For the friend who is a real whiskey lover, offer Fire & Cane. They will enjoy a peated Speyside dram with that unique and unexpected twist.
  • Last minute gifts: Glenfiddich 12 years old.: An essential option for last minute gifts. Part of Glenfiddich’s classic range, the 12 year old is a lofty option that is sure to be well received.

The holiday-focused guide: The perfect gifts for the friend who has everything, the aunt who LOVES Christmas, and because we all know one, the Holiday Grinch.

  • For the friend who has everything: Glenfiddich Orchard Experience: The friend who has everything needs something unique. Orchard Experiment is the latest release in the Glenfiddich Experimental series, uniquely finished in Somerset Pomona casks.
  • The ultra-festive friend: Glenfiddich Grand Cru: If you have a friend on your list who LOVES all things vacation, Grand Cru is for them. Aged for 21 years and refined in French cuvée barrels, Grand Cru is worthy of all the end-of-year celebrations.
  • The Holiday Grinch: Glenfiddich 18 years old.: Reverse their frown with a beautifully composed little whiskey that will show your Grinch that you care enough to buy him the best.
  • For your Secret Santa: Glenfiddich 15 years old: Time-tested and universally loved, Glenfiddich 15 Year Old is the first to enter the top 10 best-selling single malts in the world and a personal favorite of many at the Glenfiddich Distillery. Once you try it, you’ll understand why.
  • For the Host/Hostess: Glenfiddich 14 years old: Glenfiddich 14 is a versatile and refined host gift that can be enjoyed neat, in cocktails or after the party is over with smooth, sophisticated flavors of woody spice and ripe summer fruit.

The Mavericks’ Guide: The most unique gifts for the most unique people on your list. The maverick? Check. The opinion leader of your group of friends? Check. For the artistic hostess? Recheck.

  • For the Creative: Glenfiddich XX Project: The second release in the experimental Glenfiddich series, Project XX was created in collaboration with over 20 creative and inspired whiskey experts from around the world.
  • For the opinion leader: Great Glenfiddich Reserve: A special single malt finished in rum casks, making it a luxurious dram to cherish in quiet contemplation.
  • For the Maverick: Glenfiddich 12 years old.: The classic expression of Glenfiddich, designed to serve as the best dram in the valley, breaking free from convention. A distinctive fresh pear single malt, creamy with subtle oak flavors and a long smooth finish.
  • For the fashionista: Glenfiddich Grand Cru: The fashionista in your life deserves something eye-catching and decorative – there’s no bottle that will look better on their bar than the elegant Glenfiddich Grand Cru. With its sleek black and gold bottle and gorgeous liquid inside, it’s sure to be the star of the show.
  • For the risk taker: Glenfiddich Fire and Cane: The fourth offering in the experimental Glenfiddich series, Fire & Cane is both bold and unexpected.
  • For the world traveler: Glenfiddich Bourbon Barrel 14: For the world traveler on your list, check out the 14-Year-Old for a Scotch option with a Kentucky kick. Finished in new American oak barrels sourced from Kentucky, imparting woody spice notes with ripe summer fruit.

For more information on Glenfiddich in Canada, please visit

To find out more about the world of Glenfiddich around the world, please visit

A colossus unfairly ignored | William Cook Sat, 05 Nov 2022 09:01:29 +0000 This article is from the November 2022 issue of The Critic. To receive the full magazine, why not subscribe? Right now we’re offering five issues for just £10. In the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, there is a triptych by Peter Paul Rubens to which I return again and again. The incredulity of […]]]>

This article is from the November 2022 issue of The Critic. To receive the full magazine, why not subscribe? Right now we’re offering five issues for just £10.

In the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, there is a triptych by Peter Paul Rubens to which I return again and again. The incredulity of Saint Thomas is one of the most emblematic scenes of Christian art, but the images that catch the eye are the portraits on the two side panels which represent the donors of the painting: Sir Nicolaas Rockox, the mayor of Antwerp, and his wife Adriana Perez.

Sir Nicolaas was one of Rubens’ closest friends, and this intimate relationship is evident in the quality of these portraits. You feel like you know these people – you feel like you could step into that picture and talk to them. It’s hard to believe they lived four hundred years ago.

These portraits sum up why Antwerp is such an integral part of Rubens’ story and why a visit to this bustling Flemish port city is essential if you want to get inside his art. Rubens spent most of his life here, he painted most of his masterpieces here, and the city has an unrivaled collection of his paintings.

There are dozens of these masterpieces in the Museum of Fine Arts, but there are just as many scattered around the city, in the places for which they were painted. It’s here, in the homes and churches where they were meant to be displayed, rather than in any art gallery, that you discover the real Rubens – not just one of art’s greatest figures western, but one of the most misunderstood.

Rubens is a colossus of European art, but the British never appreciated him. To British tastes, his work seems pompous, exaggerated. It is a selective point of view. By and large, the great paintings that found their way into major public galleries, in Britain and elsewhere, were vanity projects commissioned by autocratic monarchs. In Antwerp you see another side of Rubens – portraits of his friends and family, pictures painted for his own pleasure. The private Rubens turns out to be more sympathetic, more human.

