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Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

[Image Description: A painting of Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, an older Persian man with a long white beard.]

The more time passes the more debate rises over the content of one’s life. This is due in large part to the availability and reliability of primary sources—or lack thereof—as time passes. There is more time for nuances discussion. Further still is the claim to a legacy. The more influential a person was, the more people want to claim them. This is very much the case with thirteenth-century poet and Islamic scholar Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī. (Read full article)

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Ondrej Nepela

[Image Description: A black and white photograph of Ondrej Nepela, a white man with parted, slicked-back hair, figure skating. He is wearing a black tuxedo, white button up, and black bow tie. His arms are out at his side and his eyes are focused on the ice.]

From the outside looking in, success can seem like an overnight process: a nobody one day and a star the next. Add the disconnection we have from most of history, and it can be difficult to see how much effort goes into the careers of the greats. That is not an issue with Ondrej Nepela, Olympic gold medalist, a man whose own coach admitted he wasn’t “particularly talented.” (Read full article)

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Florence Nightingale Part I

[Image Description: A black and white photograph of Florence Nightingale looking thoughtful.]

The memory of Florence Nightingale still ripples throughout Europe and North America. Documents about her life still exist and uphold her legacy; in many ways, she has become something of a mythological figure. Even in life, there was merchandise relating to her, but it’s taken on a new life in books, valentines, and even colouring pages. She’s remembered as a no-nonsense feminist icon, a tender motherly figure, the founding of modern-day nursing, and even the hero of nursery rhymes. Less discussed in the possibility that she was a lesbian and/or asexual. (Read full article)

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Simon Tseko Nkoli 

[Image Description: a black man with short black hair and a beard and goatee. He is smiling. He is wearing a leather vest over a black tee shirt with a pink triangle with a raised fist over the word GLOW.]

“If you are Black and gay in South Africa, then it really is all the same closet…inside is darkness and oppression. Outside is freedom.” (Read full article)

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Jane Addams

Historians erasing queerness from the narrative isn’t new. Jane Addams’ story has gone another way; her queerness is known, and cannot be erased. Without it, her legacy would not exist in the same way. Instead, scholars and historians have attempted to use her work to overshadow her queerness while claiming the opposite was happening. Acknowledging one part of her life does not erase another; we must look at all the parts of her life to understand who she is and why she lived the life she did. (Read full article)

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Bajazid Doda

The way we tell stories is often just as important as the stories we choose to tell. Today we look at the footnote, the home of many queer people throughout history, and we look closer. (Read full article)

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Amrita Sher-Gil

Since our last article was about an art forger, it only makes sense to move on to an artist. Amrita Sher-Gil remains one of the most revered women in the Indian art world, with her paintings among the most expensive in the country. Born into luxury in Hungary, she chose to go to India to share the lives of those who were most often ignored, painting women and people living in poverty. She worked to showcase the complexity of their lives through her work. For most of her short career, she sought the stories of those who had been overlooked. To honour that path, we will follow behind her, and try our best to tell her story.(Read full article)

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Elmyr de Hory Part II

He spoke of his life [in Ibiza], saying: 

“It was my kind of place. People seemed to live on terribly small incomes in those days. Anyone who had two hundred dollars a month was considered rich. I became friendly with some of the up-and-coming artists like Edith Sommer, Clifford Smith, and David Walsh. They had great talent, and I had a little more money at my disposal than they did-I wanted to help them, so I bought their work. That’s why I called myself an art collector. I myself, when I first arrived, kept working on my own paintings. I still had hopes that one day I would be a success. I made a series of watercolors of the port and some views of the Old City. But as I got more and more involved with Fernand and Réal, I more and more hid the fact that I was an artist. They were furious when I told them I’d spoken to Ivan Spence, the Englishman who ran the local art gallery, about having a show of my own. Finally, I stopped doing my own work altogether.” (Read full article)

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Elmyr de Hory Part I

This article contains mentions of the Holocaust and suicide.

When discussing queer people and the law, it isn’t rare for the two to conflict. Not only because of the many queer identities that are or have been illegal throughout the world, but also because once you question the morality of one law, it is not a large leap to wonder at the morality of others. As we look at the life of one of the most famous art forgers in the world, that conflict becomes particularly relevant. (Read full article)

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