From the Feuilletons


Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 29.07.2005

Peter Schäfer reports on youth culture in the Gaza Strip (unfortunately the article is not online). "The Palestinian Authority is very weak here in the South, the people are on their own. It's virtually impossible to break out of this environment. But Aber Muhammad al-Fara (19) and Nadir Abu Ayish (21) stand out. Muhammad wears sunglasses, a trendy black track suit and new trainers. And Nadir sports a kaleidoscopic coloured jacket. They turn heads everywhere they go. This is the creme de la creme of Palestinian hiphop in the Gaza Strip. P.R Palestinian Rappers. They laugh when you ask them about concerts in Khan Junis. Society would never allow it. 'We don't have that many fans in Khan Junis anyway,' says Muhammad, who goes by the name of D.R., Dynamic Rapper. 'Twenty maybe. But there are more in Gaza.' In this large city, an hour's drive north of Khan Junis, they had five gigs last year. Word of mouth brought in school kids and students of both sexes, and they were over the moon. 'But things aren't that easy in Gaza either', explains Nadir. 'At one concert someone threw a grenade into the room. But it only made a big bang. Nobody was hurt.' The incident didn't affect them too much. People who live in Gaza are used to much worse."

Tagesspiegel, 29.07.2005

Sebastian Handke reports on the latest film by Byambasuren Davaa, the Mongolian film student studying in Munich whose last film "The Weeping Camel" was nominated for an Oscar in 2003. She has now returned to Mongolia to film "Die Höhle des gelben Hundes" (the cave of the yellow dog) which premiered in German cinemas yesterday. The crew spent two months filming with a young family in the remote hills to create an "astoundingly unforced" cross-breed of feature and documentary. Much of what happened in the film came about coincidentally. "One evening when we'd finished filming for the day, two children started playing with a small Buddha figure of their mother's. 'You don't play with God!' one cried and brought the game to an abrupt end.' I would never have dared to put such a weighty sentence in the mouth of one so small,' says Davaa. 'I would never dare to say such a thing myself."'

Die Welt, 29.07.2005

Haim Watzman, who's written a book about his military service in Israel reflects on the shooting of the Brazilian electrician Jean Charles Menezes by the London police. "Suicide bomb attacks are planned so they can be set them off with one finger, in case the bombers have been brought to the ground and are surrounded by heavily armed men. The bomber can still blow everything into the air. So the policeman who shot Menezes did a terrible thing. But it was the right thing."

Süddeutsche Zeitung, 29.07.05

Jonathan Fischer introduces German readers to Cowboy Troy, the black Texan who calls himself "the only six foot five, black rapping Cowboy in the Country Music scene". Although the urban black population constitutes the largest and fastest growing group of country music fans in the US and the music is closely related to soul and other black music forms, the industry has been dominated by white talent. Cowboy Troy senses that his Hick Hop, a blend of hip hop and country, is going to storm the charts. Fisher is less optimistic: "Cowboy Troy is neither here nor there. As an arsonist in the badlands called country, his Colts aren't going to smoke for long and at the same time, he doesn't have the qualities of a Rapper." But having studied psychology and with careers in professional wrestling and shoe sales behind him, Cowboy Troy will probably never be at a complete loss.

Two new cycles of Anselm Kiefer's work are now on show. In the London gallery White Cube, 33 works are dedicated to the Russian futurist Velimir Khlebnikov (review in English here); the Salzburg gallery of Thaddeus Ropac is exhibiting paintings and sculptures dedicated to the poet of "Deathfugue", Paul Celan. In an interview with the director of the Kunsthalle in Tübingen, Götz Adriani, Kiefer says that he actually would have liked to be a writer. "But you can only do one thing really well. Which is why for the time being, I'm a painter."

Die Tageszeitung, 29.07.2005

Andreas Hartmann writes an affectionate portrait of the record collector and archivist Frank Maier. Maier collects tapes and cassettes of obscure music from the 1970s and 1980s, particularly German music, unreleased musical sketches from the likes of Blixa Bargeld or Gabi Delgado. For Maier "this is material whose influence on today's experimental music cannot be overestimated. This is where everything comes from, even techno, this is the real source of contemporary electronic music. Frank Maier researches pop culture that has not been archived elsewhere. Basically he is dealing with a terra incognita, material that's been forgotten or repressed, the history of its own history. 'In a time when pop music is mainly quoting itself, ' he says, 'the new is to be found in the discovery of the old.' That's why he's been archiving and digitalising his albums and documents. He's archived 100,000 albums on his website, where you can find information on Maier's experience as an extreme collector and on the value of rare albums." In addition, he's founded his own label: Vinyl on Demand. - let's talk european