Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity

Humanity is defined as the quality or state of being human, and therefore encompasses all the characteristics that humans are capable of: good and bad, and all the ones in between. However, the term also refers to the quality or state of being humane which means capable of compassion, sympathy, or consideration for humans or animals.

If you take a walk with me in the streets of Bratislava, you’ll see some fine sculptures celebrating both human and humane characteristics.

 

 

Just before the entrance to the hotel where I was staying stands a nice sculpture of a Girl with a deer which is also the smallest fountain in the town. If you look to the right you’ll see a statue of Hans Christian Andersen in the background.

girl with a deer

 

During his visit to Bratislava Andersen exclaimed: “This city is a fairy tale itself”. On his return from Slovakia he produced his famous masterpiece The Little Match Girl. Is it possible that he found his inspiration on this very square?

andersen statue

 

In one of the nearby streets you can see the statue of Schone Naci, a well known figure in the early 20th century. A poor and mentally ill man, he paraded the streets of Bratislava in old, but elegant attire greeting passers-by with his top-hat and bowing to ladies.

 

Schone Naci

 

On Hlavne Namestie (literally the main square) you can see the statue of Napoleon’s Army Soldier that reminds visitors of Napoleon himself. Napoleon visited Bratislava in 1805 and then in 1809. His army blew up the Devin Castle near the town. Both tourists and locals enjoy sitting on the bench with the soldier at their back.

 

Napoleon's soldier

 

Cumil is the favourite tourist attraction in the town. He dates back only to 1997, and as far as I could see he is heavily abused by tourists and children that like to sit on his head. It has been reported that he was damaged by car drivers on several occasions. Nevertheless, he is a good-humoured chap who is taking a break from his dirty work and enjoying the view of the town and peeking up women’s skirts.

 

Cumil

 

I am at Hviezdoslavovo námestie (“Hviezdoslav Square”) now, the square named after Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav (Hviezdoslav being his pen name meaning celebrator of stars), an innovative poet whose style is characterized by extensive use of self coined words and expressions.

 

Hviezdoslav

 

Right there at Hviezdoslav Square I noticed a group of people standing still with their arms up, gathered in a silent protest against organ harvesting in Chinese prisons. “Hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong meditators are held in prison camps across China. For the past decade, they and other prisoners have been medically tested, killed, and used as a living donor bank for China’s transplant industry”. Their silent action drew my attention and I signed the petition. More details on organpetition.org.

 

petition

 

Humane or only human, we are all part of humanity and as such have the responsibility of being human towards each other.

This is my response to Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity.

https://bopaula.wordpress.com/category/weekly-photo-challenge/

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106 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity

  1. I definitely went for a darker interpretation than what you did! This looks like a nice city. Your photos are a good advertisement for Bratislava. I know some of Hans Christian Andersens stories from when I was a kid.

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  2. Beautiful photos, Paula. Wow, I lead a sheltered life. That organ harvesting is just something that never crossed my mind. I mean, I know there is so much evil in this world and it’s a travesty. But I also believe that they’ll get their just rewards….

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  3. Do treat others as you wish they treat you – in a way that I insist on this – if it doesn’t work so I treat others as they treat me – it works and it’s humanity – really enjoyed these photos, excellent… 🙂

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  4. A very nice guided tour in a city – Bratislava – which was so far just a name I’m not sure I can even place on a map! Somewhere East! 🙂
    Bon week-end Paula
    Brian

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  5. I apologise, Paula – but my attention has been completely diverted from the rest of your post by the obscenity of that last bit about Falun Gong’s followers being used for organ harvesting.
    This is the first time I’ve even heard of it, and I can scarcely believe my eyes … I’m off to that link …

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  6. Pingback: 9-12-14 Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity – City Style | The Quotidian Hudson

    • 🙂 A less than common approach I agree :D. I do not take as many photos of living and breathing people as many other bloggers. I am happy you like it, Janet. Best to you…

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  10. Oh my, what a beautiful post. I was going to submit a photo of the exact same statue of a girl with a deer in Bratislava for this challenge and I still have it ready on my harddrive, but then decided to go for a different theme. Please check out my posts on Bratislava on my blog using the search box, if you like. 🙂
    Cheers!

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  11. Pingback: weekly photo challenge: humanity | Musings of a Random Mind

    • Thank you for your visit Tina. That sewer worker is the favourite of many tourists 🙂 Bratislava is a really charming town. I was happy for the opportunity to see it this summer even for just a day.

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    • Hello Lumar and thank you. They are all pretty special, and make the visit to Bratislava pretty special. So many wonderful examples on a short walk through the town centre.

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  12. This was such a lovely, entertaining and educational walk through Bratislava together with you, Paula – thank you for that!
    Looking at the sculptures, next to the admiration of art there were also thoughts about the way they are treated (abused) daily by humans. Somehow reminded me of Juliet’ s statue in Verona that had to be removed for this particular reason. After all the way we treat others is one of the features defining us as human beings, isn’ t in…

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  13. Such a strange nation China is, Paula! I was really enjoying our stroll until we arrived at yet another example of our inhumanity. I was pleased to escape it all for a little while in the Algarve. Loved your post. Napoleon is delightful! And that chap doffing his cap 🙂

    I just remembered about the flooding in Croatia, which I glimpsed briefly on the news, but have no idea where it is?

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    • Thank you, Jo. It hit both the north and south. My Mum in Dubrovnik is busy repairing the damage above the balcony. Two towns near Zagreb are under alert building additional dikes to stop flood waves coming from Slovenia. Thank you for taking a break. Always enjoying your company.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I love your city’s public art. Quite impressive.

    For the past 15 years, I have read quite a bit about the abuses of Falun Gong members in China. The horror stories of survivors are really difficult to comprehend without puking or getting so mad that you want to do something inhumane to put an end to the suffering. I fear that it will continue long before there is a true end to the tyranny.

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  15. A lovely series of statues celebrating the creative and the quirky in human nature. I’m impressed at the range and the scale – not monumental men on horses, but human-sized people, behaving in a range of human ways. And then the demonstration of absolute inhumanity as your punch line: organ harvesting is one of those awful abuses of human beings that leaves you speechless. It’s salutary to be reminded of our capabilities. A thoughtful post.

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  16. Terrific post. I love all the sculptures around Bratislava. I have always admired the way European cities use sculpture in such a friendly easy way. It is beginning to work like that in London, but it’s taken a long time. Have you read Kazuo Ishiguro’s book, Never Let Me Go? If China is harvesting organs from healthy, live people, then this is no longer fiction.

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  17. A really unexpected twist there at the end – I am appalled at the organ harvesting in Chinese prisons. What a brilliant entry to the theme, covering the whimsical and the worst sides of humanity in just one post.

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  18. WoW. what a fantastic city. Had always heard about it in movies, though not-on-a-great note. But your blog tells a different story. Thanks for sharing these super cool photos. One of the best posts for this week, i must say. Thanks once again for taking us for a trip.

    Do visit my photos as well. 🙂

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