Remembering Satoru Iwata, One Year On (1959 – 2015)

Exactly one year ago today, the gaming world lost an iconic gaming legend. Satoru Iwata, who was best known for being the man behind the iconic gaming consoles, such as the Game Boy Series, the Nintendo DS Series, the Nintendo Wii Series, the Nintendo 3DS Series and the Nintendo Wii U Series, sadly passed away a year ago today following a bile duct growth, which Nintendo officially announced in a statement they published on the 11th July 2015.

I still find it hard to believe, even now, that he has gone, it just doesn’t feel real. To think he passed away on this day last year shocks me.

On this day last year, when Satoru Iwata’s death was announced to the world, everyone paid tribute to the iconic gaming legend, with one company even creating an image showing the flag pole from the end of a Super Mario Bros. level at half-mast, which would pay respect to Satoru Iwata.

It’s hard to think and believe it was actually a year ago today that he passed away. He is an iconic gaming legend who was also famously behind the Mario series, as well as other games that he was behind on.

Thanks to Satoru Iwata, he helped to re-shape and redefine Nintendo’s love and passion for games including his own, and he also helped to shape our lives for the better. I want to thank Satoru Iwata entirely for helping this world become a better place. I also want to thank Satoru Iwata for changing mine and everyone else’s lives for the better.

Even to this day, and even in the future, we will always miss you Satoru Iwata. Thank you for being the iconic gaming legend that you are and always will be, and thanks so much for changing everyone’s lives, including mine for the better. We will and always will miss you Satoru Iwata, but you will be forever remembered in our hearts.

Alex Smithson

Weekly Log 1 (Tuesday 5th January 2016 – Thursday 7th January 2016) – Stop-Frame Animation Project

To kickstart this set of Weekly Logs for the Stop-Frame Animation Project, I will display below the first Weekly Log that I did back in January for the first week back at college after the Christmas Holidays ended, and shortly after the New Year began.

Research / Context

For the first week of the stop-frame animation project, I looked at a number of adverts and a few films that were stop-frame animation based, such as Andrew Thomas Huang & Joseph Mann’s Cravendale Biscuit Boy advert, the Vauxhall C’MON Chase puppet TV advert (created by Framestore, and advertised by Vauxhall), the character, Fantastic Mr Fox (a clay-mation film which was based on Roald Dahl’s novel, later turned into a 20th Century Fox clay-mation film, created by Joe Roth and Revolution Studios) and the House at the Stone Bell (Portal of Prague) piece by Jan Švankmajer. I was also inspired by the IKEA Robot Advert (Come Home to Play), as this would help me to produce my own character at a later stage in the course of the first week back.

I feel that by looking at these artists, and the ways that they’ve produced these works, these will relate to my own experiments of doing my own stop-frame animation film.

To develop my own understanding of the stop-frame animation process, I made sure to use the research I gathered and came up with a sketch of my own character, by using some of the old objects I collected from home to make my own design ideas.

I’ve found that these objects have helped me to produce my own character, as this can help me with putting my own character together for my stop-frame animation film.

Practical Tasks Done

How did I do it? I did it by using the stop-frame animation process that I saw from some of the adverts I researched, including the few films that I researched, and I put together my own ideas for a character, by using some of the objects I collected from home to put them into something that would connect to the stop-frame animation project.

What was difficult about it was I initially didn’t know where to start when it came to producing my own character, but after gathering some objects together from home, I was able to draw my own character, and I also made sure to label the character piece by piece, like as if I was doing a blueprint for an architectural building, so that I know exactly which bit goes with which.

What worked well for me was after I gathered the objects together, without needing to do any further research online, I was able to come up with a character in my mind that I could create by myself, using the research I had already gathered earlier on in the course of the first week back.

I could improve my character by doing some further research on some stop-frame animation adverts, and even do some background research based on some stop-frame animation TV shows, for example, Morph, Shaun the Sheep, and even Wallace & Gromit. At least then, I’ll be able to make improvements and adjustments to my character as I go along with making the stop-frame animation film.

Critical Analysis

For my critical analysis, I wanted to make sure to position the objects I gathered from home together for my own creative ideas, as I wanted to make sure I could create my own character ideas out of the objects I used. This would give me the ideas I would need to create my own character, as well as the ideas I would need to produce my original idea, based on the research I’ve already gathered.

I feel that my research/contextual studies can be applied to help me develop my own experiments, as I’ll be able to use the research I’ve gathered, as well as the ideas I’ve come up with to create either one character, or if not, maybe more than just one character. I also feel that my research/contextual studies can help me develop my experiments better once I’ve come up with some more ideas that I can use for my own stop-frame animation film.

This brings the first Weekly Log for the Stop-Frame Animation Project to a close. Please make sure to check back soon for the second Weekly Log from the Stop-Frame Animation Project.

Alex Smithson

Weekly Log 3 (Tuesday 24th November 2015 – Thursday 26th November 2015) – Ghost Stories

Bringing an end to the Weekly Logs in the Ghost Stories Project, here is the third and final Weekly Log that I produced for the Ghost Stories Project before getting all my work ready over the course of December 2015 to hand in before the Christmas Holidays.

Research / Context

For my research, I looked at the 3 films, which were 2012, The Day After Tomorrow and Skyfall. These three films are what would help me to develop my film experiments in a way where they would connect to the work I would be doing with my group.

To develop my own understanding of the processes or image meaning in particular contexts, I watched the three films mentioned above, as these films would give me an accurate idea as to how I could use my own ideas, and then mix them together with the large variety of ideas that my group also had. These three films helped me to develop my own understanding of these processes, which would, in turn, help me to produce a large amount of footage with my group.

The name of the director who directed The Day After Tomorrow and 2012: Roland Emmerich

The name of the director who directed Skyfall: Sam Mendes

Practical Tasks Done

How did I do it? I did it by shooting some experimental footage with my group, and once we finished filming, the process we used was called a film montage, where we would put together the recorded clips that were made over the course of two or three weeks, and make sure that they piece together to create a montage where an angel would appear over the character that was depressed and on the verge of killing themselves, and to help that person get away from that point by helping them to become stronger rather than weaker.

What was difficult? What I thought was difficult was that because the weather conditions were the main worry, considering that there was rain forecast, I was genuinely worried as to whether it would affect us from being able to film our footage, but luckily, we had just the right amount of weather to shoot our footage for our own film.

What worked well? What I thought worked well was that because of how good the footage was, our footage had a lot of good visual and sensual imagery, given that one of the students was the main director of our film, and he was also playing the part of someone who was depressed (Mason). This meant that because he was both the director and main casting actor in our film, this was good for our footage as he was able to reimagine himself from someone else’s view as if they were having a panic attack or a mental breakdown, considering that he made the concept of our own footage a lot more convincing, and also open in many different aspects.

How could I improve it? I could improve it by making sure that the footage that me and my group recorded is pieced together, but with certain clips ranging from 10-15 seconds, up to 20 seconds at the most, so that my own short film stands at exactly 4 minutes.

Critical Analysis

In terms of composition, that’s regarding the framing, the positioning of objects, the line, the tone, the cut and the pace etc., I did make sure that the footage that we recorded had a lot more emphasis added to it, as me and my group wanted to make sure that our footage was of the right standards to fit our own project description, as our project is based around Ghost Stories. I felt that composition was used very well when it came to producing the footage, as everything in terms of our concept was in the right place, and with all of the footage, this was absolutely perfect, as all the footage is now ready to be put together in Adobe Premiere.

In terms of my research/contextual studies, I feel that I can apply them to help me develop my own experiments, based on the Ghost Stories project, and I feel that I can apply them to develop my own experiments, as I’ll be able to use my knowledge from the research that I’ve gathered and apply them to the concept that me and my group have gone with.

This Ghost Stories Project Log set has officially come to an end. Check back soon for the first Weekly Log from the Stop-Frame Animation Project that I started in January.

Alex Smithson

Weekly Log 2 (Tuesday 10th November 2015 – Thursday 12th November 2015) – Ghost Stories

Continuing on from yesterday’s first Weekly Log that I published which was based on the Ghost Stories Project, this second Weekly Log will outline key details based on the further research I did during the second week of the Ghost Stories Project back in November last year.

Research / Context

During the course of this week, I continued to watch the 2002 Japanese film, Dark Water, following the previous week’s lesson, and despite how powerful the film was, I was able to use the film to relate my thoughts and ideas to my own experiments, and I was also able to create two mind maps in one that would focus, one on the Dark Water 2002 Japanese film, and two, on the word, Uncanny, and how a large variety of words would relate and connect to the word, Uncanny.

The Kuleshov Effect was and also is a film editing montage effect that was demonstrated by the Soviet film-maker, Lev Kuleshov, in the 1910s and 1920s. The Kuleshov Effect was and also is a mental phenomenon by which the viewers would derive more of the meaning from the interaction of two sequential shots, than from just a single shot caught in isolation. Why did I use the Kuleshov effect? I used the Kuleshov effect shortly after re-shooting the videos that me and some of the other students had done to piece together the video footage, to create my own film montage, but in the similar style that Lev Kuleshov did his works during the 1910s and the 1920s. I also felt that by using the re-recorded footage, I was able to apply the Kuleshov effect to my film editing montage, as well as my own form of film work.

To develop my own understanding of the processes or the image meaning in particular contexts, I watched the 2002 Japanese Film, Dark Water, and I also noticed that there were a lot of camera angles, and I believe that there was a sequence, a cut, a shot, a point of view (the focus point that focuses mainly on the subject whilst showing them from a certain viewing angle or focal point) and a dutch angle, as there were quite a lot of different viewing angles, especially when it came to the way the film was done.

I felt that I understood much of the camera angles that were used when it came to this film, and I felt that by watching the film, this helped me to re-shoot some more videos with my group so that we could head back to the drawing board and then, in turn, this would also help me to re-experiment with creating my own film montage using the Adobe Premiere software program.

Practical Tasks Done

How did I do it? I did it by making sure to do my first experiment with two fellow students in my group, and all three of us felt that we should reshoot our film montages by expanding our group to about 5-6 more people, and this helped me and the other two students in question, as this helped us to expand our film montage, and to also give us more of a chance to make the process of our videos better by adding emphasis to make our footage look and feel more convincing. The processes that were used was cutting and also film (video) montage.

What was difficult? What I generally thought was difficult when it came to doing the first experiment was knowing how to choose which bits I wanted to keep in and which bits I wanted taken out, but I was given guidance as to how I could keep some footage in but take out some footage as well. I was also shown where I should save them, and how I can keep my experiments safe, so that I could prevent my work from being lost.

What worked well? What I generally thought went well on one of the experiments was that I was able to put more emphasis on the footage by making it appear to be scary or ghoulish, that means using some audio to emphasise the concept of what the video was about, and what kind of build-up in emotions there were.

How could I improve it? I could improve it by making sure that I make the video footage longer, but not too long, as I want to be able to make sure that my video is done to the right specifications, so that my video is given a bit more time to do itself justice, in other words, I want to make sure it isn’t too long so that I can give everyone a chance to experience the full build-up of the plot of the video before it concludes with something that’s ghoulish and scary at the same time.

Critical Analysis

In terms of composition, that’s including framing, the positioning of objects, the line, the tone, the cut, the pace and more, I wanted to make sure that I could create my film montage in a format where it gets to the point of what I’m talking about, but not something that’s in your face, in other words, I wanted to make sure that I had the right amount of cuts, and I also wanted to make sure that the pace of the video footage was balanced, so that my own experiments would be done to just the right standards that I wanted them to be at.

I feel that my research/contextual studies based on what I’ve done so far can be applied to help me develop my experiments further, and I also feel that I can apply my research/contextual studies to develop my experiments further by making sure that my experiments improve each time, so for example, if I make a mistake or I don’t add as much video footage in on my first experiment, I can then improve on that by doing more than one experiment, so that at least I can say that I improved my film montage experiments each time to get the final result that I wanted.

I also looked at to look at the two videos below:

  • The history of cutting, the birth of cinema and continuity editing
  • The history of cutting, the Soviet theory of montage.

This second Weekly Log from the Ghost Stories Project has officially come to an end. Make sure to check back soon for the final Weekly Log from the Ghost Stories Project.

Alex Smithson

Weekly Log 1 (Tuesday 3rd November 2015 – Thursday 5th November 2015) – Ghost Stories

To kickstart the Weekly Logs I produced for the Ghost Stories Project, here is the first Weekly Log from the Ghost Stories Project, and this one is based on what I did in my first week back at Croydon College in November for the Ghost Stories Project.

Research / Context

During the course of the first week back, I have been looking up certain ideas based on how uncanny certain aspects can be, and what I’ve done is that I have made sure to look at certain ideas that refer and connect to the Light Play Project that I had most recently completed, and have put them to good use. I have looked up a various range of words that connect to the Ghost Stories project, as well as how it connects to the word, Uncanny, and the use of the words I have researched relates to my own experiments in terms, for example, I’ve used words, such as mixture, supernaturalism, ghoulish, mysterious, tension, strange and horrid to create an idea based around what I feel is uncanny, and how I can explore it in certain aspects.

To develop my understanding of the processes and the image meanings for the word, Uncanny, I did some research on this word, to find out what else would connect to something that’s uncanny, and I found that supernaturalism does connect well. As well as developing my understanding of the processes and the image meanings of the word, Uncanny, I watched much of the 2002 version of the Japanese film, Dark Water (with subtitles), as it showed a mother and her daughter experiencing bad visions after her daughter picked up a red bag, with the name: “Mimiko” stitched onto it.

