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Adele Renault Takes Flight With a Message of “Feathers and Faces”For many the shock of Silent Spring was not that the chemical industry had run roughshod over the rules and poisoned our water, air, and soil. For a large number of readers it was the fact that Rachel Carsen’s “fable for tomorrow” included a vision of the future that we didn’t want to imagine; our lives without birds, without their songs, their beauty, their plumage, their companionship, their resilience in the brutal city and in the great outdoors. Yes, DDT was eventually banned in some countries - after its use was linked to damage to wildlife, birds, bees, agricultural and domestic animals - and to humans. 56 years after JFK included Silent Spring in his summer reading, his nephew won a lawsuit, the first of thousands expected, against Monsanto and RoundUp this summer – so obviously we’re slow learners. Street Artist/fine artist Adele Renault understands our interdependence with the birds and with each other perhaps better than many, and “Feathers and Faces” carries the message powerfully by delivering these works she has done on city streets and galleries in New York, Berlin, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Singapore, Burkina Faso, Helsinki, Moscow… We saw her in Moscow just two weeks ago where she collaborated with photographer Martha Cooper on an installation for Artmossphere Biennale 2018, which BSA co-curated. In addition to her stunning wall painting of a pigeon and Martha’s photographs of her pigeon photos during the last 40 years, the two of them created a coop, named “Coop’s Coop”, and featured Adele’s painting of “Martha”, the last carrier pigeon – that died September 1914 and whose remains are now on display at the Smithsonian. Clearly, there are more than six degrees of interconnectivity in this story and literally billions of stories across the world of our interdependence with birds. We share this city with pigeons. We look to the same environment to supply us with what we need, including food, water, shelter – depending on physical factors like as soil, air, a temperate climate, other organisms. Adele studies our feathered friends and brings them full force to the streets, and we know that here only the scrappiest survive and get to display their colors. Adam Eeuwens takes his worldview and interpretations of the ornithologists and merges them with a stark assessment of the significance pigeons have to us in his intro to Feathers and Faces. “As a spirit animal in symbology, the pigeon represents the values such as home, and it's attributes of love, peace, grace, care, security, foundation, fertility, and family, bringing an inherent sense of belonging. The pigeon is safest in a flock, with the strength and support found in the community and in communication. The pigeon is determined, nothing will chase it away from food. And of course, the pigeons are messengers, of tidings that one must be open and receptive to, as it is the nature of this beast to hold blessings. Being aware of seeing a pigeon, whether awake or in a dream, teaches one to be resilient, to find the comfort of home within, to be cooperative, compassionate, resourceful, loving, and forgiving. It asks you to embrace change.” Art on the streets is a state of continuous change and murals are redefining our cities, drawing our attention to issues somehow overlooked in our movies and media. Right now, today, the animal kingdom is being decimated and humans are being turned into refugees in an unprecedented number. Our ecological interdependence is woven into our historical, cultural, sociological, political, physical, mystical, emotional existence. It is fitting that the resilient Adele Renault finds the details of perseverance and beauty in the lines of our faces and the sheen of their feathers and the determination in the eyes of us all.  It is our nature. Adele Renault. Feathers And Faces. Foreword by Carlo McCormick.   Feathers And Faces by Adele Renault was published in 2018 and is distributed in the United States and Canada by SCB Distributors.   Click on the link below for information on Ms. Renault's one day exhibition tomorrow Sunday September 16, 2018 in Jersey City, NJ: In Situ Creative and The Ring Side Lounge present: Adele Renault: “Tyson’s Corner” (Jersey City, NJ)  
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Japan needs to listen to the people of Okinawa: U.S. base and Central Government threatJapan needs to listen to the people of Okinawa: U.S. base and Central Government threat Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times The majority of the United States military bases in Japan are located in Okinawa, rather than mainland Japan. This enormous discrepancy when related to land size and population factors is viewed negatively by many Okinawans. Indeed, irrespective of the geopolitical merits of the United States military bases being located in Okinawa, it still relates to Japan deeming this part of the nation to be expendable. After all, in the worse case scenario of a military conflict in Northeast Asia, it is clear that any aggressor would focus on Okinawa given the American military angle. Equally important, why isn’t the central government of Japan ushering in a policy that creates a more equitable burden throughout the nation? After all, the region of Northern Japan could be deemed an area of heightened importance in relation to North Korea and the Russian Federation. Of course, relations between Japan and the Russian Federation are more than cordial. However, nations must focus on the worse case scenario and relate this to geopolitics. Therefore, it seems that Okinawa is a convenient escape clause for the central government of Japan, in relation to placating the numbers of military personnel from America based on political and military agreements between both nations. Deutsche Welle reported earlier this month, “The demonstrators want the base — the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma — removed entirely from Japan's southern island. In addition, they argue that building a new base at the remote Henoko Bay site would damage the local environment.” Hence, when an estimated 70,000 people turn out to demonstrate (some state the figure was higher) against the building of another United States military base in Okinawa – and with the central government knowing that the majority of Okinawans are disillusioned – it then appears that political elites in Tokyo are treating this part of Japan with disdain. If the burden of United States bases and military personnel in Japan were shared more equally, then the majority of people in Okinawa would be more sympathetic. Yet, it is unfair to put so much pressure on Okinawa especially given the fact that this area once was independent until the later part of the nineteenth century. In this light, the threat of the central government in fining the prefecture of Okinawa with a fine of 20 million yen a day is excessive. This fine is based on the suspension of the reclamation project of the United States military base and the outcome of a legal dispute. Irrespective if the central government enacts an economic angle, it is clear that the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is intent on “twisting political arms in Okinawa.” Earlier this year, Abe uttered, “I would like to proceed (with the relocation) based on a ruling by the Supreme Court of Japan, while seeking understanding of the public.” Reuters reports, “Japan’s central government and authorities on Okinawa - reluctant host to the bulk of U.S. military forces in the country - have bickered for years over the plan, first agreed between Tokyo and Washington in 1996.” In a past article by Modern Tokyo Times, it was stipulated, “It is abundantly clear that Okinawa is very important when it applies to geopolitics. Yet, Japan should have enforced a more equal distribution of military bases being located throughout the nation. Also, the richness of wildlife and the bountiful opportunities for tourism in Okinawa – alongside preserving Okinawan culture and identity – should equally have been put at the top of the agenda. However, it appears that elites in Tokyo believe that they can enforce a diktat on the people of Okinawa based on being so remote from the vestiges of power in the capital.” If the central government utilizes the economic angle against the people of Okinawa, then this pressure is merely confirming the gap between political elites in Tokyo and the majority of people in Okinawa who oppose the uneven military burden. Also, just like in the last major war involving Japanese military forces, it seems that Okinawa is a willing sacrifice to be made in the defense of mainland Japan. https://www.dw.com/en/thousands-in-okinawa-protest-us-marine-base-relocation/a-45046501 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-usa-okinawa/japans-pm-vows-to-proceed-with-u-s-base-relocation-in-okinawa-after-poll-idUSKBN1FP03J Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group DONATIONS to SUPPORT MODERN TOKYO TIMES – please pay PayPal and DONATE to sawakoart@gmail.com http://moderntokyotimes.com Modern Tokyo Times – International News and Japan News http://sawakoart.com – Sawako Utsumi personal website and Modern Tokyo Times artist https://moderntokyonews.com Modern Tokyo News – Tokyo News and International News http://global-security-news.com Global Security News – Geopolitics and Terrorism PLEASE JOIN ON TWITTER https://twitter.com/MTT_News Modern Tokyo Times PLEASE JOIN ON FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/moderntokyotimes
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