Friday, 30 January 2015

Uche Okeke: ‘Works on Paper, 1958-1993’

Modernism in mid-20th-century drawings from Nigeria: Above, Uche Okeke’s “Design for Iron Work I,” from 1959; and “Okpaladike and his Obu,” from 1961. Courtesy of the artist and Skoto Gallery 

Article written by Holland Cotter

Histories of Modernism are constantly changing as scholars come to realize its global breadth and local particularities. The marketplace is slower on the uptake. Although New York has a few galleries specializing in early-to-mid-20th-century Asian work, Skoto Gallery in Chelsea remains, more than two decades after it opened, the sole full-time outlet for comparable work from Africa. And it gives us some Modernism-merging-into-contemporary basics in a thumbnail survey of works on paper by the influential West African artist Uche Okeke.

Born in Nigeria in 1933, Mr. Okeke was, in the 1950s, a founding member of the Zaria Art Society, a group of academically trained experimental artists who joined Western mediums — oil paint, pastel, pen and ink — and African content. That content, for Mr. Okeke, included a distinctive type of drawing associated with the Igbo people of southern Nigeria. While many of his colleagues emigrated to Europe and the United States, he has spent almost all of his career in Africa, teaching until the late 1980s at the University of Nigeria at Nsukka. The result is art that, without looking specifically ethnic, is thoroughly and consciously African in its references.

It is also inventively restless. In the work at Skoto, much of it consisting of notebook studies beginning in 1958, when he was in art school, Mr. Okeke moves from fleet watercolor landscape sketches, to ink drawings of fantastic creatures derived from folklore, to portraits that incorporate elements of ancient Nigerian Nok sculpture. And interspersed throughout are drawings of curved and jagged abstract patterns that have sources in Igbo body painting and would have thrilled the jazz dancer in Mondrian. Put any of these modest-size drawings in a gallery at the Museum of Modern Art (will we ever see this?) with comparably scaled Western work, and you’ll find both that they fit right in, and that they don’t, which is precisely the tension that makes them, and the larger Modernism, so interesting.

Monday, 19 January 2015

A Brief History Of Art Censorship From 1508 To 2014

 A Brief History Of Art Censorship From 1508 To 2014

Source: The Huffington Post | By Priscilla Frank - 01/16/2015
Miriam Webster defines censorship as "the practice of officially examining books, movies, etc., and removing things that are considered to be offensive, immoral, harmful to society, etc."
The art world -- a realm populated by masterpieces often hailed for their transgressive, controversial and taboo characteristics -- regularly butts against standards of decency and good taste in the fight for freedom of expression. Throughout history works of art have been altered, silenced and even erased due to unacceptable content, whether the motivations for censorship were religious, social or political. Yet artists have long pushed boundaries of "offensive" through their imagery and content, presenting everything from portraits of a vulva to a performance replicating 19th century "human zoos."
After last week's brutal attack on Paris' satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and in many ways on free speech in general, censorship remains as crucial an issue as ever. While sources like The Telegraph and the Associated Press self-censored images of past Hebdo covers in the wake of the tragedy, blurring out potentially "immoral" images of the Prophet Mohammed, other outlets defiantly published the same works. It's clear that the phrase "harmful to society" is still a contentious qualifier.

In light of the events in France, and this critical moment for artistic expression, we're revisiting some of the most impactful moments in the history of art censorship (and attempted censorship), from the 16th century up until the recent events of 2014. Let's begin:

1565: Michelangelo's "The Last Judgement"

michelangelo the last judgement

Although it may not look like the most racy of works to contemporary eyes, Michelangelo's famed Sistine Chapel fresco was deemed unholy and immoral by many proponents of the Catholic faith, including Pope Daniele de Volterra. The scene depicts (unclothed) human souls who rise or fall to their otherworldly fates; some critics could hardly concentrate on the religious message through all the naked parts.

Poet Pietro Aretino wrote of the work: “Is it possible that you, so divine that you do not deign to consort with men, have done such a thing in the highest temple of God? Above the first altar of Jesus? Not even in the brothel are there such scenes as yours…” A pupil of Michelangelo's later added loin cloths to the once nude figures.

1865: Edouard Manet's "Olympia"

manet olympia

By this time, classical nudes had been integrated into the language of art, with painted bodies like Michelangelo's becoming not only accepted but revered. Lounging nudes and odalisques popped up without complication in works by Titian and Giorgione, yet Manet's red-headed nude was deemed "vulgar" due to her unwavering gaze and realistic representation.

While most nudes at the time were rendered in an idealized style, Manet chose to capture nudity in all its bodily reality. Olympia stares head-on at the viewer without hesitation, displaying her form in all its fleshly, erotic glory. Although the work was allowed to exhibit at Paris' annual salon in 1865 (no censorship there), two policemen were brought in to protect the canvas from furious bystanders who flooded the show.

1866: Gustave Courbet's "The Origin of the World"


Only one year after Manet's "Olympia," Courbet upped the ante on NSFW depictions with his naturalistic view of the world's origin -- aka, a close-up portrait of the vulva. Commissioned by Turkish diplomat and collector Khalil-Bey, the work rose to an almost mythical status and was rumored to have only been displayed to others from behind a curtain.

The piece didn't show publicly until 1995, and its whereabouts between 1866 and the late 20th century remain shrouded in mystery. For such a famous painting, it was seldom actually seen. And, yes, the piece is still too scandalous for Facebook, which censored the work in 2011.

1894: Frederick MacMonnies’ "Bacchante and Infant Faun"

frederick macmonnies copley square

This bronze statue of Roman wine deity Bacchante holding a child doesn't look all that NSFW, but the piece sparked outrage when an architect attempted to install the work in the courtyard of the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union expressed outrage at the "drunken indecency" on display; their protests eventually led to the piece's transfer to New York. Today it resides happily in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

1969: Dorothy Iannone's Depictions Of "Ecstatic Unity"


Iannone, a self taught artist, combines elements of comics, illustration and pornography in her intoxicating visions of supernatural sexuality. Her colorful depictions of wild eroticism were removed from an exhibition at Kunsthalle Bern in 1969, after the museum director demanded the genitalia in her works be covered up. Since her paintings were dubbed "pornographic," Iannone has put up a fight against censorship in art, promoting instead values of free love, female independence and sexual autonomy.

1987: Andres Serrano's "Piss Christ"

piss christ

Once upon a time in 1987, photographer Serrano dipped a plastic crucifix into a cup of his own urine and it was forever dubbed "Piss Christ." The work was shown in New York to a positive reaction, yet when exhibited in a North Carolina exhibition two years later, with funding from the National Endowment of the Arts, things got ugly. Local Senator Jesse Helms publicly expressed his outrage, stating that the work "dishonor[ed] the Lord." The incident caused Serrano to lose grants and the artist received death threats for nearly 15 years thereafter.

"Piss Christ," to this day, remains as controversial as ever. A group of protesters attacked the piece with a hammer at a 2011 exhibition and just last week the Associated Press took down the image due to pressure following the Charlie Hebdo attack.