Practical Tasks Done

In terms of the process, me and two other students headed to the car park behind Fairfield Halls to shoot some video-footage, where I would act like a serial killer (not really) by putting one of the students in a headlock, and pulling them back, to make it look like as if I was strangling them to death, and then the process there was to make it look and appear as if I was dragging that student’s lifeless body on the concrete of the car park. The concept of the process was surrounding Ghost Stories, but also with a formatted process of lifelessness.

What was difficult? What I thought was difficult was the editing of the recorded footage, as I have never used Adobe Premiere before, though I wanted to make sure that I could familiarise myself with the program and the way it works while I was editing my first experimentation video.

What worked well? What I thought worked well was that I was able to produce my first experiment video in the Adobe Premiere program, with my experiment video lasting about 20 – 30 seconds, as I wanted to make sure that my video got straight to the point of the concept, but also at the same time, capture a feeling of fear, to make it look and appear like as if death strikes you when you least expect it.

How could I improve it? I can improve on it by making sure that the video footage is a little bit longer than 20 – 30 seconds and opt for a video that is more than 30 seconds, if not, a second experiment video that lasts for about 45 – 50 seconds, so that I can build up the overall plot of lifelessness in the video, and to also get a genuinely better idea of what it is about, without it becoming compromised with something that lasts only 25 – 30 seconds.

Critical Analysis

In terms of composition, that’s including framing, the positioning of objects, the line, tone, cut, pace etc., me and the two other students in question came up with an idea that would not only surround something that is uncanny, but also something that is also related to ghost stories. We used the idea with the purpose of creating a certain mind of aspect based on something that can create tension, but would also build up that tension to thicken the plot of lifelessness in the video clips that were produced. The dutch angle, the close-up angle, the cuts etc. had helped me and the two other students in question to produce our own experimental videos in a ghoulish, yet interesting format where it would help us to capture the audience off-guard when they least expect it, but in a way where it brings out the full overview of the concept that I want, and what the other two students in question wanted as well.

I feel that my research/contextual studies can be applied to help me develop my experiments further, and I also feel that by applying my research/contextual studies to the Ghost Stories project, this can help me to really produce a very precise amount of work to a standard that is high, but a precise amount of work that could help me to develop potentially broadened ideas further.

The first Weekly Log from the Ghost Stories Project has officially come to an end. Make sure to check back tomorrow for the second Weekly Log.

Alex Smithson

Weekly Log 2 (Tuesday 6th October 2015 – Thursday 8th October 2015) – Light Play Project

Below is the second Weekly Log that I completed which was made shortly after the start of October, when I developed my darkroom experiments further, among other pieces of work that I did.

Research / Context

I looked at three different artists that had created their own works, who were based around the Surrealism movement, and that was Francesca Woodman, Paul Nougé & Jan Svankmajer. I’ve used the ideas that I’ve gathered from these artists’ works and have put those ideas to good use by creating my own form of Surrealist Photography, so that the research I have will connect and relate entirely to my own ideas, as well as my own form of Surrealist Photography.

After gathering some research about these 3 artists, I was able to develop my own understanding of the processes that these artists had used on their own work, and because I was able to develop my own understanding of these processes that these three artists had used, I was able to put my own form of Surrealist Photography into my own perspective, and also make it something that would be my own, so that nothing is copied, but what I would create would be entirely original.

Practical Tasks Done

How did I do it? Well in order for me to develop this process, I would need to use the research that I had gathered and come up with my own ideas, so that I could put my own ideas that I would come up with to good use, and to also make sure that the ideas that I have come up with connects entirely to my own form of Surrealist Photography.

What did I think was difficult? What I thought was difficult about producing my own form of Surrealist Photography was how I could create a certain form of Surrealism without compromising what my Surrealist Photography was really about.

What worked well? What worked well for me was that I was able to create entirely different forms of Surrealism by getting the small number of students (3 students overall, including myself) in my group to create certain forms of movement with a certain object, whether it would be a doll, a mannequin, a pack of cards or a glass bottle, so that my own form of Surrealist Photography would have certain, if not, many elements of heartbreak.

How could I improve it? I could improve it by making sure that I broaden my research a lot more, and that I have just the right amount of research available, so that I can broaden and extend my own ideas further, without compromising how I want the final result to officially turn out.

Critical Analysis

In terms of composition, that’s in terms of framing and the positioning of objects, that’s including the line, tone, texture depth and many more, I had to make sure that the Surrealist Photography that I wanted to produce would have the people in my group doing certain forms of movement, as well as carrying an object or objects. For example, my form of surrealism focuses around the idea of heartbreak, so I wanted to create a vision where someone would be suffering from heartbreak, but where that person could be sleeping at night while being in a hallucinating world of bad thoughts.

How could my research/contextual studies be applied to help me develop my own experiments? My research/contextual studies, which were based on the three artists in question can be applied to the Surrealism movement, as I will be able to look at the three artists I have studied that are a part of the Surrealism movement, and come up with all-new, and original ideas that can help me to produce my own Surrealist Photography work. The research I have gathered will most certainly help me in developing my own Surrealist Photography, so that what I create is not copied at all, but is entirely original.

This second Weekly Log article has officially come to an end. Check back very soon for the final Weekly Log for today before the Quote Article.

Alex Smithson

Weekly Log 1 (Tuesday 29th September 2015 – Thursday 1st October 2015) – Light Play Project

Below is the first Weekly Log that I completed which was based around the end of last September, the beginning of last October, when I was experimenting with darkroom materials for the first time.

Research / Context

The artists I’ve looked at: August Sander, Rineke Dijkstra, Nicholas Nixon, Joel Sternfeld & Fazal Sheikh. These artists relate to my experiments, as I have taken an in-depth look on the research that I have gathered, ranging from a small aperture to a wide aperture, and I’ve used the ideas that I have gathered from my research and put those ideas to good use by producing some test strips and full-size prints.

In terms of one of the artists I have researched, I think I may have seen one of August Sander’s works in a gallery up in London. I remember quite well that I studied on one or some of August Sander’s works when I was in school.

Practical Tasks Done

In order to know how to do the darkroom process, I wanted to find out how the development of darkroom equipment works. I found out by being given a guided tour on how to use the equipment, though I did initially have certain darkroom anxieties and some difficulties when it came to certain parts of the darkroom equipment, as I did have some difficulty at first with how I could use the equipment properly, though most of the difficulties and anxieties have been resolved as I’ve got the hang of the process and how it works.

What worked well? As it was my first time experimenting with darkroom equipment, I was genuinely surprised that I got a lot of good results with my test strips, prints and photograms.

How could I improve this? I can improve this by experimenting more with the darkroom equipment, as well as aiming to overcome my fears and worries of messing a darkroom process up. I can also improve this by making sure to adjust the exposure of a test strip, print or photogram to make sure that the end result comes out a lot better than before.

Critical Analysis

In terms of composition, I wanted to make sure that I could position the objects in a format where order/disorder connects to it. To do this, I had made sure to position the objects carefully, so that what I would be creating wouldn’t end up being compromised. I had made sure that the texture depth of the test strips, prints and photograms were completely sharp, and that I could keep them within the frame. I had also made sure to adjust the tone of the lighting on the darkroom equipment, for example, the yellow, magenta and cyan colour’s picture balance, as this would help me to get the clarity of the objects to project better onto the test strips, the prints and also the photograms.

The research/contextual studies that I did on all five artists can be applied to the darkroom project, as I will be able to take a look at all of the five artists I’ve studied, and create new ideas that can help me to produce my own test strips, prints and photograms. All of the research I’ve gathered will most certainly help me in developing my own pieces of work, so that what I create is entirely original and not copied.

This brings the first of the Weekly Logs I’ve done from September to now to an end. Check back soon for the second Weekly Log.

Alex Smithson

2015: A Year in Review

As 2015 draws to a remarkable close, I will take a look back on the year as it unfolded, and the special moments that also reminded me of just how wonderful this year has been. I will also take a look back on some of the articles, certain articles of which will focus on those who we have lost over the course of this year, and I will also take a look back on the happy memories that have been made along the way.

1.1.2015 – I welcomed all of you to 2015 on Mother Nature, after ringing in 2015 with the New Year’s Day fireworks that happened just hours earlier. As well as this, I also mentioned that this year would: “be the year where the hard work really does begin, as everyone will have an all-new mindset that is solely focused on getting ahead and completing the work. As I’ve said in the status update I posted to Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, it is always best to live your life and enjoy every second, and to take a chance when you are given one. Take every opportunity that will last a lifetime, and enjoy every opportunity and every good and happy moment that life intends to throw at you.”

2.1.2015 – I published the 2014 in Review article on here, as this review would reflect on last year in review, given just how much of a wonderful and perfect year 2014 really was.

9.1.2015 – This article I wrote came hot on the heels of the HP Stream 11 that I purchased back in December, which was most recently advertised on TV alongside the HP Stream 13. I gave a run-down of the features of this laptop, and how the HP Stream 11 would benefit those who want their own computer for college studies or for work, given the 10TB online storage space for OneDrive that Microsoft would provide with their Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium bundle, if you signed up to their storage expansion waiting list.

23.1.2015 – Following such shocking news that Anne Kirkbride had passed away from breast cancer on the 19th January 2015, I made sure to pay a small, but fitting tribute to Anne, as she is best known for portraying her role as Deirdre Barlow in Coronation Street. This article would take a look back on Anne Kirkbride’s career as it unfolded, as well as the legacy that she had also left behind.

31.1.2015 – To kick off 2015 with a bang, Case Study #4 would mark the first case study for this year, as this case study would travel back in time to the 1500s, when Mary, Queen of Scots had attempted and also plotted to kill Queen Elizabeth I. This case study would also go in-depth as it was based on Mary’s life, and her rise and fall in the 45 years leading up to her execution on the 8th February 1587.

1.2.2015 – I welcomed all of you back to Mother Nature for what was set to be a chilly February, as this month was set to be full of hard work, love and experiences, as everyone is preparing for what could be a hard season that is solely focused around workloads, before the Spring break is due to hit us. As Valentine’s Day was just around the corner, this month was also set to be filled with love, which would create a refreshing feel to the atmosphere over the course of the next 4 weeks.

14.2.2015 – As there was a wet storm that hit us hard where I live back in January, the rainy weather had really poured it down, with hints of thunder that followed in the process. I ceased the opportunity to get some gorgeous photos of the raindrops just after the storm passed, and by using the Nikon D3300 DSLR, I was able to capture some beautiful shots of the raindrops from certain angles, which would ultimately define just how clear and crisp the raindrops were on one of the days I was off from college last month. As the first month of 2015 was officially behind us, I would showcase these photos in the article, which would focus on the raindrops, up-close and personal.

19.2.2015 – 30 years ago to the day, the first ever episode of Eastenders debuted on our screens. 30 years on, and we would all finally find out who had killed Lucy Beale (played by Hetti Bywater) in the flashback episode that aired on this day. With many of the gripping scenes that kept viewers like myself wanting to find out who killed Lucy over the past 10 months, this night would be the night when we would find out who killed her, and why she was killed. At the end of the flashback episode, the killer of Lucy Beale was revealed to be Bobby Beale, which was one of the most unexpected, yet surprising reveals that had ever happened, which even I didn’t expect, which had indeed been a killer twist.

28.2.2015 – As I wanted to celebrate writing 200 articles for Mother Nature, I did Article #200 on the Greatest Briton himself, which was Sir Winston Churchill. Case Study #5 based on Sir Winston Churchill would take a look back over his life, and how he had risen to become the man known for supporting the United Kingdom, and also for fighting for peace for the UK during the Second World War. This article would also celebrate what has almost been my second year since I started up Mother Nature, which is why I wanted to do Article #200 on Sir Winston Churchill, as this would also mark 50 years since his death, and also for the fact that it was 50 years ago on the 30th January that his state funeral took place.

1.3.2015 – I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for what was expected to be the month when we start to see some nice weather, as well as the relaxing temperatures that would take away the cold, wintry weather from January & February. This month would also be the month where I would have a lot of hard work to complete, as well as the fact that I had my English & Maths exams to prepare and revise for.

6.3.2015 – As Spring has finally arrived, I used this day to cease the opportunity by taking some photos of the lovely weather, as I wanted to get back to using my Nikon D3300 DSLR after just a few weeks of using it previous. The photos I took gave me the opportunity to showcase them via the article that I wrote and published, which was titled: “A Bright & Breezy Spring!!!” This article would also showcase my videography skills, given the fact that I had recorded some video-clips, which I had put together and uploaded to YouTube via the video-editing software, ezvid.

20.3.2015 – To mark the special occasion, Madonna’s 13th Studio Album, Rebel Heart, was released to the world. I was delighted however, as the U.K. got the album the day before the U.S. did, and I was raring to go, as I wanted to hear her new album after listening to her song, Living for Love, on loop. I did a special music feature article on Madonna, because after 3 years, the Queen of Pop is finally back with a classical and perfected masterpiece, which is much better, and also continues, but focuses away from her 12th studio album, MDNA. Rebel Heart also went to number 1, which made the celebrations even better. Living for Love has most recently just surpassed 10,000,000 views on YouTube (now, not on the 20th March), which has made the longevity of this album get better and better.

29.3.2015 – As excited as I was, I was absolutely over the moon to have been nominated by Vijay Shah of the Half-Eaten Mind for the Real Neat Blog Award. This nomination would mean I would go on to answer the five questions that Kitty’s RNBA Award had set me. After I answered the questions, I would go on to nominate 10 other bloggers for all of the hard work that they had gone to into making their blog or website become known for what it is today.

Also on this day, I announced that my latest book: “My Journey Through a Lens”, would be out soon, as the book is almost nearing completion, given the fact that the contents page in this third book is almost full. This book would not only count as my 3rd installment, but it would also count to be one of the biggest books that I have ever produced.

