Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Week 2

Autism

Over 1 in 100 people in the UK live with autism and the number is growing worldwide, sadly there are no statistics about the number of people with the condition in Costa Rica but according to organisations such as ‘Fundación Autismo Feliz’ there are also new cases every day.

Here are some facts about the disease:

  • They find it difficult to tell people what they need, and how they feel.
  • They find it difficult to meet other people and to make new friends.
  • They find it difficult to understand what other people think, and how they feel.
  • Not everyone with autism will find these things difficult. This is because everyone with autism is different.

source

On the other hand, people with autism can become extremely good at concentrating in one activity and eventually becoming very good at it, particularly in areas related to music and arts. In fact many great minds from history are thought to have lived with the disease, including the likes of Albert Einstein and Mozart.

But what is the connection between autism and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?

None other than its author, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, also known as Lewis Carroll, who according to his behaviour, may have also been autistic.

Last week in the Book Club we discussed the context in which Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was written and the sometimes ‘strange’ behaviour of its author, ranging from his inability to carry on discussions in public, due to his heavy stuttering, to his fixation with photographing little girls.

What was then seen as an adroit behavior on his part, could have well been characteristics of Autism. After watching this video, what do you think?

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Week 1

Is this scene familiar to you?

Alice and the Rabbit
Illustration by Arthur Rackham (1867-1939)

 

Most likely, you’re now thinking about a white rabbit who’s running late, a mad hatter, a queen of hearts and a peculiar little girl. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland! is the story of a little girl who falls into a world of fantasy where everything constantly gets “curiouser and curiouser. For more than a century and a half this story has been a favourite of new and older generations. It has been the inspiration for for several films, dating from the early stages of cinema to the latest Tim Burton version, showing no sign of loosing its charm. In March 2011, The Royal Ballet opened their adaptation of the story at the Royal Opera House in London.

In the original story, written by Lewis Carroll in 1865, Alice falls into a rabbit’s hole that takes her to a place where nothing stays the same too long, not even herself (specially not herself) and where she’s faced by the ever enduring question “Who are you?” posed by a rather ambivalent caterpillar.

Today we hold Alice’s hand and jump with her into the rabbit’s hole to discover a world of contradictions and symbols as seen through the eyes of a child from victorian England.

Join us at the bookclub every Friday at 5pm and find your way across Wonderland!

“And what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversation?”
 Lewis Carroll,Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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The Ticket 2012

“The Ticket’ es un espacio para que los artistas nacionales presenten sus obras, en diferentes categorías: música, baile, stand up, teatro, poesía, literatura y cualquier otra propuesta artística que contribuya con el ambiente cultural del país.

El pasado 8 de Noviembre tuvimos el placer de presentar la primera edición del concierto The Ticket con la participación de tres excelentes bandas que dieron lo mejor en el escenario. Muchas gracias a Shape of Things, 38Hz y Barnum por un espectáculo lleno de energía y buenas vibraciones.

(Escuchá el material de las bandas participantes)

 Esperamos verles en los eventos que vienen!

Mientras tanto, acá les dejamos una muestra del concierto cortesía de William Cordero y su lente.

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Artist of the month Oct ’12

Alan Moore

How many of these characters can you name?

DC Comics Alan Moore Stories
We’re still struggling with the scuba diver’s name…

 The chances are you’ve seen most of them many a time in a wide variety of media. Some of us even grew up watching Adam West fighting a myriad of baddies while holding a cat or Lynda Carter’s proneness to spin until her clothes exploded into new ones. These and many more characters have survived through decades of ups and downs in their popularity, mostly because of the talent shown by the people behind their stories, particularly when reinvention and innovation are called for.

One of these people is Alan Moore, an English comics writer who during the 80s and 90s helped redefine the way stories are told and the treatment the characters in the medium get. He focused on giving those stories a depth that was mostly lacking in the comic book industry by filling his narrative with multiple layers of meaning and imagery. Although his works partially spawned the term ‘graphic novel’, he himself isn’t too keen on it.