Yet there are other reasons why Rubens is overlooked in Britain, deeper reasons than the flamboyant aesthetic of his larger canvases. As a Counter-Reformation painter, his work was unsympathetic to British Protestants, but the main reason is that he refutes our idealistic concept of the artist as an outsider – a tormented loner, toiling in a dingy attic.

This romantic ideal, personified by dark artists like van Gogh, remains our model of an artist’s behavior, but it is a 19th century notion and not one that Rubens would have recognized. In Rubens’ early days at the end of the 16th century, becoming an artist was not an act of racketeering rebellion, it was a sensible and conventional career choice.

Rubens was not just an artist. He was also a shrewd businessman, an able diplomat and probably a spy. He was knighted by the kings of England and Spain. His self-portraits do not portray him as an artist but as a wealthy nobleman. This conservative, conformist image is far removed from our contemporary idea of ​​how an artist should present themselves, but Rubens would not have seen anything strange in it. To do so as an artist was to become part of the establishment. Is that why we don’t appreciate it? Is our disinterest really a form of reverse snobbery?

Like many successful businessmen, Rubens had relatively humble beginnings. The sixth of seven children, he was born in 1577 in Siegen, Westphalia, where his father had been forced to flee after impregnating William of Orange’s wife. After the death of his father, in 1587, his mother brought him back to his native city, Antwerp, where he went to school. Rubens received a good education at a Latin (i.e. grammar) school in Antwerp, but his father had snuffed out the family fortune and trashed his reputation, so Rubens had to learn a trade. This profession was painting.

Rubens was apprenticed to several prominent Antwerp painters, then traveled to Italy, where he drew inspiration from contemporary artists such as Caravaggio as well as old masters like Raphael and Michelangelo. The Italians were quick to spot his talent and he quickly became a rising star until his mother’s death in 1608 brought him reluctantly back to Antwerp.

Rubens was loath to go home, but his timing could hardly have been better. Antwerp had just emerged from a period of fierce sectarian strife, its ornate Catholic churches had been desecrated by Calvinist iconoclasts, and Rubens was employed to redecorate them.

For Catholicism, his euphoric paintings were the best possible public relations. Yet it wasn’t just restoration work – Rubens created something new. During his eight years in Italy he had been deeply influenced by Italian painters, including Titian and Tintoretto, and now he has brought that Mediterranean bravery back to Flanders, uniting the art schools of Northern Europe and Europe from South.

Then as now, Antwerp was one of the largest and wealthiest ports in Europe, a center of intellectual and creative life as well as commerce. Now the city was at peace again, after decades of bloody unrest, its merchant classes were thriving, and Rubens became a key member of this emerging upper middle class. Just as he loved Italy, Rubens was cunning enough to see that Antwerp was a better base. In Italy, he would have been a great artist among many others. Here he quickly became the leader of the pack.

Antwerp was part of the Spanish Netherlands, and as Rubens’ fame spread abroad, he was recruited by the Spanish crown to broker diplomatic relations with France and England. Today, the idea of ​​an artist moonlighting as a diplomat seems unlikely, almost absurd, but it was quite common in those days. Leading artists had easy access to foreign courts, where they could make contacts and obtain useful information.

Courteous and discreet, Rubens was a natural diplomat, ostensibly at home in any foreign capital. In fact, it was all just a facade. “I hate the courts,” he confessed, declining an invitation to return to London. He could easily have stayed in England, like his most talented pupil, Anthony van Dyck, but his heart was back in Antwerp. “I made the decision to force myself to cut this golden knot of ambition in order to regain my freedom,” he wrote. “Best of all, I would like to go home and stay there all my life.” And it is in his hometown that much of his work remains.

The best place to start your visit to Rubens is at the Rubenshuis (High), his home and studio from 1615 until his death in 1640. Six of his eight children were born here; his first wife, Isabella, and his eldest child, Clara, both died here. It was there that he created many of his most famous paintings, supported by many assistants (this is another way that Rubens departed from our modern idea of ​​what constitutes an artist – he was the chief of a team of painters, more like a director than a one-man-band).

There are some amazing paintings here, including his self-portrait, painted in 1630, at the height of his powers, but the most telling thing about this building is the architecture, rather than the content.

When he bought it in 1615, it was an elegant Flemish mansion. Rubens turned it into a mansion, adding many Italianate flourishes, including an ostentatious portico. Obviously, he was not shy about flaunting his status, as his house was not just a home but a place for receiving wealthy and powerful potential clients. As a corporate headquarters, it was built to impress.

Next stop is the magnificent Gothic cathedral of Antwerp (left), which contains two of Rubens’ finest paintings: The Raising of the Cross and The descent from the cross. The former so passionate, the latter so deprived, they complement each other perfectly. It’s wonderful to see them in a religious setting, rather than in an antiseptic gallery.

The altarpiece, The Ascension of the Virgin, would be the star attraction in any other setting. Look for Rubens’ discreet portrait of his first wife Isabelle, who died while he was painting it. Movingly, she is depicted standing above the empty tomb of Mary.