31.3.2015 – The awards kept coming, as Chey had nominated me for the Liebster Award, which counts as the second award of 2015. This award would mean I would go on to answer 10 questions that were set by Chey, one of which I was unable to answer, considering just how much of a good, yet tricky question it was for me to answer. Overall, I did manage to answer almost all of the questions I was set, and I tried my best, so hopefully one question shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Other than that, after I answered the questions I could answer, I then nominated 10 bloggers that deserved the Liebster Award as well, but this time, I would set them 10 questions, as per the rules of the Liebster Award. After I did this, I congratulated them all in the article, but left a note underneath my name to say to those I nominated that they should get a pingback in their notification tab, as I thought that the blogs or websites I nominated would get a pingback automatically, just after this article went live.

1.4.2015 – I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for what was set to be a month full of a lot of good weather, despite the solar eclipse that happened a few weeks previous, as well as the Maths & English exams that I had done before I broke up for the two week holiday. As I mentioned, I did initially hope to get this book completed by the end of this month, though the release may be held off until sometime around the end of May, considering the large amount of coursework I have to complete over the last few weeks of the year.

I sadly failed my Maths exam, which I was really disappointed about, but I have been given another chance to re-take the exam around the last week of college, which will give me plenty of time to revise between now and when the exam takes place.

7.4.2015 – I decided to take a different turn in this article, as this article would focus around The Press, Social Media & The Internet, as I would talk about what makes us turn, and how I see the use of social networking platforms from my own perspective.

I also mentioned two different shows, one of which was Jeremy Kyle, while the other was Jerry Springer, as the social networking site, Facebook, is often the most talked about social network, mainly due to the fact that it has caused a wide birth of marriage break-ups, divorces, and even many different forms of bullying. This article did require an awful lot of thought, because I had to make sure to tread carefully about what I was going to talk about, as well as the kind of content that I would go on to use.

9.4.2015 – After just 8 years of the iPhone OS being around, Apple finally released iOS 8.3 to the masses. Bringing along with it some much-needed changes, iOS 8.3 is the first ever update to go diverse, as most of the emojis that are found in Apple’s Emoji Keyboard have been updated with new sets of different coloured emojis, making diversity become something known, something that was meant to happen from the very start.

As these emojis are now diverse, this will give many users the chance to choose that emoji that they want to use, but in a different skin colour, which is much better, as everyone now gets the fair and diverse choice that they’ve always wanted.

13.4.2015 – Following the release of her 13th Studio Album, Rebel Heart, Madonna released her second music video from the album, titled Ghosttown. Over 500,000+ copies of Rebel Heart have been sold so far, with a possible 45th Number 1 set to rise to the masses. Most recently, Rebel Heart was certified Silver in the United Kingdom after 60,000 copies were sold, which is fantastic for Madonna, considering that this video was released within the first two weeks of April.

In the first few days of its release, Ghosttown clocked up to over 2,000,000+ within the first week alone, and most recently, Madonna’s Ghosttown video has now clocked up to over 5,000,000+ views in almost the first month, which I think is fantastic, considering that it has much more of a better approach, as well as Madonna’s Living for Love music video.

30.4.2015 – After hearing that the music department at Croydon College took to Kickstarter to fund their new project, which is called OutBr3ak Records, I wrote an article to support the project, because, although I am unable to back the project myself, I wanted to help out, as OutBr3ak Records is a project which is being set up to be made into a record label, which will give those budding future musicians the chance to let their musical roots shine, and to also allow them to set their creativity free in what they love to do the most.

1.5.2015 – I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for a month that would begin on a relaxing and delightful note. As we have been getting a lot of good weather recently, which is a first in a while, the Whitsun holiday was just around the corner, despite the fact there was a bit of a chilly breeze, which I was fine with. I also announced that there would be a 6th Case Study included in my third book: “My Journey Through a Lens”, given the fact that this book had just recently crossed over the 300-page target mark.

Also on this day, I published an article that focuses on the YouTube Vlogger, Alfie Deyes. As I share my love for YouTube, I wanted to dedicate this article to Alfie Deyes who, over the past few years, has taken to YouTube to upload videos to his YouTube channels, one of which is a gaming channel, while the other two are based around his life, as well as a lot of the funniest things that he has done with his girlfriend, Zoe Sugg (a.k.a. Zoella), and their little pug, Nala, who is so cute.

7.5.2015 – On the 15th April, I took a trip up to the Victoria & Albert Museum (a.k.a. the V&A), as I went with my class to take some photos that I could use to stick into my A3 Sketchbook for my UAL Level 2 Art & Design Course, and because of the fact I took those photos, this gave me the chance to showcase my photos here, and as well as that, I had thought that this trip was a lot more interesting than the previous one, given the fact that this museum had a lot of interesting works, artefacts, and not only that, some, if not, a lot of model designs that focused on certain building elements, such as the Model of the Crystal Palace.

17.5.2015 – This day was an absolute honour for me to talk about the YouTuber, Joey Graceffa. On this day, I published a special music feature article about this YouTuber, as Joey released his music video: “Don’t Wait” to the world on the 16th May, which had instantly blown me away, given the fact that it had so much sentimental value, and also a lot of meaning to it. Just days before Joey Graceffa released his debut memoir: “In Real Life: My Journey to a Pixelated World“, he officially came out as gay to the world. After a few years of speculation from a lot of his fans, he officially announced he was gay before the release of his book. As I support him and everyone else entirely that are gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender, I wrote this:

I support the LGBT Community entirely because for those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, I believe in equality, LGBT equality and gender equality entirely, no matter what sexuality the person is. I respect all of those who have come out and expressed their sexualities to the world, because everyone in this world deserves to be treated equally, no matter what sexuality they are, and everyone should be respected for who they are and also be treated with the full respect that they deserve. – Alex Smithson

Joey Graceffa’s music video: “Don’t Wait” is available now to watch on YouTube, and if you want to buy the song, it is now available for purchase via the iTunes Store, Google Play, and any other major music outlets that offer the song for purchase. If you want to watch the music video, please make sure to head to the “Related Articles” section below to view the article, or, if you want to get to the video a lot quicker, it can be found on the sidebar under “YouTube Music Favourites“.

31.5.2015 – As it was almost a year since I left school for good, I wanted to take a look back on yesteryear, given that my nostalgia for yesteryear has been really strong. I chose the colours, Purple & Green, as they are how I sense nostalgia, as those two colours combined symbolise my own nostalgic views with reality.

1.6.2015 – I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for what would be a relaxing and peaceful month that would lie ahead. I also did a very short look back as I mentioned in this article that it would be one year ago this month that I had left school for good, given that I had also mentioned that I took a near-enough 5-month hiatus from February 2014 to June 2014, as I had my final exams to worry about.

6.6.2015 – Mother Nature marked a very important milestone on this day, as this day saw Mother Nature officially mark it’s 2nd birthday on WordPress. In the space of two years, I have gone on to publish two books online, one of which I have a physical copy of, and with my third book being close to being ready for its final release, I have felt absolutely proud to have come this far in the space of 2 years.

29.6.2015 – After a month-long wait and a lot of research, I was finally able to publish Case Study #6, which focused on the Former President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. This Case Study is the first case study to have more than 10,000+ words containing dozens of research about a Former President.

30.6.2015 – Following just weeks after Apple held their Worldwide Developers Conference, iOS 8.4 was officially released to the masses. Along with this update brought the newly-announced music service, Apple Music. After 2 very long years, the United Kingdom, for the first time ever, gets access to iTunes Radio, including the new Radio Station, Beats 1 Radio (a.k.a. B1), and with this update came an entirely redesigned Music app, which was given not just a massive overhaul in design, but it also brought back with it the ability to play music videos in the Music application, but in Landscape Mode, which was a commonly used feature that was often seen quite frequently in iOS 6.

Also on this day, I published a Special Music Feature article on the Queen of Pop, Madonna’s high-octane music video: “Bitch I’m Madonna (feat. Nicki Minaj)”. This music video had featured a numerous amount of cameo appearances. These cameo appearances featured the likes of Katy Perry, Rita Ora, Chris Rock, Diplo, Kanye West, Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Alexander Wang, Rocco Ritchie & David. This video, as mentioned by some, if not a lot of people, would wipe Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” music video to the floor. This video was directed by Jonas Åkerlund, who had previously directed Madonna’s previous video, Ghosttown, taken from Madonna’s 13th Studio Album, Rebel Heart.

1.7.2015 – I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for what would be a scorching hot July. This month was set to be an energetic and relaxing month, despite the hot weather. I also mentioned that my third book was finally reaching the completion stage, which was a fantastic sign, as I was itching to get the book finished and ready for release.

2.7.2015 – After a year of hard work, studying and revision, I was absolutely pleased to tell all of you that I had officially, as of this day, passed my UAL Level 2 Art & Design Course with a high Merit grade. This news came in light of the 8 units that I had completed and passed, with a Distinction on my research, which had resulted in me getting that high Merit grade for the whole course overall. I was also delighted to tell all of you that I had also received two certificate from Croydon College that day, one of which celebrates the outstanding achievement in terms of my exemplary attendance, while the other had celebrated my outstanding achievement I’ve made in terms of excellent achievement.

3.7.2015 – After 9 months of working on Book #3, I was absolutely pleased to tell you all that: “My Journey Through a Lens” would officially be out on Independence Day at 6:00 PM. The news of this book release finally came, as I had just finished up work on the book that day (and night), which had left me then to just prepare it so that it was officially ready for release the following day.

The book would contain over 400+ pages, and this book was indeed my largest book to date. It was originally going to be released towards the end of May, but because of the fact I had my college studies and revision to worry about, I had to hold off the released of the book to allow myself a lot more time to finish up the book and to also finalise it, so that it would give me a lot more time to work on it.

In terms of this book, some of the book would focus mainly around the photographical work that I have published on Mother Nature, and not only that, but most of the book itself would also focus around my own interests, as well as Croydon College.

4.7.2015 – After 9 months of hard work, effort and designing, My Journey Through a Lens finally became available as of this day. As the book was over 400+ pages long, this book was indeed the largest book I had ever made, which followed up from my previous book: “A Year in Photography”, which was released on the 1st September 2014. In this book, I talked about 6 historical icons, as well as musicians, from Ben Haenow to Madonna, and not only that, but I had also dedicated this book to a small number of people that I mentioned, including those that had passed away most recently. As of this day, you can now officially download my third book: “My Journey Through a Lens”, which is available now under “Free Books“.

9.7.2015 – Spinning back the clock to 1998, Crash Bandicoot: Warped was the 3rd, most popular installment in the series of Crash Bandicoot. Crash Bandicoot: Warped continues from where Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, left off. I wrote this review because I thought it would be good to relive the nostalgic days of gaming, when games were much better compared to some of the games that are around today. Some of the games that are around nowadays tend to leave little to the imagination, especially for those that are younger than the age that is given on the game’s PEGI (Pan-European Game Information) rating. Overall, I think the game is perfect, and it is one of the top-of-the-class games that you just can’t miss. To end this review, I gave the game an overall rating of 10/10.

13.7.2015 – On this day, the world lost a true gaming icon. Satoru Iwata of the worldwide gaming company, Nintendo, sadly passed away on Saturday 11th July 2015 at the age of 55 from cancer, following complications from a bile duct growth. On the same day, Nintendo had issued an official statement, which had documented the news of Satoru Iwata’s passing. To me, this was a massive shock, as I had only just found out the news of his death on the same day, and not only had his death shocked me, but his death had also been a massive shock to the gaming world. To pay tribute to Satoru Iwata, I would take a look back on his life as it unfolded, and the highlights of his career up until his death.

1.8.2015 – I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for a relaxing, peaceful & joyous August, as this month was set to be the most relaxing month, despite the scorching hot weather that I thought would be impacting the UK. It definitely was safe to say that this month would be full of joy and relaxation, given just how lovely the weather was.

In light of recent events though, I made sure that I would make and publish a tribute article as soon as I could to pay my respects to the Formula 1 Racer, Jules Bianchi, who sadly passed away on the 17th July 2015, coming just 9 months after a racing accident that left him with severe head injuries.

As Windows 10 was the most-talked-about Windows Updates, in the 72 hours that Windows 10 was downloaded, it was downloaded by as many as 14 million users around the world that use Windows, due to unprecedented demand. As I was lucky to download my copy of Windows 10 on release day, I had found the Windows 10 Operating System to be a damn sight faster than Windows Vista and Windows 7. Windows 8 and 8.1 were really good though, they were both speedy, but to me, they were finally balanced in speed, and now that Windows 10 is out, I find that speed and connecting to the internet is more important, because as long as you have both of them, then you’re well on your way to finding things quicker.

4.8.2015 – As the hot weather was officially back, it was safe to say that Mother Nature didn’t slow down just yet, as she decided to provide us some hot weather, despite the humidity, and the hot weather had proved to be almost as hot as it was at the beginning of July. As this day was a lovely day, it was the perfect time to take some photos. I had also taken some photos towards the end of July, and Mother Nature didn’t disappoint at all, as she had created a trail of happiness, slight destruction, given the preparation of the hot weather, and not only that, but she had certainly made the path to Summer feel beautiful.

5.8.2015 – As Mother Nature needed a bit of a refresh in readability, I took the chance of changing up both the font choices by switching to a more readable user interface. The original default fonts were okay, but they were beginning to look dated, but, as I wanted to give Mother Nature a fresh new face and lease of life, I changed the heading font to Oswald, and the Base font was also changed to PT Sans, to accommodate for better viewing.