Just to give you an example of the extent of his influence in modern media, here’s someone I think many of you will recognise:

The Joker
2008’s most ubiquitous Halloween costume.

Heath Ledger’s Joker is unanimously acclaimed as the best characterisation of the madman to this day. The inspiration?

Largely, ‘The Killing Joke‘, Alan Moore’s recap of the Joker’s origins. But what about Mr. Moore’s own origins? Here’s what the internet has to say about it:

“Alan Moore was born November 18, 1953 in Northampton, England, an industrial town between London and Birmingham. The oldest son of brewery worker Ernest Moore and printer Sylvia Doreen, Moore’s childhood and youth were influenced by the poverty of his family and their environment (as well as the eccentricities of his highly religious and superstitious grandmother). He was expelled from a conservative secondary school and was not accepted at any other school. In 1971, Moore was unemployed, with no job qualifications whatsoever.”

He then worked for several magazines as a writer and cartoonist, finally deciding to concentrate on his writing. During the late seventies and early eighties, Moore successfully contributed to several publications, prominently Warrior magazine. It was at this time that he started working on a story about a masked crusader fighting for freedom and the right to self-dermination in a fascist version of Britain. Such story would become a milestone in the comics industry for it’s complexity and variety of storylines as well as its detailed narrative and stylistic merit.

More than 20 years later, a film adaptation of V for Vendetta would swipe the box office and the Guy Fawkes mask would become a symbol of the people’s voice in several contexts, sometimes not completely free of irony.

Partial Transcript

Or check out the previous ones

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Brave New World – Week 3

After all, everyone belongs to everyone else.

Sex is closely tied to violence in Brave New World as the two extremes of passion. In this futuristic, controlled environment, promiscuity is the law and emotional attachment is illegal. Sex is no longer used for procreation but rather for distraction and pacification. The act has been dehumanized and made devoid of passion, treated casually and publicly rather than as a personal matter. Because of this norm, no space of time ever passes between a desire and the consummation of that desire.” Source

Read a chapter-by-chapter summary of the treatment of sexuality in Brave New World. 

What do you think?

Would this kind of ‘free loving’ improve our social environment?
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Brave New World – Week 2

The principle of mass production at last applied to biology. Chapter 1

“Throughout Brave New World, the citizens of the World State substitute the name of Henry Ford, the early twentieth-century industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company, wherever people in our own world would say Lord” (i.e., Christ). This demonstrates that even at the level of casual conversation and habit, religion has been replaced by reverence for technology—specifically the efficient, mechanized factory production of goods that Henry Ford pioneered.” Source

What do you think?

Should the cloning of humans be allowed?

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Artist of the month Sep ’12

Artist of the month Goldfrapp

Alison Goldfrapp

The musical duo Goldfrapp is one of the most influential groups in the English electronic scene of the last decade.

Their style is constantly evolving and ranges from the ambient sound of early albums to a more electro/dance approach in the later ones, adding elements from
many other styles such as synthpop, folk and glam rock.

Allison Goldfrapp started her career as a musician and performer while attending fine art school at Middlesex University in north London. In 1994, while still in college, Goldfrapp recorded vocals for electronic band Orbital’s third album ‘Snivilisation’, doing the same one year later for trip-hop artist Tricky for the song ‘Pumpkin’ from his debut album ‘Maxinquaye’.

These collaborations were followed by several others through the late 90’s. At that moment she started penning her own compositions which eventually reached composer Will Gregory. After being introduced to each other, they found many things in common regarding their musical tastes and approach. Shortly after Goldfrapp became a duo, delivering their first album in 2000.

Since then, Goldfrapp has released five studio albums and one compilation record. Their first album ‘Felt Mountain’ was very well received by critics and opened the road for the duo. Their next album ‘Black Cherry‘, which came out in 2003 with a more upbeat vibe, brought to life classics such as ‘Twist’ and its memorable video:

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