Blaze of glory
Teen Art Out nr 9
Glory is something most people strive for but
ISSN 2284 – 6549 ISSN–L = 2284 – 6549
so few achieve. We want to matter, to be known, to achieve success in many forms. Stardom requires dedication and hard work, but most of all, a burning desire that surpasses everything. Mister catch me if you can I’m going down in a blaze of glory Take me now but know the truth I’m going down in a blaze of glory
(Jon Bon Jovi – Blaze of Glory)
What I know is that I want glory, and not just 15
minutes. I love the spotlight and the attention. For me, glory means being the best in my class, academic achievements, and many national titles at scrabble. Nothing compares to seeing the rewards and the feeling it gives you. Success tastes great, but the road to getting there is not easy. Glory is not something abstract, not something we want for its name. People want money, want recognition, want to prove themselves, and want to be known. At the end of the day, you have to matter, to have made a difference and be remembered. And we will go down with our guns blazing, fighting for who we are and for what we stand for!
maybe that’s just me. With this issue we want to present more opinions, to ask our readers to think about what glory means to them. We are young and outspoken and we have to prove ourselves to the whole world! How can we be different? How can people know who we are? How can we be set apart? Follow the articles and maybe you will share our views…and catch us if you can! SimonaMihalca, Editor-in-chief
Our editorial team Editor in chief: Simona Mihalca
5 interview with Liv Kristine
Editors: Pancu Raluca Marta Boceanu Michela Sereni Stefan Pascanu Ramona Rahimian Julia N. Hamermesz Photo credits: Daniel Pica Floarea Ciprian
13 The beauty and the beat
Cover design: Ruxandra Marin
20 The glory of battle
Cover graphics: Daniel Pica
22 The good die young
Design: Ioana-Madalina Sterpu
We reserve the right to select the submissions received before publishing.
Contact: www.artout.ro email@example.com
9 Sexism in the media & its effects on society 16 What is glory? 17 Glory- Drama Queen
30 interview with Nicu Alifantis
Liv Kristine Simona Mihalca: Hello. How are you? Liv: Thankyou, all is well. We are in the middle of the recordings of Leaves’Eyes fifth full-length album, “Symphonies of the Night”. After finishing my vocal recordings I will spend two weeks at home in Stavanger, Norway with my family! S.M: How is the recording of your newest studio material going? Liv: We are extremely busy here at Mastersound Studio - there is so much going on! At times my husband even works during nights and the rest of us at daytime, which is extremely stressful. Next to the Leaves’ Eyes recordings my husband, Alex, has to do a lot of promotion for the soon-to-be released album “Okkult”, including video shoot next week, “Okkult” release party a.s.o. Nevertheless, we have a superb working climate at the studio. We record with
Pro Tools and most of us are able to use it which means flexibility. Alex is our producer so he is our man for the mix and we are all very grateful for that as his skills are amazing, moreover, he is a perfectionist! With Alex as producer the result is always outstanding, amazing and impressive! S.M: How much of a duty and how pleasant or unpleasant is what comes after the album is ready? The listening session, loads of interviews, promotional pictures and so on. Liv: that’s the first time anyone asked me this question...Although there are tons of interviews to do, written and phones, which keep me extremely busy, I always remember that I am grateful for the work of those people who want to promote my art and my band, like you. I have been a full-time artist since I was 19 years old and I know how much work it takes to release an album, from
the first composed song, to the mix and the master of the album, until press work, photosessions and touring. However, it is always a matter of “give-and-take” between the artist, the label, the audience and the official press. All these instances have to work hand-in-hand to promote and spread the art into the world. S.M: To our great delight, you have recently been confirmed for Metal Female Voices Fest both as a solo artist and with Leaves’ Eyes. Is this the event of the year for symphonic metal? What can we expect? Liv: This event is for female-fronted bands, many of them of the genre symphonic metal. However, there are always surprise-acts and moments at MFVF. One of them this year will be my concert with my solo band “Liv Kristine”, so I hope to see all of you in Belgium, Wieze, in October! S.M: How hard is it to balance both your solo work and the band? Liv: that’s no problem at all - I am so glad I have the possibility to compose, record, release albums and play concerts with both. Music is, next to my family, my life. I was genetically given and born with an outstanding musical hearing, vocal cords and lungs...and already when I was six years old I knew that music would play a vital role in my life. I actually never really learned notes as my hearing and understanding of music is kind of “perfect”. With both Leaves’
Eyes and Liv Kristine, and some guest appearances here and there, I feel that I can “spread my wings” in different musical directions. Creativity and love towards music is the force behind my artistic work, as well as thankfulness towards my audience and fans all over the world. S.M: For the 20th anniversary album of Depeche Mode you will cover “One Caress”. How do you choose the covers you do and how did you decide to do this one? Liv: That was just a suggestion within the band, as well as requested from the Magazine Sonic Seducer and our long-year friend, the magazines’ chief editor, Thomas Vogel.I think “One Caress” turned out superb! S.M: Do you think there is a difference between Liv Kristine on tour, idolized by so many people and Liv Kristine, the person, at home, a mother and wife? Liv: To tell you the truth, my band-members and friends call me “Mum” on tour...I guess I kind of have this feature in my personality that I always try to care for other people. On stage I am wearing dresses, corsets and super-high heels, which I won’t wear at home, however, under the dress I am always me. I have learned to “be one” with myself through yoga, running, and meditation throughout the years. Ten years ago I was sued and forced in front of court because I refuced to sing on songs which