10.8.2015 – Following the longed-for release of Microsoft’s Operating System, Windows 10, which hit all laptops and PCs running Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 with Bing, I was absolutely delighted to write this article as a way of saying thank you to Microsoft for really nailing the best of both operating systems in one OS.

21.8.2015 – Following shock news reports, the world had lost a true icon in the world of racing on the 17th July 2015. Jules Bianchi sadly passed away on the 17th July 2015, and his death came just 9 months after a racing accident which had left him with severe head injuries. Jules Bianchi’s death came just 21 years after the former Formula 1 Racer, Ayrton Senna, lost his life in the 1994 San Morino Grand Prix, following an accident whilst on the track.

The news of his death had come as a shock to the racing world, and his death had also shocked me, as I hadn’t realised just how bad the extent of his head injuries were until they had announced his death.

The tribute article I made to pay my respects to Jules Bianchi would take a look back on his life as it unfolded, and it had also included the highlights of his career up until his death on the 17th July 2015. We will miss you dearly Jules Bianchi, but you are forever in our hearts.

31.8.2015 – On Friday 1st August 2015, the world had lost an international music & TV icon. Cilla Black, who was best known for being on the hit TV shows, such as Surprise Surprise & Blind Date, which had both ran for 18 years, sadly passed away at the age of 72, at her holiday home in Spain. The tribute article would take a look back on Cilla Black’s life as it unfolded, and the timeline of events that had occurred throughout her life up until her sudden death on the 1st August 2015.

1.9.2015 – I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for a hard-working & energetic month. I also mentioned that September would become the month where it would start to get a little bit chilly, considering the fact that August had experienced a Summer washout. I also mentioned that I may have to post less frequently considering the fact that I have my course to think about, as well as my GCSEs which I would be re-taking, considering the fact that I expressed my joy of wanting to go back to college. I also mentioned that I would be starting on Book #4 soon, to which I mentioned that I wasn’t exactly sure as to whether I would release it this year or at the start of next year.

16.9.2015 – As this day marked the release of iOS 9, I published an article focusing around this release, and in this article, I went through a complete rundown of the new features and changes that iOS 9 had brought with it, and also with iOS 9, this was the first update that became available at just a storage-friendly 1.3 GB, which was a lot lower in download size than iOS 8, as iOS 8 weighed in at 4.58 GB in download size. Also in this release, iOS 9 had finally brought about the ability of expanding the regular 4-digit passcode limit to 6-digits, which is much more beneficial as this will help to up the security of iOS, as well as the security of personal photos, videos and also apps, that’s including the ability to further protect the user’s iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

25.9.2015 – My first few weeks back at Croydon College were absolutely perfect, and after going back to college on the 8th September, college felt like a welcome of open arms, as I couldn’t wait to go back, and I wasn’t nervous at all, but I was actually excited to be back. The 8th September had also marked a milestone of its own, as that day was exactly one year to the day that I had started my first ever day at college. A huge amount has changed in that time, everyone has matured, the respect of the students and the lecturers in the college are much better, and everyone gets on really well.

26.9.2015 – As it was coming up to ten weeks since Windows 10 was released, I published an article on Microsoft’s all-new browser, which was Microsoft Edge. As stated in the tagline, the tagline defined the browser to be: “Your no-fuss online browser for doing.” In the short space of the time that Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge have been out, Windows 10 was installed on almost 100 million devices across the world.

30.9.2015 – Exactly 10 weeks ago on this day, Microsoft Corporation released the last version of Windows to the entire world, and that last version of Windows was Windows 10. Windows 10, in the 10 weeks since it was released, has been installed on up to almost 100 million Laptops and PCs across the world. Windows 10 has also revolutionised the way we use computers, and with the recent release of Office 2016, both tie in effortlessly and work perfectly with no problems at all. Altogether, I gave Windows 10 an overall rating of 10/10, considering just how perfect it has been on me, given just how speedy it has been since I installed it.

1.10.2015 – I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature, where an Autumnal Dawn broke and a cold and chilly working season had begun. I also mentioned that the clocks would be going back towards the end of October, given that it would be like it has been every year on record, while October would become a lot colder, and if not, a lot busier than usual.

3.10.2015 – Following a tangent that I went on a few days prior, I wrote an article that focused on the bad bus experience I had, when I suffered a nasty fall on my 367 Bromley North bus, which resulted in me having a juicy bruise on my right elbow, with a winded chest. As this accident had happened the year before, I wanted to take the opportunity to write the article so that I could talk about how my bad bus experience affected me, and what I wanted the bus drivers to do in the future, to prevent this bad bus experience from occurring ever again.

9.10.2015 – I remember asking you all how music shows our emotions, and how it affects us as well. Well I mentioned how many of the songs that you hear by a very huge number of musicians, they would create their music in a way where certain songs can capture elements of happiness, sadness, anger, but also capture a kind of feeling where you can relate to that musician in terms of certain life experiences.

16.10.2015 – 20.10.2015 – He’s back!!! After being hard at work and being all-hands-on-deck on recording his own music for his upcoming debut album, including shooting his music video for Second Hand Heart, Ben Haenow is back with a bang!!! Second Hand Heart, which features the Piece by Piece American musician, Kelly Clarkson, has a vibrant, energetic beat and bass that will really give you goosebumps on its first listen. On the 20th October, Ben Haenow finally released his much awaited music video for Second Hand Heart, which is absolutely fantastic.

19.10.2015 – Following a formal debate that was discussed in my English lesson the Monday before, I took the opportunity to share my own views on why I felt that violence was never the answer to any problems.

Also on this day a year ago, the world lost a national treasure and an icon. Lynda Bellingham, who was most famously known for being a regular panellist on the TV talk show, Loose Women, from 2007 until 2011, sadly passed away a year ago from colon cancer. I took the opportunity to pay my respects further, considering that she is always thought of and loved even after a year, and she left behind a legacy of her own, she will never be forgotten. We love you Lynda xxxxxxxxx.

21.10.2015 – Coming just a little over a month after Apple released iOS 9, which brought with it a revamped user interface and a software update for doing, Apple finally released iOS 9.1 to the public. This update, for the first time, brought with it a large bundle containing over 150 all-new emojis with full support for Unicode 7.0 & 8.0 emojis, and also for the first time, Apple included the most-requested middle-finger emoji, which has, in so many aspects, been on the cards for a very long time.

25.10.2015 – After sending Facebook & Twitter into a frenzy with her 30-second advert of Hello, Adele, after four years, came back with a bang. After the advert aired, Adele announced shortly after that this record would be available by the week’s end, and just like clockwork, the record was released, along with a comeback video for the new record, and during the course of the week, Adele announced her comeback album, 25, which hits all retail and digital stores on the 20th November.

28.10.2015 – After working hard behind the scenes on his EP, Vander is back!!! Last year, you might remember me telling you all about Vander, as he released a free download of his single: “Back to the Sun” last year. After I gave his Back to the Sun record its first listen, I knew straightaway that it would instantly grow on me, and it did, and I had a very good feeling that more of his music was to come. The Special Music Feature article was commissioned by the man himself, Vander, and it gave me the absolute pleasure to talk about his EP in full detail.

31.10.2015 – Happy Halloween everyone!!! As Halloween is the time of the year where everyone goes out celebrating fright night, I thought it would be good to celebrate Halloween with all of you. As Halloween is also the time of the year where everyone dresses up to go to Halloween parties, and to celebrate a yearly event, it’s often known that Halloween can be a bit of a scary part of the year, but also exciting at the same time, considering that there are often good elements of Halloween that connect well together.

1.11.2015 – I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for what would be a bitter cold and chilly November, as this month would see the cold and bad weather getting even worse, given that patches of mist and fog had opened November to a near-wintry landscape. In this article, I also mentioned that the next few weeks were going to be very busy for me, considering that I had my studies to worry about, among other things.

3.11.2015 – As censorship is often the most-talked about controversial issue that is still going on today, I decided to express my own views, and also explained why I thought that censorship was a very good idea, and how it would help all of us to put an end to abuse, forms of bullying, including cyber-bullying.

7.11.2015 – It was exactly one year ago to this day that I had my braces off, and I explained what it’s been like for me since I had them off on the 7th November 2014, and I mentioned that not much had changed, though I did admit that it felt completely different to the way my teeth felt before I had the braces fitted. I also mentioned that there would come a time in life where we would all face the possibility of having a few teeth out in order for the process to become a lot easier for us. Well, my time came to experience the pain of having two of my teeth out, and yes, it was horrible, but at the same time, it was going through that horrific pain that got me the perfect smile that I wanted.

Also on this day, I asked you all how life in general would matter to you, as I saw from my own perspective that life in general matters to us, as we should value the lives that we are given, and to make sure that we make the most of the time that we all have in this world. I also said that I appreciate life entirely and that I am entirely grateful for the fact that I was brought into this world, as I have learned so much in the space of the time I’ve been around.

8.11.2015 – On this day, I gave a 5 bullet-pointed list based on the five main fears that scared me, given that I asked all of you: “What 5 Main Fears Scare You?”. My 5 main fears were having a fear of heights, the second fear was to do with the level of protection that the United Kingdom has at the moment. The third fear was to do with travel, given that I often fear for my own safety. The fourth fear was to do with falling over when I would least expect it and the fifth fear was the tendency of fearing the element of time going so quickly.

13.11.2015 – Exactly 5 weeks after he released his collaboration of Second Hand Heart with the Piece by Piece American singer, Kelly Clarkson, Ben Haenow finally released his long-awaited debut album to the world. After spending 10 months out of the spotlight, considering he won the 2014 version of The X Factor, Ben Haenow decided to take as much time as he needed to make sure that this album would achieve the sound that he wanted. I gave my full overview on his debut album, considering that it was absolutely perfect, and I also mentioned that his debut album would be available to listen to on Mother Nature through the Spotify widget located in his own widget, which would also remain as a permanent fixture on this website. I gave the overall album rating of Ben Haenow’s self-titled debut album a 10/10.

15.11.2015 – In light of the horrific events that occurred in Paris, following a devastating massacre that resulted in the loss of 132 or more lives on Friday 13th November 2015 (Vendredi 13 Novembre 2015), I announced on Mother Nature that I would not publish any articles for one whole week, as I wanted to pay my full respects to the victims who lost their lives in Paris on the night of the 13th November. I also requested for all of you to put the Pray for Paris sign up on your blog, as I wanted to make sure that we could all pay respect to all of those who lost their lives as a result of the devastating massacre.

Also on this day, Mother Nature changed it’s orange and white colours to the blue, white and red flag colours, as I wanted to make sure that my full respects were paid to the 132 victims who lost their lives on the 13th November 2015.

[1 Week Hiatus Out of Respect to Paris – 16th – 22nd November 2015]

27.11.2015 – With their EP, Life Goes On, being made available for release the following day, my close friend Charlie Philbrick from the Drowned Out band treated me to an early listen of him and his band’s EP (Extended Play), and it was an absolutely awesome EP, and also mind-blowing as well. I also mentioned that one of the band members in Charlie’s band has certain vocal elements in her voice that remind me of Christina Aguilera.

28.11.2015 – On Thursday 26th November 2015, I headed down to some parts of Croydon with some of my classmates from my UAL (University of the Arts London) Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course, as we were doing some filming for our project which is currently based around Ghost Stories. I thought, considering that I was with my group, it would be the perfect opportunity for me to snap some photographs down Surrey Street Market, Crown Hill and also around Croydon. As of Thursday 26th November 2015, filming for my group was actually finished, and I was absolutely pleased with the way the production of the film had gone, despite a small faux pas moment from a member of the public, but aside that, me and my group absolutely enjoyed filming for this project, despite the weather conditions. I snapped the photographs in that article with my iPod touch (5th Generation).

30.11.2015 – With her third album becoming the number one most pre-ordered album, with her album still remaining number one just after it was released, Adele finally delighted us all with her much awaited album, 25, which is the first album in a while since she last released music. In just the space of the first week alone, Adele officially broke the sales records in the US with 3.38 million in sales, with her ‘Hello’ video spanning over 500,000,000+ views, also with the sales record in the UK showing that a whopping 800,307 copies of Adele’s 25 album were sold in the first week alone, which had beaten the 18-year long record that the former music group, Oasis, once held with their 1997 album: “Be Here Now”.

1.12.2015 – I welcomed you all to December, as Christmas was finally here, and with 2016 being just around the corner, I thought it would be the time for all of us to celebrate this time of the year, given that it is the one and only time of the year that we always wait for. I also mentioned at the end of the article that I would be taking a break from publishing articles altogether, given at that stage I had an ear infection that was diagnosed by my local doctors.

10.12.2015 – After I fully recovered from my ear infection, I did an article based on how you could scale your article image to the correct size for the Motif theme. In this article, I would give all of you a run-down on how you could scale your image to the correct size that would be perfectly suited for the Motif theme. This article was for if you wanted to make the switch to the Motif theme.

13.12.2015 – After almost two weeks prior to being diagnosed with the ear infection that I had, which has since gone, I recalled about how I took the rest of that particular week off from blogging and from college as I was sick due to a diagnosed ear infection that I had in my right ear, that left me in nothing but untold pain. In this article, I talked further in detail about my life experience by giving a run-down as to what I experience over the course of that week when I had my first ever ear infection.

14.12.2015 – I did a topic based around whether life was easier for the younger people of today than it was for their grandparents, as I would argue why I was for certain arguments, and why I was against certain arguments. This topic meant I would cover the core areas as to what I thought about life being easier for the young people today than it had been for their grandparents.

On this day as well, I also published an Audience Subjective Confidence Builder, where I would give my 3 key tips that could help you build your confidence when you’re giving a presentation or speech, as confidence is mainly a major key factor that plays a big part in our lives.

