Arts & Culture

Bronze baby Buddha found off WA’s north coast could be Ming treasure

Two West Australian men, while exploring the state’s north coast with a metal detector, have discovered a bronze Buddha figurine that could date back to the early Ming Dynasty. Emma Young WAtoday If authenticated, the infant Buddha will be of high value and potentially historically significant if its arrival on the coast could be shown to predate the first European visits to Australia’s western coast. Leon Deschamps and Shayne Thomson together run Finn Films, a company specialising in aquatic filming ... Read More »

Leonardo da Vinci: 500 years after his death his genius shines as bright as ever

Old masters rarely come more venerable (and venerated) and instantly recognisable than Leonardo da Vinci. Gabriele Neher The Conversation But to think of Leonardo as an Old Master – with all its connotations of being staid, traditional, somehow old-fashioned and boring – is to do this extraordinary man a grave injustice. There is nothing stale or predictable about a man whose personal foibles irritated and frustrated contemporaries as much as his brilliance and creativity dazzled and awed them. One thing ... Read More »

Behrouz Boochani’s literary prize acceptance speech – full transcript

Asylum speaker accepts $125,000 Victorian premier’s literary prize via video from Manus Island, where he has been held for six years Behrouz Boochani The Guardian This is a transcript of the speech Behrouz Boochani delivered via video link on 31 January 2019 Behrouz Boochani wins Australia’s richest literary prize When I arrived at Christmas Island six years ago, an immigration official called me into the office and told me that they were going to exile me to Manus Island, a ... Read More »

Reuniting the Parthenon marbles is nothing to do with nationalism

Alexi Kaye Campbell responds to Jonathan Jones’s article on the British Museum director’s claim that the marbles’ removal from Greece in the 19th century could be seen as ‘a creative act’. The Guardian Plus letters from Pierre Makhlouf and John AK Huntley As a member of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles who recently argued (and happily won) against Jonathan Jones at the UCL debate which he mentions in his recent article (Let’s not lose our marbles over the British ... Read More »

How A Brazilian Photographer Restored An Entire Forest With 2.7 million Trees In 20 Years

A part of growing up is becoming aware of changes. Have you ever wondered how your neighborhood completely changes when you are walking down those familiar streets ten to fifteen years later? Mayukh Saha Truth Theory Now, imagine if you lived in a place surrounded with trees and found all of them have vanished when you returned from a trip? That is what happens when we have rampant deforestation taking place all over the world. We are aware of the ... Read More »

Behrouz Boochani wins $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature

The winner of this year’s $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature couldn’t be at the awards presentation on Thursday evening. Jason Steger The Sydney Morning Herald He was unavoidably detained elsewhere – on Manus Island, where he has been incarcerated for more than five years. Kurdish refugee Behrouz Boochani’s​ poetic memoir, No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison (translated by Omid Tofighian), not only won Australia’s richest writing prize, but also the $25,000 non-fiction prize in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, ... Read More »

Tutankhamun’s tomb restored to prevent damage by visitors

A nine-year project has been completed to restore the tomb of ancient Egypt’s boy king, Tutankhamun, and address issues that threatened its survival. BBC Experts from the Getty Conservation Institute repaired scratches and abrasions on the wall paintings caused by visitors to the burial chamber. The paintings were also affected by humidity, dust and carbon dioxide introduced by every person who entered. A new ventilation system should reduce the need for future cleaning. New barriers will restrict physical access to ... Read More »

Every day is Survival Day in the colony of Australia

January 26 is redneck Christmas and white supremacist festivus rolled into one Scott Trindall for IndigenousX The Guardian When you think about it you realise that Australia’s only really got a couple of holidays that aren’t religion-based or coincide with the local show. And, given that Aussies love taking a day off – we lead the world in chucking sickies – you can start to appreciate why so many white people have such a strong affinity with January 26 and ... Read More »

Fundamental freedoms and the right to participate in public and political life

Almost two quarters of a century have already passed since July 20, 1974 when Turkey invaded Cyprus, occupied 40% of its territory and used all possible means to force the 200 000 Christian inhabitants of the occupied area to flee their ancestral homes and settle in the free southern part of the island as refugees. Mattheos Economides Agora Dialogue More than 7 000 Cypriots of Greek origin were murdered by the invaders and around 2000 were held hostages, the fate ... Read More »

Hidden women of history: the priestess Pythia at the Delphic Oracle, who spoke truth to power

In a time and place that offered few career opportunities for women, the job of the priestess of Apollo at Delphi stands out. Julia Kindt The Conversation Her position was at the centre of one of the most powerful religious institutions of the ancient world. The competing Greek city states had few overarching authorities (political or otherwise), so the significance of her voice should not be underestimated. Indeed, there is some evidence to suggest that the Pythia was at the ... Read More »

My Australia: The woman tackling workplace ignorance about Indigenous Australians

Djiribul woman Shelley Reys has spent her career trying to bridge the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Today she counts Microsoft, Qantas and Telstra as clients. Matt Connellan SBS My Australia is a special series exploring cultural heritage and identity, and asking what it means to be Australian in 2019. When Shelley Reys was a little girl, she watched her father win ‘the race that stops a nation’. Frank Reys became the only Aboriginal jockey to win the Melbourne ... Read More »

‘Children are the real victims of conflict’

The global refugee crisis through the lens of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Muhammed Muheisen Words: Argyro Vourdoumpa, SBS Greek | Production: John Dexter  Jordanian photojournalist Muhammed Muheisen aims to bring to life the stories of refugees, migrants and internally displaced people, as well as the challenges they face settling in new countries. The two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, has been documenting refugee crises across the Middle East, Asia and Europe for over a decade. “Not everyone is aware of what is happening in our world,” Muheisen ... Read More »

Love thy neighbour? Just 4 per cent of Canberrans socialise in their street

When was the last time you caught up with your neighbours? Or borrowed a cup of sugar? Could you even recognise them out in public? Serena Coady The Canberra Times New research suggests most Canberrans wouldn’t, with just four per cent of ACT residents currently socialising with their neighbours. The study – undertaken by Mastercard and the Happiness Institute – found that 55 per cent of Canberrans didn’t know their neighbour’s name, and 25 per cent didn’t know what they looked ... Read More »

In pictures: ‘Super blood wolf moon’

Stargazers have been scanning the skies for sightings of a highly unusual lunar eclipse, which began on Sunday night. BBC During the spectacle, known as a “super blood wolf moon”, the moon appears to glow red while seeming brighter and closer to Earth than normal. The event was initially visible from North and South America, as well as areas of western Europe. In parts of the UK some clouds obscured the view. The next total lunar eclipse is expected in ... Read More »

Francis Bacon: the 17th-century philosopher whose scientific ideas could tackle climate change today

If we don’t make a fundamental change to the way we are living, the world faces the destruction of entire eco-systems, flooding of coastal areas, and ever more extreme weather. Michael Wilby The Conversation Such was the stark warning in a recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. The task is enormous. One way to approach it is to look back to a time when scientific thinking did manage to initiate revolutionary changes in our outlook. In the 17th ... Read More »

To Save the Sound of a Stradivarius, a Whole City Must Keep Quiet

CREMONA, Italy — Florencia Rastelli was mortified. As an expert barista, she had never spilled a single cup of coffee, she said. But last Monday, as she wiped the counter at Chiave di Bacco, the cafe where she works, she knocked over a glass and it shattered loudly on the floor. Max Paradiso The New York Times The customers all stood still, petrified, Ms. Rastelli recalled. “I was like: Of all days, this one,” she said. “Even a police officer ... Read More »