Monday, October 25, 2010

Wait! What? A Brother IS Mayor in Slovenia?!

As the conclusion to our ongoing posts "Wait! What? A Brother Running For Mayor in Slovenia?!" (1, 2). I just want to report to you what the UK newspaper The Guardian has already splayed across their own pages....


As he said on BBC World Service this morning, "It will take some time to see if there will be any real change."

All who know me, know that I'm not holding my breath. I'm just celebrating.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sara Rajh, architect

Just came across another fascinating young Afro-Slovenian.

This lovely woman is Sara Rajh, a Ghanaian-Slovenian architect who enjoys the richness of her Hungarian, Slovenian, and Ghanaian heritages.

Sara Rajh with her husband, the academic sculptor Jürgen Rajh - photo credit

She was raised in northeastern Slovenia and now calls the Austrian town of Graz her home, but still works on projects in Slovenia and with family and associates in Ghana. Among her many endeavours has been: the establishment of a Slovenian association in Graz (which already had quite a large Slovenian population), working on the local radio station, organizing fund-raising exhibitions of Ghanaian jewelry/artistry, and developing an eco-farm in northeastern Slovenia (one of the most economically depressed regions in the country). All this from a woman that the article (Slovenian-language only) describes as "a true little miracle in a Slovenian countryside where no one had ever seen a dark-skinned person up close before."* Bravo and best wishes to you Ms. Rajh!

* As regular readers may have already noted, there is a lack of tact here, especially as regards race.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Yucky Tricks

A weekend or so ago, The Captain's mom, The Captain, and I went down to a family vineyard in the Dolenjska region where she's from. From what she told me, we were going down to have lunch and say hello to family members; she talked a LOT before we left but that was all the information she really gave. Off the back of that information, The Captain and I got dressed up smartly, loaded up the car, and left. you can imagine how perturbed I was when we pulled up to the vineyard, got out of the car, and were handed buckets, scissors, and gloves. CapMama turned to us and was like "You guys have a change of clothes, right?" Steam blew out of my head and -- despite the fact that this happens all the time* -- it took everything I had to keep quiet and go with the flow.

I walked up the steep hill into the vineyard with my brand new ankle boots on, angered about the state of my new shoes and frightened I'd fall down the hill.

After leaning against a fence post for 15 minutes watching everyone else work, I finally decided to jump in and help pick some grapes. It was nasty work, as this year's mix of weather coupled with the neighboring vineyards bout with mold (the neighbour, who probably inherited the damn vineyard, refuses to come out and pick grapes anymore and just leaves them to rot year after year) meant that most of the grapes were either dried like raisins or totally moldy.

Our job was to knock away all the sour grapes and pick out the few decent looking ones. Messy, stinky, yucky work.

I ended up taking my shoes and socks off so I could get a grip on the ground and not slide down the hill.

It ended up being the best decision; though I did have to contend with pesky people walking past me every few minutes with admonishments and "concern" that I would catch cold (catching cold seems to be the worst fate that can befall you in this country, geez.)

Anyway, after an hour or two of this cruel punishment, at least I got a good meal (pictures to come)....and, of course, this little blog post.

*Slovenians have a bad habit of not giving you necessary information unless you explicity ask for it. Problem being that you don't know what you don't know. Frustration!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Update on Wait! What? A Brother Running For Mayor In Slovenia

Quick follow up to July's post Wait! What? A Brother Running For Mayor In Slovenia ....

According to news reports (Slovenian only), Slovenian-based Ghanaian doctor and politician Peter Bossman was in the lead with over 30% of votes after yesterday's election to become mayor of the lovely seaside town of Piran. The race will now go into run-offs against the current sitting mayor (who had just over 20%) of the vote. Here's hoping Dr. Bossman makes it all the way through and becomes the first black* mayor in Slovenia! Let's goooooo!

In further news, journalist Vlado Miheljak puts forth a more ambitious proposition..."Peter Bossman For President" and much mudslinging in the comments ensues! (Slovenian only)

*yes, say BLACK/črn not temnopolt/ "dark-skinned". Black comes in many shades (from light to dark) and is an experience, not just a state of melanin.

Venice Architecture Biennale 2010

The Captain and I made it over to Venice for the Architecture Biennale. Here are a few pics:

The Belgian pavilion was my favorite hands down. It was full of used interiors.

this was a work table surface that sat next to a copy machine

a big foam model of the city in the dutch pavilion

a big strange spanish toy sculpture thing

a detail shot

another detail shot

the cafeteria

the polish pavilion

the egyptian pavilion

the serbian pavilion, which happened to be full of a group of friendly young serbians

American pavilion

Czech and Slovak was lovely

the Canadian exhibition was an interactive manmade plastic forest