An initiative of the Menil Collection with cultural, educational, and social justice organizations in the Greater Houston area.
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Events

Future
Past
Oct 4
2015
5:00 PM
Festival
Montrose/Museum District

1000 Lights for Peace – Celebrating Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday

Come and enjoy multicultural and International dance and music show by children celebrating Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday. Walk For Peace and applaud winners of children’s essay, speech, poster and multi-media contests. Hear the winners of the speech contests deliver their rousing speeches.

May 14
2015
7 PM
performance and meditation
Montrose / Museum District

Breath: The Pulse of the Universe

A moving mandala harmonized with the breath and based on the yogic sequence of tadasana movements

Apr 29
2015
7:30 PM
Screening and discussion
Montrose / Museum District

Journey of the Universe

A film and dialogue on how our current understanding of the universe story relates to our ecological and social challenges

Mar 21
2015
10 AM–3 PM
Workshop
Montrose / Museum District

From Dictatorship to Democracy

A workshop on strategies and techniques of nonviolent struggle led by a world leader in applying strategies of peaceful change

Mar 19
2015
7 PM
Screening and discussion
Montrose / Museum District

How to Start a Revolution

A documentary on Gene Sharp, a leading practitioner and theorist of nonviolent struggle and change, followed by Q&A and discussion

Feb 21
2015
2-3:30
Panel Discussion and Selected Readings
Freedmen's Town/Fourth Ward

Organized Love: Ideas on Non-violence—Panel Discussion and Selected Readings

Join artists participating in Organized Love: Ideas on Non-violence as they discuss their processes for creating their works in the exhibition. Readings by Thomas Meloncon and Garry Reece, who were commissioned to write in response to the exhibition.

Feb 8
2015
6:30 PM
Presentation and Book Signing
Downtown

Congressman John Lewis Presentation and Book Signing

Presented by the Houston Public Library in observation of African American History Month and in conjunction with the exhibit, “Organized Love: Ideas on Non-violence”, on view at the Houston Public Library’s African American Library at the Gregory School. Congressman John Lewis is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His… Read More

Feb 7
2015
2:30-3:30 PM
Talk
Freedmen's Town/Fourth Ward

In Reaction to the Civil Rights Movement

There is an increasing need for meaningful discourse, particularly on the issues highlighted by the Civil Rights Movement. Join Organized Love artist Anthony Suber as he recontextualizes the purpose and latent meaning behind photographs, writings, and art that have been created in reaction to civil disobedience and non-violent struggle.

Feb 7
2015
1-3:30 PM
Game Day and Chess Tournament
Freedmen's Town/Fourth Ward

Who’s Winning?

When the choice was made by Black and White civic leaders in 1960 not to publicize the desegregation of lunch counters in Houston, many Houstonians were angered not only by the act itself but the apparent concealment of the information by the city’s leading media outlets.  Jade Cooper’s work? visually questions the strategy implemented by… Read More

Jan 24
2015
3–5 PM
Dance Performance
Montrose / Museum District

Dances to Songs Beloved by Gandhi

Dances to songs that were both loved by Gandhi and popular during his fight for India’s independence.

Jan 24
2015
1-3 PM
Tribute and Celebration
Freedmen's Town/Fourth Ward

Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute and Birthday Celebration

A special tribute and belated birthday celebration to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Join us for a festive occasion to honor and celebrate the life and work of one of the greatest leaders of our time, the late civil-rights leader and 1964 Nobel Peace Prize recipient. Presented by Phillip Pyle the Second.

Jan 20
2015
7 PM
Talk and Book Signing
Montrose / Museum District

The Red Handkerchief: A Holocaust Memoir

A talk about author’s mother, who was arrested by the Gestapo for sabotage and survived Vught concentration camp, followed by a book signing.

Jan 16
2015
7 PM
poetry reading
Montrose / Museum District

Meta-Four Poetry Performance

Young poets from Writers in the Schools respond to works in “Experiments with Truth,” exploring Gandhi’s message of nonviolence in today’s world.

Jan 15
2015
7 PM
Concert
Montrose / Museum District

Songs of Freedom

Songs of the US Civil Rights Movement performed by a Freedom Singer who was there, offered as a tribute on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday

Jan 13
2015
7 PM
conversation
Montrose / Museum District

The Influence of Gandhi and King on Hip-Hop Culture

An exploration of the nature and significance of M.L. King Jr’s and Gandhi’s influence on hip-hop and its contribution to social justice and nonviolence.

