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Latest in Culture


Colombian artist hits 80 with no plans to retire

By Philippe Zygel / AFP As he plans to celebrate his 80th birthday in his native Colombia this week, painter and sculptor Fernando Botero says the idea of retiring his paintbrush frightens him even more than death. More than 3,000 paintings and 300 sculptures are still not enough for one of the world’s most famous …

DNE

Egyptian designers approach spring and summer with prints

By Heba Elkayal After the sour, confused mood of late, young Egyptian businesses and brands are flourishing, giving a clear statement that regardless of all ongoing political and economical turmoil, all is well and all shall be well. Nothing reflected that attitude more articulately than the spring and summer collections of two Egyptian designers: Amina …

DNE

Fans recall American artist Jackson Pollock at 100

By Frank Eltman / AP Out behind a small farmhouse on a Long Island country road sits an old gray barn where a tormented artist dripped paint off brushes, sticks — even turkey basters — onto canvasses spread out on a wooden floor. Besides making quite a mess of things, leaving splash marks everywhere, Jackson …

DNE

‘Masters of Chaos’ rule over Paris tribal art museum

By Pascale Mollard-Chenebenoit  /AFP Chaos and man’s attempts to tame it are at the heart of a spectacular new show at Paris’ museum of tribal arts that pits voodoo and shamanic artifacts alongside the work of contemporary artists. By the entrance to the show stands a voodoo talisman meant to ward off evil spirits — …

DNE

Egyptian street art alongside the pharaoh in Frankfurt

By Chitra Kalyani In September 2011, Khaled Said made an appearance on the famous Berlin Wall. This month, Egypt is once again taking its walls to Germany, this time alongside the Tutankhamun Exhibit in Frankfurt. April 13 marked the “First Friday” in Frankfurt, where a workshop and gallery entitled “Egyptian Street Art and Arabic Graffiti” were …

DNE

Arab nudes defy taboos in Paris show

By Pascale Mollard-Chenebenoit / AFP The naked body in Arab art is the theme of a new Paris exhibit meant to broaden views of Arab culture, spotlighting the many artists willing to break taboos and depict nudity in all its forms. “The Body Uncovered” at Paris’ Arab World Institute aims to “challenge the stereotypes usually …

DNE

First Assange TV show to be aired next week

By AFP LONDON: The first episode of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s new TV interview show will be broadcast on Tuesday on Russia Today and online, the whistleblowing website said on Friday. WikiLeaks remained tightlipped on the identity of Assange’s interviewee in the first of the 12-episode weekly series entitled “The World Tomorrow.” It has promised …

DNE

Music incognito: Kareem Lotfy

By Chitra Kalyani He is holding something small up in his hand, “Look at the 70s.” Kareem Lotfy is describing what he does when he “dubs” music; essentially he is simply playing with a sound that he likes from another time. A request to describe his music launches him on a Wikipedia journey through music history, …

DNE

Cairo to host first Global Voice Hall forum in Mideast

CAIRO: Global Voice Hall (GVH), a free membership-driven web-based social news platform, will broadcast its first Pangaea Forum in the Middle East on April 24 from the American University in Cairo. The Pangaea Forum is a live produced international town hall event that is live streamed in front of a live studio audience. The Cairo …

DNE

Ridley Scott teases fans with ‘Prometheus’ 3D clip

By Emma Charlton / AFP Ridley Scott gave a sneak 3D preview of his new movie “Prometheus” this week, the latest step in an elaborate promotional campaign marking the “Alien” director’s return to sci-fi, three decades on. First conceived as a prequel to the “Alien” franchise, the British director’s new project, set for release on May …

DNE

Soul sustenance: Swedish opera singers make house calls

By Igor Gedilaghine / AFP Are you lonely? Do you miss a loved one? Is your marriage on the rocks? Just place a call to a Stockholm opera and a singer will make a house call with an aria specially chosen to fit your state of mind. “I’ve had the experience of singing for a couple …

DNE

Nermine Hammam’s voluble cry of freedom

By Mariam Hamdy I didn’t used to be a fan of Nermine Hammam’s earlier work, but recently I’ve fallen in love with it. It’s time to pay it its dues. To those who have not yet been to her exhibit at Safar Khan Gallery in Zamalek, rush to it now. Hammam has always been a controversial …

DNE

Ukraine blocks film on soccer match against Nazis

By Maria Danilova / AP It’s a game that every Ukrainian knows about: The “Death Match” of 1942, when top Kiev soccer players trounced a team of Nazi occupiers and reportedly paid for it with their lives. But Ukrainian authorities on Tuesday froze the release of a movie depicting that Soviet defiance of Nazi Germany because …

DNE

Street art and the power to mobilize

By Mennatallah Fouad Youssef It’s after sunset on a Friday night. A few weeks after clashes took place in Mohamed Mahmoud Street, a group of young artists enter Tahrir Square and observe the scene ahead. Their eyes set on the street where hundreds faced death and suffocation — their next target, they set up their gear …

DNE

Lady Chichester and Danny Wyler on Royal Opera’s ‘Beloved Friend’

By Joseph Fahim The Royal Opera House’s highly touted production “Beloved Friend” was the highlight of the 8th Abu Dhabi Festival, which closed on April 7. Based on the letters exchanged between Russian music composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky and his muse/patroness Nadezhda von Meck for 13 years, this beautiful, intimate production was the very first Royal Opera …

