Tipp No. 154: “Operation Supermarket” – contemporary arts by Shirin Aliabadi and Farhad Moshiri (Iran)

arts, Cartoons, Food, Gedichte, humor, Insights, Kunst, Oddities, poems, Psychologie, psychology, Reisen, Tipps, Travel

OPERATION SUPERMARKET: Rebranded products and packaging talking to us…

The series operation supermarket is “mixing detergents with poetry”, Aliabadi & Moshiri explain.

The emphasis seem to be on the commodification of mainstream media traits – not only in the Middle East – but also on a wry parody of mythical hopes still pinned on the commodity itself as capitalistic change agent.

The eye-catching series points out how people are identifying themselves with the product – or even more precise – the packaging, they are purchasing. In my view, it is in particular exciting to utilize all-day products to transport messages with a dash of irony.

The approach to “mix detergents with poetry” might be a reference to the Persian culture to paint emotional pictures with words instead of using figurative arts to express themselves (possibly, also due to islamic restrictions?). Persians seem to have an obsession with poetry and the art of calligraphy.

Isn`t it strange that we are expressing our feelings and needs by consumption instead of addressing them in real life?

How do you want to assert your interests, satisfy your emotional needs, demand for change, effectively take a position and develop a personality by buying detergents, chocolate, fashion or other commodities?!

Actually, I think of a similar supermarket series for some time – triggered by the offering of tea and shower gel in particular. Admittedly, I am very disappointed and discouraged that somebody else had the same idea much earlier…

Aliabadi & Mashiri utilize the vehicle of advertisement to get our attention and talk to us…Just listen to them.

Families, As Why
We are all Americans – Soft Power to numb people
Shoot friends, make friends later – a globally spreading paranoia
Tolerating Intolerance, 2006
Killing People – daily media headlines
You are the fearless rose that grows amidst the freezing wind


Shirin Aliabadi

Shirin Aliabadi (10 March 1973 – 1 October 2018) was an Iranian contemporary multidisciplinary visual artist whose work focused on women’s issues, gender representation, and the beauty industry. She’s best known for depiction of rebellious Iranian women in her Girls in Cars and Miss Hybrid series of photographs.

Aliabadi was born in Tehran, Iran in 1973 to Maymanat and Iraj Aliabadi. Her mother, Maymanat is an artist and taught at Tehran University. Her father, Iraj was a poet who worked for an insurance company. She was also mentored by older brother who coached her on art, music, and pop culture. Aliabadi grew up surrounded by artists and intellectuals, and the standard of living for the family was high until the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Her parents lost their jobs, but were still able to send her to study in Paris. Aliabadi studied art history at the University of Paris, where she also earned a masters degree in art history.[5]
Aliabadi married Farhad Moshiri, another artist in 1993. She commuted between Paris and Tehran for most of her career, but was primarily based in Tehran where she was represented by The Third Line gallery in Dubai for more than ten years.

Her work has appeared in solo exhibitions in Dubai, Tehran, London, Switzerland and Denmark and in group exhibitions at the Institut des cultures d’Islam in Paris, the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow, at Frieze New York, at the Chelsea Art Museum, in Monaco, in Rio de Janeiro, in Copenhagen, in Italy, in Norway, in Estonia, in Germany, in Switzerland and in Spain.

Her work is held in the collections of Deutsche Bank AG in Germany, the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery and the Farjam Collection in Dubai.

Shirin Aliabadi died on 1 October 2018 in Tehran, Iran after a battle with cancer. RIP.

Insight No. 118: “The US threatening to punish Europe over Airbus” – Another US Trade War Ahead – Time for Divorce?

arts, Creatures, Food, Insights, Kunst, Nature, Oddities, Psychologie, psychology, Reisen, Technology, Travel


The States is threatening EU with about USD 11 bn trade sanctions in retaliation for alleged subsidies in favor of Airbus.

According to the WTO, both aircraft manufacturers broke trade law. Actually, Boeing and Airbus took advantage over subsidies / launch aids for decades. This dispute is ongoing for already 14 years now. WTO already confirmed that neither Boeing nor Airbus was able to gain a competitive advantage because both companies got equal support. According to the WTO there is no damage.