Jan 10
2015
1 PM
Panel Discussion
Freedmen's Town/Fourth Ward

The Power of the Image

Individuals living in an image-wealthy society are exposed to countless forms of visual stimulation by the internet and mass media. As a result, people have become desensitized to an ever-erupting display of pictorial fodder. Organized Love artist Deon Robinson will direct a panel of participants through a candid conversation about their feelings and sentiments regarding… Read More

Jan 10
2015
1 PM
Lecture
Neartown

The Making of the 5 Year Plan Project

Co-sponsored by TPM Printers Guild. In his lecture “The Making of the 5 Year Plan Project: Artists Collaborating with Gandhi Ashrams in India” creator Aaron Sinift will discuss his journey from the New York art world to India in search of Gandhi ashram collectives, and how he instigated a DIY international artist collaboration to serve… Read More

Jan 10
2015
2:30 PM
Poetry Reading, Performance, and Discussion
Freedmen's Town/Fourth Ward

Celebrating Amiri Baraka

This program presented by artist Regina Agu will highlight the work of the African American writer of poetry, drama, fiction, essays, and music criticism Amiri Baraka. Commemorating the first anniversary of his passing, it will explore his lectures and other intersections with Houston and institutions such as Rice University, Texas Southern University and The Menil… Read More

Jan 10
2015
2:30 PM
Lecture
Neartown

How We Did It; Creative Fundraising For Collaborative Arts Projects

The creator of the “5 Year Plan Project,” Aaron Sinift, describes his steps and intuitive leaps that made it possible to raise necessary funds and realize a creative dream. After years of studying Gandhi Ashram art and applying for grant funding to create a book in India, he decided he couldn’t wait any longer. With… Read More

Jan 8
2015
7:00 PM
Television Program

Menil’s Sand Mandala on Houston Public Media’s Art Insight

Watch Arts Insight on Houston Public Media’s Channel 8 for a feature on Menil’s sand mandala program. Tibetan monks transformed the Menil foyer for six days in December to create a sand mandala of the Bodhisattva of Compassion (Chenrezig in the form of Shadakshari Lokesvara). Over 1,000 people witnessed the closing ceremonies on December 13…. Read More

Jan 7
2015
7:00 PM
Contemplation and Dialogue
Montrose/Museum District

Black Lives Matter: Getting Beyond the Hashtag

Like much of the nation, the Chapel has been wrestling with our response to the lack of justice in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases and the possibilities for action going forward. Please join us for “Black Lives Matter,” which builds on our yearlong program series on Living As If: The Art, Spirituality, and… Read More

Jan 5
2015
POSTPONED
Conversation
Historic Third Ward

Organized Love: It’s a Process

POSTPONED–Please watch this site for NEW DATE to come

A conversation about the effectiveness of protests against oppressive systems in Rabéa Ballin’s artwork and Danielle Burns’s exhibition, “Organized Love.”

Dec 10
2014
3–5 PM
meditation
Heights / Shady Acres

Meditation on Peace for International Human Rights Day

A time contemplation in observance of International Human Rights Day 2014 and the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Dec 8
2014
7 PM
Talk
Historic Third Ward

Right Beyond the Site: White Gentrifying Bodies and Black (Art)

A look at gentrification in Houston’s Third Ward as a “territorializing force” traversing and submerging existing Black geographies, bodies, and spatial practices.

Dec 6
2014
4-7 PM
Living Room Art
Gulfton

Borderlines: Close Together

Borderlines: Close Together explores issues of labor and migration amid border regions in South Asia and North America.

Nov 22
2014
7:00 PM
Screening
Montrose/Museum District

The Port Huron Project

A screening of selections from Mark Tribe’s “Port Huron Project,” 2006–9, a series of reenactments of Vietnam War–era New Left protest speeches. The screening will take place on the Menil lawn.

Nov 21
2014
7 PM
Music Performance
Montrose / Museum District

The Black Monks of Mississippi

Music harmonizing Eastern ideals of melodic restraint with the spirit of Gospel music in the Black Church and the soul of Blues, a great American Black music.

