Arts & Culture

The Roma are yet again scapegoats for society’s ills

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Lurid claims of child sexual abuse have emerged just as they are becoming free of the grip of predatory landlords Kevin McKenna The Guardian In Govanhill, a little network of streets and avenues on Glasgow’s South Side, the besmirching of another immigrant community is in full spate. A century ago, it was the poor Irish, fleeing famine and persecution by the British government, who were being demonised. Now it’s the turn of the Roma people. Britain’s largest concentration of Roma ... Read More »

Geoffrey Rush to sue Murdoch’s The Daily Telegraph

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Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush is suing News Corp’s Sydney masthead The Daily Telegraph over a series of allegations the publication has run in the past week. Broede Carmody The Sydney Morning Herald Speaking at a press conference in Melbourne, the Pirates of the Caribbean star described claims made by the publication as “slurs” and “hyperbole”. “The Daily Telegraph has made false, pejorative and demeaning claims, splattering them with unrelenting bombasity on its front pages,” he said. “This has created irreparable damage to my reputation [and… ... Read More »

The Truth about ‘Cultural Appropriation’

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Whether it’s art or politics, campaigns against cultural appropriation are bad news for interaction and imagination, argues Kenan Malik ArtReview Maqbool Fida Husain is perhaps India’s greatest artist of the twentieth century. His work linked ancient and modern traditions and helped transform Indian modernism. But not everyone appreciated Husain’s work. His depictions of Hindu deities, often naked, outraged Hindu nationalists who questioned his right, as someone of Muslim background, to depict figures sacred to Hindus, accusing him of ‘hurting religious ... Read More »

The future of multiculturalism in Australia

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Australia likes to pride itself on being one of the most successful multicultural countries in the world — it’s a statement you hear often by politicians of all persuasions. ABC RN But what does it truly mean and is it something that we can indeed lay claim too?  (view full episode) Fethi Mansouri is the director of the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, which has released a report on its Doing Diversity Project exploring attitudes towards multiculturalism. And ... Read More »

Lindsay Shepherd: My Laurier interrogation shows universities have lost sight of their purpose

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How can humanities departments justify charging students tuition if they are not teaching them to think critically? Lindsay Shepherd National Post One of the research paper topics that students from Communication Studies 101 at Wilfrid Laurier University can choose to write about this semester is communication bubbles. Communication bubbles refer to the phenomenon of people becoming entrapped in ideological echo chambers as a result of only seeking out, or being fed, news that confirms their existing beliefs. This trend has ... Read More »

When should you unfriend someone on Facebook?

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The nature and ethics of “fake news” has become a subject of widespread concern. Alexis Elder The Conversation But, for many of us, the issue is much more personal: What are we to do when a cranky uncle or an otherwise pleasant old friend persists in populating our news feeds with a stream of posts that can run deeply contrary to our own values? One option is to unfriend people who share material that conflicts with our values. But a ... Read More »

Sogyal Rinpoche and the abuse accusations rocking the Buddhist world

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Punching. Emotional abuse. Eye-popping sexual misdeeds. David Leser The accusations made against Sogyal Rinpoche – a key lama in the uptake of Buddhist principles by the West – have rocked devotees, including many in the top echelons of Australian business. The Canberra Times On a late September evening this year, a group of leading Australian business figures gathered in a Sydney boardroom to discuss a series of allegations that had scandalised the Buddhist world, and shaken their own to the core. ... Read More »

Friday essay: why grown-ups still need fairy tales

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For as long as we have been able to stand upright and speak, we have told stories. Marguerite Johnson They explained the mysteries of the world: birth, death, the seasons, day and night. The Conversation They were the origins of human creativity, expressed in words but also in pictures, as evidenced by the cave paintings of Chauvet (France) and Maros (Indonesia). On the walls of these caves, the paintings, which date back to around 30-40,000 BC, tell us myths or ... Read More »

