Help us find the last of the retro shopkeepers

The Press has been helping former Canterbury University fine arts student Hamish Thompson identify the “retro shopkeepers” he took photos of in 1977.

Thanks to you eagle-eyed Christchurch and ex-Christchurch people, all of the shopkeepers and their shops have been identified except for the following two – this young lady (in her scarf, and un-scarfed, and the older lady below in her second-hand shop. Any ideas as to who they are – and what and where their shops are???

You can see all the photos here on Kete Christchurch.

Christchurch Shopkeepers: A collection of photos taken by Hamish Thompson, in 1977, for an Ilam Arts School project. They are portraits of shopkeepers, in their shops, surrounded by their products.
Christchurch Shopkeepers: A collection of photos taken by Hamish Thompson, in 1977, for an Ilam Arts School project. They are portraits of shopkeepers, in their shops, surrounded by their products. Kete Christchurch: Clothes-Shopkeepers-100
Christchurch Shopkeepers: A collection of photos taken by Hamish Thompson, in 1977, for an Ilam Arts School project. They are portraits of shopkeepers, in their shops, surrounded by their products. Kete Christchurch: Clothes-Shopkeepers-083
Christchurch Shopkeepers: A collection of photos taken by Hamish Thompson, in 1977, for an Ilam Arts School project. They are portraits of shopkeepers, in their shops, surrounded by their products. Kete Christchurch: Clothes-Shopkeepers-083
Christchurch Shopkeepers: A collection of photos taken by Hamish Thompson, in 1977, for an Ilam Arts School project. They are portraits of shopkeepers, in their shops, surrounded by their products.
Christchurch Shopkeepers: A collection of photos taken by Hamish Thompson, in 1977, for an Ilam Arts School project. They are portraits of shopkeepers, in their shops, surrounded by their products. Kete Christchurch: Dealers-Shopkeepers-018

Best book covers of 2014 – My pick of New Zealand’s finest

This awards ceremony starts with the winners. My two favourites of the year:

Cover of Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen

Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen by Dylan Horrocks. I could have picked any of Dylan’s four covers represented below. The man is a massive New Zealand talent, and deserves all the kudos. Onya Dylan.

Cover of Creamy Psychology

Creamy Psychology
A survey of the work of photographer Yvonne Todd. Artists and photographers – like cartoonists – often have a head start when it comes to good covers. They have the images. And this is hypnotically creepy and yet alluring. Love it, and the title.

Let’s continue the awards ceremony with two strong Christchurch-focused titles. Potently distinctive, and both representing well what is inside.

Cover of Shigeru Ban Cover of Once in a lifetime

Last year I praised the array of fantastic cartoony covers on New Zealand books. I’m pleased to see more goodies this year. I feel like a Dylan Horrocks cover is so damn good, and generally indicative of an excellent book too. Two of them this year are his own collections.

Cover of Wake Cover of Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen Cover of Empty Bones Cover of Incomplete Works

More proof that artists give good cover. As do poets.

Cover of Creamy Psychology Cover of Waha Cover of Cinema Cover of Edwin's Egg Cover of There's a medical name for this

Beautiful fiction.

Cover of Of things gone astray Cover of The Drowning City Cover of Landscape with Solitary Figure Cover of Where the Rehoku bone sings

Some super covers for kids and teens.

Cover of Construction Cover of Doctor Grundy's undies Cover of NZ shore and sea Cover of Dappled Annie Cover of Sage. Cover of While we run Cover of A treasury of NZ poems

Very New Zealand. And evocative.

Cover of Reach Cover of Autobiography

Typographical delights.

Cover of How to be dead Cover of Arms race Cover of Infidelities Cover of Vertical Living Cover of Tell you what Cover of The Bright side

There is a boom of publishing in the area of First World War history. This has an appropriate solemnity and gravitas. As do some others employing black and white photography.

Cover of How we remember Cover of Prendergast Cover of Berry Boys Cover of Deadline Cover of Frank Worsley Cover of Iggy's airforce tales Cover of Patient Cover of The Mighty Totara

I love this one. Love love LOVE.