23.12.2015 – As I have currently been doing the first year of my two-year photography course at Croydon College, I wanted to do some research on a large number of historical photographers, and the first historical photographer I would be talking about was August Sander. I did mention, however, that I would be making sure that the article would be short, considering the fact that I wanted to make sure to try and publish as many articles as I could before 2016 opens its doors.

25.12.2015 – As this day was a special occasion, this day was the day where everyone would come together to celebrate a landmark event that occurs only once every year. I made sure to make this a short article by wishing you all a Happy Christmas, and a wonderful New Year for 2016.

28.12.2015 – The next historical photographer that I introduced into this new series was Cecil Beaton, who was a renowned English fashion, portrait and war photographer, who had also been a diarist, a painter, an interior designer and also an Academy Award-winning stage and costume designer for films, as well as theatre. In this article, I talked about Cecil Beaton, as well as the timeline of events that unfolded up until his death in 1980.

29.12.2015 – On Christmas Eve, I noticed that the moon had been somewhat bigger than its usual size, and I had thought it would be a good idea to take a photograph of it with my Nikon D3300 DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex). I did keep in mind, however, about those of you who might be suffering from visual impairment, so what I did was I provided three of the same photo, but with one being zoomed in a little, but with another being zoomed in further, so that it would be a lot easier to view.

30.12.2015 – As the sun was beginning to set the day before, I wanted to make sure to show Mother Nature’s Path into Darkness by taking a large number of photos. Thankfully, because it wasn’t as cloudy as I thought it would be, and thankfully because there was some forms of clear sky, I was able to take the large number of photos in the style that I wanted them to turn out. I did mention to all of you to keep in mind that the photos I took were taken just as it was getting dark, so some of the photos would look like as if they were taken in broad daylight because of how my camera took them.

31.12.2015 – As I followed on from the lengthy case study I did which was based on John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Case Study #7 would focus on the Spiritual Leader of the Nation of Argentina, Eva Perón. This case study would focus on Eva Perón’s life as it unfolded, which would feature specific moments and highlights of her career up until her death at the age of 33 on the 26th July 1952.

From me with love and happiness, I want to say thank you so much to all of you for making 2015 such a fantastic year. This year, despite it being eventful in most cases, was also fun in the process, and I loved and enjoyed this year. I will mention, however, that to those around the world, especially those who lost their lives in Paris on the 13th November 2015, that you will never be forgotten, but you shall all be remembered for many, many years to come. I love you all, and to those who lost their loved ones this year, I will always love you forever, and I will never forget you. I will make sure to do you all proud in 2016, and I will also make sure to show to you all, especially to those of you who are no longer with us that despite everything that’s happened this year, we will not go down without a fight, and we will make sure to keep standing strong for you.

Until then, have a Happy New Year for 2016!!!!!!!!! May your 2016 be full of joy, happiness, strength, determination and courage. Goodbye 2015, and thanks for everything. I’ll see you all in 2016.
Alex Smithson

Case Study #7: Eva Perón | 7th May 1919 – 26th July 1952 | Spiritual Leader of the Nation of Argentina.

Following on from the lengthy case study, Case Study #6, which focused on John Fitzgerald Kennedy, comes Case Study #7, which will now focus on the Spiritual Leader of the Nation of Argentina, Eva Perón. This case study will focus on Eva Perón’s life as it unfolded, featuring specific moments and highlights of her career up until her death at the age of 33 on the 26th July 1952.

María Eva Duarte de Perón (7th May 1919 – 26th July 1952)

Eva Person was the second wife of the Argentinian President, Juan Perón (1895 – 1974) and had also served as the First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952. She is also best known by the name, Evita.

She was born in the rural village of Los Toldos, in Pampas, as the youngest of 5 children and at the age of 15 in 1934, Eva Perón had moved to the nation’s capital of Buenos Aires to pursue a career as a stage, radio and film actress. There, she had met the Colonel, Juan Perón on the 22nd January 1944 during a charity event at the Luna Park Stadium to benefit the victims of the San Juan Earthquake in Argentina.

Both Eva & Juan Perón were married the following year, and Juan Perón was elected as the President of Argentina in 1946. During the course of the last 6 years of her life, Eva Perón had become a powerful figure within the pro-Perónist trade unions, primarily for speaking on behalf of the labor rights. She had also ran the Ministries of Labor and Health, where she had founded and ran the charitable Eva Perón Foundation, championed the women’s suffrage in Argentina, and had also founded and also ran the nation’s first large-scale female political party, which was the Female Perónist Party.

In 1951, Eva Perón had announced her candidacy for the Perónist nomination for the office of Vice President of Argentina, where she had received a lot of great support from the Perónist political base, low-income and working-class Argentines, who were ultimately referred to as the descamisados, or the “shirtless ones“. However, her opposition from the nation’s military and bourgeoisie, which coupled also with her declining health, had ultimately forced her to withdraw her candidacy. In 1952, shortly just before her death from Ovarian Cancer at the age of 33, Eva Perón was given the title of the “Spiritual Leader of the Nation” by the Argentine Congress, and just after her death, Eva Perón was given a state funeral, a prerogative that was generally reserved for the heads of state.

Eva Perón has become a massive part of international popular culture, most famously as the subject of the musical, Evita (1976). Cristina Álvarez Rodríguez, who was Evita’s great-niece, claimed that Evita had never left the collective consciousness of Argentines, and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who was the first elected female President for Argentina, claimed that the women of her generation owe a debt to Eva Perón for “her example of passion and combativeness”. She had also elicited some controversy for how she would wield the power and the control that she had at her peak.

Eva Perón’s Early Life (Her Early Childhood, Junin and the Move to Buenos Aires)

Eva Perón’s autobiography, La Razón de mi Vida, contains no dates or even any references to her childhood occurrences, and the autobiography doesn’t list her birth place or even her name at birth. According to Junin’s civil registry, a birth certificate had shown that one Maria Eva Duarte was born on the 7th May 1922. Her baptismal certificate, however, listed another date of birth of the 7th May 1919 under the name, Eva Maria Ibarguren. It is thought, however, that in 1945, the adult Eva Perón had created a forgery of her birth certificate for her marriage.

Eva Perón had spent her childhood in Junin, in the Buenos Aires Province. Her parents, Juan Duarte, and Juana Ibarguren (sometimes referred to as Doña Juana), were descended from Basque immigrants. Juan Duarte, a wealthy rancher from nearby Chivilcoy, already had a wife and family there, and at that time in rural Argentina, it wasn’t uncommon for a wealthy man to have multiple families.

When Eva was a year old, Duarte had returned permanently to his legal family, leaving Juana Ibarguren and her children in severe penury. Ibarguren and her children were forced to move to the poorest area of Junin. Los Toldos was a village in the dusty region of Las Pampas, with a reputation as a desolate place of abject poverty. To support herself and her children, Ibarguren had sewed clothes for neighbours. The family, however, was stigmatised by the abandonment of the father and by the illegitimate status of the children under Argentine law, and was consequently somewhat isolated. A desire to expunge this part of her life may have been the motivation for Eva Perón to arrange the destruction of her original birth certificate in 1945.

When Duarte had suddenly died and his mistress and their children sought to attend his funeral, there was an unpleasant scene at the church gates. Although Juana and the children were permitted to enter and pay their respects to Duarte, they were promptly directed out of the church, and Mrs. Juan Duarte did not want her husband’s mistress and children at the funeral, and, as those of the legitimate wife, her orders were respected.

