Arts & Culture

Why pop songs move us: it’s not about

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What was it that drove 600 generally sane men, women and children to don red dresses to swoop, leap and sway to the biggest Kate Bush hit of all time at Melbourne’s Edinburgh… Peter Martin The Sydney Morning Herald The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever was a fundraiser to help organisations dealing with domestic violence, as were satellite Most Wuthering Heights Days in Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney… But the devotees weren’t doing it primarily to fight domestic violence, and… Why ... Read More »

Eaten Fish receives Voltaire Empty Chair Award, Liberty Victoria

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Manus Island detainee and current CRNI Courage in Editorial Cartooning laureate Eaten Fish has received the Voltaire Empty Chair Award at Liberty Victoria‘s annual event celebrating free speech… Cartoonists Rights Eaten Fish’s staunchest allies, poet and human rights activist Janet Galbraith and cartoonist Andrew Marlton (aka First Dog on the Moon) attended on Eaten… Marlton read a message of goodwill and thanks from the young Iranian, still facing an uncertain future even as Australia’s facility in Papua New… Eaten Fish ... Read More »

We All Know What’s Happening: A remarkable insight into Nauru through the eyes of children

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THEATRE WE ALL KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING ★★★½ Arts House, North Melbourne Until July 22​ That cherished axiom of the acting trade – “never work with children or animals” – is one we should be pleased some of our smartest theatre-makers have ignored. Cameron Woodhead The Age Adena Jacobs’ Fraught Outfit, for instance, has created an astonishing body of work with younger ensembles, continuing with a child’s eye view of The Book of... Likewise, Samara Hersch​ and Lara Thoms have devised theatre ... Read More »

Why the US doesn’t understand Chinese thought – and must

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The need for the U.S. to understand China is obvious. The Chinese economy is on track to become the largest in the world by 2030, Chinese leadership may be the key to resolving the nuclear crisis with North Korea and China has military and economic ambitions in the South China Sea and… Bryan W. Van Norden The Conversation Meanwhile, the Trump administration has shown (repeatedly) that it’s not even clear on the difference between the People’s Republic of China (the ... Read More »

Australia human history ‘rewritten by rock find’

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Archaeologists have found the first evidence to suggest that Aboriginal people have been in Australia for at least 65,000 years. BBC The discovery indicates their arrival on the continent was up to 18,000 years earlier than previously thought. It was made after sophisticated artefacts were excavated from a rock shelter in the Northern Territory. Researchers unearthed what they say are the… Australia human history… Read More »

How Checkers Was Solved

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The story of a duel between two men, one who dies, and the nature of the quest to build artificial intelligence Alexis C. Madrigal  The Atlantic Marion Tinsley—math professor, minister, and the best checkers player in the world—sat across a game board from a computer, dying. Tinsley had been the world’s best for 40 years, a time during which he’d lost a handful of games to humans, but never a… How Checkers Was… Read More »

Tasoula Hadjitofi – from refugee to icon hunter

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A refugee’s quest to reclaim her nation’s stolen heritage Tasoula Hadjitofi will discuss her experiences of war and injustice; her ongoing campaign to preserve cultural heritage worldwide and her tireless work to combat art trafficking. In 1974 Tasoula Hadjitofi and her family were forced to flee their home in Famagusta, Cyprus during the Turkish invasion. As a refugee living in the Netherlands, Tasoula devoted her life to infiltrating and exposing the shady underworld of art traffickers. It all began when ... Read More »

Five reasons why Game of Thrones satisfies our needs (apart from all the sex and violence)

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Game of Thrones has become something of a TV event over the past six years – the last season attracted more than 5m viewers per… Tom van Laer  The Conversation On the face of it, the attractions are obvious: large helpings of sex and violence, bolstered by a serpentine storyline said to be inspired by the War of the Roses, one of the bloodiest periods of English… Yet, I think the series meets deeper, more fundamental human needs than just ... Read More »