Cover of Peter Smith

A lineup of stuff can make for an attractive cover.

Cover of Pills and Potions

Book of the year. But though the cover is distinctive and recognisable (it looks a bit like the Shroud in Turin?), I kind of wish it had a Sharon Murdoch cartoon on the cover. She is on Twitter as @domesticanimal and is all kinds of awesome.

Cover of Dirty Politics

For more book cover and design, see the PANZ Book Design Awards.

Have your say on the new Sumner Library and Community Facility

Come along to share your ideas on the new Sumner community facility at the Sumner Union Church Hall, corner of Hardwick and Nayland Streets – Sunday 23 November, 10.30am-1.30pm.

The first session is at 10.30am if you are keen to join a group and contribute your ideas to the concept design or if you just want to hear what others have suggested come to the second session beginning at 12.30pm

Christchurch City Council is holding the workshop to give you the opportunity to develop, share and discuss ideas for the design of the new facility.

The ideas will be considered by a Joint Working Group being set up to help with finalising the concept design for the new facility. The new facility will incorporate a library, community and museum space. It will be built on the site of the demolished facilities in Wakefield Avenue.

Find out more on the Future Christchurch site.

  • Our Mobile Library currently stops at 14 Wakefield Avenue – the old Sumner Library site – on Tuesday and Friday mornings, and all day on Saturday and Sunday. See the timetable.

Mobile

The Next Decade in International Relations with George Friedman

Cover of The Next DecadeWhen you see a book titled The Next Decade, it’s hard not to be drawn to it. Such a title appeals to that human desire to know the future, and as the title implies, that’s what this book is about.

But while sounding somewhat prophetic, it’s not – it is “forecasting”, or more specifically “geopolitical” or “strategic forecasting” which is the subject of this book. Dr George Friedman – a geopolitical analyst, International Relations expert and Chairman of the think tank Stratfor.

This book discusses what will take place over the next decade throughout various regions of the world. It is a commentary on economics, resource-related conflict, terrorism, historical tensions, power struggles, and armed conflict – which are usually tied together within various geographical or regional theatres. It’s an attempt to predict, through a series of highly-educated guesses:

  • who will attack who,
  • who will form alliances,
  • who needs what resources,
  • who is reliant on who
  • and who has the most power.

The “who” mostly being countries, while giving some treatment to “non-state actors” such as terrorists.

This book is highly America-centric. It views issues through the lens of American geopolitical concern and primarily deals with what the USA will have to do to maintain its military and political ascendancy as a globally far reaching “unintended empire”.

Further to this, Friedman puts a blatant Machiavellian spin on it and advises that American foreign policy must employ cunning economic and military tactics: who to side with, who not to, regional balances of power, which regions to invest in, which ones to stay out of (for example, the USA should strengthen Poland so as to create a buffer between Europe and Russia). Additionally, the USA should continue to engage Australia and ensure a stronger partnership so as to counter-balance Asian and South East Asian regional influence.

Interestingly, Dr Friedman suggests the White House should also get friendlier with Iran – because they are the primary regional power in the Middle East.

What Friedman really understands is also what makes this book so compelling:

  • that world politics is still essentially about “who gets what, when and how”
  • that natural resources empower countries. Europe has to pander to Russia as it is reliant on Russian oil and gas.
  • Geographic conditions can undermine regional economic and political domination – the small and volatile 300 mile gap between Kazakhstan and Ukraine is the channel through which Russian oil and political influence flows through to the Caucasus. If this gap is compromised, Russia’s influence in the region will be too. Should America fuel such a compromise?

This is a good introduction to strategic geopolitics for anyone not really familiar with international relations and global politics, and it indirectly teaches you how to think like an analyst. It also provides a good read for those familiar with the subjects of war, history, economics, international relations, and resource-related conflict. It’s a timely read, especially as Europe is contending with a seriously unstable Africa and North Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe – all right on its doorstep(s).

I was going to say that “the times they are a changing”, but actually, they are not, the fundamentals of geopolitics haven’t really changed. The book probably sounds like a yawn created for political/war geeks, but it may provide compelling reading for all sorts of people. Have a read. It’s enlightening.