Tag: resistance

The parliament of invisible people

You see them sometimes, late at night, cleaning offices for people they never meet; or unloading vans from empty bus lanes in the small hours. Mostly, though, we don’t see them, even on the other side of a counter, or a phone… Read More

Dancing about migration

It’s been said that writing about music is like dancing about architecture. I’ve never been convinced. Human beings are not locked into silos. They are not fixed in place like trees.  Translating experiences from one form or language or culture to another… Read More

Optimism is a valuable resource

  Jubilee Arts was a pioneering community arts project founded in 1974, in West Bromwich, an industrial town west of Birmingham. It thrived for more than 20 years, making imaginative and serious art with local communities. Then, during the ‘aspirational’ New Labour… Read More

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… Read More

Why we need parliaments

Yesterday, Canada’s Parliament was attacked by an armed man. Twenty years ago, the philosopher Isaiah Berlin was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Toronto. The following speech was read on his behalf at the award ceremony and has just been… Read More

Art across borders

Migranland It is in the nature of artistic work to reach beyond the boundaries of language, culture and context. You don’t need to know anything about Japan in the Edo era to be captivated by the prints of Hokusai or Kuniyoshi. You… Read More

A question

An experiment in brevity: I have had this question in my mind for a little while.

Human diversity is

I have seen the future, brother, it is murder. Leonard Cohen, The Future, (1993) From the street corner where Gavrilo Princip shot Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie – precipitating not only the First World War but a calamitous century –… Read More

Joining the canon

As tribute records go, La Bande à Renaud, is not bad, but it is a little sad. There is a valedictory air to these restrained, polite versions of songs by one of the dominant figures of French popular music since the 1970s,… Read More

Remembering not to forget

Forgotten empire The almost complete absence of imperialism and particularly of colonialism from British public discourse has always struck me as problematic in itself and a sign of immaturity. Even a keen follower of British politics, media and the arts would only… Read More