Samo Timeline

Samo Timeline

Jean-Michel Basquiat

December 22, Jean-Michel Basquiat born at Brooklyn Hospital,New York. His father, Gerard Basquiat, born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti his mother, Matilde Andradas, born in Brooklyn of Puerto Rican parents. The Basquiats live in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

At an early age, Basquiat shows an affinity for drawing, often using paper his father brings home from the accounting firm where he works to make drawings inspired by television cartoons. His mother has a strong interest in fashion design and sketching, and she frequently draws with Basquiat.

In May, while playing ball in the street, Basquiat is hit by an automobile. He breaks an arm, suffers various internal injuries, and has to have his spleen removed. He is hospitalized at King's County Hospital for one month. While recovering, he receives a copy of Gray’s Anatomy from his mother. The book makes a lasting impression its influence is found in Basquiat's later work with anatomical drawings and prints and in the name of the band he co-founded in 1979, Gray.

Through the City-as-School, Basquiat becomes involved with an Upper West Side drama group called Family Life Theater. During this time, he creates a fictional character named SAMO (Same Old Shit), who makes a living selling a fake religion. Basquiat and Diaz, among the most popular students at City-as-School, both very creative and with a knack for getting into a lot of trouble, begin collaborating on the SAMO project as "a way of letting off steam."

They begin spray-painting aphorisms on the D train of the IND line and around lower Manhattan. The writings consist of witty philosophical poems: SAMO as an end to mindwash religion nowhere politics, and bogus philosophy," "SAMO saves idiots, Plush safe he think SAMO.

In June, Basquiat leaves home for good. Gerard Basquiat, with some trepidation, gives his son money with the understanding that he will try his best to succeed.

Basquiat's fascination with stardom and "burning out" is a recurring subject in his life. Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, two people whose work and artistic achievement Basquiat admires, had both died of drug overdoses at the age of twenty- seven in 1970. His admiration for musicians, singers, and boxers like Joplin, Hendrix, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Sugar Ray Robinson, and Joe Louis is shown later in various paintings.

Basquiat begins to sell hand-painted postcards and T-shirts to make a little money. He approaches Andy Warhol and Henry Geldzahler inside the SoHo restaurant WPA he sells a postcard to Warhol but Geldzahler dismisses him as "too young.13

Basquiat and Adler move into a small apartment at 527 East 12th Street, his first fixed address. During this time, he becomes a regular among a crowd of filmmakers, musicians, and artists that hang out at the "new" downtown spots: the Mudd Club, Club 57, CBGB's, Hurrah's, and Tier 3. Along with Patti Astor, co-founder of the Fun Gallery, David Byrne, Blondie, Madonna, Tina Lhotsky, the B-52s, John Lurie, Diego Cortez, Edit DeAk, Ann Magnuson, and John Sex, Basquiat regularly makes the scene at the Mudd Club.

Basquiat concentrates on painting T-shirts and making postcards, drawings, and collages. They display a combination of graffiti art and Abstract Expressionism, and focus on baseball players, the Kennedy assassination, and consumer items such as Pez candy. Basquiat collaborates on many of these with John Sex and Jennifer Stein, and sells the work in Washington Square Park, around SoHo, and in front of The Museum of Modern Art.

In May, Basquiat, along with Michael Holman, Shannon Dawson, and Vincent Gallo form the band Channel 9, later renamed Test Pattern, then Gray. They are subsequently joined by Wayne Clifford and Nick Taylor. Basquiat plays clarinet and synthesizers for the group, which performs a distinct blend of jazz, punk, and synth-pop, often referred to as "noise music.

I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

In June, Basquiat's art is publicly exhibited for the first time in the "Times Square Show," a group exhibition held in a vacant building at 41st Street and Seventh Avenue in the Times Square area of New York. The exhibition is organized by Colab (Collaborative Projects Incorporated), an artist-run group based on the Lower East Side, and Fashion Moda, a graffiti-based alternative gallery space in the South Bronx. Like members of the two organizing groups, the conjunction of artists in the show represents two very distinct subcultures: the downtown avant-garde consisting of new wave and neo-pop, and the uptown avant-garde of rap and graffiti. Some of the other artists in the show are: John Ahearn, Jane Dickson, Mike Glier, Mimi Gross, David Hammons, Jenny Holzer, Joe Lewis, Candace Hill-Montgomery, Tom Otterness, Lee Quinones, Kenny Scharf, Kiki Smith, and Robin Winters.

