Two Cheers for Democracy 2

I believe in doubt, part two

I do not believe in Belief. But this is an age of faith, where one is surrounded by so many militant creeds that in self-defence, one has to formulate a creed of one’s own. Tolerance, good temper, and sympathy are no longer enough in a world which is rent by religious and racial persecution, in…

Complaints Choirs 4

Sing out your bile

In Finland when a lot of people start complaining they might be called a ‘valituskuoro’, or a Complaints Choir. Two Finnish artists have made a reality of that metaphor, not just once but again and again around the world. In 2005, Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen suggested creating a choir to sing about people’s complaints…

What Ali Wore

Who is the artist here?

Zoe Spawton is a 30 year old Australian working in a Berlin café. Ali Akdeniz is an 85 year old Turkish tailor, who also lives in Berlin. Since 2012, Zoe has been photographing Ali on his regular walks past her workplace and posting the portraits a blog called What Ali Wore. When it was named…

Photograph: Martin Argles/The Guardian

Why art is for grown ups

Greer:       And no matter what he confesses to, the narrator is always invulnerable. Levi:         Because he is in control. The author is omnipotent and can create the reality he wants. The question of whether art can speak truth – even when it is obviously invented – has been debated since the time of…

London Bubble - From Docks to Desktops

Owning your language

This week has been spent at arts conferences and training days in different parts of the country. Each was rich in ideas and shared experience. In Devon, North Yorkshire, London and Cardiff, I met many gifted, passionate and inspiring people. I came away with renewed confidence in the arts, despite the pressures they face with…