Body of work 5 Hannah Höch in the 1920s: The ‘New woman’ in Weimar Germany

The New Woman: 

  • The new woman is a multi-layered figure of both cultural and social value. She is the new feminist ideal
  • Shell-shocked population after the aftermath of WWI not only because of the horrific nature of war that saw unseen mass destruction but also that Germany lost the war
  • The Weimar period was perhaps a crisis of masculinity.
  • During the war, many women were in the labour force, working in factories and supporting the economy.
  • During the early 20th century, many western societies of Europe and North America began to have protests and demonstrations to fight for the women’s right to vote.
  • The typical role of women was to stay at home and perform domestic tasks, but during the Weimar Republic, more and more women were out on the streets, which was very unusual and atypical of what was the norm.
  • Many women began to dress more loosely and had more freedom to what they wanted to wear, and at that time was seen as quite sexualised but appalling because women had clothes that revealed more of their body. In addition, they decided to cut their hair shorter and even shave their legs. Engage in more material consumption including driving cars. Some even were cabaret-like and having short haircuts and pencil skirts
  • Many men were physically or psychologically wounded and had a difficult time to go back to the workforce or even to vote. That meant that women could take over some of the jobs men used to do or for instance, they began to fill more jobs that were visible throughout society, such as tram conductor and department store clerk, as well as factory workers, lawyers, and doctors.
  • As women gained more power in both society and government, gradually cofusion of roles for women and men started to confront society as the once sex-segregated workforce (although some professions still had more men than women) became less segregated.
  • The paradoxes of the new woman were that they were seen as both the villain and victim in the new modern age.

 

The new woman was a crisis of modernity but was she the victim or villain?

  • The new woman was an economic dependant and independent one in the sense that the economy in the Weimar republic and during WWI depended on women in the labour force but they were also independent themselves.
  • The new woman had to balance motherhood and family with work and that could be seen as the victim.  They struggle with a double burden both from home and work. Also, they were expected to be the saviours and salvations of society which was a heavy expectational burden placed on women
  • However, because they had to balance all of this, they themselves were rationalised and in turn more mechanised and machine-like losing, or at least societies fear of women losing their nurture and caring which at the time, many men perhaps needed to be nurtured after the war, which could be seen as the villain. They were the avant-garde of modernity
  • Men were perhaps a bit overwhelmed and feared the power of these women and how they could be both efficient and mechanised yet also nurturing and taking care of both the household and work.
  • After women gained the right to vote, the Neue Frau or the New Woman became a trope in German popular culture, representing new discourses about sexuality, reproduction and urban mass society.  However, despite getting the right to vote early on in the Weimar Republic the urbane, sexually liberated working women who wore androgynous clothes and cut their hair short, were widely seen as very apolitical.
  • These were some of the many social and cultural forces shaping the new womanhood and new woman. Below is a photo demonstrating the New Woman:

This image shows many of the underlying attitudes of the New Woman. The woman is depicted as being both confident and strong because she is not only smoking a cigarette but also wearing an outfit designed for riding the bicycle seen behind her. This would typically by the men’s role or stereotype. However, on the other hand, The man is doing the laundry and is bowed down conveying a submissive pose and perhaps is wearing a bucket. The woman is at a higher pose and so asserts her dominance of the man which would be the complete inversion of what was expected of the role of men and women.


One of Hannah Höch’s works is her photomontage called MOnument one in the series of Aus einem ethnographischen Museum or From an ethnographic museum.

According to MOMA:

Monument I is usually dated to 1924, but the left leg of its figure derives from a 1928 BIZ photograph of actress Lilian Harvey and friends at the beach. (The source for the figure’s other “leg”—as yet unlocated—is an upended reproduction of a bent female arm and hand.) The head was snipped from a photograph of a mask from Gabon (now in the Barnes Foundation) while the torso and arm derive from a reproduction of a stone statue of a Theban goddess. By precisely trimming and fitting these various body parts together, Hoch created an illusion of cohesive wholeness that is nonetheless immediately subverted by the variously colored component paper scraps. The eerie, hybrid figure in this way functions, like the other figures in the Ethnographic Museum series, as a psychological irritant of the first order.

Below is my reverse collage of this painting where I have cut the artwork into different pieces, which of course Höch did but reassembled for contextualization. I have annotated each individual piece on what the image is, what it represents and the significance.

Analytical Paragraph:

Monument I by Hannah Höch is a photomontage that integrates both the ethnographic studies of exotic cultures of women and female or New Woman imagery that results in an eerie hybrid figure. höch creates an illusion of cohesive wholeness using the pedestal, however, that is subverted by the various colour scraps from other contexts. This re-contextualisation brings critique of the New Woman and ethnographic studying of exotic cultures but also perhaps their similarities. During the Weimar Period, museums displayed artworks of exotic cultures but were heavily misrepresented and the objectification of sometimes real people created erroneous representations. The new woman which was a multi-layered figure of both cultural and social value was the new feminist ideal of the republic. The photomontage displays pieces of African culture such as the head originating from a mask form Gabon and the torso from a stone statue of a Theban goddess, and western women with dismembered body parts of photographs from popular magazines. The sort of dance-like poses connects to a trope of the New Woman being a dancer and the juxtaposition of the two cultures creates a fragmented, grotesque and humourous montage of multi-cultural fragments. The pedestal is a framing device to put the scraps of paper into a museum exhibition context and pedagogical context for education and instruction. This is not a religious or social function but rather the plinth or pedestal elevates these figure to a worshipped places and ancient culture to be studied. However, that western object d’art prevents true understanding and appreciation of the object. Through the visual culture of two vastly separate cultures as interchangeable, Höch may have tried to compare this ethnographic studying to the roles of women in which women were expected to be worshipped and be saviours to societies in similar ways to statues. Höch made a critique and ridiculed typical gender roles and racial stereotypes through her photomontage that re-contextualised the vary stereotypes she attempted to look at from a different lens.

