Ein interessanter Bericht wie großzügig Hacker in Großbritannien mit Regierungsdaten umgehen koennen: www.taz.de/!128007/
A very interesting report how hackers, programmers and IT enthusiasts can legally challange data in the UK to improve democracy. You can translate the German original using a translation programm like google translate. It’s worth it!
My report about Somalis in the UK started when Taz and I thought it would be time to report on this much under-reported African minority in the U.K. Little did we know that soon Somalis in London would become headline news, courtesy of the idotic acts of the British far right. Not just was a Somalicommunity centre torched, following the murder of the soldier Lee Rigby, but within the time frame of my research one young Somali young man was stabbed in a street violence incidence in Camden, London and thereafter the events in Nairobi came to label Somalis everywhere. Not enough Barclays announced it would stop the financial services that facilitated money transfe
“….Eine andere Frau (bei Dadihiye), Fawsiya Barre – sie schneidet gerade Stoff mit einer großen roten Schere – behauptet, es sei ihr egal, ob die Mädchen ein Kopftuch tragen oder nicht, aber was sie überhaupt nicht tolerieren könne, seien „die herunterhängende Hosen der Jungen, „wo man dann die ganze Unterhose sieht“. Zustimmendes Gelächter bricht im Raum aus.”
Meinem Bericht über die Black History Walks in London ist wie er in der Sonntaz steht nicht viel beizutragen. http://www.taz.de/!123686/
Interessant war jedoch ein sofortiger Angriff dieser Initiative eines deutschen Beobachters, der dieser Geschichtserweiterung nicht wohl gesinnt war. Es sei politisch korrekter Rassismus. Dabei fehlt gerade die schwarze Geschichte an vielen Stellen in London, nicht zu Letzt auch in den englischen Schulbüchern. Hier redet man lieber darüber, dass Großbritannien einer der ersten Länder war, die den Sklavenhandel abgeschafft hat. Experten sagen aber, dass dies nicht so gewesen wäre, hätten nicht Sklaven selber immer wieder gegen die Sklaverei rebelliert.
Einige zusätzlichen Fotos füge ich hier meinem Blog bei. Viel Spass beim lesen. Die Adresse zur Buchung steht im Bericht.
This article highlights London’s African and African-Caribbean History throuh a guided Black History Walk I attended. You can use googletranslate to get a relatively good translation of the article which gives an interesting extension of what you may know about London. The point is that this history is still missing on most ordinary city walks, or the British conscience of itself. Black history in the mind of Brits consists of having abolished slavery, being the good man, rather than a driving factor in discrimination, subjugaton, exploitation, theft and murder on grounds of the priviledge of the European background and lighter skin complexion.
Als es bekannt wurde dass Manganese Bronze, der Hersteller des traditionellen Londoner‘black cabs’ bankrott sei, bedauerten es viele. Nur wer sich wirklich mit London auskannte, wusste, dass es ein gutes Omen war. Die schwarzen Taxen sind bisher ein schwarzer Fleck für die Gesundheit der Londoner. Was nicht im Taztext steht:
Manganese Bronze und die London Taxi Internationals Firma wechselten mehrmals Besitzter und Teilhaber. Am Ende war die chinesische Firma Geely einer der Hauptteilhaber
Die Welt der Londoner pferdegezogenen Droschken kurz vor den motrorisierten Taxen kann man am besten (aus Pferdesicht) in Anna Sewells’ Roman ‘ Black Beauty’ nachlesen oder dessen Verfilmungen nachsehen.
Zu andere Maßnahmen des Bürgermeisters die Taxiluftverschmutzung zu reduzieren gehören (lautder TfL “Strategie für saubere Luft in London”): Bestimmte Reifen und Gangschaltungen, die sich weniger abnutzen, Ökologisches Fahrtraining aller neuen Fahrer (Option für bereits zugelassene), Anregung den Motor im Stand auszuschalten. Management der Warteschlangen an Bahnhöfen und Flughafen (insb. Heathrow) durch “taxi-marshals”
Schwerste Dieselmotoren: Die Taxen der TX Serie waren zuerst ein Nissan Motor. Später war es ein Ford Transit Motor, sowie ein Chrysler Diesel Motor wie in Jeeps (VM MotoriR 425 DOHC Diesel , Chrysler545RFE, und EatonFSO 2405.Bereits 1989 gab es ein alternatives ‘moderneres’ Taxi, nämlich das Metrocab. Die Firma wechselte zweimal die Besitzer und die Herstellung war unter anderem für 14 Monate unterbrochen. 2006 wurde die Herstellung entgültig eingestellt.