The "Times Square Show" is enthusiastically received by the art world, an early step in legitimizing the artists of the East Village club scene. Basquiat creates a large SAMO installation on a single wall of the space and is one of a few artists discussed in the review for Art in America

In February, Basquiat is included in "New York/New Wave," an exhibition organized by Diego Cortez for the large gallery space at P.S. 1, Institute for Art and Urban Resources, in Long Island City. The show includes more than twenty artists, among them Edie Baskin, Keith Haring, Robert Mapplethorpe, Kenny Scharf, Andy Warhol, and the graffiti artists Ali, Crash, Dondi, Fab 5 Freddy (Braithwaite), Haze, Lady Pink, Seen, and Zephyr. Basquiat has high visibility in the show, with a wall on which he installs more than twenty drawings and paintings. These works attract the attention of dealers Emilio Mazzoli, Bruno Bischofberger, and Annina Nosei. The day after the opening of the show, Basquiat returns home to Brooklyn around six in the morning and proclaims, "Papa I've made it!"

In May, Basquiat travels to Europe for the first time, for his first one-artist exhibition, at the Galleria d'Arte Emilio Mazzoli in Modena, Italy. The work is shown under the name SAMO.

The first extensive article on Basquiat, "The Radiant Child," by Rene Ricard, appears in the December 1981 issue of Artforum. The detailed essay examines the emerging New York artists from the Mudd Club shows, the "Times Square Show," and "New York/New Wave." Some of the other artists discussed are John Ahearn, Fred Braithwaite, Francesco Clemente, Dondi, Futura 2000, Keith Haring, Lady Pink, and Judy Rifka.

In June, Basquiat, at age twenty-one, is the youngest of 176 artists invited to participate in the international exhibition "Documenta 7" in Kassel, West Germany. His work is shown with that of such established artists as Joseph Beuys, Anselm Kiefer, A. R. Penck, Gerhard Richter, Cy Twombly, and Andy Warhol, in addition to that of younger artists Francesco Clemente, Keith Haring, Jenny Holzer, Lee Quinones, and David Salle.

Nevertheless, because he is young and because he is black, Basquiat's paintings and drawings encourage the recognition of graffiti art within the art world. By this time, the Lower East Side arts scene has graduated from exhibitions in clubs to small storefront alternative gallery spaces that exhibit hundreds of young artists from the downtown club scene, artists who were rarely accepted by the larger art community of New York.

Also in March, Basquiat is included in the 1983 Biennial Exhibition" at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. The exhibition includes more than forty artists, many being shown for the first time at the Museum, among them Keith Haring, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, David Salle, and Cindy Sherman. Basquiat, at age twenty-two is one of the youngest artists ever to be included in a Whitney Biennial.

On August 15, Basquiat moves into 57 Great Jones Street, a building he leases from its owner, Andy Warhol. Their relationship flowers, though it prompts much discussion of white patronization of black art. Warhol and Basquiat work out together, paint each other's portraits, attend art events, and regularly discuss philosophies of life and art, as well as Basquiat's family experiences. Warhol encourages Basquiat to be more responsible toward his family.

In September, Basquiat's collaborative paintings with Warhol and Clemente are shown at the Galerie Bruno Bischofberger in Zurich. The trio had completed about fifteen paintings and this show demonstrates the degree of celebrity status and popularity that Basquiat has attained at such an early age.

Basquiat's friends become more and more concerned about his excessive drug use. They often find Basquiat in a state of paranoia and uncharacteristically unconcerned with his appearance. Basquiat's paranoia is also fueled by the very real threat of people stealing work from his apartment.

In September, sixteen collaborative paintings by Basquiat and Warhol are shown at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery. At Shafrazi's suggestion the two artists pose together in boxing trunks and gloves for a poster advertising the show. Unfavorable reviews cause tension in and, ultimately, weaken the Warhol-Basquiat friendship.

In November, a large exhibition of more than sixty paintings and drawings opens at the Kestner-Gesellschaft in Hannover. Organized by Carl Haenlein, this is Basquiat's second survey exhibition in a European museum at twenty-five he is the youngest artist ever given an exhibition there.

On February 22, Andy Warhol dies. Though their friendship had suffered greatly in the last year, Basquiat appears to be devastated by this loss. Basquiat paints Gravestone, a memorial to Andy Warhol.

On Friday, August 12, Jean-Michel Basquiat dies in his Great Jones Street loft at age twenty-seven. The autopsy report from the office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Manhattan Mortuary, lists cause of death as "acute mixed drug intoxication (opiates- cocaine)."



Samoa, formerly Western Samoa, is in the South Pacific Ocean about 2,200 mi (3,540 km) south of Hawaii. The larger islands in the Samoan chain, Upolu and Savai'i, are mountainous and of volcanic origin. There is little level land except in the coastal areas, where most cultivation takes place.


