Manuel Bruges

WORDS

Hot air ballon race

Manuel Bruges

editorial writing, planning and proposal

My first photographic assignment in the USA was for The Washington Post and for this work I teamed with the excellent writer Charlotte Forbes, an O. Henry Prize winner.
Charlotte's English proficiency highly contrasted with my lack of it; the gap was such that I questioned my communicative capabilities to survive and work in a foreign country.
At the time, I never thought of becoming a writer, but right there I vowed to improve my English language skills. Today, after a long and continuous effort, I am a published writer.
Writing in a second language still doesn't come easy, but the rewards stimulate my efforts and keep me going.

On this page, you will find complete magazine projects conceived and executed by myself alone, to which I have included excerpts from the published writing.
Please feel free to judge the quality and intensity of my effort.

My first photographic assignment in the USA was for The Washington Post and for this work I teamed with the excellent writer Charlotte Forbes, an O. Henry Prize winner.
Charlotte's English proficiency highly contrasted with my lack of it; the gap was such that I questioned my communicative capabilities to survive and work in a foreign country.
At the time, I never thought of becoming a writer, but right there I vowed to improve my English language skills. Today, after a long and continuous effort, I am a published writer.
Writing in a second language still doesn't come easy, but the rewards stimulate my efforts and keep me going.

On this page, you will find complete magazine projects conceived and executed by myself alone, to which I have included excerpts from the published writing.
Please feel free to judge the quality and intensity of my effort.

  • New England
    NewEngland_MauelBruges

    ニューイングランドの歴史を少しだけふり返ってみよう。

     十六世紀前半、イギリス国王ヘンリー八世には六人の妻――もちろん正式には一人であった――がいた。二人の王女の誕生の後、六番目の妻との間に男の子が生まれたのである。だが、正式な世継ぎとするためには、離婚をして六番目の妻を正妻にしなければならなかったため、離婚を禁じているローマ・カトリック教会との縁を切り、イギリス国教会を創立することになる。
     長年カトリック支配の下にあったヨーロッパの歴史が、ルネサンスも含む大変革の波を迎えた、そんな流れの中での出来事であった。

     その後、ヨーロッパの宗教改革の中で、ジョン・カルビン率いるカルバン主義者たちが、宗教的教義や教理よりも、政治的、経済的利益を求め、海外に新天地を切り開いていったのが一五五五年のこと。当時は新大陸発見の頃でもあり、ヨーロッパの国々は早い者勝ちで、新天地の植民地化を進めていたのだ。
     そして直にイギリス国内でもエリザベス女王の時代となり、まだ若く、チャーミングで賢い女王は、カトリック勢力(スペイン・ポルトガル)と争わぬよう、宗教的に未開の地の植民地化を推進することを決め、イギリスは最初の地、ヴァージニア――ヴァージン・クイーンに捧げられた土地――に到着する。その後、カルビニストを含むプロテスタントの増加で抑え切れなくなった国内での圧倒的勢力と問題打破のため、メイフラワー号はアメリカへと旅立ち、ついにニューイングランドと呼ばれるようになるこの地に、新世界を展開することになったのであった。。。
     
  • Eco Berlin
    Berlin_ManuelBruges

    This feature is currently on the All Nippon Airways website. If you wish to see it, please follow this link to ANA website.
    When in October 2008 Tempelhof (one of the earliest commercial airports in the world) closed, plans to build luxury apartments soon emerged. Knowing what gentrification and unnecessary development do to a city, Berliners organized themselves to oppose the project until the former airport became a protected city park. 
    The Reichstag, the meeting place for the German parliament, is another example of ecological commitment. 
    The reconstruction of the house of parliament (Bundestag) was a public project that an English architect, Norman Foster, won. Foster’s success was partly due to his careful attention and use of natural light and heat. The futuristic looking cone, at the center of the dome’s entrance, is filled with moving mirrors to reflect light into the parliament chamber located below, significantly decreasing the need to produce artificial light. The top of the dome, too, is permanently open to control the building’s temperature ecologically. However, Berlin effort to regulate carbon emissions extends well beyond public buildings and parks.   

