Tereza Stejskalová (ed.): Filmmakers of the World, Unite! Forgotten Internationalism, Czechoslovak Film and the Third World (2017) [Czech/English]

22 January 2020, dusan

“The Algerian director Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina (1934) and the recently deceased Syrian director Nabil Maleh (1936–2016) are considered founding fathers of their national cinematography and key figures in Arab cinematography. Due to their politically engaged and aesthetically unique work, they are also read and recognised on an international level. However, there is little acknowledgement of the fact that in the 1960s both studied at FAMU in Prague, a fact that definitely influenced their work. Other distinguished Asian and African directors who studied at FAMU include the Sri Lankan director Piyasiri Gunaratna (1939) and the Tunisian documentarist Hafed Bouassida (1947), as well as dozens of other directors, cameramen and scriptwriters from various countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The bilingual publication includes interviews with some of the directors (Hafed Bouassida, Pyasiri Gunaratna) as well as studies on the work of Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina (by Olivier Hadouchi) and Nabil Maleh (by Kay Dickinson). A more general cultural context is provided via an essay by the Czech researcher Daniela Hannová on Arab students in Czechoslovakia. Included is also a text by Alice Lovejoy mapping the trip of the Czech New Wave director František Vláčil to China.”

Publisher tranzit.cz, Prague, 2017
ISBN 9788087259412, 8087259416
237 pages
via editor

Review: Miroslav Libicher (25fps, 2018, CZ).

Interview with editor (audio, 10 min, Czech)
Book launch discussion (video, 84 min, English)

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (6 MB)

Fred Turner: The Democratic Surround: Multimedia and American Liberalism from World War II to the Psychedelic Sixties (2013)

25 February 2019, dusan

“We commonly think of the psychedelic sixties as an explosion of creative energy and freedom that arose in direct revolt against the social restraint and authoritarian hierarchy of the early Cold War years. Yet, as Fred Turner reveals in The Democratic Surround, the decades that brought us the Korean War and communist witch hunts also witnessed an extraordinary turn toward explicitly democratic, open, and inclusive ideas of communication and with them new, flexible models of social order. Surprisingly, he shows that it was this turn that brought us the revolutionary multimedia and wild-eyed individualism of the 1960s counterculture.

In this prequel to his book From Counterculture to Cyberculture, Turner rewrites the history of postwar America, showing how in the 1940s and ’50s American liberalism offered a far more radical social vision than we now remember. Turner tracks the influential mid-century entwining of Bauhaus aesthetics with American social science and psychology. From the Museum of Modern Art in New York to the New Bauhaus in Chicago and Black Mountain College in North Carolina, Turner shows how some of the most well-known artists and intellectuals of the forties developed new models of media, new theories of interpersonal and international collaboration, and new visions of an open, tolerant, and democratic self in direct contrast to the repression and conformity associated with the fascist and communist movements. He then shows how their work shaped some of the most significant media events of the Cold War, including Edward Steichen’s Family of Man exhibition, the multimedia performances of John Cage, and, ultimately, the psychedelic Be-Ins of the sixties. Turner demonstrates that by the end of the 1950s this vision of the democratic self and the media built to promote it would actually become part of the mainstream, even shaping American propaganda efforts in Europe.

Overturning common misconceptions of these transformational years, The Democratic Surround shows just how much the artistic and social radicalism of the sixties owed to the liberal ideals of Cold War America, a democratic vision that still underlies our hopes for digital media today.”

Publisher University of Chicago Press, 2013
ISBN 9780226325897, 022632589X
365 pages

Reviews: Jathan Sadowski (LA Review of Books, 2014), Carolyn L Kane (J Visual Culture, 2015), Matthew Linton (Society For U.S. Intellectual History Blog, 2015), Craig J. Pearison (J American History, 2016), Katie Simpson (J-History, 2017), Malte Hagener (NECSUS, 2015), Erika J. Pribanic-Smith (Journalism History, 2014), Debra Cash (ArtsFuse, 2014), Alex Sayf Cummings (2014).
Interview with author (Henry Jenkins, 2014), (cont.)
Interview with author (Clay Shirky, Public Books, 2014)
Video lecture (Berkeley, 2014)

Author
Publisher
WorldCat

PDF

Joshua Shannon: The Recording Machine: Art and Fact during the Cold War (2017)

14 March 2018, dusan

“A revealing look at the irrevocable change in art during the 1960s and its relationship to the modern culture of fact.

This book offers a new understanding of the transformation of photography and the visual arts around 1968. Author Joshua Shannon reveals an oddly stringent realism in the period, tracing artists’ rejection of essential truths in favor of surface appearances. Dubbing this tendency factualism, Shannon illuminates not only the Cold War’s preoccupation with data but also the rise of a pervasive culture of fact.

Focusing on the United States and West Germany, where photodocumentary traditions intersected with 1960s politics, Shannon investigates a broad variety of art, ranging from conceptual photography and earthworks to photorealist painting and abstraction. He looks closely at art by Bernd and Hilla Becher, Robert Bechtle, Vija Celmins, Douglas Huebler, Gerhard Richter, and others. These artists explored fact’s role as a modern paradigm for talking, thinking, and knowing. Their art, Shannon concludes, helps to explain both the ambivalent anti-humanism of today’s avant-garde art and our own culture of fact.”

Publisher Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 2017
ISBN 9780300187274, 0300187270
ix+230 pages

Review: Ina Blom (The Sixties, 2018).

Publisher
WorldCat

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