india

The aesthetics of war-Mario Brondo

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Artist Mario Brondo recently completed a series of 8 videos that were shot in the Western Sahara refugee camps and mined frontier with Morocco, which is considered the largest and the one with the most mines in the world.

 

The series uses a different expression technique in each piece, although they have many factors that keep the unity of the piece. All the chapters are narrated by a pc robotic voice. This is rather interesting, as the “subject” speaking to us is artificial intelligence, and hence has an automated series of mistakes. To enhance that quality, Mario Brondo goes even beyond: the spoken texts come from (curated) random searches on the internet speaking of each chapter´s central theme. For instance, I will talk about 4 episodes:

Fresco shows from the distance a synthesis of the lifestyle that the improvised (but very well set) the refugee camps host. The narrator uses a poetic historic tone that transforms into an open protest towards the end. Many fragments come from Spanish soldiers´ testimonials, when they used to live in Villa Cisneros, now called Dakjla. They mostly speak of sensations, such as temperature, smell, breeze, beauty and generosity. Contrast is brutal with the images presented.

Archaeology, is perhaps the episode that best reflects the artist´s eye and taste. It is a series of still shots, that show mainly abandoned and corrodes vehicles being swallowed by the desert since 1979. Voice-over and music resources are brilliantly exploited. The text is an amalgam of Wikipedia´s Archaeology article, along with humorous interventions by the author. As all many of the resources used by Brondo in this work, music was also forced into the artwork/film, and it comes from free-license music under www pseudonim authorship.

Sirocco, is a no-nonsense, open and even violent protest to the world potencies that keep this situation since 1975. Sirocco is how the Saharaui people call the wind that comes from the Mediterranean Sea, causing sand storms that difficult even more the living of the refugees in an already indignant situation; in a desert impregnated with misery, mines, and some of the toughest weather conditions in the planet.

La Guerra (The War), is my favourite episode: It depicts the Saharaui people, claiming their freedom in a deaf shout in the middle of the desert. It also shows brave people walking through te mined camp, and how they manage to recognize the safe paths. For each mine they put off, or detect, they signalize the spot by placing flowers knit by the saharaui women. The music denotes heroism, and the voice over reads a text by Alessandro Baricco, that talks about the beauty of war, its importance, and how to overcome the fascination we experience since the beginning of human history. A real jewel!

The importance of the art in war settings can be of enormous interest for historians and politicians, as it becomes a document, and pa proof. It is also fundamental to many people, as they rarely have the opportunity to know what is it about to live in a situation of war. That generates empathy and unity among people throughout the world.

For more information, please visit Mario’s site HERE.

Dream of India: Stunning New photography Project Seeks to Paint a Picture of a Diverse and Vibrant Land

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India is arguably one of the most diverse and beautiful nations on the planet, which makes it a great subject for artistic photography. With its amazing mix of cultures and postcard scenery, there are endless opportunities. Croatian travellers Jelena Nikolic and Sanjin Kastelan are looking to share their journey through this rich and colourful nation via the media of video, photography, and blogging. They fell in love with India after working at a yoga retreat there last year, and would love to help others to do the same. Their photos are truly stunning, and really manage to capture the country’s beauty.

Jelena and Sanjin are looking to fund their project via the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. One of their focuses will be food, as they wish to display the unique culinary offerings that India has to offer. The overall aim of this project is to alter the way in which people perceive India. Oftentimes, when people think India, they think of squalor and poverty. In reality, these things exist in every nation, and are only one side to India. Perhaps this project could help to challenge preconceptions and replace prejudices with a new, more positive image. It is a fascinating artistic project that uses photos to achieve social good, which is one of the many functions of this multifaceted art form. Check it out for yourself at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dream-of-india–3#/