Constitutional monarchy under a native chief.


Polynesians, possibly from Tonga, first settled in the Samoan islands about 1000 B.C. Samoa was explored by Dutch and French traders in the 18th century. Toward the end of the 19th century, conflicting interests of the U.S., Britain, and Germany resulted in an 1899 treaty that recognized the paramount interests of the U.S. in those islands west of 171W (American Samoa) and Germany's interests in the other islands (Western Samoa).

New Zealand seized Western Samoa from Germany in 1914, and in 1946 it became a UN trust territory administered by New Zealand. A resistance movement to both German and New Zealand rule, known as the Mau (?strongly held view?) movement, helped to edge the islands toward independence on Jan. 1, 1962. A constitutional monarchy, Samoa has a legislative assembly whose members are from the matai, or titled class.

Barraged regularly by cyclones that have wreaked havoc on the country's primarily agrarian economy, Samoa has begun stepping up its tourism industry?not such a difficult undertaking in this archetypal South Pacific paradise.

A referendum in 1990 gave women the right to vote for the first time. In 1997, a new constitutional amendment changed the country's name to Samoa.

Origins and early history

The prehistoric people of Bohemia, north of the middle Danube River, were of uncertain origin. The Boii, a Celtic people, left distinct marks of a fairly long stay, but its time cannot be firmly established. (The name Bohemia is derived through Latin from Celtic origins.) The Celtic population was supplanted by Germanic tribes. One of them, the Marcomanni, inhabited Bohemia, while others settled in adjacent territories. No outstanding event marked the Marcomanni departure.

Archaeological discoveries and incidental references to Bohemia in written sources indicate that the movements of ethnic groups were not always abrupt and turbulent but that the new settlers began to enter the territory before the earlier inhabitants had left it. It can be assumed, therefore, that the Slavic people were coming in groups before the southward migration of the Germanic tribes. In the 6th century ce , Bohemia and the neighbouring territories were inhabited by the Slavs.

While mountains and forests offered protection to Bohemia, the tribes in the lowlands north of the Danube and along its tributaries were hard-pressed by the Avars of the Hungarian plains. Attempts to unite the Slavic tribes against the Avars were successful only when directed by such personalities as the Frankish merchant Samo, who gained control of a large territory in which at least part of Bohemia was included. His death in 658 ended the loosely knit state. A more auspicious era dawned after the Frankish king Charlemagne defeated the Avars in the 8th century.

There followed a period of comparative security, in which the concentration of the Slavs into political organizations advanced more promisingly. Soon after 800 three areas emerged as potential centres: the lowlands along the Nitra River, the territory on both sides of the lower Morava (German: March) River, and central Bohemia, inhabited by the Czech tribe. In time the Czechs, protected from foreign intruders, rose to a dominant position. Governed by rulers claiming descent from the legendary plowman Přemysl and his consort Libuše (see house of Přemysl), the Czechs brought much of Bohemia under their control before 800 but failed to defeat the tribes in the east and northeast. Apart from occasional disturbances, such as Charlemagne’s invasions (805), the Czech domain was not exposed to war and devastation, and little of the life there came to the notice of clerics who were recording contemporary events in central Europe.

The story of SAMO©, Basquiat’s first art project

In the late 70s, when graffiti tagging was in full swing across New York, the word ‘SAMO©’ began cryptically appearing – sprayed on the city’s walls.




The new style countered the name and street number format that had so far reigned supreme. Behind the words were two teens named Al Diaz and Jean-Michel Basquiat, who collectively identified as SAMO© and used the moniker as a channel for their angst. It was witty, confusing, confronting – it got people’s attention.

While Jean-Michel Basquiat went on to become the Jean-Michel Basquiat, SAMO©’s influence on his career is something rarely explored. Not a single work of the late artist’s exists in a UK public gallery nor has a major exhibition been held on his work until later this month – the Barbican will open a major retrospective that will cover the many facets of Basquiat’s art and life, including his time spent as one-half of SAMO©, alongside Diaz. Sadly, SAMO©’s writings have long been painted over or scrubbed away, with Diaz telling me over the phone from New York, “I certainly don’t know of any but it would be great if there was.” He adds that if there were any, they’d likely be hidden in a basement somewhere.

