jeccablog

Ask me anything   I'm easily distracted.

archivestories:

Photos from the Bulletin of Physical Education, produced and published by the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. All photos here from issues published between 1950-1955. 

Sometimes the most interesting insights of working with material objects come from encountering their physicality - the journal pictured here, the Bulletin of Physical Education, was published out of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, located in Pondicherry, India. While looking through the first 10 years of the journal, dedicated to detailing the program of physical education in the Ashram, which ranged from body building to tennis to wrestling and the theater, I noted the many ways that readers had engaged with the publication. First, the cover, printed in a bright orangish-red with the circular symbol of the Ashram in the top third of the page, has been adorned with a swastika, sketched in blue pen. The swastika, while widely associated with European fascism and the German National Socialist Party, is an ancient symbol found in the Indus Valley region as well as across the Mediterranean. The common story is that the Nazi’s “reversed” the swastika when the appropriated it for their  cause, although in this sketch, it’s quite hard to tell what the intentions of the sketcher were. Did the holder of the blue pen want to adorn the Ashram insignia with an old symbol of Indian pictography, or did they find similarities between the Nazi regime of national masculinity and the pictures printed in the journal?

Which brings me to the second point: these journals are filled with pictures of men posing in body building positions - some mimic ancient Greek and Roman poses, while others are sheer celebrations of the male body. The writing in the publication focuses quite a bit on the importance of building strong bodies to participate in and defend the nation. Women are pictured alongside the photos of men, though rarely together. The women are almost never in close-up - their bodies are covered in shape-less shirts and shorts, the contours of their bodies hidden. Men and their bodies are highlighted over and over again. 

The bottom picture here shows that someone at some point has torn out one of the mal-posing pictures, revealing a jagged edge and the underlying picture of a group of children. Who tore this picture out, and why? Did they admire the man pictured? Did they strive to emulate him, to posses his picture, to gaze at it from the comfort of their home? Where was the person who tore out the picture - in India, in England, in the United States, in the University of Washington library (the holding library that sent me the journals through Interlibrary Loan?) There is something quite beautiful in knowing that somewhere in the world someone might be walking around with this photo in their pocket (but I DO NOT advocate tearing out pages from books! Obviously!) 

— 1 month ago with 6 notes
#archive 

bibliobiker:

Walker Library (7 of 41)

There are so many things to love about the new library in Uptown. Three sides of the building are made up of floor to ceiling windows. The space is extremely inviting with brightly colored furniture, book displays on relevant themes to the community, and an overall awesome location. The library is located at the intersection of the Greenway bike path and one of the main Metro Transit Centers in Minneapolis. This library is just what the neighborhood needed. A free and energizing space to get work done and let the imagination run wild. 

(via hclib)

— 1 month ago with 39 notes
theparisreview:

Raymond Pettibon, No Title (My adopted son), 1985, pen and ink on paper, 12” x 9”.

theparisreview:

Raymond Pettibon, No Title (My adopted son), 1985, pen and ink on paper, 12” x 9”.

— 1 month ago with 139 notes
dressupandtravel:

I saw this gentleman a while back; he was a make up artist at the MAC Counter at the New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport. I was so enamored by his sophisticated boldness and his blasé (yet respectful) attitude toward the Punjabi gender norms. I loved how he seamlessly melded the Sikh culture with his unconventional interests. I told him he reminded me of Waris Ahluwalia - the acclaimed Gap Model and the man on countless best-dressed lists - and he smiled and gave me another pose.you may like this singhstreetstyle 

dressupandtravel:

I saw this gentleman a while back; he was a make up artist at the MAC Counter at the New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport. I was so enamored by his sophisticated boldness and his blasé (yet respectful) attitude toward the Punjabi gender norms. I loved how he seamlessly melded the Sikh culture with his unconventional interests. I told him he reminded me of Waris Ahluwalia - the acclaimed Gap Model and the man on countless best-dressed lists - and he smiled and gave me another pose.

you may like this singhstreetstyle 

(via fuckyeahsouthasia)

— 1 month ago with 9737 notes

archivestories:

Guest post from medievalist historian and diet coke aficionado Ann Zimo,  checking in from the Musei Civico Medievale in Bologna, Italy. 

********

Since this blog was started, I have been thinking about how the project of finding alternative archives might work for the medieval world. What is true for the last several centuries, that archives are sites generated by those in power to maintain their power, is that much more true for the more distant past. The stuff that survives the centuries does so only through extraordinary efforts at preservation, usually on the part of those in power (states, religious institution), and by luck. 

However, I recently visited the Museo Civico Medievale (Civic Museum of the Middle Ages) in Bologna and it provided a possible answer. The museum has a large collection of grave markers and cenotaphs for medieval denizens of the city. Bologna, perhaps most famous now for giving us the the lunch meat and pasta sauce, emerged as an important city in the Middle Ages thanks to its university, one of the first in Europe. Established in 1088, it was reknowned for its law faculty, with young men from all over Europe coming to study with its famous doctors of law.

1) Grave markers, such as those found at the Museo Civico record the names, professions, dates of death and sometimes birth of those buried underneath. They do favor those of a certain wealth and prominence who could afford to pay for such markers, but sometimes you can get hangers-on. In the case of the grave marker of the lord Philip, the sculptor Troasino Erriguco* of the monument signed his name between the lord’s legs, thus providing, according to the information provided by the museum, the only record of his existence.