had been produced for “Liv Kristine” by an external, hired producer. My ex-management let me down, and my ex-label and -producer called me “useless” because I refused to be the product they wanted to. I lost every penny I had earned to the suing parties, but started from scratch again: I won my freedom back! I refuse to walk around with a dollar-sign on my forehead - I just want to be myself, no matter what. S.M: Traveling so much and playing at so many festivals, you got to meet and work with a lot of amazing people. Do you now consider any of them friends? Liv: Definitely. My band-members belong to my family. Even if some left the band for certain reasons, and new entered, we are a family. However, throughout the years I have really had to learn not to trust everybody. The fact is, I grew up by the sea in Norway, totally peaceful and quiet... and then, turning nineteen, I found myself in the middle of the crazy music business. Unfortunately, like I already mentioned above concerning the court case, I have made some bad experience a few times. Anyway, I am grateful to have my husband, Alex, next to me. We are an unbreakable team and we have the strength to avoid external manipulation and dishonesty, which is, unfortunately, often present in the music business. S.M: Have you ever considered do-
ing a movie or a play? Liv: I would love to! I, as also my son, love theatre plays! S.M: What’s your opinon on tattoos? Liv: I have none, only a few piercings, my last one a Madonna-piercing. Tattoos can be very beautiful if they are well done. I like the Viking and Celtic motives. S.M: Do you follow what people say about you or the band online? Does a bad review or a malicious opinion still affect you? Liv: I read a lot of what is written about me and my music, so I am well-informed. I have learned not to care about unfair reviews or statements. I am “me” in any facet of my life, and luckily 99% of the reviewers seem to understand my art and my personality. I am very grateful for that! S.M: Do you still wish to move back to Norway one day? Liv: Yes, definitely. However, Germany is the right place at the right time for me in this part of my life. S.M: What is your ideal holiday and where would it be? Liv: With my family in Stavanger, Norway, or New Zealand, Ireland or Iceland. I already started saving to visit Alex’ sister in New Zealand next year! S.M: If you could be any god or
S.M: Do you have any traditions you like to keep to? Liv: Yes, the way my family celebrates Christmas, moreover, I wave my Norwegian flags here at our home in Germany on Norways day of independence, 17. May! S.M: What is your favorite poem? Liv: All poetry by the German writer Rilke, for example “The Panther”, moreover, Kate Bush’ lyrics. S.M: Is there anything you didn’t learn in school and wish you did? Or the other way around, what did you learn and later realize that it was of no use at all? Liv: Maths was my worst enemy, as well as Chemistry. I wish I could have replaced those lessons with poetry writing, or learning more languages, like Spanish, or Irish. S.M: When was the last time you asked someone for an autograph and whom? Liv: I am hoping to get an autograph from my greatest inspiration in metal, Ozzy Osbourne! Thank you very much! I thank you! Hugs and kisses, Liv
goddess, who would you be? Liv: The Goddess of Light.
Sexism in the media
& its effects on society
Equality between males and females is supposedly an obvious concept, a goal reached a long time ago. It’s common belief that the two genders are treated in the same way, and that they’re given the same amount of opportunites. Apparently, it may look like that:the World’s a concrete sky studded by important female figures, taking active action, standing up for what they believe in. Yet, it only takes a few minutes of T.V., or a quick read of a magazine with watchful and critic eyes, to realize reality’s far from these parity ideals. Media give us a feeble, frail, degrading and submissive stereotype of girls, distinguished by over-exposure of various body parts paired with a huge physical/mental weakness. “It is problematic when nearly all images of women depict them not simply as ‘sexy women’ but as passive objects for someone else’s sexual pleasure” (Hypersexualization Of Women). Women are seen as a collection of objects, pieces, sceneries and not as creatures capable of thinking and feeling. Advertisments often and only show legs, hands, arms, butts of the models, instead of the whole anatomy; even the face is cut off, as if it was
not relevant in any way. That seldom happens when it comes to males. In fact, femmes are objectified: they become an actual, physical portion of the object they’re advertising. This kind of representation is extremely dangerous, as it creates a climate of violence against womenfolk. They’re things, right? They’re bottles of water, shoes, and there’s nothing wrong with pushing them against walls or mistreating them (Relish Spring ‘09 ad , P.Diddy for Unforgivable Woman ad). By dehumanizing women, medias almost justify any kind of harm they might suffer – a road that leads straight to rape culture and slut shaming, among other things. “A study found out that movies in which men are raped are approx. 15; the ones where the same thing happens to ladies are 179. And the list is still growing” (Reflection Of Rape Culture In The Media), “Some media images and portrayals certainly perpetuate this sort of worldview, including news coverage that includes details that invite news consumers to blame victims or mitigate suspect culpability” (Social Media’s Effects On Rape Culture). Anyhow, sadly, this isn’t the only impact ads have on many lives, as