Long before the pair met, Diaz was a fully fledged member of New York’s graffiti movement. Raised in a housing project on the Lower East Side (“It was a real shithole then”), Diaz began writing graffiti on trains and buses at age 12. “I was writing Bomb 1,” he recalls. “The old graffiti format was a nickname and then a number, which was sometimes your block, the street you lived on, or the building. It showed where you were from.” During its inception, the graffiti movement was limited to NYC with sproutings in Philadelphia. “It was not the refined street culture it has become,” Diaz continues. “It wasn’t an international phenomenon, it was an inner city thing in the side boroughs, like a kind of secret organisation. It was a sport. A way to be cool and different. No-one had been doing it before. There had never been a phenomenon of going around writing your name on the wall as many times as you could so people would notice it.”

Diaz’s reasons for doing it were just this – to become someone that people knew. “Before people would go around writing gang names, such as ‘Sharks’ or ‘Jets’, but this was all about you’. And I was looking for an identity. I wasn’t a very good athlete or anything, and I liked to draw. But at the same time, I liked to run around in the street, get chased, and get into trouble… It was perfect.”

It was in high school that Diaz met Basquiat. “He was shy around the more aggressive types, like the skateboarders or the graffiti arists,” recalls Diaz. “He wasn’t a tough guy or anything. But with his own circle of friends, he was pretty outgoing. Somehow, we really hit it off (because) we just kind of had the same sense of humour.” The friends shared musical and artistic interests, and both held Hispanic roots. “It was enough to cement our friendship,” says Diaz. “We were both big on words and language, and that really did it. I don’t know if we were aware of it at the time, but it was definitely something.” Attending an alternative high school in Brooklyn Heights, Diaz and Basquiat spent their time visiting the city’s museums. “If you needed art credit, you could do a course where you would go to MoMA, or something, and Jean and I did that class together. But he was real problematic – he was always arguing with this woman called Sylvia, who conducted the tours,” laughs Diaz. “I always wondered if she remembered a young Jean-Michel and later on put two-and-two together and thought, ‘oh fuck, that guy became famous.”

Combining their interests in art, Diaz and Basquiat, along with some other students, started a newspaper named Basement Blues Press. It was here that SAMO© was conceived, through an article that Basquiat was working on for the Spring 1977 issue about an ideal yet imaginary religion that he called SAMO. The feature details a fictional dialogue between Harry Sneed and Quasimodo Jones – sat in the American food chain Papaya King, Sneed talks of a desire for “modern and stylish” enlightenment. Jones tells Sneed about various religions, but is enamoured by the idea of “SAMO”, “a guilt free religion”. A few days after the article was published, Diaz and Basquiat printed out flyers that featured fictional testimonials from people who claimed that converting to SAMO changed their lives. “We thought it was hilarious”, laughs Diaz, “we were just kids.”

The reactions were enough for the friends to keep going with it. Taking the word, “SAMO” – which initially stood for “Same Old Shit” – and turning it into a medium for them to vent frustrations, personal jokes, whatever they wanted, through graffiti. By 1978, SAMO© had begun to appear on walls across the city. “There was a famous graffiti artist that always wrote, ‘Pray and Jesus Saves’ and all these kind of religious things, and I thought we could go about it in that style. We just kept elaborating on it. In a couple of weeks, it was like ‘SAMO© AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO GOD’.” They wrote it on a church on West Broadway, although there is no visual documentation of it now: “Back then, in the 70s, you’re not really thinking, ‘Oh, let’s save this for posterity. That was not really on the agenda,” adds Diaz.

“What we were doing was more like Greco-Roman graffiti, making commentaries on the world around us and that set us aside. We thought we were a little bit ahead of the game” – Al Diaz

“We were commenting on whatever we were dissatisfied with, or thought was funny – whatever! Consumerism, religion, politics. This was all from the mind of someone who was 17 and 19-years-old – we were very young minds.” However, they soon dropped the “Same Old Shit” reference, “because ‘Same Old Shit’ is an alternative to nothing, so it didn’t make any sense.”

“We were trying to be wise guys, funny guys. the smartest guys in the room!” he continues. “We were tired of the name followed by the number format of graffiti because it wasn't saying anything other than ‘Joe 182’ was here. That was the only message there. What we were doing was more like Greco-Roman graffiti, making commentaries on the world around us and that set us aside. We thought we were a little bit ahead of the game.”

Diaz and Basquiat managed to remain completely anonymous until 1978 when they sold their story for $100 to the Village Voice for an article titled “SAMO© Graffiti: BOOSH-WAH or CIA?”, written by Philip Faflick.

