Iran’s regime joins campaign against actress who posted images without wearing a hijab

Sadaf 2b

Sadaf Taherian fled to the United Arab Emirates after she was criticised for sharing images without the Muslim head covering The Telegraph – By Ahmed Vahdat Iran’s regime has joined the campaign against a leading actress who released photographs of herself without a veil, questioning the woman’s mental balance and calling her an “offender”. Sadaf Taherian was forced to flee to the United Arab Emirates last week after being criticised for publishing pictures on social media showing her without the ... Read More »

Ai Weiwei finds ‘listening devices’ hidden in Beijing studio

Ai WeiWei 1a LLLL

Dissident artist posts images of suspected bugs on Instagram after returning to China following first overseas trip in four years The Guardian – Fergus Ryan in Beijing Dissident artist Ai Weiwei has returned to China after his first overseas trip in four years and discovered what appear to be listening devices hidden in his studio. In a series of Instagram and Twitter posts on Sunday, the pop artist and free-speech activist shared pictures and video of at least one device ... Read More »

Simshar: Malta’s first Oscar contender a harrowing tale of high-sea drama

Rebecca Cremora 1a LLLLL

Trailer: Simshar Video ””” Based on astonishing true events, ‘Simshar’ tells two parallel stories of survival at sea which unravel on and around the Maltese islands.””” The Age – Philippa Hawker, Film and arts writer When it comes to movie-making, Malta has blockbuster connections. Hollywood comes calling because it’s an ideal location for films set in the ancient world – Gladiator, Troy, Alexander – and there is a huge water tank available for movies that have dramatic ocean scenes. But ... Read More »

Fisherman and country music singer pens “protest” song to defend his mates against net bans

Ian Quinn 1a LLLL

The plight of the farmer has inspired many to sing; from Slim Dusty to Lee Kernaghan, but many of those performers have never saddled up themselves. ABC Rural – By Eliza Rogers Audio: Fisherman and country music singer Ian Quinn explains his “protest” fishing song (ABC Rural) The same cannot be said of Ian Quinn. An award-winning country music artist, Mr Quinn has also worked as a commercial fisherman in Queensland for the past 30 years. He has written plenty ... Read More »

Was William Shakespeare on drugs?

William Shakespeare 1a LLLL

New research has found traces of cannabis and cocaine in clay pipes dug up in William Shakespeare’s hometown, Stratford-Upon-Avon. Brisbane Times – Karl Quinn, National Film Editor Was William Shakespeare a stoner? It’s a legitimate question following the revelation that clay tobacco pipes dug up from the garden of his home in Stratford-upon-Avon contain traces of cannabis. Researchers at a forensic laboratory in South Africa have examined fragments of 24 clay tobacco pipes dating from the early 17th century in ... Read More »

Israeli artist Matan Ben Cnaan wins BP portrait award

Annabelle and Guy by Matan Ben Cnaan 1a LLLL

Top prize of £30,000 awarded for painting that struck judges with its ‘engaging filmic narrative’ inspired by biblical story of Jephthah The Guardian – Mark Brown A neorealist allegorical painting inspired by the bible story of Jephthah and his daughter has won the Israeli artist Matan Ben Cnaan one of the world’s most prestigious portrait awards. Ben Cnaan was named the first Israeli winner of the £30,000 BP portrait award at a ceremony on Tuesday evening at the National Portrait Gallery ... Read More »

‘King of the Blues’ Blues Legend B.B. King Dead at Age 89

BB King 1a LLLLL

LAS VEGAS – B.B. King, whose scorching guitar licks and heartfelt vocals made him the idol of generations of musicians and fans while earning him the nickname King of the Blues, died late Thursday at home in Las Vegas. He was 89. AP – ABC News – By KEN RITTER Associated Press His attorney, Brent Bryson, told The Associated Press that King died peacefully in his sleep at 9:40 p.m. PDT. He said funeral arrangements were underway. Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg ... Read More »

Kurdish musician in Turkey sentenced to 10 years in prison for singing in Kurdish

Turkc 1a

For decades, Kurds in Turkey have systematically been constrained from speaking their mother tongue or uttering the name of their historic land. JPost – By Uzay Bulut * If you are planning to visit Turkey soon, keep in mind that singing a Kurdish song, choosing a Kurdish name for your child, or just saying a few Kurdish words is still unacceptable and might even constitute a crime. Nudem Durak, 24, a musician who sings and teaches Kurdish folk songs at the ... Read More »

