Notes from the Now

Posts Tagged ‘photography’

10Readings – Jan 11- Feb 7 #recommended

In Art, Books, Education, History, literature, news, photography, Social Media, sociology, Technology on February 7, 2016 at 11:55 pm


Humans of New York

When My Brother was an Aztec

Bad Feminist

Lobster is the Best Medicine


One-Touch to Inbox Zero — Forte Labs — Medium

The real reasons behind the U.S. teacher shortage

Read This Before Co-Opting MLK Jr.

Ella Taught Me: Shattering the Myth of the Leaderless Movement

What School Segregation Looks Like

Twitter’s Brainstorming Notes for Potential New Features.



Daylight fades – Chicago 11/9/2013

In Chicago, photography on November 9, 2013 at 6:43 pm


Review — Zwelethu Mthethwa

In Africa, Art, Books on December 2, 2012 at 10:25 am

Zwelethu Mthethwa
Zwelethu Mthethwa by Isolde Brielmaier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Magnificent Portraiture!

The sections on South Africa very much reminded me of the homes in the squatter camps – with newspaper or magazine inserts decorating the insides – that I saw during my time in the Peace Corps.

Powell’s Midnight Madness Sale (September 2012)

In Books on September 30, 2012 at 10:16 am


My favorite consumer event is the annual Powell’s on 57th Street Midnight Madness Sale, where every item (under $50) is half-off between 9pm and Midnight (if you own or buy a Powell’s T-shirt or tote bag).  I sat out last year’s sale, mostly because I felt like I was running out of space for books, but I’ve moved since then, and space is the least of my concerns.  The key is to get to the store early, maybe 8pm, while you can still move around freely.  Alternately, showing up around 11-11:30 is ok, even if not quite as easy as earlier.



Dawoud Bey #uchicago

In Art, photography, University of Chicago on March 10, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Yesterday, I got the opportunity to meet the photographer Dawoud Bey.   He’s going to be doing a project at/around the University of Chicago, in conjunction with the Renaissance Society, which sounds like it will be an evolution of the project he did a few years ago at Emory University.

Bey’s intentionality and vision make me (as a compulsive photograph taker) consider how much more than than accounting could be accomplished if one set one’s mind to it.

Random Photo Credit / #uchicago

In University of Chicago on March 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm

I got a random photo credit on the University of Chicago’sNews for Parents & Families” newsletter for one of my pictures (above) from the University’s MLK Service Day.   As a would-be photographer, I’m still overly pleased whenever I get a real photo credit.

Review: The Photo Book

In Art, Books on March 6, 2012 at 2:00 am

The Photo Book
The Photo Book by Ian Jeffrey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wonderful collection of the classics of modern photography that encompasses the photos everyone has seen and those that are off-beat enough to startle and/or confound!

Review: The Photographer: Into War-Torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders

In Books on January 31, 2012 at 6:36 pm

The Photographer: Into War-Torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders
The Photographer: Into War-Torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders by Emmanuel Guibert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At first, the mix of drawn graphic novel panels and real photographs from the expedition in 1986 was jarring, but fortunately became less so as the story went on. The photographs of the Afghan mountains, the MSF expedition, and the mujahadeen (in the 80s when they were the “good guys”) were fantastic, and the tale was a grave reminder of how serious the work of groups like MSF are and how remote some parts of the world remain (and how human even the most remote remain).  There was a short piece on the damage one tiny piece of shrapnel can do that will stick with me long after I forget this book.

Reading On This Date: October 24…

In Uncategorized on October 24, 2009 at 2:05 pm

One of the benefits of having a list of books I’ve read over the past decade, is that I can post the occasional “what was I reading on this date X years ago” entry.

So looking at October 24th:

Currently, I’m reading the interviews that make up Vaclav Havel’s “Disturbing the Peace”.

Catching Up: March and April 2009

In Africa, Chicago, History, photography, sociology on May 31, 2009 at 8:02 pm

The trouble with this kind of endeavor is that when you fall behind, you tend to fall way behind!

I’ll blame Sudhir Venkatesh’s Off The Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor for getting me behind on this project.  I wanted to say something meaningful about how easily the underground economies he writes about in 90s housing-project Chicago could stand in for situations of poverty anywhere. Changing the locations or currencies wouldn’t change anything essential about the kinds of social networks and webs that the poor need to survive in the face of the obstacles they encounter.  “Off the Books” is a bit of a tough read though, as it’s caught somewhere between an old-school ethnography and the kind of literary pop-sociology that’s in vogue these days.    I’ve got Venkatesh’s “Gang Leader for a Day” on the list for later this year (and saw Venkatesh speak at uchicago earlier this year).

Next, I indulged in a comparison of the photographic imagery of Harold Washington and Barack Obama.  We often forget the momentousness of the occasion of Harold Washington’s election as mayor of Chicago held for Chicagoans (of every sort) and African-Americans across the nation.   Harold Washington was elected Mayor of Daley’s Chicago!  Needless to say that without Washington, you simply do not create the environment from which a Barack Obama could rise to prominence.

Being obsessed with the professionalization of do-goodery, I was drawn to Michael Maren’s scathing look at USAID, the UN, and to a lesser degree the Peace Corps, in “The Road to Hell: The Ravaging Effects of Foreign Aid and International Charity“, which focuses on his post-peace corps experiences in Somalia working with USAID, CARE, and Save the Children.  I’d like to believe that the wild west of rampantly unaccountable /unethical foreign aid and international charity that Maren exposes is a thing of the past.  I can’t really believe that it’s over though, and know that the structural ties between the foreign AID industry, the farm and pharmaceutical industries, the charities, and the US Government (and the UN too) are all still in place.   Maren’s accounting of his time in Somalia showed how the short-sightedness of the development industry exacerbated existing problems and created new (worse) problems, and ultimately did very little to help the intended people.  The open questions now are to what degree have these kinds of programs / problems been solved, and to what degree do they still exist?

I also read J.M. Coetzee’s Human Rights classic “Waiting for the Barbarians” in April.  That, I’ll write about separately.