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Posts Tagged ‘madrid’

Here is an annual spectacle I’d love to see.

“Shepherds led a flock of 2,000 sheep through the streets of Spain’s capital and largest city on Sunday, in defense of ancient grazing, droving and migration rights that have been increasingly threatened by urban sprawl and modern agricultural practices.

“Those urban settings were once open fields and woodlands, crisscrossed by droving routes. Since at least the year 1273, the country’s shepherds have had the legal right to use about 78,000 miles of droving routes around the country to move livestock seasonally between summer pastures in the cool highlands and more protected lowland grazing areas in the winter.

“Every year, a handful of shepherds defend that right in Spain’s capital city.”

I guess it’s use it or lose it. Plus it’s good to make people think about where their food and wool come from, and whether things have changed for the better.

More from the Associated Press.

Photo: Andres Kudacki/Associated Press
Shepherds led a flock of 2,000 sheep through some of Madrid’s most sophisticated settings on Sunday.

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Matadero was an old abandoned slaughterhouse in Madrid. Lately it has been “evolving into a cultural laboratory, where a new arts financing strategy is being tested.” So says Doreen Carvajal in the NY Times.

“Companies and institutions are providing financial support to supplement dwindling government arts subsidies, but with a twist: they don’t just send checks, they move in.

“Within the walled 59,000-square-foot center, there are public theaters and exhibition spaces that last year drew more than 500,000 visitors for music and art events and avant-garde plays. But five new residents are private institutions, including a designers’ association, a publishing house’s foundation and offices of Red Bull, the Austrian energy drink maker.

“They are in the compound rent-free for now, but have invested millions in the remodeling of pavilions there, as well as in programming, from art exhibitions to music festivals.

“These new partnerships are forged, out of necessity, here in Spain, where government support for culture has plunged by almost 50 percent over the last four years, a result of a lingering economic crisis that hit late in 2008.”

Some observers worry about the downsides of corporations having a big influence on what art gets shown, but haven’t the arts always had to have some help from patrons or companies?

Probably it pays just to be wary, to recognize when there is undue influence, and to push back. Certainly smaller, more experimental projects are unlikely to find a home under a Red Bull banner.

Read more at the Times, here.

Photo: Carlos Luján for The International Herald Tribune
Inside Matadero Madrid: A closer look at the arts complex.

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I would like to tell you about Woophy, the international photo-sharing site. One of many great things about Woophy is its home page, which features a map of the world with each photo’s location. Do click on it.

I have uploaded photos to Woophy off and on since first reading about it in the Wall Street Journal. (That was when I was still reading the WSJ, which used to be full of great articles. I was one of the 170 people who cancelled their subscriptions the day Rupert Murdoch bought the paper. I know this because the WSJ wrote the next day that 170 subscribers out of 1.7 milion had cancelled.)

Woophy has always been managed by unpaid volunteers, and in recent years they struggled to keep up with the work. Loyalists worldwide helped out. Now Woophy has crossed a threshold and has partnered with a travel company. I’m glad because I would like to see it survive. I particularly enjoyed getting comments from far-away places whenever I posted a picture.

Here’s Wikipedia’s description: “Woophy (World of photography) is a photo sharing website and an online community where members can put their photos on a world map. Founded in 2005 by Joris van Hoytema, Hoyte van Hoytema and Marcel Geenevasen, the site has over 39,300 members and contains around a million photos from over 43,000 cities and villages in the world. Most of the uploaded pictures are from surroundings, buildings, nature and problems in the world. Woophy also has an active forum where photographers discuss their photos in a critical way. Woophy now has a finance deal with Eurobookings.com which should enable it to survive through the use of advertising.”

Woophians are planning a meeting in Madrid next spring. See photos of a previous Woophy forum (with music):

 

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