Who the hell was this guy Samo©?”, wrote Faflick, describing the pair as school drop outs. “Does SAMO© in fact provide an alternative?” he asked them, to which they responded, “No way”. “SAMO© is just a means of bringing it out”, explained Basquiat, “a tool for mocking bogusness”. The article also revealed the attention they received at the time, as people wrote their own responses to SAMO©. The positive: “SAMO© CALL HOME AT ONCE! MOTHER NEEDS YOU”, and the less so: “DEATH TO SAMO©”. All of it, they admitted, was taken as a compliment. People even began to believe SAMO© was the CIA – hence the article’s title, “SAMO© Graffiti: BOOSH-WAH or CIA?”. Basquiat added, “We can’t stand on the sidewalk all day screaming at people to clean up their acts, so we write on walls”. Faflick ends with the observation that the pair’s social circle were wary about them speaking with the press, with the writer ominously noting they “were worried that a taste of fame would go to their heads”.

The Village Voice article Courtesy of Al Diaz

Not long after the Village Voice article came out, things changed. Basquiat appeared on Glenn O’Brien’s off-the-wall TV show, TV Party, with his head half-shaved (reportedly so no-one knew whether he was coming or going) and called himself SAMO©. Diaz was not present. “That was a period when Jean had some kind of ego trip, really strongly,” reflects Diaz, adding that after by 1979 there was a period of about two years when they didn’t speak. “He had picked (SAMO©) up and I’d dropped it. I was playing music Downtown and I couldn’t care less about SAMO© at that point. It was just like ‘fuck the whole thing’. I got a little pissed off because Jean was becoming SAMO©. I was like, ‘oh, he’s calling himself SAMO©’. So yeah, there was animosity between us for some time. Like, ‘Now you’re SAMO©. Oh, I get it.” He laughs. “But it was not like I was telling him to stop doing that though. I was at a different stage.”

While Diaz was making music, Basquiat was fast garnering a following and friendships amongst the art crowd, with people such as Andy Warhol and Keith Haring. As his solo career began to take off, around the early to mid-80s he stopped signing his work with SAMO©, instead using Jean-Michel Basquiat. “I think SAMO© really opened his eyes to the whole 15-minutes of fame thing,” says Diaz. “I believe it was very instrumental – that little flash in the pan we had.”

“He immersed himself very quickly. I mean, he immersed himself. He went from 0 to 90 in two seconds. That’s what he was doing – he was like, ‘I’m an artist’. Actually one night I bumped into him on the street and we hadn’t spoken in a long time – I think he was working on the film Downtown 81. We ended up hanging out and dropping some LSD together. This is when Jean turns and confides in me, saying, ‘Al, I know I’m going to be a famous artist. Not just any artist, a famous artist’. And then he told me he was going to die young. He certainly did both of those things. He had this all very planned in his head. He was very certain about what he was doing. He was very focused and determined and deliberate about his whole everything. That was what he was going to do and that’s what he did.”

By 1983, Basquiat was a phenomenon. His works had appeared at PS1 (in 1981s notorious New York/New Wave), the Larry Gagosian Gallery, the Whitney Museum, alongside others, and he had begun to dabble in film – his first role being the never-released New York Beat. “In 1983, I would stop by Jean’s loft and was kind of privy to his painting career and him becoming an international star. But after 83, he started becoming really busy and lost touch with a lot of his older friends. He was constantly travelling and on the move, so I would see him every now and then, maybe once a year.”

“This is when Jean turns and confides in me, saying, ‘Al, I know I’m going to be a famous artist. Not just any artist, a famous artist’. And then he told me he was going to die young” – Al Diaz

Their time together was rare from then on, but Diaz recalls a visit from Basquiat when he brought a gift that felt like a peace offering. “It was 86, or 87, and Jean showed up at my house and gave me a painting. It was a diptych and it said “To SAMO©, from SAMO©,” he says. “I sold it like an idiot – and I felt really shitty about it. It's one of the things I regret in my life, one of the things I should have thought a little more about because it was made specifically for me. He made it just for me, and I was very callous like it didn't mean anything. I’ve tried looking for it and no one knows where it is.”

On August 12, 1988, 27-year-old Basquiat died at his art studio on Great Jones Street in Manhattan’s NoHo neighborhood. While Diaz pursued separate artistic paths for himself and years later began working on a new project, titled WET PAINT, for which he adopted his own alphabet and used cut up letters and glue to send messages out via the walls of the New York subway system.

SAMO© was seemingly done with – until Trump was elected. “About two hours after the (US) election, the first SAMO© I wrote was, “SAMO©. FOR NASTY WOMEN AND BAD HOMBRES. ”, he reveals. “I was half-mocking and half-dreading the idea of having Trump as our president. So that's what did it, ‘Oh shit, we’re fucked now so I need to start writing SAMO© again.” He adds that it seemed like the most appropriate time. “People had shown so much nostalgia and the younger generation especially had shown interest in SAMO©, so I was evaluating that and I learned that very few people actually got it or understood what we were doing back then, so I wanted to bring it back so people could see what it was.”

