Maybe that will be a kind of new creative canon, winter as an enchanted ‘before-time’ when you could savor fleeting moments with a benevolent sun.

Søren Solkær


dispatches on the weather and our everyday connection to the environment

Washington DC, Takoma Park MD, Baltimore MD USA - Bill Crandall

A few images from the last week of winter. You need darkness to appreciate light, that’s one reason I’ve always been been drawn to winter. Harder to find that chiaroscuro lighting on long hot summer days. I don’t think you’ll see much waxing poetic about living easy in summertime as we go climate-forward. Maybe that will be a kind of new creative canon, winter as an enchanted ‘before-time’ when you could savor fleeting moments with a benevolent sun. The last image is actually taken at the end of the first day of spring, so happy equinox!

Bill Crandall is the founder of Viaduct Arts (website | Instagram)

More about Weather Report here


new approaches to climate

Søren Solkær - Black Sun

When the Sky Comes Alive - Søren Solkær

5 Media

I called the series Black Sun, from the Danish 'sort sol', which is what we call a murmuration. It refers to there being so many birds that they darken the sky.
This is my only nature photography project, but I know for sure that some of my new projects will also be in nature. It has opened my eyes. It’s a new way of finding some of what I’ve been looking for in portraiture: trying to get in contact with the more universal part of us. I’d be interested in finding that in other phenomena in nature. It’s a new beginning of sorts for me.

Order the Black Sun book at sorensolkaer.com | Instagram @sorensolkaer


music to carry us forward

Fascinating story. Maybe putting thoughtful artists in the center of thorny topical/historical discussions is a good idea.

It started with Billy Bragg posting a heroic story of the Ukrainian band Beton remaking London Calling as a wartime anthem, with The Clash's blessing. Other media picked it up as well.

Then there was a troubling indication the guys in the band might actually be right-wingers of sorts, maybe even neo-Nazi sympathizers, based on evidence of their support for controversial WWII nationalist Stepan Bandera, who is popular on the right (but to complicate things, not ONLY on the right).

Thanks to Bragg being willing to dig deeper into the complex truth, things finally landed in a better place. I don't claim to fully get it, but I actually learned something. Quick research on Bandera (who I knew nothing about) shows how complicated a figure he was, and how relevant to the current moment. He was driven by a passion for Ukrainian independence. Toward that goal, he collaborated with the Nazis until they screwed him over. He was anti-semitic. He did some pretty bad things. Support for him may be one of the reasons Putin accuses Ukrainians of being neo-Nazis.

Yet, as problematic as he is, apparently many Ukrainians forgive Bandera for a lot based on his (and their) desire for independence, and due to his own myth-making. Even the good-guy hero of the Orange Revolution, Viktor Yushchenko, honored him.

In other words, Beton, like many Ukrainians, like him for his independence streak and forgive/forget/ignore the rest. Which doesn't sound good until you realize we all do that. The Founding Fathers and slavery comes to mind, as does Obama and his program of drone killings.

But there's maybe a growing sense that Bandera's legacy needs to be reevaluated at the very least. Which sounds like what Beton is saying below.

Bragg laid it out via his Facebook page:

Three days ago, I posted a clip of Ukrainian band Beton (it means Concrete) performing their version of the Clash’s ‘London Calling’, rewritten as ‘Kyiv Calling’.
My attention was subsequently drawn to photos on the band’s Facebook page showing them wearing t-shirts commemorating Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist leader who collaborated with the Nazis during the Second World War. I deleted my original post two days ago and called the band out for their apparent support of fascism.
Yesterday, I was contacted by Andriy Zholob, the guitar player of the band, who was understandably concerned by my criticism. He’s a doctor currently working in Lviv with traumatised refugees from the war zones in his country. Beton he said are an anti-fascist band and he asked me to help craft a statement that both apologised for the offence caused by the shirts and clarified the band’s position.
I’m pleased to say that, as a result of our discussions, the band have removed the offending photos and posted the following statement on their Facebook page.




Beton apologise for any offence caused by photos of our band members in tee shirts carrying the name of Ukrainian nationalist leader Stepan Bandera. We have removed the images from our Facebook page. We understand that perceptions of Bandera around the world are different from those held by many Ukrainians. We realise he is a very controversial figure. And we would like to clarify our position.

Like many eastern European countries during the 20th century, Ukraine suffered greatly from being invaded by both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Bandera’s passion for Ukrainian independence led him to both collaborate with the Nazis and then turn against them when they tried to suppress the country. During the most troubling period in our nation’s history, Bandera was sent to a concentration camp for resisting the Nazis.

His experience is a reminder that our history is complex and we accept there are very dark chapters in it. Nonetheless, we believe that it is up to all Ukrainians, irrespective of their ethnic or religious affiliations, who finally have secured the opportunity to openly and democratically debate the legacy of their historical figures, to ensure that this debate includes acknowledging and accepting crimes that have been committed both against them as victims and by them as perpetrators.

We need a national debate about our history and contested memory - exactly the kind of debate that would be impossible in Putin's Russia. The invader is trapped by the past, seeing everything through the prism of Russia’s imperial history. We in Ukraine are seeking to escape that prison and to take our place as a nation free to make our own democratic choices.

This is the Ukraine that we are fighting for – a place where people of all races and creeds can work together to build a nation free from oppression.
Slava Joe Strummer & The Clash! Slava Ukraini!


French Artist JR Enlisted 100 Local Volunteers to Unfurl a Massive Photograph of a Five-Year-Old Refugee in Ukraine

Artnet | March 20, 2022

No, that's not Photoshop. Watch the 'making of' Instagram video, it's remarkable.

A Coalition of Artists Promote Indigenous and Environmental Struggles Through Open Access Art

Hyperallergic | December 5, 2021

Susan Simensky Bietila
For Native tribes in the United States, a pipeline is not a source of energy, but a serpent slithering across long-pillaged ancestral lands. The ancient Lakota prophecy of a black snake desecrating sacred sites materializes today in steel pipes transporting fossil fuels for billion-dollar corporations, breaking federal treaties and threatening life on Earth.
Looming over each piece is the climate crisis accelerated by new pipeline construction, and artists draw attention to animals directly affected by climate change. JustSeeds artist Andrea Lomanto aligns the stars of Ursa Major, which was first identified by the Wampanoag people, on a large black bear ripping a snake in two. One simple yet effective painting by Sasha Hill depicts a loon, an Indigenous symbol of guardianship and Minnesota’s state bird, floating on a lake at sunset. The colors of the sky and sea evoke nostalgia and serenity, yet the bird’s averted gaze and rigid posture hint at a danger seemingly just out of the frame.

The Jazz Collective Drowning Out Far-Right Rallies with Terrible Music

Vice | September 2, 2020

[Rasmus] Paludan and Stram Kurs were on the ballot for Denmark’s 2019 parliamentary elections, running on a platform widely described as fascist.
Paludan promised to deport almost all immigrants and their descendants, and has also toyed with the idea of placing immigrants as well as ethnic minority Danes – those he considers “losers of society” – in prisons or “closed-off camps”.
“Free Jazz Against Paludan” follows the far-right politician around the country and plays jazz very loudly and very badly at his events, in a bid to drown out his voice.

How to Write Fiction When the Planet Is Falling Apart

New York Times Magazine | February 5, 2020

Jenny Offill is the master of novels told in sly, burnished fragments. In her latest, ‘Weather,’ she uses this small form to address the climate collapse.
Offill doesn’t write about the climate crisis but from deep within it. She does not paint pictures of apocalyptic scenarios; she charts internal cartographies.