Tijuana, Aug 10 (AP/UNB) — Lizbeth De La Cruz Santana returned Friday to the Mexican beach where her father entered the U.S. illegally before she was born, this time to put final touches on a mural of adults who came to the U.S. illegally as young children and were deported. Visitors who hold up their phones to the painted faces are taken to a website that voices first-person narratives.
There is a deported U.S. veteran. There are two deported mothers with children who were born in the U.S. There is a man who would have been eligible for an Obama-era program to shield people who came to the U.S. when they were very young from deportation, but was deported less than a year before the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, took effect in 2012.
The project blends Mexico's rich history of muralists with what can loosely be called interactive or performance art on the 1,954-mile (3,126-kilometer) U.S.-Mexico border. At the same Tijuana beach during an art festival in 2005, David Smith Jr., known as "The Human Cannonball," flashed his passport, lowered himself into a barrel and was shot over the wall, landing on a net with U.S. Border Patrol agents nearby. In 2017, professional swimmers crossed the border from the U.S. in the Pacific Ocean and landed on the same beach, where a Mexican official greeted them with stamped passports and schoolchildren cheered.
Last month, an artist installed three pink seesaws though a border wall that separates El Paso, Texas, from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
De La Cruz Santana, 28, conceived the interactive mural as part of a doctoral dissertation at University of California, Davis, in Spanish with a focus on literature and immigrant experiences. The faces are affixed with barcodes that link to audio on the project website. Her dissertation will include written arguments for DACA-style benefits to anyone who comes to the U.S. as a young child, without any of the disqualifiers like criminal history that former President Barack Obama included.
"Technology is one of the best ways and venues for people to tell their stories," said De La Cruz, whose parents obtained legal status through former President Ronald Reagan's amnesty law.
With a $7,500 grant, De La Cruz, who was born and raised in California, directed about 15 people who painted on polyester canvass at a Tijuana art gallery called "House of the Tunnel," which was once used to smuggle drugs in a secret underground passage to San Diego. She partnered with Mauro Carrera, a longtime friend and a muralist who lives in Fresno, California.
The project is also deeply personal for Carrera, 32, who was born in Mexico, crossed the border illegally as a toddler, and obtained legal status through his father, who had amnesty. He grew up with friends and neighbors in the U.S. illegally.
Carrera said the project aims to "see the people behind the politics." The deportees painted at least 80% of their own faces under his direction.
"I feel I'm right in the middle of the issue," he said as others rolled canvases over steel poles that were topped with coiled wire installed after Donald Trump became president.
Last year, many Central Americans in a large caravan of asylum seekers gravitated to the beach, which is downhill from a light tower, bull ring and restaurants. The U.S. side of the beach is usually empty, except for Border Patrol agents parked in their vehicles and occasional hikers.
De La Cruz Santana is struck by the lively atmosphere on the Mexican side and quiet in the U.S.
"If you look past this wall on the U.S. side, there's nothing," she said. "I wanted to erase the border."
Dhaka, Aug 10 (UNB) – The 95th birth anniversary of renowned artist Sheikh Mohammed Sultan (SM Sultan) is being observed in a befitting manner on Saturday.
The day is being observed in Sultan’s hometown Narail through a day-long programme jointly organised by SM Sultan Foundation and the district administration.
The programmes include Quaran Qwahani at the library premises, art competition, placing wreaths at the grave of SM Sultan, seminar, doa mahfil and prize giving ceremony.
On this day in 1924, the artist was born at Masimdia in Narail district.
Sheikh Mohammed Sultan (SM Sultan) is mainly known for his exquisite paintings and drawings mostly with nature and the hardworking rural population of Bangladesh as his subjects.
He won various awards for his art work including Ekushey Padak in 1982.
The Bengali avant-garde artist was declared the Man of Asia in 1982 by Cambridge University. Sultan died on 10 October, 1994 and was buried in the yard of his own house at Masumdia village in Narail.
New York, Aug 6 (AP/UNB) — Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton have teamed up for "The Book of Gutsy Women," honoring everyone from scientist Marie Curie to climate activist Greta Thunberg.
Simon & Schuster announced Tuesday that the book will come out Oct. 1. It's the first time the former secretary of state and presidential candidate has written a book with her daughter. Each has published several previous works, including Hillary Clinton's "What Happened" and "Living History" and Chelsea Clinton's children's book "She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World. "
"The Book of Gutsy Women" includes portraits of more than 100 women, including presidential candidate Shirley Chisholm, Saudi activist Manal al-Sharif, entertainer Ellen DeGeneres and author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The Clintons also will tell of heroines among their friends and family members.
"To us, they are all gutsy women — leaders with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done," Hillary Clinton said in a statement. "This book is a continuation of a conversation Chelsea and I have been having since she was a little girl, and we are excited to welcome others into that conversation."
