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Previous | Next :: Prof. Tony Judt : NYU : NYC | May 20, 2008, 2:36 pm

Prof. Tony Judt : NYU : NYC
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Today, May 20th, is the day in history that the US flag was lowered and the Cuban flag began to fly over Havana ....... May 20th 1902 US troops largely left the island having been an occupying force for almost 4 years...... how many of us consider the reality that the US occupied Cuba having first been involved in nominally liberating them from the Spanish? Some histories are almost lost to the majority of Western Society but actually still press on current affairs ........

Tony Judt's new book 'Reappraisal: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century' (Penguin, 2008) looks at other areas of the world where our reading of history or our failure to read it still presses on the current dynamics of the political and the strategic...... in Europe and what I would call the Middle East........ his is a history primarily led by ideas...... the review in the NY Times claims the purpose of this collection of essays is as a rebuke to the 'to liberals who “acquiesced in President Bush’s catastrophic foreign policy,”'......... I guess I for one ought to be reading it..... mind you he did support the intervention in Kosovo which makes him something of a 'liberal Hawk himself'....... he is controversial having previously been a Zionist in his youth but now is a understood to be a supporter of the Palestinians against Israel by most..... anyway he is certainly from the 'engaged' tradition ....... using his histories to have both direct relevance to the now..... and indirect reflections on the past......reflections that can be applied to today. Having now met him I am really interested to read it...... although I suspect I would not agree with every inference.

Cheers Jez XX

PS........This is for you Candy as you were asking about the lighting gear last time we spoke....... This image was made very rapidly as the Prof needed to dash off.............He is seated at his desk....... I am using a small mains power lighting unit made by dyna-lite called the twinkle comet F2........ with very unusually for me a shoot through umbrella....... I am not keen on umbrellas really......... cos the light is not directional enough unless you shoot through a white / translucent one ( I virtually never use bounced silvered ones ) ......... and in general the catch lights ...... (reflected light on the eye) or any other reflections are very messy umbrella shapes........ I much prefer soft boxes......... they give a uniform controlled shape to the catch lights (normally square or rectangular........ I have always preferred soft boxes since teaming up with and setting up operations with Neil Turner 15 years back........ we did tons of lit portraiture back then and Neil is and was the lighting expert.............. umbrellas are faster than soft boxes you don't need to build them......... so if you need to shoot fast...... umbrellas are better and I am saved by the Prof's very expensive none reflective glasses that give you only the tiniest hint of the umbrella shape in his lenses......... cos a messy umbrella shape is so much less acceptable than a cool controlled softbox outline......its always good to move to get any reflections so they do not appear or appear at the edge of the lens....... you see the hint of a reflection on the top eye (our left)....... the umbrella reflection is very muted and appears at the edge of the lens which in my view is perfectly acceptable...

Cheers jez XX

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