Miscellaneous images that are interesting, variously happy, silly, sad or odd. These come mostly from other countries although a few are from closer to home. Some are duplicates of images on other pages of this web site; most are not.






Policeman and Infant, in Anadolu Kavağı, Turkey.
Anadolu Kavağı is a small, tranquil village, the last stop on the ferry route from Istanbul north to the confluence of the Bosphorus and the Black Sea.

      © David Zaret

You've been warned...

.... in China

Sign on wall not far from the Forbidden City, Beijing.       © David Zaret

... in Japan

Sign posted along pedestrian area in Kyoto, Japan.       © David Zaret

... and back home

Parking garage at Indianapolis Airport.       © David Zaret

Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum

In Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum attracts very long lines of visitors, including many Vietnamese school children. As you can see in this photograph, each group of school children has its own t-shirt. Those in red stand behind those in blue who are having their group photograph.

While I was waiting to enter the mausoleum I met the blue group.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum      © David Zaret

It would be understatement to say I was surprised by their t-shirts. In Asia one sees many t-shirts for sale with idiotic English expressions. I suspect these attracted few buyers, so they were unloaded at a huge discount to this school.

Vietnamese school children at mausoleum n>       © David Zaret

Sensitizing Taxpayers
          in Liberia

Tax Message in Monrovia, Liberia
Painted wall in Monrovia, Liberia. © David Zaret

In Macedonia

Visit to the Presidential Palace, Skopje

On my way to a reception at which an IU partner (South East European University) received a presidential award, I asked
a less-than-enthusiastic guard about a photograph. Here I am flanked by an amused IU colleague and an unamused guard. For more on Indiana University's work with South East European University, see Macedonia.

David Zaret at President's Palace, Skopje, Macedonia

At the ceremony in the Presidential Palace in Skopje that celebrated the tenth anniversay of South East European University (SEEU). IU was  a special guest at this event because it played a major role in establishing SEEU in partnershipip with the EU Commission and USAID.

The President of Macedonia, Gjorge Ivanov, bestowed a medal on SEEU's Rector, Zamir Dika, who holds the award.

Behind us is a magnificent tiled mosaic with scenes that refer to the ancient Kingdom of Macedon and conquests associated with its most famous historical figure, Alexander the Great.

David Zaret with President of Macedonia and Rector of South East European University

After the award ceremony. Inspired by the tiled mosaic, I told Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov that I recently enjoyed reading an excellent biography*** of Philip II of Macedon--the father of Alexander the Great. This delighted the President, who then described the fallacy of associating Hellenism with the origins of Western Civilization, which he suggested are more appropriately associated with Macedonism.



 ***Ian Worthington, Philip II of Macedon (Yale University Press, 2008)

David Zaret with President of Macedonia

Soccer, Politics and Tango
      in Buenos Aires

These three pictures were taken in 'La Boca,' a touristy, down-in-the-heels neighborhood of Buenos Aires with an interesting history. It is well known for its brightly painted buildings. The zeitgeist of the place is pretty much captured by the three figures below. Eva Peron is flanked by Argentina's most renown soccer player, Diego Maradona, and a legendary tango composer and singer, Carlos Gardel, who died in 1935.

The anti-British painting is located nearby the city's old stadium, 'La Bombonera,' home to one of Argentina's top soccer teams.

Diego Maradona, La Boca, Argentina
3 Statues in La Boca, Buenos Aires
Above: Diego Maradona, soccer star; Eva Peron; Tango legend Carlos Gardel.

Right: The great soccer star urging the English "pirates of the Malvinas" to leave the islands.

British Leave Malvinas
      © David Zaret

Painted Mosque and
Walnut Iconostasis
    in Macedonia

Painted Mosque, Tetovo Macedonia
Click on this image to see larger version.       © David Zaret

Islamic and Eastern Orthodox religion created a vibrant visual culture in Macedonia. Here are two noteworthy examples.

Painted Mosque in Tetovo.

First, three images of the Painted Mosque (Šarena Džamija) in Tetovo. An unusual feature is the mosque's lack of an exterior dome, but even more so is the richly adorned interior with florid, baroque painting that includes landscape scenes.