 

Portfolio Post — Comparative Essay on Gatsby and Paul Nash

 

First Draft

Gatsby and Paul Nash: 

 

Extracts:

We are making a new world

 

Chapter 4:

‘Mr. Carraway this is my friend Mr. Wolfshiem.’ A small, flat-nosed Jew raised his large head and regarded me with two fine growths of hair which luxuriated in either nostril. After a moment I discovered his tiny eyes in the half darkness. ‘—so I took one look at him—’ said Mr. Wolfshiem, shaking my hand earnestly, ‘—and what do you think I did?’ ‘What?’ I inquired politely. But evidently he was not addressing me for he dropped my hand and covered Gatsby with his expressive nose. ‘I handed the money to Katspaugh and I said, ‘All right, Katspaugh, don’t pay him a penny till he shuts his mouth.’ He shut it then and there.’ Gatsby took an arm of each of us and moved forward into the restaurant whereupon Mr. Wolfshiem swallowed a new sentence he was starting and lapsed into a somnambulatory abstraction.

The arts and literature have in some way always been a key part in human culture around the world to represent ideas and communicate the artist or author’s perspectives to their respective audience or readers. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, progress and social change have rapidly increased in a relatively short amount of time that was unseen before in all of Human History. The 20th century was perhaps an era of immense social, economic and political progress and rapid change in a relatively short period with both constructive and destructive consequences on societies. For instance, one of the most profound changes to western societies during the 20th century was the outbreak of the Great War and subsequently the advent of the Roaring Twenties or Jazz Age. War artists such as Paul Nash and influential authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald have through their choice of creative expression responded to the rapid social change during the late 1910s and 1920s that transformed society into a new era. “We are making a New World” by Paul Nash, as in many of his war landscape paintings, rejects the romanticised and heroic representations of war that dominated the norm before the 20th century in favour of more abstract, cubist inspired art to express his deep horrors of World War I that warped nature unnaturally and terrorised human emotions. The audience response was profound and was the key factor that changed the way we perceive war as an unnecessary means and even immoral at times. Similarly, Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby expressed his condemnation for the disintegration of the American Dream in 1920s America in an era of unprecedented prosperity and consumerism of material excess. Through his response to the 1920s social change, he made his readers realise the extent of how the decayed moral and social values transformed into the empty pursuit of greed and pleasure. Although different in style, both Nash and Fitzgerald through their creative acts and their representation of certain social values, transformed the way their audience or readers saw society, shedding new light on the ever-evolving and ever-changing issues that surround our societies. 

Firstly, in Nash’s “We are Making a New World” juxtaposition of the title and the brutal and destructive depiction of war in his artwork challenges the heroic portrayal of mass wars that even in today’s modern world, brings back the cruel reality of WWI. Paul nash described his paintings as feeble and inarticulate which was not referring to the limitations of his skill as an artist but rather that he was unable to properly comprehend and express the scale and intensity of not only trauma but the suffering that he and others experienced during world war. For most of the history of Western Art, the more realistic the art the better it was perceived, or at least that the skills of the artist were based on how close he could paint realistically and as close to reality as possible, even if the romanticised depiction of a landscape or figure of authority were not realistic per se. In addition, art that was displayed in art galleries had a similar theme of some romanticized version of an important figure or landscape or realistic interpretation of some still life. However, the introduction of the new art styles, such as cubism, impressionism, surrealism and other more abstract styles, challenged these century-old artworks of what most people believed was expected and what art should represent, especially the artwork or sculptures that displayed the art of Classical Greece or unmoving and breathtaking landscapes, which at the time was the norm. The art world had a rude awakening and Paul Nash’s war landscape paintings were no different from that shock. Likewise, “We are Making a New World” creates this juxtaposition because a new world implies hopefulness and new beginnings. Instead, the title gives no hint of any mutilation of a landscape instilled with horror. On the contrary, the land is warped too organically and resulting in an alienation of the landscape and the oddly liquified trees seem too unnatural to exist on earth. The rays of sunshine further contrast the title by seeming unnatural and artificial despite being the sun. The sun lossesloses it’sits warmth because these rays are straight and are white and not a warm orange or yellow that one would normally associate with the sun. The towering red hills along with the artificial sun, create a miserable and hopeless mood and atmosphere illustrating the illusion of escape or relief from the horror of war and the betrayal of nature. The landscape feels contained wthwith little space among the trees, devoid of any organic living life as the earth and once lush vegetation is reduced to mud and perhaps pools of chemicals and waste. All in all, the painting is far from a celebratory depiction of war and instead depicts utter failure in humanity. Thus all these creative elements in the painting transformed the values typically associated with war such as glory in the battlefield, the same as playing a game with friends and nobility in dying for one’s country to mass-scale destruction and nightmarish landscapes. These established beliefs have been inverted and subdued by these new abstract and revolting art styles of Paul Nash and other artists including those part of the Dada movement, to depict such an alien landscape contrasted to the romanticized beautiful and awe-inspiring landscapes showcased in art galleries before was a huge social changed and transformed the views on war. As it was commonly known, WWI was the war that ended all wars, or rather ended the public’s perceived notions of war transforming into a new truth of what war actually is. 

