A sculptor known for trying to redress history through her art is creating the first statue of real-life women for New York's Central Park, where the only females so honored until now have been fictional characters.
Meredith Bergmann's vision for the sculpture, chosen from 91 submissions, features three women's rights pioneers — Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Sojourner Truth. While honoring their specific efforts on behalf of women's suffrage, women's civil rights and the abolition of slavery, Bergmann hopes her latest work will also make a statement about the need to recognize the contributions of women.
"This monument has a very focused message," she said in an interview at her studio in Ridgefield, Connecticut. "The fact of the monument itself, that it exists at all, that it will be where it is, is the message."
Of the 23 statues of historical figures in the 840-acre, 166-year-old public park, none honors actual women. There are statues of three female fictional characters: Alice in Wonderland, Mother Goose and William Shakespeare's Juliet, who appears with Romeo.
There had been a moratorium on erecting any new statues in Central Park. But in 2014, a volunteer, nonprofit group called Monumental Women, made up of women's rights advocates, historians and community leaders, set out to break what they've called the "bronze ceiling" and develop a statue depicting real women. With the help of the Girl Scouts, private foundations and others, they raised $1.5 million in private funding for the 14-foot-tall monument, to be located on the park's famed Literary Walk. It's scheduled to be unveiled on Aug. 26, 2020, marking the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which enshrined the right for women to vote.
"It's fitting that the first statue of real women in Central Park depicts three New York women who dedicated their lives to fighting for women's rights," said Pam Elam, president of Monumental Women, in a written statement last month after the project received approval from a city commission. "This statue conveys the power of women working together to bring about revolutionary change in our society. It invites people to reflect not just on these women and their work for equality and justice, but on all the monumental women who came before us."
Midway into the massive and multi-faceted project, Bergmann and her assistants have nearly finished sculpting from foam and clay an imagined scene of the three women having a conversation at a table. Truth is speaking, Anthony is organizing and Stanton is writing, which Bergman describes as the three essential elements of activism.
The current design is the result of a long process that involved various changes, including the late addition of Sojourner Truth, an African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist who was born into slavery but escaped to freedom in 1826. It originally included Anthony, a writer, lecturer and abolitionist who fought for the rights of women to vote and own property; Stanton, another leading figure in the women's voting rights movement, and an abolitionist and author; and a scroll with a list of 17 other women involved in the women's movement from 1848 to 1920.
Bergmann dove deeply into the worlds and histories of all three women and their senses of mission, similar to what the artist has done with her other works of public art. One such work, the Boston Women's Memorial, features statues portraying Abigail Adams, the wife and mother of two U.S. presidents and a women's rights advocate; abolitionist and suffragist Lucy Stone; and Phillis Wheatley, a former slave who became a literary prodigy.
Meanwhile, work is nearly complete for the FDR Hope Memorial on Roosevelt Island in Manhattan, which features two statues Bergmann created of the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a wheelchair and a young girl with crutches, greeting one another. The memorial is supposed to be an inspiration to people struggling with all forms of disability, in a location once called Welfare Island — a stretch of land with a long past that included a prison and a smallpox hospital.
For the Central Park project, Bergmann studied every photo and description she could find, taking great pains, for example, to reflect a "hint of a smile" on the face of Truth, known to have a good sense of humor. While the three activists are not depicted in the monument at any known meeting, Bergmann said it's plausible they could have met together. She noted how Anthony and Stanton, who worked together and formed the National Woman Suffrage Association, would have known Truth through abolition and women's rights circles, and how Truth was a guest at Stanton's home in the 1860s. Stanton's daughter would read newspapers aloud to Truth, who was illiterate.
Such a gesture, Bergmann said, "just seemed to express the idea of women's cooperation," a message the artist has tried to invoke in the sculpture.
Bergmann has also focused on other fine details, such as the women's clothing. She noted that all three "used their outfits to calm people, to show that they were not threatening propriety, but also that they were women who valued themselves."
Once the sculpting work is done, likely in the coming weeks, Bergmann said molds will be taken and they will eventually be cast in bronze at a foundry in New York. Detailed work will need to be performed, such as making sure the women's heads are at the right tilt and the ends of the granite base are curved perfectly.
It has become a labor of love for Bergmann, albeit a challenging one.