Prior to the abandonment of Juana Ibarguren, Juan Duarte had been her sole means of support, and the biographer, John Barnes, wrote that after this abandonment, all that Duarte had left to the family was a document that declared that the children were his, which had thus enabled them to use the Duarte surname. Soon after, Juana had moved her children to a one-room apartment in Junín.
To pay the rent on their single-roomed home, the mother and daughters had taken up the job roles of being the cooks in the houses of the local estancias.
Eventually owing to Eva’s older brother’s financial help, the family had moved into a bigger house, which they had later transformed into a boarding house, and it was during this time that young Eva had often participated in school plays and also in concerts. One of her favourite past-times was the cinema, and although Eva Perón’s mother had apparently had a few plans for her, wanting to marry her off to one of the local bachelors, Eva had herself, dreamed of becoming a famous actress.
Her love of acting was reinforced when, in the October of 1933, she had played a small role in a school play, which was called: “Arriba estudiantes (Students Arise)“, in which Barnes describes the school play as “an emotional, patriotic, flag-waving melodrama.” After the play, Eva Perón was determined to become an actress.
The Move to Buenos Aires
In Eva Perón’s autobiography, she had explained that all of the people from her own town who had been to the big cities had described them as “marvellous places, where nothing was given but wealth”, and in 1934, at just the age of 15, Eva had escaped her poverty-stricken village, when, according to a popular myth, she ran off with a young musician to the nation’s capital of Buenos Aires. The young couple’s relationship would end almost as quickly as it began, but she had, however, remained in Buenos Aires.
Eva Perón had begun to pursue jobs on the stage and also on the radio, and she had eventually become a film actress. She had a series of relationships, and via some of these men, she did have to acquire a number of her modelling appointments. She had bleached her natural black hair to blonde, a look of which that she would maintain for the duration of her life.
It’s often reported that Eva had travelled to Buenos Aires by train with the tango singer, Agustín Magaldi. However, the biographers, Marysa Navarro and Nicholas Fraser, have maintained that this is unlikely, as there is no record of the married Magaldi performing in Junín in 1934 (and even if he had, he would usually travel with his wife). Eva’s sisters have maintained that Eva Perón travelled to Buenos Aires with their mother. Her sister’s have also claimed that Doña Juana had accompanied her daughter to an audition at a radio station and had arranged for Eva Perón to live with the Bustamontes family, who were friends of the Duarte family. While the method of Eva Perón’s escape from her bleak provincial surroundings is debated, she did, however, begin a new life in Buenos Aires.
Buenos Aires in the 1930s was known as the “Paris of South America”, as the centre of the city had many cafés, restaurants, theatres, movie houses, shops and also bustling crowds. In directive contrast, the 1930s were also the years of great unemployment, poverty and hunger in the capital, and many of the new arrivals from the interiors were forced to live in tenements, boarding houses and in the outlying shanties that had become known as villas miserias.
Upon her arrival in Buenos Aires, Eva Duarte Perón had to face the difficulties of surviving without formal education or connections, as the city was especially overcrowded during this period of time because of the migrations that were caused by the Great Depression. On the 28th March 1935, Eva Perón had her professional debut in the play: “Mrs. Perez (la Señora de Pérez)” at the Comedias Theatre.
In 1936, Eva Perón had toured nationally with a theatre company, and worked as a model, and not only that, but she was also cast in a few of the B-grade movie melodramas. In 1942, Eva Perón had experienced some economic stability when a company, called Candilejas (which was sponsored by a soap manufacturer) had hired her for a daily role in one of their radio dramas, called Muy bien, which had aired on Radio El Mundo (World Radio), which was also the most important radio station in the country at that time.
Later that year, Eva had signed a five-year contract with Radio Belgrano, which would assure her the role in a popular historical-drama programme, called: “Great Women of History“, in which she would play as Elizabeth I of England, Sarah Bernhardt, and the last Tsarina of Russia. Eventually, Eva Duarte Perón had come to co-own the radio company, and by 1943, she was earning five or six thousand pesos a month, which made her one of the highest-paid radio actresses in the nation. Pablo Raccioppi, who had jointly ran Radio El Mundo with Eva Duarte was said to have not liked her, but had noted that she was “thoroughly dependable”.
Eva Perón also had a short-lived film career, as none of the films in which she had starred in were hugely successful. In one of her last films, La cabalgata del circo (The Circus Cavalcade), Eva Perón had played a young country girl who had rivalled an older woman, the movie star, Libertad Lamarque.
As a result of her success with radio dramas and the films, Eva Perón had achieved some financial stability, and in 1942, she was able to move into her own apartment in the exclusive neighbourhood of Recoleta, on 1567 Calle Posadas Street. The next year, Eva Perón had begun her career in politics, as one of the founders of the Argentine Radio Syndicate (ARA).
Eva’s Early Relationship with Juan Perón
On the 15th January 1944, an earthquake had occurred in the town of San Juan, in Argentina, which killed some 10,000 people, and in response to this, Perón, who was then the Secretary of Labour, had established a fund which would help to raise money to help all those that were affected. He had then devised a plan, which was to have an “artistic festival” as a fundraiser, and it was at this point that he had also invited radio and film actors to participate.
After a week of fundraising, all of the participants had met at a gala, which was held at the Luna Park Stadium in Buenos Aires to benefit the earthquake victims, and it was at this gala, that on the 22nd January 1944, where Eva Duarte would first meet Colonel Juan Perón. Eva had promptly became the colonel’s mistress, and she had even referred to the day that she had met her future husband as her “marvelous day”. Fraser and Navarro had written that Juan Perón and Eva had left together at around two in the morning.
Fraser and Navarro had claimed that Eva Duarte had no knowledge of interest in politics prior to meeting Juan Perón, therefore, she would never argue with Perón or any of his inner circle, but would merely absorb what she had heard. Juan Perón had later claimed in his memoir that he had purposefully selected Eva to be his pupil, and had set out to create in her a “second I.”
However, Fraser and Navarro had suggested that Juan Perón had allowed Eva Duarte such intimate exposure and knowledge of his inner circle because of his age, because he was 48 years old and she was 24 years old when they both met. He had come to politics later on in life, and was therefore free of the preconceived ideas of how his political career should be conducted, and he was willing to accept whatever aid she would offer him.
In May 1944, it was announced that any broadcast performers must organise themselves into a union, and that this union would be the only union that would be allowed to operate in Argentina. Shortly after the union was formed, Eva Duarte was elected as its President. Fraser and Navarro had speculated that Juan Perón made the suggestion that the performers should create a union, and that the other performers likely felt that it was a form of good politics to elect his mistress.
Shortly after she was elected as the President of the Union, Eva Duarte had begun a daily program that was called: “Toward a Better Future”, which would dramatise in soap opera form, in order to make these accomplishments for Juan Perón. Often, Perón’s own speeches were played during the program, and when she spoke, Eva Duarte would speak in her ordinary language as a regular woman who would want her listeners to believe what she, herself, had believed about Juan Perón.
Eva’s Rise to Power
Juan Perón’s arrest
By early 1945, a group of Army officers that were called the GOU, which stands for: “Grupo de Oficiales Unidos” (United Officers Group), also nicknamed: “The Colonels”, had gained considerable influence within the Argentinian Government. The President, Pedro Pablo Ramírez had become very wary of Juan Perón’s growing power with the government, but was unable to curb that power, and on the 24th February 1944, Ramírez had signed his own resignation paper, which Fraser and Navarro had claimed was drafted by Juan Perón himself.
Edelmiro Julián Farrell, who was a friend of Juan Perón, became the President, and Juan Perón had returned to his job as the Labor Minister, though it was claimed by Fraser and Navarro that by this point, Juan Perón was the most powerful man in the Argentinian Government. On the 9th October 1945, Juan Perón was arrested by his opponents within the government, who had feared that due to the strong support of the descamisados, the workers and the poor of the nation, Perón’s popularity might eclipse that of the sitting President.
Six days later, between 250,000 to 350,000 people had gathered in front of the Casa Rosada, which was Argentina’s Government House, to demand Juan Perón’s release, and their wish was granted, and at 11:00 PM, Juan Perón had stepped on to the balcony of the Casa Rosada and addressed the crowd. The biographer, Robert D. Crassweller, had claimed that this moment was very powerful because it was very dramatic, and he had recalled many of the important aspects of Argentina’s history.
Crassweller had written that Juan Perón had enacted the role of a caudillo by addressing his people in the tradition of Argentine leaders, Rosas and Yrigoyen. He had also claimed that the evening had contained “mystic overtones” of a “quasi-religious” nature. Eva Perón was often credited with organising the rally of thousands that freed Juan Perón from prison on the 17th October 1945. This version of events was mainly popularised in the movie version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, which was based on Evita, though most of the historians, however, agreed that these version of events were unlikely.
At the time of Juan Perón’s imprisonment, Eva was still merely an actress, as she had no political clout with the various labor unions, and it was also claimed that she was not well-liked within Perón’s inner circle, nor was she liked by many within the film and radio businesses at this point. When Juan Perón was imprisoned, Eva Duarte Perón was suddenly disenfranchised, and in reality, the massive rally that had freed Juan Perón from prison was organised by the various unions, such as the General Labor Confederation, or CGT as they had come to be known.
To this day, the 17th October is something of a holiday for the Justicialist Party in Argentina (which is celebrated as Día de la Lealtad, or “Loyalty Day”). What would follow soon after was shocking and was also nearly unheard of. The well-connected and politically rising star, Juan Perón, married Eva Duarte, and despite Eva’s childhood illegitimacy, and having an uncertain reputation, Perón was in love with Eva, and her loyal devotion to him, even while he was under arrest, touched him deeply, and so he married her, which would provide her a respectability that she had never known. Eva & Juan Perón were married discreetly in a civil ceremony by Junín on the 18th October 1945, and also in a church wedding on the 9th December 1945.
The 1946 Presidential Election Victory
After he was released from prison, Juan Perón had decided to campaign for the Presidency of the Nation, to which he had won a landslide, and Eva had campaigned heavily for her husband during his 1946 Presidential Bid. Using her weekly radio show, she would deliver powerful speeches with heavy populist rhetorics, which would urge the poor to align themselves with Perón’s movement. Although she had become wealthy from her radio and modelling successes, she had also highlighted her own humble upbringing as a way of showing her solidarity with the impoverished classes.
Along with her husband, Eva Perón had visited every corner of the country, which would make her become the first woman in Argentina’s history to appear in public on the campaign trail with her husband. Eva’s appearance alongside her husband would often offend the establishment of the wealthy, the military, especially those in political life. However, she was also very popular with the general public who had known her from her radio and motion picture appearances. It was during this phase of her life that she had first encouraged the Argentinian population to refer to her, not as “Eva Perón”, but simply as “Evita”, which is a Spanish diminutive or affectionate nickname that is roughly equivalent to “Little Eva” or “Evie”.
Eva’s European Tour
In 1947, Eva had embarked on a much-publicised “Rainbow Tour” of Europe, where she would meet with the numerous dignitaries and heads of state, such as Francisco Franco and Pope Pius XII. The biographers, Fraser and Navarro had written that the tour had its genesis in an invitation that the Spanish leader had extended to Juan Perón. For political reasons, it was decided that Eva Perón, rather than Juan Perón, should make the visit. Fraser and Navarro had written that Argentina had only recently emerged from its “wartime quarantine”, thus taking its place in the United Nations (UN), and improving relations with the United States.
Therefore, a visit to Franco, with António Salazar of Portugal, who was the last remaining West European Authoritarian Leaders in power, would be diplomatically frowned upon internationally. Fraser and Navarro had written that Eva had decided that, if Juan Perón would not accept Franco’s invitation for a state visit to Spain, then she would. The advisors would then decide that Eva should visit many European countries, in addition to Spain. This would make it seem that Eva’s sympathies were not specifically with Franco’s fascist Spain, but with all of Europe. The tour was billed, not as a political tour, but as a non-political “goodwill” tour.
Eva Perón was well received in Spain, where she had visited the tombs of the Spanish monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella in the Capilla Real de Granada. Francoist Spain had not recovered from the Spanish Civil War (the autarkic economy and the UN embargo had meant that the country couldn’t feed its people). During her visit to Spain, Eva Perón had handed out 100-peseta notes to many of the poor children that she had met on her journey, and she had also received from Franco the highest award that was given by the Spanish government, the Order of Isabella the Catholic.
Eva had then visited Rome, where the reception wasn’t as warm as it had been for her in Spain, and although Pope Pius XII didn’t give her a Papal decoration, she was allowed the time usually allotted for any queens and was given a rosary. Her next stop was France, where she was generally well received, and she had visited the Palace of Versailles, amongst other sites. She had also met with Charles de Gaulle, and was promised by France with two shipments of wheat.
Whilst she was in France, Eva Perón had received word that George VI would not receive her when she planned to visit Britain, regardless of what his Foreign Office might advise, and that her visit would not be viewed as a state visit. Fraser and Navarro had written that Eva had regarded the Royal Family’s refusal to meet her as a snub, and it was from there that she had cancelled her trip to the United Kingdom. Eva had, however, given the official reason of “exhaustion” for her on not going on to Britain.
Eva had also visited Switzerland during her European tour, a visit that was viewed as the worst part of the trip. According to the book: “Evita: A Biography by John Barnes”, while she was travelling down a street with many people crowding her car, someone had thrown two stones and smashed the windshield. She had thrown her hands up in shock, but was not injured. Later on, whilst she was sitting with the Foreign Minister, protesters had thrown tomatoes at her, but the tomatoes had hit the Foreign Minister and they splattered onto Eva’s dress. After these two events occurred, Eva had had enough, and after two months, she had returned to Argentina.
The Members of the Perónist opposition had speculated that the true purpose of the European tour was to deposit the funds into a Swiss bank account. “The opposition in Buenos Aires”, which was written by Fraser and Navarro, had “assumed that the genuine purpose of the whole European visit was for Eva and her husband to deposit money in Swiss bank accounts, and that the rest had been devised to conceal this. Many wealthy Argentines did this, but there are many more convenient and less conspicuous ways of depositing money in Swiss accounts than meeting the Swiss Foreign Minister and being shown around a watch factory.” Fraser and Navarro had concluded with: “Was there a Swiss bank account? It seems unlikely.”
During her tour to Europe, Eva Perón was featured in a cover story for TIME Magazine, and the cover’s caption–”Eva Perón: Between two worlds, an Argentine rainbow”– was a reference to the name that was given to Eva’s European tour, The Rainbow Tour. This had been the only time in the periodical’s history that a South American first lady had appeared alone on its cover. In 1951, Eva had appeared again with Juan Perón. However, the 1947 cover story had also been the first publication that had mentioned that Eva Perón was born out-of-wedlock. In retaliation, the periodical had been banned from Argentina for several months.
After returning to Argentina from Europe, Evita had never again appeared in public with the complicated hairdos of her movie star days. The brilliant gold colour had become more subdued in tone, and not only that, but the style had changed as well, as her hair was pulled back severely into a heavy braided chignon. Additionally, her extravagant clothing had become more refined after the tour. She had no longer wore the elaborate hats, and neither the form-fitting dresses of the Argentinian designers.
It was soon after, however, that she had adopted a simpler, yet more fashionable Paris couture, and she had become particularly attached to the fashions of Christian Dior, as well as the jewels of Cartier. In an attempt to cultivate a more serious political persona, Eva Perón had began to appear in public by wearing conservative, though stylish tailleurs (which was a business-like combination of both skirts and jackets), which were also made by Christian Dior, and other Paris couture houses.
Eva’s Charitable & Feminist Works
The Eva Perón Foundation
The Sociedad de Beneficencia (Society of Beneficience), a charity group that was made up of 87 society ladies, was responsible for most of the charity works in Buenos Aires, prior to the election of Juan Perón. Fraser and Navarro had written that at one point, the Sociedad had been an enlightened institution, which had cared for orphans and homeless women, but those days had long since passed by the time of the first term of Juan Perón, and in the 1800s, the Sociedad had been supported by the private contributions, largely by those of the husbands of the society ladies, but by the 1940s, the Sociedad was supported by the government.
It has been the tradition of the Sociedad to elect the First Lady of Argentina as the President of the charity, but the ladies of the Sociedad hadn’t approved of Eva Perón’s impoverished background, let alone her lack of formal education, as well as her former career as an actress. Fraser and Navarro had written that the ladies of the Sociedad were afraid that Evita would set a bad example for the orphans, and it was therefore that the society ladies did not extend to Evita the position of President of their organisation.
It has often been said that Evita had the government funding for the Sociedad cut off in retaliation, though Fraser and Navarro have suggested that these version of events are in dispute, but that the government funding that had previously supported the Sociedad had now gone to support Evita’s own foundation. The Fundación María Eva Duarte de Perón was created on the 8th July 1948, but it was later renamed to, quite simply, the Eva Perón Foundation, and its funding had begun with 10,000 pesos being provided by Evita herself.
