Month: March 2017

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Album Review: “Semper Femina”, Laura Marling

On Semper Femina, Laura Marling explores the lives of the exceptional women in her orbit as protagonists of their own stories, separate from the Male Gaze. It is tempting – perhaps even unavoidable – to decipher works of art based on title tracks. After all, why would the artist name their work after a single line or lyric? It must be meaningful – it’s the musical equivalent of when an actor will break the 4th wall, look straight into the camera, and say the name of a film. It drops like a hammer-blow, when we pick up on it. On Semper Femina’s second-to-last and standout track “Nouel”, British folksinger Laura Marling sings, “Semper Femina, so am I,” paraphrasing a line from a Virgil poem, translating roughly to “always a woman”. For her sixth LP, Marling initially sought to explore the lives of exceptional women from the vantage point of a man, but had to abandon the quest. She simply couldn’t get out of herself, and didn’t think it would be wise to do so. Instead, …

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Documenting YOUTH and DREAMS of Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Hassan Kurbanbaev’s recent project focuses on Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan, in which  he was born and where he lives to this day. Attempting to choose his favorite part of the city, Kurbanbaev maintains that he doesn’t know which place he likes the most. He loves the past and the present; the places that bring to him “the joyful freedom of childhood memories”. Photographing the city from three parallel but different angles, Kurbanbaev has created three interlinked photo diaries: tashkent.DOC, tashkent.YOUTH and tashkent.DREAMS. Each diary serves an individual purpose, but focus on the city. tashkent.DOC is the body of the city, tashkent.YOUTH is its face and tashkent.DREAMS are Kurbanbaev’s feelings towards it. In tashkent.DOC Kurbanbaev set out to document the capital as it is today. Photographing random parts of the city, you can see the past interacting with the present. The stark brutal, Soviet architecture painted with bright, colourful graffiti. The older generation walking side by side with the children of today. September 2016 was the 25th anniversary of Uzbekistan’s independence from the Soviet Union. …