2) Because the city relied on the University at great deal for its wealth, professors in Bologna also gained a high status and so many of their graves were elaborate. The art on the grave markers of the professors in addition to their names etc. also record a schematic for how law was taught. In the case of the second picture, we have the sarcophagus of Giovanni di Andrea who, we learn from the sarcophagus, died during the Black Death pandemic in 1348. He is portrayed seated in the center, reading from a book while his students sit and stand to both sides. The artist has done a nice job of showing the multiple attitudes students took, not merely diligently writing, but also sleeping (guy immediately to left of Giovanni’s), talking to each other, and being frustrated (guy blowing out his cheeks on the far right). These sarcophagi thus serve as a double source of information, biographical information for the professors of the University, and as a source of images for how medieval university education might have looked.

*I am working off the photo since I neglected to write down the name provided by the museum. Sorry!

(via classwaru)

— 2 months ago with 8 notes
#medieval  #archive  #archivestories 
archivestories:

Hello to all the new followers to Dispatches from the Archive! A reminder that this tumblog is open for your submissions - of archival stories, documents, pictures, reflections, shelfies, etc. What is your favorite library, archive, or place of remembering? Submit your stories! 
Pictured: LA Public Library, Downtown Branch 
I used to spend almost every Friday at this library when I was an undergraduate at USC (1997-2001). It was just about the only place I could get to without a car, and the building is really amazing. I would often just pull random books off the shelves - it was one of the first times I realized that public libraries often held rare (and often under appreciated) books and ephemera - sometimes just right there in the stacks. Once, while researching a paper for an Anthropology class on gangs, I found a whole stash of booklets on skinheads and the history of the skinhead scene in LA. 

archivestories:

Hello to all the new followers to Dispatches from the Archive! A reminder that this tumblog is open for your submissions - of archival stories, documents, pictures, reflections, shelfies, etc. What is your favorite library, archive, or place of remembering? Submit your stories! 

Pictured: LA Public Library, Downtown Branch 

I used to spend almost every Friday at this library when I was an undergraduate at USC (1997-2001). It was just about the only place I could get to without a car, and the building is really amazing. I would often just pull random books off the shelves - it was one of the first times I realized that public libraries often held rare (and often under appreciated) books and ephemera - sometimes just right there in the stacks. Once, while researching a paper for an Anthropology class on gangs, I found a whole stash of booklets on skinheads and the history of the skinhead scene in LA. 

— 2 months ago with 7 notes

ukbp:

harikondabolu:

Hari Kondabolu does standup comedy on Conan again! Topics include the usual: Colonialism, Intolerance, and Homophobia. Ends on an ANTI-WAR CHESS JOKE.

HARI ON CONAN!!

— 2 months ago with 446 notes

archivestories:

exploring the personal archive

Two photos of the same monument, one taken in 1972, the other in 2008. This particular monument was built as a part of Treptower Park, constructed in East Berlin four years after the end of the Second World War, in 1949. This particular structure is one in a series built by the Soviets to commemorate the Russians killed during the war, as well as a towering reminder to the people of Germany that the Russians were the victors and the new power in the region. The park is also a military cemetery, holding over 5,000 bodies of Russian soldiers. 

My mother took the first picture in 1972 - having recently left her life in the convent in Nebraska, and moving to St. Paul as a VISTA volunteer, she embarked on her first journey overseas, to visit her brother who was in the Air Force and stationed at the US base in Stuttgart. Speaking with her recently, she told me she remembered crossing the Berlin Wall to get to the East at Checkpoint Charlie. The Russian soldier at the passport control pointed out that she hadn’t signed her passport, and gave her his pen to do so. (She later signed up for and took an all night bus tour of cabarets in Berlin but that’s a story for a different post). 

One of the first places many of us encounter the past is through our family’s stories. Before knowing about the Second World War or the Berlin wall, I had heard my mother talk about her experiences there in the early 1970s, a time before I existed. When I arrived at the same monument over 30 years later, I went because a friend suggested we go, to tour a park that was becoming increasingly out of place in post-1989 Germany. Growing up during the last decades of the Cold War, in a house that was fairly committed to imbibing Cold War spy novels and films, I was eager to see what remained of Soviet controlled East Germany. 

The picture taken in 1972 has a very somber tone - an actual soldier walks by the statue of the kneeling Russian soldier, while two park visitors look on. They sky is gray and one can imagine there wasn’t a tremendous amount of public cheer in this city that had been separated from its other half just a decade previously. The second picture, which has its center myself and my friend Eric, is certainly indicative of a change in time and politics. We felt free to climb up on the structure, standing underneath the hammer and sickle, highlighting the relative enormity of the monument with our bodies. 

I didn’t know my mother had taken the first picture when I visited the park - I didn’t know she had been in the exact same place, at approximately the same age as I was when I arrived. It was several years later that I found her picture in a box, and immediately thought of my own visit to East Berlin. I often wonder how our relationships to people and places would change if we could watch a film of our lives - how many times would be intersect with people who once did not know, but become integral to our lives? How many spots of land would we cross on the other side of the world that our parent’s or our loved ones once crossed? 

— 2 months ago with 6 notes
Pictured: a woman in summer, Father’s name written in Tamil across her back. 
Pictured: A quote from Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks 
"In the world through which I travel, I am always creating myself."
Not pictured: years of questioning about the skin, where it came from, where it belongs. It belongs on this body, it changes color with the seasons, it wears with time. 
(For the #apresfanon project: http://apresfanon.tumblr.com/bakit )

Pictured: a woman in summer, Father’s name written in Tamil across her back. 

Pictured: A quote from Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks 

"In the world through which I travel, I am always creating myself."

Not pictured: years of questioning about the skin, where it came from, where it belongs. It belongs on this body, it changes color with the seasons, it wears with time. 

(For the #apresfanon project: http://apresfanon.tumblr.com/bakit )

— 2 months ago with 11 notes
#apresfanon  #fanon