Porta de la Mar, València (Valencià/Castellano/English)

(Foto propiedad de FBC, Omnia Caelum Studios València, C.2021, Derechos Reservados)

A la ciutat de València la Porta de la Mar (Porta del Mar) és una atracció molt important. A Trip Advisor ocupa el lloc número 41, és a dir entre els 50 monuments de referència entre la nostra ciutat. Va ser construïda per inspiració de l’Alcalde Juan Antonio Gómez-Trénor Fos el 1943 i costaria unes 1.140.688,98 pessetes de l’època, ara més o menys 6.855,68 euros.

A la Porta de la Mar es veu el nostre símbol, el ratpenat i la creu de Jesus el nostre senyor.

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En la ciudad de Valencia la Puerta del Mar (Porta de la Mar) es una atracción muy importante. En Trip Advisor ocupa el lugar numero 41, o sea entre los 50 monumentos de referencia entre nuestra ciudad. Fue construida por inspiración del Alcalde Juan Antonio Gómez-Trénor Fos en 1943 e iba a costar unas 1.140.688,98 pesetas de la época, ahora mas o menos 6.855,68 euros.

En la Porta de la Mar se ve nuestro símbolo, el murciélago y la cruz de Jesus nuestro señor.

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In the city of Valencia, the Porta de la Mar is a very important attraction. In Trip Advisor it occupies number 41 among the 50 most important monuments of our city. It was constructed from the inspiration of then Mayor Juan Antonio Gómez-Trénor Fos, in 1943. It was to cost the citizens of Valencia 1,140,688.98 pesetas (of the time), which now amounts to about 6,855.68 euros.

The Porta del Mar one can see the bat, symbol of our city and the cross of Jesus our Lord.

(Puerta del Mar)

MOLTES GRÀCIES…

MUCHAS GRACIAS…

CHEERS…

La Reial Senyera | 9 de Octubre | Love Valencia
(Amunt València! València, País Valencià)

¿Donde va el arte moderno?

(Aquí en València, 2021)

¿Donde va el arte de estos días?

Bueno, sinceramente no me importa ni me interesa. Somos artesanos. Hacemos lo que tenemos que hacer para “hacer” arte, pero terminamos reproduciendo y rehaciendo lo que ya se hizo. Y eso no importa porque el arte no tiene que ser original.

Hoy en día están tratando de destruir el arte de los artistas comparándola con “arte”, o cosas, hechas por robots, ordenadores y animales.

Hoy en día se eleva el arte conceptual a niveles que no se merece.

Hoy en día están virando todo al revés pero la vida se vive al derecho.

Bon Nadal

Sundays Oldies…on a Tuesday… “Althea”

MrGratefulDean in 2021 | Grateful dead poster, Grateful dead quotes, Grateful  dead image
(1980)

From the studio album Go to Heaven released in 1980. And the Dead had to record a studio album before they were allowed to release another live one, and this is a band that you had to see live. A Grateful Dead studio recording is only a little taste of the band, to get the full flavour you had to be there.

“Althea” became the favourite of concerts and considered one of the best songs by the lads. Actually Stereogum considers it the fifth best Grateful Dead song.

Here is the studio version:

And the live version from 1981:

(1981)

Now just to remind those who may not recall, here are ten things that were happening in the world back in 1981…

  1. First Greece enters the European Union.
  2. A suspect named Peter Sutcliffe was arrested by British police suspected of being the “Yorkshire ripper’.
  3. Ronald Reagan took the oath of office as President of the United States.
  4. Coup attempt takes place in Spain when Colonel Antonio Tejero Molina and members of the Guardia Civil storm the congress. There were no injuries to anyone.
  5. US President Reagan survives an assassination attempt.
  6. First space shuttle mission is launched in the US, the “Columbia”.
  7. Bobby Sands dies in a British prison after 66 days of hunger strike. He was 27 years old and represented the IRA.
  8. François Mitterrand wins in France.
  9. MTV launches its first transmission with the video by The Buggles, «Video Killed the Radio Star».
  10. On the 6th of October in Egypt, President Anwar el-Sadat is assassinated.

Cheers…

POEM: “I Am Your Bridge“

(Photo property of FBC, Omnia Caelum Studios València)

Why would I decide to be your bridge?

Why would I decide to be at all?

Why would I decide to be deciding all these things

if I were not so small…

Small as I stand shoulder to shoulder next to God’s creation,

but tall within the light that warms my soul.