Nov 14
2014
6:30 PM
Film
Greater Fondren Southwest

Mahatma: Life of Gandhi 1869–1948

After Gandhi’s death, the Gandhi Films Committee gathered up all the film footage they could find and made this five-hour compilation tracing Gandhi’s life and actions. Presented in two halves, on successive nights.

Nov 13
2014
7 PM
discussion
Montrose / Museum District

Mainstreaming Torture

Two scholar-writers and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture discuss the societal effects and ethical implications of the “normalizing” of torture.

Nov 13
2014
6:30 PM
Film
Greater Fondren Southwest

Mahatma: Life of Gandhi 1869–1948

After Gandhi’s death, the Gandhi Films Committee gathered up all the film footage they could find and made this five-hour compilation tracing Gandhi’s life and actions. Presented in two halves, on successive nights.

Nov 9
2014
4 PM
Film (2007, 136 min.)
Museum District

Gandhi, My Father

A dramatic feature that explores the troubled relationship between Mohandas Gandhi and his eldest son Harilal, who becomes lost in his father’s monumental shadow.

Nov 3
2014
7 PM
Talk
South Central

Recovering a Vision of Gandhi and His Meaning for the 21st Century

This eminent civil-rights activist, teacher of nonviolent resistance, and minister will speak on the relevance of Gandhi’s ethics of nonviolence.

Nov 2
2014
1 PM
Concert
Montrose

Morton Feldman’s “For Philip Guston”

In the contemplative setting of Rothko Chapel, Da Camera presents a performance of Morton Feldman’s monumental masterpiece For Philip Guston, completed 30 years ago on November 9, 1984. Written in memory of his close friend, the painter Philip Guston, from whom the composer had been estranged for over ten years, this moving late work encompasses… Read More

Nov 1
2014
11 AM - 12:30 PM
Tribute
Freedmen's Town/Fourth Ward

American Citizens Killed During Non-violent Acts

Non-violent protest has been a powerful method for bringing about political and social change. Join artist Phillip Pyle as he reads the names of American citizens that have lost their lives while practicing acts of non-violence.

Nov 1
2014
1-2 PM
Sit-in/Installation
Freedmen's Town/Fourth Ward

The Sit-in

Join artist Robert Pruitt for a non-traditional programming event offering a continuous opportunity wherein viewers may volunteer to perform the sit in within the actual lunch counter installation.

Oct 28
2014
7 PM
Discussion and Celebration
Montrose / Museum District

The Institutional Violence of Incarceration

What impact does incarceration’s institutional violence have on society? Journalist Liliana Segura leads a discussion with Rev. Dorothy Budd and exonerated prisoner Chris Scott.

Oct 27
2014
7 PM
Lecture
Montrose / Museum District

Gandhi and the Politics of Visual Representation

An examination of the mahatma’s life, image, and works in visual representations: cartoons, public statuary, paintings and nationalist prints.

Oct 21
2014
7 PM
Meditation with Lecture
Montrose / Museum District

Radical Ahimsa: Jain Dharma Talk and Meditation

Explore how spiritual practices can foster compassion in one’s daily life. Two Jain nuns from the JVB Preksha Meditation Center talk on the teaching of ahimsa, nonviolence, followed by an extended meditation.

Oct 20
2014
7 PM
Music Performance
Montrose / Museum District

On Gandhi: Music to Poetry He Loved

A musical evening featuring poets revered by Gandhi, sung in a style of devotional music from South Asia

Oct 19
2014
2 PM
Film (1982, 191 min)
Museum District

Gandhi

Richard Attenborough’s epic Oscar-winning biopic Gandhi follows the life of Mohandas K. Gandhi.

Oct 12
2014
4 PM
Film (1996, 144 min.)
Museum District

The Making of the Mahatma

Mohandas Gandhi is shown undergoing an ordinary family man’s struggles and failures, factors that influenced his transformation into a mahatma (“great soul”).

Oct 9
2014
7 PM
Lecture
Rice University

How Gandhi Discovered Nonviolence

Rajmohan Gandhi, a biographer of Mahatma Gandhi, discusses the roles of family, religion, people, readings, and reflection in Gandhi’s path to nonviolence.

Oct 5
2014
4–7 PM
Gathering
Montrose

A Community Celebration of Nonviolent Communication

Learn about nonviolent communication and commemorate Gandhi and Marshall Rosenberg, founder of the Nonviolent Communication process. Cake and finger food.

