Arts & Culture

Mythbusting with the Grand Mufti: Australia’s Muslim leader answers your questions

You asked, he answered. The Grand Mufti of Australia and New Zealand Ibrahim Abu Mohamed answers some of the most commonly asked questions about Islam, including views on homosexuality and Jihad. Fares Hassan SBS Reporter Fares Hassan sat down with the Grand Mufti to address what he calls “misconceptions” associated with the religion of Islam. The questions were some of the most commonly asked by commenters on the… Q: You are the Mufti of Australia, why don’t you speak English? ... Read More »

Act on climate change like you did on Notre-Dame, activist Greta Thunberg begs EU

Sweden’s teenage activist Greta Thunberg choked backed tears as she warned of climate disaster and urged Europeans to vote in next month’s elections to press for decisive action on cutting… SBS Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who has inspired a movement of children against global warming, urged leaders on Tuesday to act to save the planet in the same way they are pledging to… “Yesterday, the whole world witnessed with sadness and despair the fire at Notre-Dame de Paris, but Notre-Dame ... Read More »

Why are we so moved by the plight of the Notre Dame?

Scrolling through news of the Notre Dame fire on social media feeds was like watching a real-time archive of grief in the making, as people expressed their dismay and sorrow at the damage wrought. Authors: The Conversation Why is it that some heritage places publicly elicit more emotions than others? There is no simple answer to this question. But the outpouring of grief for Notre Dame is not simply because it is a beautiful gothic cathedral, or because it is ... Read More »

Why Notre Dame matters, in one Victor Hugo passage

What Victor Hugo wrote to save Notre Dame when it was on the brink of destruction. Constance Grady Vox Notre Dame is on fire, and its spire has fallen. As of Monday afternoon, we don’t know for sure how the fire began or how extensive the damage is, but the world has responded to the news with an outcry of horror and grief. “Paris is beheaded,” one man told the New York Times as the spire fell. If we lose Notre ... Read More »

Watch: Moment Notre Dame Cathedral’s spire comes crashing down amid fire

A Twitter user captured the moment the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral’s spire came crashing to the ground amid a raging fire. Emma Beswick euronews A “significant fire” broke out around 7 pm CEST local time at the landmark in central Paris, according to the national police. The spire fell roughly an hour after this. Smoke could be seen billowing out from the top of the medieval cathedral, as flames leapt out beside its two bell towers, a Reuters witness said. ... Read More »

Leonardo joined art with engineering

Leonardo da Vinci’s remarkable capacity for careful observation made him an astonishing artist and a brilliant scientist. Ben Shneiderman The Conversation He was able to compare the speed of a bird’s wing movement downwards and upwards. He noticed the differences between arteries carrying blood from the heart and the veins bringing the blood back, so as to draw accurate models of the human circulatory system. His portrait paintings were groundbreaking because Leonardo was the first to show accurate musculature in ... Read More »

A Voice Of Reason: Why Christopher Hitchens Matters

Hitchens emerges as a voice of resistance that echoes through the twenty first century. Fahad Zuberi Outlook It matters today because totalitarianism has created precedence in world politics, and newer totalitarian ideas are on the rise. ‘Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. The grave will supply plenty of time for silence.’ And having lived true to what he said for sixty-two years, Christopher Eric Hitchens remained anything but a silent spectator. It would not be an exaggeration to ... Read More »

The government wants to bulldoze my inheritance: 800-year-old sacred trees

To sit in a tree that saw your people birthed, massacred, and now resist is a feeling that the English language will never be able to capture Nayuka Gorrie The Guardian Victoria’s settler colonisation has been a violent and traumatic ongoing series of events on both Aboriginal people and our landscapes. Despite attempts to kill us off, assimilate us, we are still here. This truth is a thorn in the colonial side. As our physical human form persists, our land ... Read More »

