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Culture Theatre

“Rethink, reskill, reboot”: An arrogant, ignorant and belittling threat to the arts

Like many of us living in the slowly boiling pot that is 2020, you are likely to have also despaired at the government’s most recent belittling of creativity, independent thinking, and the possibility of an existence beyond STEM spurned by this week’s much-memed, much-maligned adverts for professional retraining in the vague field of ‘cyber’. Sparking […]

Categories
Culture Literature

Poem of the Week: Having a Coke with You

To read Frank O’Hara’s ‘Having a Coke with You’ is to infatuate yourself with the beautiful impermanence of the everyday. Included in his 1965 collection Lunch Poems – a series of poems written on the fly during his lunch breaks – it captures O’Hara’s trademark spontaneity and stream-of-consciousness interaction with the present moment, inspired by […]

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Film

Queen & Slim

Melina Matsoukas’ Queen & Slim, released in UK cinemas on January 31, seems almost made for going viral. Centred around the aftermath of violent encounter between a white police officer and an African American couple, it offers a perfect storm of allegoric fantasy and contemporary political relevance that captures the absurdity of America’s criminal justice […]

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Comment

The quiet radicalism of ‘they’

As 31st December ushered in the arrival of a new decade, an inevitable onslaught of think-pieces and ‘best of’ lists have dominated media channels seeking to analyse the 2010s and locate some sense of zeitgeist in a culture that feels evermore divided. Perhaps overlooked against the annual round-ups of pop culture blockbusters are the humble […]

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Comment

Land of the free? Voter surpression in the US

With next year’s presidential election drawing ever closer, and impeachment proceedings going forward against current leader Donald Trump, American citizens are facing existential questions about the nature of their democracy. The United States was founded on the promise of revolution – a war was fought and won on the rejection of the Old World’s hierarchical […]

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Comment

The Grenfell Tower inquiry: A continuing search for justice

Spectators of this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions were, unsurprisingly, greeted with the familiar sight of Britain’s highest elected officials jeering across the Commons Chamber. While such behaviour has become an embarrassing tradition, this moment was particularly egregious. As a cluster of Tory MPs heckled at opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn for his bright green tie, it […]

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News

Redefining a hybrid mode of democracy, is it possible?

Another day, another Brexit-related constitutional crisis. This week saw the Prime Minister Boris Johnson (who is noticeably without a mandate) prorogue parliament — trying to stop Members of Parliament from blocking a no-deal Brexit next month. So we face the question: how well can our parliamentary representatives enact the democratic desires of the public as […]

Categories
Comment

Redefining a hybrid mode of democracy, is it possible?

Another day, another Brexit-related constitutional crisis. This week saw the Prime Minister Boris Johnson (who is noticeably without a mandate) prorogue parliament — trying to stop Members of Parliament from blocking a no-deal Brexit next month. So we face the question: how well can our parliamentary representatives enact the democratic desires of the public as […]