DNE

One-on-one with Oscar-winning writer Sir Ronald Harwood

By Joseph Fahim It’s not every day that you watch a Royal Opera House production in the Arab world, let alone a gala production that has only been staged twice before, the second time at Buckingham Palace for the Royal Family. To call the showing of the Royal Opera’s 2009 production “Beloved Friend” — performed at …

DNE

Slow French sculptures head to hectic Hong Kong

By Anna Maria Jakubek / AFP Time and how it shapes us is key to the work of French sculptress Nathalie Decoster, including the giant bronzes she has just shipped off to Hong Kong — quiet meditations for a hectic-paced city. Forty monumental human figures of bronze and steel, from two to six meters high (six …

DNE

Hesham Al-Gakh’s Tahrir Square poetry honored in Istanbul

By Istanbul Arts News The poetry of Egyptian revolutionary poet Hesham Al-Gakh amazed audiences at a major gathering of international poets assembled in Istanbul this week for a one-night celebration of the world’s oldest love poem, which is currently in Istanbul’s archaeological museum. An English translation of Al-Gakh’s poem, “An Honest View of Liberation Square” from …

DNE

Ant Hampton’s Autoteatro turns audience into performers

By Chitra Kalyani Assigned roles, seemingly at random, your group of five is attached via headphones to a device. In the minutes that follow, you produce a psychiatrist, an amalgam of Freud and Frankenstein, and one of you has to save the others from madness. So goes “GuruGuru,” an experimental work by Ant Hampton, or …

DNE

Middle Eastern Americans transcend politics with humour

By Sadia Ashraf LOS ANGELES, California: A motley crew of diverse Arab, Persian and American comedians is making audiences laugh and unraveling stereotypes at the same time. With their own comedy brand, sold-out worldwide tours, documentaries and frequent appearances as commentators on major news outlets, Aron Kader, Maz Jobrani, Maysoon Zayid and Dean Obeidallah have built …

DNE

East Berliner’s lifelong passion for vintage fashion

By Kate Millar / AFP When Josefine Edle von Krepl fled East Berlin just before the Wall fell in 1989, she managed to save her vast hoard of vintage clothing by wrapping her china and glassware in it. The fashion designer, journalist and mother-of-two was allowed to take many of her belongings with her to the …

DNE

Fishing for meaning in a play of patriotism and immigration

By Tom Dale “If I Weren’t Egyptian” is a play about a young man who wants to emigrate to Italy, a middle aged German-speaking belly-dancer, a silent old gentleman who has water dripping from his trousers, and a giant robotic orange clownfish. This critic cannot pretend to have a firm grasp on what happened in the …

DNE

Judge: 3,200-year-old mummy mask can stay in US

By AP ST. LOUIS: A judge says a 3,200-year-old Egyptian mummy mask at the center of an international dispute will remain in a US museum. The US government sought to return the funeral mask of Lady Ka-Nefer-Nefer to Egypt, claiming it had been stolen before the St. Louis Art Museum bought it from a New …

DNE

One on One with Abu Dhabi Fest founder Hoda Kanoo

By Joseph Fahim Of the various cultural festivals I’ve covered and attended over the years in the region, none has managed to offer the pure delight I experienced at the Abu Dhabi Festival, a momentously rich event with a laudably ambitious scope, a seductively intimate ambiance and a big heart. Unlike most festivals in the region, …

DNE

Arab Spring coverage dominates Peabody Awards

By AP ATHENS, Georgia: Coverage of the Arab Spring dominated the Peabody Awards, the oldest in broadcasting. CNN, Al Jazeera English and National Public Radio all received the prestigious award Wednesday for their coverage of the movements that led to leaders being unseated in Egypt and Libya. Two Japanese news outlets won for their coverage …

DNE

Deneuve, icon of French cinema, honored in NY

By Jocelyn Noveck / AP Of her more than 100 films, only seven have been in English. So Catherine Deneuve said she was surprised to win an American film award. But nobody else seemed surprised as Deneuve, an icon of French cinema as well as a global star renowned for her icy beauty, was handed the …

DNE

Spring has been around a while, says Spring Lessons

By Chitra Kalyani It is late March in Berlin, one of those rare days when the sun is making a generous appearance, and people are out enjoying its light and warmth. Another kind of Spring is being celebrated at Theater Aufbau Kreuzberg (TAK), where co-founders of Spring Lessons, Caram Kapp and Sara Duana Meyer are presenting …

DNE

Picture an Arab man

By Nada Akl BEIRUT: Picture an Arab man. Better yet . . . run a quick search on Google Images in English. You’ll find the fighter, the flag-waving protester and the religious sheikh. You’ll find the Arab man in subjective folkloric representation, framed by a loaded message; you’ll find clichés and stereotypes that seem to be …

DNE

Egypt revolution graffiti brings down barricades

By Mostafa Aboul Ezz/ AFP CAIRO: They were hit, pushed back and even fired at, but Egyptian activists have returned to the scene of deadly clashes in the heart of Cairo, determined to keep their revolution alive, this time armed with paint brushes. From a distance, Sheikh Rihan street, a wide avenue in Cairo’s usually busy …

DNE

Israel seizes sarcophagus lids stolen from Egypt

By AP JERUSALEM: The Israel Antiquities Authority says inspectors have seized two stolen Egyptian sarcophagus covers at a bazaar in Jerusalem’s Old city. The two plaster-covered wooden lids had been sawed in two, causing irreparable damage. The covers were adorned with decorations and ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. The authority says one dates between the 16th and …

DNE