Posts Tagged ‘tagora’

#happysongsaturday #2 (On Sunday!)


Reader’s may have noticed something wrong with this post. It isn’t Saturday but Sunday I’m writing it. It’s not very good, having started something one week to fall down the very next week. I do not really have an excuse so will just have to try to do better next week. If I was to try one it would be something about the almost Annual Dinner of the English language theatre group I belong to here in Strasbourg, but frankly it doesn’t cut the mustard as an excuse. Incidentally a good evening was had by all.

When I posted this first last week I asked readers to send me examples of what are happy songs for them. I did not expect to get any response immediately. My hopes were that people might notice my little efforts over time and the occasional suggestion might be made. You can imagine my shock and pleasure to get two suggestions. So this week. #happysongsaturday is being driven by one of the readers.

Rob from Reading wrote to suggest Higher and Higher by Jackie Wilson and in doing so said “It was re released I think around 87m 88 and I heard it on a jukebox in the Boars Head. It reminds me of sunshine and the swooning feeling you get when you meet a new love. I’m pretty sure the weather was hot. As you know I dj a bit and this always gets people up.”

Springtime for Mondrian


In the post I wrote about the visit to the Aubette I talked about how interesting I found it that there was somewhere  in Strasbourg designed by someone connected to De Stijl. I also talked about my attachment to the movement and the principle artist of the group, Mondrian.

One thing that attract me to the man’s art is the simplicity of the ideas behind it, the three primary colours within an upright grid or series of boxes with lines only at 90° angle to each other, the lines black and the only other colours allowed white and grey – two non-colours?

You can imagine my surprise just over a week ago when I was heading to rehearsal for Oh What a Lovely War and I passed the window of  one of Strasbourg’s two national chain department stores, Printemps, to discover that entirely by coincidence their window displays were clearly Mondrian inspired. The same use of a block of one of the three primary colours, the same grid shape and the same use of black and white. The headline for this piece is obviously a play on the fact that printemps is the French for Spring and ‘Springtime for Hitler‘, the title of the play at the heart of the Mel Brookes film, ‘The Producers.’

Whilst taking the pictures to illustrate this post JTO remembered that her father, who was an Art Director at an advertising agency in the 1960’s and 1970’s, had said that Mondrian was “not an artist but a typesetter and designer” as he was.

Strasbourg Calling (Sooo British)


Between November 2011 and May 2012 the UK is the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers at the Council of Europe. Not the European Union, which is also run by a committee of ministers confusingly called the Council of the European Union, but the Council of Europe (CoE) the body promoting and protecting Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law throughout its 47 countries. The CoE is probably best known for overseeing the work of the European Court of Human Rights(EHCR). The Minister for Europe, David Lidington, announced the UK government’s priorities for its chairmanship of the CoE’s Committee of Ministers in a written statement:

“The overarching theme of our Chairmanship will be the protection and promotion of human rights. The Government has repeatedly made it clear that human rights are central to its foreign policy. We aim to be an example of a society that upholds human rights and democracy, and we are committed to strengthening the rules based international system.”

Here is a list of the items which have happened during the Chairmanship and, as you can see here the UK Foreign Office even has a logo for the period. (above)

There is also a programme of 30 cultural activities has organised by the Communauté urbaine de Strasbourg (The council for the municipality of Strasbourg) in the period under the heading ‘Sooo British‘ with a brochure highlighting them all, available by clicking on this link [PDF, 971 KB, new window] A friend who was at the offices of the council this week to renew his parking permit said that the building was plastered with posters promoting it. I have to declare an interest at this point as the theatre group, TAGORA, of which I am a member are putting onOh What A Lovely War” in April which has ben included as part of the programme. (It was actually at a rehearsal last night I was told about the posters at the local council offices.)

The political oversight of the CoE is provided by the Parliamentary Assembly, where members of parliament, representing their home parliament, from the 47 countries meet four times a year in Strasbourg to elect judges to the court, receive reports on the activity of the CoE and to receive reports on matters affecting democracy, human rights and the rule of law in member countries. The first meeting for 2012 takes place next week and it is going to be addressed by both the UK Minister for Europe and the Prime Minister.(here is the agenda for the meeting.)

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