Arts & Culture

For what shall it profit a city if it loses its civic soul? A plea to preserve Melbourne’s Fed Square

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For 150 years Melburnians dreamed of a square, a great ceremonial space where people could relax, celebrate, protest or simply enjoy the company of their fellow citizens. Graeme Davison The Conversation They had a word for their dream – a civic square. The word “civic” means “of the city” or “belonging to the citizens”. What they wanted was not a market, a park, an arena or a mall – Melbourne had plenty of those – but a grand piazza where ... Read More »

“We are not used to people thinking we are beautiful”

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With her tent pitched on a local family’s front garden, Cécile Smetana Baudier spent five weeks photographing Costa Chica’s hidden Afro-Mexican community bjp Postcards from Copenhagen gives three photographers the opportunity to travel to Copenhagen on an exclusive group commission. To introduce the competition, British Journal of Photography will profile a number of photographers working out of the Danish capital. Until 2015, the Mexican government failed to officially acknowledge the 1.38 million citizens of African descent living in the country. Despite their eventual ... Read More »

Barack Obama wants you to read this book on making smarter decisions

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Former President recommends Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, which could reshape how you make decisions Chris Weller Business Insider Independent Four years ago, a few months before he was re-elected, President Barack Obama read a book on the science of decision-making that he now considers one of his favourites. The book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman, features insights into the pitfalls of human rationality that might just transform how you think about intelligence. Obama’s recommendation comes alongside nine other books on ... Read More »

Malaysian court jails artist for clown caricature of PM

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A Malaysian artist and prominent opposition activist was jailed for a month yesterday for publishing a caricature of Prime Minister Najib Razak looking like a clown, a ruling likely to exacerbate concern about free speech. KUALA LUMPUR – Reuters Hurriyet Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy recently announced plans to amend a law to stamp out fake news, the latest step to broaden enforcement powers and penalties against online posts or content deemed detrimental to public order and security. Artist Fahmi Reza ... Read More »

Museum of Australian Democracy exhibition looks at migration through Holocaust survivors’ eyes

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The story begins with a toy koala – furry, life-sized and huggable – and ends with the poignant reminders of the bottomless traumas of the Holocaust. Sally Pryor The Canberra Times But in exploring the different experiences of migration to Australia, an exhibition at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House in Canberra has a single shining theme: human resilience. In 1949, an eight-year-old girl named Isobel Saxelby was presented with a toy koala when she arrived in ... Read More »

‘Lost’ ancient Mexican city had as many buildings as Manhattan, laser map shows

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‘If you do the maths, all of a sudden you are talking about 40,000 building foundations up there’ Jeff Farrell The Independent A “lost” Mexican city built by rivals to the Aztecs has as many buildings as Manhattan and was home to around 100,000 people, according to new research. The sprawling urban centre of Angamuco which was part of the Purépecha empire that peaked in the 16th century was detected by an aerial laser mapping technique called the Lidar system. An aircraft beamed out laser pulses and experts ... Read More »

Pushing back: why it’s time for women to rewrite the story

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Poe, Updike, Roth, Mailer: many male authors have contributed to a culture in which the credibility of women is undermined. It’s time to put a stop to the gaslighting, writes Sarah Churchwell The Guardian In 1938 a play debuted at the Richmond theatre, which opens with a Victorian husband telling his wife that though she has been “very good lately”, she mustn’t “read meanings into everything” or “imagine things”. “Is it possible you’re beginning to see my point of view?” she ... Read More »

Neighbourhood living rooms – we can learn a lot from European town squares

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Australian urban design has historically focused on providing and improving access to public green spaces. As cities increase in density, this is a crucial part of creating healthy, engaged communities. Dina Bacvic The Conversation But Australian urban designers often fail to consider the “other half” of public space – the town square. Public squares or plazas were, and are, the centres of daily public life in many European towns and cities. Today they still influence the perception of place and ... Read More »

Ai Weiwei on the project that awoke his political voice – The Start podcast

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The artist and activist tells how investigating schoolchildren’s deaths in the Sichuan earthquake of 2008 spawned his mammoth installation, Remembering Produced by Eva Krysiak with sound design by Chris Wood and original music by Stephen Fiske The Guardian In 2008, an earthquake devastated Sichuan province in China, claiming the lives of more than 69,000 people. Following accusations from parents that substandard construction caused the collapse of schools across in the region, the artist Ai Weiwei set upon a political investigation that would name every missing student ... Read More »

Capitalism isn’t an ideology — it’s an operating system

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Bhu Srinivasan researches the intersection of capitalism and technological progress. Today’s TED Talk Instead of thinking about capitalism as a firm, unchanging ideology, he suggests that we should think of it as an operating system — one that needs upgrades to keep up with innovation, like the impending take-off of drone delivery services. Learn more about the past and future of the free market (and a potential coming identity crisis for the United States’ version of capitalism) with this quick, ... Read More »

The curious and compelling portraits of Hanna Putz

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With her distinct photographic style, the Austrian photographer is uniquely positioned to capture the different characters of her sitters Sponsored by Austrian National Tourist Office Austria. The Art of Discovery, an exclusive British Journal of Photography commission supported by the Austrian National Tourist Office as part of its Austria. The Art of Discoveryproject, is now open for entries! The winning photographer will travel to Austria to… For the second in a series of editorials exploring the work of Austrian photographers, we spoke ... Read More »

Emotional intelligence: What it is and why you need it

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When emotional intelligence first appeared to the masses, it served as the missing link in a peculiar finding: people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70% of the time. Travis Bradberry World Economic Forum This anomaly threw a massive wrench into what many people had always assumed was the sole source of success—IQ. Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. Emotional ... Read More »

Guide to the classics: Sappho, a poet in fragments

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For those who have read the fragmented remains of the Greek poet, Sappho the loss of most of her poetic corpus is something to regret. Marguerite Johnson The Conversation With a mere two complete poems extant from nine books of verse, much is left to the imagination in the reconstruction of the output (and life) of this most mysterious of ancient poets. In a world dominated by male voices whose view of life, the universe and everything was the loudest and most ... Read More »

The Female Quran Experts Fighting Radical Islam in Morocco

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“The women scholars here are even more important than men.” DINA TEMPLE-RASTON The Atlantic Morocco is in a region vulnerable to terrorist recruitment, but it hasn’t had a significant attack on its own soil since 2011, when terrorists bombed a Marrakesh café. Yet ethnic Moroccans have been at the center of ISIS attacks in Europe. The only alleged survivor of the 2015 Paris rampage is a Frenchman of Moroccan origin; his trial began last week. The men behind the Brussels ... Read More »

Archaeologists trace lost settlements of Glencoe destroyed after 1692 massacre

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Archaeologists are to trace the lost settlements of the Glencoe Massacre for the first time and place the human story of the atrocity back into one of Scotland’s most visited landscapes. Alison Campsie The Scotsman National Trust for Scotland has carried out initial survey work at three former settlements which fall within its property at the glen with more detailed studies due to follow. Glencoe was the scene of one of Scotland’s most infamous murders of the clan era when ... Read More »

Who is Asma Jahangir ?

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Known for maintaining a resolute stance in the face of extreme pressure and opposition, Jahangir will be remembered as a champion for the disenfranchised The Indian Express Eminent lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir passed away in Lahore after she suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday, according to Pakistan media. She was 66. “Asma suffered heart attack today morning and she was rushed to Hameed Latif Hospital Lahore where she breathed her last. Doctors tried to save her life ... Read More »