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Friday, December 17, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"The CEO of a British mining company described to us how high-ranking Zimbabwean government officials and well-connected elites are generating millions of dollars in personal income by hiring teams of diggers to hand-extract diamonds from the Chiadzwa mine in eastern Zimbabwe. They are selling the undocumented diamonds to a mix of foreign buyers including Belgians, Israelis, Lebanese, Russians and South Africans who smuggle them out of the country for cutting and resale elsewhere. Despite efforts to control the diamond site with police, the prospect of accessible diamonds lying just beneath the soil's surface has attracted a swarm of several thousand local and foreign diggers. The police response has been violent, with a handful of homicides reported each week, though that number could grow as diggers  arm themselves and attract police and army deserters to their ranks." (ForeignPolicy via Wikileaks)


"This past Tuesday night at Urben Zen on 711 Greenwich Street, Lauren Bush and friends hosted the 3rd Annual Feed-Raiser and Market to benefit the children of Haiti. The holiday cocktail party featured a market of artisan-made and environmentally friendly goods. A $100 ticket will feed a school child in Haiti for one year. Guests received a newly launched FEED 10 bag which reminds that 925 million citizens of the world don’t have enough to eat. Among those attending: Amanda Hearst, Donna Karan, David Lauren, Christy Turlington-Burns, Norman Jean Roy, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Alexis Maybank, Cynthia Rowley, Patrick Robinson, Sam Talbot, Sonja Nuttal, Ellen Gustafson, Nicole Sexton, Ubah Hassan, Kristi Jacobson, Lori Silverbush, Scott Harrison." (NYSocialDiary)


"ON a chilly morning in Beijing earlier this month, the American fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg was getting theatrical in the conference room of an art gallery in the city’s 798 Arts District. She was dressed elegantly in a black-and-white checked top, wool riding pants and high-heeled pumps. With a video camera recording the session, Ms. Von Furstenberg and eight associates made preparations for a coming retrospective in Beijing, 'Journey of a Dress.' It chronicles her life in fashion, beginning in the 1970s, when the simple wrap dress she designed created a sensation. Hanging on the wall behind her was a cowhide imprinted with a reverential image of Chairman Mao — a new work by the Chinese artist Zhang Huan. 'So you walk in, and here you have the gates,' Ms. Von Furstenberg said as she pointed to a diagram of the exhibition space. 'There are four partitions here. When you walk in — it’s fashion, fashion, fashion, fashion.' Then she paced the room and demanded feedback. She tapped on her iPhone to retrieve notes, tossed out ideas about how the show would unfold and promised to bring “everyone” to the opening. She even mused aloud about throwing an outrageous 'Red Ball' — an evening gala that would dazzle the Chinese." (NYTimes)

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