1989: Robert Mapplethorpe's "The Perfect Moment"

robert mapplethorpe

Mapplethorpe's 1989 black-and-white photography exhibition sparked a dialogue on sexually explicit images and the true state of freedom of expression, showcasing a dramatically lit photograph of a man urinating into another man's mouth and another of a fist being inserted into a man's anus. The exhibit, slated to show at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., was cancelled before it even began.
Senator Helms caught wind of this exhibition as well and was not pleased. He bashed the NEA again, criticizing it for subsidizing a show he claimed featured "morally repugnant materials of a sexual nature." A 2013 exhibition titled "Saints and Sinners" commemorated the 25th anniversary of the controversial moment in the fight for freedom of expression.

1989: "Dread" Scott Tyler’s "What is the Proper Way to Display the US Flag?"

dread scott tyler

Scott, an art student at the Chicago Institute of Arts, organized an installation in which viewers could not reach the photography book at the center of the show without stepping on an American flag laid out on the ground. As a result, some viewers were arrested for stepping on the flag, after a veteran alerted authorities of the work. (Scott himself was arrested for burning a flag in defiance of the Flag Protection Act in 1989 as well.)

Visitors were also encouraged to record their thoughts on the show, which ranged from "I feel you did something wrong and I feel you should be put in jail or have something done to you for this. I love my country and it hurts me to know that don’t" to "This flag I’m standing on stands for everything oppressive in this system -- the murder of the Indians and all the oppresses around the world, including my brother, who was shot by a pig who kicked over his body to 'make sure the n***** was dead.' The pig was wearing the flag."

The installation had its critics. President Bush called the work "disgraceful" and Bob Dole expressed: ''Now, I don't know much about art, but I know desecration when I see it." Tyler, only 24 at the time, received numerous death threats resulting from the piece.

1990: Karen Finley's "We Keep Our Victims Ready"

chocolate smear

Finley along with Tim Miller, John Fleck, and Holly Hughes are known as "The NEA Four," a nickname the quartet earned after their respective NEA proposal grants were vetoed in the 1990s. Finley's grant was vetoed due to review by Rowland Evans and Robert Novack -- who never saw the piece in person. The New York Times wrote at the time: "What put Ms. Finley in the storm over the National Endowment is a recent syndicated newspaper column by Rowland Evans and Robert Novak in which she was cited as an example of the trouble the endowment has brought upon itself because of its willingness to finance exhibitions that might be considered obscene or without 'true artistic merit.'" They also condescendingly referred to her as a 'nude, chocolate-smeared young woman.'"

Finley responded: "My work is against violence, against rape and degradation of women, incest and homophobia. When I smear chocolate on my body it is a symbol of women being treated like dirt.''
The controversy eventually led to a Supreme Court case in 1998, which Finley lost after her proposal failed a congressional "decency" test for federal funding.

Finley did, however, achieve minor revenge, executing a piece entitled "Return of the Chocolate Smeared Woman" in TriBeCa in 1998, as a reaction to the controversy and hearing. "As we file in, gorgeously painted men and women in a little bit of brown velvet offer cups of beer and direct us to sit on white plastic paint cans. Up on stage, a good-natured crew (the Furballs) are doing the hustle as a line dance, the beat bouncing off the walls, lights flashing. Karen arrives, disrobes, and begins slathering herself with brown goo."

1999: Chris Ofili's "The Holy Virgin Mary"

chris ofili the holy virgin mary

For the uninitiated, Ofili's "The Holy Virgin Mary" depicts a black Virgin Mary with a clump of elephant dung on one breast and clippings of pornographic magazines in the background. Mayor Rudy Giuliani was not a fan, dubbing the work along with others from the "Sensation: Young British Artists From the Saatchi Collection" exhibition "sick stuff." Giuliani filed a lawsuit against the Brooklyn Art Museum for showing the work. The museum resisted Giuliani's demands, and its director in turn filed a federal lawsuit against the mayor for a breach of the First Amendment. The museum won the case.

2012: Pussy Riot's "Punk Prayer -- Mother of God, Chase Putin Away!"

pussy riot arrest

In February 2012, five members of the feminist punk rock group Pussy Riot staged a performance in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior, protesting the church's support for Vladimir Putin during his election. The collective, donning brightly colored miniskirts and balaclavas, danced wildly while shouting "Mother of God, Blessed Virgin, drive out Putin!" After 40 seconds they were removed by police. Subsequently, three of the group members were convicted of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" and imprisoned as a result.

Following their sentencing, people around the world, from Bjork to the German parliament, expressed their disapproval. Amnesty International even declared August 17 "Pussy Riot Global Day." The women were released in 2013; however, after they performed onstage with Madonna, six members of Pussy Riot petitioned to remove Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikov from the group for forgetting their original aspirations and becoming "institutionalised advocates of prisoners' rights."
"When we were jailed, Pussy Riot immediately became very popular and widely known," explained Alyokhina and Tolokonnikov, "and it turned from just a group to essentially an international movement. Anybody can be Pussy Riot, you just need to put on a mask and stage an active protest of something in your particular country, wherever that may be, that you consider unjust."

2014: Ai Weiwei's Sunflower Seeds

ai weiwei sunflower

Chinese artist and activist Ai was supposed to exhibit his porcelain sunflower seeds at an exhibition honoring the 15th anniversary of the Chinese Contemporary Art Award in 2014 -- he was, after all, a founding, three-time jurist. Yet due to pressure from the Chinese government, which Ai has never been shy about criticizing, his work was cut from the "15 Years Chinese Contemporary Art Award" show. Furthermore, museum workers erased Ai's name from the list of the award's past winners and jury members.

Ai remains unable to leave China as a result of his arrest in 2011.
2014: Brett Bailey's "Exhibit B"
brett bailey exhibit b

This controversial performance replicated the "human zoos" that existed in the 19th and 20th centuries, forcing viewers to confront a heinously racist moment in history head on. However, many accused the exhibition, which featured black actors in cages and chains, of being racist itself.
The piece was slated to run at London's Barbican Centre, but was cancelled due to the "extreme" nature of the protests and threats made against the performers and staff. "We find it profoundly troubling that such methods have been used to silence artists and performers and that audiences have been denied the opportunity to see this important work," a statement from the Barbican read.

"It has not been my intention to alienate people with this work," Bailey wrote for The Guardian soon after. "To challenge perceptions and histories, yes. Explicitly to offend, no."

TOOLS OR TALENT? The makings of a great project manager are shifting

download (27).jpg

Project management is not so much a science as an art, says expert Dennis Comninos, as business turns towards talent over technicians as the differentiator of great project managers.

Until recently a search for a good project manager would focus on what they could do - what they knew about processes and software – the tools that made them competent.
Today that is not enough. What is now increasingly sought is not so much a project manager as a project leader, a person with the instinctive ability to look beyond ticking project boxes, and to apply strategy and business focus.

“In the last 10 to 15 years there has been a focus on skills, software tools and techniques but those are not what make a great project leader,” says Dennis Comninos, course convenor of the UCT Graduate School of Business’ popular executive course on Project Management and co-author with Enzo Frigenti of the definitive international bestseller The Practice of Project Management, A Business Focused Approach.

In a climate which is highly competitive and fast paced, business is under pressure to produce high-quality, technically innovative products hard and fast with lean organisations and tight budgets. What it takes to succeed in this climate is high performance levels and a focus on strategic and business objectives.

Walter Baets, Director of the UCT Graduate School of Business, says that additionally, business – especially in Africa – is looking for people who can manage projects in conditions of high uncertainty and inequality and are able to drive change towards more inclusive business models.

It is a tall order – and may explain why the failure rate of projects is estimated to be between 40% and 70%. Comninos says this begs the question, why, with all the sophisticated tools and methodologies, are we not succeeding?

“We’ve got trained certified people out there, but successful project management is not about competence, it’s about capability,’ says Comninos.

It’s an approach that has long resonated with Comninos, and it is a project management philosophy that is gaining momentum globally as business moves to apply less emphasis and investment into the mechanical side, and instead to look beyond qualifications and competence to raw talent.

“It is no longer enough to look for a qualified project manager with good people skills and competence with best practice. What you want is someone with the flexibility and insight to focus on business value while driving a project forward. It is a shift from process to value delivery,” he says.

It is the differentiator between strategy and action plans, bridging the gap between the boardroom where strategy happens and the coal face where the work is done. What you want is someone who can combine service delivery with big picture thinking, he adds.

“The trick is to find the right people, with the right tools, at the right time. You want to tap into that select group that is truly capable – the gifted bunch,” says Comninos.

“You’ve got to be careful what you look for. Psychometric testing is helpful. Talent is the key and you need to identify it,” he adds.

“If you take someone with the right talent and instincts, you can quickly teach them the process, tools, and techniques required to perform. What has been done in the past is to mechanically teach the tools, processes and techniques and assume that that is all that is required for success. Talent and capability are the keys to success!”

The UCT Graduate School of Business Project Management programme runs from 11 to 14 August 2014 in Cape Town. For more information contact Tracy Kimberley on 021 406 1346 or visit

Source: The Project Manager

Use of Indian Inks

Top Tips for Painting with Ink

Modern inks are a far more versatile medium than you might imagine. The intense colours, transparency and fluidity make them well worth a try, especially if you already enjoy watercolours

ink pots

In order to understand more about the characteristics of ink, we need to pay homage to the humble ink stick, which originated in the Far East more than 2,000 years ago. This is solid ink, diluted with water for varying effect. Thick ink is very deep and glossy, while thin ink appears lively and translucent.
The marvel of the media is how an artist can skillfully use ink to create an image of great immediacy and life, balancing brightness and darkness, density and light, line and tone. Manufacturers advocate the use of ink for both clearly defined line work or broad washes of subtle colour, but I prefer the latter.
Inks undoubtedly stand as a medium on their own, but are also great in mixed media pieces, used as washes to unify areas in drawing, collage and pastel. When choosing which type of inks to buy, the main considerations are what you are going to use to apply them (be it brush, nib or pen) and whether you need a finish which is rated permanent. The major development in inks over recent years has been the increasing use of pigments and acrylic resins. The main difference between dye-based inks and pigmented acrylic inks are colour intensity (stronger in dye-based inks) and resistance to fading (an advantage of acrylic-based inks).

Be Prepared

Have lots of water on hand for wetting the paper, diluting colours, and using in washes. Have plenty of kitchen towel too – great for wiping excess water off, drying brushes and controlling the spread of the ink solution.

Don't always use straight from the bottle

Pre-mix your colours, very much in the same way you would with paints. Less is more too - a few well-mixed colours used in a range of transparencies and intensities will work to great effect. All inks are intermixable.

Experiment with application

Try pens, nibs and even twigs; traditional and Chinese brushes, pipettes and sprayers can all be used too. I would recommend starting with a very soft brush.

Don't be afraid to dilute

By diluting the inks a lot, you can push each colour to a whole range of subtleties by varying the amount of water you use.

Keep the work simple

Let the transparent veils of colour and subtleties of tone speak for themselves without too much over-working and touching up.

Experiment with papers

Hot-pressed watercolour papers are ideal for letting colour flow. You can also try heavyweight paper with a rougher surface or, at the other extreme, traditional Chinese rice papers are fabulously responsive to the subtleties of ink.

Let it flow

If we are to learn anything from the ancients, let it be that ink requires an amount of water to give it vivacity, and that it’s lively character is not one that likes to be overly ‘boxed-in’. Let your inks flow and find their own edges.

The Author

Artists and Illustrators

Artists & Illustrators is Britain’s most popular magazine for practising artists, whilst also being equally relevant to professionals, aspiring amateurs or to those who paint purely for pleasure. Full of step-by-step practical advice, readers’ own work, exclusive features on famous names and expert product tests, this is the top publication for every artist seeking inspiration, whether they favour painting, drawing or printmaking.

Source: Artists and Illustrators

Use of Oil Paints

Paint Mediums Explained

Few things divide oil painters as much as the use of mediums. Are they the key to the ‘secrets’ of the Old Masters or merely unnecessary complications to painting? Tutor Martin Kinnear experiments

Oil paint is simple stuff – just coloured powder (pigment) and binder (oil). Before 1851 and the introduction of the first collapsible paint tube, artists would mix each colour from scratch,adding whatever adulterants were necessary for the task in hand. Less opacity could be created by adding resins, faster drying by adding lead, extra gloss by varnish, dullness by waxes, and so forth.
Modifying the paint was part of the craft of painting. Combinations that worked were handed down from master to apprentice, new combinations jealously guarded, new materials eagerly sought and tested. By the start of the 19th century it had become not simply impractical but unthinkable to paint without a medium of some kind, typically a general purpose medium to be added at a fixed ratio to all freshly-made paint.

A medium, then, is simply an additive to paint formulated to enhance a desirable characteristic (such as lustre or translucency) or offset an undesirable one (such as a long drying time). In doing this, a medium will also often allow you to effect a technique – such as scumbling, glazing or impasto – more easily, subtly, forcefully or quickly, depending on its formulation.
If you are happy to live with variable drying rates, sinking in and all the vagaries of ‘raw’ oil paint, then there is no reason whatsoever to encumber yourself with mediums. However, if you aspire to recreate some of the classic effects of the past – such as those in the works of Turner or Rembrandt – you will need to modify your paint, as they did, with mediums. Although here I concentrate on oils, everything is generally true of mediums in other types of paint.

Most mediums are made from a very limited number of ingredients, and once you understand these you will be able to predict how any combination of them will work.

Oils with solvents

Drying oils such as linseed, poppy and walnut will oxidise into a translucent glossy film over time, giving oil paint its characteristic richness, lustre and depth. Unlike solvents, oils increase the drying time of paints, and improve the overall adhesion and appearance. However, excess use of oils will not only substantially increase the drying time, but can cause the paint film to wrinkle. A compromise is to mix oils with solvents – often called ‘Van Eyck’ medium; a simple 1:1 oil/solvent mixture.


Wax is commonly added in small amounts to paint as a stabiliser, but used in larger amounts it creates a wonderful impasto effect that dries quickly to a matt finish. Wax has been used for centuries to create softly luminous effects when painted thinly. It can be applied either as a cold paste mixed with oils or heated using the encaustic method. A thin final coat of cold wax makes a wonderful matting agent, allowing paintings to be hung in difficult light. Wax is both brittle and easy to melt, limiting its use to rigid panels unless it is combined with another ingredient.


Painters have long used tree resins dissolved in turpentine (a varnish) to add both gloss to the paint and decrease drying time. Historically, all manner of resins were used – amber, dammar, gum arabic or mastic, for example – but most have fallen by the wayside as they have proved unstable in the long term, causing the paint film to yellow, peel or crack. Despite these known defects, resins add such amazing and subtle effects to oil paints that they continue to be used. A modern synthetic resin known as alkyd promises to solve these defects, allowing painters to recreate effects similar to Turner, without the fading and cracking that afflicts his work.


A solvent is a thinner such as turpentine or white spirit. Solvents significantly decrease drying time, but weaken and dull the paint film, making them ideal for an imprimatura (stained ground) or other initial painting stages. Excess use of solvents will cause lack of adhesion or ‘chalking’, however, and they often have unpleasant fumes. Solvents are also a key ingredient in resinous mediums. They can be used to rapidly underpaint oils and then be worked over in a matter of minutes. Solvents applied to upper layers of oils can create interesting effects. A low-odour solvent, such as Gamsol or Sansodor, will make this safer and more pleasant but extend the drying time.

Martin Kinnear is a professional painter and owner of the Norfolk Painting School  ( where he teaches traditional oil painting and the use of mediums. 

The Author

Martin Kinnear

Martin Kinnear is a professional painter and owner of the Norfolk Painting School ( where he teaches traditional oil painting and the use of mediums. 

Source: Artists and Illustrators

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Bamum Mega Mask | Cameroon

The Bamum Kwifo society acts as a police force, carrying out punishments and executions at night (kwifo means night). As an agent of the king's administration, Kwifo also mediates significant conflicts and pronounces sentence in both civil and criminal cases.  

Each Kwifo society has a mask that serves as the spokesman and representative.  Known as mabu, thi smask presents the decrees of the society to the community.  It ushers members of Kwifo through the village, alerting the people of the approach of the group, and compelling them to behave appropriately.

Masks like this usually perform in groups of eight to thirty, accompanied by an orchestra of drums, xylophone and rattles. When they make special appearances at the burial and commemorative death celebrations of a member of the group, they are viewed with awe and reverance.

Source: A History of Art in Africa  ISBN0-13-183356-1

Source: Metropolitan Musuem | NYC

In the socially and politically Grassfields Kingdoms of Cameroon, the display and ownership of masks are important indicators of privilege and prestige.

"Kwifoyn", a regulatory society whose members derive their authority from the Fon, or king, oversees all levels of criminal justice and functions as an executive branch of government. "Kwifoyn" is organized into ranked lodges; membership requires the payment of prescribed fees commensurate with each lodge's relative status. Among the privileges of membership is patronage of mask forms in celebrations performed in honor of its members. "Kwifoyn" also controls the right to license the replication of mask forms to lineage groups willing to pay a fee.

Masks distinguished by the application of beads, cowrie shells, or brass sheathing are the prerogative of the Fon and function under the joint authority of the palace and regulatory society. This mask, which bears a rich accumulation of these costly and prestigious materials, also depicts the symbolically potent imagery of a stylized spider, associated with wisdom, in the headdress.

Distinguished individuals are honored by the appearance of masks such as this one at funerals and related events. Surrounding the burial and commemoration of titleholders, these celebrations provide occasions for the masks to emerge from their guarded storerooms and to be danced before the entire population. Another occasion for the public display of masks and other prestige arts is a palace-sponsored festivity known as "Nja", the Fon's dance. This annual celebration coincides with the conclusion of the main harvest in late December or early January.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Francis Bacon and the African Connection

Mbangu Sickness Masks | Pollitt Collection

Pollitt Collection
Pollitt Collection
Let us study two different entities at the same time. Both coming from very different cultures yet have a universal visual language of pain. Francis Bacon's Portraits in connection with Mbangu Sickness Masks from the Pende people from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their skilled craftsmanship of twisted faces on wooden masks depict the mental anguish felt by many of those oppressed and worn whilst jumping over an open fire. The colours that make up the masks are mainly white with hints of red. The suffering seen in the Congo for centuries is for many almost unbearable. It is no wonder when wanting to dig into the soul of man one need look no further than the Pende people of Central Africa.

The loss of faith in humanity in the late 1940s was such that the human image in art became increasingly difficult to portray. The existential despair expressed by Jean-Paul Sartre in Nausea at the beginning of WWII, 1938, found a visual counterpart in the early 1960's in the images of despair and alienation of Francis Bacon.

In Edinburgh in 2005, John Berger described Bacon as the 'prophet of a pitiless world':

Francis Bacon | 'Self Portrait', 1971

"He repeatedly painted the human body, or parts of the body, in discomfort or agony or want. Sometimes the pain involved looks as if it has been inflicted; more often it seems to originate from within, from the guts of the body itself, from the misfortune of being physical."
Personally, I believe it comes from a sense of being regarded by the public as a homosexual pervert, a weirdo with mental-illness and sexual preferences different from the rest of the world. Growing up for Bacon must have been cripplingly difficult, feeling as I'm sure he did, such an outsider. The relevence of these works are vital as they were created after the Wolfenden Report of 1957 and at the time Britain decriminalised homosexual acts in private in 1965.
Homosexuality and Psychology

Psychology was one of the first disciplines to study homosexuality as a discrete phenomenon. Prior to and throughout most of the 20th century, common standard psychology viewed homosexuality in terms of pathological models as a mental illness. That classification began to be subjected to critical scrutiny in the research, which consistently failed to produce any empirical or scientific basis regarding homosexuality as a disorder or abnormality. As a result of such accumulated research, professionals in medicine, mental health, and the behavioral and social sciences, opposing the classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder, claimed the conclusion that it was inaccurate, and that the DSM classification reflected untested assumptions that were based on once-prevalent social norms and clinical impressions from unrepresentative samples which consisted of patients seeking therapy and individuals whose conduct brought them into the criminal justice system.

Mbangu Sickness Masks | Pollitt Collection
Since the 1970s, the consensus of the behavioral and social sciences and the health and mental health professions globally is that homosexuality is a normal variation of human sexual orientation, while there remain those who maintain that it is a disorder. In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder. The American Psychological Association Council of Representatives followed in 1975. Thereafter other major mental health organizations followed and it was finally declassified by the World Health Organization in 1990. Consequently, while some still believe homosexuality is a mental disorder, the current research and clinical literature demonstrate that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality, reflecting the official positions of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association.

 Francis Bacon | Study of Isabel Rawsthorne, 1966
Sigmund Freud's views on homosexuality were complex. In his attempts to understand the causes and development of homosexuality, he first explained bisexuality as a normal part of the "original libido endowment," by which he meant that all humans are born bisexual. He believed that the libido has a homosexual portion and a heterosexual portion, and through the course of development one wins out over the other. He also believed in a basic biological explanation for natural bisexuality in which humans are all biologically capable of being aroused by either sex. Because of this he described homosexuality as one of many sexual options available to people. Freud proposed that humans' inherent bisexuality leads individuals to eventually choose which expression of sexuality is more gratifying, but because of cultural taboos homosexuality is repressed in many people. According to Freud, if there were no taboos people would choose whichever was more gratifying to them- and this could remain fluid throughout life- sometimes a person would be homosexual, sometimes heterosexual. 

Francis Bacon | Portrait of Lucian Freud
Some other causes of homosexuality for which he advocated included an inverted Oedipus complex where individuals begin to identify with their mother and take themselves as a love object. This love of ones self is defined as narcissism, and Freud thought that people who were high in the trait of narcissism would be more likely to develop homosexuality because loving the same sex is like an extension of loving oneself.

Freud believed treatment of homosexuality was not successful because the individual does not want to give up their homosexual identity because it brings them pleasure. He used analysis and hypnotic suggestion as treatments, but showed little success. It was through this that Freud arrived at the conclusion that homosexuality was "nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation, it cannot be classified as an illness, but a variation of sexual function." He further stated that psychoanalysts "should not promise to abolish homosexuality and make normal heterosexuality take its place," as he had concluded in his own practice that attempts to change homosexual orientations were likely to be unsuccessful. While Freud himself may have come to a more accepting view of homosexuality, his legacy in the field of psychoanalysis, especially in the United States viewed homosexuality as negative, abnormal and caused by family and developmental issues. It was these views that significantly impacted the rationale for putting homosexuality in the first and second publications of the American Psychiatric Association's DSM, conceptualizing it as a mental disorder and further stigmatizing homosexuality in society.

*That is Wikipedia's version but this next article creates a very different perspective and a much kinder and more open outlook as seen by those in West Africa, specifically in Burkina Faso.

Gays: Guardians of the Gates

An Interview with Malidoma Somé
Copyright © 1993 by Bert H. Hoff

This article appeared in the September, 1993 issue of M.E.N. Magazine.



Malidoma Somé recognizes that he learned more through his initiation as a Dagara tribesman than from his PhDs from the Sorbonne and Brandeis University. His name means "be friendly to strangers," and he is charged by his elders of the Dagara tribe of Burkina Faso (east of Nigeria and north of Ghana) with bringing the wisdom of his tribe to the West. His book Ritual: Power, Healing and Community (reviewed in this issue) is highly praised by Michael Meade, Robert Bly and Robert Moore. If you were not fortunate enough to catch his reading at the Elliott Bay Bookstore last August, you can find out more about him through the book and tape reviews in this issue.
Mbangu Sickness Masks | Pollitt Collection

During one of the Conflict Hours at the Mendocino Men’s Conference Malidoma spoke eloquently on indigenous people’s views of gay men. He kindly agreed to elaborate on his views as he sat with me among the redwoods of Mendocino.

Bert: At Conflict Hour you told us that your culture honors gays as having a higher vibrational level that enabled them to be guardians of the gateways to the spirit world. You suggested that our Western view limits itself by focusing only on their sexual role. Can you elaborate for our readers?

Malidoma: I don’t know how to put it in terms that are clear enough for an audience that, I think needs as much understanding of this gender issue as people in this country do. But at least among the Dagara people, gender has very little to do with anatomy. It is purely energetic. In that context, a male who is physically male can vibrate female energy, and vice versa. That is where the real gender is. Anatomic differences are simply there to determine who contributes what for the continuity of the tribe. It does not mean, necessarily, that there is a kind of line that divides people on that basis. And this is something that also touches on what has become known here as the "gay" or "homosexual" issue. Again, in the culture that I come from, this is not the issue. These people are looked on, essentially, as people. The whole notion of "gay" does not exist in the indigenous world. That does not mean that there are not people there who feel the way that certain people feel in this culture, that has led to them being referred to as "gay."

Francis Bacon 'Self-Portrait' 1969
The reason why I’m saying there are no such people is because the gay person is very well integrated into the community, with the functions that delete this whole sexual differentiation of him or her. The gay person is looked at primarily as a "gatekeeper." The Earth is looked at, from my tribal perspective, as a very, very delicate machine or consciousness, with high vibrational points, which certain people must be guardians of in order for the tribe to keep its continuity with the gods and with the spirits that dwell there. Spirits of this world and spirits of the other worlds. Any person who is at this link between this world and the other world experiences a state of vibrational consciousness which is far higher, and far different, from the one that a normal person would experience. This is what makes a gay person gay. This kind of function is not one that society votes for certain people to fulfill. It is one that people are said to decide on prior to being born. You decide that you will be a gatekeeper before you are born. And it is that decision that provides you with the equipment (Malidoma gestures by circling waist area with hands) that you bring into this world. So when you arrive here you begin to vibrate in a way that Elders can detect as meaning that you are connected with a gateway somewhere. Then they watch you grow, and they watch you act and react, and sooner or later they will follow you to the gateway that you are connected with.

Now, gay people have children. Because they’re fertile, just like normal people. How I got to know that they were gay was because on arriving in this country and seeing the serious issues surrounding gay people, I began to wonder it does not exist in my own country. When I asked one of them, who tad taken me to the threshold of the Otherworld, whether he feels sexual attraction towards another man, he jumped back and said, "How do you know that?!" He said, "This is our business as gatekeepers." And, yet he had a wife and children -- no problem, you see.

Francis Bacon | 'Self Portrait'
So to then limit gay people to simple sexual orientation is really the worst harm that can be done to a person. That all he or she is is a sexual person. And, personally, because of the fact that my knowledge of indigenous medicine, ritual, comes from gatekeepers, it’s hard for me to take this position that gay people are the negative breed of a society. No! In a society that is profoundly dysfunctional, what happens is that peoples’ life purposes are taken away, and what is left is this kind of sexual orientation which, in turn, is disturbing to the very society that created it.

I think this is again victimization by a Christian establishment that is looking at a gay person as a disempowered person, a person who has lost his job from birth onward, and now society just wants to fire him out of life. This is not justice. It’s not justice. It is a terrible harm done to an energy that could save the world, that could save us. If, today, we are suffering from a gradual ecological waste, this is simply because the gatekeepers have been fired from their job. They have been fired! They have nothing to do! And because they have been fired, we accuse them for not doing anything. This is not fair!

Let us look at the earth differently, and we will find out gradually that these people that are bothering us today are going to start taking their posts. They know what their job is. You just have to get near them, to feel that they don’t vibrate the same way. They are not of this world. They come from the Otherworld, and they were sent here to keep the gates open to the Otherworld, because if the gates are shut, this is when the earth, Mother Earth, will shake -- because it has no more reason to be alive, it will shake itself, and we will be in deep trouble.
Mbangu Sickness Masks | Pollitt Collection

Bert: Christianity has separated spirit from body and spirit from Earth. And earlier you talked to us about Christianity suppressing your culture. So there’s a suggestion here that suppression of homosexuality would be the way for the Christians to shut down the gateways, shut down the spirit, and shut down our connection with the Earth.

Malidoma: Yes! That’s right! Christianity stresses postponing living on earth, as of we are only here to pack up our baggage and prepare for a life somewhere else "out there." Jesus Christ is right here, man! And of course anyone else who knows more, who knows better, will be suppressed.

And you start with the gatekeepers. You take the gatekeeper and you confuse his mind. You threaten him and you throw him in the middle of nowhere. Then nobody knows where the gate is. As soon as you lose the whereabouts of the gate, then you have a culture going downhill. What keeps a village together is a handful of "gays and lesbians," as they call them in the modern world. In my village, lesbians are called witches, and gay men are known as the gatekeepers. These are the two only known secret societies. These are the only groups that will get together as a separate group and go out into the woods secretly to do whatever they do. And if they find you during their yearly symposium, they have the right to kill you.

Unless they go out on their yearly symposium, the village cannot be granted another year of life. They have to go out to do what they do, in order for the village to feel safe enough to live the way it has lived before. This is why, to me, we’re playing with our lives.

Bert: So our culture may not be granted another year of life.

Malidoma: That’s right! Every year it feels like the number of years that this culture is entitled to live is getting smaller. So God only knows how close to the chasm this culture is. This constantly- reiterated discomfort and hatred for the gay person is again another indication that every year we might as well be prepared for the apocalyptic moment when the stars start to fall to the earth.

Mbangu Sickness Masks | Pende, Congo
You see, unless there is somebody who constantly monitors the mechanism that opens the door from this world to the Otherworld, what happens is that something can happen to one of the doors and it closes up. When all the doors are closed, this earth runs out of its own orbit and the solar system collapses into itself. And because this system is linked to other systems, they too start to fall into a whirlpool. And the cataclysm would be amazing!

Ask the Dogon, they will tell you that. The Dogon. They’re a tribe that understands this so well, it’s amazing, mind-boggling. And it is a tribe that knows astrology like no other tribe that I have encountered. And the great astrologers of the Dogon are gay. They are gay. There is a dull planet that, in its orbit, is directly above the Dogon village every 58 years. Who knows that, but the gay people.

I mean, I’m not just trying to make gay people look fine. This is the truth, man! I’m trying to save my ass!
Why is it that, everywhere else in the world, gay people are a blessing, and in the modern world they are a curse? It is self-evident. The modern world was built by Christianity. They have taken the gods out of the earth sent them to heaven, wherever that is. And everyone who aspires to the gods must then negotiate with Christianity, so that the real priests and priestesses are out of a job. This is the worst thing that can happen to a culture that calls itself modern.

Francis Bacon | 'Self-Portrait'
Bert: That theme came up earlier with you and Martín, the Mayan shaman here, that if a modern society wants to shut down another culture they will go out and kill the keepers of the ritual.

Malidoma: Oh, yes! Because they know that this is where the life-pulse of the culture is. This is where the engine room of the tribe is. So if you go and bomb that place, then the whole mechanism shuts down. That’s pretty much what’s at work in the third world, and what has happened here with the Native American culture. And the thing about it is that humans are going to be begetting gatekeepers, no matter what. This is the chance that we’ve got. So maybe that means that sooner or later we’re going to wake up to the horror of our own errors, and we’re going to reconsecrate our chosen people so that they can do their priestly work as they should. Otherwise, I just don’t understand. I just don’t understand. My position about it is not so much that gays be just forgiven. That’s just tokenism. But that they serve as an example of the wrong, or the illness, that modernity has brought to us, and that we use that to begin working at healing ourselves and our society from the bottom up. That way, by the time we reach a certain level, all the gatekeepers are going to find their positions again. We cannot tell them where the gates are. They know. If we start to heal ourselves, they will remember. It will kick in. But as long as we continue in arrogance, in egotism, in God-knows-what form of violence on ourselves, no, there’s that veil of confusion that’s going to continue to prevail, and as a result it’s going to prevent great things from happening. That’s all I can say about that.

Francis Bacon | 'Self Portrait'
Mbangu Sickness Masks | Pende, Congo


When reading these two opposing arguments on homosexuality we see how the cultures run in parallel rather than collide. One takes a clinic, sterile look at an issue and the other a far more spiritual approach coupled with a sense of inclusion rather than exclusion. This article is not wanting to bark on about sexual orientation but more about the way in which we approach our day to day.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

For Pauline Cafferkey | Colloidal Silver









A Layman’s Guide to Using Colloidal Silver

August 5, 2014 at 12:23am
A Layman’s Guide to Using Colloidal Silver

For those of you who are looking for an article packed with scientific jargon and molecular theory, "this ain’t it." This small body of information is intended to be nothing more or less than my own experience and my observations of the experience of others in the effective and ineffective use of colloidal silver. Silver producers claim their products are “silver bullets” and the opposing view claims that it is nothing but quackery and in essence nothing more than “silver busts”.

By far the most frequent questions we receive here at Utopia Silver concerning silver are, “Does silver really work?” and “How much silver must I use for it to be effective?” The first question is a moot point in any real world science; silver kills one-celled organisms (germs), period. Any opinion to the contrary is where the real quackery lies. It simply deserves no debate and that is where the carcass of silver being junk science or a ‘bust’ should remain. That opinion is simply the domain of those trying their damnedest to discredit silver in order to protect their own unsafe and more often than not ineffective ‘drugs’. All I can say to those greedy propagandists is, go ahead and ‘bust’ your head against the wall of truth and we’ll see where ‘scientific truth’ really lies.

The effective use of colloidal silver and other silver products such as ionic silver and silver protein cannot be uniformly defined as to ‘what is an effective amount to use’ to fit every person, every situation, every ailment or even what is an adequate maintenance amount. The amounts that can boost and enhance the body’s immune system over time, such as the often recommended one to three teaspoons per day, are generally not enough for therapeutic use if one needs a ‘silver bullet’ for a specific issue such as Hep-C, Crohn’s or even food poisoning or a cold. I have found that regular ‘maintenance’ amounts tend to boost the immune system against catching everything that may be going around, but certainly does not preclude one from catching anything at all.

The truth is, an occasional manageable cold or virus is not necessarily a bad thing, because these also serve to boost the body’s immune system. Having said that, with the regular use of silver a degree of immunity can be developed from frequent and debilitating infections or at the very least, they become much milder and of shorter duration. So how much silver is necessary to do what we want it to do, which is either ‘to boost our immune system to keep us from getting sick (or not as sick) or to rid us of some condition we already have? For the past three to four months, there has been everything going around from viruses to flu-like symptoms to bronchial and respiratory infections and I have been exposed to them all. Although, I have had very mild early stage symptoms of some of these several times this year, I have yet to catch a full-blown case of any one of them.

Here in the South Texas Hill Country, we have a yearly battle with allergies from cedar/juniper pollen and it has been especially bad this year. There are people who have had allergies all their lives and at certain times of the year experience even cold and flu-like symptoms from these allergies and expect silver to eliminate their allergies. That is generally not going to happen. Although silver will alleviate the symptoms of infections caused by allergies, silver cannot cure allergies to plant pollens, pet dander, dust, or other non-microbial causes that may be chemical in nature. There is one extenuating circumstance that does exist; many of these things, such as pollen and dust may be prone to carry bacteria attached to them and this may well be the area in which silver serves to reduce allergy infections. Allergy agents tend to inflame and hyper-sensitize the sinus, bronchial, and lung tissues which in turn may then be more susceptible to bacterial and viral infections. This is where silver may be of significant benefit with allergies, but silver simply shouldn’t be expected to prevent the under-lying cause of any allergy.

I only advocate and recommend the use of either colloidal silver, which is silver particles suspended in water or ionic silver, which is silver ions suspended in water or a combination of these products. I believe that particle silver products are best for any condition beyond the stomach, but ionic silver products are just as good topically or any place that doesn’t have to pass thru the stomach or into the bloodstream. Some proponents even claim that the sublingual use of ionic silver, which if held in the mouth for a time without swallowing, can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream.

Although I have heard anecdotal evidence that such use of ionic silver can be effective, other credible sources such as colloid expert and researcher Frank Key believe that, “any silver ions that manage to arrive in the bloodstream will combine with the chloride to form silver chloride within a few seconds. Basically, there is no way to get silver ions into the human body in such a way that they will survive in the ionic form. This is easily demonstrated by using a "silver ion selective electrode" (ISE). A silver ISE will respond only to the presence of silver ions. Human blood serum contains 3300 - 3900 ppm of chloride owing to the sodium and potassium chlorides present. This compares with about 3600 ppm of chloride in the stomach due to hydrochloric acid.”

Key suggests that as proof, “have a subject ingest 250 mL of ionic silver or any substantial amount for that matter. Ingested silver (nano-particles) can generally be found in the bloodstream within 15 - 30 minutes after ingestion so the same would apply to ions if they are going to be present. Draw a small sample of blood from the subject after 15 to 30 minutes and test for the presence of silver ions using the silver ISE. The result will always be negative or a value that is indistinguishable from noise regardless of how much ionic silver is ingested. The same blood sample when tested using atomic absorption/emission spectroscopy will detect the presence of silver from the silver chloride present.”

Although any product containing silver will have anti-microbial benefit, I generally advise against the long-term or regular use of silver proteins, silver in saline solutions, silver nitrates, any silver produced with a chemical process, and generally any large particle or high PPM silver solution. I would use these type products if nothing else was available, but when silver in distilled water is available, there is simply no reason to have to deal with the skin discoloration possibilities that these other products may have if overused.

Contrary to what the media propaganda would lead you to believe, the condition called Argyria develops only with prolonged and heavy use of these other silver products, but I do believe that colloidal silver (silver in distilled water) in any reasonable therapeutic use will not cause this condition. Certainly this very rare occurrence is not reason for anyone to be averse to using one of mankind’s safest and most effective natural germ-killers. Just remember, we should be reasonable with anything we put into our bodies, even health supplements; an aspirin or two will kill a headache, a bottle of aspirin may kill you. This holds true with anything you consume; there is a toxic effect level with almost all products. Iron and copper are essential for healthy bodies and their deficiencies can be devastating to the body’s chemistry, but there are levels at which they too can cause adverse effects. Plain water consumed excessively can cause death by diluting and depleting the body’s electrolytes. The bottom line is, when you consider the tens of thousands of deaths and organ failures caused by most over-the-counter and other ‘FDA approved drugs and medicines’, any risk with silver pales in comparison to any OTC headache drug.

Let’s get back to the purpose of this article, which is to try to help develop for you a better grasp of effectively using silver. There is a minimal maintenance level of silver consumption at which our cells are able over time to develop a stronger immunity to germs. But as with anything, it may vary greatly from person to person, depending on each body chemistry, body size and lifestyle. The effective amount for sedentary individuals may not be adequate for more active people; as with all nutrients and minerals, they are constantly being depleted via sweating, urinating and stool elimination. A side note here: If you are that sedentary person, supplements may not be enough to overcome the bad health that will result from inactivity, but at the very least, silver may still reduce issues caused by microbes.

The simple and unadulterated scientific fact is, silver kills germs; bacteria, virus, and fungi on contact; that no one can credibly deny. According to research by Beiersdorf the maker of Curad bandages and one of the world’s largest medical supply companies, silver when brought into contact with germs inhibits their growth by deactivating their oxygen metabolism enzymes. In turn, this destroys the microbe’s cell membranes, stopping the replication of its DNA. For therapeutic purposes, the silver key in the lock is bringing the silver into contact with the one-celled organism and how easy or difficult that is depends on where the silver needs to go and how wide spread or systemic the microbial infection actually is.

For issues in the ears, eyes, sinuses, throat, and the skin, it is very simple matter, because there is easy access to those places. For the ears, a flush works very well by lying on your side or tilting your head and simply filling the ear with silver, either ionic or colloidal; even a few drops may work on mild ear infections. For the eyes, drops will usually do the trick, but for more serious infections, an eye wash cup to do a flush is best. In the case of cuts and abrasions you can apply directly to the damaged area and for a puncture, a plastic squeeze/mist sprayer bottle can be used to ‘pressure force’ silver into the puncture wound. Just a mild warning here; there are beneficial bacteria on the surface of the skin, just as there is in the digestive system, so any heavy use of or ‘flushing’ with silver should be specific to the affected area and should be short-term. If silver is overused, it can result in dry scaly and flakey epidermal layers. If you experience this, simply discontinue use for a short time and the skin will return to normal.

Colloidal and ionic silver are both very effective in getting rid of most conditions of the gums and can be a powerful deterrent to cavities by rinsing the mouth after brushing. Believe it or not, the best tooth paste I’ve ever used is a soap, Utopia Naturals Silver Aloe Skin Care Bar, made with colloidal silver, Aloe Vera, plant minerals and essential oil of juniper (itself an anti-bacterial agent). This unorthodox sounding ‘tooth paste’ was recommended to me by a retired lawyer/engineer and now south Texas rancher friend. I had sent him several bars to use as skin therapy since he spends most of his time out-of-doors working his cattle and goats and gets lots of abrasions and wind and sun damage to his skin. A month or so later, he called me and told me the story of how he had cured his gum infections using the skin therapy soap. He said he had developed a persistent gum problem that nothing seemed to get rid of, but as he was reading the ingredients of the soap one night, he thought, “There’s nothing in here that could be harmful, so why not try it as a ‘toothpaste’?” Within two weeks, his gum problems had cleared up. Now, I will use nothing else, although I have improved his discovery a little by sprinkling a bit of baking soda on the soap before applying it to my toothbrush.