there’s another recurrent and very popular subject, “perfection”. Most of the times, the figures we see up in billboards, or on journals’ covers, aren’t real:they’re a bundle of flesh, a mix of unbelievably tiny models and Photoshop. The kind of absolute perfection that isn’t achievable:that’s because those bodies aren’t real. They’re made out of X’s head, Y’s lips, and so on. Nobody will ever be able tor each that structure, simply and purely because it does not exist. Not in our World. Let that information sink in your brain. Yet, we’re bombarded day and night with these pictures, screaming “You should look like this!” at us, in angry, enormous, bright, bold letters. “A shockingly small minority of the population has the genetic dispensation to match with what the media purports to be attractive. For women, desirable physical characteristics include being thin, long-legged, slim-hipped, and large-breasted. The media-portrayed desirable physical characteristics for men include being muscular and possessing a full head of hair. In the gap between what is implicitly beautiful in the eyes of the media and the physical reality of the popular majority flourishes a market of self-improvement products and services, ranging from hair dye and makeup to tanning salons, dieting, and plastic surgery. Television, magazines, and newspapers are filled with advertisements promoting self-loathing, while of-
fering “miracle” body-altering “cures”. The body that does not conform to a sexy, sleek stereotype becomes a thing to be hated, improved upon.[...] In addition to the physical and emotional damage caused by the current media-driven obsession with achieving an arbitrary physical perfection, our society faces losing serious social perspective. The body is stripped of its uniqueness and forced into frustratingly narrow constraints: good/ bad and attractive/unattractive. Little or no public attention is given to the countless other factors around which a person’s identity is structured. By focusing too intensely on the physical, our society risks losing sight of the fuller sense of what people are, and what makes us truly beautiful” (Media And Gender Stereotyping). This notion distorts the way we see ourselves, and causes a conventional sense of inadequateness, very useful for beauty products, pretty dresses, and all sorts of commodities that are supposed to improve us, to make us look better. “We have ample evidence to conclude that sexualisation has negative effects in a variety of domains, including cognitive functioning, physical and mental health, and healthy sexual development” (Sexualization Harms Young Girls). This rule can be applied to cinema and entertainment, as well. Besides being belittled on a constant basis, womankind is under-represented, in every field. In 2010, the movies in which the main character was an
actress were a 6%, while the amount of white male actors was 83%. In the same year, even in kids’ cartoons female-leaded pieces were 1/4 of the total. Such a little number of ladies with relevant roles demostrates that they’re considered as nothing more but a pot of pretty flowers, and surely not as people who deserve a whole story: basically,they “don’t sell well”. Of course, this is a consequence of the twisted idea of sexes equilibrium society’s trying to force on us. A written thing, not an effective, true one. It goes without saying that gals are being paid up to -24% compared to men. “The pay gap between educated women and men begins as soon as they start their careers, a new study shows. The study, released on Wednesday by the American Association of University Women, found that in 2009, women who had graduated college a year earlier and worked full time were paid 82 percent as much as their male counterparts, a slight improvement from the 80 percent a similar study found in 2001” (Gender Gap in Pay). Not to mention, starlets experience sexism in first hand, each time they agree to do an interview. In a Teen Vogue interview, Emma Stone and her partner Andrew Garfield pointed out the fact that they get a set of questions that is completely divergent. Emma stated, “They ask who is my style icon, what’s the one thing that I can’t leave my house without”, and her boyfriend confirmed that he
doesn’t, merely because he’s a boy. In the same way, Scarlett Johasson had to face “Were you wearing any underwear under your costume?” while filming a press conference for the promotional tour for ‘The Avengers’. During another QA session, the young woman called out a sexist reporter who asked a deep query about Tony Stark (Robert D. JR’s character), and then directed to her a short interrogation about the diet she had to follow to get in shape for her part, The Black Widow. “[To Robert] How come you get the really interesting existential question, and I get the like, “rabbit food” question?”. The essential, crucial issue lies in the fact that sexism is still perceived as a problem that only has effects on girls, and not the community as a whole. It isn’t, for putting a gender down, making someone superior to another just because of their genitalia is the foundation for all kinds of inequality and racism; it represents the first brick in the wall of discrimination and unevenness. We shall knock that barricade before it’s too late, before it turns into a swimming pool-equipped maison. Michela Sereni
Beauty and the Beat Teen Art Out has the pleasure to invite you ite you on the 7th of May to Beauty and the Beat, and extraordinary concert by none else than TarjaTurunen. As many of you might know, the concert was originally set to be on April 11, but, unfortunately, it had to be rescheduled. Despite being a “strong baby mama”, as she herself said, the queen of Finnish metal suffered from an aggressive laryngitis and was unable to sing. However, we send her all our love and cannot wait to see her on May 7. Beauty and the Beat is a project the soprano started with her drummer, Mike Terrana, in 2011 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, where they interpreted many classical pieces and songs from both Tarja’s solo career and Nightwish. But this is year it’s time to take the show on road for a much-expected world tour, and Romanians are lucky enough to get to see her. With an orchestra of over 70 instrumentalists and a 15-people choir, Tarja will enchant us. However, Tarja did spend 2 days in Romania and I had the pleasure of being at her press conference, so I can give you a sneak peek of what is to come. The show is supposed to maintain the same setlist, which will definitely hold a big surprise for the fans who haven’t followed her tour.