Oct 4
2014
2–4 PM
Exhibition Opening
Freedmen’s Town / Fourth Ward

Opening of “Organized Love: Ideas on Nonviolence”

Debut of an exhibition of 16 artists and writers responding to the history of nonviolent struggle in Houston, including a reading by a contributing writer.

Oct 4
2014
6:00 PM
Festival
Jones Plaza, Downtown

1,000 Lights for Peace Walk & Festival

Join a 5K walk for peace that will be followed by award ceremonies and a show of international dance and music. Light a candle as a pledge to practice peace.

Oct 2
2014
6:00 PM
Conversation
Montrose / Museum District

Can Art Be a Witness in Seeking Truth?

Exhibition curator Josef Helfenstein and artist Amar Kanwar discuss ideas behind the Menil’s exhibition “Experiments with Truth” as well as Kanwar’s works that are included.

Sep 27
2014
10 AM–3 PM
Community Conversation

Love Your Enemies

Join celebrated Buddhist scholar-teachers Sharon Salzberg and Tenzin Robert Thurman for a delightful day of training and dialogue on living a mindful, love-filled life.

Sep 21
2014
7 PM
Discussion and Celebration
Montrose / Museum District

International Day of Peace

An evening celebration with panel discussion, film-showing, and reception featuring artists that work across borders and on projects connecting communities in the Middle East and United States.

Sep 18
2014
11 AM–6 PM
Three-Day Organizing Event, Day One
Downtown

Confronting Poverty from the Heart of Faith

A three-day organizing event to unite religious progressives, academics, and justice activist to act in solidarity to promote economic justice.

Apr 21
2014
6:30 p.m.
Reading
Montrose / Museum District

Gandhi Before India

Co-presented by Inprint and the Menil Collection. Noted historian Ramachandra Guha will discuss his new book, the first of a multivolume biography of Gandhi based on extensive primary research and new discoveries. This magisterial and revelatory book, destined to become one of the most important biographies of Gandhi, takes us from his birth through his… Read More

Posts

Sighted in a parking lot

Jul 28
2015
4:42 pm
By Menil

Thoughts on the exhibition “Experiments with Truth”

A link to one art historian’s response to the exhibition in Houston, published in The Brooklyn Rail. “Experiments with Truth: Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence” is currently on view in Geneva.

May 21
2015
11:56 am
By Menil
May 7
2015
10:55 am
By Menil

We Need Gandhi More than Ever Today

Revered by millions all over the world, Mohandas Gandhi was called a Mahatma, a great soul. On January 30, 1948, he was getting ready to lead a prayer meeting when he was slain by an assassin. George Marshall, the U.S. Secretary of State, called Gandhi “the spokesman for the conscience of mankind.” A benign shrunken… Read More

Apr 24
2015
2:49 pm
By Menil

Mary Evelyn Tucker talks about The Journey of the Universe

Ecological cosmologist Mary Evelyn Tucker talks about the genesis of The Journey of the Universe film that she and collaborator John Grim are presenting and discussing at the Rothko Chapel on Wednesday, April 29. For an article of hers about Thomas Berry, who inspired the film, go here.

Apr 22
2015
8:12 am
By Menil

Exhibition opening in Geneva, News Report

A German newscast about the opening of Experiments with Truth: Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence at the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum in Geneva here (in German and French).   Gewaltlosigkeit im Rotkreuz-Museum Ab heute zeichnet eine Ausstellung im Genfer Rotkreuz-Museum den Einfluss der Gewaltfreiheit auf die Kunst nach. Von Gandhi bis zu… Read More

Apr 21
2015
3:49 pm
By Menil

The Geneva Conventions

Above: photograph of the first Geneva Convention. The original title of the first “Geneva Convention” is Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field. It has ten articles and one sole objective: to limit the suffering caused by war. Article 7 provides for the designation of the red… Read More

Apr 16
2015
8:52 am
By Menil

Film and workshop on nonviolent action

The Rothko Chapel presents two rare opportunities this week to learn about nonviolent action and the work of Gene Sharp and the Albert Einstein Institution: a film on Thursday (19th) and a workshop on Saturday (21st).
“Nonviolent action is a technique of sociopolitical action for applying power in a conflict without the use of physical violence. . . . Nonviolent action provides a way to wield power in order to achieve objectives and to sanction opponents without the use of physical violence.”
Read More

Mar 15
2015
9:28 am
By Menil

What Does Peace Look Like?