Of course, social media has added a new layer that SAMO© in the 70s could never have had. But, however millennial it might feel, Diaz is certain that the essence that was honed by himself and Basquiat, four decades ago, is as strong as it ever was. “You might think it’s a whole different thing but it’s not – I’m keeping it to its original style, purpose. But I’m an adult now. I can be a little more articulate about certain things.”

And while Diaz has been more public as of recently, with new Instagram accounts, an interview in the Barbican’s Boom For Real exhibition book – as well as here, with us – and sharing rarely seen prints with House of Roulx, he is also aware of the beauty in a mystery. “To explain it”, he says, “there’s a paradox, a conflict. You never want to have to over explain it because something about it takes away the magic of it. When someone just gets it, you appreciate that.”

Samoan History

Guided by the stars, the Polynesian ancestors made their way across the Pacific in ocean-faring canoes thousands of years ago.

Samoa&rsquos oldest known site of human occupation is Mulifanua on the island of Upolu, which dates back to about 1000 BC (about 3000 years ago). Stonework &lsquopyramids&rsquo and mounds in star formation found throughout the islands have inspired various theories from archaeologists about this stage of Samoan history.

Over the millennia, the Samoan people engaged in trade, battles and intermarriage of nobility with the neighbouring islands of Fiji and Tonga. The interweaving of the cultures and bloodlines has helped strengthen the ties of these South Pacific nations.

European whalers and traders started to arrive in the late 1700s. By far the most important agents of change in Samoa were the western missionaries, converting the people from belief in Gods for the sun, earth, heavens and sea to the one God.

Dutchman, Jacob Roggeveen was the first European to sight the islands in 1722, but it wasn&rsquot until 1830 when the Reverend John Williams arrived in Savai'i, that the Christian gospel had an impact on Samoan life. Visitors to Samoa may be shown the monuments to John Williams on both main islands. Samoans are now a devoutly religious people with much time devoted to church activities. For many Samoans, Christianity and Fa&lsquoa Samoa (Samoan culture) are inextricably interwoven.

In 1899 after years of civil war, the islands of the Samoan archipelago were divided &ndash the Germans taking the islands to the west and the Americans taking the islands to the east, now known as American Samoa.

After the outbreak of the First World War, New Zealand captured Western Samoa from the small German company stationed on the islands, and following the end of the war took administrative control on behalf of the United Nations from 1918 until independence on 1st January 1962. Western Samoa became the first Pacific nation to gain Independence.

From 1962 to 1997, the nation was known as Western Samoa, until it dropped the title &lsquoWestern&rsquo from its name to become the Independent State of Samoa. Samoa celebrates its independence each June.


  • Basquiat's work mixed together many different styles and techniques. His paintings often included words and text, his graffiti was expressive and often abstract, and his logos and iconography had a deep historical resonance. Despite his work's "unstudied" appearance, he very skillfully and purposefully brought together a host of disparate traditions, practices, and styles to create his signature visual collage.
  • Many of his artworks reflect an opposition or tension between two poles - rich and poor, black and white, inner and outer experience. This tension and contrast reflected his mixed cultural heritage and experiences growing up and living within New York City and in America more generally.
  • Basquiat's work is an example of how American artists of the 1980s began to reintroduce and privilege the human figure in their work after the domination of Minimalism and Conceptualism in the international art market. Basquiat and other Neo-Expressionist painters were seen as establishing a dialogue with the more distant tradition of 1950s Abstract Expressionism, and the earlier Expressionism from the beginning of the century.
  • Basquiat's work is emblematic of the art world recognition of punk, graffiti, and counter-cultural practice that took place in the early 1980s. Understanding this context, and the interrelation of forms, movements, and scenes in the readjustment of the art world is essential to understanding the cultural environment in which Basquiat made work. Subcultural scenes, which were previously seen as oppositional to the conventional art market, were transformed by the critical embrace and popular celebration of their artists.
  • For some critics, Basquiat's rapid rise to fame and equally swift and tragic death by drug overdose epitomizes and personifies the overtly commercial, and hyped-up international art scene of the mid-1980s. For many observers this period was a cultural phenomenon that corresponded negatively with the largely artificial bubble economy of the era, to the detriment of artists personally and the quality of artworks produced.

Important historical events

7th century – Tribal Union of Samo’s Empire

9th century – Great Moravia, the first state formation in Central Europe

11th century – Hungarian state created, divided into Lower Hungary (Hungarians) and Upper Hungary (Slovaks)

16th century – Hungary became a part of Austria, after a lost battle against the Turks at Moháč.

