The Festival of light took place on 1 October, on many streets and galleries in Kosice.
Leonard Cohen, my favorite singer, songwriter, and poet has passed away ...
It's dark now and it's snowing
O my love I must be going,
The river has started to freeze.
And I'm sick of pretending
I'm broken from bending
I've lived too long on my knees.
~ Leonard Cohen, Light as the Breeze
On August 29, 1944, the Slovak National Uprising started and the German army immediately began occupying Slovakia to put down the rebellion.
The Dukla operation, which had originally been planned to coincide with the Uprising, began on September 9 in Poland and by early October the Soviet Red Army and Czechoslovak brigades had reached the Slovak border.
Days later, on October 6, the Soviet and Czechoslovak brigades launched an attack over the border into Czechoslovakia. The largest tank battle on Czechoslovak soil took place here on 25th – 28th October 1944, in a place now also known as the Death Valley.
The battle, now commemorated with a large memorial at the Dukla Pass, was a slow and deadly grind. More than 100,000 soldiers died, and many are still buried in the area. The Dukla memorial alone holds some 8,000 graves. A cemetery in nearby Hunkovce holds the bodies of around 2,000 German soldiers.
An equinox is an astronomical event in which the plane of Earth's equator passes through the centre of the Sun, which occurs twice each year, around 20 March and 23 September. On an equinox, day and night are of approximately equal duration all over the planet.
Seasons are opposite on either side of the equator, so the equinox in September is also known as the autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, it's known as the spring equinox.
This year's autumnal equinox falls on Thursday, September 22, 14:21 UTC.
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
~ Albert Camus
Daido Moriyama, born in Ikeda, Osaka (October 10, 1938), is considered to be one of Japan’s leading figures in photography. He is often labelled as the father of street photography in Japan, but sometimes sarcastically as the master of imperfection. He himself even declared - the stray dog of Tokyo.
In 1968, Daido Moriyama became a contributor to a photography magazine Provoke, of only three issues which, however, made the history of photography for the radical photographic content found on its pages and through a unique aesthetic technique of taking grimy but captivating urban images in the famous “are, bure, boke” style (grainy, blurry, out of focus) . Not coincidentally, the magazine’s subtitle read ‘provocative documents for the sake of thought’.
This approach reached its limit in his 1972 book Farewell Photography, in which he set out to “destroy photography”, giving his publisher a mass of damaged negatives and asking him to print them up anyway that suited him.
The book title actually summarised an entire, revolutionary photographic upheaval. Contrary to what his fellow American and European photographers were doing with their well-composed, beautifully toned and elegiac pictures, his blurry, grainy, out of focus, starkly contrasted pictures, often unbalanced and even casually framed, were a laugh in the face of what was then traditionally considered a good photograph. ‘Clarity isn’t what photography is about,’ Moriyama objected.
“At that time, I was frustrated with everything, including photography – particularly my own. There was a sense of irritation generally in the air, so I just thought ‘let’s completely deconstruct photography.”
“The book was incomprehensible to everyone, which was what I intended. But I found that having said farewell to photography, I had nothing to do. So after about a year I started working again but in a completely different way. I started photographing things that are in the DNA of Japan: cherry blossoms and the most beautiful views of Japan as you’d see them in postcards – only I made these images really dark.”
For Moriyama, the process of photographing seems to be less about getting the perfect shot or mastering the camera, than about the act of wandering itself.
Moriyama received the Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement from the International Centre of Photography in New York.
His controversial book Farewell Photography was published by the Japanese publisher Shain Hyoron-sha, in March 1972, forty-four years ago.
Andy Warhol was an American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertisement that flourished by the 1960s.
Warhol's art used many types of media, including hand drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, silk screening, sculpture, film, and music.
His studio, The Factory, was a well known gathering place that brought together distinguished intellectuals, drag queens, playwrights, Bohemian street people, Hollywood celebrities, and wealthy patrons.
Warhol died in Manhattan at 6:32 am on February 22, 1987.
