Arts

Roma the Movie: The Hidden Drama of Domestic Workers

Roma, a 2018 Mexican film written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón, is currently on a triumphal journey through the world. It won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, the best director and best foreign language film at the Golden Globe Awards, best director and best picture at the Critics´ Choice Awards, best film, best direction and best cinematography at the British Academy Film Awards. Furthermore, Roma has a record high ten nominations for the upcoming Academy Awards (The Oscars). Not at all bad for a black-and-white movie, which appears to have been directed by a sophisticated cineaste and custom-made for an art-house audience. Moreover, Roma deals with a highly controversial and seldom treated theme – the plight of poor, women domestic workers.

Q&A: A Cuban Film About Family in the “Global South” Premieres in Berlin

A documentary about a Cuban family facing an uncertain future had its world premiere Feb. 12 at the Berlin International Film Festival, one of the world’s most prestigious cinema events. “La Arrancada” (On the starting line) is a debut feature by Brazilian director Aldemar Matias, focusing on a young athlete who is having doubts about her role in national sports in the Caribbean country. The narrative follows her as she considers her future, which may well lie abroad, she reluctantly realises.

Seas of Death and Hope

The Mediterranean Sea is currently a sea of death. On the 20th of June every year, i.e. The World Refugee Day, an organization called UNITED for Intercultural Action publishes a “List of Deaths”, summarising information on where, when and under which circumstances a named individual has died due to the “fatal policies of fortress Europa”. The data are collected through information received from 550 network organisations in 48 countries and from local experts, journalists and researchers in the field of migration. The list issued in 2018 accounted for 27 000 deaths by drowning since 1993, often hundreds at a time when large embarkations capsize. These deaths account for 80 per cent of all the entries,1 there are probably thousands more dead, corpses that were never found and/or not accounted for.

From Brahms to Brahmins

Between silence and music lies imagination. The unspoken rule should apply to every realm of human art. Consider the quandary of a painter who could stare endlessly at his easel in absolute seclusion. But if he or she hadn’t walked the busy street or the green or arid field to get to the studio, there would probably be a blank canvas, with nothing to stir the brush.

Caribbean-American Artist Blazes in New Show

By SWAN
When Jean-Michel Basquiat’s paintings were shown in France a few years ago, a visitor overheard a teenager remarking that the artwork seemed to have come from “a very angry little boy”.

Migrants Bringing Melodies to the Streets of Rome: Traditional Music Returns to the Eternal City

During the past recent years, the city of Rome has experienced a rise in the presence of musicians in its streets and in particular those playing traditional sounds. It does not take a long time, while walking in the streets of Rome, to see a band playing joyful traditional sounds in Piazza Navona. The group renamed itself “Colosseo Band” but they are all from Eastern Europe. A double bass, violins, guitars and a xylophone: this unique assortment gives rise to an explosion of pleasant sounds that make people dancing in the same square.

“Outsiders” in Focus at French Film Fest

The usual big-name directors were absent this year from the Cannes Film Festival in southern France, creating space for cutting-edge films from Asia, Africa, small European states, and the Middle East.

Despite Setbacks, Africa Viewed as Continent of Hope, Promise & Vast Potential

Africa has long been one of the world’s most beleaguered continents – singled out mostly for its conflicts, political and economic instability, rising poverty and hunger, inequalities and its environmental challenges.And in international circles, it is described as “Afro-pessimism.”

Kenya- Overcoming Rivalry & Conflict Through Cultural Diplomacy

Cultural diplomacy is a soft power that promotes the exchange of ideas, information, art, and culture to strengthen friendship and cooperation among nations and communities.

Exhibition of Artifacts Stolen From Ethiopia Revives Controversy

A new exhibition that opened April 5 at London's famous Victoria and Albert museum of ancient treasures looted from Ethiopia has revived debate about where such artifacts should reside, highlighting the tensions in putting Western imperialism in Africa and the past to rest.

Fashion Paradigm That Does Not Pollute the Planet

Fashion is meant to be trendy. It’s fast-paced: in one season, out the next. If you want to keep up, you had better update your wardrobe - that top you bought last summer is already outdated. While things may have been built to last a life-time a generation ago, today they don’t even last a year.

Tourism Should Be Regulated, Before It Is Too Late…

This year, we will have 3 million tourists each day wandering the world. This massive phenomenon is without precedent in human history and is happening (as usual), with only one consideration in mind: money. We should pause and take a look at its social, cultural and environmental impact and take remedial measures, because they are becoming seriously negative if things are left as they are.

Festival Spotlights African Women Filmmakers

At the Bioscope Independent Cinema in Johannesburg’s trendy, gentrifying Maboneng neighbourhood last week, the two-day HER Africa Film Festival showcased films and web series from across the globe, including Mali, the U.S., Burkina Faso and elsewhere.

Literature Professor Probes Novels of the Anthropocene Age

A literature professor at Cornell University in upstate New York, Nick Admussen, has recently published an online literary essay about writing novels in the Anthropocene Age.

Rickshaw Painting in Digital Age

With the advent of the digital printing press, Riskshaw painting a previously well known art form is on the verge of extinction. Many painters had to switch their profession to survive the "digital revolution".

Museums Taking Stand for Human Rights, Rejecting ‘Neutrality’

An exhibition on modern-day slavery at the International Slavery Museum in this northern English town is just one example of a museum choosing to focus on human rights, and being “upfront” about it.

Cape Verde’s Newest Voice Sends Message to Girls

Elida Almeida is Cape Verde’s newest star, with thousands of fans in Africa and Europe. She sings, dances, plays the guitar, tells jokes, and makes her audiences laugh as well as groove. But behind it all, her music carries a serious message, about the importance of overcoming setbacks, avoiding unplanned pregnancy and following one’s dreams.

Opinion: Cli-Fi Film from Philippines Packs a Punch

I live on a crowded, subtropical island ​nation ​in the Western Pacific, on the opposite side of the "Pacific Pond" from North America. And just south of Taiwan is the ​many-splendored island nation of the ​Philippines. We are neighbours. You can fly there in one hour, it's that close.

‘Ethical Fashion’ Champions Marginalised Artisans from South

“Work is dignity,” says Simone Cipriani. “People want employment, not charity.”

Ethiopia’s First Film at Cannes Gives Moving View of Childhood, Gender

A boy, a sheep and a stunning mountain landscape. These are the three stars of Lamb, a poignant film directed by 36-year-old Yared Zeleke and Ethiopia’s first entry in France’s prestigious Cannes International Film Festival.

Novelists, Directors Respond as ‘Water Wars’ Loom

Item: In a recent blog post at the New Yorker magazine, staff writer Dana Goodyear surveys the current drought impacting California and writes: "It’s hard to escape the feeling we are living a cli-fi novel’s Chapter One."

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