Cities and Countries,Travel philosophy

HENLEY INDEX, THE RANKING OF PASSPORTS

21 Jan , 2021  

*This post have been translated with www.DeepL.com

 

For 16 years the Henley Passport Index (by Henley & Partners) has been ranking all passports worldwide according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a visa.

 

The index is updated quarterly and its content is based on data provided by IATA, the International Air Transport Authority (the world’s largest and most accurate travel information database) and is supplemented, enhanced and updated using extensive in-house research and open source online data. The index includes 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations.

 

Not all passports are of equal value. While some open the doors to virtually any country in the 195 countries that make up the planet, others allow you to visit only a few dozen of them. This is the case of Japan, the country with the most powerful passport in the world, and Afghanistan, which has the most powerful passport in the world.

 

According to the index, those with a Japanese passport can enter 191 of the 195 countries recognised by the UN without any problem. As of today, the United Nations recognises 193 countries plus the Vatican State and Palestine, which are considered permanent observers of the UN even though they do not belong to it.

 

Second place goes to Singapore’s passport (190), which drops one position from last year, when it tied with Japan at the top. Meanwhile, South Korea and Germany share third place thanks to a passport that allows easy entry to a total of 189 nations around the world.

 

Then Spain (which moves up to fourth place), Italy, Finland and Luxembourg 4 give visa-free access to 188 countries.

 

THE MOST POWERFUL PASSPORTS

 

At the other end of the scale, countries such as Afghanistan only allow visa-free access to 26 countries. On the other hand, the Henley index also highlights other nations such as Iraq (28), Syria (29), Somalia and Pakistan (32), Yemen (33) and Libya (37). Meanwhile, North Korea’s passport is ranked 100th, as it opens the doors to 39 countries.

 

The Henley & Partners ranking is, to some extent, a detailed picture of freedom of travel according to citizenship and shows that not all passports are worth the same. While for some, a passport is a gateway to the world, for others it is a barrier to the freedom of travel they seek.

 

BUYING CITIZENSHIP

 

With enough money one can add citizenship (and a corresponding passport) to one’s birthright through residency and citizenship by investment programmes that allow nations to grant residency or citizenship rights to individuals in exchange for a substantial investment.

 

Citizenship by investment refers to the process by which candidates are granted full citizenship in exchange for their substantial economic contribution to the passport-issuing state.

 

Residency by investment refers to a similar process, but applicants in this case are granted temporary residency, which may extend to permanent residency or, in some cases, citizenship at a later stage.

 

For individuals, the key benefits of having an alternative passport include greater travel mobility, access to global business and educational opportunities, ease of asset diversification and enhanced security in a rapidly changing world.

 

Residency and citizenship by investment programmes currently exist in almost 100 countries around the world, including 60% of EU member states.

 

The most successful and credible countries in the residency and citizenship categories are listed below.

 

Antigua and Barbuda offers one of the most competitive citizenship programmes in the Caribbean. Options start from USD 100,000 and Antigua and Barbuda citizens have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 151 destinations, including major business and lifestyle destinations.

 

Austria has one of the strongest passports in the world providing holders with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 187 destinations worldwide, along with settlement rights in all EU member states. Options for Austrian citizenship start with a minimum contribution of 3 million euros.

 

Dominica offers an attractive citizenship programme with a real estate option. Required contributions start at USD 100.00 and citizens gain visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 141 destinations worldwide.

 

The Island of Grenada has the only Caribbean citizenship programme that offers successful applicants visa-free access to China. With options starting at USD 150,000, Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment Programme offers a great balance between the benefits it provides and the financial contribution required.

 

Malta’s grant of citizenship for exceptional services through the Direct Investment Regulations allows for the granting of citizenship through a certificate of naturalisation to foreign persons and their families who contribute to the economic development of the country.

 

Montenegro’s Citizenship by Investment Programme offers enhanced global mobility with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 124 destinations, including Schengen Area countries in Europe, as well as Russia and the United Arab Emirates. A minimum contribution of EUR 350,000 is required.

 

St. Kitts and Nevis has one of the strongest passports among all Caribbean citizenship programmes. For a minimum donation of USD 150,000, the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Programme provides visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 156 destinations.

 

St. Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Programme offers increased mobility and global opportunities by providing visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 146 destinations worldwide. For a grant of USD 100,000, applicants can acquire their passports in as little as three to four months.

 

The Turkish Citizenship by Investment Programme offers citizenship of a country with links to Asia and Europe that has access to markets in both regions. The Turkish passport provides visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 110 destinations worldwide. For a real estate investment of USD 250,000, passports can be acquired in six to nine months.