On the other hand, F. Scott Fitzgerlad saw the mass consumerism and materialism as a result of the increase of urbanization in America, a cause to the alienation in society and away from traditional secular values (that in some cases were more preferable than the new modern values). The Great Gatsby responded to the massive social change that he saw as cynical in a way because the new modern values of endless, meaningless pleasure and greed contributed nothing to society. In chapter 4, the surrounding myths of who Gatsby is sort of revealed or at least Nicks meeting with Wolfsheim instils doubt to him that Gatbys’s virtues are perhaps not as pure as they have seemed to be. Wolfsheim is grotesquely portrayed stereotypically Jewish with the physical appearance of having a “large head’, “small” diminutive stature and his obvious greed expressed through “his expressive nose” as,” as if smelling for money. In a way, this meeting confirms in the eyes of Nick and the reader, Gatsby’s involvement with bootlegging and organised crime. This altogether is a symbolic representation of criminal activity based on stereotypes of Jews. Corruption and illegal criminal activity during the prohibition era in Fitgerald’s eyes, lead to the moral and social decay that dismantled the very idea of the social mobility in the American dream as well as the new consumerism of material excess without thought. This theme is existent throughout the novel, and later on, in Chapter 4, Wolfsheim cufflinks are perhaps the most pertinent manifestation of his corrupt nature let alone his physical description, with the human molars also reflective of death perhaps even foreshadowing the death and downfall of Gatsby. One of the underlying values of the American dream is that anyone can rise up the ranks of the social hierarchy and become satisfied and enjoying a higher standard and quality of life, given the work hard enough. However, in order to attain the American Dream, then crime needs to be involved and Gatsby, despite perhaps enjoying some elements of his illegally acquired wealth, was never fully satisfied and in the end, everything fell apart. Fitzgerald points out that the American Dream was never accessible to anyone and was only a means for the rich to stay rich. This failure in the American dream is just another byproduct of the moral decay in society in the 1920s and through a Marxist analysis view on the American Dream, was a way for the rich like Tom to stay rich by motivating the working class to work. Furthermore, this meeting with Wolfsheim leads to Gatsby’s backstory, which is finally revealed in chapter 6 later on by a reporter. It is revealed that his only true pursuit was to be with Daisy, the female embodiment of the true American along with the symbol of the green light to which Gatbsy attaches sentimental value to, the readers realise the myth of the American Dream. This is because Gatsby can never find true satisfaction was satisfaction and was never able to fully attain the American Dream. His materialistic parties (and how no one, except the owl-eyed man and Nick, further exposes the truth to the extent of moral decay in society) and his failed materialistic efforts for Daisy never resulted in the way he expected, divulges into the social decay in society. Gatsby was also a by-product of the illusion that materialism and getting rich no matter what can help one to achieve one’s goals and be happier. Wolfsheim was the first to reveal the extent of the failed illusion of the American Dream and it’s moral decay on society as Fitzgerlad saw it. Fitzgerald transformed the values in the 1920s that was thought to be prosperous and shocked the Jazz Age that all the glamorous glamorous values were a lie or at least didn’t disclose the extent of the inaccessibility of the American Dream and how it morally decayed the society. His creative effort changed the way the 1920s was perceived in an era of what most people thought was prosperous only to be short-lasting and only for the wealthy few. 

In conclusion, the 20th century was an era of rapid social change and where many authors, artists and other creative individuals contributed to the widely transformed society or were a by-product of the profound social changes and were seen as a response to it. Paul Nash as a war artist expressed through his juxtaposition of an ironically optimised title, and the barren, wasted and traumatising landscape to illustrate the horrors of war on both people and nature. This brutally honest depiction of the horrors of war contrasted the heavily romanticised paintings of immobile landscapes and idealised figures that dominated the art galleries of before. Fitzgerald, on the other hand, was outraged by the American society that although shifted away from traditional values and became more urbanised and modernised, adopted the newly acquired values of greed before anything else and mindless consumption of material excess that resulted in what Fitzgerald saw as moral decay and corruption in society. This, in turn, disintegrated in the American Dream, both in terms of the values upheld by it and the facade or illusion of being able to obtain with no little to no cost despite perhaps only having a limited time of true happiness. Nash and Fitzgerald have used their creative means to transform the societal norms, expectations and values into what they saw as morally wrong or not displaying the actual truth which resulted in mixed reactions of the readers or audience through the responses to social change. Artists and writers today still respond to the ever-increasing social change through their own creative styles of its purpose being to evoke their sense of truth and right. Many artists have responded to the rise of the far-right and the ever polarisation of politics in the US and Europe, and some like Eli Rezkallah has responded to the more feminist values of modern western society today, though not actually being completely feminist through the inversion of gender roles of parodies of 1950s adverts. All in all, creativity is an impactful and inspirational way to transform society and to respond to the change in societal values.

Revised Draft:

The arts and literature have always been a key part in human culture around the world, used to represent ideas and communicate the artist or author’s perspectives to their respective audience or readers. The pace of social change and progress was unseen in the 20th century in an era of immense social, economic and political change resulting in constructive and destructive consequences on societies. The outbreak of the Great War and subsequently the advent of the Roaring Twenties or Jazz Age were one of the most profound changes to western societies. War artists such as Paul Nash and influential authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald have through their choice of creative expression responded to the rapid social change during the late 1910s and 1920s that transformed society into a new era. “We are making a New World” by Paul Nash, as in many of his war landscape paintings, rejects the romanticised and heroic representations of war that dominated the norm before the 20th century in favour of more abstract, cubist inspired art to express his deep horrors of World War I that warped nature unnaturally and terrorised human emotions. The audience response was profound and was the key factor that changed the way we perceive war as an unnecessary means and even immoral at times. Similarly, Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby expressed through his creative work, his condemnation for the disintegration of the American Dream in 1920s America in an era of unprecedented prosperity and consumerism of material excess. Through his response to the 1920s social change, he made his readers realise the extent of how the decayed moral and social values transformed into the empty pursuit of greed and pleasure. Although different in style, both Nash and Fitzgerald through their creative acts and their representation of certain social values, transformed the way their audience or readers saw society, shedding new light on the ever-evolving and ever-changing issues that surround our societies. 