Remarkably, there are also many paintings by Rubens in various churches around Antwerp. At St. Paul, where Rubens went to confess to his favorite priest, Michael Ophovius (whose portrait of Rubens is in the Rubenshuis), there are three fine paintings by Rubens, including The Flagellation of Christ (detail, left), in which Jesus turns his back on us, putting us in the position of his persecutors. Like the brilliant director he surely would have been had he been born today, Rubens has a genius for injecting new drama into the most familiar scene.

Rubens’ parish church was St James, where he worshiped daily, and married his second wife, Helena. Their children were all baptized here, and when he. dead, aged 63, he was buried here. His old friend, Nicolaas Rockox, died a few months later and was buried alongside him.

The painting by Rubens that adorns this church is particularly appropriate: Mary surrounded by saints, painted in the last years of Rubens’ life. Some scholars believe it to be a portrait of Rubens and his two wives, Isabella and Helena, with Isabella as Mary, Helena as Mary Magdalene, and Rubens as St George.

I ended my last trip to Antwerp at the Rockox house, where Sir Nicolaas lived during Rubens’ time. Rubens was a frequent visitor and, 400 years later, this beautiful but discreet house is still the same. Rockox commissioned many of Rubens’ greatest works, not only the The incredulity of Saint Thomas (above) at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, but also The descent from the cross in the cathedral, and Samson and Delilah, originally purchased to hang above the fireplace in this house, but now hangs in the National Gallery, London. Visitors to London will be delighted to see it there, but even though I live in London, I would much rather see it in the setting it was intended for.

No matter. The Rockox House still preserves a large painting by Rubens, his Virgin and Childmakes it a portrait of his first wife, Isabella, and their son, Nicolaas, the namesake of his dear friend (Nicolaas Rockox and his wife died childless and left all their possessions to the poor).

Rubens also died a wealthy man, and if his life has a lesson for today, it’s this: if you want to be a great artist, you don’t have to be a rebel, you don’t don’t need to shock or surprise. You just need to perfect your craft.

4 locations that stood out Tue, 01 Nov 2022 23:09:01 +0000 Cartoon Springboard 2022 has also seen an influx of creative women getting involved. Forty-four percent of pitches came from female creators, while 42 percent of female directors were women, which Springboard says demonstrates a steady evolution of the program and how young women can navigate their way into the industry. animation industry. Below, we dive […]]]>

Cartoon Springboard 2022 has also seen an influx of creative women getting involved. Forty-four percent of pitches came from female creators, while 42 percent of female directors were women, which Springboard says demonstrates a steady evolution of the program and how young women can navigate their way into the industry. animation industry.

Below, we dive into four of the locations that stood out to us after attending Cartoon Springboard’s first day.

Surkotes (Belgium)

Director: Baami-Bandema Mpoza Godfrey
Writers: Martin Delporte, Nicolas Laasman, Emin Ben Kaddour, Pablo Exposito Lopez
Format: Transmedia including a 2d animated web series
Looking for: Producers, partners, and to expand the team with new talents (especially female)

Experiment with various forms of interactive and passive media, overrated was the most developed project we’ve seen pitched, with four episodes already available on Youtube. The series revolves around Boniface “Ben” Bourgeon, a student who has just arrived in a “kot”, a type of privately rented student accommodation in Belgium. There he experiences the highs and lows of student life with a cast of anthropomorphic characters including a demon, a light bulb, and a boombox with a thick behind.

In the show, 2D animated characters are superimposed over live backgrounds, a stylistic choice that delighted the panel of pitch experts including Jam Media’s Mark Cumberton, Cub Animation’s Balint Gelley and Dario van Vree. by Studio Pupil. The panel was less enthused by the project’s lack of female characters and behind-the-scenes talent, an issue that presenters Baami-Bandema Mpoza Godfrey (director) and Martin Delporte (screenwriter) said they were acutely aware of and working to address as as soon as possible.

9 million colors (Czech Republic)

Director: Bara Anna Stejskalova
Producer: Bionaut Animation with co-producer Divize
Format: Stop motion musical short film
Looking for: Director of photography, post-production services, co-producers, broadcasters

Mantis shrimp are fascinating aquatic creatures that are among the most colorful in the natural world. Their eyes have more photoreceptors than humans, which means they can see in the UV spectrum. During mating rituals, they emit active fluorescence. Nine million colors creator Bára Anna Stejskalová (Love is just a death away) used these traits as the visual basis for his ambitious stop-motion musical about one of those shrimp befriending a blind fish. Playing with light and color, the project teaser offered a truly unique proposition.

Presentation panel experts Cristian Jezdic of beQ Entertainment, Corinne Kouper of TeamTo and David Jabrane of France Télévisions agreed, praising the film’s innovative use of light to create a vibrant underwater atmosphere. Their main concern was a disconnect between the intended audience of the short and the sometimes violent content of a harsh underwater environment where animals frequently dismember themselves for their own gain. Maybe the project isn’t quite for young kids, or maybe it will play differently in different countries where kids are exposed to certain themes at a younger age.