17th century – The period of the Thirty Years’ War was full of the Turkish raids and anti-Habsburg uprisings of Hungarian aristocracy. Imre Tököly’s uprising in 1687 was bloodily suppressed and entered history as “abattoir of Prešov”.

18th century – Slovak national revival, which began in the second half of the 18th century, was a period, which was formed sovereign Slovak nation.

28/10/1918 – Slovak national revival resulted in the establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic, the common state of Czechs and Slovaks.

30/09/1938 – Expansion of German fascism and policy of concessions towards it reflected in signing of the Munich Agreement.

14/03/1939 – Czechoslovakia was broken up. Slovakia became a satellite state of the Reich.

01/09/1939 – World War II broke out. Slovak citizens declared their opposition against the fascist Slovak state on 29/08/1944 at national-liberation fight (SNP – Slovak National Uprising). The German armed forces are trying to stop the spontaneous opposition with cruel reprisals. Telgárt village were burned, along with Ostrý Grúň, Tokajík, Zlatá Baňa.

08/05/1945 – World War II ended. Hopes of Slovaks in a democratic state were ended by a communist putsch called ‘Victorious February” on 25th Feb 1948.

In 1968, the Communist Party tried to revive and reform. Alexander Dubcek became a central personality. The tryout for a socialism with a human face was forcibly ended on 21st Aug 1968, when armies of five socialist countries invaded the territory of Czechoslovakia.

From 1968 – Soviet troops occupied Czechoslovakia for more than twenty years.

17/11/1989 – Totalitarianism and communist dictatorship ended

01/01/1993 – the Czechs and Slovaks agreed to a peaceful state division

Early Medieval History of Carniola [ edit | edit source ]

The territory of Carniola passed to the Eastern Roman Empire with the final east-west partition of the empire in AD395. The Emperor Theodosius II gave the territory to the Huns, and after the death of Attila it passed to the Ostrogoths (456). Odoacer conquered the region in 471, but the Ostrogoths reconquered it and Italy in 493 under King Theodoric II the Great. In 530 the area was conquered by the Lombards, and during the 6th Century the Slovenes migrated to the region, calling it "Carniola", meaning "little Carnia after the ancient Carni tribe which inhabited the region.

The Avars conquered the territory during the 560s, but the Slovenes threw off the Avar yoke and joined the Confederacy of Samo. Carniola became part of the Principality of Karantania following Samo's death in 658. Karantania eventually weakened, and it became diplomatically dependant on the Bavarians in 745. Carniola became part of the Frankish Empire in 788. When Charlemagne created the Duchy of Friuli, he attached to it a portion of Carniola, although most of it was attached to the Margraviate of Carinthia, which was made under the Duchy of Bavaria, and had its capital at Kranj. From 876 the Margraves were made subject to the Duchy of Carinthia. Carniola was divided into many fiefs: Cilli, Andechs-Meran, Babenberg, and Goritzza were prominent secular rulers, and Freising, Aquileia, Brixen, and Lavant were prominent ecclesial rulers.

Bohemia: History

The Romans called the area Boiohaemia after the Boii tribe, probably Celtic, which was displaced (1st–5th cent. AD) by Slavic settlers, the Czechs. Subjugated by the Avars, the Czechs freed themselves under the leadership of Samo (d. c.658). The legendary Queen Libussa and her husband, the peasant Přemysl, founded the first Bohemian dynasty in the 9th cent. Christianity was introduced by saints Cyril and Methodius while Bohemia was part of the great Moravian empire, from which it withdrew at the end of the century to become an independent principality. St. Wenceslaus, the first great Bohemian ruler (920–29), successfully defended his land from Germanic invasion but his brother, Boleslav I (929–67), was forced to acknowledge (950) the rule of Otto I, and Bohemia became a part of the Holy Roman Empire. The Bohemian principality retained autonomy in internal affairs, however. Later Přemyslide rulers acquired Moravia and most of Silesia.

German influence in Bohemia increased with the growth of the towns and the rise of trade between East and West. Silver, mined chiefly at Kutná Hora, greatly added to the wealth and prestige of the dukes who, by the 12th cent., began to take part in the imperial elections. In 1198, Ottocar I was crowned king of Bohemia, which became an independent kingdom within the empire. The conquests and acquisitions of Ottocar II (1253–78) brought Bohemia to the height of its power and its greatest extent (from the Oder to the Adriatic), but his defeat by Rudolf I of Hapsburg cost Bohemia all his conquests.