But I will let you find out about that one on your own. In this world tour she had 3 soldout concerts in Zlin, where she also filmed a DVD. However, that is not all that she filmed there. The fans will be glad to hear about her releasing a lyrics video for her song “Never Enough” from her upcoming album. By the time of her concert in Romania, her album should be close to the finish line, in order to be release in August. Other than this, Tarja also talked about her bundle of joy, Naomi, her 8 months old daughter. She is just an angel, who loves to hear mommy sing and is very lucky to have her parents with her and see the world. Still, the news that made me the happiest was that she is coming back next year with her rock tour! So, I hope I get to see you all at SalaPalatului in Bucharest on May 7, waiting for Tarja. Simona Mihalca
eautyand the eat
On May 7 we finally got to see the voice of Finland, TarjaTurunen alongside drummer Mike Terrana in a beautiful classical concert named Beauty and the Beat. Of course, she apologized for postponing the original concert and asked the public to forgive her for that. In all fairness, there is close to nothing we wouldn’t forgive her for. She wasn’t yet fully recovered but she gave her best, as usual. The show was classic and amazing, making everyone struck with awe at her amazing voice. She is after all a soprano and she is back to her old love. The first part was one of great classical opera pieces, such as BluteNur, Zueignung or the Barber of Seville. The second part, however, was one even more to the public’s taste, as it had some great rock songs like Queen’s You Take My Breath Away or A Led Zeppelin medley. As it could have been expected, the most successful song was indeed a cover of Nightwish ,Swanheart. 14
In the encore we could hear my personal favourite, I Feel Pretty, or her best known song, I Walk Alone. Tarja, despite not being the best at showmanship, is a queen and has such warmth towards the public –bear in mind that she actually signed autographs during the concert-. Mike is extremely funny and charismatic and can make a joke here and there to lighten the mood of a concert that would otherwise be a bit stiff. However, most jokes were so rehearsed they became a bit awkward. On the whole, I am surprised by the public, who didn’t fail to prove itself. Though I would have thought many people came for TarjaTurunen, the metal artist, the public was extremely welcoming and gave her standing ovations time and time again. We are now waiting to see her again in October 2014 with the rock tour for her newest album, Colours in the Dark. Simona Mihalca
Glory – the drama queen Lights, camera, action!
It’s about time we read something about glory. But who believes in glory and what is it, anyway? Birds say it’s a moment in their life when everything seems perfect, they live with passion, so to the fullest, eventually they are in love and they only see the good in everything. Bulls say it’s money. Lions say it’s a point where even supremacy is eclipsed by strength and success. Elephants believe in a concept of spiritual culmination and pure communion with the universe. Fish know the real definition, but they won’t tell us. The sun looks good today, get on your feet, don’t forget to seize this day and activate your fleet, you may need some glory. (fish says sorry!) Marta Boceanu 16
Glory enters the stage as the main character of our list of headings in life. Being said that, glory evolves from the moment T0, where it can be identified as a concept, to the level where its “character” underpins our moral structure. For many of us, glory represents our ultimate goal, our main target in life which we want to accomplish in order to assure that our name will be remembered. Therefore, we face challenges, build achievements and continuously load our self-confidence, in order to obtain that unique sense of fulfillment. Moreover, with every step that we take and plan that we make, we raise our ambition and maximize our level of commitment, in the process of reaching up the top of glory. One way or another, our most powerful desire is to drag out everybody’s attention, to raisea certain status that will stand up in society and will legitimate our glory. As the following statement, “what goes around, comes around”, glory assumes taking risks and mak-
ing sacrifices, for which we will have to take responsibility in the final chapter. Most of the time, the consequences we need to deal with don’t seem to emerge at the beginning of the road, where most of us assume that glory will only bring happiness, so we tend to become a little more distracted and superficial. Moreover, we don’t pay the same attention as we did before to little things, to our relationships or moral values. So we sacrifice a little bit of this and that, trying to prove a point, like the fact that everything revolves around us, at least, that is what we tend to believe. Those are the main raisons which influence our behavior and lead to a total modified persona, where our self-awareness is tumbling. But we will be discussing this a little bit later. Now our rising question is till what point our attitude towards glory can change and how conscience can be altered? Can we stop after we reach the amount of glory we were aiming for? Can we event consider its material substance, a certain amount of it? Normally, we cannot and to be more precisely, glory is not a certificate or a diploma that allows you to show off with your own 17
