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Original author: 
Ian Willms

At the heart of the Mennonite religion, you’ll find an unwavering commitment to nonresistance that has endured five centuries of oppression and violent atrocities. This work is a photographic ode to an endless journey that my Mennonite ancestors undertook in the name of peace.

Right from their origins in the 16th and 17th centuries, Mennonites in the Netherlands were hunted down by the Catholic Church and publicly tortured to death because of their Christian beliefs. This prompted the Mennonites to migrate to Poland, where they remained for a century until the state began to force them into military service. In the late 18th century, the Mennonites chose to migrate again — this time to Ukraine and Russia.

On a bitterly cold winter night, in the midst of the Russian Revolution, Bolshevik soldiers arrived at my family’s doorstep. They forced 48 Mennonite men to walk from house to house at gunpoint using them as human shields as they stormed the non-Mennonite homes; my great grandfather was one of three survivors from that group. During the revolution, entire Mennonite villages were wiped off the map in nighttime massacres that saw men, women and children struck down by Bolshevik soldiers on horseback. Those who were able to escape with their lives would return to their villages the following day to bury their neighbours and families in unmarked mass graves before beginning new lives as refugees. Throughout their history, the Mennonites have been repeatedly faced with the same decision: Take up arms and abandon your faith, leave your home behind and give up everything you have worked for in your life, or die where you stand.

In 2012, I decided to re-trace the refugee migrations of the Mennonites to witness the places where they lived and died. I followed their historical journey through The Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Ukraine, photographing the communities, farmland, execution sites and mass graves that had been left behind. The path on which I traveled emulated the nomadic history of the Mennonites, while I searched for a feeling of familiarity and a connection to the former homes of my distant relatives. In most places along the migration route, the lingering presence of the Mennonites was little more than a collection of memories; a pockmarked gravestone; the mossy foundations of a farmhouse; a group of blurry faces, locked away in a history textbook. I found myself sifting through peaceful cow pastures and rural villages, seeking the ghosts of unimaginable heartbreak and tragedy.

The process of carrying out this work took an emotional toll, but the experience taught me to admire the Mennonites for their immense personal sacrifices. The Mennonites gave up community, prosperity and even faced death because they believed in the statement of nonresistance. I feel that if the places in these photographs could speak, they would tell us that hostilities brought against pacifist peoples are more than an injustice; they are an attack upon the hope for peace within our world.

Ian Willms is a photographer based in Toronto. He is currently represented by Getty Images Emerging Talent.

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Original author: 
Cory Doctorow

Journeyman Pictures' short documentary "Naked Citizens" is an absolutely terrifying and amazing must-see glimpse of the modern security state, and the ways in which it automatically ascribes guilt to people based on algorithmic inferences, and, having done so, conducts such far-reaching surveillance into its victims' lives that the lack of anything incriminating is treated of proof of being a criminal mastermind:

"I woke up to pounding on my door", says Andrej Holm, a sociologist from the Humboldt University. In what felt like a scene from a movie, he was taken from his Berlin home by armed men after a systematic monitoring of his academic research deemed him the probable leader of a militant group. After 30 days in solitary confinement, he was released without charges. Across Western Europe and the USA, surveillance of civilians has become a major business. With one camera for every 14 people in London and drones being used by police to track individuals, the threat of living in a Big Brother state is becoming a reality. At an annual conference of hackers, keynote speaker Jacob Appelbaum asserts, "to be free of suspicion is the most important right to be truly free". But with most people having a limited understanding of this world of cyber surveillance and how to protect ourselves, are our basic freedoms already being lost?

World - Naked Citizens (Thanks, Dan!)     

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Original author: 
Elizabeth Dias

Spanish photographer Ricardo Cases came to Maryland and spent three days documenting the worship at two evangélico churches for TIME: La Roca de la Eternidad, Rock of Eternity Church, and Iglesia Cuadrangular el Calvario, Calvary Foursquare Church (to read the new TIME cover story, available to subscribers, click here). If you visit either, you may feel more like you are at religious revival in Latin America than at a Sunday service just a half hour from Washington, D.C. But these churches are not exceptions. Born-again, Latino Protestants are on the rise in the United States. More than 40% of Hispanic evangelicals in the United States converted from Catholicism, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Evangélico worship styles differ greatly from the traditional Catholic mass. There are rock bands, streamers, tambourines, flags, dancing, and loud praying. Sometimes there is even prophesying or fainting in God’s presence. It was a new experience for Cases. “Although I am not religious, my education is Catholic, and I only know the Catholic Church ceremonies in which everything happens in a more linear way, less expressive and more boring,” Cases says.

His images capture the blend of intensity, isolation, and fiesta that is often part of the evangélico experience. Both La Roca and El Calvario are more than just venues for Sunday worship. They have become homes for people far from their homeland, and worship services are sacred yet familial. “For me, it was a surprise, the great contrast between the moments before the service, and the service itself,” Cases reflects. “Attendees moved from a festive mood to a dramatic one in minutes.”

