Communist Art

Growing up my father was active in the Polish Solidarity, Anti- Communist Movement in Toronto.
I remember going to demonstrations, hunger strikes, meetings and more meetings.  I never really understood much about it except that the communists were bad and were making life difficult for the people of my fathers mother land. 
When we would march around the Polish Embassy in Toronto I imagined that there were communists hiding in the building- scared to come out because of us. 
In Prague they have a Communist Museum ironically above a Mc Donalds.
I took these photos yesterday at the National Gallery of Prague- where they have several works of communist art in both the permanent collection and the temporary exhibits.
 These two are by: Tian Younghua made in 2008

Plebeian Courtyard I, 2009
By Jakub Geltner

I don't think the photos do justice to this piece, which is quite large and to me represents an exaggerated image of Soviet era apartment blocks which are still very prevalent in Eastern Europe.


Petr Stembera


I love this poster by Alena Cermakova called:
We Produce More- We Live Better- made in the early 1950's

Eduard Stavinoha
Listening To The Speech Of K. Gottwald Feb. 21, 1948

I love political art because it is so layered and passionate-

Do you enjoy art work with a political message?


Eastern European Markets

There are a plethora of cute handmade crafts at many Eastern European markets.
The smell of the bees wax was amazing at this cute little booth:

I like the figurines, especially of the animals made out of sticks and wood:




Alcohol- This was a mead (honey wine):
Amazing handmade wooden products:

If you could bring one thing home what would it be?


Czech Willow Branch Tradition- European Easter Markets-

In the Czech Republic there is an Easter tradition which calls on men and boys to spank (or whip) women and girls with a braided stick made out of willow branches.
These sticks, called a pomlazka, are symbolic of good luck, rebirth and freshness.
Typically the women award the men for spanking them- thus making them more fresh- with treats ranging from painted eggs, chocolate treats or shots of alcohol.
Not unlike the Halloween tradition of trick or treating, boys in the Czech Republic set off early in the morning to visit house to house with their sticks and sacks, calling on girls to spank them and receive treats.  Traditionally they must come before noon. 

One market we visited had a booth set up for children to make their own pomlazka.

Also traditional is the Easter egg which is a symbol of new life-
Most markets sold the decorated shell of the egg as they were emptied prior to painting.
Eggs that are made at home are generally hard boiled and decorated shared then eaten.

Have you heard of the willow branch tradition before?



My friend Eran recently posted some photos on Facebook of his trip to China-  
I asked him if I could share some of those photos here with you and he kindly agreed.

This is a map of the region he covered

How cute is this panda?

Aren't these images stunning? 
I have never traveled to this area of the world but it is on my list.
Have you ever been to China?


Earth Day

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.  
~Native American Proverb

Everyday should be earth day.  Everyday we should do our part to reduce our carbon foot print, use something more than once and MOST importantly teach our children the importance of all the little things we can do to live consciously, mindfully and meaningfully. 

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