24
Sep

Dr. Arantza de Areilza

Dean of IE School of International Relations

Cordially invites you to attend the Opening Ceremony of the IE Master in International Relations 2014-2015

Mr. Josep Piqué i Camps, Vice-Chairman and CEO of “Grupo OHL” and Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain, will deliver the keynote address

The event will be held on Wednesday, October 1st,  2014 at 11:30 a.m. in the Aula Magna at the IE campus in Madrid (C/ María de Molina, 11)

A cocktail will be served after the event

Please R.S.V.P. to confirm attendance

Tel: +91 787 51 46

InternationalRelations@ie.edu

23
Sep

‘Ming: 50 Years that changed China’, British Museum, London

Written on September 23, 2014 by Administrador de IE Blogs in Arts & Cultures & Societies

mingMost westerners know a little about the tea and porcelain trade, Jesuit missions, the Dragon Empress and the opium wars. But what went on behind the Great Wall before Europe’s trade with China became serious in the 16th century is, for many, a vast tract of ignorance. The British Museum’s exhibition Ming: 50 Years that Changed China illuminates a half-century slice of life in China shortly before the establishing of regular commercial links with Europe.

The Ming Dynasty lasted for nearly three centuries, but here we are concerned with the years 1400-50. Taking exhibits from Chinese museums, other collections worldwide and the British Museum’s own splendid holdings, the curators’ emphasis is on how life was lived – not the life of China’s vast population but that of the elite and, in particular, the imperial court. The Emperor’s ruthless dynastic autocracy operated through a huge military and bureaucratic establishment, but he depended just as much on the more personal support-system of his eunuch-staffed court, first at Nanjing and then Beijing.

Like many royal courts, it was a place where culture and politics entwined, and during the Ming Dynasty it spawned offspring in all the provinces of China – mini-courts, each supporting one of the emperor’s many sons. This courtly diaspora is one of the reasons for the survival of so many artefacts connected with high-minded relaxation, for to be at court was to confirm your wealth and status above all through lordly loafing and the pursuit of a range of elaborate leisure activities.

The visual representation of the courtiers’ everyday lives is extremely rich, whether on painted silk scrolls, paper, porcelain or panels of lacquer. The study of Confucian texts, reading and writing poetry, appreciating painting and calligraphy, making music and playing sophisticated games such as chess and all kinds of sport, are all recorded, and often with the thoroughness of documentary. In physical activity horse-sports were paramount, but there was also archery, football and a game that looks exactly like golf. Another painting shows miniature cockfighting, with two quails circling each other around a table-top cockpit.

Continue reading in Financial Times

22
Sep

“Climbing” with IE Humanities Professor Miguel Larrañaga

Written on September 22, 2014 by Administrador de IE Blogs in Video

Felix Valdivieso, IE’s Director of Communication, talks with Professor and Vice-Rector for Student Affairs Miguel Larrañaga about his passion for climbing in “The Other Side of IE Professors”

YouTube Preview Image

 

19
Sep

Pride

Written on September 19, 2014 by Administrador de IE Blogs in Film

PRIDE-Final-Poster-560x825Cards on the table: having been actively involved in the banner-carrying, badge-wearing, internecine bickering of student politics in the early 80s, I am predisposed to embrace any movie that celebrates the rag-tag allegiances that sprang up across class and gender boundaries during the miners’ strike. A fondness for cute quiffs, turn-ups, and Dexys hats helps too, along with nostalgia for the time when playing Bronski Beat records really loudly could be interpreted as a political act. Add to this an enduring love of British films such as Brassed Off and Made in Dagenham, which blend hard fact with sentimental fiction, and frankly Pride had me at “Hello.” Yet even taking all the above into account, I can still say with my hand on my heart that this boisterous tale of the unlikely union between striking Welsh miners and out-and-proud gay Londoners is one of the most irresistibly uplifting films of the year – for any audience.

George MacKay is Joe, a just-turned-20 mummy’s boy on the brink of coming out who finds himself shaking a bucket for the miners in 1984 at the insistence of gobby Mark Ashton (Ben Schnetzer) and his friends at London’s Gay’s the Word bookshop. Insisting that anyone demonised by Thatcher is a comrade-in-arms, Mark launches the inelegantly named Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (“it’s a support group, not a skiffle band”) and heads off to Onllwyn, a mining village in the Dulais valley, which seems to view “gays” and vowels with equal suspicion. Cue muchLa Cage aux Folles-style culture-clashing between the macho miners and metrosexual activists, mediated by theatrical luvvie Jonathan (Dominic West), who busts some outre disco moves with oddly unifying results.

While politics today may be 50 shades of grey, actor-turned-playwright Stephen Beresford’s feelgood screenplay reminds us of a time when things were more black-and-white – when the venality of Thatcher’s government asked everyone Which Side Are You On? Yet Pride not merely acknowledges but embraces the fact that the opposition were riven with divide-and-rule disagreement. When Mark demands allegiance to the miners, his Gay Pride comrades angrily recall being “beaten up every day” by the very people they are now asked to support. Despite hefty donations, many of the miners and their wives remain frostily hostile to the incomers amid growing anxieties about Aids (these were the days of Greater Manchester police chief constable James Anderton’s “human cesspool of their own making” tirades, and apocalyptic “public health” campaigns more concerned with stonemasonry than safe sex). Yet for all the factionalism, the tone here is conciliatory and celebratory; when a breakaway lesbian separatist group (all three of them) emerges within the ranks of LGSM, we laugh with them rather than at them: Beresford and director Matthew Warchus (who helmed Matilda on stage, and willsucceed Kevin Spacey at the Old Vic) opt to respect and empower anyone willing to fight the good fight.

Continue reading in The Guardian

17
Sep

Riverbed by Olafur Eliasson, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

Written on September 17, 2014 by Administrador de IE Blogs in Arts & Cultures & Societies

Olafur_Eliasson-riverbed_metalocus_15_1280Olafur Eliasson has done it again. The Danish-Icelandic artist who lured over a million sun-worshippers to Tate Modern in 2003 with The Weather Project, and who erected four giant waterfalls in the East River around New York City five years later, has achieved another coup d’art which, in its artificial reconstruction of a natural phenomenon, combines staggering physical heft with emotional welly.

For Riverbed, Eliasson has transformed an entire wing of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark into a rocky grey landscape with a small stream meandering through it. As you trudge towards the source of the stream, a deep layer of slate-grey pebbles and volcanic rock crunches underfoot. Despite its scale (it required more than 180 tonnes of Icelandic rock), it is a less inherently dramatic work than many of the artist’s earlier installations. The way in which the stream is staged so as to trickle rather weakly from some concealed apparatus in the uppermost gallery and end in a puddle of scummy froth feels wilfully bathetic.

The drama of the work is unleashed only by the viewer’s interaction with it. When, at the official unveiling last week, I spotted two small children gleefully trundling a boulder into the middle of the artificial stream I felt a lurch of horror – and not just because the children happened to be my own. So ingrained is our expectation of the imperative to look but not touch when encountering an artwork, that there is something disorienting about a piece that so openly invites intervention. Indeed, Riverbed demands it; every visitor who walks across the unstable surface of this artificial landscape necessarily effects a transformation in it, causes damage of some kind.

In its monochromatic colour scheme, Riverbed nods towards the aesthetic severity of a Japanese garden, but there is no formality to the arrangement of the pebbles here. In the days since the show opened, visitors have taken to piling them one on top of the other, making their own miniature artworks within the artwork. It is surely only a matter of time before someone suggests a game of Poohsticks.

Continue reading in The Telegraph

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