As my colleagues scattered for a casual walkabout on their own time, my host said she was heading to a friend’s shop to pick up a pair of customized earrings she had made. Enter the world of Estonian jewellery designer Anneli Tammik
who lives and works in a funky and artistic shop on an upper floor in old town Tallinn. She considers herself a freelance artist, though jewellery design has always been her specialty ever since she graduated from the Estonian Academy of Art.
With more than 30 exhibitions under her belt and countless awards, Anneli is no amateur. Since 2006, Anneli has made jewellery
for Evelin Ilves, the first lady of Estonia. She has been designing masterpieces for the wife of Estonia’s President Toomas Hendrik Ilves since 2006. When I asked her how she came to create gems for her, she replied, “Estonia is a small country, where everyone know everyone else and I just happened to be at the right place at the right time.”
Anneli is noted to have changed the face of jewellery design in Estonia, using the latest technology to introduce a new dimension to a field long classified…
It’s 3:42 a.m.
The bombs are bursting in air, along with firecrackers and rockets, and music is playing over a loud speaker, while a man yells into a microphone in Spanish.
I nudge my husband. “Are you awake?”
“Yes,” he grumbles.
We get up to embark upon a day of celebration of motherhood. Incomprehensibly, how they celebrate in Guatemala is by waking up mother’s with fireworks and blaring music, before dawn begins to crack. How
this honor mothers, I do not know…
The music and fireworks continue until I finally pull myself out of bed at 5:45 a.m. to study. Greg has already been up for almost two hours.
But it was the day before
that most families in town actually celebrated the holiday, because May 10th this year fell on a Friday… and Friday is market day.
For this reason, the local school held their Mothers Day program on Thursday, so more mothers would be able to attend, instead of being gone making the trip to Solola to shop at the mercado.
The daughter of our guardian
here at The Homestead — Marina — invited us to attend the…
Three years ago a young woman burnt herself to death in a Rajasthani village in India. The drums of a wedding procession drowned her screams till it was too late. For Dhapu just 30, the mother of five children, lively, bright, beautiful, the pressures of having to take on the support of her widowed sister-in-law and her family of four, proved too much. Her husband’s income as an agricultural labourer in this particularly dry, deprived part of Eastern Rajasthan did not match his sense of family honour. Ironically, sadly the group of us who rushed – too late – to save Dhapu from her self-immolating flames were working to create economic alternatives for women just like her. Today – as part of the Dastkar Ranthambore Project – Dhapu’s eldest daughter Indira, her widowed sister-in-law, and her sister-in-law’s daughter Pinky, are among the most prosperous women in Sherpur village – earning their own livelihood through their own inherent skills.
The Ranthambore National Park spreads over 400 sq. kms of dry deciduous forest in the Sawai Madhopore district of south-east Rajasthan. It is one of the finest natural tiger
Louann Brizendine, M.D. is a practicing neuropsychiatrist, a New York Times best- selling author, and a media commentator specializing in sex differences and The Male and Female Brain. Earlier this month, she presented on the TEDxBerkeley stage at Zellerbach Hall, an event I curate with two others every year.
I first heard Louann speak at PopTech many years ago and was so inspired by her talk that I had to hear her speak again….this time locally at a TEDx and at a university she herself graduated from. She inspired as much as she did the first time and not just me, but over 1,000 attendees who showed up for the day long event.
Now an endowed professor at UCSF, Dr. Brizendine pursues active clinical, teaching, writing and research activities, where she founded the Women’s Mood and Hormone Clinic in 1994 and continues to serve as the clinic’s director. Her first book, “The Female Brain,” has been translated into 30 languages and its follow-up, “The Male Brain,” is now in15 languages.
Girls have a different kind of role play which is “relationship play” she says as she talks about how female and male brains work,…
Wearing a flowing black abaya
, my head covered in a black hijab
, I enter the gracious dome of the Grand Mosque of Bahrain. Under the high, intricately designed ceiling, a massive open space appears to welcome us – Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Free Thinkers from over twenty countries – with arms wide open, into the frontiers of Islam. We gather in a circle, around a scholar of Islam, ready to fire questions related to the religion, that we have harbored since stepping foot in Bahrain, or much before.
Arabic coffee is served, sip by sip in the traditional Bahraini way, and the topics slowly change from conversion to after-life, from karma
to the morality of fornication and stone pelting.
Al Fateh Grand Mosque, Bahrain.
I choose to kill the elf in the room by asking about the inequality of rights among women and men, and below is a snippet of the conversation that ensues (in my own words):
Me: I’m curious to understand why the interpretation of Islam is different in different countries, when the Quran is considered the ultimate word
For more than three decades, performance artist marina Abramović has been testing the boundaries between performer and audience and the limits of her own body, occasionally risking her life in the process. On the eve of a retrospective at MoMA, she readies herself for what may be her most challenging performance yet.
She was born in Belgrade Serbia and now lives in New York, where she has been working on her art as a performance artist since the early 1970s. Active for over three decades, she has recently begun to describe herself as the “grandmother of performance art.” Abramović’s work explores the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind.
In 2005, Abramović presented Seven Easy Pieces
at the Guggenheim Museum
in New York City. On seven consecutive nights for seven hours she recreated the works of five artists first performed in the 60s and 70s, in addition to re-performing her own “Lips of Thomas” and introducing a new performance on the last night. The performances were arduous, requiring both the physical and the mental concentration of the artist. Included in Abramović’s…
It was on a flight from Las Vegas to San Francisco, a flight I had made countless times over the years, when I had a deja vu moment about aging. As I glanced over to the woman to my right, I suddenly remembered all the times I had watched the older women in my life as a child and felt as far removed from them then as I do now from a 15 year old male skateboarder from Detroit.
On that flight, a surreal feeling swept over me…as if I was her or could have been a dear friend of hers in a previous life. The moment was short lived but vibrant and incredibly real, and it made me incessantly aware of aging and this precious thing called human life.
She was probably 70 or so, the woman was a petit, short Asian woman with beautiful silver hair, strands of black scattered throughout as the only remnants left of her middle age life. Her skin was glowing despite her obvious fatigue and you could tell she was once a stunner in that way you can about some people; there’s a certainty, a quiet sauciness, and a knowing…
I just finished yet another Milan Kundera novel: Immortality.
He is, as always intense. I happen to be one of his fans, one who patiently understands the flow of his meandering style, knowing the poetic philosopher in him who needs us to read each and
It’s as if I’m in his head when I really listen
to his meanders, and can even sense where and
how he is sitting when he writes a passage, can feel the women he has known and
not known and all the intricate details which make up his life, or least the bit of his life which gives it meaning.
Although there were many, my favorite two excerpts and meanders were these.
The first is about image: A person is nothing but his image says a main male character of the novel. “Philosophers can tell us that it doesn’t matter what they world thinks of us, that nothing matters but what we really are. But philosophers don’t understand anything. As long as we live with other people, we are only what other people consider us to be. Thinking about how others see us and trying to
Next Page »