qualities or skills gained along the way. Glory creates an image full of popularity, admiration, success, but has, in the end, a double face. The whole process of achieving glory is like flipping up the coin after reversing around every corner. You never know what you may encounter, what the day of tomorrow may bring you, whether you will face another obstacle or you will receive another opportunity to sustain your glory, fame. By its definition, glory can be tricky, but you have to play after its rules, or else you will end up in checkmate. Furthermore, glory can bring out the best and the worst of us, but we will take a look from both an-
gles and will confront the opposing facts that lead to an unpredictable last chapter of our own play. Firstly, we need to set the record straight As I mentioned above, glory can take many faces. Regardless of the working field we are talking about or professional area that we are looking into, glory submits itself like a real drama queen. Meaning today you are craving for it, you want it more than ever, but at the same time, tomorrow you may not want it anymore. Therefore, we have our first rule; glory does not accept the words: incertitude and insecurity in its vocabulary. Once you hit the road, you must continue
driving till you reach your destination, in other case, we cannot be talking about fame or true glory, only about being for a short period of time in the public eye. Nonetheless, once you’ve reached that certain level of glory, every move and decision you make is helping you gain or lose points. However, for those people whose ambition rises above everything, this balance between the two feelings only sticks in quite a temper and allows the glory to do her thing. So, we become our own drama queens. Like those artists and singers who claim that they don’t like being followed by the paparazzi, but at the first chance they get, they make sure the cameras will be there, when they arrive. The most difficult part is to follow a constant track. Glory cannot be conserved without the touch of luck. As I mentioned above, sacrifices are to be made, but luck holds the big role. Therefore, glory appears firstly to those who are at the right place, at the right moment and secondly, to those who are aiming and working for it. Glory can become, sometimes, too heavy for some people, who end up not knowing what to do with it, how to ménage it or it can
disappear, as well as it appeared once. So, for those who end up trapped in a maze of confusion, anxiety and depression, glory starts messing around with their heads, becoming their worst enemy. Those are the moments where glory and fame step into our personal life more than we allow it and the problems are magnified because whatever we are dealing with is made public. Therefore the tension of being watched and followed and analyzed suffocates us till we reach a certain point of depression where glory is to be blamed for everything that is going wrong. For others, as well, glory can be a beautiful dream that ends up very quickly. Even if they live their entire life covered in glory, at the very end of the story, people may start forgetting you. So, you end up like you’ve started, only with more memories that will constantly remind you how things have turned around. Glory can be gained in so many ways. It depends from what side you are looking at. Whether we are talking about a hero, an actor, a singer or a politician, glory establishes the same rules and develops the same amount of contradictory feelings that re19
sult in a total adventure. The one thing that differs is the amount of energy we put into and how well do we tackle the public scrutiny. Nonetheless, the reason for which we want to achieve it is an important criterion which sets things in a different order, from case to case. Glory can also appear to those who expect the least, but this isn’t a guarantee that it will stick with them. Sometimes, glory remains and grows day by day, or just enlightens a little bit the daily routine, by giving that certain person the opportunity to live an unforgettable experience. Definitely, however we look at, nothing compares to the taste of glory. Even if we try to settle at a simple piece of cake, we want it all, because this is what glory is about: having everything you’ve ever wished for. Sweet and sour, glory is an incomparable drama queen.
The glory of battle
I am going to talk about a subject a little bit taboo and important nowadays. The subject is war. War has always been part of human history and was always present but what most people don’t know is that these wars were fought not by the leaders of the country but by the young men and women who were on the front. Wars have been won with the price of millions and millions of lives, young lives that could have done great in the future. So now, that the threat of a new war dawns over us, is it really worth it to fight and die in war, in so called glory, or is it more important to live and have a great happy life? War has always been presented as a beautiful and honourable thing and most of the time young men that died in war were presented as people who died a beautiful, honourable death. What I want to Raluca Pancu present in this article is that to die in war or to be hurt in a war has nothing beautiful or glorifying that it is actually grotesque and traumatising. I want to show the world, the true image of war and battle. When a war starts, usually the first thing a country will do is recruit.
