• Working in the fashion industry can be very cruel, especially for young girls with little knowledge of the risky encounters in wealthy environments ...

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  • ... has just died (June 26, 2015): he was 93 but he will remain as the typically English dandy.

    He was world famous as John Steed, Her Majesty’s intelligence agent in the serial “The Avengers” (French : “Chapeau melon et bottes de cuir”)

    Why English? – because of his bowler hat and sharp suit, because of his character’s temper (a real smart, cool gentleman, with his British composure (Fr.: flegme britannique), and a good sense of humour, also a lover of beautiful ladies, including Emma Peel (actress Diana Rigg), Tara King (played by Linda Thorson); Macnee was pre-deceased by his three wives (the actress Katherine Woodville was the second). 

    Patrick Macnee as Steed in The Avengers, 1968. Photograph: StudioCanal/Rex Shutterstock

     

    A lot of things you wouldn’t expect from Patrick Macnee : 

    -He first went to Eton College before joining a London drama school.

    -He served in the Royal Navy in the Second World War. “Macnee caught bronchitis just before D-Day; while he was recuperating in hospital, his boat and crew were lost in action” (Wikipedia).

    -his character never used a gun, but was skilful with an umbrella

    -he featured in an Oasis music video for their 1996 song “Don't Look Back In Anger”, appearing as the band's driver.

    -He was in the 1985 James Bond film “A View To A Kill” with Roger Moore, acting as Bond's ally, the horse trainer Sir Godfrey Tibbett.

    -He is one of a very small number of actors to have portrayed both Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson on screen.

    -He openly criticized the private sale, purchase and use of guns

    -He died in California, where he’d been living for over 40 years (he became a US citizen in 1959).

     

    A website : http://www.patrickmacnee.com


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  • Claudia HUCKLE

     

    Here's a a great artist you could see in the streets of Nantes and Angers. This British opera-singer is a contralto who plays Olga in Tchaikovski's Eugen Onegin. Her voice is exceptionally rich in tone and colour, her acting is perfect, mobile and sensuous. No wonder she has such a fast-rising career : and believe me ! it's only the beginning. I happened to think of Kathleen Ferrier ...


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  • Maëlle Baudry tells us about “Djerbahood”, a unique experience she has just discovered :

     Djerbahood is a humanitarian project, based on the houses of Djerba, a Tunisian island. Medhi Ben Cheikh, the director of this project, decided to call street artists -- more than 150, from more than 30 different nations. Each in his / her own way invades the streets with paints, graffiti, stencils... Erriyadh village (which means "the little love") became a symbol of positive messages of happiness, peace and freedom in a country which is just out of a popular uprising against austerity. This project is, as Mehdi Ben Cheikh said, « one of the best weapons we have in our struggle against obscurantism ». This little neighbourhood can visually take us to all the continents : Oceania, with  Fitan Maggie who travelled from Australia, North America representated by Swoon ; and staying in Africa, we count many artists, like the Kenyan WiseTwo, and Faith47, from The South-African Republic. A few years ago, when France discovered the work of this self-educated South African woman, the world of urban arts was amazed. Nowadays, she’s internationally known and her singular style is clearly recognisable. Her work is embedded, adapted in urban environments all over the world, she draws support from memory and is constantly looking for human interactions, giving new sense to her works. Her murals are political, inspired by social realities from her country. Indeed, she participates in the writing of the “New post-apartheid South Africa”. The freedom she takes as an artist astounds and forces respect. In Erriyadh, she discovered a village mixing modern and historical architectures. Faith47 creates therefore a real relation between the wall-structure and the picture she “graphs” on it. So we can see her enchanting unicorn on a tiny street corner -- how wonderful it is ! Between a dream world and the past of a place. “New South African” culture comes to confront with the post-revolutionary Arabic Tunisia, it’s as stunning as it is seizing -- evidence that, despite all censorships and criticisms, art is a free and meaningful means of expression.

    Faith 47 / The Unicorn / Djerbahood

    Faith47 The Unicorn

    WiseTwo / Street Art / Djerbahood

    WiseTwo Street Art

     

    Note that Djerbahood is probably derived from neighbourhood; in African-American slang, "hood" is  a neighborhood, usually a depressed community; it is most often used in reference to the neighborhood that the speaker is from.

     

     

     


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  • One French engraver, born in Nantes, is almost better known in the British Isles than he is in France : his name is J.E. Laboureur (1877 - 1943).  Although little interested in the army, he was recruited by the Translation and interpretation corps in the French Infantry, and served as an interpreter to the Tommies during WW1; he also documented the daily life on the battlefront (Flanders).

     

    On J.-E. Laboureur

     His collection of American types in Saint Nazaire is also extremely interesting :

     

    On J.-E. Laboureur (1877 - 1943)

     

    Before the war-period, Laboureur had been an avant-garde painter:

    J.E. Laboureur Grand Café du Commerce

     
     


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