Aleksandra Michajlovna Kollontaj : Mother Russia

The worker-mother must learn not to differentiate between yours and mine; she must learn that there are only our children, the children of Russia’s communist workers

Aleksandra Michajlovna Kollontaj was born in St. Petersburg in 1872 and died in Moscow in 1952.

She was a Russian revolutionary who after the Revolution of October 1917, when the Bolshevik party came to rule the country, served as minister. She was the first woman in the history oh humanity to be appointed to this position.

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In such a role she worked and succeeded in granting women the right to vote, in establishing kindergartens and systems for ensuring assistance during the maternity period. Kollontaj was one of the founder of the Zenotdel, an agency designed to promote the participation of women in public life. Thanks to her work Russian women gained the right to vote and to be elected the right to divorce and to abort.

Kollontaj was also married for a short period of time during her youth and was a mother. She was throughout her entire life author of books and pamphlets that promoted communism and equality between men and women.

Billie Holiday: The dawn of Jazz America

“God bless the child that got its own”

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Billie Holiday’s career spans from the 30’s to the 50’s of the last century. This was the mythical time of America’s Jazz, a time of poverty and frugality, the music of small clubs, the lost sounds of stars nicknames that evoked closeness and familiarity. As it was usual, singers used to tour accompanied by orchestras already with a name of their own. It was in the Count Bessie Orchestra that Billie met legends of the sort of Lester Young. Besides working alongside bands, she developed an important solo career that took her from tiny little clubs in Baltimore and Harlem to the greatest concert halls in Europe even. Billie’s private life had a great deal of an impact on her song writings. She sang of poverty, which experienced earlier in her life, of troubled relationships as in “my man”, and of discrimination a scar more than alive at the time personally and objectively. Eventually was her habit of substance abuse that took her away from the stage for quite some time not only because of health-related problems, but also because she was jailed a couple of times. Her signature style, elegant and mesmerizing, conveys an ever present note of sweet and sour melancholy.

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