Arts & Culture

Richard Glover: In need of some moral support

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I’ve just signed a contract for a new book and – for the first time – there’s a clause demanding that I be morally upstanding. Richard Glover The Canberra Times It notes that the “commercial value of the work” is intrinsically linked to the “standing in the community of the author” and, therefore, if I misbehave they have a right to seize back the modest advance and – presumably – burn all copies of the… This puts a lot of ... Read More »

‘Measuring success differently’: New Zealand budget’s shift in economic thinking

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The Ardern government in New Zealand is articulating a bigger role for government in society, talking up wellbeing over traditional economic measures — while still playing on the standard “fiscal… David Donaldson TheMandarin New Zealand’s Labour-led coalition government has handed down its first budget, highlighting health, education and housing as areas of focus. “Our priorities are different from the previous government. We are determined to turn the page on the ideology of individualism and a hands-off approach to our economy ... Read More »

Tom Wolfe elevated journalism into enduring literature

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In 20th-century popular culture, journalists were portrayed as needy hacks desperate to write the Great American Novel. William McKeen The Conversation Journalism was the means to an end that few achieved. But Tom Wolfe, who died May 14 at age 88, helped change that in the 1960s. He was one of the New Journalists, who wrote nonfiction using the techniques of fiction. As an example: Journalists had long been trained to use direct quotations sparingly and to look for money ... Read More »

One day, two students: What college looks like from opposite ends of the income gap

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A college degree has long been touted as society’s great leveler, essential for entry into the middle class. Rachel Kurzius andHarrison Smith The Washington Post Nearly 20 million students enrolled in an undergraduate program in 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Movies and television tend to portray an idealized college experience, featuring 18- to 21-year-olds who attend four-year institutions and live on campus. But in reality the college experience is far more varied. Only 15 percent of the undergraduate ... Read More »

Seeing the unseen: the exhibition opening up the universe to teenagers

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Scienceworks museum takes a new approach to getting young people interested in Stem subjects – with playful results Jane Howard The Guardian Dr Kendall Ackley pushes her fist into the universe: purples and pinks and flashes of yellow, two black holes spin across the screen. As she pushes, the universe responds, concaving inwards. Her fist becomes a “potential well”, its gravity overriding that of the other black holes, pulling them into its orbit. Ackley was a member of the team ... Read More »

Jillian Murray and Suzanne Chaundy’s De Stroyed

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Listen now(Link will open in new window) Download audio ABC – Monday 14 May 2018 10:15AM (view full episode) IMAGE: JILLIAN MURRAY IN DE STROYED. (SUPPLIED: FORTYFIVEDOWNSTAIRS/JODIE HUTCHINSON) Award-winning actor and theatre maker Jillian Murray returns to the stage in De Stroyed— a collaboration with director Suzanne Chaundy coming to Melbourne’s fortyfivedownstairs. The one-person play adapts the words of French feminist Simone de Beauvoir, particularly her love letters to Jean-Paul Sartre, to reflect on the origins of contemporary feminism and question how far we have ... Read More »

German Culture Minister Pushes For $353 Million Increase In Arts Funding

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German minister of culture Monika Grütters announced on May 2 that the country plans to increase its arts funding by approximately $353 million, Monopol reports. ArtForum If approved by parliament, the $2 billion budget for culture and media would be increased by 23 percent from the previous year. The proposed budget is representative of Grütters’s pledge to bolster federal support for the arts during the 2017 election year. Grütters also stated that the increased funding is an example of the government’s belief in the ... Read More »

Wlad’s worlds: Polish Resistance fighter, ‘Slavic space age’ modernist, legendary Australian artist

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The relationship between art and life is tricky to navigate. But in the case of the Polish-born Australian artist Wladyslaw Dutkiewicz (1918-1999) the two seem inseparable. Christine Judith Nicholls The Conversation This is evident in the outstanding commemorative solo exhibition of his artistic career, Wladyslaw Dutkiewicz: 100th Anniversary Exhibition, expertly curated by his son Adam and currently on show at South Australia’s elegant Murray Bridge Regional Gallery. Born in Stara Sol, near Lwow, Wlad (as he became universally known) studied ... Read More »