    To learn how the auto industry is dealing with the recent ecological demands, I contacted Claudia Fried, from the Clean Energy Partnership; a joint venture between government and leading industrial companies to further the possibilities of hydrogen as an alternative source of energy…
  • NY Harlem
    Harlem1

    その歴史のあらすじさえ知らずに、我々が持つハーレムへのイメージがある。既存の概念を払拭するのは、ハーレムに限らず簡単なことではない。だが、巨大な絵看板を支えているのが何なのか、その裏側をひょいとのぞき見るのは、さほど難しくはないはずである。
     一六二六年、マンハッタン島は二十四㌦に相当する幾つかの宝石と引き換えに、オランダ人のものとなったと言われている。一六五八年にハーレムはダウンタウンのニューアムステルダムに続くオランダ人定住地として存在していたが、数年後に領主は英国人へと代わり、十八世紀は幾つかの農場と、伐採用の森林が広がるに過ぎない土地となった。
     アメリカ建国時、ニューヨークは最初の首都が置かれた地であり、既にアメリカ経済と海外貿易の中心となっていたため、ダウンタウンの発展には目覚ましいものがあった。ヨーロッパからの移民だけではなく、南部の保守的な奴隷制度から逃れた黒人も、自由と仕事を求めてマンハッタン島を目指した。
     だが、南部ほどひどくはないにしろ、ここでも人種差別から逃れることのできない黒人たち。白人の教会で共に礼拝を受けられない彼らは、やがて自分たちの教会を建て、それを中心にコミュニティを作っていくが、黒人は下層階級の市民と見なされたため、自然に郊外に居住することになり、都市部が拡張するに従い、常に移動を強いられた。初めに彼らが住んでいたのはファイブ・ポイントと呼ばれる島の南部、現在のウォール・ストリート地域であった。その頃のファイブ・ポイントでの生活を、作家チャールズ・ディケンズは「男と女は眠るところを確保するためにネズミと競争しなければならず……」と書いているように、環境は劣悪だったようだ。。。
  • Kyudo
    Kyudo

    Zen attends to a reality that can only be understood by a mind that has already emancipated itself from the unrestrained chains of thought, it thus can fully concentrate on the very present - the Now.

    Springing from a World view that heavily leans on result focused action - on Doing - as opposed to inner development, art in the West concentrates on expression rather than on understanding and consequently expects or demands either the conveyance of a message or the achievement of an aesthetic goal. A "master" in the West is often considered the one who can translate an idea, or feeling, into a material medium. Conversely, Japanese traditional arts (kyudo, kendo, sado, kado, etc.) involve a recognition of inner states without fixation on achievement or goal. A master in any of these skills (the suffix "do" pronounced with a long "o" as in door means "way") is not one who best expresses thought through striving and achievement, but rather one who best bypasses conceptualization and striving to achieve. In other words, a master is one who "masters" his/her inner states...
  • Provence
    Provence_ManuelBruges

    再びプロヴァンスを訪れることができるなんて、
    なんという大きな喜びだろう。
    柔らかい春の風が吹き、
    しかも日の光は、すでに燦々ときらめき出して、
    その触れるものすべてに
    輝きを与えてくれるようなこの季節に……。
    僕はつねづねプロヴァンスに行くのなら、
    ピークになる――世界中から人々が訪れる夏――前の
    この季節に訪れたいと思っていた。
    ラヴェンダーの花がほころび咲き出す前の
    この季節が、最もプロヴァンスらしいように思う。
    せわしなくなる前のひとときの静けさ、やわらかさ、
    そしてやさしさが、
    ここをとりまく空気にも、人々にも感じられるからだ。
    今回、僕がここを訪れたのは、このプロヴァンスを
    ”優雅なる地”にしているこの地の人々を、
    もっとしっかりと、もっと身近に、
    確かめてみたかったからである。
    プロヴァンスの流儀とその審美眼は、もう長いこと
    世界中の人々を魅了し続けているのだから……。。。
  • Bunraku
    Bunraku

    Bunraku has a long and complex history. The first written records of puppets in Japan date from the 11th century, and it’s likely that puppetry has a much longer history in the islands. Itinerant puppeteers known as kugutsumawashi roamed the Japanese countryside, but these early puppets plays were a far cry from the complex puppets and sophisticated drama form that became bunraku.
    These early itinerant puppet players settled around the Kobe area and on the island of Awaji, from whence the sophisticated puppet drama eventually developed.