Mythos review – the Greek myths get the Stephen Fry treatment

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Fry’s retellings have stiff competition, are limited in selection and sometimes appear to be set in North London Edith Hall But they have real charm The Guardian Ever since William Godwin persuaded Charles Lamb to retell The Odyssey as a novel for younger readers in The Adventures of Ulysses (1808), the myths of ancient Greece have been retold in contemporary prose by every generation. Most of these retellings were originally poetry – the epics of Hesiod, Homer and the philhellene Latin poet Ovid, the ... Read More »

New York Gallerists Counter Art-World Elitism by Showing Every Work They’re Sent

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The premise of the open call was simple: Any person, regardless of age, training, or reputation could submit an artwork and every submission received would be included in the show. Ariela Gittlen Artsy The only restriction specified was that the work must fit into a 16-by-20-inch envelope. Curator Jamie Sterns and gallery founder Andrew Edlin dubbed the experiment “Et Tu, Art Brute?” They announced that submissions were open, and waited, not really knowing what to expect. “We were saying if ... Read More »

RIP Edward Herman, Who Co-Wrote a Book That’s Now More Important Than Ever

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Edward Herman, the co-author (with Noam Chomsky) of Manufacturing Consent, has died. By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone He was 92. rsn His work has never been more relevant. Manufacturing Consent was a kind of bible of media criticism for a generation of dissident thinkers. The book described with great clarity how the system of private commercial media in America cooperates with state power to generate propaganda. Herman’s work was difficult for many to understand because the nature of the American media, then ... Read More »

Leonardo da Vinci Painting Sells for $450.3 Million, Shattering Auction Highs

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After 19 minutes of dueling, with four bidders on the telephone and one in the room, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” sold on Wednesday night for $450.3 million with fees, shattering the high for any work of art sold at auction. By ROBIN POGREBIN and SCOTT REYBURN The New York Times It far surpassed Picasso’s “Women of Algiers,” which fetched $179.4 million at Christie’s in May 2015. The buyer was not immediately disclosed. There were gasps throughout the sale, as the bids climbed ... Read More »

Message to the gods: the space poetry that transcends human rivalries

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Sputnik 1 started it all. The beachball-sized satellite was launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957 and, despite a relatively short mission of only 21 days in orbit around Earth, quickly became regarded as a device that changed the world. Phil Leonard The Conversation It represented the beginning of the Space Age – and immediately heightened tensions between the US and the USSR, prompting fears about the weaponising of space. But Sputnik, and the missions that were to ... Read More »

‘A way of healing’: Art and memory in Latin America

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More than 20 years have passed since the civil war ended in Guatemala and Chile returned to democracy, but the impact of extreme state violence is still keenly felt. BBC As part of a BBC radio series on protest art in Latin America, Louise Morris travelled to both countries and asked if there was a role for art both to demand justice and collectively memorialise those lost. A woman sits centre stage reading aloud. At regular intervals a dentist enters ... Read More »

Photos of the New Futuristic Library in China with 1.2 Million Books

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China recently opened a new futuristic library that contains a staggering 1.2 million books Michael Zhang If you enjoy architectural photography, Dutch photographer Ossip van Duivenbode‘s images of the library will be a feast for your eyes. PetaPilexThe new Tianjin Binhai Library in Tianjin, China, was designed by the Dutch architectural firm MVRDV to look like a giant eye. The five-story, 360,000-square-foot library features shelves spanning from the floor to ceiling — many of the shelves double as stairs and seats in the ... Read More »

The Cyprus problem, Turkey and Socrates on justice

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In Book 1, of Plato’s famous dialogue The Republic, Thrasymachus, one of Socrates’ interlocutors, states that justice is that which serves the interests of the strongest so that what is right is always determined by might. <style type=”text/css”> .wpb_animate_when_almost_visible { opacity: 1; }</style> Dr Edward H Spence * Cyprus Mail Socrates refutes Thrasymachus’ notion of justice by simply arguing that justice as a virtue cannot be what serves the interests of the strongest as those interests might result in vice ... Read More »