"I haven't had a project on this scale, with this ferocious of a deadline. And it is, it is nerve-wracking. And I'm working harder than I've ever worked," said Bergmann. "All summer, all fall, this is what I'm doing. And it's thrilling."
Representing Bangladesh throughout a majestic career of 25 glorious years as a prolific visual artist, Nazia Andaleeb Preema is an established name in the global art community. Tuesday marked the birthday of this dynamic, talented and successful artist.
Her enthralling artistic journey was celebrated this year through her book ‘Preema Donna: An Infinite Journey’, an artistic visionary book which was unveiled with her enthralling, mystic performance at this year’s Dhaka Lit Fest.
Published and produced by Cosmos Books, the book’s foreword has been written by National Professor Dr Anisuzzaman. Divided into five chapters, the book depicts Preema’s artistic journey of 25 years.
Portraying Preema’s brave approach of aesthetical vision that depicts her philosophy of context, ‘Preema Donna’ has already started earning critical acclaim from the art enthusiasts of the country.
“This publication is my inspiration to be more committed towards my intense journey of creativity, and I dedicated the book to the next generation of creative minds to proceed with their passion in art. I believe it is a vice-versa process, and I urge them to have a deeper look at life- a process which made whoever I am today,” Preema said about her book.
She thanked Cosmos Group and Enayetullah Khan for always supporting artistes with initiatives such as this publication.
The artist has showcased her performances in many international exhibitions, including the ongoing 58th La Biennale di Venezia, 2019 in Italy. Her work, ‘Fake news, women and visibility paradox’, is currently being showcased at the biennale, which marks Bangladesh’s third consecutive participation in the ongoing Venice Art Biennale.
Preema did her Graduation (BFA) and Masters (MFA) from (drawing and painting department) of Dhaka University. To complement her creative urge, she completed a seven-year certificate course in Tagore and classical music from Chhayanaut Sangeet Vidyayatan. She received fellowship in Visual Arts from the “Global Art Village”, New Delhi, India in 2005.
Currently serving as the Director and Curator of "Bangladesh Art Forum", she has been curating exhibitions to promote Bangladesh Art in International Art platform (Asia House/London (2010, November), Foundation Alliance Française/Paris (2011), Cité Internationale des Arts/Paris (2011) and many more.
Preema is also an advisor and creative editor to Bangladesh Brand Forum and Consultant for web, graphic and digital art for local and multinational corporate houses for the last 14 years.
A pioneer web-master and graphic designer in Bangladesh who started her career in 1997 and is still going strong, Preema has been working with various prestigious national and multi-national organisations as a web and graphic design consultant since 1997. She is now exploring her majestic digital experimentations, which include video installation, performance and digital illumination, along with the traditional techniques of art.
Preema’s painting was auctioned for Cancer Charity (2008) at the "Grosvenor House", London.
She is one of the very few artists with distinct technique and unbeatable boldness in Bangladesh who has incorporated new media (performance, video installation and digital art) over genres, ranging from traditional to digital through challenging her limits. These made Preema one of the dynamic and provocative contemporary visual artists of today’s generation in the country.
Some of her important video performances and live arts are ‘Monajat’ 2008, ‘And Stare Continues’ 2009, ‘Marry my Egg’ 2011, ‘Monologue’ 2012, ‘Aged with cell phones' 2014, ‘Ico-lation’ 2015, ‘News Agony’ 2015, ‘Existence’ 2016, ‘Intimacy Conflict’’ 2016, ‘My unborn Fetus’ 2017, ‘Blindfold’ 2017, ‘Intersection’ 2018 which are widely exhibited and received high acclamation internationally.
Along with 20 solo (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Japan, USA, UK, Turkey, Morocco, Uzbekistan) exhibitions, she has also enriched her career by participating in five Asian Art Biennales, Fukuaka Museum Residency, two Tashkent Biennales, Istanbul Biennale, Venice International Art Expo (2010, 2012, 2014) along with prestigious art fairs (Art Basel Miami, Tuyup Art Fair/Istanbul, Dubai Art Festival, Dhaka Art Summit, Delhi International Art Festival).