Firstly, Nash in many of his paintings created a juxtaposition of the title and the brutal and destructive depiction of war in his artwork challenges the heroic portrayal of mass wars that even in today’s modern world, brings back the cruel reality of WWI. Paul Nash described his paintings as feeble and inarticulate which was not referring to the limitations of his skill as an artist but rather that he was unable to properly comprehend and express the scale and intensity of not only trauma but the suffering that he and others experienced during world war (Tate). For most of the history of Western Art, the more realistic and romanticised depictions the art was, the better it was perceived. However, the introduction of the new art styles, such as cubism, impressionism, surrealism and other more abstract styles, challenged these century-old artworks of what most people believed was expected and what art should represent. The art world had a rude awakening and Paul Nash’s war landscape paintings were no different from that shock. Likewise, “We are Making a New World” creates this juxtaposition because a new world implies hopefulness and new beginnings. Instead, the title gives no hint of any mutilation of a landscape instilled with horror. On the contrary, the land is warped too organically and resulting in an alienation of the landscape and the oddly liquified trees seem too unnatural to exist on earth. Painting the rays of the sun using a cool white rather than the usual warm yellows or oranges, Nash gives them an attenuated feeling, almost as if they have become unnatural. The towering red hills along with the artificial sun, create a miserable and hopeless mood and atmosphere illustrating the illusion of escape or relief from the horror of war and the betrayal of nature. Nash’s use of composition makes the landscape feels contained with little space among the trees, devoid of any organic living life as the earth and once lush vegetation is reduced to mud and perhaps pools of chemicals and waste. All in all, the painting is far from a celebratory depiction of war and instead depicts utter failure in humanity. Thus all these creative elements in the painting transformed the values typically associated with war such as glory in the battlefield, the same as playing a game with friends and nobility in dying for one’s country to mass-scale destruction and nightmarish landscapes. These established beliefs have been inverted and subdued by these new abstract and revolting art styles of Paul Nash and other artists including those part of the Dada movement, to depict such an alien landscape contrasted to the romanticized beautiful and awe-inspiring landscapes showcased in art galleries before was a huge social changed and transformed the views on war. As it was commonly known, WWI was the war that ended all wars, or rather ended the public’s perceived notions of war transforming into a new truth of what war actually is. 

On the other hand, F. Scott Fitzgerlad saw the mass consumerism and materialism as a result of the increase of urbanization in America, a cause to the alienation in society and away from traditional secular values (that in some cases were more preferable than the new modern values). The Great Gatsby responded to the massive social change that he saw as cynical in a way because the new modern values of endless, meaningless pleasure and greed contributed nothing to society. In chapter 4, the surrounding myths of who Gatsby is sort of revealed or at least Nick’s meeting with Wolfsheim instils doubt to him that Gatbys’s virtues are perhaps not as pure as they have seemed to be. Fitzgerald’s grotesque characterisation of Wolfsheim portrays him as stereotypically Jewish with the physical appearance of having a “large head’, “small” diminutive stature and his obvious greed expressed through “his expressive nose,” as if smelling for money. In a way, this meeting confirms in the eyes of Nick and the reader, Gatsby’s involvement with bootlegging and organised crime. This altogether is a symbolic representation of criminal activity based on stereotypes of Jews. In Fitzgerlad’s eyes, everyone was culpable because everyone turned a blind eye to the whole situation along with corruption and illegal criminal activity during the prohibition era, leading to the moral and social decay that dismantled the very idea of the social mobility in the American dream as well as the new consumerism of material excess without thought. This theme is existent throughout the novel, and later on, in Chapter 4, Wolfsheim cufflinks are perhaps the most pertinent manifestation of his corrupt nature let alone his physical description, with the human molars also reflective of death perhaps even foreshadowing the death and downfall of Gatsby. One of the underlying values of the American dream is that anyone can rise up the ranks of the social hierarchy and become satisfied and enjoying a higher standard and quality of life, given the work hard enough. However, in order to attain the American Dream, then crime needs to be involved and Gatsby, despite perhaps enjoying some elements of his illegally acquired wealth, was never fully satisfied and in the end, everything fell apart. Fitzgerald points out that the American Dream was never accessible to anyone and was only a means for the rich to stay rich. This failure in the American dream is just another byproduct of the moral decay in society in the 1920s and through a Marxist analysis view on the American Dream, was a way for the rich like Tom to stay rich by motivating the working class to work. Furthermore, this meeting with Wolfsheim leads to Gatsby’s backstory, which is finally revealed in chapter 6 later on by a reporter. It is revealed that his only true pursuit was to be with Daisy, the female embodiment of the true American along with the symbol of the green light to which Gatbsy attaches sentimental value to, the readers realise the myth of the American Dream. This is because Gatsby can never find true satisfaction and was never able to fully attain the American Dream. His materialistic parties (and how no one, except the owl-eyed man and Nick, further exposes the truth to the extent of moral decay in society) and his failed materialistic efforts for Daisy never resulted in the way he expected, divulges into the social decay in society. Gatsby was also a by-product of the illusion that materialism and getting rich no matter what can help one to achieve one’s goals and be happier. Wolfsheim was the first to reveal the extent of the failed illusion of the American Dream and it’s moral decay on society as Fitzgerlad saw it. Fitzgerald transformed the values in the 1920s that was thought to be prosperous and shocked the Jazz Age that all the glamorous values were a lie or at least didn’t disclose the extent of the inaccessibility of the American Dream and how it morally decayed the society. His creative effort changed the way the 1920s was perceived in an era of what most people thought was prosperous only to be short-lasting and only for the wealthy few. 

In conclusion, the 20th century was an era of rapid social change and where many authors, artists and other creative individuals contributed to the widely transformed society or were a by-product of the profound social changes and were seen as a response to it. Paul Nash as a war artist expressed through his juxtaposition of an ironically optimised title, and the barren, wasted and traumatising landscape to illustrate the horrors of war on both people and nature. This brutally honest depiction of the horrors of war contrasted the heavily romanticised paintings of immobile landscapes and idealised figures that dominated the art galleries of before. Fitzgerald, on the other hand, was outraged by the American society that although shifted away from traditional values and became more urbanised and modernised, adopted the newly acquired values of greed before anything else and mindless consumption of material excess that resulted in what Fitzgerald saw as moral decay and corruption in society. This, in turn, disintegrated in the American Dream, both in terms of the values upheld by it and the facade or illusion of being able to obtain with no little to no cost despite perhaps only having a limited time of true happiness. Nash and Fitzgerald have used their creative means to transform the societal norms, expectations and values into what they saw as morally wrong or not displaying the actual truth which resulted in mixed reactions of the readers or audience through the responses to social change. Artists and writers today still respond to the ever-increasing social change through their own creative styles of its purpose being to evoke their sense of truth and right. Many artists have responded to the rise of the far-right and the ever polarisation of politics in the US and Europe, and some like Eli Rezkallah has responded to the more feminist values of modern western society today, though not actually being completely feminist through the inversion of gender roles of parodies of 1950s adverts. All in all, creativity is an impactful and inspirational way to transform society and to respond to the change in societal values.

