Arts & Culture

Let’s Go for a “Shag”?

2 March 2019 In a university environment, especially British universities, sex and love are almost as important as dissertation deadlines. We’re thinking boyfriends, girlfriends, open relationships, one-night stands, a mistake you made at Drapers, Grindr, Minder, Tinder, and all other apps that cleverly use rhymes to make us forget how lonely we truly are. 

Rediscovering Tate Modern: World AIDS Day

19 January 2019 Since I moved to London, almost three years ago now, I have been to the Tate a number of times. Whenever a friend of mine comes for a visit, it is one of the first stops they want to make, regardless of how often I have or haven’t seen it. So much so, that I thought I knew the free display of contemporary art pretty much by heart. Until last month, when I rediscovered a part of it. .

Can Artificial Intelligence Create Art?

24 November 2018 When we say something is human, we mean that it requires intelligence to be achieved. AI enables machines to recognise faces, drive cars, and guess what films we might like based on what we have previously browsed on Netflix – all things which require what we consider ‘intelligence.’

Who Controls the Present Controls the Past: History Lost and Forgotten

25 September 2018 Ranging from the Egyptians to the Persians, Nabataeans and Mesopotamians, some of the oldest civilizations and cultures thrived in the Middle East. The heritage of these civilisations can still be found and admired across the region, be it in the form of the Gizeh pyramids in Egypt, the Western Wall in Jerusalem, or the city of mysteries Petra in Jordan. The latter is without a doubt Jordan’s most precious treasure and ultimate tourist attraction, which I have been lucky enough to visit over summer. 

The Art of Protest Politics: From Hope to Nope at the Design Museum

7 July 2018 Right-wing populism, as the politics student I am knows all too well, combines three ideologies. All three involve an “us against them” mentality. Us, the natives, against them, the foreigners. Us, the law-abiding, against them, the criminals and felons. But, most importantly and most prominently, it’s about us, the people, against them, the elite. Populism shifts the focus back to the average person on the streets and brings politics closer to home, or at least, that is the narrative.

The Obamas: Unusual Portraits for an Unusual Presidency

10 March 2018 For years, the official paintings of the USA’s former Commander-in-Chief’s at the National Portrait Gallery comprised white presidents painted by white artists. It comes as no surprise, then, that the official unveiling of the presidential portraits is usually quite a conventional affair. But not this year.

Breaking Through Barriers: L’art Brut

21 October 2017 The French painter Jean Dubuffet was the first to explore the idea of Art Brut or Outsider Art halfway through the 20th century. He understood the term to mean works in their “raw” state; made untouched by artistic culture, by people who take everything from their own individuality and not from their ideas of social conformity, trends or cultural conditioning. 

Behind the Scenes of the Islamic State: Who Are We Really Fighting?

16 February 2019 Rukmini Callimachi’s extensive investigation of ISIS culminated into Caliphate, the New York Times hit podcast released in April 2018. In a ten-episode long series, Callimachi attempts to turn the chaos and complexity of terrorism and political Islam into a well-defined narrative.

Bahrain Art Week: The Middle East and Contemporary Art 

22 December 2018 A region not historically known for its contemporary art, the Gulf States have endeavoured, quite successfully, to make a name for themselves in the past few years. The opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi last year is one prominent example, but countless smaller-scale initiatives show that the Gulf demands a spot on the international art stage.

From Grammys to Oscars and the Other Way Around

27 October 2018 If anything, A Star is Born proves the versatility of Hollywood actors. Christina Aguilera played a comparable role in Burlesque, with a voice that is just as insane as Gaga’s, but Lady Gaga’s take on Allie is something else. She is not the first to make the bridge between singing and acting, and she will probably not be the last, but it is nevertheless an impressive performance.

The Power of a Children’s Book: “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio

11 August 2018 10-year-old August Pullman was born with grave genetic abnormalities, resulting in an extreme facial deformity. The doctors didn’t expect him to survive after birth, but he did. Until the beginning of our story, when he enters 5th grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, he has been home-schooled because of all the surgeries he had to go through. Thus, we follow Auggie’s adventures in his very first year of school ever, for better or for worse.

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Pluto at the Barbican

14 April 2018 When I think of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, I think of a renowned Belgian dancer and choreographer who has always had a knack for blending together different art forms. His ballets, be it his debut Rien de Rien or any of his following pieces, have never been solely about dance. Neither is this one.

$450 million: Something to Hang Above your Mantelpiece?

13 January 2018 Between Trump’s tweet-storm, including his claim of being a “very stable genius”, the actual bombshell-storm that hit the American East Coast and uprisings in Iran, the fact that Saudi prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud bought a Da Vinci for nearly half a billion dollars (about 341 million pounds), only to then donate it to a foreign museum, seems like a trivial fact. But it’s not. $450 million dollars is as much as about the entire GDP of a small Caribbean island.