“The Underground Railroad: Next Stop, Toronto!” traces the story of the secret route of safe houses into Canada and offers new insights into the rich heritage of the Black people who made Toronto their home before the Civil War. For insights, we welcome the book’s co-author Afua Cooper, Killam Research Chair at Dalhousie University.
Seventy-five years ago, in the shadow of the Second World War, countries put their collective heads together to write a common international moral language. What resulted was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – fundamental moral principles each and every human being was entitled to. Since then, enforcement and guaranteeing rights has sometimes been difficult, and consensus has often been hard to find. Critics wonder if human rights complaints too often come from Western mouths, and if the definition “human right” has been expanded to its detriment. Supporters of the movement say there have been major victories and that change is incremental. The Agenda debates whether the international human rights movement has become ineffective.
The Kings of Benin commissioned sculptures that stand among the most celebrated art traditions in history.
The court of the Benin kingdom, located in Benin City, Nigeria, supported two guilds of artists who created masterpieces in bronze and ivory. Founded around the year 900, by the 15th century the kingdom grew to encompass an area the size of New England, with more than 2 million subjects. In this period of expansive local and international trade, the Oba, or king, commissioned a dazzling array of sculpture to celebrate his growing success and to commemorate earlier kings. Benin art has fascinated the kings’ subjects, ambassadors to the court, and art collectors ever since.
In 2012, Robert Owen Lehman gave his collection of art from the Benin kingdom to the MFA. The 34 pieces now on display in Gallery 172 include a number of rare masterpieces from this famous tradition, including one of the earliest surviving altarpieces depicting a Portuguese soldier and a particularly excellent sculpture of a warrior on horseback. Fifteen bronze plaques, from a 16th-century installation in the king’s audience courtyard, are also on view in the gallery, and highlight the wealth of this historic empire. The tours below introduce you to life in the palace at the height of its power.
This exhibition of magnificent jewelry, pottery, sculpture, metalwork, and more from the MFA’s collection of ancient Nubian art examines power, representation, and cultural bias—in the ancient world, in the early 20th century, and today. Through a majestic display of art and objects, “Ancient Nubia Now” confronts past misinterpretations and offers new ways of understanding Nubia’s history and contemporary relevance.
What was ancient Nubia? For more than 3,000 years, a series of kingdoms flourished in what is today the Sudanese Nile Valley, a region known in antiquity as Kush and by modern scholars as Nubia. Ruling from the capitals of Kerma (2400–1550 BCE), Napata (750–332 BCE), and Meroe (332 BCE–364 CE), Nubian kings and queens controlled vast empires and trade networks, rivalling—and even for a brief time conquering—their more famous neighbors, the Egyptians. The Nubians left behind remains of cities, temples, palaces, and pyramids, but few written records. As a result, their story has been told in large part by others—in antiquity by the Egyptians, who used propaganda to cast Nubia as the barbaric “other,” and in the early 20th century by American and European scholars and archeologists who brought cultural bias to their work.
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
This weblog explores the transition to a sustainable future on our finite planet. It provides links to current news, key documents from government sources and non-governmental organizations, as well as video documentaries about climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice concerns.
The links are listed here to be used in whatever manner they may be helpful in public information campaigns, course preparation, teaching, letter-writing, lectures, class presentations, policy discussions, article writing, civic or Congressional hearings and citizen action campaigns, etc. For further information on this blog see: About this weblog. and How to use this weblog.
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