DLA Piper teams up with refugee advocates for access to justice

Global firm DLA Piper has partnered with the Southern Migrant and Refugee Centre to deliver its first Australia-based Know Your Rights Legal Empowerment Program. Jerome Doraisamy Lawyers Weekly DLA Piper‘s Know Your Rights program has been successfully delivered across a number of cities to date including Bangkok, Amsterdam, Paris, Vienna, Hamburg, Cologne, Brussels, Milan, Luxembourg and Rome, and has now come Down Under. It is a “signature part” of the firm’s global pro bono practice that focuses on access to ... Read More »

Six books that shock, delve deeply and destroy pieties: your guide to the 2019 Stella Prize shortlist

Young people – how they think and feel, how institutions (families, schools, clinics, courts) fail them – are a recurring theme in the books shortlisted for the 2019 Stella Prize. Camilla Nelson The Conversation These six surprising books – four novels, a memoir and a collection of essays – cover subject matter as diverse as grief, loss, history, childhood, and Indigenous resistance. They make risky aesthetic choices. Some feature dazzling experiments with language, structure and form. Despite, or, more likely, ... Read More »

A vision reborn: Museum of iconic Spanish sculptor Eduardo Chillida opens once again

After closing due to management and financial problems, the magical outdoor sculpture park and gallery will welcome in visitors from April 17 to contemplate the work of one of Spain’s most internationally renowned 20th-century artists BORJA HERMOSO El Pais It’s 6pm and the fading orange light brings out a myriad of tones and colors in the corten steel structures standing in Chillida Leku, a unique outdoor museum dedicated to the work of Spanish sculptor Eduardo Chillida, located 15 minutes outside ... Read More »

The nations of the Amazon want the name back

Online retail giant Amazon and the governments of eight South American countries have been given a final deadline to reach an agreement over how to use the “.amazon” web address extension after a seven-year dispute. What will happen next? Pablo Uchoa BBC It’s a name that evokes epic proportions: the world’s largest rainforest; a global tech company; and now a diplomatic saga nearing its end. This is the battle of the Amazon and it starts back in 2012. The Internet ... Read More »

Bring Behrouz home to Australia: he is one of us

There is a pivotal moment in Behrouz Boochani’s book, No Friend but the Mountains. In late August, 2013, a propeller-driven plane stands waiting on a strip on Christmas Island, to take asylum seekers to a faraway destination. Arnold Zable The Age Each man is escorted at two-minute intervals, 50 metres from a bus to the plane. They are held by the arms between two officers. At the base of the stairs, they are handed over to a second pair of officers, ... Read More »

Egypt targets artists in ongoing crackdown on dissent

Egyptian actors Amr Waked and Khaled Abu El Naga face accusations of “high treason” in Egypt after criticizing alleged human rights violations by the Egyptian government at a March 25 meeting with US members of Congress in Washington. Shahira Amin Al-Monitor Waked and Abu El Naga also used their meeting with the US lawmakers to lobby against proposed constitutional amendments that would allow President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to remain in office until 2034 and would also, critics say, “enshrine military rule.” The controversial proposed ... Read More »

Leonardo da Vinci revisited: was he an environmentalist ahead of his time?

Leonardo’s notebooks are filled with illustrations of nature, both plants and animals, their interactions with humans and in local ecosystems. Authors: The Conversation Did his deep engagement with the natural world make him an environmentalist ahead of his time? Leonardo was a child of the Tuscan countryside, raised in the tiny village of Anchiano, although he spent most of his adult life at the courts of dukes, kings and princes. Some of his work for these patrons involved planning interventions ... Read More »

The Invisible Man

Introduced by writer Anna Funder The extraordinary story of Behrouz Boochani, the man who won Australia’s richest literary award but remains unable to set foot in this country. ABC Australian Story The stateless refugee, who’s in detention on Manus Island, smuggled out his entire book text by text on a smuggled mobile phone. In January, No Friend But the Mountains won the $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature, Born during the Iran-Iraq war and suffering persecution as a Kurd in his ... Read More »