19 July 2013

Controversial Stamp from France..



French artist, Olivier Ciappa, stated that the new French postage stamp was largely inspired by FEMEN leader, Inna Shevchenko

A new version of the well-known French postal stamp picturing Marianne, a fictional revolutionary hero, has stirred debate after its designer explained that his inspiration was a controversial Ukrainian feminist, now based in Paris."

The new French postage stamp, presented on Bastille Day by President Francois Hollande and available in all of the nation’s post offices, reportedly combines the physical and facial features of Shevchenko and Marianne, the mythical embodiment of the French Revolution and republic and its values as well as an allegory of liberty and reason. Marianne was made particularly famous after the artist Eugène Delacroix painted her bare-breasted in the painting “La Liberté Guidant Le Peuple” (“Liberty Leading the People”) in the Revolution of 1830. 


The image on the stamp, co-created by French artist and gay-rights activist Olivier Ciappa and illustrator David Kowena, was also influenced by Renaissance art, French comic strips and even the graphic novels of Japanese manga. Ciappa told Agence France-Presse that he thinks Shevchenko is an appropriate model for the stamp since the mythical Marianne would have been a member of FEMEN if such an organization had existed in her time. (It is instructive to note that Shevchenko and her fellow FEMEN cohorts often bare their breasts during their well-orchestrated public protests).

"My ‘Marianne’ is one of several different women's faces, but the main inspiration was Inna Shevchenko,” Ciappa said. “As her struggle is a manifestation of French values" -- liberty, equality, fraternity.

Each new French president chooses a new image of Marianne to appear on stamps during his five-year term. But the choice of stamp this time was somewhat unusual as it was left to the discretion of a panel of high school students, who selected three designs. The final decision was made by Hollande. As the depiction of Marianne is more youthful than in her previous incarnations, Hollande said he wanted the stamp to reflect the promises he made to help the country’s younger generation. “I decided following my election that the republic's new stamp would have the face of youth, that it would be created by youth, and that it would be chosen by youth,” Hollande said.

To celebrate the new stamp, on its website FEMEN slightly altered France’s famous national motto “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité” to “Liberté, Égalité, FEMEN.” FEMEN also said that the stamp reflects its “uncompromising struggle against patriarchy and aesthetics of ‘sextremism.’”

But not everyone is pleased with this manipulation of France’s national emblem. Christine Boutin, the former leader of the Christian Democratic Party -- a center-right party -- and a former minister under ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy, has called for a boycott of the stamp, stating that the image provides a bad example to French youth and blamed Hollande. "[The stamp] is an affront to the dignity of women and the sovereignty of France," the Christian Democrat party said in a statement. A group called “French Spring” that opposes gay marriage tweeted: “Are there not enough beautiful and emblematic women in France that we have to import our models from Ukraine?"

For Hollande, already reeling from low opinion polls over the poor state of the economy, the stamp could prove to become yet another thorn in his side. An avowed supporter of same-sex marriage (or what the French call “le marriage pour tous” -- marriage for everybody), Hollande was booed during Sunday’s Bastille Day parade in Paris by conservatives and Catholics over his stances on social issues. 

Read More....

Diwali postage stamp petitions submitted to US Postal Service

WASHINGTON: Efforts to have a Diwali postage stamp received a big push today when over 1,300 letter petitions, in addition to 400,00 signatures in an online campaign, were presented to US Postal Service by influential lawmakers and community leaders at the Capitol Hill. A top postal official hoped that the long awaited decision on this could come in as soon as two weeks.

Times of India 18 July 2013


Papio on stamp

The new stamp illustrating the theme of “Papio” carousels, the Post and Telecommunications Office of French Polynesia celebrates the festive season and the stamp refers  special attention to the youth. The papio shown on stamp takes back to the childhood days when it fancied one and all.

The Tahitian word “Papio” is difficult to translate because it refers to various types of whirling movements, such as for instance the joint movement of several objects like the revolution of a carousel or little fishes revolving around a diver.

When the long school holidays start, usually in early July, roundabouts are installed in an air of celebration at their usual location, to the delight of children. Every year, this is where the young (and the less young too) meet. They come to relax and have some good time in an atmosphere of enchantment.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, Papio success has never waned even though over time, many items such as horses’ legs have been patched up on several occasions.

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