Saturnalia is a festival of light leading to the winter solstice, with the abundant presence of candles symbolizing the quest for knowledge and truth. The renewal of light and the coming of the new year was celebrated in the later Roman Empire as "Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun," on December 25.
Saturnalia is the best-known of several festivals in the Greco-Roman world characterized by role reversals and behavioural license. Slaves were treated to a banquet of the kind usually enjoyed by their masters. Ancient sources suggest that master and slave dined together.
Saturnalian license also permitted slaves to enjoy pretence of disrespect for their masters, and exempted them from punishment. It was a time for free speech. The Augustan poet Horace calls it "December liberty”.
The Sigillaria on December 19 was a day of gift-giving. Because gifts of value would mark social status contrary to the spirit of the season, these were often the pottery or wax figurines called sigillaria made specially for the day, candles, or “gag gifts". Children received toys as gifts.
Gift-giving was not confined to the day of the Sigillaria. In some households, guests and family members received gifts after the feast in which slaves had shared.
The December solstice is on either December 20, 21, 22 or 23. It is called Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, where it is the shortest day of the year. Meanwhile, on the day of the December solstice, the Southern Hemisphere has its longest day and shortest night. This year’s winter solstice falls on 22 December, at 04:48 UTC.
The December solstice has played an important role in cultures worldwide from ancient times until our day.
Christmas is the most popular holiday to have arisen. In addition can be mentioned other celebrations, as Yalda (the Iranian festival celebrating the longest and darkest night of the year), Saturnalia (an ancient Roman festival, celebrating on December 25, as the Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun), Karachun (the Slavic pagan holiday), Hanukkah (the Yiddish festival of light), Kwanzaa (the celebration that honours African heritage and is observed from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a feast and gift-giving) and Yule (the winter religious festival observed by the historical Germanic peoples).
Category: Diary Selfies
I recently self-published a photography book, simply named “black and white”. The edition contains the exclusive selection of black and white photographs from 2005 to 2015. For printing, I used online publishing house Blurb.
The entire preview of the book is available here.
Curiosity killed the cat, and satisfaction brought it back.
~ Eugene O’Neil
Today starts in the High Tatras International Youth Meeting 2015, which is connected with a climb on the peak of Rysy. This post is dedicated to a similar output that took place in 1973, 42 years ago.
All gods who receive homage are cruel. All gods dispense suffering without reason. Otherwise they would not be worshipped.
~ Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
Category: Classic Diary Projects
E.T. (Extra-Terrestrial) is an American science fiction-family film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Melissa Mathison. It tells the story of Elliott, a lonely boy who befriends an extraterrestrial, dubbed "E.T.", who is stranded on Earth. He and his siblings help it return home while attempting to keep it hidden from their mother and the government.
Critics acclaimed this movie as a timeless story of friendship.
The film was released on June 11, 1982 by Universal Pictures. The movie was a huge blockbuster, and remains the highest-grossing film of the 1980s.
Francis Albert ‘Frank’ Sinatra (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer, actor, director, and producer. Sinatra is one of the best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide. He was honored at the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1985.
Today marks the anniversary of his death.
Picture above comes from the stylish coffee called - Frankie's Corner.
Yesterday afternoon, hit the part of my hometown violent storm with hail, and many streets became for a while rivers.
Some people had a problem even to cross the street.
Other people made it their special way.
And some of them sailed their cars as icebreakers.
Spring is the time of year when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade.
~ Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
An equinox occurs twice a year, around 20 March and 22 September. The word itself has several related definitions. The oldest meaning is the day when daytime and night are of approximately equal duration.
The equinox occurs when the plane of Earth's Equator passes the centre of the Sun.
This year spring equinox (in the Northern Hemisphere) falls on March 20 and happens exactly at 22:45 UT.
This event is also celebrated as the first spring day. On that day appear Water sprites, unlock all the rivers, so people can enjoy and exploit them for a common good.
In the picture above is my older grandson Dominik, at that time he was three and something.
Category: Diary Urban Tales
Oh, hell, yesterday I was stuck in a traffic jam for nearly an hour.
I just created a new category – People. This, semantically broader category, also replaces the hitherto tag 'Street portraits'.
Everything has its beauty