After the Přemyslide line became extinct (1306), John of Luxemburg was elected king in 1310. The reign of his son, Charles IV (1346–78), who was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1355, was the golden age of Bohemia, and Prague became the seat of the empire. His Golden Bull (1356) permanently established the kings of Bohemia as electors. In the reigns of his successors, emperors Wenceslaus and Sigismund, religious, political, and social tensions exploded in the movement, both religious and nationalist, of the Hussites against the Holy Roman Empire. The Hussite Wars led to the defeat (1434) of the radical Taborites at the hands of the moderate Utraquists, who were supported by the great nobles. In 1436, by the so-called Compactata, the Utraquists returned to communion with the Roman Catholic Church and established Utraquism as the national religion. Meanwhile the crown had passed to Albert II, a Hapsburg, and then to Ladislaus V of Hungary (in Bohemia, Ladislaus I). George of Podebrad actually ruled for Ladislaus and was elected to succeed him as king in 1458. On his death (1471) the crown reverted to the kings of Hungary—Uladislaus II (Ladislaus II), Matthias Corvinus, and Louis II. The nobles profited from the disorders of the period and in 1487 secured vast privileges, reducing the peasantry to virtual serfdom.

The accession (1526) of Archduke Ferdinand (later Emperor Ferdinand I) began the long Hapsburg domination of Bohemia. Ferdinand began the gradual process by which Bohemia was deprived of self-rule. He also introduced the Jesuits in order to secure the return of Bohemia to Roman Catholicism. The religious situation remained explosive. The conservative wing of the Utraquists had become almost indistinguishable from the Roman Church, and there had arisen a frankly Protestant movement, the Bohemian Brethren (see Moravian Church). The Brethren and their close allies, the Lutherans, won equality with the Utraquists by inducing Emperor Maximilian II to declare (1567) that the Compactata no longer were the law of the land. Rudolf II was forced to grant freedom of religion by the so-called Letter of Majesty (Majestätsbrief) of 1609. When in 1618 Emperor Matthias disregarded the Majestätsbrief, members of the Bohemian diet revolted and dramatized their position by throwing two imperial councilors out of the windows of Hradcin Castle on May 23, 1618.

The so-called Defenestration of Prague precipitated the Thirty Years War, which came to involve most of Europe. Matthias's son (later Emperor Ferdinand II) was declared deposed, and Frederick the Winter King was elected king of Bohemia. Frederick and the Protestants were crushed in the battle of the White Mountain (1620) by Ferdinand II. The Protestants were suppressed, and in 1627 Bohemia was demoted from a constituent Hapsburg kingdom to an imperial crown land its diet was reduced to a consultative body.

The Thirty Years War laid Bohemia waste after the Peace of Westphalia (1648), forcible Germanization, oppressive taxation, and absentee landownership reduced the Czechs, except a few favored magnates, to misery. The suppression (1749) of the separate chancellery at Prague by Maria Theresa and the introduction of German as the sole official language completed the process. Joseph II freed the serfs and permitted freedom of worship, but he incurred the hatred of the Czechs by his rigorous policy of Germanization. Leopold II tried to conciliate the Czechs he was the last ruler to be crowned king of Bohemia (1791). During the later 18th cent. the foundations of industrialization were laid in Bohemia, but the German population fared better than the mostly peasant Czechs.

The 19th cent. brought a rebirth of Czech nationalism. Under the leadership of Palacký a Slavic congress assembled at Prague in the Revolution of 1848, but by 1849, although the Czech peasantry had been emancipated, absolute Austrian domination had been forcibly restored. The establishment (1867) of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy thoroughly disappointed the Czech aspirations for wide political autonomy within a federalized Austria. Instead, the Czech lands were relegated to a mere province of the empire. Concessions were made (1879) by the Austrian minister Taaffe Czechs entered the imperial bureaucracy and parliament at Vienna. However, many Czechs continued to advocate complete separation from the Hapsburg empire.

Full independence was reached only at the end of World War I under the guidance of T. G. Masaryk. In 1918, Bohemia became the core of the new state of Czechoslovakia. After the Munich Pact of 1938, Czechoslovakia was stripped of the so-called Sudeten area, which was annexed to Germany. In 1939, Bohemia was invaded by German troops and proclaimed part of the German protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.

After World War II the pre-1938 boundaries were restored, and most of the German-speaking population was expelled. In 1948, Bohemia's status as a province was abolished, and it was divided into nine administrative regions. The administrative reorganization of 1960 redivided it into five regions and the city of Prague. In 1969, Bohemia, along with Moravia and Czech Silesia, was incorporated into the Czech Socialist Republic, renamed the Czech Republic in 1990. The Czech Republic became an independent state when Czechoslovakia was dissolved on Jan. 1, 1993.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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