SPARC

Society for the Promotion of Art and Culture

360º Architecture

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Styliane Philippou, 'The Lizards of Djenné'26 September 2010

In the epilogue to his remarkable monograph on the Masons of Djenné, a fascinating study of the lives, practices and professional training of the designer-cum-craftsmen responsible for the unique mud-brick or adobe architecture of this Malian town of approximately 12,000 inhabitants, the architect and anthropologist Trevor H. J. Marchand describes the re-plastering of Djenné's Great Mosque, in February 2005. 



View of Banani village on the Bandiagara escarpment (Dogon Country), Mali. Photograph by Styliane Philippou, 2004


This annual festival involves the entire community of Djenné in the necessary regular maintenance of its majestic monument, which guarantees the protection of its mud brickwork against sun, rain and wind erosion. An act of devotion and a special festive event, the re-plastering of the building's exterior surfaces and roof normally takes place in March or April, towards the end of the dry season when most building activity takes place, a relatively short period between the end of the winter harvest and the first spring rain falls. The town elders together with the master masons of the barey ton (masons' association) typically determine an auspicious day for the event, just few weeks or days before its actual occurrence. This tradition was discarded in 2005, so that the re-coating of the Great Mosque with a new layer of mud would coincide with the first week-long Djenné festival, a new tourist attraction for this island town on the Bani River.

Read the article here

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Get involved in community service

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Community service is one of the wonderful experiences that helps in more than one ways. Volunteers get a chance to broaden their own vision by sharing are lives and views in cross cultural settings. In addition to cultural fusion, they get practical language practice while traveling to new places and living and working with new people.

Thanks to VISIONS Service Adventures - provider of domestic and international community service programs – which they offer teen summer community service to high school and middle school student who are looking for worthwhile exposure in South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Vietnam and the United States of America. You get a chance to live together, work together, explore and play together, and enjoy our shared experience while you send your quality time in community service. Summer program are planned in off season and includes both construction and non-construction service work.

Have a look at neatly laid out and information rich site and see what all opportunities are available to choose from. Explore their program locations and see which place can offer you the most. Interested students can ask for their brochure or download application form. Also sign up their newsletter and get involved. This will help you make informed decision and to plan your next summer community service experience.

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Why Use Mud

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Mud Architecture in Pakistan appeared in the Daily Nation today.

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Culture and its future

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The NGO "Cultura", previously called "Tradition und Zukunft Landgut Borsig (LGB)", is part of an international network of Non-Government Organizations with long-standing experience inside and outsid the country.

Use of Handicrafts and "Appropriate Technology", linked with the possibilities of (international)urban lifestyle, i.e. using cordless telephones, internet, etc. and combined with the advantages of the healthier and cheaper rural life-style.

The LGB offers multiple possibilities, among others also through the exhibition of agricultural-historical collection and it thrives on the interest and ideas of its participants.

The emphasis here is on promoting the distinctive character of the products.

Continuously newer exhibitions of art and ethnological rarities alongwith the permanent ones are interesting for locals as well as outsiders. Also the workshop-type events and events organized by the district authorities for the purpose of training and income-generating measures for the local population.

Also the fact that Art workshops, Litho-workshops and special workshops(like Art-forgeings workshops, construction of music instruments, etc.) conducted by professionals are available.

The latter courses are directed towards outsiders, who would like to follow their interests in workshops over several days whereas boarding and lodging is integrated into the offer.

Information in this respect can be obtained by e-Mail directly from the Cultura association!

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Oval Office Redesign

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While President Obama was on vacation, new neutral-colored wallpaper, couches, rugs, and lamps were installed in the Oval Office. Looks crazy, right? No?

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