Preema received BASIS (Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services) award 2016 in Visual Arts category, PRIDE of Bangladesh recognised her as the most prolific visual artist of 2016, prestigious Anannya Award as recognition of being the outstanding woman in creative field of Bangladesh for 2014, Fukuaka Museum grant in 2012 for art residency, Royal Overseas Award 2011 in Fine Arts, Britain, honourable mention award in fine art category by Jatiya Mahila Parishad (2009), Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Award in Painting by Bangladesh Charushilpa Parishad (2007/2008), Web Art Award (1st prize) by Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (2006).
‘Dilemmas With My Flamenco Tailcoat’, a Spanish solo play written, acted and directed by Spanish theatre artist Valeria Tejero Navas was staged on Monday at the international theatre festival ‘BotTala RonggoMela 2019’ and mesmerized audiences with its unique presentation of storytelling through song and dance.
The play told story of a woman from Andalusia village of Spain, Isabelle Valderramas who was known as the ‘Golden Star’. Through her experiences and dance, she told her audiences about how flamenco dancing by women has evolved over the years which does not have any specific root but continental heritage.
Isabelle was engaged in dance and considered as a very disrespectful person due to her passion to perform- back in the old times in Spain. Bullied and hated by society for being passionate to dance, how she then ended up developing her role on stage portraying her dilemmas and fight for the culture that eventually got the recognition as an intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO- that story was told through the playwright, director and actor of this solo play, Valeria’s beautiful, harmonious performance.
After the performance, Valeria Tejero Navas was greeted and honoured by the Liberation War Museum trustee Mofidul Hoque. She took part in the discussion with the enthralled audiences who shared their curiosities about several aspects of the play, as well as answered and appreciated the enthusiasm of Bangladeshi audiences despite the language barrier.
Dilemmas With My Flamenco Tailcoat is a production of the troupe Moon Palace (Madrid, Spain). Staged in several countries in the world, the troupe performed the production for the first time in Bangladesh, courtesy to this ongoing international theatre fest ‘BotTala RonggoMela - 2019’, arranged by ‘BotTala - a performance space’.
People with severe but stable heart disease from clogged arteries may have less chest pain if they get a procedure to improve blood flow rather than just giving medicines a chance to help, but it won't cut their risk of having a heart attack or dying over the following few years, a big federally funded study found.
The results challenge medical dogma and call into question some of the most common practices in heart care. They are the strongest evidence yet that tens of thousands of costly stent procedures and bypass operations each year are unnecessary or premature for people with stable disease.
That's a different situation than a heart attack, when a procedure is needed right away to restore blood flow.
For non-emergency cases, the study shows "there's no need to rush" into invasive tests and procedures, said New York University's Dr. Judith Hochman.
There might even be harm: To doctors' surprise, study participants who had a procedure were more likely to suffer a heart problem or die over the next year than those treated with medicines alone.
Hochman co-led the study and gave results Saturday at an American Heart Association conference in Philadelphia.
"This study clearly goes against what has been the common wisdom for the last 30, 40 years" and may lead to less testing and invasive treatment for such patients in the future, said Dr. Glenn Levine, a Baylor College of Medicine cardiologist with no role in the research. Some doctors still may quibble with the study, but it was very well done "and I think the results are extremely believable," he said.
About 17 million Americans have clogged arteries that crimp the heart's blood supply, which can cause periodic chest pain. Cheap and generic aspirin, cholesterol-lowering drugs and blood pressure medicines are known to cut the risk of a heart attack for these folks, but many doctors also recommend a procedure to improve blood flow.
That's either a bypass — open-heart surgery to detour around blockages — or angioplasty, in which doctors push a tube through an artery to the clog, inflate a tiny balloon and place a stent, or mesh scaffold, to prop the artery open.
Twelve years ago, a big study found that angioplasty was no better than medicines for preventing heart attacks and deaths in non-emergency heart patients, but many doctors balked at the results and quarreled with the methods.
So the federal government spent $100 million for the new study, which is twice as large, spanned 37 countries and included people with more severe disease — a group most likely to benefit from stents or a bypass.
All 5,179 participants had stress tests, usually done on a treadmill, that suggested blood flow was crimped. All were given lifestyle advice and medicines that improve heart health. Half also were given CT scans to rule out dangerous blockages, then continued on their medicines.
The others were treated as many people with abnormal stress tests are now: They were taken to cardiac catheterization labs for angiograms. The procedure involves placing a tube into a major artery and using special dyes to image the heart's blood vessels. Blockages were treated right away, with angioplasty in three-fourths of cases and a bypass in the rest.