The timing of these threats are remarkable.
Boeing is currently suffering from a severe crisis due to the continuously growing B737 Max8 scandal that resulted in the worldwide grounding of the entire in service fleet, hundreds aircraft orders and options cancellations all over the world (Lion Air: 200 a/c, Malaysian Airlines: 50 a/c, Garuda Indonesia: 49 a/c, AZAL: 10 a/c, etc.)
as well as claims for compensations of operators that are impacted by the grounding of in total 340 B737 Max8 operated by 47 airlines.

The amount of compensation is rising since more and more findings beyond software failures are discovered.
Obviously, the Boeing team must have been very much under pressure to launch the B737 Max 8 in response to the very successful bestseller A320neo of Airbus.

Meanwhile, Boeing has reduced the production rate of B737Max 8 from 52 to 42 per month. Further cuts are expected due to the fact that there is no aircraft storage space left.

A couple of days ago, state-owned China Eastern Airlines announced to sue Boeing.
Insiders say, that this decision reflects Chinese governments position towards Boeing.
Additionally, an undisclosed Chinese leasing company cancelled the B737 Max 8 orders.
The outlook to lose even more market share in the biggest aviation market China is a fiasco for Boeing….also considering the launch of the Chinese C919 aircraft (competing in the same segment).

Just a few weeks ago, Boeing had to face another problem. There was WTO ruling against the Americans over unfair tax breaks over Boeing.

A couple of days ago, the Boeing shareholders announced to take Boeing to court too.

The annual target 2019 of Boeing included in total 900 aircraft deliveries of which 550 B737 Max8 aircraft were scheduled. In March 2019, Boeing delivered only 11 Max aircraft (ferry flights without pax are allowed).


During recent Paris Airshow 2019, IAG (owned by British Airways) surprisingly announced the purchase of 200 Boeing Max aircraft. First time – against common best business practices – Airbus was not invited to participate in the tender. Beyond doubt, UK woos the States in fear of the consequences of Brexit. UK will be very much dependent on a trade deal with the USA, and there are many close links between UKs right-wing parties and Brexiteers – like Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson etc. – and the Trump government.


Furthermore, the EU still doesn`t support US ambitions to wag war against Iran and criticize the US sanctions towards Iran. The EU rather insists on diplomacy because Iran did comply with the deal that the USA had cancelled. The EU (in line with Japan and Norway) is also convinced that Iran is not responsible for any provocation during last months.

In fact, among other interests (like access to oil/gas, fostering the US industrial-military complex, exclude key account China from trading oil with Iran, fight the gold-convertable petroyuan in Iran, Angola & Venezuela, control Strait of Hormuz sea way to Europe, support regional dominance of the Saudis etc.) the States are aiming for getting a bigger share of the huge Iranian market potential including the aerospace sector. Due to the bad US relations with Iran, the Persian authorities, industry representatives and investors namely selected European suppliers across many industries – like Airbus – preferably. State-owned Iran Air placed already initial 100 Airbus aircraft orders for instance. The average aircraft age in Iran is 22,2 years.

Iran Map
Chinese Expansion Strategy incl. Iran (China is Irans biggest oil/gas client who is paying with petroyuan instead of USD already)


European experts also mention that the threat to introduce tariffs on a list of European goods shall also underline the USA`s target to get a greater agricultural market share in continental Europe. Apparently, Trump want to calm down his disappointed supporters in the farming sector at home. From an European perspective it is not desirable to allow Americans to sell more agricultural products to Europe because farming is a critical industry sector in the EU that gets financial aids, farming is regarded not only as an industrial productions but also as preservation of the countryside – and which most important (also considering the “green” political climate in the EU) US American agricultural products doesn`t meet European quality standards (in terms of food safety, no genetic manipulation, hygiene, no poison, no chemical additions, no radiation, obesity-friendly sugar substitutes etc.) at all. Actually, the import of many US American products is illegal because of EU laws for consumer protection.

In contrast to the States, Europe banned treating chicken carcasses with chlorine in the 1990s out of fear that it could cause cancer.


This is a topic of its own because there are so many fake news in US media published. No, there was never a binding agreement on a defense budget rise. No, it is not only about modernization of European armed forces (please see my post: “postcard from my bed room”). Trump rather demands that Europe spends its defense budget in the States instead of purchasing from own suppliers – like Airbus (owned by France, Germany & UK) and European affiliates. He apparently would prefer that the European NATO members (in particular Germany & France) would simply transfer money to the USA. Of course, there should be no bigger right to a say in matter in favor of NATO “partners”.