Es besteht die geringe Möglichkeit, dass verschiedene Firmen Manganese Bronze aufkaufen werden und beschließen die Herstellung wieder aufzunehmen. Es ist allerdings fraglich, ob die Firma trotz des Ikonenstatus des Taxis, mit den für heutige Londoner Umweltverhältnisse untauglichen Motoren gegen die Taxen von Nissan und Mercedes ankommen könnten. Allerdings werden bis 2027 für die bestehenden Taxen der TX Ersatzteile gebraucht werden.
When Manganese Bronze, the company that manufactured the London black cab TX4, most newspaper articles, even those appearing in British papers, failed to question, whether beyond its iconic looks, the taxis the company produced were worth saving. In an euphoria of sorrowful commentary it was in some of the readers comments that one could read about issues with fuel efficiency, exhaust emissions and the noise these vehicles created. My article in the Sonntaz, the Sunday magazine supplement of the Taz newspaper discusses, if the demise of Manganese Bronze as producer of the London Black Cab was in deed ‘bad news’ for London. The taxi’s iconic status acknowledged, the TX Series with its heavy Diesel engines (Ford Transit and Jeep based) actually means that these Taxis constitute 1/3 of the NOx London air pollution (even today). I speak to one of the partners involved in the design of a new hybrid hydrogen / electric taxi for London, the general secretary of the largest organisation representing cab drivers, those who mange the transport infrastructure in London, London politicians and environmentalists. The results indicate clearly, the TX cab although traditional in design and loved by many because of that, should since a long time have been radically modernised. Those steps taken by the company alongside an alternative energy consortium proved too slow to save the taxi and the company.
Not included in text: I also spoke with UNITE representing the workers of Manganese Bronze in Coventry and the London Cycling campaign. Their responses are noted here: UNITE: “The London taxi is iconicand the staff who build them are highly skilled. The black cab is part of Britain’s car manufacturing heritage and we expect the company and the administrators to do everything possible to secure the futureof this Coventry–based company. Unite has met with the senior management today and the union has pledged to assist staff and the company to support a swift resolutionto the current funding gap. Manganese Bronze is the last car manufacturer left in Coventry.If it becomes necessary the government should step in to support the company and protect the highly skilled workforce.” London Cycling Campaign (Gerhard Weiss LCC): “Black cabs are very common in central London. Because they are allowed, like cyclists, to use bus lanes and need to stop frequently on the kerbside there is potential conflict with cyclists that’s a problem. Black cabs also contribute to air pollution which affects cyclists and pedestrians. However, I don’t think either of these issues is related to the cab manufacturer and both could be tackled with better regulation. Clearly zero emission vehicles would be ideal and should be feasible these days.”
An English translation can be ordered on request and for publication purposes only.
600 Millionen Pfund der nachhaltigen ökologischen Londoner Olympiade sponserten große Unternehme, darunter einige der umstrittensten Gruppen der Welt, sagen Lobbygruppen. Meinen ausführlicher Bericht ““Gesund, nachhaltig, zertifiziert.” Die Spiele der Konzerne”kann man heute im TAZ Olympia Sonderteil zu lesen. Er beinhaltet Interviews mit Hauptorganisatoren im Bereich Nachhaltigkeit der Olympiade, Umweltgruppen und Kampagnenfuehrer und Aussagen der Olympiasponsoren selbst. www.taz.de/Grosskonzerne-bei-Olympia/!98221/
Olympic sponsors of the sustainable and ecological London Olympic and Paralympic Games gave an estimated 600 Million Pounds to London. Amongst them are some very disputed if nit unethical companies, say campaigners.In my article I asked the key people responsible for London 2012’s sustainability, the Olympic sponsors and their oppononents. www.taz.de/Grosskonzerne-bei-Olympia/!98221/There is also a visitor guide by me.