9 million colors

For an hour and a half (France)

Director: Marie Derambure
Writer: Paco Moccand
Format: 2d animated series

For an hour and a half is a series of fit-for-purpose short films set throughout the French train journey from Perpignan to Montpellier. Each episode is planned to last the duration between stops of the popular trip; so theoretically a passenger making the trip could watch everything while taking the train and finish when they arrive at the last stop. The series will follow two young men who meet on a train and embark on a long-lasting romance. One is recently single and doesn’t believe in short-term relationships, and the other tries to convince him that a love that only lasts a few hours can be just as enjoyable as a love that lasts for years.

BBC Children’s Lucy Pryke, Cub Animation’s Balint Gelley and Studio Pupil’s Dario van Vree praised the series’ focused storytelling and dynamic, punchy art style, which host Marie Derambure says she keep it as “simple as possible”. The panelists’ main concern was the show’s maverick format, with each episode being a different length. Some people in the room suggested that the episodes could perhaps be combined into one feature film as their combined runtime would be 90 minutes, a more appealing format for platforms and broadcasters.

For an hour and a half

salted banana (Croatia)

Director, Screenwriter, Animator, Everything: Mihaela Erceg
Format: 2D animated web series
Looking for: Partners and artists to help with animation

The last pitch of the day was – not least for the others – the best received and the most entertaining. salted banana The stage charisma of creator Mihaela Erceg was noted by the judges, at which point it was shared that she was doing stand-up comedy in Croatia. Nobody was surprised, because his speech caused many in the room to laugh at the word “go”.

salted banana revolves around a food-themed group of young women (if only in name) from diverse, often traumatic backgrounds. Citing influences such as Seinfeld and Friends, the comedy series follows an almost sitcom format with each episode featuring a new problem for one of the girls that the others help her solve. The only concern expressed by experts Daniella Gallegos of Tribes Media, Stephan Roelants of Melusine Productions and Fabian Driehorst of Fabian&Fred was that in the project information they received before the pitch, some characters sometimes seemed a little too salty. After seeing Erceg’s tasty pitch, however, they were sure she would find the right recipe to make the show work.

salted banana

10 Saddest Deaths In Lord Of The Rings, Ranked Sat, 29 Oct 2022 22:52:30 +0000 The the Lord of the Rings franchise is one of the most successful fantasy tales in modern history, from the original JRR Tolkien novels to a host of film and stage adaptations. Peter Jackson’s work on the film trilogy is best known – the films have broken multiple records and won countless awards for their […]]]>

The the Lord of the Rings franchise is one of the most successful fantasy tales in modern history, from the original JRR Tolkien novels to a host of film and stage adaptations. Peter Jackson’s work on the film trilogy is best known – the films have broken multiple records and won countless awards for their authentic portrayals of the author’s highly descriptive prose.

RELATED: Lord Of The Rings: 10 Times Sam Was The Real Hero

Middle-earth thrives on life, and there is no Dark Lord capable of dominating his people for long periods of time. LOTR the characters, from elves and humans to dwarves and hobbits, are as iconic as the encyclopedic world they inhabit. Whether or not they survived the story, their legacy has earned these characters a prominent place on the pedestal of popular culture.

Updated on October 29, 2022 by Ajay Aravind: During the First Age, Middle-earth was a nightmarish war zone filled with untold pain and suffering. Countless people were killed in action, while others perished from wounds or disease. Fortunately, the next six thousand years were much less disastrous than the first six hundred. That said, several major deaths occurred during the Second and Third Ages of Middle-earth, some of which will eventually be depicted in Amazon’s The Rings of Power.

10/10 Denethor is the only one to pay the price for his mistakes

Denethor is arguably the least relatable villain in the the Lord of the Rings – a list that includes the likes of Sauron and Saruman. He flatters his eldest son but treats his youngest as a useless pawn. Denethor’s already frayed mind crosses the point of no return after Boromir’s death, and he begins to shirk his administrative responsibilities.

The would-be Steward of Gondor ruthlessly orders Faramir to embark on an extremely risky mission, but then has the nerve to be devastated when the latter is seriously injured. The story explains that Denethor’s fall from grace is a direct result of messing with the Palantír, which exposes him to Sauron’s manipulation. However, that still doesn’t justify his attempts to set Faramir on fire in a gruesome double suicide. Fortunately, only Denethor bears the brunt of his carelessness.

9/10 Gollum would rather die than be separated from his precious

Gandalf insists that Gollum is a victim of unavoidable circumstances, adding that the One Ring’s hypnotic power is able to captivate souls with much greater willpower. The same magicianhope[s] that Gollum can be healed before he dies“, which is a powerful statement that suggests the possibility of redemption.

RELATED: 10 Most Dangerous Lord Of The Rings Characters

As the oldest Ring-bearer, Gollum can’t break free from his evil grip, but it’s his love for the One Ring that ultimately saves the world. When Frodo reneges on his mission and claims the power for himself, Gollum takes the opportunity to retake the ring. He succeeds but quickly falls into the magma after a brief moment of celebration. Gollum dies as he lives – clutching his precious close to his heart as he fades into nothingness.