 

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Arts,Cities and Countries

AKAA PARIS 2020

15 Oct , 2020  

AKAA – Also Known As Africa is the first contemporary art and design fair focused on Africa in France And reinforce its commitment to showcasing contemporary art from Africa and the diaspora.

 

Decoexplorer following our commitment to contemporary African art, are delighted to announce that the 2020 edition of AKAA will take place exceptionally this year, under the glass roof of the Atelier Richelieu, in the Palais-Royal district, from 13 to 15 November. This 5th edition features twenty-one exhibitors from France, other European countries and Africa, yet one American curator,

AKAA is the only fair in France to spotlight artists working on this market and has to develop something here even if it’s smaller than 1-54 in London

 

The fair, redesigned in this exceptional context, will therefore offer a more intimate format to welcome exhibitors and visitors in the best conditions and to refocus on the sustainability of a market in full development. Access to AKAA will be by invitation only. The dialogue and the relationship between the gallery and its clientele will be privileged, in order to favour networking and projects for artists, and to continue to strengthen the market of contemporary African art in Paris.

 

Several highlights and meetings will be offered throughout the fair to enrich the visiting experience.

 

“I would be very happy to integrate those kinds of [higher calibre] artists and the more established we get, the more feasible it would be to get the participation of those [more renowned] galleries,” says Victoria Mann, the founder of AKAA.“It’s a long-term process. The idea is to open up the fair to other contemporary art scenes in the Middle East and Latin America that are in one way or another connected to the African continent because I don’t think that having a strictly African art fair is sustainable.”

Affordable discoveries by upcoming artists are aplenty from collages by Helina Metaferia, born in the US to Ethiopian parents, and mixed media works by the Bahamas-born, London-based Alexandria Robinson, both at Nomad Gallery (Brussels), to Ugandan artist Ocom Adonias’s charcoal drawings on newspaper collages at Afriart Gallery, Kampala.

Yet some dealers have suggested that AKAA could benefit from being held during Fiac in October and needs to attract more serious collectors to enable more expensive works to be sold. “Unlike 1-54 and Art Lagos, AKAA is missing premiere branding and if the audience isn’t looking for big prices, it’s difficult for the galleries to break even so it needs to work harder to attract collectors from other European cities such as Amsterdam and Berlin,” says Daudi Karungi from Afriart Gallery.

 

AKAA will return to the Carreau du Temple for its sixth edition in November 2021

 

The art director is Armelle Dakouo. For more information, visit www.akaafair.com / contact@akaafair.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Arts,Cities and Countries

MASKS. METAMORPHOSIS OF MODERN IDENTITY

2 Oct , 2020  

This exhibition, featuring more than 100 pieces and curated by Luis Puelles and Lourdes Moreno, explores how masks changed the representation of the human figure in modern art. Initially having a traditional, festive use linked to carnivals and fancy-dress costume, which lingered on in early avant-garde art in depictions of characters from the Commedia dell’arte, masks came to be identified with the grotesque in Goya’s work and emerged as a reference for portraying the face in modern art as a result of the influence of ethnographic masks of non-European cultures in the early 20th century.

 

Mirroring the sequence of a metamorphosis, the exhibition examines how masks were used in art as something absolute, beyond their well-known traditional associations with rituals, magic, the theatre and costume, showing how they went from being objects to artistic images. It traces the evolution of masks from physical objects –tangible elements placed over faces to conceal or replace them – to the gradual abandonment of the presence behind them, eventually leading to their loss of materiality and independence from the face and, ultimately, to the merging of mask and face into a new and ambiguous identity in modern portraiture.

 

Supernatural masks. The artists of the early avant-garde period became increasingly interested in non-western ritual masks as sources of inspiration for shattering the codes of figurative representation and imbuing works with new meanings and varied  nterpretations. Modern artists’ espousal of the aesthetic principles associated with the ‘primitive’ – simplicity, coarseness, spirituality, a hieratic appearance –marked the abandonment of the academic conventions of beauty and harmony and from then onwards the mask acted as a modern synthesis of the human face.

 

CARNIVAL FOLLIES

 

Over the course of history artists have turned to masks and fancy-dress costume as strategies for shaping new identities. Carnival celebrations are a paradigmatic example of the collective release of irrational urges through masks. They are a means of subverting the rules and giving free rein to the most basic instincts. We find similar strategies in the theatre, where characters wear masks and are protected by a physical barrier between reality and appearance, in a universe that combines the grotesque, the comic and caricature.

 

TRANSFIGURED FACES

 

As the last link in the genealogical chain of the presence of masks in the complex modern identity, we find portraits where faces function as ‘inhuman’ masks, with no communicative depth. The triumph of subjectivity, the absence of dogmas and loss of interest in achieving likeness gave rise to a repertoire of identities that were ambiguous, fragmented, disfigured, alienated or concealed by makeup. These ‘faceless’ portraits are an appropriate expression of today’s contradictory society.

