In the quiet of my studio, as I prepared for this exhibition, I became aware of the strong need to have these mixed-media paintings carry a clear and powerful statement, both when read from a distance, and, in a more tactile way, when viewed close up. This imperative played out in my studio as a sort of daily visual dance, whereby my compositional decisions were made from some 20 to 30 feet away, and the actual markings were tactile, personal, and immediate.
It seemed that it was not until these different vantage points reached a certain harmony that I could feel a sense of closure or complete statement. This painting process, manifesting from a very intuitive source, was the enactment of these two complementary threads of creative action and contemplative knowing. This manner of painting allowed the felt sense of the richness of the world to be intimately available to me, and to come through in this active engagement.
Over a million Uighurs are currently in internment camps in Xinjiang, and this is only the latest in an array of attempts from Beijing to destroy their culture, language, and faith. How many Uighur fighters are in other countries is a tricky question, especially because China often claims Uighurs are members of terrorist groups that may not even exist, such as the East Turkestan Islamic Movement.
China has been keen to crack down on any Uighur dissent globally, harassing and threatening communities as far away as Washington and Paris. That makes the armed community in Badakhshan, which borders Xinjiang, a particular threat—at least in as China sees it. A sober assessment reveals that the Uighurs in Badakhshan do not pose a direct threat to China but are hiding out there.
Joann Doneen - The Intimate Eye
Furthermore, a direct spillover of insecurity from Afghanistan into China can—due to the utter remoteness and daunting topography of the extremely short Afghan—Chinese border, which runs through some of the highest mountains in the world—virtually be ruled out. China is nevertheless so concerned that it offered to finance and equip an Afghan National Army mountain brigade in Badakhshan. Whether this will ever materialize is more than questionable, though.
The plan has been around at least since February but has never gone beyond initial discussions. And resurfacing reports about the allegedly imminent construction of a Chinese-financed base in Badakhshan have been repeatedly denied by officials and sources on the ground.
Besides, a Chinese-equipped brigade in a U. Very limited Afghan-Chinese military cooperation as well as Chinese materiel assistance to Afghan forces, in particular in Badakhshan, are probably continuing, though.
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But despite the almost paranoid interest of China in Badakhshan, Beijing seems uninterested in getting more significantly involved in Afghanistan. They say the foreigners are fedoi attackers, willing to sacrifice themselves in battle , and that it would take airstrikes to defeat them. It is hard to tell, though, to what extent this is true, as in Afghanistan foreign fighters have become semi-mythical creatures whose fighting skills tend to be exaggerated—arguably also because it is a good excuse to gloss over the shortcomings of Afghan government forces.
See a Problem?
What can be said is that the rare U. In any event, for Habib and his men, Kabul is far away. Beijing is not on their minds.
But the men of the Warduj unit continue to hold the line in Bahorak, hoping one day they will head home. Franz Marty is a freelance journalist in Kabul, Afghanistan. He covers a wide range of topics, but is mainly interested in geopolitical and security issues. Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola. Despite optimistic signs from U. Sign up for free access to 1 article per month and weekly email updates from expert policy analysts.
The Intimate Eye
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Marty May 6, , AM. View Comments. Unearthing these portraits in Treasuring the Gaze , Hanneke Grootenboer proposes that the rage for eye miniatures—and their abrupt disappearance—reveals a knot in the unfolding of the history of vision. Drawing on Alois Riegl, Jean-Luc Nancy, Marcia Pointon, Melanie Klein, and others, Grootenboer unravels this knot, discovering previously unseen patterns of looking and strategies for showing. These treasured portraits always return the looks they receive and, as such, they create a reciprocal mode of viewing that Grootenboer calls intimate vision.
Recounting stories about eye miniatures—including the role one played in the scandalous affair of Mrs. Fitzherbert and the Prince of Wales, a portrait of the mesmerizing eye of Lord Byron, and the loss and longing incorporated in crying eye miniatures—Grootenboer shows that intimate vision brings the gaze of another deep into the heart of private experience. With a host of fascinating imagery from this eccentric and mostly forgotten yet deeply private keepsake, Treasuring the Gaze provides new insights into the art of miniature painting and the genre of portraiture. Table of Contents.
Marcia Pointon Art History. Grootenboer has produced a courageous book that deserves to be widely read for its penetrating analysis of what kinds of responses images elicit. Vittoria Di Palma Art Bulletin.
First and foremost, the book is a challenging contribution to the theory of vision and to psychoanalytical aesthetics in particular, which will be of interest to scholars of visual culture, of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century art, of portraiture, and far beyond. Stephen Lloyd Apollo Magazine.