8/10 Deagol is yet another victim of Sauron’s boundless malevolence.

Gollum was once a Stoorish Hobbit who lived a relatively carefree life in the valleys of Anduin. On his last birthday as Sméagol, he goes fishing with his cousin. Déagol discovers the One Ring hidden in the murky riverbed and is instantly captivated by his new discovery. As a result, he categorically refuses Sméagol’s request for the ring (as a birthday present).

Their disagreement turns into a physical fight, which inevitably leads to the murder of Déagol and the birth of Gollum. This character doesn’t get enough screen time to endear himself to audiences, so his death doesn’t have a serious emotional impact. Yet it is sad to see another innocent life falling prey to Sauron’s boundless wickedness.

7/10 Ontamo’s sad death comes as a complete surprise

Ontamo does not appear anywhere in Tolkien’s writings. Created for power rings, this character provides an emotional setting for the majority of Isildur in Númenor. Ontamo, Valandil, and Isildur enthusiastically offer their maritime services on Míriel’s expedition to Middle-earth, where they hope to protect the Southlands from an unprecedented Orcish invasion.

Adar successfully triggers the eruption of Mount Doom, a cataclysmic event that effectively vaporizes much of Southland’s territory. Galadriel, Míriel, and Elendil barely survive the explosion, but poor Ontamo is killed by a volcanic rain of superheated ash and falling debris. Although Isildur apparently suffers the same unfortunate fate as his best friend, he is far too important to die at this point.

6/10 Hama falls in battle like a true hero of Rohan

Háma has two main tasks: guarding the entrance to Meduseld (the golden hall of Rohan) and serving as captain of the king’s guard. He is a staunch conformist, refusing Aragon entry to Edoras until the latter agrees to keep Andúril in custody. However, Háma allows Gandalf to take his wizard’s staff into the courtroom, perhaps consciously, given Théoden’s sad state.

RELATED: The Fates Of Every Main Character In The Lord Of The Rings

After Rohan’s balance is restored and Théoden swears allegiance to the future King of Gondor, Háma travels to Horburg with a platoon of Rohirrim. Unfortunately, Háma does not survive Helm’s Deep – he falls in battle as a true hero of Rohan. Théoden is particularly saddened to learn of the death of his doorward.

5/10 Elendil’s death helps pave the way for Isildur’s eventual victory

Sauron made many offers of power during the First, Second, and Third Ages of Middle-earth. His greatest success came at the end of the Second Age, when he acquired vast armies of Orcs and other fallen beasts and established a stronghold in Mordor. The last alliance of elves and men manages to win a narrow victory.

Isildur defeats Sauron by cutting the One Ring from the Dark Lord’s scorched hand. This triumph might as well have been a disaster had it not been for Isildur’s brother, Anárion, his father, Elendil, and the High Elven King Gil-galad, all of whom crumble before the might of Sauron. Elendil’s death is especially sad given that Isildur essentially spits on his father’s grave refusing to destroy the One Ring.

4/10 Théoden leaves an entire kingdom in mourning

Théoden is 71 during the War of the Ring, and he definitely looks it. Unlike the 87-year-old Aragorn, the King of Rohan isn’t blessed with an extended lifespan and youthful appearance. Age has not been kind to Théoden, although it has given him the experience and emotional capacity to be a good leader. He marches proudly through the Pelennor Fields, waving his dynastic banners and brimming with optimistic vigour.

RELATED: 10 Most Implausible Lord Of The Rings Characters, Ranked

Théoden is perfectly aware of his many weaknesses: he enters his final fight without hoping to come back alive. The once decrepit puppet of Saruman radiates such inspirational power that it terrifies the enemy, all but the Witch-King of Angmar. Théoden is then crushed under the weight of his fallen horse, Snowmane, leaving behind his niece, nephew and the entire kingdom of Rohan to mourn his death.

3/10 Boromir’s death shatters the Fellowship of the Ring

Heir to the stewardship of Gondor, Boromir has nothing to do with his selfish father. While Denethor displays an excessive level of affection for his firstborn, Boromir spends his time caring for Faramir after the death of their mother, Finduilas. This otherwise heroic character’s only flaw is his militaristic outlook – Boromir believes that any weapon that can be used against Sauron should not be wasted.

As such, he attacks Frodo Baggins in a misguided attempt to obtain and master the One Ring, hoping to use its inconceivable power against its creator. Boromir instantly comes to his senses and later sacrifices his life to save Frodo from a gang of Uruk-hai. It wouldn’t be actor Sean Bean’s only untimely death on screen, however.

2/10 Sadoc Burrow is sadly killed while trying to save the stranger

Sadoc Burrows is the Chief of the Harfoot Tribe in power rings, a seemingly grumpy individual who cares deeply for the well-being of his nomadic society. As the clan’s de facto Trailfinder, Sadoc carefully calculates the safest travel route by observing the stars in the sky.

