On Contemporary Extremism and Cultural Oppression

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In Medieval times, discrete attempts to diverge from authoritative ideology were tolerated by the Islamic ruling class for art’s sake, fostering a more liberal and independent society of artists. With the emergence of ISIS, we witness the complete suppression of critical thought and freedom of thinking

by Arielle Blattner
Graphic designer and MA Student of Islamic Art

As long as there have been religions, there have been sects. As long as there have been religions and sects, there have been vicious wars between sects. No matter which division, the proclamation of faith written on the flag of ISIS lā ilāha illā allāh (“There is no god but Allah”) is the same phrase written on Islamist medieval coins since the 8th century, and continues to be seen on the flag of ISIS. In addition to spreading Islam being the main goal of these regimes, the suppression of free thought (whether non-muslim…

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The Conferences of the Birds

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The encounter between fashion design and a mystical Persian poem: Conversation with Moroccan fashion designer Said Mahrouf

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The Conference of the Birds, also known as The Language of the Birds is certainly the most celebrated work of the twelfth-century Persian poet, Farid al-Din Attar.
It tells the story of a flock of birds that set out to seek their king and god, the Simurgh. Only thirty of them survive the perilous path, on which they traverse seven dangerous valleys and reach their ultimate destination: a lake. There they see their image mirrored in the water and recognize themselves as the very god they were seeking.This mystical poem clearly lends itself to numerous interpretations and, even if the author is not himself a Sufi,, the tale is full of Sufi references and meaning.
The mystical and evocative nature of the plot has its visual counterpart in an exceptional medieval…

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A glimpse into the unseen creative studios of Hackney, East London from Creative Boom by Emily Gosling

A beautiful new photo-book lifts the lid (or creaky door) to a number of studios in Hackney, east London, presenting a fascinating insight into the lives of these creative types for all those voyeurs who prefer to be carefully ensconced behind their coffee tables.

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More: http://www.creativeboom.com/inspiration/a-glimpse-into-the-unseen-creative-studios-of-hackney-east-london/

The Beautiful Wonders of Persian Architecture from 5 Cities in Iran from Arch20

Medieval Iran has witnessed the emergence of some of the most beautiful wonders of Islamic art and architecture. These wonders mostly emerged during the Safavid dynasty, when Isfahan was the capital city of Persia. The Persian architecture from the 1500s to the 1800s, known as the early modern period, featured quite distinct architecture elements like the pointed arches, the sculptural stalactites, known as ‘Muqarnas’, and the bulbous domes with floral decorations. The polychrome tiles of blue, gold, turquoise, and white cover the interiors of mosques and palaces, in the forms of complicated floral and geometric patterns as well as the Arabic calligraphy quoting verses from the Quran.
The marvellous architecture that rose in the time remains up to this day a sight to behold. It transcends you to the heavens with its otherworldly charm. So, let’s take a look at those images by photographers who managed to capture the essence of this quite unique charm.

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More: http://www.arch2o.com/beautiful-wonders-persian-architecture-5-cities-iran/

These Intricate, Hand Built Suits of Armor Are Fit for a Cat from MAKE

Jeff De Boer’s prowess with metal should come as no surprise. The son of a tinsmith, Jeff’s early artistic talent and access to metalworking tools led him to build a suit of armour in high school with the intention of wearing it to graduation.

Today, the Calgary-based artist is best known for a series of cat and mouse armour he began in college nearly 30 years ago and has continued to expand and refine.

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More: http://makezine.com/2017/03/24/cat-and-mouse-armor/

The Evolution of Chromatic Type by JAMIE CLARKE from ilovetypography.com

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Colour fonts or chromatic type are not new. The first production types appeared in the 1840s,1 reaching a peak of precision and complexity a few decades later as efficiencies in printing enabled greater creative freedom. In 1874 William H. Page of Greeneville, Connecticut, published his 100-page Specimens of Chromatic Type & Borders2 that still has the power to mesmerise designers today.

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More: http://ilovetypography.com/2017/04/03/the-evolution-of-chromatic-fonts/

Stunning Miniatures by Joshua Smith from Fubiz

Joshua Smith creates marvelous urban miniatures very detailed. His works also include graffiti, posters, even street signals and the texture of ruined building. These artworks are an hommage to neglected buildings and abandoned areas in the city. More artist’s works here.

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More: http://www.fubiz.net/en/2017/04/03/stunning-miniatures-by-joshua-smith-2/