Sunday, June 04, 2023

Felwine Sarr and Henri-Michel Yeré at the Kunstmuseum Basel

In a multilingual event at the Kunstmuseum Basel today, Felwine Sarr from Senegal presented his novel "Les Lieux qu'habitent mes rêves" in French, with German translations, and had a conversation in English with Henri-Michel Yeré (a Basler from Ivory Coast). The novel is about twin brothers. In the first passage that was read, the one who leaves Senegal tells the story of how he discovered poetry; in the second, the one who stays in Senegal tells a story of religious initation. The discussion also turned to Sarr's 2018 collaboration with Bénédicte Savoy on the restitution of African cultural heritage from French museums, which had been commissioned by French President Emmanuel Macron. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 4 June 2023)

Saturday, June 03, 2023

A concert by Kind Regards as a perfect evening on the last day of the semester

With the semester over yesterday, I came back from taking my daughter Sara to her riding lesson with the plan of just relaxing at home all evening,. But then Facebook reminded me about an event I had said I was interested in: a concert by the Basel band Kind Regards at the Sääli in Zum Goldenen Fass in Kleinbasel. I checked their Facebook page, listened to a few seconds of a video, and thought, "This is the right music for me." And it was: David Schwarz, Pascal Grünenfelder, Gilbert Trefzger, Cyprian Kohut, and Beni Bürgin played folk-rock that was just to my taste, including a gorgeous cover of Wilco's "Jesus Etc." (Andrew Shields, #111words, 3 June 2023)

Friday, June 02, 2023

The end of the fourth round of "111 Words a Day: A Writing Project"

I first taught "111 Words a Day: A Writing Project" in the Spring Semester of 2020. Today, we finished the fourth round of the course (every Spring Semester). As always, the students love the course's openness, and we all I enjoy the wide range of topics and stories that the others write about. And I love the effect of the course, in which just the act of writing a short text every day jump starts every student's writing over the course of fourteen weeks. And my ongoing daily writing (for almost three-and-a-half years now) has become a good habit that, for now at least, I would not like to do without. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 2 June 2023)

Thursday, June 01, 2023

My Worcester Red Sox Pride T-shirt

It's the first day of Pride Month in the United States. I didn't think about it, but this morning here in Switzerland, I put on my purple T-shirt that I got after the Worcester Red Sox baseball game I went to  last summer with my sister Sara, my daughter Sara, and our friends Liz, Scott, Mollie, and Burke. It has a stylized "W" with a white outline, inside which are the stripes of a Pride flag: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. I had first found a red one, but purple is my favorite color, so I was overjoyed to find a purple one in another part of the store. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 1 June 2023)


Note: This is the black version of the T-shirt:

A black shirt with a rainbow letter w

Description automatically generated with low confidence 

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Remembering the Roxy CD store and the Bergli bookstore at Rümelinsplatz in Basel

This afternoon, I walked across Basel from Barfüsserplatz to Nadelberg (where I work at the English Department of the University of Basel). As I got to Rümelinsplatz, I remembered the two great stores that used to be there many years ago: the Roxy CD shop (with its wonderful jazz section upstairs) and the Bergli bookstore with English-language books. Hardly a week went by when I did not buy a CD from Roxy or a book from Bergli. The Roxy closed because CD sales declined, but despite being a successful business, the Bergli bookstore closed because the owner could not find a good successor to take over when she wanted to retire. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 31 May 2023)

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

The “Four Freedoms” of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1941 and the “Four Freedoms” of U. S. Republicans in 2023

On 19 May 2023, Jamelle Bouie published an opinion piece on "The Four Freedoms, According to Republicans": 1) The "freedom to control"; 2) The "freedom to exploit"; 3) The "freedom to censor"; and 4) The "freedom to menace". Bouie explicitly recalled the "Four Freedoms" of United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's State of the Union Address on 6 January 1941: 1) The “freedom of speech and expression”; 2) the “freedom of every person to worship God in his own way”; 3) the “freedom from want”;  and 4) The “freedom from fear.” Bouie's summary of visions of "freedom" offers an interpretive tool for understanding national and international politics in 2023 and beyond. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 30 May 2023)

Monday, May 29, 2023

FC Basel fans wearing jerseys with the names of player who have left the club

At this afternoon's FC Basel match at St. Jakob Park in Basel , many fans wore jerseys with the names of players no longer with the club, including Silvan Widmer (left in 2021, now with Mainz 05), Albian Ajeti (2019, Sturm Graz), Mohamed Elyounoussi (2018, Southampton), Jean-Paul Boëtius (2017, Hertha BSC), Breel Embolo (2016, AS Monaco), and Marcelo Díaz (2015, Audax Italiano). I also saw jerseys of now retired players: Walter Samuel (retired in 2016), Marco Streller (2015), and Alex Frei (2013; the club's head coach until February). There was even a mint-condition Ivan Ergić jersey — the Serbian footballer and poet left Basel in 2009 and retired from football in 2011. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 29 May 2023)