By Matt Kennard
Ask your average political nerd to guess Noam Chomsky’s favourite newspaper and few would tender the Financial Times. But the emeritus professor of linguistics and philosophy at MIT, revered the world over by left-wing intellectuals and social activists, believes the pink ‘un is the only global newspaper “that tells the truth”. Continue reading »
“I thought that if one wanted to be a writer, one has to go to Paris. Instead, what I discovered there, was Latin America,” said Nobel Prize laureate, Mario Vargas Llosa (pictured below), at the eighth edition of the Hay Festival in Cartagena, Colombia – a spin-off from the UK’s largest literary gathering that turns 25 in 2013.
Now, it seems Latin America has a lot to show to the world when it comes to culture. Continue reading »
There could hardly be a more poignant or devastating reminder of divisive instability that has spread throughout the Horn of Africa.
On Monday, I moderated a discussion panel on how arts and literature can help rebuild society in the Horn of Africa. But I shouldn’t have been there at all. Continue reading »
By Matt Kennard
Gael García Bernal is not your average Hollywood movie star.
He intersplices his long sentences with references to Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, and throws in a bit of French radical thinker Alan Badiou for good measure. “Right now I’m reading In Praise of Love by Badiou,” he tells me while unwrapping his sandwich. “I’ve never read him, I have to catch up!” Continue reading »
‘Gangnam Style’ is not the only South Korean cultural export to achieve international glory this year. Last month Kim Ki-duk, a Seoul-based director known for his gritty, artistic films, picked up the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, confirming the growing foreign interest in South Korean cinema. Continue reading »
When the World Shakespeare Festival invited Dmitry Krymov to stage A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the UK, the Russian theatre director known for his wildly imaginative visual productions was given free rein with the great bard’s fantastical play.
True to form, Krymov has plucked the story of Pyramus and Thisbe from Shakespeare’s original and left almost everything else out. Even the title, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (As You Like It) has been adapted to, as Krymov puts it, “blur the boundaries of the work”.
“I want people to leave the theatre wondering which of Shakespeare’s plays they have actually seen.” Continue reading »
The scene: you are a somewhat ageing rock star, in your (small) country. You pick up the phone to find an unknown, if enthusiastic, school teacher on the line: “We are doing our Christmas show next month, featuring your songs. Would you like to come and play with us?”
It means turning out on December 18, probably in the snow, driving 60 miles and rehearsing with a bunch of kids. The woman is mad keen on using her choir, too. You then have to play in what could turn out to be a musical disaster. If it is posted on YouTube, you will be a Yuletide laughing stock. Of course, you’ll get home late and there’s no money in this whatsoever. Continue reading »
“They are zombies! They are the living dead!” explains a mysterious preacher towards the end of Cuban zombie comedy flick Juan of the Dead. It is only at this late stage that the zombies, by now thick on the streets of Havana, are identified as such. During most of the film, the increasingly ubiquitous undead are referred to as “dissidents”, backed, says the television news, by the US government. Continue reading »
Brazil’s Xingu river most often makes headlines because of the controversial Belo Monte dam, a hydropower project being built on this tributary of the Amazon.
But while protests against the dam are flooding social networks, few Brazilians are aware that the river is also the scene of a Brazilian environmental success story, the Xingu indigenous park, the world’s largest, which completed half a century in existence last year. Continue reading »
Do investors expect too much of emerging markets? Ruchir Sharma of Morgan Stanley Investment Management certainly thinks so, and has written a book to make his case.
He says investors should focus on today’s realities and not “the speculative titillation of futurology” imbedded in long-term forecasts of the Brics taking over the world. Here, taken from the FT, is Stefan Wagstyl’s review of ‘Breakout Nations’. Continue reading »
This is the first in an occasional series reviewing books and arts from around the beyondbrics world.
Katherine Boo has managed something extraordinary in her first book, Behind the Beautiful Forevers. She has written a “Big India Book” that is anything but. Continue reading »