 

Bilingual catalogue published on the occasion of the exhibition

 

The catalogue, illustrated with 147 colour plates, includes texts by the exhibition curators Luis Puelles Romero, Professor of Aesthetics and Art Theory at the UMA, Lourdes Moreno, Director of the Carmen Thyssen Museum in Malaga, and contributions from the Museum’s curatorial team.

 

In the following links you can see two videos of the exhibition:

 

https://www.carmenthyssenmalaga.org/multimedia/video/161

https://www.carmenthyssenmalaga.org/exposiciones/2020/Mascaras/vv/visita_virtual.html

 

Museo Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Málaga From 28 July 2020 to 10 January 2021

 

 

Julio Gonzalez. Máscara austera. 1940

 

 

Pablo Picasso. Etude ‘trois femmes’. 1908

 

Walt Kuhn, Boy with chistera, 1948

 

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Cities and Countries,History of Africa,Our trips,People

Mumuye Figures

23 Jul , 2018   Gallery

Figure from northern Nigeria have been made by a Mumuye. A remarkable feature of the style is teh way in wich the arms and even the abdomen of one piece are used to enclose space within the sculpture.

 

Enjoy our gallery!!

 

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Cities and Countries,Decor and Architecture,History of Africa

THE ORIGIN OF TIMBUKTU

15 May , 2017  

The city of 333 saints takes its name from Tamasheq ‘tin’ or ‘tim’ Buktu, wich means the well of buktu, the name of the guardian of the place who saw the touaregs arrive in the 11th century. This place is still visible in the city amongst other architectural treasures to discover.

 

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Cities and Countries,Decor and Architecture,History of Africa,People,Travel philosophy

THE KWAME NKRUMAH MEMORIAL

28 Feb , 2017  

Created in honour of dr. Kwame Nkrumah the first pesident of Ghana and the father of Independence in 1957, the park sir son, quite the symbol, the former polo grounds of the british coloniser. In the heart of the city, the main attraction is the mausoleum of Nkrumah, a superb pyramid in black marble surrounded by myriad fountains.

 

Memorial kwame Nkrumah (1) Memorial kwame Nkrumah (2) Memorial kwame Nkrumah (3) Memorial kwame Nkrumah (4) Memorial kwame Nkrumah (5)

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Arts,Cities and Countries,Decor and Architecture,Fashion and Lifestyle

MAJORELLE GARDEN BERBER MUSEUM

3 Mar , 2016  

 

The Berber Museum is located in the former painting studio of Jaques Majorelle, and presents a panorama of the extraordinary creativity of the oldest people in North Africa. A collection of over 600 objects (jewellery, arms, leatherwork, basketry, textiles, and carpets) was sourced throughout Morocco –from the Rif Mountains to the Sahara Desert- and attests to the richness and diversity of an ongoing, vibrant culture.

 

The museum was designed around its collection: sound, music photography and film transport the visitor, opening a door onto the Berber culture of Morocco

 

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Arts,Cities and Countries,History of Africa

DAPPER MUSEUM / MUSEE DAPPER

15 Dec , 2015  

 

Set up in Amsterdam, in 1983, at the instigation of its current President, Michel Leveau, the Olfert Dapper Foundation takes its name from a xviith-century Dutch humanist who, despite never leaving his native country, wrote an encyclopedic description of Africa, first published in 1668.

 

The purpose of this private non-profit organization is to raise the profile of sub-Saharan Africa’s artistic heritage and contribute to its conservation, by staging exhibitions and awarding research bursaries.

 

Director Christiane Falgayrettes-Leveau was on the Musée du quai Branly steering committee from 1999 to the end of 2004 and is a member of the Committee for the Memory of Slavery (CPME), set up on January 5th 2004.

 

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Arts,Cities and Countries

Recontres de Bamako

22 Nov , 2015  

Now in its tenth edition, The Recontres de Bamako biennal was founded to promote African photographic creation. Based in particular in the tradition of portrait photography that developed in Mali in the 1960s. The event provides an excellent springboard for emerging talents, perfectly in step with the international scene.

 

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Arts,Cities and Countries

JAQUES MAJORELLES

16 Nov , 2015  

(1886-1962) Were a French orientalist painter and son of the famous Art Nouveau furniture designer, Louis Majorelle. He arrived in Morocco in 1917, invited by the French Resident-General, Marshal Lyautey. Majorelle was seduced by Marrakesch. In 1923, he decided to live there, purchasing a vast palm grove that would become the Majorelle Garden we know today.

 

In 1980, Pierre Berge and Yves Saint Laurent acquired the Jardin Majorlele, saving it from real estate developers. Since the, the garden has been restored, and many new plants have been added

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date-market-in-marrakech

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