The government recruits millions of young men, many that had never held a gun in their hands, to fight their battle. The teenagers are fed phrases like: “The country needs you!”“You will come back in glory!” “Your family will be proud of you!”, but the reality is completely different. You will come home, if you come home, with serious traumas because you saw your mates, your friends or your brother die around you. Do you find anything glorifying in seeing your best friend being blown up by a land mine? Or you stepping on one and have your leg ripped off? I find that these idyllic, mind washing mottos quite disgusting because they manipulate young people’s minds into thinking that war is a way of affirming yourself. Teenagers tend to fall for this kind of propaganda as most of them crave attention and want to do something meaningful and what is more meaningful than going to war? Of course after the death of a son or a daughter, the family is the one that suffers most and what mother thinks of glory when her child died in war, so far away from her. What father feels proud when he has to bury his son that died in agony in battle? Nothing good
comes out of a war, no glory, no honour, nothing enlightening, just death and suffering. But in war there aren’t just the soldiers that are dying, there are also collateral victims, citizens that die in bombed cities, people that have nothing to do with the war, innocent victims that were in the wrong place at the wrong time. How many little children died when Iraq was bombarded? How many women and how many elderly people had fallen victims under the hands of war? Were they feeling glorious when the bomb destroyed their house, taken their sons or their own life? I do not think so. So now that North Korea threatens USA and South Korea, both armed with nuclear weapons, what will become of us? How will the world as we know it change? Will we survive a nuclear war and if we do how will our lives be after a major nuclear bombing? These are questions that no one can answer and that is terrifying for most of us that could become future collateral victims. As always, because of a leaders inflated ego, millions of people have to suffer and so I ask you: Is glory really worth so many lives? Ramona Rahimian 21
The good die young It is natural and even obvious that societies change and with it the concepts and sayings of generations. But one idea that has been following us for many decades – or maybe centuries – now, is the one that valorizes dying for something, dying with glory – dying good. Different interpretations of glory and good, and of course, of what’s worth dying for, have arisen through the years as they should. After all, we’re human beings, we think different. Some may think it’s worth dying for a country, some may think dying in war brings glory –some may not.
But what changes the most is probably the concept of “good”, because “good” comes from social standards. A collective decide, maybe unconsciously, what makes a person good. It is not a personal choice such and what’s worth dying for. A personal theory – or you might just want to call it a belief – is that dying good means ultimately to have lived your life well, as in such to have no regrets in the end – a bit of a carpe diem thing. Maybe “good” comes with other meanings, but a man in peace with himself seems to be a proper definition of it all to me. It is also a common saying that the good die young. Would
that mean that only young people could be “good”? Or maybe that everyone with “good” on themselves dies in an early age? It is necessary to say here that I don’t believe that people can be utterly good or evil, as I don’t think you can ever establish a universal truth about anything, but that’s not what I’m about. It’s not in good as to be kind or gentle (even though these might be characteristics that make people like you and eventually make you enjoy your life better) but the one we’ve reached before – the one to be in peace with self. Either way, my answer to both previous questions would be a solid no. As I’ve said, time changes our interpretation of things and it might have make us overlook or even take the “young” too literally. The meaning I would choose for this is that those who get to
be good will never have enough time to live (for goodness is likable and infectious, and they will be missed by those who stay) or that they will never grow truly old – their hearts and heads will still be young, no matter their ages. Young? Well, it is said that in youth innocence and passion are generally more present in our lives than in older ages. Maybe keeping that passion and even the innocence is the secret to the so desired “eternal” youth. And isn’t living life with passion and enjoining every moment close to the carpe diem concept that lead us to conclude the meaning of “good” just a moment ago? So live your lives fully. Live every moment. Live with passion. And may you go in a blaze of glory as well. Julia N. Hamermesz
G A L L ERY URBAN & CONTEMPORARY ARTS
EXhibition Bumblebee Bumblebee is one of LA most renown street artists, whose work stands out due to their thought provoking, innovative and utterly charming style. His projects aim to interact with the community and to raise awareness for environmental and social issues, such as the distinction of bees or homeless youths. The spirit of childhood, the collapse of bee colonies and the decline of newspaper are just some of the topics that have influenced his projects. He expresses his works through stencils, graffitis and sculptures. http://instagram.com/bumblebeelovesyou Interesni Kazki The Ukrainian duo “Interesni Kazki” consists of AEC and WAONE. Their infamous works integrate science fiction, religion and various cultural influences ranging from Latin America to India. Their talents lie in creating worlds within worlds, reminiscent of Monty Python, Chagall and Northern Irish graphic designer Escher. http://interesnikazki.blogspot.de/ INTI Chilean street artist INTI covers entire buildings with his indigenous 26