In “The Woman with the Whip”, which was the first English language biography of Eva Perón’s, the author, Mary Main, wrote that no account records were kept for the foundation because it was merely a means of funnelling the government money into private Swiss bank accounts, which would be controlled by the Perón’s. Fraser and Navarro, however, have countered these claims by writing that Ramón Cereijo, the Minister of Finance, had kept records, and that the foundation had “began as the simplest response to the poverty (Evita) encountered each day in her office” as well as “the appalling backwardness of social services—or charity, as it was still called—in Argentina.”
Crassweller had written that the foundation was supported by the donations of cash and goods from the Perónist unions and private businesses, and that the Confederación General del Trabajo had donated three man-days (which was later reduced to two) of salary for every worker per year. The tax on the lottery and movie tickets had also helped to support the foundation, as did a levy on casino and revenue from the horse races. Crassweller had also noted that there were some cases of businesses being pressured to donate to the foundation, with negative repercussions being the result if the requests for donations weren’t met.
Within a few years, the foundation had received assets in cash and goods in excess of 3 billion pesos, or over $200 million at the exchange rate of the late 1940s. It had employed 14,000 workers, 6,000 of whom were construction workers, and 26 priests. It had purchased and distributed annually 400,000 pairs of shoes, 500,000 sewing machines and 200,000 cooking pots. The foundation had also given scholarships, and had also built homes, hospitals, as well as other charitable institutions. Every aspect of the foundation was under Eva’s supervision. The foundation had also built entire communities, such as Evita City, which still exists today. Fraser and Navarro have claimed that due to the works and health services of the foundation, for the first time in history, there was no inequality in the Argentinian health care system.
Fraser and Navarro had also written that it was Eva’s work with the foundation that had played a large role in her idealisation, even leading some to consider her as being a saint, and although it was unnecessary from a practical standpoint, Eva had set aside many hours per day to meet with the poor who had requested help from her foundation, and during these meetings with the poor, Eva had often kissed the poor, and had also allowed them to kiss her.
Eva was even witnessed placing her hands on the suppurated wounds of the sick and poor, touching the leprous, and also kissing the syphilitic. Fraser and Navarro had written that though Argentina is secular in many respects, it was also essentially a Catholic country. Therefore, when Evita had kissed the syphilitic and touched the leprous, she had “…ceased to be the President’s wife and acquired some of the characteristics of saints depicted in Catholicism.”
The poet, José María Castiñeira de Dios, a man who had come from a wealthy background, had reflected on the times he had witnessed Eva meeting with the poor, by saying that: “I had had a sort of literary perception of the people and the poor and she had given me a Christian one, thus allowing me to become a Christian in the profoundest sense….”.
Fraser and Navarro had written that towards the end of her life, Eva Perón was working from as many as 20 to 22 hours per day in her foundation, and had often ignored her own husband’s request that she cut back on her workload and take the weekends off. The more that she had worked with the poor in her foundation, the more she had adopted an outraged attitude towards the existence of poverty, by saying: “Sometimes I have wished my insults were slaps or lashes. I’ve wanted to hit people in the face to make them see, if only for a day, what I see each day I help the people.”
Crassweller had written that Eva had become very fanatical about her work in the foundation, and had also felt on a crusade against the very concept and existence of poverty, as well as social ills. “It is not surprising”, wrote Crassweller: “that as her public crusades and her private adorations took on a narrowing intensity after 1946, they simultaneously veered toward the transcendental.” Crassweller had compared Evita to Ignatius Loyola, by saying that she had come to be akin to a one-woman Jesuit Order.
The Female Perónist Party & The Women’s Suffrage
The biographers, Fraser and Navarro, had written that Eva Perón was often credited with gaining the right to vote for Argentinian women, and while she did make the radio addresses in support of the women’s suffrage, as well as publishing articles in her Democracia newspaper, asking male Perónists to support the women’s rights to vote, ultimately, the ability to grant to all women the right to vote was beyond Eva’s powers. Fraser and Navarro had claimed that Eva’s actions were limited to supporting a bill, which was introduced by one of her supporters, Eduardo Colom, a bill which was eventually dropped.
A new women’s suffrage bill was introduced, to which the Senate of Argentina had sanctioned on the 21st August 1946, and that it was necessary to wait more than a year before the House of Representatives had sanctioned it on the 9th September 1947. Law 13,010 had established the equality of the political rights between men and women, as well as the universal suffrage in Argentina. Finally, Law 13,010 was approved unanimously, and in a public celebration and ceremony, Juan Perón had signed the law, which granted all women the rights to vote, and then he handed the bill to Eva Perón, which would symbolically make it hers.
Eva Perón had then created the Female Perónist Party, which was the first large female political party in the nation. Fraser and Navarro had written that by 1951, the party had 500,000 members, and also 3,600 headquarters across the country. Fraser and Navarro had also written that while Eva Perón did not consider herself to be a feminist, her impact on the political life of women was decisive. Thousands of previously apolitical women had entered politics because of Eva, and they were the first women to be active in Argentinian politics. The combination of female suffrage, and the organisation of the Female Perónist Party had granted Juan Perón a large majority (63%) of the vote in the 1951 Presidential Election.
The 1951 Presidential Election – The Vice Presidential Nomination, Eva’s Declining Health, the Re-Election and Spiritual Leader of the Nation.
In 1951, Eva had set her sights on earning a place on the ballot as a candidate for Vice-President. This move had angered many of the military leaders who had despised Eva and her increasing powers within the government. According to the Argentine Constitution, the Vice President automatically succeeds the President in the event of the President’s death. The possibility of Eva becoming the President in the event of Juan Perón’s death was not something that the military could accept.
She did, however, receive great support from the working class, the unions, and the Perónist Women’s Party. The intensity of the support that she had drawn from these groups is said to have surprised even Juan Perón himself. Fraser and Navarro had written that the wide support Eva’s proposed candidacy had generated had indicated to him that Eva had become as important to the members of the Perónist party as Juan Perón himself was.
On the 22nd August 1951, the unions had held a mass rally of two million people, called: “Cabildo Abierto.” (The name “Cabildo Abierto” was a reference and tribute to the first local Argentinian government of the May Revolution in 1810.) The Perón’s had addressed the crowd from the balcony of a huge scaffolding that was set up on the Avenida 9 de Julio, which was several blocks away from the Casa Rosada, the official government house of Argentina. Overhead were the two large portraits of Eva and Juan Perón, and it was claimed that the “Cabildo Abierto” was the largest public display of support in history for a female political figure.
At the mass rally, the crowd had demanded that Eva Perón should publicly announce her candidacy as Vice President, though she had pleaded for more time in order to make her decision. The exchange between Evita and the crowd of two million had become, for a time, a genuine and spontaneous dialogue, with the crowd, chanting: “¡Evita, Vice-Presidente!” When Evita had asked for more time so that she could make up her mind, the crowd had demanded, “¡Ahora, Evita, ahora!” (“Now, Evita, now!”). Eventually, they had come to a compromise, and Evita had told the audience that she would announce her decision over the radio a few days later.
Eva Duarte Perón’s Declining Health
Eventually, she had declined the invitation to run for Vice-President, by saying that her only ambition was that—in the large chapter of history that would be written about her husband—the footnotes would mention a woman who had brough the “…hopes and dreams of the people to the president”, a woman who would eventually turn those hopes and dreams into “glorious reality.” In the Perónist rhetoric, this event had come to be referred to as “The Resurrection”, which would portray Evita as being a selfless woman in line with the Hispanic myth of marianismo.
Most of the biographers, however, have postulated that Evita didn’t so much renounce her ambition, as well as bowing to the pressure from her husband, the military, and the Argentine upper class, who had preferred that she doesn’t enter the race.
On the 9th January 1950, Eva Duarte Perón had fainted in public and had undergone surgery three days later, and although it was reported that she had undergone an appendectomy, she was diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer. These fainting bouts had continued through 1951 (including the evening after “Cabildo abierto”), with extreme weakness and severe vaginal bleeding.
By 1951, it had become evident that Eva’s health was rapidly deteriorating, and although her diagnosis was withheld from her by Juan, she already knew that she wasn’t well, and a bid for the Vice-Presidency was not practical. Only a few months after “the Renunciation”, Evita had undergone a secret radical hysterectomy in an attempt to eradicate her advanced cervical cancer. In 2011, a Yale neurosurgeon had studied Eva’s skull x-rays and the photographic evidence and the neurosurgeon had said that Perón may have been given a prefrontal lobotomy in the last months of her life: “…to relieve the pain, agitation and anxiety she suffered in the final months of her illness.”
On the 4th June 1952, Eva Duarte Perón had ridden with Juan Perón in a parade through Buenos Aires in celebration of his re-election as the President of Argentina. Eva was by this point so unwell that she was unable to stand without support. Underneath her oversized fur coat was a frame that was made of plaster and wire that would allow her to stand, and she took a triple dose of painkillers before the parade, and also took another two doses when she had returned home.
In the ceremony, a few days after Juan Perón’s second inauguration, Eva Duarte Perón was given the official title of the “Spiritual Leader of the Nation.”
Eva Duarte Perón’s Death & Aftermath
Although Eva had undergone a hysterectomy that was performed by the American surgeon, George T. Pack, the cancer had metastasized and had returned rapidly. Eva was the first Argentine to undergo chemotherapy (which was a novel treatment at that time). Despite all of the available treatment that she was given, she had become emaciated, and weighed only 36 kg (79 lb) by June 1952. Eva Duarte Perón sadly passed away on Saturday 26th July 1952, at 8:25 PM, at the age of 33.
The Radio broadcasts throughout the country were interrupted with the announcement that: “The Press Secretary’s Office of the Presidency of the Nation fulfills its very sad duty to inform the people of the Republic that at 20:25 hours Mrs. Eva Perón, Spiritual Leader of the Nation, died.” Ordinary activities were ceased; any movies that were playing were stopped; all restaurants were closed and the patrons were shown to the door.
Immediately after Eva’s passing, the government had suspended all official activities for two days and had ordered that all flags would be flown at half-mast for ten full days. It had soon become apparent, however, that these measures had fallen short of reflecting popular grief, and the crowd that were outside of the presidential residence, where Evita died, had grown dense, and had congested the streets for ten blocks in each direction.
The morning after Eva’s death, while her body was being moved to the Ministry of Labour Building, eight people were crushed to death in the throngs, and in the following 24 hours, over 2,000 people were treated in city hospitals for the injuries that they sustained in the rush to be near Evita as her body was being transported, and thousands more would be treated on the spot. For the following two weeks, the lines would stretch for many city blocks with mourners waiting for hours to see Eva Duarte Perón’s body lying at the Ministry of Labour.
The streets of Buenos Aires had overflowed with gigantic piles of flowers, and within a day of Eva’s death, all of the flower shops in Buenos Aires had run out of stock. A lot of flowers were to be flown in from all over the country, and as far away as Chile, and despite the fact that Eva Perón had never held a political office, she was eventually given a state funeral, which was usually reserved for a head of state, along with a full Roman Catholic requiem mass. A memorial was held for the Argentinian team during the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki due to Eva Duarte Perón’s death during those Olympic Games.
On Saturday 9th August, the body was transferred to the Congress Building for an additional day of public viewing, and a memorial service was attended by the entire Argentine legislative body. The next day, after a final Mass, the coffin was laid on a gun carriage that was pulled by the CGT officials. It was then followed by Perón, his cabinet, Eva’s family and friends, including the delegates and representatives of the Partido Peronista Femenino—then workers, nurses and students of the Eva Perón Foundation. Flowers were thrown from balconies and windows.
There were different interpretations of the popular mourning of Eva’s death. Some reporters had viewed the mourning as being authentic, while others saw the public succumbing to another of the “passion plays” of the Perónist regime. TIME Magazine had reported that the Perónist government had enforced the observance of a daily period of five minutes of mourning, following a daily radio announcement.
During Perón’s time, the children that were born to unmarried parents did not have the same legal rights as those born to married parents, though the biographer, Julie M. Taylor, the professor of anthropology at the Rice University, has said that Evita was well aware of the pain of being born “illegitimate”. Taylor speculated that Eva’s awareness of this may have influenced her decision to have the law changed, so that “illegitimate” children could henceforth be referred to as “natural” children.
Upon her death, the Argentine public was told that Evita was only 30 years old, though the discrepancy was meant to dovetail with Evita’s earlier tampering with her birth certificate, and after becoming the First Lady in 1946, Evita had her birth records altered to read that she was born to married parents, and she placed her birth date three years forward, making herself younger.
Memorial Plans
Shortly after her death, Dr. Pedro Ara was approached to embalm Eva’s body, though Fraser and Navarro had written that it was doubtful that Evita had ever expressed a wish to be embalmed, and they also suggested that it was most likely Juan Perón’s decision. Dr. Pedro Ara was a professor of anatomy who had studied in Vienna and had maintained an academic career in Madrid. His work was occasionally referred to as “the art of death.” His highly advanced embalming technique had consisted of replacing the corpse’s blood with glycerine, which would preserve all of the organs, including the brain, which would create a lifelike appearance, giving the body the appearance of: “artistically rendered sleep”.
Dr. Pedro Ara was known in the Buenos Aires society for his work, and among the people he had embalmed was the Spanish composer, Manuel de Falla. Dr. Pedro Ara had claimed that his embalming of Evita’s corpse had begun on the night of her death, and that by the next morning, “the body of Eva Perón was completely and infinitely incorruptible”, and suitable for display to the public.
In the book: “Perón and the Enigmas of Argentina”, the biographer, Robert D. Crassweller had claimed that the English-speaking nations of North America and Europe had largely misunderstood Argentina’s response to the death of Eva Perón as well as the ornate funeral that she was granted. Crassweller also attributed this misunderstanding to the unique cultural makeup of the Perón’s and Argentina, by saying that the Perón’s were of the Hispanic tradition and that their opposition was largely of the British Ancestry.
The Disappearance & The Return of Eva Duarte Perón’s Corpse
Shortly after Eva’s death, plans were made to construct a memorial in her honour, and the monument, which was to be a statue of a man representing the descamisados, was projected to be larger than the Statue of Liberty. Eva’s body was to be stored in the base of the monument, and in the tradition of Lenin’s corpse, to be displayed for the public. While the monument was being constructed, Eva’s embalmed body was displayed in her former office at the CGT Building for almost two years. Before the monument to Evita was completed, Juan Perón was overthrown as a result of a military coup, the Revolución Libertadora, in 1955. In 1955, Juan Perón hastily fled the country and was unable to make the arrangements to secure Evita’s body.
Following his flight, a military dictatorship took power, and the new authorities had removed Eva’s body from display, and its whereabouts were a mystery for 16 years. From 1955 to 1971, the military dictatorship of Argentina had issued a ban on Perónism. It also became illegal, not only to possess pictures of Juan and Eva Perón in one’s home, but to also speak their names. In 1971, the military had revealed that Eva’s body was buried in a crypt in Milan, in Italy, under the name: “Maria Maggi”. It had also appeared that her body had been damaged during its transport and storage, such as compressions to her face and disfigurement of one of her feet due to the body having been left in an upright position.
In 1995, Tomás Eloy Martínex had published Santa Evita, which was a fictionalised work that would propound many new stories about the escapades of the corpse. The allegations that her body was the object of inappropriate attention were derived from his description of an ’emotional necrophilia’ by embalmers, Coronel Koenig, and his assistant, Arancibia. Many of the primary and secondary references to his novel had inaccurately stated that her body had been defiled in some way, which resulted in the widespread belief in this myth. Also included were the allegations that many wax copies were made, that the corpse had been damaged with a hammer, and that one of the wax copies was the object of an officer’s sexual attentions.
Eva Duarte Perón’s Final Resting Place
In 1971, Eva Perón’s body was exhumed and was flown to Spain, where Juan Perón had maintained the corpse in his home. Juan and his third wife, Isabel, had decided to keep the corpse in their dining room, on a platform near the table, and in 1973, Juan Perón had come out of exile and had returned to Argentina, where he had become President for the third time. Juan Perón had died while in office in 1974, and his third wife, Isabel Perón, whom he had married on the 15th November 1961, and who had also been elected the Vice-President, had succeeded him. She had become the first female President in the Western Hemisphere, and Isabel had Eva Perón’s body returned to Argentina and (briefly) displayed her body beside her husband’s body. Perón’s body was later on buried in the Duarte family tomb in the La Recoleta Cemetery, in Buenos Aires.
The Argentinian Government had taken elaborate measures in order to make Perón’s tomb secret, and the tomb’s marble floor has a trapdoor that leads to a compartment containing two coffins. Under that compartment is a second trapdoor and also a second compartment. That is where Perón’s coffin rests, though the biographers, Nicholas Fraser and Marysa Navarro have written that the claim is often made that her tomb is so secure that it could withstand a nuclear attack. “It reflects a fear”, they wrote, “a fear that the body will disappear from the tomb and that the woman, or rather the myth of the woman, will reappear.”
Eva “Evita” Duarte Perón’s Legacy & Criticism – Argentina & Latin America, the Allegations of Fascism & International Popular Culture