Gandhi’s message is as clear today as ever and shouldn’t be seen only through haze of history

Josef Helfenstein’s editorial in the Houston Chronicle

September 25/29, 2014

Mar 13
2015
7:43 pm
By Menil

Wall of Fame

Found on the wall of a car mechanic’s shop in Houston’s Montrose District (now painted over)

Feb 25
2015
3:30 am
By Menil

Read–on Houston’s 3d Ward

READ

3rd Ward’s
History
Will be lost
In the closed casket
A whisper’s sleep
Who will remember
Us?
Read More

Feb 19
2015
7:26 pm
By Menil

The Golden Rule Does Not Apply Here

Kenya Evans and Robert Pruitt, The Golden Rule Does Not Apply Here, 2014, mixed media installation.

We don’t serve Niggers
Sit… look straight
Ahead… eyes on the prize.
Back erect… head tilted… you are
African Kings and Queens… wearing
Read More

Feb 18
2015
8:21 am
By Menil

Deacons of Defense

Jamal Cyrus, Deacons for Defense Colinear Coplanar Phylactery, 2014, paper, rubber bands, plaster, thin-set mortar.

Upon this
Book
Miracles
Happen
Wisdom is
Read More

Feb 9
2015
7:29 pm
By Menil

2 Nonviolence Pledges: India’s Northwest Frontier, 1929, and Alabama, 1963

I am a Khudai Khidmatgar [Servant of God], and as God needs no service I shall serve Him by serving his creatures selfishly.
I promise not to use violence and to refrain from retaliation or taking revenge, and I shall forgive anyone who indulges in oppression and excesses against me.
I promise to live a simple life, to practice virtue, and refrain from evil.
Read More

Feb 9
2015
11:19 am
By Menil

Who’s Winning?

Jade Cooper, Who’s Winning?, 2014, mixed media.

Race Game
32 dark.
32 white
America stole the board once owned by native Indians.
Dark this side
Read More

Feb 5
2015
11:17 am
By Menil

Martin Luther King Nominates Thich Nhat Hanh for Nobel Peace Prize (1967)

January 25, 1967
To: The Nobel Institute
Gentleman:
As the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate of 1964, I now have the pleasure of proposing to you the name of Thich Nhant Hanh for that award in 1967.
I do not personally know of anyone more worth of the Nobel Peace Prize than this gentle Buddhist monk from Vietnam. . . .

Feb 2
2015
9:01 am
By Menil

Forgive Them For They Know Not What They Do

Robert Hodge, Forgive Them Father for They Know Not What They Do, 2014, mixed media on reclaimed paper and hemp thread.

The root of all evil…
Segregation.
Money is the drunk
Cousin of profit,
So this is compassionate capitalism.
Read More

Jan 31
2015
8:20 am
By Menil

a couple of Daoist poems for warmongers

A Daoist wouldn’t advise a ruler
to use force of arms for conquest;
that tactic backfires.

Where the army marched
grows thorns and thistles.
Read More

Jan 28
2015
3:21 pm
By Menil

Grains of Salt

M’Kina Tapscott, Grains of Salt, 2014, mixed media installation.

In the sea’s bosom
Salt
is drawn
and from the rock
13 stood
Read More

Jan 27
2015
7:22 am
By Menil

Freedom from Fear

Saints, it has been said, are the sinners who go on trying. So free men are the oppressed who go on trying and who in the process make themselves fit to bear the responsibilities and to uphold the disciplines which will maintain a free society. Among the basic freedoms to which men aspire that their… Read More

Jan 25
2015
8:56 am
By Menil

Blood On The Leaves

Phillip Pyle the Second, Blood on the Leaves, 2014, polyurethane on found wood.

Spring will not
Yield green
It will be Red
This season.
A body shaped
Read More

Jan 22
2015
8:26 am
By Menil

Good news for preservation: bricks laid by former slaves in Freedman’s Town, Houston

Judge Orders Crews to Halt Removal of Freedmen’s Town Bricks After months of debate, the City of Houston has temporarily stopped a restoration project in the historic Freedmen’s Town neighborhood in the Fourth Ward. It’s only for 14 days, however–take action to preserve this important part of Houston’s heritage.   Read about it or hear… Read More

Jan 21
2015
9:41 am
By Menil

27 years ago today–“Frontier Gandhi” obituary in the New York Times

Abdul Ghaffar Khan, 98, a Follower of Gandhi Published: January 21, 1988 Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a Moslem disciple of Mohandas K. Gandhi who opposed British rule in India and partition of the subcontinent, died yesterday in a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan. He was 98 years old and had suffered a stroke six months ago. A… Read More

Jan 21
2015
8:09 am
By Menil

Houston Public Media Video of Mandala of Compassion & Experiments with Truth

Watch as the Drepung Monastery monks talk about making a sand mandala of the Bodhisattva of Compassion in the Menil Collection foyer.