As shown in the second image, landscape scenes are in the borders between walls and the mosque's ceiling. The third image displays one scene, Istanbul, viewed from the east, across the Bosphorus, showing Topkapi Palace, behind which are towers from Hagia Sophia. To the far right the Bosphorus meets the entrance to the Golden Horn.

Painted Mosque #2, Tetovo Macedonia
      © David Zaret
Painted Mosque, Istanbul Scene, Tetovo, Macedonia

St. Spas Church in Skopje

In Skopje, St. Spas church has a remarkably unimposing exterior by design. It is a low structure, constructed partly underground in order to comply with a Sultanic edict that prohibited building Christian churches higher than mosques. But inside it houses an iconostasis with one of the most remarkable examples of elaborate, deep carving in the Balkans.

The iconostasis is carved in walnut. To the right is a charming memorial by the carvers to themselves. The images (below) do not adequately convey the depth and intricacy of the deeply carved vertical columns.

Iconostasis, St. Spas in Skopje
St. Spas altar St. Spas Iconostasis, Skopje

Modernism Amok

Bad Architecture and Politics in Brazil

For more than a half century Oscar Niemeyer (1907-2012) was regarded as one of the high priests of modernist architecture. He is perhaps best known for the design of government and residential buildings in Brasilia, the invented capital that was constructed in three-and-a-half years.

How idiosyncratic are my negative reactions to his work? In Brasilia I experienced the same unpleasant vertigo that I had years ago in East Berlin when walking across great concrete plains dominated by grotesque, huge government buildings, monuments to the State around which paraded human ants. Then and now it is difficult for me to disentangle adverse reactivity to bad politics and bad architecture.

In both realms, Niemeyer had dogmatic commitments: to curvaceous, flowing designs ("Right angles don't interest me") in buildings, and as a life-long member of the Brazilian communist party, serving as its president in1992-96.

Niemeyer Museum, Niteroi, Brazil
Contemporary Art Museum, Niterói. Click on this image to see a larger picture.       © David Zaret

Niemeyer's public projects suggest a future that Karl Marx was (unfairly) accused of desiring: the transformation of the world into a giant factory. His art museum in Niterói resembles the Starship Enterprise, and the two hemispheres (housing the Camber of Deputies and Federal Senate) in the National Congress in Brasilia do not suggest deliberative bodies so much as components of a giant food processor. In Brasilia, monumental buildings with this futuristic but nonetheless industrial aesthetic are situated in grotesquely overscaled spaces. The overall effect is surreal and not pleasant.

The art critic Robert Hughes notoriously described Brasilia as a utopian horror. In so doing, he alerts us to the connection between Niemeyer's architecture and politics, when he writes that Brasilia is "a vast example of what happens when people design for an imagined future rather than for a real world." ** The same point can and should be made in explaining Niemeyer's lifelong political commitments.

**Robert Hughes, The Shock of the New (N.Y., 1990), p. 145.

National Congress Building, Brasilia
The National Congress of Brazil, Brasilia.   © David Zaret

More Architecture

... from Asia

... this time without commentary

China Cube, Beijing
Headquarters for China Central Television, Beijing. 44 stories.     © David Zaret
Infosys in Bangalore, India
Connecting Buildings 36 and 39 on the Infosys "campus." Infosys is a software engineering firm.
This campus, with about 24,000 employees, is located in Bangalore--the Silicon Valley of India.
Singapore Hotel
View of another hotel from my hotel room in Singapore.
The boat-like structure on top houses an infinity pool.

On a Lighter Note

Visiting a fabric factory in Kenya





I was halfway through a tour of a factory that produces traditional Kenyan fabrics when someone reminded me
that I had forgotten to take off my sunglasses.

David Zaret in Fabric Factory, Eldoret Kenya

Political Commentary

Graffiti on Door of Bathroom Stall



At the height of last spring's "Occupy Movement" at
IU someone spray painted this comment in the men's
bathroom in the building where I work. Perhaps the student
was coming from a class in which he** had been riled up or
otherwise provoked by an inspiring lecture.





**The locale justifies suspending the "she or he"/"he or she" rule.
For literary light on the rule, I commend the hilarious novel by
Richard Russo, Straight Man (New York, 1997).


Last Picture

with a quiz to test your basketball IQ






Which one is not a player for IU men's basketball?.

David Zaret and IU basketball players
©David Zaret

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