The Crane by Reiner Zimnik

Reiner Zimnik was born in 1930 in Poland, and began drawing at the age of five. At the end of Second World War, he settled in Germany in Munich, where he works as a writer and an artist. He says he likes nature, a simple life and ordinary people.

The town council builds the tallest crane in the world and puts it in charge of a young man with a blue feather in his cap. He climbs to the driver’s cabin at the top and stays there. From his perch he watches the town change, a war come and go, a flood sweep in to cover the land. The he is alone except for his friend, the eagle. All the time he keeps the crane in working order till the disasters are over and a new world grows up beneath him. But by then the crane driver is getting old and tired: time for him to move on?

This is a book every child should read, but it doesn’t really matter if you’re not a child anymore. Like Antoine de Saint Exupery wrote in his dedication note at the beginning of The Little Prince: All grown-ups were once children–although a few of them remember it. If you haven’t read this book and you know us, you’re welcome to come and spend a day at our home library. If you don’t know us, a few prints are still available on Amazon.com.

VIOLA: The Traveling Rooms of a Little Giant

[vimeo 12956793]

2008, 8mins 47s

35th Student Academy Award® Short Film, directed by Shih-Ting Hung. Seven-year-old Viola packs a suitcase and climbs a floating staircase into the sky. She soon discovers that her journey will unite her past, present, and future into a fanciful adventure, part life and part dream. Read more at violathemovie.com

the wall again

The wall – a fascinating medium, space, canvas – the perfect place for dialogue. With each walled facade we pass by and with each artist we encounter, we’ve come to believe in this so strongly. Candy Chang‘s Before I die… is one more case of proof. An artist, designer, and urban planner, (and a TED Fellow!), she works on making cities more comfortable for people.

An abandoned house in New Orleans, the loss of a friend, and the help of many friends, inspired Candy Chang to turn its wall into a giant blackboard. On it she stenciled the sentence, Before I die I want to _____________ . The neglected became a space for the passersby and residents of the neighbourhood to inscribe their hopes and dreams. Once the wall is filled, they wash the board with water and start with a clean slate again. They are documenting all responses and some will be included in a book.

After receiving many requests, she and her Civic Center colleagues created the Before I die toolkit, that allows you and us to create these walls in our own communities.

Before I die Project Site

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