Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .


Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


Follow us on TWITTER

Subscribe to RSS feed

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

In NY, Spanish Civil War Photos Scream of Propaganda, Echo Sudan & Sri Lanka

By Matthew Russell Lee

NEW YORK, November 13 -- Even undoctored photographs can serve as propaganda. The Spanish Civil War photographs of Robert Capa, Chim (David “Seymour” Szymin) and Gerda Taro on display in Manhattan's International Center of Photograph through January 9 show heroic Republicans fighting Franco's fascists, shot for Leftist magazines in France, the UK and even Germany.

The captions make clear how the photos were intended. Chim shot a series about Republicans trying to save Spanish and Catholic art words from fascist attacks -- to counter the idea, the caption says, that the Republicans were anti-Catholic, barbarians who would destroy Spain's cultural patrimony.

Taro, in the battle of Brunete she would die in, took photos to show Republican victories “when written reports were discredited.” But did people, even then, believe their eyes?

Chim took a photograph of a woman breastfeeding her baby, looking up at the sky. Later a magazine called Madrid published it with airplane arranged above, and it became known as a photo of a air raid. But it was not.

The French weekly Regards sent a letter of introduction for Capa, saying “you know our magazine, we will use this to serve the Spanish people.” One imagines applications today to the government of Sudan to cover the war in Darfur, or to Sri Lanka to cover the shattered Tamil areas. “Our photos can help you” -- but will they?

Chim's photo on Madrid -- but the planes weren't there

Capa documented French run camps for refugee Republicans on their way to Mexico. The camps were surrounded by barbed wire and soldiers, like the internment camps for Tamils at Vavuniya in Sri Lanka. There, the government barred journalists for months, as it has now denied visas to media which showed pictures of the dead.

The exhibit is called “The Mexican Suitcase” -- in which the three photographers' 4500 negatives were found in 2007 -- and runs through January 9, the day scheduled for the South Sudan referendum. There are photos, too, from there. Plus ca change.

* * *

From Soho to Brooklyn, Must Alternative Arts Just Mean Gentrification?

By Matthew Russell Lee

NEW YORK CITY, October 29 -- How do independent artists try to avoid being stalking horses for real estate development? What is alternative art?

  The questions were raised on October 29 in a self styled alternative space on Tenth Avenue in the West 30s, when Stefan Eins of Fashion Moda previously in the South Bronx (and now in Harlem) spoke, along with Beka Economopoulos of the Not an Alternative space in Williamsburg.

  Inner City Press asked each of them, and the other panelists who appeared along with Beka, about gentrification and the limits of good intentions. Avram Finkelstein, designer of the Silence = Death anti-AIDS logo, said one has to consider ownership, not only of property but also ideas. He recounted how AmFAR edited from a poster any reference to corporate greed.

  Earlier in the panel discussion at Exit Art, tales were told of alternative spaces on Greene Street and Bleecker and Bowery, all locations now firmly gentrified. The Asian American Arts Center has, in a sense, been gentrified out of existence. It has retreated from a McDonalds invaded building on the Bowery to a smaller space on Norfolk, seeking grants to digitize photos of its former exhibitions.

 To Inner City Press' question about how artists can avoid being the vanguard of gentrification, Exit Art founder Jeannette Ingberman whispered an answer about capitalism. Earlier, NYU academic Melissa Bachleff Burtt had recounted stories of Yoko Ono's loft on Chambers Street, and the 10th Street co-op scene.

   Alanna Heiss of P.S. 1 and the Clocktower Gallery, among other great stories told about the Crown Heights Police Station, saying it “made Fort Apache [The Bronx] look like a garden party, with artists' studios in holding cells and a commander, Adam Butcher, who spoke of poets, painters and policemen. And now, it's condominiums.

Fashion Moda in The Bronx, answers on Soho and Brooklyn gentrification not shown

Stefan Eins of Fashion Moda told Inner City Press that although his iconic space on Third Avenue and 147th Street closed, he moved to a brownstone in Harlem, and has traveled as far as Osh in Kyrgyzstan to present about Fashion Moda. That never triggered gentrification, perhaps because it closed. Or could that be why it closed?

  In Exit Art, many alternative spaces were memorialized in cardboard boxes: the Longwood Arts Project in the Bronx, Gran Fury and others. (The Fashion Moda box contain, along with photos of Ahearn murals, a photo book by On the wall were posters of the Real Estate Show held on Delancey Street in 1980, and a photo of Elenor Holmes Norton when she was with the Studio Museum in Harlem. The show, and the boxes, are worth seeing.

* * *

In Brooklyn, A Tale of 2 Girl Bands, The Raw & The Cooked, Heliotropes and Scamps

By Matthew Russell Lee

GREENPOINT, NY, August 27 -- Two female led bands rocked the Matchless Bar in Greenpoint on Friday night, one raw and one cooked. The first, the all female trio Heliotropes, was reminiscent of the Grateful Dead. The guitarist and singer was in a flannel shirt; the drummer, also Asian, stood up in a too short skirt. The African bassist was allowed to rock out. The trio was endearing and promising, touchingly deferential to the coming headliners, The Scamps.

   The Scamps, a hybrid quartet with closely honed songs reminiscent of the early Talking Heads, were launching their CD. They played each song from the CD. The lead singer and guitarist, in David Bowie-like short hair, switched midway to a slide guitar. The space grew warm; she was sweating and smiling.

  The organ player, a placid Asian woman with a tattoo on her left arm, sang in unison. The bass player, a seemingly emotionless Nordic session musician, was matched by a drummer with tongue out and drum machine.

   If the Scams' lineup sounds incongruous, their songs were tight, maybe too tight for some. Comparing the two bands, one imagined the Heliotropes drawn as is by gravity to increasing practicing and tightness, in order to become headlines like the The Scamps, to have a better attended CD launch event. But is bigger always better?

   Better is subjective. This reviewer prefers the endearing amateur to the finely honed presentation. It is merely a prejudice, or preference. One might advise Heliotrope to move out of New York, or at least out of Greenpoint / Williamsburg, to a place like Akron, Ohio. Perhaps there is an Akron in New York. Perhaps Inner City Press can find it. Watch this site.

Heliotropes, overcooking not shown

Matchless, as venue, is virutally matchless. The former car garage to the side of the bar has been subdivided by a door with windows. In the music space, complete with disco ball, a long wooden bench as if from a subway from another era has stools as Ottomen. There are sound checks, and outside, McCarran Park.

In the park, there is a yellow school bus with at least one person living inside. Is it Ken Kesey or the next Heliotropes? Watch this site.

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2010 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -