contemporary films

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20TH CENTURY ICONS

William Burroughs
Stokeley Carmichael
Fidel Castro
Ossie Clarke
Angela Davis
Allen Ginsberg
Che Guevara
Jimi Hendrix
David Hockney
Abbie Hoffman
Mick Jagger
V I Lenin
John Lennon
Nelson Mandela
Pablo Picasso
Paul Robeson
Andy Warhol
Mao Zedong

WILLIAM BURROUGHS (1914-1997)
The founding father of America's counterculture, and author of The Naked Lunch, the infamous book that became his masterpiece and made him an icon of the avant-garde.
   
STOKELEY CARMICHAEL (Kwame Ture): (1941-1998)
Born in Trinidad. Chairman of SNCC (Students Nonviolent Coordinating Committee). Joined the Black Panthers - founded in Oakland, California in 1966. Played key role in formation and popularisation of ideas of black power. Hon. PM of Black Panther Party. In 1968 married Miriam Makeba.

FIDEL CASTRO (1927- )
Leader of the Cuban Revolution. After an 18-month guerilla campaign in the Sierra Maestra, he and his supporters entered Havana and ousted Batista in January 1959. Became Prime Minister then President. Cuba remains a thorn in the flesh of the USA who continue to impose a trade embargo on the island.

OSSIE CLARKE (1942-1996)
British fashion designer who was a key figure in shaping and defining the 1960s.

ANGELA DAVIS (1944 - )
Radical black activist and philosopher. Born in 1944 in Birmingham, Alabama. In late 1960s was a prominent member of the Black Panther Party. In 1970 became the third woman in history to appear on the FBIs most-wanted list.


 

ALLEN GINSBERG (1926-1997)
US Beat poet, anti-war protester,
and gay activist.


CHE GUEVARA
(1928-1967)
Latin American revolutionary. Born 1928 in Argentina, joined Fidel Castro in his guerilla campaign which led to the overthrow of Cuban dictator Batista in 1959. Left ministerial post in Cuba to continue his revolutionary ideals organising guerilla uprising in jungles of Bolivia. Captured and killed in 1967 by the Bolivian military.

JIMI HENDRIX (1942-1970)
Ground-breaking rock guitarist who changed the vocabulary of the instrument beyond anyone before or since. Master of blues, R&B and rock. Met the classic tragic end after brief four-year reign as a superstar.
David Hockney (1937-)
British painter, draughtsman, printmaker, photographer, and designer. After a brilliant prize-winning career as a student at the Royal College of Art, Hockney had achieved international success by the time he was in his mid-20s, and has since consolidated his position as by far the best-known British artist of his generation.

Abbie Hoffman
(1936-1989)
A countercultural icon of the 1960s, Hoffman was successful in turning many hippies into political activists. He was best known for his rejection and parody of American corporate culture, and was one of the defendants at the infamous 'Chicago 8' trial.

MICK JAGGER (1943- )
As lead singer for the Rolling Stones Jagger is one of the most popular and influential frontmen in the history of rock 'n roll.

V I LENIN
(1870-1924)
Hero of the Russian revolution. Leader of the Russian Social Democrats - the Bolsheviks. Led the October Revolution in 1917 and became head of the new revolutionary government. His slogan was "Peace, Land, Bread." Five days after his death in 1924, Petrograd (St Petersburg) was renamed Leningrad.
John Lennon (1940-1980)
Born in Liverpool and made his name as singer-songwriter with the Beatles. Also dabbled in revolutionary politics and performance art after marrying Yoko Ono. Assassinated in December 1980 in New York.

nelson mandela (1918- )
Democratic South Africa's first president and the heroic symbol of black resistance against Apartheid. Responsible for leading South Africa out of a divided past to a united future. Released after 27 years in prison in February 1990. Awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
pablo picasso (1881-1973)
Possibly the greatest artist of the 20C. Born in Malaga, Spain, and settled in Paris in 1904. Co-inventor of Cubism with Georges Braque. His painting of the horrors of war - Guernica (1937) - is considered the most powerful political image in Modern Art. He was adored by the public, exciting controversy and mass media attention.

Paul Robeson (1898-1976)
He has been described as one of the greatest Americans of the 20C. He was a revered singer, a writer, actor, athlete, cultural scholar and political activist - a Renaissance man who spoke 15 languages and travelled the world, becoming an international figure who championed the rights of the oppressed. In his home country every attempt was made to silence and discredit him. In 1950 his passport was revoked and he could no longer travel abroad to perform


andy warhol
(1928-1987)
Artist and experimental film-maker. Born 1928 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From working class beginnings he became an American legend. He blurred the distinction between fine and commercial arts, developing the practice of Pop Art. Died in 1987.
MAO ZEDONG (1893-1976)
Chinese communist leader who began the Long March and subsequent guerilla campaign which eventually led to the establishment of the Peoples Republic of China in October 1949. As Chairman he became the object of a massive cult of personality and was also responsible for the Cultural Revolution of 1965.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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