February Flashback! Get Caught up on a Month of Entertainment

Pasarela OFF


Always looking to keep you entertained, MAP got the lowdown
on several clubs this month. Inspired by
the d&b club, Twist, from last month, we followed up with Riddim – a
thumpin’ club in beautiful venue. A
little more electronic than d&b, but a definitely a good crowd. On the other hand, Transmission Club takes
the scene in a different direction with a flashback to the alternative 80s and
90s. And to keep up with the
international party crowd, check out Madrid Mas – no matter what you’re into,
they will keep you entertained with new events every week. In terms of other entertainment, we added to
our growing list of “hole-in-the-wall” restaurants with Baobab, a Senegalese

Art and Culture

In terms of art, Molly Norris was good enough to draw our
attention to the absurdity of an Anne Frank musical. Whose idea was that? Anyway, there was no shortage of more
serious-minded art happening this month with Cibeles and Cibeles OFF, admirably
covered by Shaquina Blake, as well as ARCO, the architectural photography of
Gabriel Basilico, and the new Caixa Forum. However, just when you
thought it couldn’t get worse than a holocaust musical, the “new generation”
of bull fighting reared its ugly head.
The cloning of top bulls has begun allowing the same bull to die
multiple deaths. Once again, whose idea
was that?


Since Oscar season is the antithesis of the drivel put out
during the holiday season, the options were much improved this month. In spite of some super stupid movie posters,
the films all came recommended: There Wll Be Blood, Atonement, and Juno. This
selection is nicely augmented by Jolijn van der Zanden’s list of must-see
Spanish films. And, while we are
discussing media, we can’t forget Phil Stark’s article on the new web TV
station sponsored by the Instituto Cervantes.


And, of course, politics reigned supreme this month with Spanish
elections imminent and US elections… um… good God, how long does it take to
elect a damn president? Flip a coin,
draw straws, but just get it over with!
Sorry for that outburst.

On the Spanish scene, Andre Nakazawa chimed in with the
PSOE/PP debate over who is buying whose votes and how. John Kernis kept us non-residents up-do-date
on Rajoy’s immigrant proposal. And
Karina Stenquist, followed up with the other side of the story at an immigrant
in Sol.

Internationally, we attended the Democrats abroad
Carnival/Voting party
and did our best to find someone who was supporting


Finally, always wanting to keep the classroom relevant, the
TEFL lesson mirrored the cultural and political activities. In honor of elections we offered lessons on
politics examining what it means to be liberal or conservative. For Valentines Day, we question the
conventional wisdom of love with an off-beat theory. And we further challenged people by asking
them to defend their definitions of art during ARCO week. Finally, we helped teachers plan
mini-presentations with the advertisement lesson plan. For those who just wanted to gossip about the Oscars, that was an option too.

In addition to all of this, we are implementing our jobs’ section as well. Stay tuned for summer jobs in Italy coming soon!

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Zap Speaks to the People

Caixa Forum: Corporate Responsibility or Long-Term Publicity Stunt?

Vertical Gardens

Caixa Forum Madrid
Hours Monday-Sunday, 10:00-20:00
Price: Free
Address: Paseo del Prado,

Metro/s: Atocha Line 1
Telephone/fax: 91 451 00 82
Entrance: free

By Andre Nakazawa

Any recent stroll down the
Paseo de Prado has surely been interrupted by the sight of a vertical garden
sprouting greenery a hundred feet into the air.
Welcome to the Caixa Forum. Newly transformed from the old Central
Electrica del Mediodia building, this iron-colored edifice is a truly
impressive architectural feat.

So what exactly lies inside
this eccentric new addition to Madrid’s
already culturally-packed geography?

Located between the Reina
Sofia and the Prado, the new Caixa Forum, aptly named after the Catalan bank
that financed the whole shebang is the product of an enormous crew laboring since
2004. The Forum was ultimately designed by the
prestigious Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron.

As one walks towards the
entrance, astonishment strikes as this massive building appears to teeter on
the seemingly inadequate foundations. This base creates a mini-covered plaza semi-enclosed
by pleasing waterways.

The building is worth going to
for the architecture alone. Upon
entering from the plaza, Forum-goers are treated to a steel-encrusted staircase
with a maze of matching piping on the ceiling.
Beautifully baffling, but surely it serves some practical purpose.

In the floors below ground lie
two rooms for conferences and an impressively illuminated auditorium to serve
as a forum for the intellectual and social issues of the day.

Heading up the gloss-white stairs
you can peer down on a freshly designed café and restaurant, allowing an
impressive look at an MC Escher-esque and post-post-post modern staircase that
is an exhibit in itself.

In between these floors sits
temporary art exhibits, currently of the modern sort, that leave you either scratching
your head, thoroughly confused, or making up wacky interpretations that most
certainly have no relevance to what the creator of such art had in mind.

While the forum is
impressive, it’s advisable to skip the blatant public relation side-rooms of
the exhibit floors (2 and 3) which are plastered with all sorts of 3-D statistics,
some interactive, outlaying sums of money that have been distributed throughout
the years to humanitarian causes. One can even view a movie that further details
such corporate benevolence and is filled with shots of the photogenic
impoverished people whom La Caixa is supposedly working wonders for.

Whatever your take on the
motives for constructing this architectural wonder, La Caixa has given Madrid a
stunning addition to the already impressive area of Madrid that houses the
country’s finest museums. Multifunctional, with plenty to offer and free to the
public between 10am and 8pm every day of the week, the Caixa Forum should not
be missed.

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Gabriele Basilico’s Intercity