Click through to watch

Jan 15
2015
10:01 pm
By Menil

Hands

Anthony Suber, Freedom Ain’t Free for the “Freed”, 2014, wood, cast stone, resin.

Look at your hands
Our hands tell a story.
Cotton hands…
Plowing hands… praying hands
Baptizing hands
Read More

Jan 15
2015
9:16 am
By Menil

Bun B and Talib Kweli on Gandhi’s and MLK’s effect on hip hop culture

  A panel discussion about the influence of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. on hip hop culture drew a large crowd to the Menil Collection on Tuesday night thanks to the participation of rappers Bun B (of UGK fame) and Talib Kweli. Read Sketch the Blogger’s Chron.com report here. Read Nathan Smith in the… Read More

Jan 14
2015
6:31 pm
By Menil

Against Fear

Deon Robinson, Against Fear, 2014, paper, charcoal, mixed-media collage.

It will not
Be
Televised
Except for Bonanza
or The Brady Bunch
The world will see
Though…
Change is coming
Read More

Jan 13
2015
7:13 pm
By Menil

Video intro, Aaron Sinift’s 5-Year Plan Lecture

 

 

Jan 10
2015
8:00 am
By Menil

5 Year Plan

5 Year Plan is an International artist collaboration with Gandhi Ashram collectives in India to create swadeshi works of art and promote Gandhi’s ideals of self-sufficiency and non-violence. 5 Year Plan is a cooperative collaboration that reduces the degrees of separation between village collectives, artists, and collectors. Currently we are making a new book, printed… Read More

Jan 9
2015
8:00 am
By Menil

Taylor Branch on M. L. King Jr.’s Legacy of Nonviolence

  Martin Luther King Jr. biographer Taylor Branch makes a timely argument about civil right leader’s true legacy: nonviolence. It’s in “The Radical Paradox of Martin Luther King’s Devotion to Nonviolence,” by Ron Rosenbaum, in  Smithsonian Magazine, January 2015. Here’s a short passage: People still don’t quite believe in nonviolence in the radical way King… Read More

Jan 7
2015
6:01 pm
By Menil

Support

Regina Agu, Support, 2014, mixed media collage.

Arms as iron trees
Arms sweaty
Protrude from hot concrete poetry
And the cities built
On Slave bones
Tremble on disfigured knees
Read More

Jan 5
2015
3:38 pm
By Menil

Organize

Rabéa Ballin, #ORGANIZE, 2014, mixed media installation.

No time to analyze
Join us
Action weighs heavier
Than dull, timid poetry of talkers.
We have work to do
Read More

Dec 29
2014
11:22 pm
By Menil

A call to end fanatacism, September 11, 1893

In Chicago, Swami Vivekananda said “Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth. . . . But I fervently hope [for] the death-knell of all fanaticism, of all persecutions with the sword or with the pen, and of all uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same goal.”
Read More

Dec 23
2014
11:53 am
By Menil

Radical Compassion and the Forest’s Loss of Sovereignty

Vandana Shiva’s talk on Radical Compassion broadcast on KPFT’s “Alternative Radio” this morning has much to say about current ecological crisis and its economic and epistemological roots. It includes a discussion of Gandhi’s daily prayer for increased compassion, and speaks to the mechanisms behind the depredations that are the subject of Amar Kanwar’s The Sovereign… Read More

Dec 18
2014
8:43 pm
By Menil

Gandhi, King, Mandela Publications Announced in Tehran

News from the IBNA/Iran Book News Agency, published in The Bi-Monthly Journal of The Parliament’s Library, Tehran (Jan. 2014).