Why bullshit hurts democracy more than lies

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Since the inauguration of Donald Trump as president, members of his administration have made many statements best described as misleading. Michael Blake The Conversation During the administration’s first week, then-press secretary Sean Spicer claimed that Trump’s inauguration was the most well attended ever. More recently, Scott Pruitt claimed falsely to have received death threats as a result of his tenure at the Environmental Protection Agency. President Trump himself has frequently been accused of telling falsehoods – including, on the campaign ... Read More »

Conference analyses disputes in East Sea

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Moscow (VNA) – Leading scientists and researchers specializing in Asia-Pacific region, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and international law, discussed the East Sea disputes in the… They analysed recent developments in the East Sea and discussed the prospects of settling the issues at the event, held by the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of… They affirmed that disputes in the East Sea are among the largest threats to the global stability and security, as besides ... Read More »

Mad Magazine’s clout may have faded, but its ethos matters more than ever before

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Mad Magazine is still hanging on. In April, it launched a reboot, jokingly calling it its “first issue.” Michael J. Socolow The Conversation But in terms of cultural resonance and mass popularity, it’s largely lost its clout. At its apex in the early 1970s, Mad’s circulation surpassed 2 million. As of 2017, it was 140,000. As strange as it sounds, I believe the “usual gang of idiots” that produced Mad was performing a vital public service, teaching American adolescents that ... Read More »

Why Does Art Matter? Why Should We Support The Arts?

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Economic rationalists would point out that most artists are economically unviable. That is true, unfortunately. Julian Burnside Daily Review Creative artists generally have miserable incomes from their art, and survive by teaching or waiting on tables. Performing artists do not have it much better; depending on their speciality, they may have just as difficult a time as creative artists. Economic rationalists would argue that pouring money into the arts makes no sense unless the consumer considers the transaction to deliver ... Read More »

Hostility towards minorities can be contagious

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If people act hostile towards other ethnic groups, they easily find imitators Max-Planck-Gesellschaft EurekAlert! Inter-ethnic conflicts often escalate surprisingly quickly. In a recent study, researchers have investigated the influence of the environment on peoples’ hostility against minorities with the help of experiments. They found that hostility towards members of other ethnic groups is much more often imitated than hostility towards co-ethnics. Whether in Bosnia, Liberia, or Rwanda, violent conflicts have suddenly broken out between… So far, there… Hostility towards minorities… Read More »

Daily Express: what a difference a new owner has made (especially if you are a migrant)

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Downright offensive and Islamophobic: these words were used to describe the Daily Express – not from the usual left-leaning critic but directly from the mouth of the newspaper’s latest editor. Paul Broster The Conversation Gary Jones pulled no punches when quizzed by MPs over the editorial stance of the right wing mid-market tabloid. “Cumulatively, some of the headlines that have appeared in the past have created an Islamophobic sentiment which I find uncomfortable,” Jones told the home affairs select committee, ... Read More »

University of Melbourne staff to strike over academic freedom

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University of Melbourne staff have voted to go on strike to protest what they say is an attack on free speech. Henrietta Cook The Age Hundreds of academics and professional staff will walk off campus next Wednesday to oppose a proposed new workplace agreement put forward by the university. The four-hour strike follows the university ditching a definition of academic and intellectual freedom in its proposed new workplace agreement. The National Tertiary and Education Union says the changes will mean ... Read More »

Gaia’s Map of 1.3 Billion Stars Makes for a Milky Way in a Bottle

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Call it a galaxy in a bottle. Last Wednesday, astronomers in Europe released a three-dimensional map of the Milky Way. Dennis Overbye The New York Times It is the most detailed survey ever produced of our home galaxy. It contains the vital statistics of some 1.3 billion stars — about one percent of the whole galaxy. Not to mention measurements of almost half a million quasars, asteroids and other flecks in the night. Analyzing all these motions and distances, astronomers ... Read More »