Sadoc reluctantly tolerates the stranger’s presence among the Harfoots, but his skepticism turns to delight when the wizard reveals himself to be a benevolent entity. Although Sadoc, Marigold, Poppy and Elanor manage to locate the stranger, Sadoc is seriously injured by the nomad’s attack. He accepts the finality of death with a smile before passing away. Fans were especially sad to see Sadoc go.

1/10 Gandalf dies a heartbreaking death, but later returns stronger than ever

Durin’s Bane attacks before the Fellowship can get out of the Mines of Moria, forcing Gandalf to take matters into his own hands. The Gray Wizard orders the Balrog to back off saying “return to the shadows! You can’t pass!” Gandalf and Durin’s Bane engage in an epic battle on the bridge of Khazad-dûm, which ends when both combatants fall into the abyss below.

Gandalf begs his friends to escape and disappears into the darkness. This scene is extremely heartbreaking because the Fellowship loses its most important member: the one whose death would have spelled the end of the resistance against Sauron. Fortunately, Gandalf reincarnates as a white magician and returns to complete the job given to him, so all is well that ends well.

NEXT: The Lord of the Rings: 15 Strongest Elves, Ranked

iPhone 15 with USB-C is almost certainly coming – here’s why Tue, 25 Oct 2022 10:23:04 +0000 We’ve heard all the rumors that the iPhone 15 might be the first Apple phone to get USB-C, but now it looks like Apple won’t have much choice. EU officially passed a law (opens in a new tab) this makes USB-C the universal charging standard from 2024, so Apple needs to play ball or else […]]]>

We’ve heard all the rumors that the iPhone 15 might be the first Apple phone to get USB-C, but now it looks like Apple won’t have much choice. EU officially passed a law (opens in a new tab) this makes USB-C the universal charging standard from 2024, so Apple needs to play ball or else stop selling iPhones in the region.

The European Union has been talking about mandating USB-C for some time, but only recently managed to end these threats. The first proposals to legislate the universal charging standard launched over a year agoand have crossed everything the necessary steps in the months that followed.

Tigray, Ethiopia and other African wars – The Island Fri, 21 Oct 2022 23:38:48 +0000 By Ifham Nizam Asiff Hussein, Vice President – Outreach of the Harmony Center Islamic Studies Center and author of the book ‘Iconic Masjids of Ceylon’ talks about the role of mosques in the Muslim community and the importance of mosque visits in reaching people of other faiths. Q: The mosque is often considered the center […]]]>

By Ifham Nizam

Asiff Hussein, Vice President – Outreach of the Harmony Center Islamic Studies Center and author of the book ‘Iconic Masjids of Ceylon’ talks about the role of mosques in the Muslim community and the importance of mosque visits in reaching people of other faiths.

Q: The mosque is often considered the center of the Muslim community. How true is that?

A: The mosque is undoubtedly the center of the Muslim community. It is here that the faithful gather to pray to God, not once, but five times a day. Prayer which is undoubtedly the most active form of prayer found all over the world consists of cycles of standing, bowing and prostrating before the Almighty. It is from the very important position of prostration known as Sajdah, where one humbles oneself before the Almighty, placing one’s head on the ground and surrendering one’s self totally to Divinity, that the mosque derives its name. The Arabic word for Masjidis mosque derives from the word Sajdahor ‘Prostration’ and literally means ‘Place of Prostration’.

In the early days of Islam, which were its best days, mosques were the very center of community life. During the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace_be_upon_him), the mosque served as an assembly for the community and public announcements were often made there. Women also had free access to the mosque but prayed behind the men. In fact, the Prophet clearly forbade women from being refused entry into mosques, calling them servants of God. In a hadith, he said: “Do not prevent the servants of God from entering the places of worship of God”. Unfortunately, this command is observed in the breach today, except on festival days when women attend festival prayers. Cultural norms and ideas of ceremonial impurity of women arising from their menstruation have a lot to do with this attitude, but thankfully that is changing and there are mosques today that allow women to attend and lead prayers.

Q: You are the author of a highly acclaimed book on mosques in Sri Lanka. Can you share with us some of your most interesting discoveries?

A: A study of local mosques tells us a lot about how Sri Lankan Muslims adopted architectural features from neighboring cultures and, during the height of colonialism in our island, even adopted European styles. In fact, it seems that time and place mattered a lot when it came to mosque architecture. Except for a very basic space dedicated to prayer, Islam imposes no rigid rules or conventions for the erection of a mosque. Thus, a mosque can lend itself to a variety of architectural styles. This is why you see such beautiful mosques all over the world with such a wide variety of architectural styles.

In our own country, we have the centuries-old Bakinigahawela Mosque in Uva Province, which resembles the home of a Kandyan nobleman with very thick walls and a tiled roof. It has no dome. Likewise, there were many mosques in ancient times that did not have a dome, including the historic Abrar Mosque in the Maradana area of ​​Beruwala believed to have been built as early as the year 920. Although it has today Today a small dome surmounting its front part, old photographs show that it was clearly absent at the time.