I am your bridge,

so you can cross if so you wish,

or if you don’t,

perhaps half way you’ll stop and fish…

C.2021, Francis Bravo Cabrera, 06 DEC 2021, València, España 🇪🇸

Art History: Aya Sophia of Constantinople. Art of Byzantium

(Mosaics from the Church of Aya Sophia in Istanbul. Photo by FBC, property of Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia, C.2021, All Rights Reserved)

The Church of Aya Sophia, (Άγια Σοφία), constructed in Constantinople in A.D. 360 as a temple to Christ, to wisdom, to faith and to beauty. It holds priceless treasures of Byzantine iconography.

Cheers…

Film Review: “A Twelve-Year Night”, “La noche de 12 años”

A Twelve-Year Night (2018) - IMDb
(Released in 2018)

This is a new section for VALENCIARTIST that I, as a lover of film, want to share with all of my readers and followers. Movies…some…are like good books. They teach us, they reach out and touch our hearts, they populate our memory and they provoke us to come back to them, sometimes over and over again. This happened to me with this film from 2018. When I first saw it I sort of just glanced by it without thinking too much. Now I have watched it again and so many things about it jumped out at me that I had to write this review.

First I thought I was a big “fan” of Pepe Mujica, (José Alberto Mujica Cordano, born in Montevideo, Uruguay on the 20th of May 1935). He was the 40th president of his country, from 2010 to 2015. And the movie is about his life, or should I say, about a part of his life that spans a few years before he became a politician and president. So therefore I immediately liked the movie. Again, or so I thought…

La educación es el camino”: Pepe Mujica | Compartir Palabra maestra
(Pepe Mujica)

But now I see the movie, directed by Álvaro Brechner, (Uruguayan film director and writer who lives in Spain), in a totally different light. I now see that it is nothing more than a propaganda film. The writer, the same Álvaro Brechner, is trying to say that the atrocities committed by a right wing military government are horrible, true and unequivocal violations of Human Rights. But is he not aware that his protagonists were terrorists? Of course not. To him they were “freedom-fighters” because he does not bother to mention that his protagonist and all those others who, supposedly, suffered abuses were communists trying to take over the country.

Although I am not a defender of any type of dictatorship, or of any type of totalitarian, or authoritarian regime, I do understand that sometimes governments have to do things to guarantee that communists do not take over power. That was what the Uruguayan government was doing back in the sixties and seventies. The government was trying to protect the future of the country that was threatened by the Tupamaros who were terrorising the population.

Murió el general Gregorio Álvarez, el último dictador de Uruguay
(Uruguayan president 1973)

Pepe Mujica was a terrorist. He formed part of the Tupamaros, who were nothing more than an armed insurgent group of urban guerrillas that were trying to disrupt civil order and topple the government of Uruguay. Naturally the government had to have a policy of containment. In the film we see the reaction of the government at work on a young Mujica arrested and imprisoned for his participation in the terrorist group. Then we see endless scenes of how he was mistreated and how he barely managed to survive the dungeons where he was made to live for twelve years.

The movie is worth seeing but do not be fooled. Yes, if this was true, then the treatment was inhumane and unacceptable. But why is it always one sided? Where are the films showing how the communists treat their political prisoners? There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence and first hand narratives from prisoners released from Cuba’s dungeons that had to endure insufferable conditions for far longer than Mr. Mujica had to. Yet, no one makes films decrying the abuses of communist regimes. It seems…according to Hollywood and other film producers…that the only governments that commit such atrocities are right wing ones. And this, my friends, is propaganda.

“A Twelve Year Night” is on Netflix. Take a look, let me know what you think…

Cheers…

Saturday Morning Chat: An “AI” Artist?

(Waiting for a beer in El Carmen, C.2021, All Rights Reserved)

Today I saw a report about an “artist” whose work is being sold online, as nft, at auctions and that has already made 300.000 US dollars.

But there is no such artist. The artist is AI! However the programmer and the human artist behind this fallacy talk about this artificial thing as if he was a real artist.

For me art remains strictly and absolutely within the realm of humans and only humans. No machine can make art. Just as no animal can make art.

We shouldn’t be fooled by these gimmicks or by their “creators” who tell us that their AI artist is advancing and developing his art.

In conclusion, we’ve many artists, human ones, as it should be. We need technology to advance health care and other industrial aspects, and not to meddle in the arts.

Cheers…

ABSTRACTION – REACTION: Abstract & Figurative Paintings by FBC

(“Self-Portrait 2008” by Francisco Bravo Cabrera. C.2021, All Rights Reserved)

Art is art because it is art…well because it is made by humans…and art can be figurative or abstract, but mostly either good or bad…

(Hope you’ve enjoyed it)

Cheers…

Why is the WHO (World Health Organisation) Afraid of Communist China?

Todo lo que sabemos hasta ahora de la variante Omicron

The nomenclature used to name the variants of corona-virus began earlier this year. The WHO decided to use the Greek alphabet to name them, it started with alpha and went on down the list. However, the new variant, Omicron, has skipped a couple of letters. Why? It should have been Nu, but they said that is sounded too much like “new”. Then it should have been Xi. But the WHO said that Xi is a “common Chinese last name”. Really? So why is the WHO so afraid to offend the Communist Chinese?

Is is that they don’t want to offend the Chinese dictator Xi Jinping? Did not this pandemic, this virus originate precisely in China?

What do you think?

“Dino’s Hills” Chapter 5

(Photo by FBC, property of Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia, C.2021, All Rights Reserved)

Chapter 5
(The Plaza de España)

By 0500 hours we had reached the river. It was still dark, cold, humid, foggy and miserable. I was wondering what the hell we were doing here so close to the border of another country… one that I also won’t name…and whatever for. But I am not here as a tourist and I certainly didn’t plan the trip, so I just sat there and waited, an explanation would come, eventually.

We had descended from the plateau where the city lay by chopper. We flew north east until we reached a clearance in the jungle. There the chopper touched down and we hopped off. A small white van was waiting and a guy dressed in black waved us to it. It was a very dark night…

We were Sandra, Smokey, Zeno and myself. They were these three guys dressed in black that we did not know. Counting the driver, we were eight. One of them, the one in charge, had a sombre look about him, but was very quiet and soft spoken. He looked to be about fifty, with an athletic build and a reddish beard, he looked sharp with his shaved head and tiny round rimmed glasses. Actually he looked somewhat like an XVIIIth Century poet or philosopher. The other guy looked just like him except for the beard and the glasses. He was also sombre and did not speak, at least not to us, I did see him whispering something to number three.

Then suddenly our bald, bearded leader said, “This country has been suffering the effects of a civil war since 1960…” then his words just trailed off. He did not finish the sentence.

The road was dark, no lights, no houses, no traffic, nothing. I was trying not to doze off but I was losing that battle. There was nothing to see, no one was saying anything, so falling asleep, I concluded, was a viable option, after all no one said we couldn’t.

But then I saw lights up ahead. It looked like a police check-point on the road. Our driver slowed down, shut off the headlamps and stopped about sixty metres, I would say, from the police at the check-point. Smokey asked what we would do.

“Silence,” came the quick reply from red beard.

Two of the guys took out their weapons, HK G3’s. They threw open the doors of the van, hit the deck and began firing on who we thought were the police manning the check-point. Sandra, Zeno, Smokey and myself crouched low, as low as we could inside the van, just in case there was return fire. But there was none.

When they stopped firing the two men got back in the van and the bearded one told the driver to continue, to get the hell out of Dodge and fast.

“Ok, so they know we’ve arrived,” he said looking at me.

“Who?”

“The fucking commies.” Said one of the other guys.

I started wondering who the hell these guys were. When the Colonel called me and I met him at his place in the city, Sandra, Zeno and Smokey were already there. We were told to go to a specific location where we would be flown to our destination. Nothing else was said. When we arrived we met red beard and the other two and all red beard said was get in.

“As I said before, this country is in the middle of a civil war. I know it doesn’t look like that in the capital. And with the police walking around with machine guns and with all the private security guards you see guarding banks and stores, you may think things are calm and under control, but they are not. They’ve been trying to implement communism here since 1960, when Castro took over Cuba. They’ve not given up. This nation’s military is, well, doing as much as they can but they don’t have the hardware to fight these Soviet-trained and Soviet armed bastards.” Red beard looked at me as if he was waiting for a reply, but I really had nothing to say.

“We’re here to lend a hand,” said one of the other two, “do you need to know anything else?”

“No sir,” I said.

“Good, then listen carefully, your assignment has changed, shall we say, a bit. You’re going to join the mariachis at the Plaza de Espana in Z—–.”

“What the…”

“We know you play the guitar and you sing and you speak Spanish,” he looked at me and smiled, the red beard looked like it was on fire…

C.2021, 01 DEC 2021, Francisco Bravo Cabrera, Valencia, Spain