Doctors then tracked how many in each group suffered a heart attack, heart-related death, cardiac arrest or hospitalization for worsening chest pain or heart failure.
After one year, 7% in the invasively treated group had one of those events versus 5% of those on medicines alone. At four years, the trend reversed — 13% of the procedures group and 15% of the medicines group had suffered a problem. Averaged across the entire study period, the rates were similar regardless of treatment.
If stents and bypasses did not carry risks of their own, "I think the results would have shown an overall benefit" from them, said another study leader, Dr. David Maron of Stanford University. "But that's not what we found. We found an early harm and later benefit, and they canceled each other out."
Why might medicines have proved just as effective at reducing risks?
Bypasses and stents fix only a small area. Medicines affect all the arteries, including other spots that might be starting to clog, experts said.
Drugs also have improved a lot in recent years.
Having a procedure did prove better at reducing chest pain, though. Of those who had pain daily or weekly when they entered the study, half in the stent-or-bypass group were free of it within a year versus 20% of those on medicines alone. A placebo effect may have swayed these results — people who know they had a procedure tend to credit it with any improvement they perceive in symptoms.
Dr. Alice Jacobs, a Boston University cardiologist who led a treatment-guidelines panel a few years ago, said any placebo effect fades with time, and people with a lot of chest pain that's unrelieved by medicines still may want a procedure.
"It's intuitive that if you take the blockage away you're going to do better, you're going to feel better," but the decision is up to the patient and doctor, she said.
The bottom line: There's no harm in trying medicines first, especially for people with no or little chest pain, doctors said.
When told they have a problem that can be fixed with a stent, "the grand majority of patients in my experience will opt to undergo that procedure” to get improvement right away, said Dr. Jay Giri, a cardiologist at the University of Pennsylvania with no role in the study.
Maryann Byrnes-Alvarado is not among them. The 66-year-old New York City woman said she joined the study six years ago after having trouble walking, which "scared me to death," but so did the idea of a heart procedure.
She was relieved when she was assigned to the medication treatment group. Her doctor altered her blood pressure medicine, added a cholesterol drug and aspirin, and adjusted her diet. Now her risk factor numbers are better and she can walk again without difficulty.
"I believe I got the best care that I could get" and avoided an operation, she said.
Many of you may already familiar of CAF’s famous Selfieccino (cappuccino on which you can get anything printed on the froth). They had stirred up quite a storm attracting customers from places far away to come here and get their pictures printed on their coffees. Recently though, they have added some new desserts on their items which are a steal in terms of price.
1. Chocolate Ball
This dessert is very rich and sweet given that the brownies, syrup and the circular covering are all chocolate flavored. However, the ice-cream helps balance out some of the sweetness. The ball sits on a crumble of biscuits adding some textures to the dessert as well. The highlight, though, is the way the ball melts underneath the pouring, thick milk chocolate making the audience stare in awe.
2. Red Velvet Slice
This perfect slice of surprisingly light cake is sure to win any sweet-lovers hearts. The cream is extremely light and not overpoweringly sweet either.
3. Brownie with Ice-Cream
Few things are better than brownie with ice-cream. This simple brownie is sure to win many hearts with it moist texture and rich taste. The ice-cream that comes with it accompanies the fudgy bar really well making this dessert my overall favorite.
4. Chocolate Lava Cake with Ice-Cream
Talking about favorite, their chocolate lava cake with ice-cream is another hit in my opinion. The gooeyness is not as much as you expect when cut open but nonetheless, the taste makes up for it. It’s perhaps the best one in town right now and you’d be seriously missing out on something delicious if you don’t drop by CAF and order this dessert.
Last but not the least, usually Tiramisus tend to be really expensive for a very small portion. I think at Tk120+, this is the best Tiramisu you can currently get. I do wish the biscuit layers would be soaked in a stronger coffee but the cream itself is pretty darn delicious!
We also tried the Grilled Chicken Sandwich which I think is a must have with your coffee. The addition of jalapenos really elevates the taste of the overall sandwich and the fresh grilled chicken was not only meaty but nicely seasoned as well. I love that the sandwiches are made to order thus ensuring freshness.
You have got to drop by at CAF especially during the day! The ambience here is like that of foreign coffee chains and I love that you get a whiff of coffee as soon as you enter the shop.