In fact, the incorporation of a large central dome or domes as seen in many mosques today only came after independence, although a few had already adopted it earlier, like the onion or pomegranate shaped domes of Pettah’s beautiful red mosque. Nowadays we also have very modern mosques like the University Mosque of Jamiah Naleemiah in Beruwala which has been compared to a flying saucer that has just landed.

Another important finding of the research was that it proved that Muslims lived in peace and harmony with neighboring communities, even when it came to building mosques. I found several examples of cooperation between Muslims and neighboring Sinhalese and Tamil communities in building mosques in the good old days. This has been seen in the case of the Porwa Mosque at Godapitiya in Akuresa and the Grand Mosque in Jaffna simply known as Periyapalli or ‘Grand Mosque’.

Another interesting discovery that has emerged is that the Muslims tended to build their places of worship along the main roads, some of which must have emerged from the ancient caravan paths that they traveled with their pack animals for trade purposes in the Kandyan era. Kingdom. Otherwise it was near the bazaars as they were a largely merchant community. This explains why you find mosques on the sides of the roads, some of which seem very visible. In contrast, you will find that the Buddhists built their temples in a quiet environment, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. This of course reflects the concept of an arama or “retreat” from worldly life. This explains why the mosques seem so visible when moving on the main roads while the temples are barely visible.

Q: What can you tell us about the program of visits to mosques organized by your organization?

A: Mosque tours are a unique interfaith program run by the Harmony Center for Islamic Studies, although we have recently partnered with the Muslim Women’s Research and Action Forum to organize these tours. Mosque visits are undertaken in association with local mosque administrators.

Since we started the program eight years ago, we have seen more than fifteen mosques in all parts of the country open their doors to people of other faiths. In fact, more than 10,000 visitors from other religions have visited our mosques on “Open Mosque Days”. The concept, I must say, is quite revolutionary since it is the only occasion where a religious place of worship has been opened to the public by special invitation.

To give you an idea, mosque tours are basically cultural tours that aim to give people of other faiths the opportunity to visit a mosque and, through it, gain a better understanding of the Islamic faith and Muslims in general. It often happens that people of other faiths wish to visit the mosques and discover their rich architecture. There is also this curiosity to see what is happening in the mosques. This makes it all the more necessary for mosques to welcome and be seen to welcome people of other faiths.

Q: In addition to being considered a cultural visit, another purpose of mosque visits is to reach people of other faiths. So why the mosque for this purpose?

A: A very good question. You see, mosques lend themselves well to teaching people about Islam. The concept of unitarianism or unity of God, the essence of Islamic prayer, the idea of ​​equal brotherhood, among others, are best explained using the mosque.

For example, the absence of idols explains the concept of Islamic monotheism. The rows of saffron prayers marked in the ornate rugs explain Islamic prayer and the concept of brotherhood where the faithful, whether princes or poor, stand side by side in prayer before the One True God. The mihrabor prayer niche explains the story of the prophets through this great patriarch Abraham and his construction of the House of God in Mecca. The prayer postures presented here explain the meaning of Islamic prayer, including Surah Fatiha, the opening chapter of the Holy Quran which is compared to the Christian Lord’s Prayer and Sajdah or Prostration which can be compared to the prayer of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Q: Besides a mosque tour, what else can visitors expect from your typical mosque tour?

A: Our mosque tours are primarily cultural tours that allow people of other faiths to experience the beauty of Islam and see it in action through a spiritual lens. They are led by a dedicated Mosque Tour Guide (MTG) in all three languages.

Each mosque visit also has its own guided tour where large colorful posters placed side by side form a guided tour which visitors are directed to shortly after visiting the actual mosque. The tastefully executed posters with colorful imagery cover everything from the greatly misunderstood Shariah and the conditions of its application to religious tolerance, coexistence, human rights, women’s rights and animal rights, among other things about which little is known among those of other faiths due to prevailing misconceptions.

It was indeed often here that visitors began to ask questions or concerns about the faith, no doubt stimulated by the wealth of information contained in the posters. For many of our visitors, mosque tours have been the first time they have actually visited an Islamic place of worship and the first experience they have of truly interacting with Muslims and asking them anything, without any offence. As Muslims, we have nothing to hide but much to share.

Along with a visit to the mosque, visitors have the opportunity to learn about the rich culture of the community. They are served traditional Muslim dishes, given free calligraphy of their names in beautiful Arabic script as souvenirs to take home, and gift boxes of literature dispelling misconceptions about the Islamic faith.

Photos of the mosque courtesy of Asiff Hussein

Silent Generation vs. Boomers vs. Generation X vs. Millennials vs. Zoomers | Entrepreneurship Wed, 19 Oct 2022 15:14:52 +0000 At some point this year, you’ll probably be heading for a family party. You’ll have three or four generations of people there if you’re lucky. Now, depending on your family dynamic, you may have to put up with unwanted comments. Often in these situations, while you’re enjoying a delicious home-cooked meal just as you’re about […]]]>

At some point this year, you’ll probably be heading for a family party. You’ll have three or four generations of people there if you’re lucky. Now, depending on your family dynamic, you may have to put up with unwanted comments. Often in these situations, while you’re enjoying a delicious home-cooked meal just as you’re about to take a bite of your aunt’s special dish, someone will say –

“This generation is useless…they’re the absolute worst, they’re soft and they ruined everything.”