Chelsea Clinton said in a statement that the women in their book "share a fierce optimism that their work and lives will make a difference in the world."
"We hope readers will draw strength from their stories as we have, because if history shows one thing, it's that the world needs more gutsy women," she said.
Financial terms for the book were not disclosed. The Clintons were represented by Robert Barnett, the Washington, D.C. attorney who has worked on book deals for Hillary Clinton, former President Bill Clinton and former President Barack Obama.
Dhaka, Aug 6 (AP/UNB) - Bit by bit, Aleppo's centuries-old bazaar is being rebuilt as Syrians try to restore one of their historical crown jewels, devastated during years of brutal fighting for control of the city.
The historic Old City at the center of Aleppo saw some of the worst battles of Syria's eight-year civil war. Government forces finally wrested it away from rebel control in December 2016 in a devastating siege that left the eastern half of Aleppo and much of the Old City — a UNESCO world heritage site — in ruins.
The bazaar, a network of covered markets, or souks, dating as far back as the 1300s and running through the Old City, was severely damaged, nearly a third of it completely destroyed. Most of it remains that way: blasted domes, mangled metal and shops without walls or roofs.
But planners are hoping that by rebuilding segments of the bazaar and getting some shops back open, eventually they re-inject life into the markets. Before the war, the historic location drew in Syrians and tourists, shopping for food, spices, cloth, soap made from olive oil and other handicrafts.
The latest to be renovated is al-Saqatiyah Market, a cobblestone alley covered with arches and domes dotted with openings to let in shafts of sunlight. Along it are 53 shops, mostly butchers and shops selling nuts and dried goods. This souk had seen relatively less damage, and the $400,000 renovation took around eight months, with funding from the Aga Khan Foundation.
One butcher, Saleh Abu Dan, has been closed up since rebels took over the Old City in the summer of 2012. Now he's getting ready to open again in the next few weeks. He said he's happy with the renovation, which added a solar power electrical system, though he still needs to spend about $2,000 to fix his refrigerator and buy a new grill and meat grinder.
"I inherited this shop from my grandfather and father and I hope that my grandchildren will work here," he said.
The market's official inauguration is scheduled for later this month. But rebuilding is one step — bringing life back is another. Al-Saqatiyah is the third souk to be rebuilt in Aleppo, after the Khan al-Gumruk and the copper market.
A year after their reopening, both those souks still struggle to attract customers. Most days they are largely empty.
"I open for few hours a day but rarely sell anything," mourned the owner of a cloth shop in Khan al-Gumruk.
Many of the customers who used to throng the markets before the war have either left the country or got used to shopping in other parts of the city since business stopped in old Aleppo after rebels stormed eastern and central neighborhoods seven years ago, and tourism is non-existent. Getting into the opened markets in the souk today is still difficult as many of the alleys are closed and deserted.
Aleppo, Syria's largest city, was the country's main commercial center before the war. Reconstruction of its devastated eastern sector has hardly begun.
Basel al-Dhaher, the architect who led renovation of al-Saqatiyah market, said it will take tens of millions of dollars to rebuild the entire bazaar. Western sanctions that block money transfers to and from Syria are delaying work, he said.
He said al-Saqatiyah was chosen for renovation because the work could be finished quickly and inspire others to rebuild in other parts of the bazaar.
Some shopkeepers are hopeful that strategy can work. In the copper market, Ahmad Zuhdi Ghazoul used his hammer to gently tap an embossed decoration into a copper piece. Across the alley, workers were fixing the ceilings in two other shops.
"Thank God they are all coming back to renovate," said Ghazoul, who has been a copper worker for three decades. "Business will be stronger than before."
Dhaka, Aug 6 (UNB) - The 78th death anniversary of the Bard of Bengal, Rabindranath Tagore, is being observed on Tuesday.
Tagore, who enriched the Bengali language and literature with his astounding talent and merit, died on this day in 1941 at the age of 80.
Different organisations are holding many programmes while television channels are airing special productions based on Rabindranath Tagore's works.
Bangla Academy, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Shishu Academy and different government and non-government institutions and cultural organisations chalked out elaborate programmes on the occasion.
Tagore was a poet, visual artist, playwright, novelist, as well as a composer whose works reshaped Bangla literature and music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Born on May 7, 1861 at Jorasanko Mansion in Kolkata, he was the youngest of 13 surviving children of Debendranath Tagore and Sarada Devi.
He became Asia's first Nobel laureate after winning the Nobel Prize in literature for his mesmerising book Gitanjali in 1913.
Two of his songs are now the national anthems of Bangladesh and India -- Amar Sonar Bangla and Jana Gana Mana -- respectively.
Tagore wrote novels, short stories, songs, dance-dramas, and essays on political and personal topics. Gitanjali, Gora, Ghare-Baire and Chokher Bali are among his best-known works.