Since the subject of tooth care came up, I must also interject a short side story here. In view of the fact that silver soap can be an effective tooth care product and silver is under attack by the EPA as a ‘pesticide’, is the question of the dangers of fluoride. One of the most dangerous products people keep in their homes is toothpaste with fluoride. A recent television episode of CSI had a homicide scenario where an adult female died from the ingestion of two tubes of fluoride toothpaste. For the average adult, one tube can cause death. This should scare the heck out of parents who have small children in their homes. This one example gives us an indication of the disregard for health and safety when it comes to ‘profit’ that dominates many large companies and their partners in crime, the FDA and the EPA. This dangerous poison is not only irresponsibly put into toothpaste, but is injected into the water supplies of all America cities without regard to scientific fact. As usual, when the force of ‘government’ gets behind something even the truth, as well as public safety gets steamrolled.
Now back to silver bullets.

For sinuses two of the most effective tools to use are a mist sprayer/squeeze bottle and better yet, a nebulizer. Most colds start in the nose and as soon as you feel that hot and scratchy sensation, get your mist sprayer and fill it half with silver so that with each squeeze, liquid and air mix to form a fine mist of colloidal silver. If you catch it before it creeps down the throat, you can often stop it in the sinuses with this economical little tool. …But if a cold gets past the sinuses and down into the bronchial tubes or the lungs, the best piece of equipment is a nebulizer, powered by a small but powerful compressor that produces a fine vapor that is inhaled into the mouth and then exhaled thru the nose or vice-versa. For more advanced stages of congestion, 1-3 drops of Lobelia can also be added to the colloidal silver or to a little distilled water. Lobelia is an herb used as a natural respiratory and lung cleanser. Do not use chlorinated or fluorinated water for this purpose; use either pure colloidal silver or distilled water.

The above topical and respiratory uses of silver are relatively easy to figure out, but it is the internal problems, such as Hep-C or Crohn’s that sometimes present a more difficult issue of ‘how much to use’. My only rule of thumb is this, I use whatever it takes to do the job and if that doesn’t work, I use a little more. My personal use of colloidal silver is simple, I brush my teeth with it in my soap and then I use about a ¼ ounce a day on normal days and if I feel that I’m catching a bug, I will hit it hard with ½ to 1 ounce every 3-4 hours until the symptoms are gone. It seldom takes me more than an 8 oz. bottle, but I find that even avid users of silver are way too timid about more aggressive use whether if for a cold or for a more serious issue. We all have simply been intimidated by media disinformation into being scared of using effective silver quantities, at least for short periods of time.

Long-term, heavy use of silver simply for maintenance purposes I do not advocate, but short-term heavy use will usually be the difference in how effective your silver therapy will be. The aggressive use of silver seldom if ever has to be long-term and should not be for very many, although I have heard of some persistent problems that took more time to resolve, such as Herpes or Candida. Even silver can have difficulty tracking down viruses (like Herpes) that tend to go dormant and hide in the base of the spine (Herpes Simplex II) or the joint of the jaw (Herpes Simplex I) and then travel along nerves rather than thru the bloodstream. Colloidal silver (particle silver) gets into the blood stream relatively easy when taken in volume, but seems to have a much more difficult time getting to the tissue of the nerves. Candida, if it has become systemic and gotten into the bloodstream, may also require a much larger ‘volume’ of silver to bring it into contact with all the yeast spread throughout the body.

Some of the easiest problems to handle with silver are of the stomach, the bladder, the kidneys, the liver and the intestinal tract. These are all areas where particle silver is the most effective since it is better able to survive the hydrochloric acid of the stomach and of the chloride environs of the body. Stomach, bladder, and kidney issues generally respond reasonably well to smaller amounts (a few teaspoons or tablespoons) of silver than does the intestines, colon, and liver because of their function in the digestive system. These last three generally require a number of ounces and even multiple bottles depending of course on the severity of the problem. It is simply common sense; when there are systemic problems that are widespread in the body or if there are large numbers of microbes to deal with, it may require more silver to do the job. Therefore, one cannot expect much results if treating these type issues with simply a teaspoon or two of silver.

It is important to remember that with a heavier usage of silver, especially for more than a few days or a week, one should take Acidophilus and/or Pro-biotics an hour or so afterwards to replenish the colon flora that is essential for proper digestion. Silver kills bacteria/flora and as far as I know has no built in programming to distinguish good bacteria from bad. Often times ‘bad bacteria’ is simply an overgrowth of what might otherwise be ‘good bacteria’. Such problems are often caused by the use of patented antibiotics, which by the way are responsible for the deaths of thousands of people every year. Dr. Henry E. Simmons, former director of the FDA’s Bureau of Drugs, in 1972 Senate subcommittee hearings stated that antibiotics were, at that time, responsible for from 30,000 to 150,000 deaths. The numbers may be much higher now. Eating live culture yogurt is also a good option, but costs more than the bottled Probiotic supplements. I personally make a habit of consuming Acidophilus, yogurt and Probiotics every day regardless of how much silver I use.

As I was finishing up this article, I received another question about the shelf life of colloidal silver. Nano-particle colloidal silver lasts longer if stored at warmer temperatures. I have boiled colloidal silver on a stove and in a microwave and there seems to be no amount of heat that affects it. But cold is a different matter. If nano-particle silver is exposed to cold, even refrigerator cold, the particles can agglomerate, causing some color change. At temperatures near or below freezing, the particles can fall out altogether. You know this has happened because the liquid will become clear with a dark silver residue on the bottom. Ionic silver seems unaffected by either heat or cold. Therefore warm is better for your nano-particle colloidal silver storage.

To sum things up here in regard to silver use, I reiterate that I am not addressing the use of silver produced with chemical processes, silver nitrates, saline silver solutions, or silver in protein, or any high ppm and large particle silver. My recommendation is only for nano-particle colloidal silver produced electrically in distilled water. As referenced in this three part article, I believe the use of ionic silver is very effective topically and in areas where it does not need to get into the bloodstream. Particle silver is by far the best for use inside the body where it must pass through the stomach or requires getting into the bloodstream to be effective.

I have seen research reference to the body cell’s having silver receptors. If this research is true, then silver must be considered an essential mineral to the good health of the body and regular maintenance use (1-3 teaspoons per day) will help to maintain some beneficial essential trace level of silver. If the intent is for a therapeutic use of silver, then much larger short-term servings may be required for effective results. Just remember, it is only the long-term abusive use of the wrong kind of silver products that may over time produce issues such as Argyria, but an aggressive short-term use of nano-particle silver in distilled water is not a problem. So don’t let the propaganda machines of the Pharma-industrial complex and their ‘government’ agency shills such as the FDA and the EPA scare you away from nature’s safest and most perfect natural anti-biotic.

hope this helps A.i 1 love peace and health to all :)

The US government study (declassified in 2009) which showed definitively that Nano Silver/Colloidal Silver at 10 PPM is the definitive prevention and therapy for Ebola virus “somehow” got “overlooked.” We do not know how long before that the work actually took place, but the US civilian authorities knew not later than 2009 that there is a cure, treatment and prevention for Ebola virus

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