And the table could be silent. Some people will nod in agreement, and others will prepare to support them, but before they can, one of your younger cousins ​​sitting across the table will say –

“Excuse me, you baby boomers destroyed the planet. Plastic, gas, capitalism, it’s you!”

And that’s the end of this beautiful family reunion, is not it? Maybe it didn’t exactly turn out that way for you. Maybe you’ve seen people talking about it on social media or overheard a conversation at your local coffee shop, and whether you agree or not, it makes you wonder how valid each argument is. .

Did a generation mess things up for everyone and which generation is it? Are we really all that different? Well, we want to know what the experts are saying because if there’s a generation to blame, let’s do it, and if there isn’t, well, maybe we should rethink our approach on this subject.

Now, let’s start by breaking down the generations because you know, names and heirs seemed to change pretty quickly. Also, it doesn’t seem like the names are set from start to finish, as researchers and the media changed them on a whim.

1. Silent Generation

From what we can tell, from 1928 to 1945 we have the “silent generation”. They got their name for being so conformist. Now back then Senator Joseph McCarthy was proposing controversial policies in the United States to curb communism, many of the threats he was talking about were unfounded and made the public paranoid, and everyone silently believed every word he was saying, as unrealistic as it sounds. .

Their parenting style was also quite conformist. Women had to stay home and make sure dinner was cooked in the house was clean and men had to work for most of their lives.

2. Baby boomers

In 1946, the “Baby boomer generationstarted, and it lasted until about 1964. After World War II, the population exploded, and a boom in baby births, hence the name.

Now, while we view baby boomers as conformists and out of touch, there is a challenge within them that future generations often overlook. They challenge their parents and went to music festivals, forest weekends and created the summer of love. They protested the Vietnam War, experimented with drugs and defended civil rights. As parents, baby boomers viewed growing up from their child’s perspective. They focused on emotional growth and pioneered the concept of family reunions.

3. Generation X

Now, “Generation Xwas from 1964 to 1980. They lived through the AIDS epidemic, a changing culture that would allow for greater LGBTQ+ rights, and they made television a regular pastime. They are also known as the lazy generation. These parents were more involved in raising their children, and that’s when the term “Helicopter Parenting” was coined.

From 1981 to 1996, we have two generations:

  1. The first millennial generation.
  2. Generation Y.

4. Millennials

Millennialsor Gen Y – this generation spent their teens and early twenties living through the aftermath of 9/11. They are the first generation born with and without the internet.

Today, baby boomers accuse millennials of being self-centered and having rights, due to excessive use of social media, but studies show that this generation has many more volunteers than ever, concerned about their health and the environment, and community oriented. They prefer to support local stores when possible, and they are more focused on art and creativity than previous generations.

As parents, they are more open-minded and accepting of their children. Their approach to parenting is freer and has less rotational structure. Now, although it’s too early to tell the full effects of this type of parenting, experts are divided on what effect it might have. There is a false structure to this parenting. They are given recess time at school, but it is carefully arranged for them to achieve different goals. Their parents juggle equally busy work and personal lives, only to be held together by the structure and routine they have in place.

5. Generation Z

And finally, “Generation Z” is from 1997 to 2010.

They are the first to be born into a world where the internet and social media are constant. They are always connected to each other. From an early age, they started staring at a screen.

Now, each generation has been through many pandemics of war, major cultural shifts, economic downturns and upturns, and each has coped in different ways; some better than others and each generation is also different from the previous one. Millennials are more diverse than their parents, but their parents were also more diverse than their grandparents. Each new generation is better educated. Each new generation has more rights and a better quality of life for women and people of color. Now, interestingly, the newer generations are showing a decrease in the marriage rate. Cultural norms, an open workforce, better education and resources have made people more independent and self-sufficient. You no longer need two people of the opposite sex in the same house to survive. In fact, the biggest drop in marriages has been between the silent generation and baby boomers. Baby boomer women have been breaking down the doors of the workforce, often facing unprecedented levels of harassment and intimidation just for being there. And, you know, as different as our experiences are, no generation has dealt less or more than the other.

We may not have major wars, but we are constantly bombarded with attacks, discrimination and danger. We may not have the Summer of Love or the Roaring Twenties, but we can reach out and positively influence people in ways we never could before. So many more of us have the resources to make a major difference in this world, and these readers, that makes us the same. We’ve been through the ups and downs of thought, society, and our parents and faced derogatory comments, and received love and acceptance from people we don’t even know. We have all experienced our own unique version of the same things. We really aren’t that different when you zoom out far enough.

So the next time you hear that same line again at the dinner table, we encourage you to be the person to remind everyone of the good and bad we’ve all been through.

“We create a better dialogue with our similarities than with our differences.”

And this healthy dialogue is what will help us change the world.

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