characters featuring traditional robes, skulls and accessories. He studied Visual Arts mainly focussing on classical painting techniques, which still influence his works. In the beginning his style founded itself on Muralismo. Recently he has returned to his roots combining classical painting techniques with special colour schemes. His greatest inspirations are Latin American graffitis. Jaz Jaz began painting in 1998 in Buenos Aires, Argentina after he discovered the first graffitis in the city’s skate parks. In 2005 he made a trip to Barcelona, which influenced his artistic development further, causing him to experiment with new materials such as tar, petrol and lime. Renown for his changing styles and ever-evolving artistic know-how, Jaz unites urban art influences with classical paint strokes and an array of various materials. http://www.francofasoli.com.ar/ M-City M-City is a polish urban artist who has worked in Warsaw, Jakarta, LA, Norway and Mexico. His works include murals, installations, stickers, canvases, postcards, stencils and whatever else he deems necessary. The amateur architect and 27
traveller is renown for his complex geometrical forms and his large-scale industrial stencil scenes. Moneyless Moneyless was born in Milan and raised in Tuscany, Italy. Geometrical shapes and forms are the main focus of his works. Natures’ elements offer him inspiration, as fire, air, water and earth are the basic elements of existence. They come out from the multiplication of the main geometrical figure, the triangle. That being said, it is through subtraction that Moneyless looks into evolution. Nature thus becomes functional to the work of art: Moneyless’ essential forms are processed one after the other, and still entrenched within a structural complexity, they mean simplicity and neatness. http://www.moneyless.it/ Sixe Paredes Sixe Paredes, also known as Sixe or Sixeart, grew up in Barcelona. His passion for urban art is rooted in the graffitis of the 1980s. The evolution of his work has seen everything from elementariness to complex colour schemes, abstract shapes and symbols. His colourful works are expressed throughout different artforms. Recent works have been 28
influenced by Central American cultures, giving way to colourful and mystical works of art. http://sixeart.net/ Sowat Born and raised between Marseilles, France and Los Angeles, USA, Sowat is a self-taught artist who started using a spray can at the age of 15. Rumour has it he simply did it to impress the girls. Whatever the case, he stayed dedicated to the arts and roamed the streets finding new spots for his latest creations. In 2001 he embarked onto the “legal” realm by doing workshops and painting commissioned walls. After a book on the Graffiti in the South of France (“La France d’en Bas”) he began searching for new techniques naturally focussing on calligraphy. Since then he has joined the DMV crew and began adapting his style to actual canvases. Stinkfish Stinkfish is a duo (male and female) from Bogota, Columbia. Most of their work consists of childportraits. Using photographs as models, they extend the faces with various shapes and patterns. The results are deeply moving, sincere and unconventional. http://www.stink.tk/ 29
Nicu Alifantis Think of “Piata Romana nr. 9”, “Ploaie in luna lui marte” or “Ce bine ca esti”. That’s right, we will be talking with Nicu Alifantis, folk singer, songwriter, actor and poet.
Simona Mihalca: I must begin by congratulating you. How does it feel to have a career that spans for four decades and to have done over 4500 concerts? Nicu Alifantis: Thank you, although I honestly don’t know if I fully deserve such praise or, to be more precise, all these yearsI’ve had all the people who have ever attended my concerts and who have bought and listened to my albums to thank.It truly is an extraordinary feeling to realize that 40 years have gone by and that you can track everything you’ve done: albums, concerts, recitals, movie and theatre scores. I can say that two major things motivated me all this time. First off, I really liked and still like what I do and second, the people by my side who lent me their strength 30 30
and their trust.I think I owe it to them not to let them down. S.M: Unfortunately, folk music today isn’t as popular as it used to be. And, sometimes, even if people are interested, the lack of media representation constitutes an obstacle. Why do you think that is? N.A: I’m sorry to disappoint you but I don’t like the idea of folk music. I’ve never thought of myself as a folk musician. I’ve accepted and continue to accept this denominationonly for lack of a better word to describe those who sing poetry accompanied by guitars. Anyway, I don’t think it’s important… It’s only natural. This genre of music can’t enjoy the same success today in 2013 that it once did. Times change,
other kinds of music are popular, we prefer to read stuff on-line than to waste time in a library or book store, time has a whole new meaning, and the idea of taking your time in a relationship has faded. These hold value only for nostalgic or old-fashion people. Media representation isn’t the problem, genre itself is… S.M: Is there a new generation among both the artists and the audience that can carry on this tradition? N.A: Apparently yes, there is a new generation among artists and enthusiasts of this genre that say they are completely dedicated to this phenomenon.I say apparently because even the young artist seem a bit anachronistic, lost in an era long past. You can’tand you’re not allowed to live and create using the tools of the 70’s and 80’s today in 2013. Actually you can but it would just be one big fiasco. I said a long time ago in an interview that modern Romanian folk is dated. The result was that all of my fellow musician attacked and condemned me. Without hesitation, I reiterate. Yes, folk or whatever it’s called is dated, uninteresting, boring, with no modern message. With that said,
why are we surprised that no one is drawn to it, that no one finds it enticing and, instead, opt for another music genres? There are very few young artist belonging to this genre living, thinking and composing today and I will undoubtedly give them credit. I will not do the same for the others, the dust-draped relics, regardless of age or fame! S.M: Who was the artist you last collaborated with? Do you still have faith in Romanian music? N.A: I do have faith in Romanian music, in Romanian artists; in the fact that it is necessary forthe values inherit to Romanian culture to be made known, also in the fact that it is necessary that the general public be made aware of Romanian art. In fact, I think it’s mandatory that we advertize ourselves very stridently anytime the opportunity arises, so that we can get our message across to every corner of the globe. We must announce clearly and in a dignified manner that we have legitimate cultural values.I have faith in young artists because they an enviable amount of tenacity and training behind them and I have nothing but respect for the information and motivation that fills 31 31