The Eiffel Tower’s secret apartment now revealed to the public

Eiffel Tower 1a LLLL

After the Eiffel tower was opened in 1889, the tower’s designer, Gustave Eiffel, had become the envy of the elite in Paris. Rachel Clun, Domain Reporter However the source of envy was not the tower itself, but the revelation that Eiffel had secretly built himself an apartment at the top of the tower. Far from being a bold apartment, RM1000 notes it was small and cosy. Author Henri Girard  described it as “furnished in the simple dear style to scientists”, in his 1891 book ... Read More »

Yiddish singer brings to life voices silenced by the Holocaust

Bente Kahan 1a LLLLLL

Norwegian Bente Kahan will appear in Tel Aviv and London this month to commemorate 70 years to the liberation of Bergen-Belsen. The Times Of Israel – BY JENNI FRAZER LONDON — For Israelis and Anglos alike, Bente Kahan’s multi-lingual abilities are a thing of wonder. Born and raised in Norway, a graduate in performing arts at Tel Aviv University and at New York’s American Musical and Dramatic Academy, the actress and singer lives today in Wroclaw, Poland, and describes herself as “utterly European” ... Read More »

Postscript: Manoel de Oliveira

Manueld 1a

The  <iframe src=&quot;;sid=1603541&amp;nid=410858&amp;gwp=VR6H7wAAXwUKvYAPAAB3-FLUAHiyX-VxUUvyIw&amp;cb=92625066&amp;clk=; width=&quot;300&quot; height=&quot;250&quot; frameborder=&quot;0&quot; scrolling=&quot;no&quot;></iframe> <iframe src=&quot;;sid=1603541&amp;nid=410858&amp;gwp=VR6H7wAAXwUKvYAPAAB3-FLUAHiyX-VxUUvyIw&amp;cb=92625066&amp;clk=; width=&quot;300&quot; height=&quot;250&quot; frameborder=&quot;0&quot; scrolling=&quot;no&quot;></iframe> Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira, who died today at the age of a hundred and six, was born in 1908, which is to say, not just before the age of sound films but before the age of the feature film—in the prehistory of the cinema. The New Yorker – BY RICHARD BRODY * Though he got started with a silent film, in 1931, his career was stifled by the Salazar ... Read More »

Michael Fabiano’s 7 Hours From Call to Stage at the Metropolitan Opera

Michael Fabiano 1a LLLLL

The hot young tenor Michael Fabiano was out running errands near his home in Philadelphia around 1 p.m. on Wednesday when the Metropolitan Opera called, wondering if he could step in for an ailing tenor in its production of Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor.” The curtain would rise in six and a half hours. In New York. The New York Times – By Michael Cooper He had never seen the Met’s production, let alone rehearsed it — so doing the performance might ... Read More »

Spoken word artist Luka Lesson is owning his language

Luke Haralambou 1a LLLL

Luke Lesson is a man of many hats. As well as being an internationally acclaimed spoken word poet and published author – his debut collection of poetry The Future Ancients was released back in 2013 — the Australian is also an adept MC. Lesson’s recent second album, Exit, blends all his literal and music flair together. He talks about the creative process surrounding the album and his quest to change perceptions of spoken word poetry. The National – Saeed Saeed Exit ... Read More »

This Picasso painting could smash auction record

Pica 1a

CNN – A painting by Pablo Picasso could set a new record for the most expensive art work ever sold at auction. The masterwork, entitled “Les femmes d’Alger (Version “O”)” goes under the hammer in May, according to auction house Christie’s. Christie’s estimates it will sell for $140 million. However, Picasso’s most famous paintings are in high demand and such auctions usually sell for a much higher price than the estimate. Currently, the most expensive art work ever sold at ... Read More »

Turkish President Erdogan fined 10,000 lira for calling statue symbolising peace a ‘monstrosity


The statue was a symbol of unity between Turkey and Armenia An Istanbul court has ordered Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to pay an artist 10,000 Turkish Lira (£2,500) in compensation, after the politician called his sculpture a “monstrosity.” Kashmira Gander The Independent Mehmet Aksoy’s Monument to Humanity featured two human figures towering 30 metres above the eastern city of Kars, and was designed to symbolise reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia. But Mr Erdogan made his feelings towards the piece clear ... Read More »

The Cultural Boycott of Israel Isn’t Solidarity, It’s Condescension


Whose side am I on? That’s the question I find myself asking after reading the statement drawn up by Artists for Palestine, and signed by over 700 British artists and self-styled “cultural workers,” announcing their cultural boycott of Israel last week (see Jeremy Deller, Ed Atkins, and Hundreds of UK Artists Support Cultural Boycott of Israel). Declaring their solidarity with the Palestinian cause, artists including musicians Brian Eno and Roger Waters, writers China Miéville and Hari Kunzru, pledged to refuse ... Read More »