 

Source:

https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/paul-nash/context-comment/articles/paul-nash-war-artist

Track and Field

February 13th 2020

Investigation:

Last year, I also took part in the track and field team where I was not too bad at running long distance and quite good at high jump. So it is an experience I have done before, but I will try to challenge myself more, by running more often than I usually do, and jump higher and farther in the high and long jump part of the field which I have decided to take part in. Also, I have been thinking of joining the cross country team next year instead of pursuing football. This was because I have started playing football during breaks as I have always done before, and noticed I was a bit rusty but also that with football, the sport I love the most, is the sport I just want to play for fun and not have to worry about competitions, just for the love of it. But with cross country, I feel like it would be a good challenge and something I wouldn’t be too bad at it. With running, one needs to train quite often and keep that momentum going sort of like swimming. My father is a great long-distance runner, and running with him perhaps once a week might make that momentum going. We have run quite a lot together in the past.


February 19th and 21st 2020

Preparation:

Today (February 19th), long jump and high jump was on the schedule and despite being almost a year since I last trained, I was still able to regain my former strengths and skills. Since I have grown, I able to jump over 1.60m which was the highest I jumped last time. I have a feeling that I will able to easily beat my personal record and perhaps even able to jump over 1.70m. So my goal for this season is to clear 1.70m.

Today (February 21st), I went back into the long-distance running I did last year but started challengingly with interval training. After a hard session of interval training, I did some full-body exercises, and it is a bit different from last year because of the virus. Now we are running in quite unusual places like the Bus Bay for instance or anywhere around the campus. I am looking forward to and hoping to gain some more stamina in my long-distance running and running longer with a slightly higher pace than I am usually comfortable with. In other words, I hope that through Track and field, I will not only jump higher but challenge myself to increase my stamina and running faster.

#LO1,


16th March 2020

For the past few sessions, I have worked quite a bit on my high jumping, beating my personal best of 160cm and now stands at 165cm. With high jumping, it is a bit of luck because it is sort of the jumping at the right time and hoping that when you arch your back as well as lifting your legs you will go over. Also, the more you jump the worse you become in a session because you are putting all your effort in one jump. But I am really happy that I was able to clear 165 and I want to preserve to go higher (EVIDENCE)

In terms of running, I have been doing some interval training to try to increase both my stamina and speed. I am not a particularly fast runner nor a runner which can run really far (but still a relativity good distance without stopping). However, I am really good at maintaining my speed. Below is an image of the times I did for one 800, then twice 1600 and finally 800 with a relatively fast pace with 3 to 5 minutes rest in between:

What this shows is that I am able to hold my pace in between 14 seconds in this case and that I can maintain my pace for a sustained period of time. What I need to be working on now, is to increase my speed. Yesterday I tried the Parkrun at East Coast Park for the first time where you can volunteers can time your 5K run and show you where you are at among athletes and the average your age and fitness. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 virus, it was cancelled just that weekend, but I still did a makeshift run for 5K and resulted in a time of just under 25 minutes. That is not a bad time but not a very fast time if compared to many athletes. So my aim and goal for the next few weeks is to increase my speed in middle distance running.

Aside from track and field, I also climbed with the UWCSEA Dover Climbing team both at the East Campus and the Dover campus this week and last week. It was exciting to climb with others that are really good and it invites a challenge and insight into what a climbing team goes through and how they train. Although the holds and routes are relatively easy at both our climbing walls, in order to challenge our selves, we tried climbing with only the rock face and smearing, or using only specific holds and routes or climbing with no hands-on an inclined wall. It was a great opportunity and a chance to develop my skills as a climber.

#LO1, #LO2 and #LO4

Comparative Essay | Oscar Landgren | Paul Nash and Carol Ann Duffy

This Essay has been reviewed with Feedback. Here is the Feedback

 

Feedback From Teacher:

The start of a good response but perhaps not thorough enough as not enough points or deep analysis is made. More balance between texts and being perhaps more analytical at times rather than descriptive, also the need of contextualising evidence in the essay. 

How Will I Move Forward:

I will rewrite the essay using the feedback and going forward I will despite the more clearer analysis than last time in the IO, I will do more of this analysis and in-depth in future works such as future essays and IOs. 

 

Links to Extra Reading:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2009/may/01/carol-ann-duffy-poet-laureate 

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/oct/14/from-english-woodlands-to-war-pioneering-paintings-of-paul-nash

https://www.everypicture.org/we-are-making-a-new-world-by-paul-nash 

 

Conflict and war have existed throughout  human history, and different groups of different cultures and ideologies have gone against each other to battle for glory and for their people. These heroic and romanticized representations of war dominated the norm before the 20th century.The world World Wars completely shifted that notion and changed future wars and conflicts as a result. War artists such as Paul Nash and even more contemporary poets like Carol Ann Duffy have through their choice of expression to condemn and evoke the horrors of war. Carol Ann Duffy in her poem “Shooting Stars” in her collection from Standing Female Nude from 1985 deviates from her usual overt sexual poems with dark humour and instead shames the reader in our seeming forgetfulness of the tragedies of World War 2 and as a result, attempts to sympathise with the Jewish victims of World War II. Similarly, Paul Nash, as in many of his war landscape paintings, rejects the romanticism in favour of more abstract, cubist inspired art to express his deep horrors of world war I that warped nature unnaturally and terrorised human emotions. His juxtaposition of a hopeful title against the destruction in his painting aims to shy away from the celebratory and heroic depiction of war to condemn war itself. Although different in style, both Nash and Duffy forces us to reconsider our notions of war and to remember the horrors so that these atrocities are not to be committed again. 

