The United States Department of Culture (USDAC) and the Associação Espaço Cultural Lanchonette (aka Lanchonete) are taking over the Bowery Poetry Club for a series of evening encounters and exchanges. The Situational Junta, as the multi-part event is called, is equal parts happy hour, radio talk show, creative mixer, and ideas incubator.
Shaun Randol founded The Mantle in 2009. Today he is the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher. You can email him at shaun [at] themantle.net. Shaun is the co-editor of Gambit: Newer African Writing. He is also a member of the PEN American Center and serves on the boards of Nomadic Press, the Global Literature in Libraries Initiative, and Africa Book Link.
A Short Tale of Shame (Open Letter, 2013) is the first full-length novel from Bulgarian short story writer and critic Angel Igov. Ostensibly it is the story of the damaging connections shared by aged rocker—Boril Krustev—and a tight-knit threesome of high school graduates: Sirma, Maya, and Spartacus. Really, the emotions run deeper than any past misdeed may suggest.
On this day in 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb—Little Boy—on Hiroshima, Japan. The coyingly nicknamed weapon destroyed a city; over 150,000 civilians were murdered. Three days later the U.S., the only country to use nuclear weapons in war, dropped an even bigger bomb (Fat Man) on the city of Nagasaki, killing another 80,000 Japanese people. Soon after, Japan surrendered.
Context matters. A work of art cannot be judged in a vacuum. It matters, for example, that Christo and Jeanne-Claude hung their orange curtains in Central Park, New York City: "The Gates," as the show was titled, would have a different (and equally valid and powerful) effect had those orange banners been strung across the Great Wall of China or the Sonoran Desert.
An interconnected world demands that we collaborate in the public sphere. Indeed, without this cooperation the public sphere would not exist, for it requires not just an action, but also a reaction. The speech is not a speech until it is heard. The rally is not a rally unless it is seen. The map is not a key until it is read. To exist, the public sphere requires a necessary but beautiful tension between all of us, all of us collaborators.
Since he left office in January 2009, former president George W. Bush has kept a low profile. Once a swaggering politician, Bush has adopted the life of a reclusive artist, spending as much as three hours every day painting. Lacking formal training, Bush is an outsider artist whose work recalls that of David Hockney and Edward Hopper. But does his work reveal inner turmoil?
Three Femen activists were sentenced to four months in jail for a topless protest in Tunisia. The action was held in support of fellow jailed activist Amina Tyler.
Those familiar with Jean-Michel Basquiat shouldn't be surprised that the gone-too-soon graffiti-cum-Neo-expressionist used boxers as a recurring theme. Born in Brooklyn to Haitian and Puerto Rican parents, Basquiat grew up on the hardscrabble streets of New York City where he confronted racism and learned firsthand the realities of the socio-economic struggle of the working class.