So what on earth got me to do this feature? It was about two years ago that I encountered Punch and Judy first with my daughter in St George’s Park, Holborn on St George’s Day. I thought we were going to see what I knew as a Kasperl show, but was taken back when I saw Punch whom I thought to be Kasper, hit everyone of his characters. To my amazement my daughter stomached it but I came out outraged talking to my friends about the brute Brits. A year later on another show near Covent Garden, my daughter’s friend, they are French – Irish, run crying away from the show, whilst my daughter quite liked it. At the end of the show I spoke to the puppeteer, who turned out to be Geoff Felix, a Punch and Judy puppeteer of many years experience, who as I later found out kept a whole historical archive on the show. I asked him why it was so different from the German version and it was him who first suggested to me that actually there was such a play in Germany, but it was transformed, his real words were “sanitized” through the Nazi Reich. So this story it seemed wasn’t so much about the supposed brute Brits, but about the even more brutal Germans.
This really drew my curiosity. I had never head such a thing. Was it true? I kept the idea in my head, and made sure I took all the essential details from Geoff. I few months later I found myself in the Munich city museum in the puppet exhibition. And there I saw to my astonishment that in deed Kasper prior to 1932 was the villain you recognize as if you are British.
After some research and the fact that Punch and Judy’s 350th anniversary was about to come up I pitched BBC World Service with my idea to run the story why the puppet plays would be so different in the two countries, Germany and the UK. The BBC answered to my astonishment with “definitely not!” It still puzzles me today why it was the BBC – who was after all are based in Punch and Judy’s home-country- that felt the story was not worthwhile. I wondered if perhaps they had a negative view of the show, being “violent,” and part of children entertainment at the sea-side. Neither was the Sueddeutsche Zeitung in Munich interested, the paper being based near the home of the German 1920’s Kasper assemble inside the Munich City Museum. The German weekly Die Zeit was interested, but felt the style wasn’t right, perhaps they wanted it more in a more arty way, which is quite unlike the tradition of Punch and Judy, rooted in impoverished working class puppeteering. But my editor at Deutsche Welle called me within minutes of telling him about the idea. He is an American living in Cologne for some time now and like any migrant has to negotiate two cultures, in his case the very differences between Anglo-Saxon and German culture that my feature attempted to investigate.
Slowly a picture began to emerge. After speaking to Manfred Wegner from the City Museum of Munich, who oversees the permanent puppet exhibition I was just as unsettled about the civilised tamed Kasperl as I was initially about the portrayed violence of Punch and Judy. This conflict made me contact Prof. Andrew Tolmie at one of Europe’s leading centres in child psychology.
There are still no definite answers, but I think if one contextualize either play tradition, they both of their right place in the imagination of a child. It is worth pointing out, that neither Punch, Polcinella, nor Kasperl at their beginnings were actually part of children theatre, but pointy and witty adult entertainment. They evolved into the children’s genre only gradually. Whilst violence is till displayed in every Punch and Judy, one thing that isn’t is the once traditional use of animals, in particular a little dog usually called Toby, nor will you find an African character that only speaks gibberish. I was told the reason is simple. A puppeteer plays to a live audience, if he plays things that the majority of an audience dislikes, he is out of a job.
Another comment I like to make is that the friendliness of all the puppeteers I met was remarkable and quite above the norm. These are thinking people who enjoy entertaining children for their genuine laughter. It isn’t always easy living, and I heard about quote a few injuries to, either to backs or shoulders, and playing puppets is quite physical, but regardless it seems that once they start playing they almost can’t stop it. Geoff Felix said to me that there is a saying among Punch and Judy players: If you look after Mr Punch, he will look after you!”
Punch and Judy’s 350th birthday was celebrated at Covent Garden on 12th of May 2012.
Article on thinking about Jewish-Polish, Jewish-German relations and simply on the issue of being a neighbour, or not! Leading Feature Open Democracy 4/11/2011
Special thanks to the editors of Open Democracy, above all R.B., and front page ed., for your interest as well as choosing this as your leading weekend feature-story. Thanks also to Ben Gidley, James Renton and Agnieszka Piśkiewicz for their respective input and Kei Kulp for one of the pictures.