Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Kuball likes to make hidden aspects of the city visible by means of small changes. Here he discovered the so called Klapgat (chat hole), a dark alley where many inhabitants not only walked and talked but also enjoyed fleeting episodes of love. Kuball creates a stage where spots and sounds circle around in search of the lovers.
Jan van Munster (NL)Circle of Energy, 2009 (steel, Perspex, LEDs, computer; diameter: 600 )
(resource : http://www.contourmechelen.be)
Friday, March 20, 2009
Burnout reduces your productivity and saps your energy, leaving you feeling increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynical, and resentful. Eventually, you may feel like you have nothing more to give.
Most of us have days when we feel bored, overloaded, or unappreciated; when the dozen balls we keep in the air aren’t noticed, let alone rewarded; when dragging ourselves out of bed requires the determination of Hercules. If you feel like this most of the time, however, you may be flirting with burnout.
You may be on the road to burnout if:
Every day is a bad day.
Caring about your work or home life seems like a total waste of energy.
You’re exhausted all the time.
The majority of your day is spent on tasks you find either mind-numbingly dull or overwhelming.
You feel like nothing you do makes a difference or is appreciated.
The negative effects of burnout spill over into every area of life – including your home and social life. Burnout can also cause long-term changes to your body that make you vulnerable to illnesses like colds and flu. Because of its many consequences, it’s important to deal with burnout right away.
There are many causes of burnout. In many cases, burnout stems from the job. But anyone who feels overworked and undervalued is at risk for burnout – from the hardworking office worker who hasn’t had a vacation or a raise in two years to the frazzled stay-at-home mom struggling with the heavy responsibility of taking care of three kids, the housework, and her aging father.
But burnout is not caused solely by stressful work or too many responsibilities. Other factors contribute to burnout, including your lifestyle and certain personality traits. What you do in your downtime and how you look at the world can play just as big of a role in causing burnout as work or home demands.
Work-related causes of burnout
Feeling like you have little or no control over your work.
Lack of recognition or rewards for good work.
Unclear or overly demanding job expectations.
Doing work that’s monotonous or unchallenging.
Working in a chaotic or high-pressure environment
Lifestyle causes of burnout
Working too much, without enough time for relaxing and socializing
Being expected to be too many things to too many people.
Taking on too many responsibilities, without enough help from others
Not getting enough sleep
Lack of close, supportive relationships
Personality traits can contribute to burnout
Pessimistic view of yourself and the world
The need to be in control; reluctance to delegate to others
High-achieving, Type A personality
Monday, March 16, 2009
In December 2008 the building was launched as a venue for the French lounge chain Buddha Bar, following its predecessors in New York, London, Dubai and Kiev. So it is the first Buddha Bar in Asia. With cathedral-high ceilings, a restaurant upstairs has a six-metre (18ft) Buddha overseeing seating for 240. A cocktail club downstairs throbs with lounge music. It has quickly turned into a hotspot for the young and wealthy.
But this new life didn't last long. Opposition to Jakarta's Buddha Bar escalated this March when the Indonesian religious affairs minister, Maftuh Basyuni, asked the French operator, Paris-based George V Hotels and Resorts, to consider closing down or changing the name. Jakarta's legislative council repeated requests to close the club, saying it would be the best way to ensure Buddhists are not offended. Protesters say it is wrong to associate Buddha with a bar because the faith prohibits alcohol. And then Corruption Watch will investigate the ownership of the heritage site by the daughter of the Jakarta Governor whose administration approved the building's restoration, and the daughter of former president Megawati Sukarnoputri.
My opinion? I don't want to get involved with the issue of the name and ownership. Simply too complicated as an outsider although I am familiar with the situation since I was involved in similar complications before. But talking about the re-use of the building itself is a big dillema in Indonesia; it bumps always to the unavoidable situation that the new function go to the direction of elites and the have's. Or re-use as a museum and almost empty without sufficent income for maintenance. So far no example of re-used historical building which makes everybody happy. It seems (because I could only observe) difficult to find compromise in between. From perspective of finance and conservation standard are complicated enough, plus added by social, religious and political dimensions. No wonder that heritage conservation efforts in Indonesia challenge the best of the best experts if they exist at all, although I am afraid this doesn't help either since no conservation theory teaches someone how to solve power conflict and social tension in a building re-use function. The unspoken situation is much more challenging than the physical conservation side.