The shoot itself was a reminder that evangélico worship in the United States is inextricably linked to the immigrant experience. One moment said it all. When Cases was playing with the little kids at one of the El Calvario services, they wanted to know his name. He teased them and replied: “Obama.” They all started yelling, Obama! Obama! Then one little boy, maybe six or seven years old, asked in broken in English: “Hey! Obama! Can you give me a resident?”

Ricardo Cases documented the Republican presidential primary race in Florida for TIME in 2012. His recent book Paloma al Aire documents the tradition of pigeon racing.

Elizabeth Dias is a writer-reporter for TIME. Find her on twitter @elizabethjdias.

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Kenneth O Halloran

Life After Death

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Though now a more secular society, Ireland still has remnants and relics of the old religious faith, even if many of its devoted followers are typically advanced in age – part of what might be termed a dying generation.

The Catholic Church had been one of the country’s mainstays. Falling Mass attendances, declining priest numbers and various damaging scandals have shaken the institution and weakened its grip. Despite this, my father is a daily Mass-goer; his faith doesn’t appear to have flinched.

The house where I grew up in the west of Ireland is where my father now resides with his wife and their daughter Susan; all the rest of the family have flown the nest, some starting families of their own, one in New York where she has become part of the Irish Diaspora.

The religious paraphernalia located throughout this house gives God a central presence and status not uncommon in Ireland at the time. We prayed as a family, like when the Angelus bells struck at noon and six in the evening. We knelt at night to say the Holy Rosary. Many of our rites of passage as children were rooted in Catholicism – our first communion, our confirmation, and so on.

My father, who is 80, would not have seen anything remarkable in this. He was merely carrying on the tradition of his own father’s generation. Having spent half his life working, he recently retired, closing his drapery store. His undertaker’s business continues.

For me and others in the family it meant that death was never far away or overtly mysterious. We became accustomed to the dead of our parish being prepared for the final ceremonies before burial. We would often come home from school to see who had died that day. If we truly wanted to make our father proud, we would have mastered the game he followed all his life: hurling. This ancient Irish sport, requiring great dexterity, courage and speed, can still weave a spell on him.

Born in a rural community he has seen his own life change and now that of his children too. In recent years he lost a brother to whom he was close. Now I see him deriving great joy from his grandchildren. In their company he seems tranquil. At peace. His work done.

 

Bio

Kenneth O Halloran was born in the West of Ireland, and is a graduate of the Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dun Laoghaire.

Based in Dublin, he is currently working on a number of long term projects, which include a personal portrayal of his family shot over 5 years.

His project ‘Tales from the Promised Land’ was shortlisted for the Terry O’Neill Award 2010 and a portrait entitled ‘Twins: Puck Fair’ was shown in The National Portrait Gallery in London, as part of the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize 2010.

He has recently received third prize in the Portrait Stories category of the World Press Photo awards and is also the recipient of the Focus Project Monthly Award (March 2011).

He received an honorable mention in the Art of Photography show San Diego 2011 and a portrait entitled ‘Olive, selling dresses’ has been selected for exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery (Taylor Wessing 2011).

He received an honorable mention in Lens Culture International Exposure Awards 2011 and was winner of the Terry O’Neill/Tag Award 2011.

 

Related links

Kenneth O Halloran

 

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Gregorio Borgia / AP

This combined picture shows Italian sculptor Oliviero Rainaldi's statue of Pope John Paul II before its restoration, left, on Sept. 23, 2011, and at its inauguration after the restoration, in Rome on Nov. 19, 2012.

The Associated Press reports — The city of Rome has inaugurated a revamped statue of Pope John Paul II after the first one was pilloried by the public and the Vatican.

Pope or Mussolini? Statue sparks uproar

Artist Oliviero Rainaldi says he's pleased with the final product, saying it matches his original vision. He blamed foundry workers for a botched assemblage the first time around.

The statue was restored after Rainaldi was pilloried by the Vatican for creating a sculpture of Pope John Paul II that some mockingly said looked more like Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini than the beloved late pontiff. Even the Vatican's own art critic wrote that it looked like a "bomb" had landed. 

Gregorio Borgia / AP

A woman stops to look at the newly unveiled Pope John Paul II statue in Rome on Nov. 19, 2012.

