Latest stories from Quick Reads + Arts & Culture
Rituals, reflections, poetic “assaults”… From May 17 to 23, 2013, the first Latin American Congress of Community Living Cultures [es] will invade the streets of La Paz, Bolivia. The city will host government representatives from Brazil and Colombia, along with more than one thousand activists.
Blogger and activist Masaki C. has something to say about English media coverage of LGBT politics in Japan, arguing that they simplify the issue down to marriage equality:
They are, in constructing LGBT politics in Japan as such, erasing local history and ignoring dialogues taking place among queers in Japan.
To further promote Lao culture, the government has organized a seminar which defined the country's national dress to be used during formal events.
For men the suit will be made from Lao silk fabric and cut in a Lao style. The women’s suit is also from Lao silk fabric cut as a traditional Lao shirt and worn together with a silk skirt.
Myweku writes about the introduction of Rooti Dolls, by Chris and Ada Ngoforo, a Nigerian couple:
The 12 Rooti dolls are programmed to speak in several African languages. Amongst them, there’s Nina, a “vibrant girl” with Nigerian parents, who “loves watching Nollywood” and can interact in the Nigerian languages of Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa [...]
Lucas Chua writes about the blogshop phenomenon in Singapore. A blogshop is an online fashion store that uses a blog. In Singapore, four of the country’s ten most-searched stores are blogshops.
High Peaks Pure Earth has published Elliot Sperling's translation of prominent Tibetan writer, Woser's recent blogpost urging the world to save Lhasa from being turned into another tourist shopping mall.
Four years after the devastating earthquake that hit L’ Aquila, in Abruzzo, Italy, little or nothing has been rebuilt and the picturesque old town remains largely uninhabited, while many residents live in much debated [it] new towns. On May 5, 2013 almost a thousand art historians rallied together [it] in the historical center of L'Aquila to draw political attention. Despite some intervention made by the Monti government, a much bigger effort is needed to jump-start the reconstruction. The Italian comics activist Gianluca Costantini summarized the issue through the series of pictures “Yes we camp“.
The film, made in the ‘mockumentary’ style or fictitious documentary, follows the steps of Carlos (Carlos Marchand), first-time filmmaker who longs to make a Hollywood-style film, but in Puerto Rico. Besides being a genuinely funny comedy, ‘I Am a Director’ succeeds in satirizing the mental process of many who believe that making films is to meet the artificial standards based on the immense American productions.
Mr Brown Goes Around has written a comprehensive study about the history of television in Thailand. He also probed the impact of TV on various Thai political and cultural institutions:
So while tied to modernity, moving image technologies was also seen as a potentially morally erosive force
Hello Saigon uploads some posters during the Vietnam War era. One poster features a quote from Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh:
For the interest in ten years, [we] have to plant trees. For the interest in 100 years [we] have to plant man.
kiskeácity links to a letter which “echoes many of the issues Haitians face with the White Savior Industrial Complex…and its army of 3,000 NGOs, 12,000 UN troops, innumerable speakers for Haiti, appropriators of Haiti's ancestral religion, culture and music and other so-called ‘allies’ who silence Haitians for a profit while assuming their voice.”
The Team Tanzania is a TV drama series about:
[...] Ms. Wito, a dynamic civics teacher, who turns the world of 3 teenagers upside down when she challenges them with controversial questions like “Who are you”? The three 16-year olds, who have known each other all their lives. On the edge of adulthood, they are searching for their own identities while facing family and cultural pressures.
Dar Sketches is part of the Street Level project in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania initiated by artist and illustrator Sarah Markes:
It is a celebration of the cultural and architectural heritage of Dar es Salaam as well as an effort to raise awareness of the threats to this heritage posed by rapid and unplanned urban development.
KAFA (Enough Racism and Violence) posted [Ar] that the migrant domestic workers in Beirut celebrated Labor's Day by holding a demonstration in which they demanded an end to the Kafala System [Sponsorship System]. The demonstration culminated with a gathering in a public park where the workers shared different aspects from their respective cultures.
Najib at Blog Baladi won the ”Blog of the Year” award in Beirut's first Social Media Awards event. He wrote this post about the ceremony in general with comments on some aspects of its organization. He also includes comments about the attitudes of some of the attendees such as those of celebrity Haifa Wehbe, among others.
Peter from China Whisper recommends 10 coolest novels about modern China.
Alec Ash from LARB talks with Chinese science fiction writer Fei Dao about science fiction in China.
A father had a bad dream which now troubles him. So, he decides that his daughter will not travel anywhere. He takes away her passport and air tickets while she is sleeping, but the daughter takes the documents back. Finally, the father decides to lock his daughter at home to prevent her from leaving.
The web was abuzz over the photo of 20 of South Korean pageant contestants who all look uncannily alike, and jeering comments were made against South Korean women's beauty standards. However, some Korean net users, pointing out some media coverage can be misleading, posted another photos of contestants which people can tell them apart and explained that it is more of the ‘photoshop’ issue- the overuse of airbrushing.
Images of people kissing went viral on Facebook, blogs and Twitter in Brazil, under the hashtags #beijaço (protest by kissing) and #Laerte. Strips by Laerte published on Folha de São Paulo newspaper, triggered the ‘protest by kissing’ against the anti-gay preacher Marco Feliciano, recently elected Brazil Human Rights Committee Head.
Adrian Vickers introduces the latest issue of the online journal ‘Inside Indonesia’ which features articles about contemporary Indonesian art.
While politics has dominated the foreground of Indonesian art, the country’s contemporary art world faces a struggle between art’s engagement with society and the forces of commercialisation.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has sparked controversy for his single-handed handshake when meeting with the South Korean president. Gates’ left hand was jammed into his pants pocket during the handshake, which is considered disrespectful in South Korea. An extensive photo compilation of Gates’ handshake [ko] was viewed more than 76,000 times in less than a day.
April 2013′s “Open Terrace” will focus on Artists and ‘Houses of Culture’ [pt] from the Northern province of Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. The initiative takes place every month, bringing together people from diverse backgrounds to debate public issues. On December 2012, Global Voices reported on an Open Terrace dedicated to transparency in extractive mega projects in the country.
Japan participated in NASA's International Space Apps Challenge 2013 with a hackathon in Tokyo on April 21 and 22, 2013. Eighteen project teams developed apps with the aim of improving life on Earth and in space, including an app to create dishes in a shape of celestial bodies [ja] such as the moons of Mars using 3D printers, and a location finder app to suggest less cloudy places for installing solar panels.
South Korean rapper Psy's new single, Gentleman, has already surpassed 120 million views on YouTube within four days of release, despite unfavorable reviews and worries that Psy could wind up one-hit wonder after his ridiculously successful Gangnam Style. Read more about the new music video from K-pop blog.
On April 17-19, 2013, activists from collectives and organizations across thirteen Latin American countries and Spain will gather in La Paz, Bolivia to share experiences, strategies, and ideas with one another. To follow the proceedings, the hashtag #REactivxs will be used throughout the event. A map of participating organizations will be collected on the Datea.pe platform.