Dec 18
2014
7:52 pm
By Menil

“Say I Am You” by Jelaluddin Rumi

I am dust particles in sunlight. / I am the round sun.
To the bits of dust I say, Stay. / To the sun, Keep moving.
Read More

Dec 17
2014
12:53 pm
By Menil

Desmond Tutu on Nelson Mandela and Capital Punishment in Texas

Many years ago now, I spent a day in the company of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. A former law partner of mine was at the time representing a death row inmate in Texas, a young black man named Dominique Green. Dominique was one of three robbers of a convenience store in Texas. He was black, and… Read More

Dec 15
2014
5:33 pm
By Menil
Dec 12
2014
8:24 am
By Menil
Dec 11
2014
8:18 am
By Menil

Human Rights Day–December 10, Honoring the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

In honor of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights adoption on December 10, 1950, today is the annual celebration of Human Rights Day. The UN has declared the theme this year to be Human Rights 365, as one day a year is not enough. Please see their website for today here. Secretary General… Read More

Dec 10
2014
11:21 am
By Menil

Clara Barton, the 1900 Hurricane, and Strawberry Fields in Pasadena, Texas

When the 1900 Hurricane hit Galveston, Texas, and the Gulf Coast, Clara Barton traveled with Red Cross volunteers from Washington, DC, to Galveston to offer care for the devastated populace. She purchased lumber to be sent by rail. The New York World, led by Joseph Pulitzer, said that if Barton would go to Galveston, so… Read More

Dec 8
2014
9:24 pm
By Menil

Voices Breaking Boundaries: Close Together

This Saturday, December 6, from 4–7 pm, Voices Breaking Boundaries (VBB) will produce Close Together in the apartment home of Mercedes Herrera, a Gulfton resident for more than 20 years. Close Together is the first time VBB has produced living room art in an apartment, expanding the definition and capacity for what living room art… Read More

Dec 4
2014
8:43 pm
By Menil

Smokey the Bear Sutra by Gary Snyder (1969)

In his poem in the form of a Buddhist sutra, Gary Snyder turns Smokey the Bear—an icon who turned 70 this year and who warns us “Drown your fire, crush out your cigarette butts” for “Only YOU can prevent forest fires”—into a Buddhist helper for all sentient beings.
Read More

Dec 1
2014
8:55 am
By Menil

Smokey the Bear Sutra woodcut by Michael Corr

This image was made for Gary Snyder’s “Smokey the Bear Sutra” in the 1973 book “The Fudo Trilogy” published by Shaman Drum, Berkeley.

Dec 1
2014
7:34 am
By Menil
Nov 21
2014
9:31 am
By Menil

Music at the Menil: Theaster Gates and the Black Monks of Mississippi

This Friday evening’s concert at the Menil Collection  is a rare opportunity for folks in Houston to hear this experimental group. They have  performed in the city only twice, in 2010 and last December. Here’s a five-minute song and a longer performance by this variable, roving band of musicians led by Theaster Gates. The artist… Read More

Nov 20
2014
9:30 am
By Menil

A poetic response to “Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence”

Remain in silence we must!
In 2 minutes 56 seconds,
We will see the world change from eastward
By our brothers, our sisters, who were told individuality
Is necessary when it liberates human freedom from
TYRANNY AND DESPOTISM.

Nov 18
2014
6:22 pm
By Menil

A Painting of Krishna’s Universal Form

Krishna in His Universal Form (Vishvarupa). Rajasthan, India; 19th or 20th century. Opaque watercolor and gold on cloth, 56 x 36 inches (142.2 x 91.4 cm). Courtesy of Nancy Wiener Gallery, New York The Bhagavad Gita is one of the most influential scriptures in Hinduism, as it spells out many key concepts, including the importance… Read More

Nov 12
2014
2:34 pm
By Menil

A Needle Woman

A Needle Woman

I arrive.
a street in the world
waves of a human ocean ebb and flow
contemplating them coming and going
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Nov 7
2014
11:18 am
By Menil

On “For Philip Guston”

Rothko Chapel is most silent when it is filled with music. I know that sounds like a paradox, but the rests in Morton Feldman’s epic chamber work For Philip Guston are particularly vivid, almost characters in themselves. Yesterday the talented Da Camera musicians offered a stunning performance of this five-hour, quietly detailed masterpiece, which premiered… Read More

