portfolio post letter to the future

humanities assignment. no plagrism please !

In Unit 4, we see history a little closer to our own time in the recent 20th century, from modern art, to world wars, to commemorative architecture. 100 years is not that long in the whole scope of the span of human history. Before we know it, time will move on to 2100. What will future generations of common people say when they look back at this time in history? What lessons do you hope people can learn from the past, and from our own time, that will make the world a better place?

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For Portfolio Post #4, you need to accomplish the following:

I. (50 points): Letter: Write a letter (of approximately 500 words) addressed to the future in which you: use the details and information you learned in Humanities to form a projection about what you hope the future of the world is like. In this letter, you should incorporate ALL of the following (they do not necessarily need to be in this order):



§ Details you’ve learned from Humanities

§ Lessons from history

§ Connection to the common person

§ Cultural goals

§ Your creativity and imagination

some topics to include or to refer to


Dates are hotly debated, even today. Roughly about the end of the 19th cent and the beginning of the 20th About 1890s-1920s (but many scholars will claim that modernism continues until WWII). Most will argue that after WWII, we have the post-modern world.
Arises out of the Industrialized world and rocked by the horror of WWI.
Absence of and Rejection of certainty and in its place an embrace of abstraction
Abstraction in visual art
Atonality in music
Stream-of consciousness style in literature

Modern Music and Dance

Modernist music: Igor Stravinsky- music was angular, jarring, violent, non rhythmic, brutal dissonance- a clanging, banging sound that was not serene. Severe contrast to the intensity and saturation of the heavy romantic era music like the lieder from Schubert and Chopin’s piano music.
Polytonal- two or more keys are played by different instruments at the same time and it sounds often raw and strange. Using instruments in unconventional ways at the top and bottom of their ranges is unfamiliar to the audience’s ears
Modern Dance: Ballet Russes (Russians) under direction of Sergei Diaghilev, Choreographed by dancer Vaslav Nijinsky
The Rite of Spring, May 29, 1913 in Paris, scandalous because so foreign from classical and romantic ballets like Giselle. Story was from pagan Russia- foreign to French audiences. About a pre-Christian ritual welcoming the coming of Spring and preparing for a human sacrifice.
Critics of The Rite of Spring claimed the dancers did nothing but claw at the ground over and over again “They stamp, they stamp, they stamp, they stamp” like prehistoric man.
This dance was not en pointe but instead required a kind of athleticism of the dancers that looked angular in poses, not unlike cubist paintings
There was actually a small riot during the performance, and it had to be stopped because people were so outraged.

Act I of The Rite of Spring
(Links to an external site.)

Modern Art:

Pablo Picasso, Spanish Artist
1907, he painted The Women of Avignon
Even Picasso’s friends like George Braques were shocked and disturbed by the painting and did not encourage him to show it. It was not actually shown to the public until
Subject= 5 Prostitutes in a brothel, pulling back the curtain as if to reveal to the customer/ viewer their product for sale.
Seen as savage and brutal, and both the subject-matter and ambiguous space were disturbing to viewers, who did not understand exactly what was going on.
Women’s faces resemble African masks
A rejection of all previous artistic traditions, your textbook talk about it being like a kind of exorcism of artistic tradition, a kind of liberation from the painting itself.
Also a kind of social commentary on the exploitation of Africans by colonial superpowers- like was reference in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.
This is not an idealized world of European art or of love or of the colonizing mission of European nations.
Your book says that through this painting Picasso “confronts the horrific truths that lie behind and support bourgeoisie complacency”
Led to the development of cubism with all the fractured panes
Cubism will come later, an artistic style, which reduces everything to geometric cubes and planes. Questions reality, deals with the act of representation itself.

LOOK: Link to MOMA’s entry for The Women of Avignon
(Links to an external site.)

The Futurists

Many of these artists knew each other, were friends, and were influenced by each other. For example, Picasso and Stravinsky were friends and Picasso made several pictures of Stravinsky.
In Italy, a group of avant-garde artists were heavily influenced by Picasso and Cubism and developed their own style and philosophy, which came to be known as Futurism
Futurism: like many modern art style, Futurism rejected artistic traditions of the past and called for a whole new art and aesthetic. This was a style that was obsessed with speed and new technological SHOW some examples of futurist art.
Here are a few examples of Futurist art by the Italian Umberto Boccioni. His Unique Forms of Continuity in Space from 1913 depicting a figure walking and his Elasticity from 1912- depicting the pure, dynamic energy of a horse
In 1909, the group’s founder Filippo Marinetti published The Futurist Manifesto
Unlike Picasso, Marinetti and the Futurists embraced war. Here we see the beginnings of and rise of Fascism in Italy.

READ: The Futurist Manifesto

World War I 1914-1918

Called “The Great War” in Europe because it was supposed to be the war to end all wars.
By 1914, there is growing angst and political unrest throughout Europe
On June 28, 1914, a Bosnian nationalist murdered Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, setting off a chain of events that essentially led directly to the outbreak of war.
WWI basically began like a massive European Civil War, with the primary players being Germany against France
This was a new kind of war, a modern war that brought with it a certain kind of horror, a technological war that wrecked incredible destruction
Trenches: 25,000 miles of them from the English Channel to Switzetland, dug in zig-zag patterns and covered in barbed wire. In 3 years, the front only advance a few miles in either direction.
Mud, lice, rats, bodily fluids, feces and excrement. Huge rats ate cadavers and dead horses. Horrible, constant smell.
Chemical weapons: poison mustard gas- permanently blinding those who came into contact with it, and slowly rotting the body from the inside outà victims slowly choked to death

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