Serpentine pavilion 2017 by Francis Kéré’s

He came up with the idea of making an architectural version of a big tree in Gando, where people could gather in its perforated shade. Its structure is a festival of triangles, with curved walls beneath the orange-ish roof in complementary deep blue.  The design has a lot to do with weather, which – as the pavilion opened in last week’s African temperatures, but will remain until 8 October – could be many things. Spreading from a central ellipse of steel supports, a layered canopy of timber and translucent polycarbonate filters the sunshine. The blue, curving walls provide degrees of breeziness and shelter from the wind. Rainwater, something which Kéré thinks the British appreciate too little – “you don’t know what you have” – will slosh from the canopy into a central void formed between the supports, at speed and with volume, to make temporary elliptical waterfalls. That is mostly it, bar a few other touches. The deep blue, for example, is a colour worn in Burkina Faso on special occasions and to impress, when going on a date, or some other time when “you go to meet your dream”. The walls, made of stacked triangular assemblies of simple timber sections, are meant to have the look of a textile. But, despite Kéré’s talk of being awed by his predecessors, this is a Serpentine Pavilion that (unusually for the genre) doesn’t try too hard. It provides congenial places for gathering and pausing. It improves the climate. It nicely collages with the lush greenery around. Its shapes and colours have a simple, direct appeal. It is well made. It feels less lavish than previous pavilions, some of which benefited from large donations of building products from their manufacturers. It breathes.

Source: Serpentine pavilion 2017: Francis Kéré’s cool shades of Africa | Art and design | The Guardian

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Feist – A Man Is Not His Song

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Light sci-fi viewing on Netflix: The ARQ

I enjoyed it. A time-loop movie that is fairly clever about the loop and how to end the film.

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Nina Simone in Liberia by Katherina Grace Thomas in Guernica

It was a language that Simone spoke fluently. She was forty-one when she first landed at Robertsfield International Airport, her twelve-year-old daughter Lisa in tow, their belongings—clothes, books, records—packed into the belly of a Pan Am jet. Six years had passed since Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination; nine since Simone had belted out protest songs during the Selma to Montgomery voting-rights march. Although black America still saw her as a talented political performer, a civil-rights revolutionary armed with loud and furious song—“Oh, but this whole country is full of lies, you’re all gonna die and die like flies,” she sang in “Mississippi Goddam,” berating the go-slow politics of the Johnson administration—she had seen little racial progress. Two of the big six were dead, as were her friends Langston Hughes and Malcom X; Huey Newton and Bobby Seale were in jail. The rhythm of the civil-rights movement had ebbed, and Simone wondered if her cris de coeur for a more just racial order had fallen short. “The America I’d dreamed of through the sixties seemed a bad joke now, with Nixon in the White House and the black revolution replaced by disco,” she wrote in her memoir, I Put a Spell on You.

Source: Nina Simone in Liberia – Guernica

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Gyimah Gariba, illustrator from Ghana

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Mama, let your babies grow up listening to Kofi Kinaata… and get some empathy

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Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be fraternity brothers…

Full story in NYT. And for what?  So he could do the same to other pledges in future years?

A night that began with laughs and elaborate handshakes quickly devolved into dangerous drunkenness. The pledges were forced to participate in multiple stations of drinking, which included quickly downing vodka and beer, drinking from a wine bag and playing beer pong. As the hours wore on, Mr. Piazza stumbled around the house, falling and rolling in and out of the fetal position. Photographs of his body showed cuts and bruises on his chest, back, arms and legs, some of which were captured on the video. The coroner’s report said Mr. Piazza would have experienced “severe and unremitting pain” from his injuries, which included a fracture at the base of his skull and a ruptured spleen. At one point, a fraternity brother came into the living room and took a cellphone image of Mr. Piazza, which, according to the detective’s testimony, he would post to Snapchat. The student left. After being out of view of the surveillance cameras for a while, Mr. Piazza re-emerged later in the morning, carried by multiple fraternity brothers, shirtless but wearing a black coat, his extremities straight and stiff.

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