Black Art Matters – key artists from Conrad Murray’s ‘Queering Post-Black Art’
History / Lists / News / Visual Culture

Black Art Matters – key artists from Conrad Murray’s ‘Queering Post-Black Art’

As it’s black history month in the United States, I wanted to do a quick list of my favourite African American Artists. You can find out more information about some of them (noted in the text) in Derek Conrad Murray’s Queering Post-Black Art (I.B.Tauris 2016). If you like Matisse and Kandinsky, and have not yet … Continue reading

‘The Taste of Egypt’ by Dyna Eldaief – recipe extract: Okra, Lamb & Tomato Stew
Cookery / Middle East

‘The Taste of Egypt’ by Dyna Eldaief – recipe extract: Okra, Lamb & Tomato Stew

Bamya | Okra, Lamb and Tomato Stew Okra, which is also known as ‘ladies’ fingers’ is a small member of the mallow family, which also includes hollyhocks and hibiscus. The edible part is a thin, green vegetable pod containing small white seeds arranged in vertical rows. It is rich in nutrients, high in antioxidants, very … Continue reading

Q&A with Rachel Reeves MP, author of ‘Alice in Westminster: The Political Life of Alice Bacon’
History / News / Politics / Visual Culture

Q&A with Rachel Reeves MP, author of ‘Alice in Westminster: The Political Life of Alice Bacon’

Alice Bacon was one of the twentieth-century’s most remarkable female politicians. Born and raised in the Yorkshire town of Normanton, she defied the odds to be elected Labour MP for Leeds North East in the 1945 General Election. Famed in her home town for her unlikely love of sports cars, she was a much-respected, no-nonsense, … Continue reading

‘Make yourself disagreeable’ – Rafael Torrubia on Black Power in the past, present and future
Current Affairs / History / News / Politics

‘Make yourself disagreeable’ – Rafael Torrubia on Black Power in the past, present and future

As an uncertain and turbulent political era begins in the United States, the need for assertive and potent resistance has never been stronger. Rafael Torrubia’s new work Black Power and the American People provides both a comprehensive history of the movement –  and a powerful call to arms for today’s activists. Just a scant few days ago, the White House’s … Continue reading

The contrivance of the casual: Billie Holiday in ‘The Sound of Jazz’
Visual Culture

The contrivance of the casual: Billie Holiday in ‘The Sound of Jazz’

by Nicolas Pillai Tim Wall and Paul Long note that The Sound of Jazz (1957) was one of a series of CBS-TV arts programmes themed around Gilbert Seldes’ notion of The Seven Lively Arts. The sophisticated visual design of the programme provided candid access to musicians in performance, framing jazz history and performance within the … Continue reading

Foul Play: Doping and Corruption in World Athletics
Visual Culture

Foul Play: Doping and Corruption in World Athletics

By Anne-Christine Wegener Global athletics have been in crisis since 2015. The second edition of the report published by Richard McLaren on grand-scale doping in Russian athletics confirms what many had already suspected: corruption and doping in sports go hand-in-hand and the problem is not restricted to a few bad apples. The problem distorts the … Continue reading

Q&A with Iwan Morgan, author of ‘Reagan – American Icon’
Visual Culture

Q&A with Iwan Morgan, author of ‘Reagan – American Icon’

An anti-communist hawk who hated nuclear weapons. A passionate advocate of freedom who supported brutal dictators and insurgents across Central America. An advocate of low taxes and a small state who saw public expenditure on arms balloon during his time in office. These are just a few of the contradictions that historians are presented with … Continue reading

Painting of the Week – ‘Fruit Sellers’ (1928) by Alexander Volkov
Painting of the Week / Visual Culture

Painting of the Week – ‘Fruit Sellers’ (1928) by Alexander Volkov

  This dark painting displaying a cubist aesthetic and oriental theme is a work by Alexander Volkov – an ethnically Russian artist working in what is now known as Uzbekistan, then part of the Soviet Union’s Central Asia – in the midst of the construction of the Soviet state. We see three Asian-looking men offering … Continue reading

Turkey: 2016 Politics Essential Reading List
History / Lists / Middle East / Politics

Turkey: 2016 Politics Essential Reading List

Turkey stands at the crossroads of world politics: caught between the West and the Middle East; bordering Syria and the frontiers of ISIS; excluded from the EU and governed by an increasingly hard-line leader. Recent events – both the failed military coup and Erdoğan’s subsequent nationwide crackdown – have propelled this young democracy into a new chapter of turbulence. Continue reading

An Interview with Abbas Kiarostami
Visual Culture

An Interview with Abbas Kiarostami

Yesterday, Abbas Kiarostami passed away at the age of 76. The filmmaker, best known for the Koker trilogy (1987–94), Close-Up (1990), Taste of Cherry (1997) – which won the Palme d’Or – was interviewed by Shiva Rahbaran for her book, Iranian Cinema Uncensored: Contemporary Film-Makers Since the Islamic Revolution (2015). Here is an extract of that interview… Continue reading