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One year ago, the small town of Joplin, Missouri, was devastated by an EF5 Tornado. A mile-wide multiple-vortex tornado, with estimated winds peaking at 362 to 402 km/h (225 to 250 mph), tore through the area on May 22, destroying more than 7,000 houses, killing 161 people, and injuring hundreds more. The task of rebuilding is underway, but the scale is daunting -- a year later, Joplin still has an eight-mile scar running through its middle. Gathered here are images of the town on this somber anniversary. [See also, Tornado Ravages Joplin, Missouri, from last year.] [30 photos]

A tall steel cross is refracted in raindrops on a window in Joplin, Missouri, on May 7, 2012. The cross is all that was left standing of St. Mary's Catholic Church, which was destroyed by an EF-5 tornado that tore through a large swath of the city and killed 161 people nearly a year ago. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

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Beach-Bomber

Cover-3
Françoise Mouly is one of my heroes. She and her husband Art Spiegelman published RAW, an astounding large-format comic book that was a big inspiration to me when I started bOING bOING as a print zine in 1988. (I'm still waiting for a full-size hardback that reprints the first 8 issues of RAW, Volume 1). For the last 20 years, Françoise has been the art editor of The New Yorker.

Blown Covers: New Yorker Covers You Were Never Meant To See is her new book. It's a collection of New Yorker covers that were either rejected, caused an outrage, or have an interesting story behind them.

Of the cover above, Françoise says, "In 1993, we published this cover by David Mazzuccelli as the trial of the four men suspected of the bombing of the World Trade Center got underway. There were bomb threats to the magazine, and the image was vehemently denounced -- at the time, most in the media were weary of labeling the men involved as Arab or Muslim terrorists."

Below, 11 more covers and cover concepts for The New Yorker, with commentary by Françoise Mouly.

Chris-Ware

We asked Chris Ware, who drew this week’s cover, “Mother’s Day,” to discuss the New Yorker covers that inspired him. He wrote a charming ode to the women artists of The New Yorker, where he confessed to having “a soft spot for Gretchen Dow Simpson’s blank observations of beaches, grass, and whitewashed homes -- the peopleless screen doors, walls, shingled roofs, and beach pebbles of the nineteen-seventies and eighties.”

Art-Tattoo

Each cartoonist I work with has his own approach and understanding of what makes a good
New Yorker cover. In 1993, Tina Brown, who was only the 4th editor since 1925, turned to
cartoonists like Art Spiegelman to revitalize the magazine. This was Art’s published Mother’s
Day cover at a time when tattoos were becoming widespread.

Art-Pregnant-1

A few years later, Spiegelman offered this other sketch for a Mother’s Day image—it didn’t
get approved.

Wardrobe-Malfunction

Sometimes it looks like an artist is poking fun at the more sedate New Yorker covers. This was proposed by M. Scott Miller, years before Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction. He claims that the inspiration for this jeté is an experience familiar to anyone who follows classical ballet.

Marilyn-2

Marilyn-1Cartoonists use clichés, but a good image will use clichés and well-known images to say something new. Harry Bliss make us realize that, sadly, time passes (left). When female bombers made their appearance in the news, in 2002, Danny Shanahan used the same trope to make an entirely different point (above).

Monica-L

“I have an idea for a back‐to‐school issue,” said Anita Kunz back in 1998, “It’s Monica Lewinsky sucking a 'Presidential' lollipop... It could be drawn in crayon, very child‐like. Please let me know if you can use it.” Once the artist has a good idea, she can strengthen her point with the style she uses to render it.





Clintons-Last-Request

At the height of the Lewinsky affair, Art Spiegelman proposed this sketch titled ‘Clinton’s Last Request.’ “When a word like ‘blow job’, which you never dreamt of finding in the paper is on the front page every day,” he explains, “I had to find a way for my image to be as explicit without being downright salacious.”

I-Have-A-Nightmare

In a sketch that Art Spiegelman proposed during George W. Bush’s first term, King’s dream becomes a nightmare as black leaders like Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice provide cover for George W. Bush.

Mentos

In the fall of 2005, videos began making the rounds showing what happens when pieces of Mentos candy are dropped into bottles of Diet Coke. Barry Blitt first tried his idea with two children or two businessmen before finding the right and frightfully funny combination—two Arab men. All versions make fun of terrorism, but only that one makes fun of our own fears.

Freedom-Tower

As of this week, the Freedom Tower has now become the tallest building in New York City -- and the third tallest in the world. Speaking of my own personal fears, we’ll be moving into that tower in 2014. Back in 2002, when models of the projects for the World Trade Center site were put on display, Blitt sketched Osama bin Laden and his second-in-command reviewing the proposed designs.

Cover-2

When this image by Barry Blitt came in, David Remnick, the editor who makes all the final decisions was o on a trip, but he asked me to show it around. My colleagues, all word people, laughed heartily yet they concluded it didn’t ‘work’ because neither the Pope nor the scandals plaguing the Catholic Church had anything to do with Marylin Monroe. “Oy vey!” said the artist, Barry Blitt, and we moved on.

Buy Blown Covers: New Yorker Covers You Were Never Meant To See on Amazon

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Victoria Mitchell of VIC clears the water steeple during the Womens 3000 Metre Steeple Open during day two of the Australian Athletics Championships at Lakeside Stadium on April 14, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia. North Korean people hold up plastic flowers during an unveiling ceremony of two statues of former leaders Kim Jong-Il and Kim Il-Sung [...]

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