    Bunraku’s dramatic narrative form traces its roots back to the epic narratives of medieval Japan dealing with the exploits of warrior heroes, in which the singer accompanied himself (or herself) on the biwa, a form of lute. When the shamisen (banjo-like instrument) made its appearance in the late 16th century, the flexibility and range of dramatic expression possible with the instrument were quick to be exploited as accompaniment to many types of song and narrative...
  • Gaudi
     Gaudi
    「ガウディは彼の自伝を、コンクリートと石に書いたのだ」と、しばしば言われる。そして事実、ガウディの建築は、まさしく彼の心の青写真であるにちがいない。けれども、ガウディの心を本当に理解することができる者のみが、その”石の自伝”を読むことができるのであろう。
     日本人はガウディが好きである。バルセロナとサグラダ・ファミリアを一大観光地にしたのは、日本人だという人々もいるくらいだ。大学の春休みともなると、その8割が日本人観光客だといわれるけれど、その中にはきっと、ガウディのメッセージを読み取りたいと思っている人もいるのではないだろうか。
     ガウディという人物は、子供のように無邪気で純真であったといわれている。と同時に、知識や経験の豊かな老人のように賢かったともいわれるのだ。そのために、いろいろな誤解を受けつづけたらしい。彼のような人物が成長して、自己の発見を絶え間なく繰り返していくときに、それを理解しようと思ったらかなり難しいことだろう。ガウディの人生はテーマが不一致だとか、移ろいやすく矛盾に満ちているとみる者も多かったのである。ガウディの生誕一五〇周年という記念の年にあたって、彼についてのさまざまなストーリーを目にする機会があるのだが、ガウディ自身についての実像やエピソードが以外に少ないんじゃないかと、不思議に思われる方もあるかもしれない。だがこれにはちょっとしたわけがある。。。
  • Taishu Engeki
    Taishu

    Working in Taishu Engeji is not an easy life - sometimes the pancake make-up hides lines that have no business on actors so young. But if their eyes show a maturity that comes from being on the road from a very young age, they also sparkle with the glow of a satisfied soul.
    I was lucky enough to stay with one of the Taishu Engeki troupes, and I found them to be the warmest people I had ever met in Japan. They are known as the Wakaba Gekidan, and are one of the most popular troupes in Japan.
    The leading reason audiences (and TV documentary crews) can’t seem to get enough of them is the group’s three child actors.
    All brothers, the boys have earned the title “the Young Tamasaburos” after the kabuki actor who became so famous for his onnagata, or acting in female roles. The brothers - Murasaki, Ichinojo, and Ryuya - respectively aged, 11, 9 and 4 years old, are also known for their onnagata roles, and, like so many famed kabuki actors, are descendants of descent ends of actors.
    They are fourth-generation actors, in fact; it is their grandfather, Shigeru Wakaba, who founded and continues to work with the Wakaba group…
  • Chuo University
    chuo

    After a long absence, returning to London was inevitable a nostalgic, as well as an exciting experience.
    My favorite teahouse is easily accessible from almost any part of the city. It is like a small oasis in the center of London’s urban madness.
    From its wide, and when the weather permits, open windows facing the park, one can watch the trees in which birds whisper melodies older than the beverage itself. Gradually, as if by magic, one enters the peaceful world, which in every culture is associated with the act of drinking tea. It is a magic that turns tea from a simple daily beverage to quench one’s thirst into a healing beverage to soothe the soul.
    Indeed tea itself has a strong therapeutic power, but for tea to work as a healing beverage, it must be sipped during calm moments and in a perfect environment...
  • Shogi
    Shogi_ManuelBruges

    Long ago, a wise Indian emperor with a passion for power came up with a way to help his generals improve their skills in the art of war. He invented a strategy game they could play to explore and develop tactics.
    This board game, called chaturanga, used the four divisions of Indian warfare: elephants, chariots, cavalry, and infantry. From an estimated birth sometime around 500 A.D., chaturanga evolved as it spread from its native land along with trade and conquest. To the west, chaturanga went from India to Persia and from there to Europe. Along the way it adapted to the various fighting systems of the lands where it was played. In Europe it grew into the game we now know as chess.
    Chaturanga went east, too, following the path of Buddhism to the southeast via Myanmar and to the northeast via Tibet, China and Korea. The version of chaturanga that ended up in Japan was, as in other countries, modified to fit the local martial preferences. The Japanese version become known as shogi.

