Arts & Culture

Fierce litigator worked pro-bono to champion human rights

At Steven Glass’s funeral, his closest friends and loved ones were discovering things about him they didn’t know and connecting with people that they had never met before. By Asia Lenard, George Newhouse, Ju Lin O’Connor and Eva Orner The Age It’s not that Steven was secretive, he was simply a man who got things done, quietly, without fanfare, and with no expectation of recognition. Steven was born in Melbourne in 1960 to John and Ellen Glass. His mother’s family escaped ... Read More »

The world is run by those who show up

In this edited extract of the new book The Change Makers, Professor Marcia Langton tells author Shaun Carney that when you do the right thing at the right time, people will later call you a leader. Shaun Carney The Mandarin What kind of leader am I, if I’m a leader at all? I am required as a professor to be an academic leader. As a result of that, and the pressure in the academy to publish and, increasingly, to show ... Read More »

Did academia kill jazz?

Jazz seems to be experiencing a bit of a renaissance among movie directors – look no further than documentaries such as “Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool,” which just premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, biopics such as “Born to Be Blue,” and… Adam Gustafson The Conversation While films about jazz are everywhere, evidence suggests that fewer people are actually consuming the music, putting the genre more on par with classical music than with today’s pop artists. There are a ... Read More »

A winning journey: From a remote community in Central Australia to the Eurovision stage

Zaachariaha Fielding of Electric Fields is ready to connect with viewers – “not with any labels, just as humans”. Samuel Leighton-Dore SBS On Saturday night, Zaachariaha Fielding’s nine little brothers and sisters will be crowded around the one TV in Central Australia, watching their eldest sibling perform for a chance to compete in front of… They’ll even have the chance to vote – their local Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara community, of around 350 people, finally got mobile phone reception last year. ... Read More »

Why so many young women don’t call themselves feminist

In recent years, feminist movements have attracted significant attention in Europe and North America. So why do so many young women still say they do not identify with the term? By Dr Christina Scharff, King’s College London BBC Fewer than one in five young women would call themselves a feminist, polling in the UK and US suggests. That might come as a surprise as feminism – the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of equality of the sexes – has been in the ... Read More »

3 philosophers set up a booth on a street corner – here’s what people asked

The life choices that had led me to be sitting in a booth underneath a banner that read “Ask a Philosopher” – at the entrance to the New York City subway at 57th and… Lee McIntyre The Conversation I’d been a “public philosopher” for 15 years, so I readily agreed to join my colleague Ian Olasov when he asked for volunteers to join him at the “Ask a Philosopher” booth. This was part of the latest public outreach effort by ... Read More »

The Saudi women activists still being ‘tortured’ months after driving ban ended

In June last year, Saudi Arabia finally gave women the right to drive, but the most well-known figure behind the campaign to end the ban wasn’t there to celebrate. Maani Truu SBS Loujain al-Hathloul’s Twitter has been inactive since 12 March 2018. The Saudi women’s rights activist was once a prolific tweeter with 307,000 followers and is reportedly a friend of the Duchess of Sussex. Her feed is a record of causes she was passionate about, most notably, her efforts ... Read More »

Numbers of Turkish universities soar, but quality falls

Undergraduate and graduate enrollment has increased spectacularly at Turkey’s universities in recent years. And while the infrastructure has kept pace, the same can’t be said of the quality of education. Metin Gurcan Al-Monitor The number of students and academic capacity has grown tenfold in just the past decade. Going back further, in 1979 there were only 12 universities in Turkey. There are now 203. In 1980, out of 467,000 students who participated in university entrance exams, only 42,000 (9%) were able to enter, whereas ... Read More »

Bronze baby Buddha found off WA’s north coast could be Ming treasure

Two West Australian men, while exploring the state’s north coast with a metal detector, have discovered a bronze Buddha figurine that could date back to the early Ming Dynasty. Emma Young WAtoday If authenticated, the infant Buddha will be of high value and potentially historically significant if its arrival on the coast could be shown to predate the first European visits to Australia’s western coast. Leon Deschamps and Shayne Thomson together run Finn Films, a company specialising in aquatic filming ... Read More »

Leonardo da Vinci: 500 years after his death his genius shines as bright as ever

Old masters rarely come more venerable (and venerated) and instantly recognisable than Leonardo da Vinci. Gabriele Neher The Conversation But to think of Leonardo as an Old Master – with all its connotations of being staid, traditional, somehow old-fashioned and boring – is to do this extraordinary man a grave injustice. There is nothing stale or predictable about a man whose personal foibles irritated and frustrated contemporaries as much as his brilliance and creativity dazzled and awed them. One thing ... Read More »

Behrouz Boochani’s literary prize acceptance speech – full transcript

Asylum speaker accepts $125,000 Victorian premier’s literary prize via video from Manus Island, where he has been held for six years Behrouz Boochani The Guardian This is a transcript of the speech Behrouz Boochani delivered via video link on 31 January 2019 Behrouz Boochani wins Australia’s richest literary prize When I arrived at Christmas Island six years ago, an immigration official called me into the office and told me that they were going to exile me to Manus Island, a ... Read More »

Reuniting the Parthenon marbles is nothing to do with nationalism

Alexi Kaye Campbell responds to Jonathan Jones’s article on the British Museum director’s claim that the marbles’ removal from Greece in the 19th century could be seen as ‘a creative act’. The Guardian Plus letters from Pierre Makhlouf and John AK Huntley As a member of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles who recently argued (and happily won) against Jonathan Jones at the UCL debate which he mentions in his recent article (Let’s not lose our marbles over the British ... Read More »

How A Brazilian Photographer Restored An Entire Forest With 2.7 million Trees In 20 Years

A part of growing up is becoming aware of changes. Have you ever wondered how your neighborhood completely changes when you are walking down those familiar streets ten to fifteen years later? Mayukh Saha Truth Theory Now, imagine if you lived in a place surrounded with trees and found all of them have vanished when you returned from a trip? That is what happens when we have rampant deforestation taking place all over the world. We are aware of the ... Read More »

Behrouz Boochani wins $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature

The winner of this year’s $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature couldn’t be at the awards presentation on Thursday evening. Jason Steger The Sydney Morning Herald He was unavoidably detained elsewhere – on Manus Island, where he has been incarcerated for more than five years. Kurdish refugee Behrouz Boochani’s​ poetic memoir, No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison (translated by Omid Tofighian), not only won Australia’s richest writing prize, but also the $25,000 non-fiction prize in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, ... Read More »

Tutankhamun’s tomb restored to prevent damage by visitors

A nine-year project has been completed to restore the tomb of ancient Egypt’s boy king, Tutankhamun, and address issues that threatened its survival. BBC Experts from the Getty Conservation Institute repaired scratches and abrasions on the wall paintings caused by visitors to the burial chamber. The paintings were also affected by humidity, dust and carbon dioxide introduced by every person who entered. A new ventilation system should reduce the need for future cleaning. New barriers will restrict physical access to ... Read More »

Every day is Survival Day in the colony of Australia

January 26 is redneck Christmas and white supremacist festivus rolled into one Scott Trindall for IndigenousX The Guardian When you think about it you realise that Australia’s only really got a couple of holidays that aren’t religion-based or coincide with the local show. And, given that Aussies love taking a day off – we lead the world in chucking sickies – you can start to appreciate why so many white people have such a strong affinity with January 26 and ... Read More »