Kin Aesthetics // Excommunicate Me from the Church of Social Justice

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There is a particularly aggressive strand of social justice activism weaving in and out of my Seattle community that has troubled me, silenced my loved ones, and turned away potential allies. Frances S. Lee  Catalyst I believe in justice. I believe in liberation. I believe it is our duty to obliterate white supremacy, anti-blackness, cisheteropatriarchy, ableism, capitalism, and imperialism. And I also believe there should be openness around the tactics we use and ways our… Excommunicate Me from… Read More »

Churches must be more vocal in speaking about EU successes

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At the heart of the European Union must be a vision beyond ‘prosperity’ for some… Fergus O’Ferrall The Irish Times Jacques Delors, speaking as European Commission president in 1990, made a historic appeal to the churches to contribute to giving Europe “a heart and a… As Europe faces multiple and interrelated crises how are the churches responding to that prophetic call? The perhaps surprising answer is with great wisdom and insight through the Conference of European… Churches must be… Read More »

Islamophobia is still raising its ugly head in Australia

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The existence and scale of Islamophobia in Australia has been hotly debated. While Muslims insist it is real and of significant scale, it has been either denied or downplayed in wider circles. Mehmet Ozalp The Conversation The main reason why Islamophobia has not been taken seriously could be due to the lack of quality data on the… Most research to date focused on surveys conducted on the negative sentiments of non… But our new study reports on actual Islamophobic incidents, ... Read More »

New map records massacres of Aboriginal people in Frontier Wars

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After years of painstaking research, an online map marking the massacres of Aboriginal clans across Australia’s colonial frontier has… By national Indigenous affairs correspondent Bridget Brennan ABC More than 150 sites have been recorded along the east coast, where violent attacks on Aboriginal people took place for decades after the First Fleet… Historian and conjoint Professor at the University of Newcastle Lyndall Ryan believes it will be one of the most comprehensive maps of the Frontier Wars ever… New map ... Read More »

Why Iraq Needs a Cultural Surge

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Iraq needs a new surge—one that is focused on the reconstruction of the country’s cultural heritage. Bartle Bull The National Interest IT IS no secret that the Islamic State brought many tragedies. Potentially the most consequential of these is that in Iraq the rule of the erstwhile caliphate encompassed perhaps the world’s single richest trove of cultural… Now, as ISIS territory disappears yard by yard from the Iraqi map, it is… Why Iraq Needs… Read More »

What’s Keeping One of Opera’s Greatest Sopranos From Singing?

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MUNICH — The joy of Elisabeth’s entrance aria in Wagner’s “Tannhäuser” recedes for a line of sadness as she recalls her beloved’s departure. ZACHARY WOOLFE The New York Times The soprano Anja Harteros, whose performance of the role at the Bayerische Staatsoper here will be streamed at staatsoper.tv on Sunday, July 9, makes of that passing moment an entire anatomy of… Her voice suddenly turns gray and hazy, without losing its steely core. Sinking to its… What’s Keeping One… Read More »

Together, Closer review: Why we are a mystery to ourselves

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Giovanni Frazzetto creates his own art – eight stories that run alongside the latest discoveries of neuroscience, exploring humanity’s relationship with… Martina Evans The Irish Times Together, closer: The Art and Science of Intimacy in Friendship, Love, and Family is an ambitious project. Giovanni Frazzetto marries science with art, the most recent discoveries of neuroscience with… Stories are part of our make-up and… Together, Closer review… Read More »

Donald Trump and Thucydides’ Trap – a lesson or a lure?

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Right now the single most influential historian in the world is probably Thucydides, an ancient Greek who wrote the definitive account of the Peloponnesian War between the city-states of Sparta and… Simon Caterson Daily Review But while a knowledge of the classical world is handy in discerning historical patterns and analogising international relations, how useful is it really in understanding the true nature of the… As we seek to learn all we can from the lessons of history, it is ... Read More »