Firstly, Duffy coerces the reader to guiltiness in order to bring a small amount of hope and trust that the acts of savagery will never be committed again. By repeating the verbf“remember” as an imperative in the second stanza, Duffy underlines the need to not forget the brutality of the Holocaust. After the dramatic monologue expressing the silence, the marginalised voices of victims during WWII in the first stanza it leads to the commemorating these voices with bravery through the emphasis on “brave” and comparing them to “statues” that have connotations of remembrance. In the same second stanza, the repetition of the “remember” and the phrase the “forever bad” emphasises that the evilness of those past events can never be recorded no matter how much good tries to change what happened. Duffy aims to call for remembrance of these victims and giving these voices a more permanent and brave stature through her choice of words like “statues”. Furthermore, Duffy later on after grotesque imagery of rape and violence such as through “bowels opened in a ragged gape of fear” with small acts of hopeful imagery throuhg the symbolism of the “child” that gives at least some light in to the situation symbolising future hope and generations only to be lost as one is “shot in the eye”. There is continued torment and taunting by these soldiers onto these victims and at the same time, Duffy aims to directly involve the reader by addressing the reader using “you” and speaking for these marginalised voices. The poet, despite not having experienced the holocaust, aims to connect the present-day readers to the Nazis and victims of their acts of torture in the fifth stanza through the phrase of “history lesson” that replaces the “terrible moans” and “immense suffering” previously in the stanza. This shames the readers that despite expressing clearly how disgraceful it is to overlook the tragedies, implies that people still downplay or don;t understand the full extent of the savagery because of the harmless connotation of “history lesson”. Duffy, all in all, wants readers to still show sympathy despite the distance of time and even space that these tragic events happen so that this “acts of torture” don’t happen again like mentioned in the third stanza as “only a matter of days” sepearate these events conveying how near this acts can happen once again. 

On the other hand, Nash’s juxtaposition of the title and the brutal and destructive depiction of war in his artwork challenges the heroic portrayal of mass wars that even in today’s modern world, brings back the cruel reality of WWI. Paul nash described his paintings as feeble and inarticulate which was not referring to the limitations of his skill as an artist but rather that he was unable to properly comprehend and express the scale and intensity of not only trauma but the suffering that he and others experienced during world war. “The Menin Road” as a title seems harmless which is juxtaposed to the wasted landscape. Similarly, previous titles such as “We are Making a New World” creates this juxtaposition because a new world implies hopefulness and new beginnings. We can see an almost similar irony in the choice of a road that could have easily been described as a road that no longer exists or barren wasteland or even more exaggerated with horror that would have fit in with the painting’s landscape. Instead the title gives no hint of any mutilation of a landscape instilled with horror. On the contrary, the rays of sunshine contrast the title by seeming unnatural and artificial despite being the sun. These rays resemble gun barrels creating a miserable, hopeless and horrific mood and atmosphere illustrating the illusion of escape or relief from the horror of war and the betrayal of nature. The two soldiers not only follow a road that no longer exists, but their ghostly appearance due to their featureless and expressionless faces implies the brokenness of war, as Nash could not depict the feelings of fair, anger, hopelessness and despair. There is a lot of space conveying the vastness of destruction, devoid of any organic life, as the earth and once lush vegetation is reduced to mud and pools of chemicals, waste and perhaps even dead bodies. These flooded trenches along with the stumps of trees and debris of all kinds that cover the foreground and midground have angular lines and unnatural shades of brown, grey, white and black challenges not only the title but the once perceived notions of war. These lines and shades, and the little to no colour contrast between the nature that is left and the ongoing war evokes the unnatural human input into the landscape that has warped nature into an alien landscape. Smoke that suggests ongoing destruction in the background as well as the two soldiers reveal the source and cause of the almost synthetic and abnormal topography and terrain. All in all, the painting is far from a celebratory depiction of war and instead depicts utter failure in humanity. 

In conclusion, the events of WWI lead to even greater suffering in WWII but through the works of artists like nash, poets like Duffy and other individuals have allowed remembrance and continued shame that hopefully leads to less suffering in the world. Paul Nash as a war artist expressed through his juxtaposition of an ironically optimised title or at least no hints of destruction, and the barren, wasted and traumatising landscape to illustrate the horrors of war on both people and nature. Nash and Duffy have used their artwork and poem to give expression to the unutterable, overwhelming pain and mental exhaustion which ravished the minds of so many soldiers which was described medically during the time as shell shock or war neurosis, the precursor to PTSD which is still common of soldiers today from past wars in the Middle East and the Vietnam War. This, in turn, created this new culture and era in which war was no longer heroic but utterly unnecessary, brutal and the condemnation of war.

Self Evaluation on Study Skills

For a few lessons in PSE, we have discussed a few study habits and what makes non-effective study habits so that in the future, we might have better luck on exams and tests. Through PSE, we have talked about several study skills such as:

  1. Retrieval Practice
  2. Elaboration
  3. Concrete examples
  4. Spaced practice
  5. Interleaving

So far, I find that I sometimes take the easy route that makes me feel good such as re-reading notes. This is a trap that I fall easily into and although I am very productive when there is a clear end goal like an essay or worksheet or piece of reading when it comes to studying where there is no clear end goal and requires perhaps more effort, I don’t do so well. This is sort of what happened during IGCSEs, and it does go well but there is always something more one can do.

Despite this, I have noticed that sometimes I do retrieve things from memory, ask and elaborate on things and spacing practice and interleaving things. In order to be better, I should think about when to apply these skills and not take the easy route, and perhaps even start doing some reviewing, perhaps not studying but a few daily reviewing of notes for the mock exams.

During lessons, I always listen and aware of what I’m learning, but the thing I really need to work on my notes. I rarely take notes but I know it is a good idea. I always have that vision, that I will have a notebook full of clean notes, but I just can’t do it. I may begin nicely but then over time, I am unable to meet my goal of producing notes in class. I have such a hard time with it. That is a big area I want to improve on during class. After class and at home, I review sometimes but perhaps not as often as I should.