them up. Lately, I’ve been able to Arghezi or Blaga or folk poetry... co-operate with very young artists and I can that I was very lucky S.M: How easy was it for you to to have had that opportunity. put these poems to music? N.A: It was neither easy, nor hard. S.M: For many, folk music is the It was a search. Just like an archemusic they grew up with. That’s ologist, you can find the treasure how they memorized Nichita you dream about by carefully and Stănescu’s poems. What can you diligently digging until sometell us about the relationship be- thing you’d hoped for but never tween the two? thought you’d find emerges. The N.A: It’s true that the only note- awe and feeling of accomplishworthy thing this genre has done ment always exceed the results. is bringing the values of Romanian You dig deep into the poem’s lines poetry to a larger audience. That’s and put them to music. What simno small thing. Entire generations plicity! What joy could be greatwere introduced to poetry, and er than finding something you this has had an impact on our and hadn’t even hoped to find in a everybody’s consciousness and poem: a song! All poems of value on the fact that there are other have a hidden melody. Carefully ways to say “I love you” apart from encrypted like a safe combinathe bland, simplistic ones. It is the tion with astonishing simplicity. greatest service done to these Amazing… generations. Whether it happened at the pool, at a party or S.M: The highly-anticipated “Mosimply at a show, the fact that you zaic” album is currently in procan communicate in a beautiful, duction. How did this albumcome poetic and metaphorical manner about and what are your expectais a joy that everyone has experi- tions once it is released? enced at some point in their lives. N.A: I’ve only ever had one exAnd that joy is even greater when pectation regarding the albums you realize that each and every I’ve released: that the listeners one of us have subtly and unex- enjoy them. It’s the same for this pectedly paid homage to the Ro- album. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t manian language through what is care. I care a lot because I don’t knownasEminescu or Stănescu or sing for myself or for a small num32
ber of friends, I sing for everyone who buys the album, listens to it and judges it. It shows my professionalism within my artistic calling. I like everything I put out to be judged, analyzed, critiqued or appreciated. I hope that “Mozaic” will be well-received. My work is not meant to gather dust. My artistic produce is meant for Alifantis fans and I aim to please. I find great joy in hearing that my albums were good and liked. It means I have achieved my goal. S.M: There are some Greek and Portuguese songs included. What significance does the fact that they aren’t in Romanian have in regards to how they are received? N.A: I must admit that I liked the idea of singing a few poems from around the world in the language they were originally written in. The challenge was being able to think musically in another language. Of course, singing in Greek could be interpreted as a return to childhood. We spoke Greek in my household and I admit to being overwhelmed by memories. I won’t lie, I get emotional when I think about how these songs will be perceived by the people listening to them, however I think it’s worth the effort to bring a small
homage to spiritualitywhen multiple ethnicities, cultures and confessions come together and form a whole. S.M: How has recording an album changed in the last 40 years? N.A:There’s no big difference as far as the human side is concerned. The artists in the studio and their instruments are, without a doubt, the ones who touch the listeners’ souls and trigger catharsis. As far as the technical side is concerned, there certainly have been a lot of changes. Studios are very modern and the equipment seems miraculously advanced compared to several decades ago.However it’s also true that technologically we’re also travelling back in time. Using certain implements of studio technology exactly as we did in the 50’s and 60’s is no coincidence. The warm, pleasant, friendly, emotive kind of sound is making a comeback. S.M: How do you find the time to mix theatre with music? N.A: This has meant a lot to me. Te stage artist Alifantishas had a lot to learn from the theatre music maker Alifantis and vice-versa. The experience I got from working in these two fields made me 33
see thing in a whole new light. I won’t deny that this duality has proven useful to me maybe also because I’m a Gemini.
bel is good for anyone. I prefer that people attend my shows for the music and not because we’re members of the same party.
S.M: Another endeavor which bears your name is the NicuAlifantis Foundation. What does it do and what has it accomplished? N.A: It hasn’t accomplished as much as I had hoped. I managed to give out a few awards to some youngsters who were just beginning their career, I’ve lent a hand to a few people who needed it, I’ve tried to make myself useful if I had the skills but especially if I had the means. Unfortunately, the laws regulating this are very strict and I admit I lacked the fortitude to withstand the extremely tedious, Romanian-specific kind of bureaucracy, so I gave up.Actually, I don’t see why I could perform acts of charity as a natural person!
S.M: Which concert was the best you’ve ever seen? N.A: I’ve seen a lot of good concerts but it’s hard to tell which were the best. However, I can say that I did like Leonard Cohen’s in Bucharest, 2012 in particular. S.M: When was the last time you asked for an autograph and whose was it? N.A: December, 2012, at the National Library; it belongs to the great artist Vladimir Zamfirescu. S.M: Where can we hope to see NicuAlifantis in the future? N.A: In Romania, Europe and overseas, anywhere I have the honor of being invited to perform.
S.M: Thank you for your time and S.M: How did you manage not to I wish you the best of luck on your associate your image with a polit- future endevours! ical party all these years? N.A: I neither care for nor do I believe in Romanian politics. As a citTranslated by Florin Manea izen of this country I’ve had my fair share of disappointments, which is why I’ve never been drawn to politics. I don’t think a party la34