Nov 3
2014
5:33 pm
By Menil

James Lawson, a brief account of his contributions

James Lawson is a living link to the Civil Rights Movement that brought social and legislative changes that helped end legal and institutionalized racial discrimination in the United States. He grew up in Ohio, the son of a Methodist preacher who taught him to defend himself if necessary, but at a young age experienced a… Read More

Oct 31
2014
12:08 pm
By Menil

A popular print of Gandhi

In his lecture, Vinay Lal showed a number of such “popular prints” exhibiting a wide variety of images and ideas of Gandhi. They apparently were printed in runs from 5,000 to 15,000 but are largely undocumented because their makers and printers are long gone and seem to have left no records or archives.   These… Read More

Oct 28
2014
2:07 pm
By Menil

Another Vision of Gandhi

For more fascinating images of the Mahatma, come to tonight’s lecture by Vinay Lal, at the Menil Collection, 7 pm.

Oct 27
2014
4:38 pm
By Menil

Gandhi and the Politics of Visual Representation

Above: “Sartorial Gandhi” image showing his garb at different life stages   There is but no question that Mohandas Gandhi remains, more than six decades after his assassination, the most iconic figure of modern India. Indeed, he is the only “secular” figure around whom a distinct and complex iconography began to develop in his own… Read More

Oct 24
2014
4:41 pm
By Menil

Gandhi and “Vaishnavajana to”

Much like nearly everything else in his life, Gandhi’s religion defies easy description. Though Gandhi viewed himself as a Hindu, he also maintained that a man could describe himself as a Hindu and yet not believe in God. He almost never visited temples and everything in his conduct suggests that he remained indifferent to the… Read More

Oct 24
2014
11:15 am
By Menil

Gandhi Photography at Lone Star College

While at Lone Star College/Harris County Public Library Cy-Fair, I was surprised by this wonderful exhibition of photography called Gandhi Darshan (A Glimpse of Gandhi) from the Mahatma Gandhi Library.  The Gandhi Darshan exhibition is at 9191 Barker-Cypress Road in Cypress.

Oct 23
2014
10:32 am
By Menil

On Riyaaz Qawwali

According to Tushar Arun Gandhi, great-grandson of Mahatma Mohandas and Kasturba Gandhi, “all religions and faiths were given equal importance” during his great-grandparents’ daily prayer meetings at their ashram. And the meetings always finished with a stunning proclamation: “although we call you by different names, you are One, give us the wisdom to understand this,… Read More

Oct 21
2014
6:38 pm
By Menil

On Gandhi: Music to the Poetry He Loved

Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram is a bhajan (Hindu hymn) that was revered by Mahatma Gandhi.

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Oct 17
2014
3:18 pm
By Menil

1,000 Lights for Peace Walk & Festival

The Mahatma Gandhi Library hosted the 2014 Gandhi Peace walk and 1000 Lights for Peace on October 24.
View Photo Album

Oct 7
2014
2:40 pm
By Menil

Riyaaz Qawwali performs Narsi’s poem “Vaishnava Janato”

“Vaishnava Jana to” is a poem by the 15th-century saint Narasinha Mehta, rendered here in the qawwali style by Riyaaz.
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Oct 5
2014
7:39 pm
By Menil

The Living Art of Nonviolence

In their Thursday night conversation about “Experiments with Truth: Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence,” exhibition curator Josef Helfenstein asked artist Amar Kanwar if there is an aesthetics of nonviolence.

In response, Kanwar mused that rather than an aesthetics visible in particular features of artworks, an aesthetics of nonviolence would be rooted in a way of being,
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Oct 4
2014
9:27 am
By Menil

One of Gandhi’s daily prayer meetings

In 1947 Phillips Talbot, an American journalist and future diplomat, traveled with Gandhi as he met with residents of villages that had suffered from communal violence between Hindus and Muslims, and in a letter Talbot gave this description of one of Gandhi’s daily prayer meetings. These were a regular feature of ashram life with Gandhi,… Read More

Oct 2
2014
3:39 pm
By Menil

Living Gandhi in Houston in the 2010s

I was born in the Democratic Republic of India soon after the country’s independence in 1947. I grew up in Mumbai, in a family whose members had contributed in some small ways to India’s freedom movement.

My maternal grandfather admired Mahatma Gandhi and adhered to many of his spiritual, personal, and economic perspectives, including food habits, clothing, and other personal behavior…
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Sep 28
2014
5:25 pm
By Menil
Sep 20
2014
6:01 pm
By Menil