V.I Lenin died and left the stumps behind

What do we see here?
On the left is a papier-mâché box, with a Palekh style miniature on it. It is dated 1961. The style developed after icon painters from the city of Palekh had to find new jobs following the revolution of 1917.
The painting on the box depicts the tree stumps on which Vladimir Ilich Lenin used to rest and work. In the distance a foreign delegation looks on.

On the right, Fidel Castro is laying flowers to the tree stumps, on which Lenin used to sit and work.
I repeat, Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is laying dying flowers to the dead tree stumps on which the deceased Vladimir Ilich Lenin used to rest and work.

The thing with the stumps is quite amazing in itself. How else could you stage the absence of a person if not by the stumps that signify the absence of trees that stood there once, tall and proud. The person is long gone and only the absence of the trees is left.


Christoph, teaching guinean kids the pronounciation of shandwish.

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My name is Cow

In a reddit thread on health inspection violations someone offered a story about a run away cow licking bread in a recreation of a 18th century french bakery.
A commenter wrote a poem about the incident:

my name is Cow,
and wen its nite,
or wen the moon
is shiyning brite,
and all the men
haf gon to bed -
i stay up late.

i lik the bred.

It is unclear why it caught on so quickly, but the poem inspired countless imitations, telling more stories from the perspective of Cat, Cow or even Dog.
I would guess it is the plain form and the formidable self-confidence of Cow that makes this poem an essential response to our troubled times. Cow does not ponder on its identity or its actions. Cow knows what it is and what it does. Naturally. It liks the bred.

I wish for all my friends to be more like Cow. Believe in what you do. Do it. And find something to lik.

Ivana reading

The Balloon

There is something magical in such videos - since you are basically making something from nothing. The technique is borrowed from impro theater: you write the screenplay together as a group, with every participant saying one simple sentence on his or her turn. One by one a story is built. Then just film it using the simplest means, and you have a non-trivial movie in a day.

I used this technique in workshops with USANII-Lab in Nairobi, resulting in two short films in two days, the beautifully absurd My ambition for survival is the only way to eat my food and the more polished To painfully swallow the pain of being unnoticed.
As for the video above, that was just reviving this excercise for Ivana and me.

Зенит - чемпион

Irgendwo haben sie 100 Zenit-Bälle gefunden.

Chicken bicicleta

In Guinea laufen Hühner überall rum, sie sind schmal und schmächtig, leicht und knochig wie Rennradfahrer.