Cultural Elsewhere

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THE DEATH OF KLINGHOFFER: Opera on the frontline of history

4 Aug 2005  |  4 min read

In the last quarter of the 20th century a new wave of opera emerged with stories which often seemed ripped from the headlines of contemporary newspapers. There were works about Richard Nixon going to China (by John Adams), the life of Malcolm X (Anthony Davis) and Charles Manson’s murderous “family” (John Moran). For those of conservative musical taste these... > Read more

Aria of the Falling Body

JEFF HALPER INTERVIEWED (2004): Bridging the Jewish-Palestinian divide

8 Aug 2004  |  9 min read

We have a joke in Israel, says Jeff Halper, that Thailand is closer to Israel than the West Bank. "Israelis know there is Thailand, they want to go, you can get a guide book and buy a ticket. A lot of Israelis go to Thailand after being in the Army."Whereas the West Bank and Gaza are blank spaces in the cognitive maps of Israelis. They don't know those places."Israelis can't... > Read more

THE CLASH OF CIVILISATIONS, CONSIDERED (2002): And little of what your read

1 Oct 2002  |  11 min read

It happens occasionally. Someone writes a novel, presents a paper or makes a movie which, as history subsequently unfurls, appears prophetic.Think of H.G. Wells' The Shape of Things to Come, written in the early 1930s, which anticipated a global war and space flight.Or George Orwell's satirical fable Animal Farm of 1946 which, with pessimistic accuracy, skewered communism.As the Twin Towers... > Read more

THE KURDS IN KIWILAND (2000): From Kirkuk to Tamaki

12 Apr 2000  |  7 min read

When Karwan Mohammad speaks, even if talking about his own life, he instinctively uses the plural.He speaks of "we," not "me," and talks with quiet pride of his culture as if a collective memory has been tapped.At 20 he is already a voice for his people and feels a responsibility to use it, especially now his family are settled in a country where their history and culture... > Read more

CHARLOTTE YATES, INTERVIEWED (2000): Hemi's words set to song

8 Feb 2000  |  4 min read

Charlotte Yates bounces in her seat with excitement and embarks on a passionate discussion about the poet whose work she has discovered and the project which has put his words back into the world. The vast body of work by James K. Baxter - some 2500 poems , from sprawling bardic ballads to keenly observed miniatures - was what inspired her. The result is a CD of a dozen Baxter poems... > Read more

THE POLYNESIAN PANTHERS, REUNITED (1999): From school to street

7 Jan 1999  |  13 min read

For anyone who lived through the period, the iconography and images still resonate: the clenched fists in leather gloves, the lines of civilian-soldiers in empowering uniforms of black polo-neck sweaters, impenetrable shades and black berets. The language was of black pride and the images defiant and confrontational.The times they weren't a-changing, they'd changed - and in the early 70s... > Read more