Arts & Culture

Do you have a moral duty to pay taxes?

It’s tax season. Americans will pay an average of US$10,489 in personal taxes – about 14 percent of the average household’s total income. Brookes Brown The Conversation Most will do so because they think it is their civic duty. Many believe they are morally obliged to obey the law and pay their share. But as tax day approaches, many Americans will bemoan their tax bill and complain that it is unfair. So, how are we to know if paying taxes ... Read More »

Kate Mulvany’s The Mares bristles with energetic feminist storytelling

The Mares, a new work by playwright Kate Mulvany, was commissioned by the Tasmanian Theatre Company as a vehicle for some of Tasmania’s leading female performers. Jane Woollard The Conversation The work draws on multiple Greek myths to concoct a… The success of this complex and ambitious work owes a lot to Mulvany’s knowledge of the actor’s craft, and director Leticia Cáceres’ ability to create simple theatrical magic. Each of the performers plays at least three… The Mares flips between ... Read More »

This city bans cars every Sunday—and people love it

Spurred by environmental concerns, an experiment in Bogotá, Colombia, is spreading worldwide. By Alma Guillermoprieto Photographs by Juan Cristóbal Cobo Bogotá, ColombiaIt’s like falling in love all over again; every Sunday without fail, and holidays too, the inhabitants of the car-choked, noise-filled, stressed-out city of Bogotá, 8,660 feet up in the thin air of the Andes, get to feel that the city belongs to them, and not to the 1,600,000 suicidal private cars, 50,000 homicidal taxis, nine thousand gasping buses, ... Read More »

Hagia Sophia might be reverted to a mosque, Erdoğan says

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday voiced the possibility of reverting the Hagia Sophia, which has been used as a museum since 1935 and is considered one of the world’s wonders, to a mosque. Daily Sabah “This is not unlikely. We might even change its name to Ayasofya Mosque,” Erdoğan said during a live interview with Turkish broadcaster TGRT. “This is not a strange proposal,” he said regarding the calls to convert the historical building to serve the purpose it ... Read More »

Super worm moon – in pictures

Wednesday night’s rare occurrence of a super worm moon coincided with the equinox. Matt Fidler The Guardian  The name is a nod to the emergence of worms from the soil around the time of the March full moon The super worm equinox moon rises behind the Statue of Liberty in New York. Photograph: Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu/Getty Images… Super worm moon – in… Read More »

Eminent Byzantinist Dr. Speros Vryonis, Jr., Supporter of Armenian Studies, Dies

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Eminent Byzantinist and historian Dr. Speros Vryonis, Jr. passed away on March 11 peacefully in his sleep at the age of 90. Aram Arkun The Armenian Mirror-Spectator Vryonis wrote extensively on Byzantine, Balkan and Greek history. Secondarily, he contributed to the advancement of Armenology through his research in Byzantine history, his unwavering stand against shoddy scholarship and… Incongruously, or at least unexpectedly, combining a Southern twang and courtesy with ancient Greek aphorisms, Vryonis was witty and gregarious. ... Read More »

These Haunting Red Dresses Memorialize Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women

Artist Jaime Black says the REDress Project is an expression of her grief for thousands of Native victims Alicia Ault Smithsonian On a steel-gray winter day, the red dresses each hung, flapping in the wind along the plaza surrounding the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian—35 of them—in different shapes, sizes and shades. They serve as stand-ins for the potentially thousands of native women who go missing or are murdered each year. There is no definitive tally due to ... Read More »

Brexit: Europe has changed UK food culture for the better – leaving could turn back the clock

When the UK joined the Common Market in 1974, the country’s restaurants had a total of 26 Michelin stars, the industry standard restaurant rating, in Britain. Richard Tresidder The Conversation In 2019 there are 163, including five restaurants with three stars – the highest honour awarded. Is this a coincidence or has membership of the European Union enabled the development of the UK’s vibrant contemporary food scene? Despite what John Cleese might think, food culture in the UK is booming ... Read More »

Sue Smith’s Hydra: how love, pain and sacrifice produced an Australian classic

Running through Hydra, the new play by Australian playwright Sue Smith, is the myth of Icarus, the boy who flew so high that his wings melted and he crashed to his death in the sea near the Greek island of Samos. Alastair Blanshard The Conversation It is an easy myth to misunderstand. Moralists think it is a story that reinforces the importance of listening to your parents and sticking to the safe middle path – not flying “too close to ... Read More »

Music was ubiquitous in Ancient Greece

Now we can hear how it actually sounded Much of what we think of as Ancient Greek poetry, including Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, was composed to be sung, frequently with the accompaniment of musical instruments. aeon And while the Greeks left modern classicists many indications that music was omnipresent in society – from vases decorated with lyres, to melodic notation preserved on stone – the precise character and contours of the music has long been considered irreproducible. However, the UK ... Read More »

The mental health crisis among America’s youth is real – and staggering

The first signs of a problem started to emerge around 2014: More young people said they felt overwhelmed and depressed. College counseling centers reported sharp increases in the number of students seeking… Jean Twenge The Conversation Even as studies were showing increases in symptoms of depression and in suicide among adolescents since 2010, some researchers called the concerns overblown and claimed there simply isn’t enough good… The idea that there’s an epidemic in anxiety or depression among youth “is simply ... Read More »

In Manus, theatre delivers home truths that can’t be dodged

How to review a play whose relationship with matters of fact is so serious and politically culpable it overwhelms the critical distinctions that might normally be used to judge it? Julian Meyrick The Conversation Where is Stanislavski’s “magic if” (if I were a refugee locked up for six years by the Australian government …)? What are the “given circumstances” (near-drowning at sea, a sun-beaten island at the end of the earth)? Or the “inciting incident” (political oppression, military destruction, despair ... Read More »

Hidden women of history: Australia’s first known female voter, the famous Mrs Fanny Finch

In this series, we look at under-acknowledged women through the ages. On 22 January 1856, an extraordinary event in Australia’s history occurred. Kacey Sinclair The Conversation It is not part of our collective national identity, nor has it been mythologised over the decades through song, dance, or poetry. It doesn’t even have a hashtag. But on this day in the thriving gold rush town of Castlemaine, two women took to the polls and cast their votes in a democratic election. ... Read More »

Venice is facing multiple tourism threats and many Venetians now want controls on visitors

They used to say “see Venice and die”. The impossible city-on-the-sea has long been a bucket list staple for travellers lured by its water and its stone. Foreign Correspondent – By Samantha Hawley and Bronwen Reed in Venice But now Venetians are questioning whether the city itself will survive long enough for coming generations to experience. Venice is facing multiple threats but, as Foreign Correspondent discovers, the sheer weight of visitors is the one that many locals find the most overwhelming. ... Read More »

Diver almost swallowed by whale off South Africa coast can’t wait to get back in the water

A diver who was almost swallowed whole by a whale said the experience hasn’t put him off going back into the water. By Tom Livingstone 9News Staff South African man Rainer Schimpf was diving in waters off Port Elizabeth last month when a Bryde’s whale got a little too close for comfort. The 51-year-old was with a group photographing sharks when he said the water began to churn around him and everything went dark. The giant mammal was feeding on ... Read More »

Massive artwork unveiled at the Exhibition Building

A beautiful 26-metre-tall artwork, Sylph of Spring, has been unveiled over the facade of the Exhibition Building. Kerrie O’Brien The Age Usually seen inside the World Heritage-listed building, the piece is part of a work on the interior dome, designed by John Ross Anderson for the opening of federal parliament in 1901. The Sylph has been reinterpreted and printed on to shade cloth, to hide the construction underway as part of the building renovations. Once complete, the renovations will allow ... Read More »