List of goods to be impacted by potential US TRADE WAR against EUROPE

  • aircraft & aircraft systems and parts
  • again: cars & parts
  • again: steel & aluminium
  • cheese, olive oil
  • wine & liqueurs
  • arts & brushes (?)
  • and so on

Obviously, The States are implementing the “Divide & Conquer Strategy” towards Europe that was originally introduced by Russia and followed by China.

How shall Europe respond?

Is a retaliation by introducing tariffs on US goods sufficient?

Or is it time to file for divorce and start to seize the opportunities of being independent and able to opportunistically seek the best deal with all power players case by case with a clear focus on own advantages (like the Brexiteers want to do by leaving the EU) ?

Your opinion is welcome….

Insight No. 116: “Japanese tanker owner contradicts U.S. officials – crew reports a Flying Object hit the ship”

Insights, Oddities

Japanese tanker owner contradicts U.S. officials over explosives used in Gulf of Oman attack

  • The Japanese owner of one of the oil tankers attacked near Iran on Thursday says the vessel was struck by a projectile and not by a mine.
  • The damage is above the waterline and not below sea surface, as alleged by US officials. The vessel will not sink. Cit.:  “I do not think there was a time bomb, a torpedo or an object attached to the side of the ship,” Yutaka Katada, president of Kokuka Sangyo said yesterday`s press conference in Tokyo, adding that a projectile landed above the waterline.”
  • The tanker was attacked on the starboard and not on the portside like stated by Mike Pompeo.
  • “We received reports that something flew towards the ship,” says Yutaka Katada.
  • The Japanese owner of the tanker outlined that he doesn`t think that Iran is responsible for the attack. There is no prove and no reason for Iran to do so.
  • The Kokuka Courageous was hit around the same time as another tanker in the area, the Norwegian-owned Front Altair, which was hit by three explosions, according to the Norwegian Maritime Authority.
  • There has been no claim of responsibility for the blasts, with Iran denying US claims of Tehran’s involvement.
  • On Thursday, U.S. Central Command said that the Japanese oil tanker, Kokuka Courageous, had an “unexploded limpet mine on their hull following an initial explosion.”
The crew of the Japanese vessel confirms that
the ship was hit by a “flying object” (Japan Today)
Norwegian oil tanker crew ‘all safe’ after three explosions reported on board.
The vessel is afloat.

Tipp No. 85: “: The Only Truth” Digital Arts & Paintings by Tammam Azzam (Syria, now: Dubai)

arts, Insights, Kunst
Photomontage – Klimts “The Kiss” as graffiti on Syrian ruins
Bon Voyage Series
Syrian LIberty Statue (l-h-s); Bon Voyage Series (r-h-s)


“Desparation is the Only Truth”

Born in Damascus, Syria in 1980, Tammam Azzam received his artistic training from the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Damascus with a concentration in oil painting. Alongside a successful career as a painter in Syria, Azzam was a prolific graphic designer, an experience that would inform his digital media work after relocating to Dubai with the start of the country’s conflict.

The initial phase of Azzam’s work was distinguished by a ‘hybrid form’ of painting with applications of various media that allowed him to arrive at tactile interactions between surface and form that multiply as compositions evolve. These semi-abstract works use unconventional materials such as rope, clothespins, and other found objects in order to accentuate the depth, texture, and space of laboured picture planes, creating a visible tension. Although outwardly different in appearance, the series that resulted from these early experiments were inspired by the artist’s changing perceptions of specific urban environments.

Following the start of the uprising in Syria, Azzam turned to digital media and graphic art to create visual composites of the conflict that resonated with international viewers. These widely distributed works are informed by his interest in the interventionist potential of digital photography and street art as powerful and direct forms of protest that are difficult to suppress. In early 2013, Azzam made worldwide headlines when his Freedom Graffiti print went viral on social media.

Recently, he has returned to painting with Storeys, a series of monumental works on canvas that communicate the magnitude of devastation experienced across his native country through expressionist compositions of destroyed cityscapes. Chronicling the current state of his homeland, Azzam delves into a cathartic exercise of reconstruction, storey by storey. Alongside these new paintings, he has produced a significant body of giclée prints and installations that depict the facets of cities through similar themes.

