Category Archives: unusual people

Philip Maisel’s Oral History of Jewish Holocaust Experiences

Jewish Holocaust Centre, Melbourne ….  http://www.jhc.org.au/museum/collections/survivor-testimonies.html

The JHC has over 1300 video testimonies as well as over 200 audio testimonies in its collection. These provide eyewitness accounts of the horrors of the Holocaust, as well as glimpses into the vibrancy of pre-war Jewish life in Europe. The collection is widely used by researchers and students of oral history, the Holocaust and a variety of other disciplines. The testimonies’ project began in the 1980s as the Melbourne Oral History Project, established by Sandra Cowan and Jenny Wajsenberg and later co-ordinated by the late Anne Bernhaut. They conducted over 200 audio recordings of Holocaust survivors.

 Phillip Maisel has been recording a testimony of Holocaust survivors for 25 years. (ABC News: Peter Drought)

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Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, historical interpretation, Hitler, human rights, landscape wondrous, life stories, politIcal discourse, racist thinking, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, war crimes, world events & processes, World War II

Angie, 12-Year Old Rock-Climbing Maestro

Greg Bearup, courtesy of The Weekend Australian 29 April 2017, where the title is “Top of Her Grade”

n 1976, a 14-year-old Romanian gymnast named Nadia Comaneci stormed into the Montreal Olympics with the first-ever perfect score of 10. Gymnastics would never be the same again. Comaneci did things that had never been done and in doing so vastly increased the level of skill, and the risks, for all those who would follow. She made gymnastics more spectacular and infinitely more dangerous. Greg Mortimer reckons the sport of rock climbing is undergoing a similar “paradigm shift”. Leading this revolution, he says, is a 12-year-old climber from the Blue Mountains, NSW, called Angie Scarth-Johnson. “She is breaking all the rules,” Mortimer says. “She’s just freakishly good.”

  Angie climbig –http://www.onsight.com.au/2013/12/angie/

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Filed under art & allure bewitching, Australian culture, australian media, female empowerment, landscape wondrous, life stories, performance, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, world events & processes

Famous Performers in Unusual Light

 Louis Armstrong in desert glare, 1961

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Filed under art & allure bewitching, commoditification, cultural transmission, female empowerment, heritage, landscape wondrous, life stories, performance, photography, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, the imaginary and the real, unusual people

Famous 20th Century Personalities … and One Awful Assassin

 Albert Einstein at Long Island beach in 1939  

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Nuvara Yugayē Sinhala Bava reaches the Bookshelves

  bearing ISBN 978-955-665-161-4 in the year 2016 … with the translation being the result of the labours of Anura Hettiarachchi and Ananda Wakkumbura. The original work is entitled Sinhala Consciousness in Kandyan Period, 1590s-1815, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2004

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Filed under atrocities, British imperialism, economic processes, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian religions, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, military strategy, modernity & modernization, nationalism, patriotism, politIcal discourse, Portuguese in Indian Ocean, power politics, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, world events & processes

Obeyesekere’s Study of Sri Vikrama Rajasinha and His Downfall

Jolly Somasundram,  in The Island, 16 May 2017, where the title is Regime Change in Ceylon: 1815″

“The West won the world, not by the superiority of its ideas, values or religion but, rather, by its superiority in applying organised violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-westerners never do” = Quote from  Samuel R Huntington

History matters. Obeyesekere relates events, two centuries after they had occurred and a century after the Russian Revolution. Yet they are all so contemporary! Confused by memories, living in a very unpredictable past and troubled by Fukuyama’s statement that all had ended, Obeyesekere has given a fillip to re-interrogating the relevance of history. Both Hegel and Marx considered History to be teleology, moving to a purpose. The impact of Portugal and Holland on Sri Lanka was akin to the placid non-movement in a cemetery: 1815 regime change, headed by the leading country of the Industrial Revolution, promised traction to a stalled Hegel and Marx.

 

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Filed under authoritarian regimes, British imperialism, cultural transmission, economic processes, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, sri lankan society, unusual people, war reportage, world events & processes

Appreciating Galle in Its Quietness and Its Pastness

Joe Simpson, in a  review of GALLE AS QUIET  AS ASLEEP penned in 2006

Never to be confused with the American best-selling romance novelist of the same name, Norah Roberts, who survived well into her nineties, was born near Colombo in 1907, one of fourteen children from several marriages of T. W. Roberts, an Anglo-Barbadian Ceylon Civil Servant, Oxford scholar and cricketer par excellence who became District Judge in Galle. After severe hearing loss in her late twenties drove her from teaching, Norah ran the Galle Fort Library (est. 1871) for four decades until she retired in 1982. I clearly remember first meeting Norah, then in her late sixties, one hot and humid morning in September 1973 when, as a newly-arrived V.S.O. English teacher at Richmond College, I paid my dues to become a member of the quaint old library on Church Street, next to the Fort Post Office. (Judge Roberts, then still alive in his nineties, had long migrated to England). It was only a couple of years before she finally “retired” in her mid-seventies that the tireless Norah (who never married) began her self-appointed Herculean task, never before attempted, of writing the “compleat” history of Galle from its earliest days. It would dominate the next ten years of her life.

 Galle in the 1890s — a rare image in the Australian National Gallery Collection, Canberra

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