RIO DE JANEIRO
Anarkia Boladona has turned the streets of Brazil into billboards against domestic violence. As a self-titled feminist political graffiti artist, she represents a new trend in women’s rights that seeks less academic and more daring and popular avenues of expression.
Artists-in-residence, once found only in the industrialised North, can now be found throughout Latin America, which is hosting artists from different parts of the world to produce and exhibit their work. There are also opportunities for visiting artists simply to seek inspiration.
What is a journalist to do when simply providing information is not enough to bring about the desired change? Why, turn to art, of course.
A dissident Chinese author has expressed dismay at the lack of independent and exiled authors represented at this year’s London Book Fair (LBF), where China is guest of honour. An ensuing public spat, revolving around accusations that the Fair’s organisers have bowed to Chinese authorities, has thrust the thorny issue of censorship to centre-stage.
The silencing of music in the name of Islam led Pappu to give up the cello and set up a tea stall. But Pappu and other musicians survived the Islamist regime for former dictator Zia ul-Haq and the recent ways of the Taliban to return to the most surprising group of musicians to have emerged over years – on a dusty little street in the Pakistani city Lahore.
A lyrical attack by Germany’s acclaimed novelist and essayist Günter Grass in which he labelled Israel’s alleged atomic arsenal and looming pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear installations a threat to world peace has triggered fury and controversy amongst Israelis.
Actors, musicians, activists and friends gathered in various locations throughout Israel and the West Bank this week to commemorate the life of actor and theatre director Juliano Mer-Khamis.
In a first in years, snow blessed the Holy City last month. For a moment, hail metamorphosed into a paltry three-millimetre layer of white, liquid, light. Children and parents and snowmen relished the wonders of an almost real, though usually ephemeral, winter. But then, the Ice Age befell Jerusalem...
Not so long ago, Gul Pana’s pursuit of a career as a professional singer in Khyber Pakthunkhwa (KP) province would have invited certain death at the hands of the Taliban.
By winning an Oscar at this year’s Academy awards, filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has brought home the genius of Pakistan’s women as well as the extreme violence they often suffer in a male-dominated society.
Dark and smoky, the cinema hall reeks of hashish. An overly made-up woman on screen in provocatively figure-hugging clothes dances suggestively to the beat of loud music. The audience, all men, cheer and whistle. The music stops, the scenes get racier and sexually titillating. The crowd abandons all caution. The whistles turn to grunts and growls, chairs begin to bang.
When the Oscar-nominated film "Saving Face" won an Academy Award in Hollywood for Best Documentary (Short Subject), it was the triumph of several "firsts": the first time ever that a Pakistani filmmaker had won an Oscar; Pakistan's first Oscar winner was a woman; and it was the first time that an American and a Pakistani had co-directed an Oscar-winning film.
Women have been at the forefront of each uprising in the Arab world. Last week, the ‘8 Arab Women Filmmakers’ festival offered a platform to Arab women directors to give their perspectives on the future of the region.
The often heroic struggles of some of the world's human rights victims and advocates are on full view at the Toronto Human Rights Watch Film Festival, which runs through Friday at the TIFF Bell Lightbox theatre.
The Arab world is talking about a revolution; not just out on the streets but in films, in newspapers, in songs – using any means necessary to document events, expose the horrors of war and explore the struggles and possibilities that lie ahead as the Arab Spring feels the wintry chill of post-revolutionary democratic challenges.