“In all of Latin America, only one other woman has aroused an emotion, devotion and faith comparable to those awakened by the Virgin of Guadalupe. In many homes, the image of Evita is on the wall next to the Virgin.” — Fabienne Rousso Lenoir

In his essay, which was titled: “Latin America”, which was published in The Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity, John McManners had claimed that the appeal and success of Eva Perón were related to the Latin American mythology and concepts of divinity. McManners had also claimed that Eva Perón had consciously incorporated the aspects of the theology of the Virgin and of Mary Magdalene into her public persona. The Historian, Hubert Herring, has described Eva Perón as being “Perhaps the shrewdest woman yet to appear in public life in Latin America.”

In a 1996 interview, Tomás Eloy Martínez had referred to Eva Perón as: “the Cinderella of the tango and the Sleeping Beauty of Latin America.” He has also suggested that she has remained as an important cultural icon for the same reasons as the fellow Argentine, Che Guevara, by saying that:

“Latin American myths are more resistant than they seem to be. Not even the mass exodus of the Cuban raft people or the rapid decomposition and isolation of Fidel Castro’s regime have eroded the triumphal myth of Che Guevara, which remains alive in the dreams of thousands of young people in Latin America, Africa and Europe. Che as well as Evita symbolize certain naive, but effective, beliefs: the hope for a better world; a life sacrificed on the altar of the disinherited, the humiliated, the poor of the earth. They are myths which somehow reproduce the image of Christ.” – Tomás Eloy Martínez

Although it wasn’t a government holiday, the anniversary of Eva Perón’s death is marked by many Argentines each year, and additionally, Eva Perón has been featured on Argentine coins, and a form of an Argentine currency, called “Evitas” was named in her honour. Ciudad Evita (Evita City), which was established by the Eva Perón Foundation in 1947, is located just outside of Buenos Aires.

Cristina Kirchner, who was the first elected female President in Argentine history, is a Perónist who was occasionally referred to as “The New Evita.” Kirchner has said that she doesn’t want to compare herself to Evita, by claiming that she was a unique phenomenon in Argentine history. Kirchner has also said that the women of her generation, who had come of age in the 1970s, during the military dictatorships in Argentina, owe a debt to Evita for offering an example of passion and combativeness.

On the 26th July 2002, the 50th Anniversary of Eva Perón’s death, a museum was opened in her honour, which was called the Museo Evita, and the museum, which was created by her great-niece, Cristina Alvarez Rodriquez, houses many of Eva Perón’s clothes, portraits, as well as artistic renderings of her life, which has also become a popular tourist attraction. The museum was opened in a building that was once used by the Eva Perón Foundation.

In the book: “Eva Perón: The Myths of a Woman”, the cultural anthropologist, Julie M. Taylor, had claimed that Evita has remained important in Argentina due to the combination of three unique factors, by saying that:

“In the images examined, the three elements consistently linked—femininity, mystical or spirituality power, and revolutionary leadership—display an underlying common theme. Identification with any one of these elements puts a person or a group at the margins of established society and at the limits of institutional authority. Anyone who can identify with all three images lays an overwhelming and echoing claim to dominance through forces that recognize no control in society or its rules. Only a woman can embody all three elements of this power.” – Julie M. Taylor

Julie M. Taylor also argued that the fourth factor in Evita’s continued importance in Argentina related to her status as a dead woman, and the power that death would hold over the public’s imagination. She also suggested that Evita’s embalmed corpse is analogous to the incorruptibility of various Catholic saints, such as Bernadette Soubirous, and also has powerful symbolism within the largely Catholic cultures of Latin America, by also saying that:

“To some extent her continuing importance and popularity may be attributed not only to her power as a woman but also to the power of the dead. However, a society’s vision of the afterlife may be structured, death by its nature remains a mystery, and, until society formally allays the commotion it causes, a source of disturbance and disorder. Women and the dead— death and womanhood —stand in similar relation to structured social forms: outside public institutions, unlimited by official rules, and beyond formal categories. As a female corpse reiterating the symbolic themes of both woman and martyr, Eva Perón perhaps lays double claim to spiritual leadership.” – Julie M. Taylor

John Balfour was the British Ambassador in Argentina during the Perón regime, and described Evita’s popularity, by saying that:

“She was by any standard a very extraordinary woman; when you think of Argentina and indeed Latin America as a men dominated part of the world, there was this woman who was playing a very great role. And of course she aroused very different feelings in the people with whom she lived. The oligarchs, as she called the well-to-do and privileged people, hated her. They looked upon her as a ruthless woman. The masses of the people on the other hand worshipped her. They looked upon her as a lady bountiful who was dispensing Manna from heaven.” – John Balfour

In 2011, two giant murals of Evita were unveiled on the building facades of the current Ministry of Social Development, which is located on 9 de Julio Avenue. These works were painted by the Argentine artist, Alejandro Marmo, and on the 26th July 2012, to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of Evita’s death, the notes were issued in a value of 100 pesos.

The controversial effigy of Julio Argentino Roca was replaced by that of Eva Duarte Perón, which made her the first actual woman to be featured on the currency of Argentina. The image in the notes were based on a 1952 design, whose sketch was found in the Mint, was made by the engraver, Sergio Pilosio with the artist, Roger Pfund. The printing had totalled 20 million notes; it isn’t clear whether the government will replace the notes that feature Roca and the Desert Campaign.

The biographers, Nicholas Fraser and Marysa Navarro wrote that Juan Perón’s opponents had, from the start, accused Perón of being a fascist, though Spruille Braden, who was a diplomat from the United States, who was also greatly supported by Juan Perón’s opponents, campaigned against Juan Perón’s first candidacy on the platform that Juan Perón was a fascist and also a Nazi.

Fraser and Navarro had also theorised that the perception of the Perón’s as fascists was enhanced during Evita’s 1947 European tour, during which she was a guest of honour of Francisco Franco. By 1947, Franco became politically isolated as one of the few remaining fascists to retain power, and was therefore in desperate need of a political ally. With nearly a third of Argentina’s population of Spanish descent, it had seemed natural for Argentina to have diplomatic relations with Spain.

Commenting on the international perception of Evita during her 1947 European tour, Fraser and Navarro wrote that: “It was inevitable that Evita be viewed in a fascist context. Therefore, both Evita and Perón were seen to represent an ideology which had run its course in Europe, only to re-emerge in an exotic, theatrical, even farcical form in a faraway country.”

Laurence Levine, who was the former President of the U.S-Argentine Chamber of Commerce, wrote that in contrast to the Nazi ideology, the Perón’s were not anti-Semitic. In the book: “Inside Argentina from Perón to Menem: 1950-2000 from an American Point of View”, Laurence Levine wrote that:

“The American government demonstrated no knowledge of Perón’s deep admiration for Italy (and his distaste for Germany, whose culture he found too rigid). Nor did they appreciate that although anti-Semitism existed in Argentina, Perón’s own views and his political associations were not anti-Semitic. They paid no attention to the fact that Perón sought out the Jewish community in Argentina to assist in developing his policies and that one of his most important allies in organizing the industrial sector was José Ber Gelbard, a Jewish immigrant from Poland.” – Laurence Levine

The biographer, Robert D. Crassweller, wrote that: “”Peronism was not fascism”, and that “Peronism was not Nazism.” He also referred to the comments of the U.S Ambassador, George S. Messersmith, and while he visited Argentina in 1947, Messersmith had made the following statement: “There is not as much social discrimination against Jews here as there is right in New York or in most places at home.”

TIME Magazine had published an article that was made by Tomás Eloy Martínez—the Argentine writer, journalist, and the former director of the Latin American program at Rutgers University—which was titled: “The Woman Behind the Fantasy: Prostitute, Fascist, Profligate—Eva Peron Was Much Maligned, Mostly Unfairly”. In this article, Martínez wrote that the accusations that Eva Duarte Perón was a fascist, a Nazi, and a thief had been made against her for decades, and he also wrote that the allegations were untrue, by saying that:

“She was not a fascist—ignorant, perhaps, of what that ideology meant. And she was not greedy. Though she liked jewelry, furs and Dior dresses, she could own as many as she desired without the need to rob others…. In 1964 Jorge Luis Borges stated that ‘the mother of that woman [Evita]’ was ‘the madam of a whorehouse in Junín.’ He repeated the calumny so often that some still believe it or, more commonly, think Evita herself, whose lack of sex appeal is mentioned by all who knew her, apprenticed in that imaginary brothel. Around 1955 the pamphleteer Silvano Santander employed the same strategy to concoct letters in which Evita figures as an accomplice of the Nazis. It is true that (Juan) Perón facilitated the entrance of Nazi criminals to Argentina in 1947 and 1948, thereby hoping to acquire advanced technology developed by the Germans during the war. But Evita played no part.” – Tomás Eloy Martínez

In his 2002 doctoral dissertation at the Ohio State University, Lawrence D. Bell had written that the governments that had preceded Juan Perón had been anti-Semitic, but that his government wasn’t. Juan Perón had “eagerly and enthusiastically” attempted to recruit the Jewish community into his government and set up a branch of the Perónist Party for the Jewish members, known as the Organización Israelita Argentina (OIA).

Perón’s government was the first to court the Argentine Jewish community, and was also the first to appoint the Jewish citizens to public office. Kevin Passmore had written that the Perónist regime, more than any other in Latin America, was accused of being fascist. But he says that the Perónist regime was not being fascist, and what had passed for fascism under Perón never took hold in Latin America. Additionally, because of the fact the Perónist regime had allowed rival political parties to exist, it cannot be described as being totalitarian.

By the late 20th Century, Eva Perón had become the subject of numerous articles, books, stage plays and even musicals, which ranged also from the biography: “The Woman with the Whip” to a 1981 Television movie called Evita Perón with Faye Dunaway being in the title role. The most successful rendering of Eva Perón’s life was the musical production, Evita.

The musical had begun as a concept album, which was co-produced by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1976, with Julie Covington being in the title role. Elaine Page was later on case in the title role when the concept album was adapted into a musical stage production in London’s West End and won the 1978 Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Musical for her performance as the title character in the Broadway production. Nicholas Fraser had claimed that to date: “the musical stage production has been performed on every continent except Antarctica and has generated over $2 billion in revenue.”

From as early as 1978, the musical was considered as the basis for a movie, and after almost 20 years of the film’s production being delayed, the Queen of Pop, Madonna, was cast as Eva Duarte Perón in the 1996 version of the film, Evita. As a result of the film, Madonna won the Golden Globe Award for “Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy.” In response to the American film, and in an alleged attempt to offer a more politically accurate depiction of Evita’s life, an Argentinian film company released the film, Eva Perón: The True Story. The Argentinian production had starred the actress, Esther Goris, in the title role. This movie was the 1996 Argentinian submission for the Oscar in the category of “Best Foreign Language Film.”

Nicholas Fraser wrote that Evita was the perfect popular culture icon for our times, because her career had foreshadowed, by the late 20th Century, what had become common. During Evita’s time, it was considered as being scandalous for a former entertainer to take part in public political life, though her detractors in Argentina had often accused her of turning public political life into a show business. However, Nicholas Fraser had claimed that the public had become engrossed in the cult of celebrity and that the public political life had become insignificant.

In this regard, Evita was perhaps ahead of her time, but Fraser had also written that Evita’s story appeals to our celebrity-obsessed age because her story confirmed one of Hollywood’s oldest clichés, the rags to riches story. By reflecting on Eva Perón’s popularity more than half a century after her death, Alma Guillermoprieto wrote that: “Evita’s life has evidently just begun.”

This Case Study on Eva Duarte Perón now comes to a remarkable close, and is the last offical standard article for 2015. Check back very soon for the final article, where I will take a full look-back on 2015, on this entire year in review.

Alex Smithson

Photography: Mother Nature’s Path into Darkness

As the sun was beginning to set earlier yesterday afternoon, I wanted to make sure to show Mother Nature’s Path into Darkness by taking these photos. Thankfully, because it wasn’t as cloudy as I thought it would be, and thankfully because there was some forms of clear sky, I was able to take these photos in the style that I wanted them to turn out.

Please keep in mind that these photos were taken just as it was getting dark, so some of the photos may look like they were taken in broad daylight because of how my camera took them. I can point out that there is a dutch angle in photo 7, as I’ve tilted the camera to make them look like as if it has tilted on its side, when in reality, it hasn’t.

I took these photos to show you all the small, but noticeable improvements that I’ve been making to my current photography skills. As I’m currently doing this UAL Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course at Croydon College, this course will be able to help me expand on the photography skills I currently have, and over time, you’ll begin to notice differences in the photos that I take.

Despite it being freezing cold, luckily I had a fleece on to keep me warm as I could feel the breeze of the freezing cold weather impacting my face. I did find that I liked the photographs from photo’s 13 to 21 more, the rest I thought were somewhat okay, but a few were somewhat either out of focus or the lighting was just a little bit too bright. Apart from that, I felt that all of the photographs I took were pretty good overall.

Please feel free to feedback what you thought of my photography skills, and if possible, please feedback in the comments what I did good and what I could improve on. Your feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson