Culture

Latin America Hosts Artists-in-Residence

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.

Eric Corvalán: “The 1975 family code was once cutting-edge, but it is now out-of-date.” Credit: Patricia Grogg/IPS

Q&A: Documentary Tackles Child Abuse in Cuba

“Child abuse merits a different, in-depth approach. The objective of this film is to make the problem visible and promote debate and reflection,” says Eric Corvalán, director of a documentary that required “breaking through walls.”

Conflict Kills Culture in Kashmir

Nestled in a valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range, Kashmir is an idyllic and culturally rich region, a cradle of Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist religious relics and architectural sites.

Venezuela’s Youth Orchestra Shines in U.S.

A group of young people walk down the streets of Chicago, broad grins on their faces. They have good reason to be happy: the ovations received by their repertoire of Latin American music when they played in the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela still echo in their ears.

Q&A: “The Children Take on an Artist’s Lovely Identity, from a Young Age”

Venezuela’s youth symphony orchestras that have enamoured audiences on several continents are a social programme aimed at fighting poverty and marginalisation, more than an artistic endeavour, says the founder of the initiative, José Antonio Abreu.

Caracas Youth Orchestra Conquers Europe

Venezuela’s youth orchestras have gotten used to wild applause and standing ovations in Europe. But this time the warm reception was not for the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, the most visible face of the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras of Venezuela (FESNOJIV), a network of youth and children’s orchestras that has put instruments and music scores in the hands of 400,000 children and young people.

Polygamy Throttles Women in Senegal

Fatou (40), Awa (32) and Aissatou Gaye (24) sit in a meditative mood on the tiled floor outside their matrimonial home in Keur Massar, a township in the Senegalese capital Dakar.

Cuban Intellectuals Discuss the Transformation of the Public Sphere

On discussion panels, by email and in the blogosphere, Cuban intellectuals are speaking out to bring a critical perspective and propose roads forward to national development. And they increasingly seem to be including the transformation of public space as one of their goals.

Market Gardens Key to Autonomy for Niger Women

Four figures bend intently over their work in one corner of the large vegetable garden near the western Niger village of Dioga. Months after the village's main harvest has been brought in – and eaten up – the irrigated green of the garden is welcome relief in a part of the country where hunger never seems far away.

Tom Goldtooth, an activist for social change in Native American communities and is the executive director of Indigenous Environmental Network. Credit: Courtsey of Tom Goldtooth

Q&A: Mother Earth Should Not Be “Owned, Privatised and Exploited”

For centuries, indigenous peoples and their rights, resources and lands have been exploited. Yet long overdue acknowledgment of past exploitation and dedicated efforts by indigenous peoples have done little to end or prevent violations of the present, stated indigenous leaders in the Manaus Declaration of 2011.

With extremist violence on the rise, many Tunisians believe the revolution never ended, and that a second wave of protest is not far off.  Credit:  scossargilbert/CC-BY-2.0

Tunisia’s Revolution is Just Beginning

Lingering violence, intolerance and oppression in Tunisia, following the ousting of former dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011, tells the revolutionaries who sparked the Arab Spring that their work is just beginning.

Islamists Stall Gender Equality Bill

The fate of a gender equality bill pending in Indonesia’s parliament and aligned with the United Nations convention on the elimination of all forms discrimination against women (CEDAW) has become uncertain after falling afoul of powerful Islamist groups.

COLOMBIA: Saving the River Basin, One Schoolchild at a Time

"Out of love for the river, we reforest, recycle, and make this place beautiful," says a sign welcoming visitors to the Floragaita school, where a balsa (Ochroma pyramidale) tree with enormous white flowers guards the entrance to the lush green grounds on a hill in the heart of Colombia’s Andes mountains.

Badi sex workers await rehabilitation. Credit: Naresh Newar/IPS

Caste Blocks Revamp of Nepal’s Sex Workers

Social activists say that attempts to rehabilitate sex workers in this former monarchy call for special efforts to uplift the Badi, a Hindu caste that has for centuries been associated with entertainment and prostitution.

Women ‘Invisible’ in Myanmar

While Aung San Suu Kyi enjoys iconic status in Myanmar (also known as Burma), women remain invisible in this country steeped in Buddhist tradition and emerging from decades of military rule.

In countries like Mexico, where this indigenous baby was born, and Brazil, many mothers still give birth at home, attended by midwives. Credit: Mauricio Ramos/IPS

Modern Obstetrics and Midwives Need to Join Forces

María dos Prazeres de Souza has lost count of the number of births "without a single death" she has attended as a midwife, an occupation that there is renewed interest in strengthening in traditional communities in Brazil where state services are not available or are not entirely acceptable for cultural reasons.

KYRGYZSTAN: Justice Elusive for Kidnapped Brides

Even though she was kidnapped, pressured into marrying a man from a nearby village, and then abandoned without means to sustain herself and the couple's two young children, Totugul can't rely on Kyrgyzstan's courts for help.

Spreading Climate Literacy in Cuba

Local communities can play a key role in adaptation to climate change if they are helped to properly understand the problem and take it on board. "Climate literacy is needed," says Ángela Corvea, a long-time Cuban environmental activist.

Latin American Media Chose Not to Publish Certain WikiLeaks Cables

According to a book published in the Argentine capital, major Latin American newspapers with access to the secret cables obtained by Wikileaks decided not to print them because doing so would run counter to their own interests.

First School for Transvestites Opens in Buenos Aires

With 35 students, the first secondary school specifically for transvestites and other members of sexual minorities who face discrimination in mainstream schools opened in March in the Argentine capital.

Cloning – Lifeline for Cashmere Shawl Industry

After scientists in Kashmir successfully cloned the pashmina goat, that produces the famous ‘cashmere’ wool, hopes are running high for the revival of the traditional shawl-making industry in this Indian state.

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