Tipp No. 110: “Iranian Poster Art” – How to bypass Censorship

arts, Insights, Kunst, Tipps

I like calligraphy very much.
Already as a little girl, I taught myself to write gothic letters, Sütterlin and together with my best friend, I tried to master my first Hanzi characters (Chinese).
No wonder that the awesome Iranian Poster Art attracted me immediately.

Besides I` ve got a preference for art work with a message instead of being just decorative or descriptive.

I hope, I can make you curious.
Have a look… 

A poster by Mehdi Saeedi
HIV campaign poster by Ramyar Vala
A poster by Morteza Momayez
A poster with calligraphic transformation in line with
the aesthetic heritage and traditions of the Middle East by Mehdi Saeedi
A poster by Ghobad Shiva, inspired by one Milton Glazer
designed for Bob Dylan in 1966.
Depression Poster by Mohammed Jamshidi
Poster against “manspreading”
Poster by Shadi Rezaei


Because the Iranian regime does not grant artists the freedom to fully express themselves, the Iranian poster artist & designer have developed a graphic language that uses visual puns, metaphors, and indirect messages.

For instance, Ramyar Vala couldn’t use obvious imagery in a poster he designed in 2009 for an organization that helps HIV carriers, so he used a banana as a phallic symbol and covered it in golden armor (see above).

In contrast to fields such as fashion design, industrial design and architecture, which are so influenced by globalization that the final products look similar all over the world, the alphabet in these posters preserves the local identity. The posters integrate the clean minimalism that characterizes contemporary art with the complexity that informs Persian typography.

Unfortunately, I couldn`t get hold of a translation of the writings yet. If there is somebody, who can be of help….please?

Tipp No. 46: “Die 10 aufstrebenden Reiseziele 2019” (The 10 Emerging Holiday Destinations 2019)

Insights, Reisen, Tipps, Travel

2018 neigt sich dem Ende – höchste Zeit, den Urlaub für 2019 zu buchen. Diese 10 Reiseziele liegen jetzt voll im Trend…

Habt Ihr Lust auf etwas richtig Exotisches? Gar kein Problem. Hier die 10 aufstrebendsten Reiseziele für 2019…


1. Wadi Rum/Jordanien (Wadi Rum / Jordanian)
Der Wadi Rum ist eine Wüstenlandschaft mit Sandsteinbergen, roten Canyons und prähistorischen Felsen. Aufgrund des rötlichen Sandes und der natürlich geformten Steinbögen erscheint die Landschaft wie aus einer anderen Welt. Häufig diente sie bereits als Drehort für Blockbuster, die auf dem Mars spielen. Im Urlaub sehen Reisende hier unglaubliche Sonnenuntergänge und können am glasklaren Himmel hervorragend die Sterne beobachten.







2. Samarkand/Usbekistan (dito)
Samarkand liegt auf der alten Seidenstraße und ist eine der ältesten, noch immer bewohnten Städte in Zentralasien. In ihrer Geschichte war sie oft Hauptstadt für verschiedene Kulturen. Mittelalterliche Architektur und zahlreiche Monumente, die auf der Weltkulturerbeliste der UNESCO stehen, lassen sich hier bestaunen. Eine der beliebtesten Sehenswürdigkeiten ist der Registan. Der Platz ist komplett mit Mosaiken, Gold und Kalligrafie geschmückt.



samarkand market.JPG




3. Bacalar/Mexico (dito)
Bacalar wartet mit beeindruckenden Naturschönheiten auf und gilt als trendiger Nachfolger der Malediven. In den türkisfarbenen Lagunen von Bacalar, auch bekannt als „Lake of the Seven Colors”, schimmert weißer Sandboden durch kristallklares Süßwasser. Es ist der perfekte Ort zum Schnorcheln und Tauchen. Kleine Fischerhäuser säumen den See, in denen lokale Meeresfrüchte verköstigt werden können. Das Schwimmen in der Natur, die Entspannung und die Ruhe lassen den Ort in der Gunst vieler Reisender steigen.







4. Ouarzazate/Marokko (Marocco)
Bekannt als Tor zur Sahara, liegt die Stadt Ouarzazate direkt südlich von Marokkos Atlasgebirge. Mit Quad können Reisende die Umgebung entdecken und auch die alte Stadt Aït-Ben-Haddou besuchen.







