Eye: South African Artist Tony Gum's 'Ode to She' Wins 2017 Miami Beach Pulse Prize

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South African Artist Tony Gum's 'Ode to She' Wins 2017 Miami Beach Pulse Prize

South African artist Tony Gum is the recipient of the 2017 Miami Beach Pulse Prize. Gum's galleryChristopher Moller Gallery mounted a solo show for Gum, who is barely 22 years old. 

Gum's presentation 'Ode to She' is inspired by her own experiences and reflections as a Xhosa woman. Her work is rooted in the tradition of 'intonjane', an Xhosa rite of passage into womanhood practiced in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The ritual in which a girl is secluded at her homestead after her first period, is symbolic of her sexual maturity and ability to bear children.

AOC has previously written about the talented Tony Gum. See end of article. 

Faye Cuevas Brings Higher Intelligence To Africa's War On Elephant Poaching

Faye Cuevas Brings Higher Intelligence To Africa's War On Elephant Poaching

Calling herself "the accidental conservationist," (Faye) Cuevas can pinpoint the moment she realized that she wanted to fight poaching.

"The first time that I saw an elephant in the wild was in Amboseli National Park here in Kenya two years ago," she said in Feb. 2016. "It was life-changing."

"At the current rate of elephant decline, my 6-year-old daughter won't have an opportunity to see an elephant in the wild before she's old enough to vote," she said. "Which just is unacceptable to me, because if that is the case then we have nothing to blame that on but human apathy and greed."

"The Kenya Wildlife Service and other many conservation groups are doing fantastic conservation work," Cuevas said. "However, the reality is that there are other challenges — from a cyber perspective, from a global criminal network perspective — that really necessitate security approaches integrated into conservation strategies."

Enter tenBoma -- or '10 homesteads' -- which uses technology to pull together diverse sources of information, from rangers to conservation groups. She analyzes the data to "create value in information in ways that it rises to the level of intelligence."

Wild Elephant Matriarchs Slept Just Two Hours A Day Or Less In 35-Day Study

Wild Elephant Matriarchs Slept Just Two Hours A Day Or Less In 35-Day Study

Two elephant matriarchs have shocked scientists worldwide with their sleeping patterns. The two supermoms in Botswana's Chobe National Park qualify as insomniacs, sleeping about two hours a day and not in an interrupted slumber.

One would expect the elephants to be exhausted after traveling nearly 19 miles in 10 hours without rest. Not so for these high-stamina creatures who also stayed up for a record 46 straight hours, based on the small study conducted by the UCLA Center for Sleep Research and the nonprofit research group Elephants Without Borders. 

"The elephants were studied for continuous 35 day periods [from a distance]," Jerry Siegel, director of the Center for Sleep Research, told NBC News. "Elephants move with their herd and move very frequently, so animals sleeping a lot would be left behind."

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Richard Leakey Plans Libeskind-Designed 'Cathedra' Honoring Human Evolution In Lake Turkana

Richard Leakey Plans Libeskind-Designed 'Cathedra' Honoring Human Evolution In Lake Turkana

Renowned Kenyan paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey has commissioned a new museum in the desert near Lake Turkana. Designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, 'the cathedra' will be constructed at 400 miles north of Kenya's capital in Nairobi,  near the border with Ethiopia. 

It's in this region that the Leakey family and their decades old teams have uncovered many of the best-preserved fossils of humanity's ancient ancestors, some dated to 4 million years ago.

Lake Turkana is home to all the inspirations behind Anne of Carversville's Jewelry & Gift Collection, including Ethiopia's Omo Valley people, who live at the northern tip of the lake. It's the world's largest permanent desert lake and by volume the world's fourth-largest salt lake. 

We have many connections to LakeTurkana and Africa's Rift Valley both psychically and in our commitment to elephant conservation and the use of woolly mammoth bones in our jewelry. It's believed that woolly mammoths migrated out of the Rift Valley towards cooler climates and reliable water sources. 

Richard Leakey, the 72-year-old Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) chairman took Polish-American designer Daniel Libeskind to Lake Turkana to explore the project, now that financing has been secured for the design phase of the project. "Can we do something here that will absolutely stand-alone and wow?" Leakey asked the master planner of New York's post-September 11 World Trade Center redevelopment.

His vision is for a museum that is a "very creative" experience and not a fancy house for fossils. A museum pedigree is reason for eliminating people, not recruiting them for the project. The Kenyan powerhouse wants people from Silicon Valley or creative advertising professionals. "Why don't we have a room you come in to wearing a 3D headset and sit quietly in the middle of a band of Homo erectus moving all around you? That's much more interesting than a skeleton of Turkana Boy behind glass."

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Our new East Africa Map Woolly Mammoth Goddess Beads Pendant w/Earrings celebrates human evolution out of East Africa

Can A White Cube Museum & Conference Center In Lusanga Redress Economic Inequality In The Democratic Republic Of Congo?

A RENDERING OF THE WHITE CUBE IN LUSANGA (IMAGE: © OMA)

A RENDERING OF THE WHITE CUBE IN LUSANGA (IMAGE: © OMA)

Can A White Cube Museum & Conference Center In Lusanga Redress Economic Inequality In The Democratic Republic Of Congo?

With the establishment of LIRCAEI, the iconic modernist White Cube will be recontextualized in the setting that has historically underwritten its development. In economic terms, plantations have funded not just the building of most European and American infrastructure and industries, but also that of museums and universities. On an ideological level, the violence and brutality unfolding on one side—the plantation zones—has informed and haunted the civility, taste and aesthetics championed at the other: the White Cubes. By colliding these two opposite poles of global value chains with each other, LIRCAEI aims to overcome both the monoculture of the plantation system—that exhausts people and the environment and the sterility of the White Cube—a free haven for critique, love, and singularity, that, more often than not, reaffirms class divides.

A RENDERING OF THE WHITE CUBE IN LUSANGA (IMAGE: © OMA)

A RENDERING OF THE WHITE CUBE IN LUSANGA (IMAGE: © OMA)