✔ Pick of the Pack
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the next week in Washington is sure going to have a lot to say. The fifth annual FotoWeekDC opens Friday, featuring the city’s best photography and photojournalism as well as corresponding seminars, lectures, educational workshops and hip parties among the exhibition venues throughout the city. One highlight of the festival is sure to be “101 Photos for Press Freedom,” an exhibition of photojournalism of some of the most important social and political events from the past century, from the Spanish Civil War in 1936 to recent crises in Georgia and Haiti. Additional not-to-be-missed events include “Photographs of Social Life in Washington, D.C.: 1900-1960,” featuring 30 specially selected vintage National Geographic images depicting life in the nation’s capital, as well as the FotoWeek by Night events, including Saturday’s launch party at FotoWeekCentral and a multimedia showcase of photography from the Arab Spring in Syria. Washington photographers of all skill levels also can participate in workshops and portfolio reviews.
Through Nov. 18 at FotoWeekCentral at the Warner Building, 1299 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, and other locations in the area.
Exhibit: ‘Parade of Trabants’
The Trabant, the iconic four-passenger car that was manufactured in East Germany, is a symbol of the fall of communism after the Cold War. The car debuted in 1957 as a “people’s car,” an affordable, plastic-blend automobile that could hold a family and easily be repaired by the owner. In reality, the Trabant was noisy and smoky — if it ran at all. Nonetheless, after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, East Germans packed their Trabants with their few belongings and drove to freedom, until production of the car ceased in 1991. On Saturday, the International Spy Museum will host the only U.S. rally of Trabants, which are beloved by vintage car enthusiasts. Outside the museum, get an up-close look at the cars and talk to specialists on cars and the Cold War while listening to the city of Fairfax’s German band, Blaskapelle Alte Kameraden. Inside the museum, learn about East German Secret Police training techniques or participate in an interactive spy mission.
Saturday at the International Spy Museum, 800 F St. NW
Book Signing: American Legacy Book Tour
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista, have written new books for U.S. history buffs of all ages, whether you’re after high-brow historical fiction or a children’s book starring an elephant in a pilgrim’s hat. After writing numerous novels about historical events, including the Battle of Gettysburg and the attack on Pearl Harbor, Mr. Gingrich and historian William R. Forstchen have teamed up again for the final installment in their series of novels about Gen. George Washington and the American Revolution. “Victory at Yorktown,” to be released Tuesday, chronicles Washington’s risky decision to lead the American troops to Yorktown. Meanwhile, Mrs. Gingrich recently published her latest children’s book, “Land of the Pilgrims’ Pride,” in which Ellis the Elephant travels back in time to visit the 13 original Colonies and learn about the settlers and their new ideas.
Mr. and Mrs. Gingrich will be signing copies of their books at 1 p.m. Saturday at Barnes & Noble, 4801 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda, Md.
Exhibit: ‘The Civil War in America’
As the country remains virtually divided over politics, it’s a good time to remember that 150 years ago, such a division could have broken the country in half. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War — which is being marked from 2011 through 2015 — the Library of Congress has unearthed documents, letters, maps, photographs and other rarely seen artifacts from its vast collection for an exhibit opening on Veterans Day. “The Civil War in America” will highlight people and events from the North and South, telling the story through the eyes of key political and military players and young soldiers alike. The items range from President Lincoln’s reading copy of his Second Inaugural Address, to personal diaries and letters describing life on the battlefields. The library also will host a series of gallery talks at noon Wednesdays to discuss specific items, as well as music, book and film programs.
Through June 1 at the Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson Building, 101 Independence Ave. SE
Concert: Yemen Blues
The mix of musical traditions influencing the “supergroup” Yemen Blues seems unusual: Melodies from Yemen and religious chants from Israel are mixed with the distinct sounds of West African soul, Mississippi Delta blues and even classical opera. Yet the complex sound makes sense when you learn the band’s story. The founding musician, Ravid Kahalani, grew up in Israel in a traditional Yemenite family. Though his family left Yemen generations earlier because of the persecution of the Jews, Mr. Kahalani learned the language and traditional music of his family’s country. After mixing blues, soul and opera into his own sound as a popular musician in Israel, he teamed up with New York-based bass player Omer Avital to create Yemen Blues. Today, the group consists of nine musicians from Israel, New York and Uruguay who create a sound that is unique and, by all accounts, uplifting.
Tuesday at 8 p.m. at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 601 I St. NW