Friday, March 13, 2009
I could go on and on with a lot of initiatives here to boost interests to museums which for my standart are excellent enough. Nevertheless I still read or hear complains from museum professionals in Netherlands how to get better and more, it means that actually museum world here could be better than already it is. Just imagine.
Monday, March 09, 2009
Volendam is well-known for its old fishing boats and the traditional clothing still worn by some residents. The women's costume of Volendam, with its high, pointed bonnet, is one of the most recognizable of the Dutch traditional costumes, and is often featured on tourist postcards and posters (although there are believed to be fewer than 50 women now wearing the costume as part of their daily lives, most of them elderly). Visitors can have their pictures taken in traditional Dutch costumes. And guess what? I saw many Indonesian celebrity pictures on displays, including two ex-presidents of the Republic of Indonesia.
My Japanese friend and her son have enjoyed themselves, I supposed. They had fried fishes (this is a fishing village!), poffertjes (Dutch small pancakes), "gevoelde koek" (Dutch almond cakes) and of course we made a lot of pictures as every tourist does. It was nice to walk on a Sunday afternoon along the sea, the cafes and souvenir shops.
We could argue of course how fake this place is since it is a touristic destination. But on the other hand, what is wrong with a small village like Volendam which tries to generate income by exploring their culture and customs? For short stayed tourists, this kind of place is a perfect destination to get a flavour of Dutch in a glance. I myself thought it is smart of Volendam to be able to attract a lot of big buses year in year out despite of the fact nothing new in this village except normal life of the locals.
And I must say that domestically Volendam has relatively a lot of exposures on television since they are proud of a pop singer named Jan Smith. Later almost the whole village involved in a reality show on television basically triggered by Jan Smith. I never listen to even a song of Jan Smith but seeing how often he appeared on mass media, this guy must have a good show business in Holland and he becomes a kind of icon for Volendam. It seems that Volendam is a cheerful place to live, fishermen and artists mingled to create a sustainable business for the village. A smart positioning for Volendam considering that so many places in Holland with similar characters.
Probably experts of city marketing has something to learn from Volendam.
Friday, March 06, 2009
I was caught by the story of Greg Mortenson, an American who build schools in remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan since mid 1990's. You have to read it yourself to understand how genuine Greg was to help the children, especially the girls, to get a proper education. Originally he didn't have a record of managerial or organizational experiences to do this so what he used to realise his intention was common sense and sensitivity. But probably that is why he was so natural in his approach to the locals despite the fact how fragile it is relationship between Islamic communities and a western country like America.
He reminded me a lot of my mother who had a dream to build a house for homeless poor old women in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia, around the early of 1980's. She hardly write and read in her life but single handedly she managed to build a ten bedrooms building and accomodated about 15 homeless poor women which is still exist until today. My mother took care all of them on daily basis, from helping them in the toilet until raising fund for the foundation to survive from month to month. She did that every single day until cancer took her life in 1997. My father and then later I helped her with basic administration but that was not even worth mentioning comparing to what she has done.
Passion and genuity of Greg (and my mother) that I caught from "Three Cups of Tea." A passion & genuity to do something real in and with communities. In a particle scale, I used to do it for years and I miss it now. I knew and know that I will do that again someday when the time comes.
Thanks for my dear friend, S, and my colleague, B, who helped me to find back my good memories through the book.
For more stories about Three Cups of Tea click :
Book tour, reviews and media on www.threecupsoftea.com
Central Asia Institute website www.ikat.org
Pennies For Peace website http://www.pennniesforpeace.org/
(Images cortesy of Central Asia Institute.)