Below is a pretty good guide that gives a good introduction to these skills above:

This image requires alt text, but the alt text is currently blank. Either add alt text or mark the image as decorative.

Study+Guide+2

 

Comparative Essay between Duffy and Paul Nash

For your next portfolio post:

Explore the global issue ‘politics, power and justice’ in relation to Nash and Duffy. You will need to narrow this down (e.g zoom in on the effect of conflict on notions of masculinity). Please clearly state at the start what the global issue is and how you have narrowed it down.

Pick one Paul Nash painting and one Duffy poem to explore in some detail, and compare them. This could be an essay (although will obviously need to include some images for Nash), some bullet points and some diagrams, a series of annotated images, or any other form. BUT I need it to show evidence of deep thinking and connection making, as well as some analysis.

I want evidence to some extra reading (you could hyperlink some articles about your global issue focus, you could add some quotations about Duffy or Nash etc.).

Before you start, can you also quickly respond to the feedback on your previous portfolio post, and, if you have not already done so, post that on your portfolio (many were handed in as G-docs)

First Draft on a Comparative Essay between Carol Ann Duffy and Eli Rezkallah

The representation of women through objectification and stereotypes has resulted in the marginalisation of women throughout most cultures around the world. This has resulted in damaging effects on their relationships with others and women’s self-esteem such as the Me Too Movement, and early forms of such feminist movements have occured during both the 20th and 21st cenutry. Carol Ann Duffy and Eli Rezkallah subvert traditional gender roles in order to reveal their values in concern with the portrayal of women in literature and advertising, exploring how such representations have  a direct effect on women in the real world. On one hand, Rezkallah created a parody of a 1950s advertisement by Van Heusen to satirically inverting misogynistic gender roles. On the other hand, Duffy based her poem, “Little Red Cap” one the fairy tale, Little Red Cap/Little Red Riding Hood but in contrast with the fairy tale, the narrator is in power and control and therefore challenges the traditional gender roles of women. Both Duffy and Rezkallah have used their respective intertextual parody to convey the marginalisation of women while reinstating new contemporary values that undermine that original texts.

Firstly, Duffy inverts the traditional role of women in fairy tales although still keeping in tradition with approaching sexual maturity and portrays Little Red Cap in a new light as a girl transitioning from childhood to womanhood. The juxtaposition of each line in the first two lines of the first stanza such as “at childhood’s end” in contrast to “houses petered out” and “playing fields” in contrast to “factory, allotments” reveals that Duffy has reinstated the main character as a girl on the verge of sexual maturity through transition of “playing” symbolising children and “factory” as the world of adults. Red Cap has now entered the dangerous adults world rather than the safe children’s world and where this new world is dominated by men. However, the third line inserts an ambiguous narrative in Duffy’s reimagined fairy tale. On the one hand, it seems as though the poet represents the actual or at least the traditional roles of women where women are “kept, like mistresses” for men’s sexual pleasure. However, on the other hand, “kneeling married men” could refer to the shift in power and imply sincerity and reverence. In addition, there is the irony in that man who is interested in working in allotments would not be considered to be interested in illicit sexual affairs, yet “kneeling” could also convey deceitful behaviour along with the “kept” women. Despite this, Duffy portrays red cap as the character in power and control by describing here initial encounter with the wolf has “clapped” suggesting authority.
Likewise, in the second stanza, Red Cap ensures her dominance by making sure the wolf has “spotted” as she asserts, in a way, her dominance by seeking out the wolf first, despite the wolf perhaps symbolising a sexual predator and the allegorical figure of all men. It challenges the roles of women even though the lines before it, convey the traditional roles of men with a few exceptions mainly that the wolf is described as being intellectual which is in contrast to the original wolf in the fairy tale as “reading his verse out loud” conveys that he is literate. Nevertheless, “wolfy drawl” reveals the stereotype that women are attracted to bad boys and thus portraying the wolf as although intellectual, there is still the patriarchal and predatory instincts beneath. The wolf is experienced in sex through the choice of red wine through the word choices of “red” that connotes passion and “wine” that connotes experience. In spite of the sexual predatory nature of the wolf, red cap adopts an innocent persona on purpose and creates irony in that she is the sexual predator. Duffy downplays that the wolf is a threat and that Red Cap has an equal interest in sex, discrediting the patriarchalistic view that girls are frightened of sex. Duffy has aimed to disprove the stereotypes of women in order to express her view and perspective on the sexuality of both men and women, with particular attention to the representation of women through her sex-posivite feminism standpoint in this poem.

Another mean of comparison:

 

TOK Arts Common Assessment

What counts as knowledge in the Arts?

 

Knowledge in the arts is something quite subjective and is not as intuitive as other areas of knowledge such as the natural sciences or religious knowledge systems. This may be because the scope of the arts can in some ways seem unlimited unlike other Areas of Knowledge like the Natural Sciences where there is a clear scope and the content lies within the physical and natural properties of the universe. Art can also in some ways feel exclusive yet also too inclusive of everything in that anything can be art. Since art can be used as some sort of social function and in shaping belief to express ideas, that could be the knowledge generated through arts. 

 

However, personal and shared knowledge can be quite different from each other and reveal another possible knowledge created in the arts which are quite similar to the relationship between shared and personal knowledge in mathematics where intuition, emotion and imagination can give huge insights and discoveries in maths. For instance, a parent may have an emotional attachment to a piece of hand-drawn artwork their kid drew them (even if it may not be a masterpiece) however the wider community do not share that same experience of evaluability and knowledge that the parent has. However, where mathematics and arts differ, is the accumulation of shared knowledge. While maths builds upon ideas and creates new proofs, concepts and axioms, the arts can sometimes completely throw down ideas, conventions and values in the art to create something completely different, although some art styles are built upon others. Historically, knowledge in the arts is constantly changing yet there is the point in that most present-day art forms have had influence of older art forms. In other words, it can create confusion about what counts as knowledge in the arts. 