5. Palomino/Kolumbien (Columbia)
Diese beliebte Strandstadt ist ein Muss auf jeder Reise nach Kolumbien. Reisenden stehen dort zahlreiche Aktivitäten zur Verfügung. An den Stränden, lässt es sich hervorragend Surfen und bei einer Tour zum Wasserfall Quebrada Valencia können Wildtiere z.B. Affen und Tukane beobachtet werden. Reisende können mit einem Schlauchboot auf dem Fluss Palomino entlang gleiten und dabei die Schönheit der Natur genießen, bis sie schließlich zum Karibischen Meer gelangen.




6. Mestia/Georgien (Georgia)
Diese Stadt im Nordwesten Georgiens befindet sich 1.500 Meter über dem Meeresspiegel und ist ein optimaler Ausgangspunkt für Ausflüge in die Umgebung. Das Museum of History and Ethnography ist ein guter Anfang, um die örtliche Geschichte und Kultur kennenzulernen. Aktiv-Reisende können den Chaladi Gletscher hinaufwandern und werden mit einem Ausblick auf die Seen am Ubscha belohnt. Foodies werden von der swanischen Küche angelockt. Ein Muss ist definitiv das Fleischbrot Kubdari und Tashmijabi (käsiger Kartoffelbrei).





7. Kigali/Ruanda (Rwanda)
„Das Land der tausend Hügel” wurde in den letzten Jahren immer mehr für Reisende erschlossen. Menschen aus aller Welt reisen an, um die unglaublichen Berggorillas im Vulkan-Nationalpark zu sehen. Neben den Gorillas können Reisende auf einer Safari im Akagera-Nationalpark einen Blick auf „Die Großen Fünf” erwischen (Löwen, Nashörner, Elefanten, Büffel und Leoparden). Die Stadt Kigali selbst gilt als eine der sichersten und beliebtesten Hauptstädte in Afrika und ist mehr als nur ein Ausgangspunkt für Ausflüge in die Umgebung. Nach einem rasanten Wirtschaftswachstum in den letzten 10 Jahren sind in der Stadt eine unglaubliche kulinarische Szene, lebhafte Märkte und ein spannendes Nachtleben entstanden.







8. Leeuwarden/Niederlande (Netherlands)
Die Stadt Leeuwarden hat entspannten niederländischen Charm. Wegen ihres umfassenden kulturellen Programms, wurde sie 2018 zur Kulturhauptstadt ernannt. Auf Fahrrädern können Besucher die Stadt erkunden und beispielsweise am Fries Museum halten, um mehr über die friesischen Schätze zu erfahren. Touristen können außerdem Leeuwardens unvollendeten Kirchturm Oldehove hinaufsteigen und die Atmosphäre in der familiengeführten Brennerei im Boomsma Beerenburger Museum genießen. Die Stadt Leeuwarden ist äußerst beliebt für ihre Altstadt, Stadtrundgänge und Einkaufsmöglichkeiten.





9. Ksamil, Albanien (Albania)
Dieses Dorf im Süden Albaniens ist ein verstecktes Juwel, aber nicht mehr lange! An der Albanischen Riviera finden Reisende kristallklares Wasser, abgelegene Strände und hippe Restaurants. In der Nähe können Sie Sehenswürdigkeiten wie die Syri I Kaltër (das Blaue Auge) – ein See, in dem Wasserblasen Farben entstehen lassen, die wie Augen aussehen – und Butrint, eine antike Stadt und UNESCO-Weltkulturerbe besichtigen.





10. Nusa Penida/Indonesien (Indonesia)
Viele Reisende besuchen eher die Gili-Inseln, Bali oder andere touristische Orte, wenn sie nach Indonesien reisen. Nusa Penida ist noch ein Geheimtipp, der darauf wartet, entdeckt zu werden. Nusa Penida ist eine Insel an der südwestlichen Küste Balis. Sie besticht Besucher mit atemberaubenden, unberührten Landschaften. Reisende können dort einen Tauchschein machen, an der Crystal Bay entlang spazieren oder Naturwunder wie den Goa Giri Putri Temple und den Infinity-Pool Angel’s Billabong bestaunen.