In 1920, Erich Scheurmann translated into German the speeches of Samoan Chief’ Tuiavii from the village of Tiavea, a work called The Papalagi (The White People) that describes his impressions of European culture formed during a tour as part of a traveling show. Tuiavii’s depictions of the greed and hypocrisy of the civilized Europeans has become a post-hippie inspiration for a counterculture movement to break out of the rigid confines of corporate capitalism.
How Cities Can Build Affordable Housing
Alan Durning lays out how many cities have succeeded in building affordable housing with some lessons from unexpected places. Yet constrained housing markets come about from economics, environment, and geography, and sprawl remains a scourge that affordable cities have allowed. No silver bullet here, but ideas…
Krampus, Wild Nature Spirit, the Christmas Daemon
Krampus, a half-goat, half-daemon of centuries-old Bavarian-Alpine lore, appears prior to the celebration of the benevolent giver Saint Nicholas on December 6th, where Central European communities have a Krampuslauf, or Krampus Run, the night before.
Once a Classical Giant, Then Obscure, Felix Draeseke Rediscovered
Stephen Vessels continues his series on rare examples of underappreciated classical music composers from around the world. Felix Draeseke of Germany, once dubbed a “giant” by Franz Liszt, fell into obscurity until only recently.
B. Traven: Underground Anarchist in the Mexican Jungle
B. Traven, German underground author, anarchist and writer of the Treasure of Sierra Madre, purposely obscured his origins to evade consequences from his revolutionary past in Germany and to stoke his literary mystery that hinged upon his words: “An author should have no other biography than his books.”
German Prefab House Generates Twice its Own Energy
The prefab Active House B10 prototype in Stuttgart can be built in a day, but its implications will be felt for years. Taking the passive house net zero concept one step further, this fully recyclable tiny house actively generates enough power for multiple properties through its rooftop photovoltaics.
Dada as the Antidote to War and Capitalism
In the sobering aftermath of World War I in Zurich, Dada preached a radical-yet-whimsical philosophy of creativity, a self-styled anti-art. Random and meaningless by definition, calculatedly irrational by design, for a short time the movement spread like revolt to the US and across Europe, voicing the bizarre protest of a brave new community of artists and writers.