 

Furthermore, what counts as knowledge in the arts can get even more confusing when looking at truth and art expressing that truth of us in humans. On one hand, photography and realistic art could be considered as the highest form there is due to its realistic nature, although, that being said, even photography can lie. A piece of artwork is not actually showing, for instance, an apple, and is instead just a picture. On the other hand, art could also be considered as artificial and is something unique that is only itself which could indicate that there is another purpose or another way to gain knowledge. Despite this confusion, art may create knowledge that is emotional and moral and possibly even something that is attractive or aesthetic to look and experience. Think about the last time you listened to music or read a book or looking at a piece of artwork. You felt some sort of emotion and possibly even some insight into morality or your own self-awareness. 

 

In that case, art provides something for us and provides knowledge that possibly science and mathematics cannot, in which the emotions and thoughts that arise from art counts as knowledge in the arts. While mathematics has direct and explicit rules and knowledge created, the knowledge in the art is vaguer in that it is created in the opinions and thoughts created by the reader through his/her experience. In other words, our interpretation. How the creator and viewer interact with art is both unique and varied, and that knowledge created can be very valuable. What counts as knowledge in the arts is in that case, similar to the proverb—in the eye of the beholder. 

 

Project Week

November 29th, 2019

Investigation:

At UWCSEA, we have a wonderful opportunity to go on a trip with others all by ourselves and planned all by ourselves throughout South East Asia in order to complete one or more of the CAS objectives. (maybe more)

For my project week, I am quite interested to do an activity, most likely hiking, but I would most like to do an environmental service, especially with my GC—Gili Eco Trust. This is because we need to maintain a relationship between the school and the NGO we are working with.

Initially, we had some mingle activities and introduction to what Project Week is. At first, it was difficult to find a group that had similar interests and groups that I could find myself working well with. However, almost to the last minute of the deadline, I found a group that I could work with and I have some hopes and worries. Fortunately, there are some people I know including one person from Solar for East and another a member of my GC (is the co-vice chair with me). They seem to be a group that will do work and won’t slack off. However, I am not so connected with them at the moment and I am worried because 4 of them are in a relationship and that could end in a disaster both for them as a relationship but also onto the rest of the group members. But hopefully, everything should be good. Our group are planning to go to Gili and with the GC and hike on Rinjani Dawn. So it that sense, it has really lived up to my hopes for project week.


December 5th, 2019

Preparation:

For our preparation, we have made a plan (and it got accepted) and contacted our supervisor. We are planning a schedule and draft email to the NGO among many things that need to be done. As of right now, our preparation is looking pretty good. In this group, I actually haven’t done a lot of work and it has been spread out, which is a positive and benefit in working in a group. Also, in this case, things are going much faster than if I were to do this individually and in this kind of project it is always better to be in a group assuming those group members not only work well with each other but are somewhat productive.

 

 

Right now, my only main concern with our plan is about hiking. I’m quite an adventurous person and don’t mind hard work so, if anything, I would like for the hike to be as challenging as it can be. Some of my group members are not as adventurous so we need to compromise a bit. So far, we have a provider that will help us, and I am a bit worried that they will provide us with too much, meaning that they will do all the cooking, carrying and setting up the tents. The only good thing would be that we are supporting mainly locals but for me, I would feel too privileged and lazy if this were to happen. So, my hope is that I can at least relieve the load on these providers and help them too.

#LO5


January 24th, 2020

Preperation:

So far in the planning process, we have done a lot, from contacting the NGO and action providers to picking hotels to plan flights to doing all the necessary requirements for medical information and lots more. A lot of forms have been stamped and signed as well.

The process has been quite hectic and there has been lots of planning that I never thought of when going on a trip albeit it is also an unusual trip with lots of hiking and working with service partners. But despite this, there is a lot of planning involved in this sort of trip, even for just a few days. I feel as though project week and the whole journey from planning to execution, is an amazing opportunity that will help me in future projects and really just planning and working together as a team. It is a very special and privileged opportunity and I am quite excited.


February 11th, 2020

Unfortunately, due to the 2019-nCoV situation or Coronavirus, the school has decided to cancel all overseas trips until August 2020. This was decided by the Singapore government in support of international crisis management. It is quite disappointing and it was a once a lifetime opportunity but one cannot get everything. So Project Week will not be happening this year and hopefully, next year’s Grade 11s will be able to embark on this exciting opportunity.

 

Prueba 1: Expresión Escrita

UWCSEA Local

 

¿Tienen los padres el derecho a espiar a los hijos?

Oscar Landgren. Singapura                                                           25 de Noviembre, 2019

A primera vista de la pregunta, la respuesta sería simple—no. Sin embargo, hay más que eso. Por supuesto, y entiendo que puede parecer controvertido que los padres que espían a sus hijos estaría bien. No obstante, si miras desde una perspectiva diferente, podrías pensar lo contrario de este problema. 

A pesar de eso, los personas, e incluso los hijos, tienen el derecho de privicidad. Es muy injusto y en la mayoría de los casos, no es necesito que los padres espian sus hijos. Además, la consecuencia de los hijos a través del espionaje de sus padres es perder la confianza de manera total. 

Espiar es invasiva y no es algo muy bueno para hacer porque saber exactamente todo sobre una persona y lo que él o ella está haciendo es espeluznante. Por lo tanto, los padres no tienen el derecho a espiar a los hijos. 

Aunque, los padres no tienen el derecho a espiar a los hijos, los padres son muy importantes en las vidas de los niños y los adoloscentos por muchas razones. Es importante que tengamos padres porque nos cuidaran y por eso es necesito que sepan cómo somos sentimientos y, a veces, dónde estamos o qué estamos haciendo. Por supuesto, los padres tienen que ser responsables y ser buenos padres

En conclusion, los padres no tienen el derecho a espiar a los hijos, pero los tienen el derecho saber lo que pasa con su hijo mientras lo estén haciendo porque los aman y quieren cuidarlos.