    Shogi first developed in Japan in the Nara period (710-794), but continually evolved. Dur- ing the Edo period (1600- 1868), a long span of peace, many arts reached their maturity, including flower arrangement, the tea ceremony, and others. Shogi can be included in this list.
    Shogi became a state-sponsored game with official regulations falling into the hands of sev- eral elite families...
Angkor Wat engraved walls

Client

While I devote the same care and attention to all my projects and clients, I tend to divide my activities into two distinct types; the professional, and the educational.
The professional is guided towards those who run a business and need a little helping hand to push further some aspects of it. On the educational, I target those who want to become freelance Creative Professionals and need some technical coaching or expert advice.

Angkor Wat ruins

Blog

The main purpose of this web-portfolio blog is to establish a direct contact with anyone interested.
If you have a particular theme that you would like me to tackle, don't hesitate in letting me know.
Occasionally, those on the educational program might wish to post some of their work on the blog; honest, but constructive observations are expected.

Manuel Bruges Blog coming soon.

Angkor Wat engraved walls

Client

While I devote the same care and attention to all my projects and clients, I tend to divide my activities into two distinct types; the professional, and the educational.
The professional is guided towards those who run a business and need a little helping hand to push further some aspects of it. On the educational, I target those who want to become freelance Creative Professionals and need some technical coaching or expert advice.

Angkor Wat ruins

Blog

The main purpose of this web-portfolio blog is to establish a direct contact with anyone interested.
If you have a particular theme that you would like me to tackle, don't hesitate in letting me know.
Occasionally, those on the educational program might wish to post some of their work on the blog; honest, but constructive observations are expected.

Manuel Bruges Blog coming soon.

Classes - The Creative Professional

I am in no way an expert on anything, but my experience and relative success was noticed by friends and colleagues who now demand that I share some of the knowledge I gathered by working as a Creative Professional in various countries for more than 25 years.
After some reflexion, I decided to give in and add to my professional responsibilities the tutoring of future editorial freelancers - Creative Professionals - and serious hobbyists.
The helping hand I provide is the one I wish I had when I started my Creative Professional career; it would have saved me many hardships.

If you are interested, please feel free to contact Manuel Bruges.
I am in no way an expert on anything, but my experience and relative success was noticed by friends and colleagues who now demand that I share some of the knowledge I gathered by working as a Creative Professional in various countries for more than 25 years.
After some reflexion, I decided to give in and add to my professional responsibilities the tutoring of future editorial freelancers - Creative Professionals - and serious hobbyists.
The helping hand I provide is the one I wish I had when I started my Creative Professional career; it would have saved me many hardships.

If you are interested, please feel free to contact Manuel Bruges.
Trinity College Library

Writing

To write is to communicate and the written word is part of every freelance Creative Professional daily activity, especially now that most businesses are Internet dependable.
To succeed the Creative Professional has to understand the importance of writing clear emails, and engaging job proposals, as many jobs will depend on it.

An email is often our initial interaction with a potential client, the business card that might encourage the reader to follow the link to our website. Naturally, the freelance Creative Professional should care and devote time to the written word.
The freelance Creative Professional do not need to be a novelist to reap the benefits of writing. With practice and a little effort, the basics of effective writing can easily be overcome and perhaps even mastered.

Trinity College Library

Writing

To write is to communicate and the written word is part of every freelance Creative Professional daily activity, especially now that most businesses are Internet dependable.
To succeed the Creative Professional has to understand the importance of writing clear emails, and engaging job proposals, as many jobs will depend on it.

An email is often our initial interaction with a potential client, the business card that might encourage the reader to follow the link to our website. Naturally, the freelance Creative Professional should care and devote time to the written word.
The freelance Creative Professional do not need to be a novelist to reap the benefits of writing. With practice and a little effort, the basics of effective writing can easily be overcome and perhaps even mastered.

Based in Japan for the past 23 years, Manuel Bruges started his career as a travel photographer and still offers partial or complete editorial services.
Currently, he directs a design studio; a fully digital approach to promote yourself or grow your brand online.

Editorial Writing