Gallery: Syrian war art is more important than Hollywood

It is unacceptable that the Syrian war and its deep, shattering, complicated consequences, are largely boycotted by most mainstream and commercial media. But as a journalist and a novelist I can understand that there are aspects of this war that are better communicated through art than through the rough cold facts of news. Blindness, turning... Continue Reading →

Daisy Zamora poem translated

Daisy Zamora is a Nicaraguan poet who has written about women's rights, politics, revolution, art, history, and more. She fought against the Somoza dictatorship in the 1970s, and joined the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) in 1973. During the revolution she was program director for clandestine Radio Sandino, and after the FSLN came to power,... Continue Reading →

Efrain Ascencio Cedillo, a Mexican photographer who depicted the real Mexico

Too often, the general vision of poor countries and oppressed peoples is provided by the white male gaze and viewpoint. People - journalists, photographers and tourists - from the US come to Mexico for example, for two weeks. And it is their US-centric version of the world that makes its way into the English-language media... Continue Reading →

Honduran refugee: Writing helps me survive

Jorge Madrid is a Honduran activist whose opposition to current right-wing president Juan Orlando Hernández saw him receiving death threats and having to flee the country. He was also a student leader when then President Manuel Zelaya was overthrown by a coup in 2009. He says the stealing of the elections in 2017 and direct... Continue Reading →

The beautiful and dignifying art of Ecuadorian Jonathan Terreros

Jonathan Josué Terreros Monteros is an indigenous Otovalan surrealist photographer and digital artist who is challenging the stereotypical portrayal of his people and capturing their true essence, cultura, and traditions. His work can be found on Instagram and Facebook. And here's a preview of a few of his works, below.

You kicked in the middle of a global pandemic

And you kicked... Just as the applause for the NHS workers began to rise Pitter patters Accompanying the fireworks in the sky And you kicked In the middle of a global pandemic As sanctions crushed the earth which dreamt you into existence As healthcare workers battled to save lives & workers walked out factory gates,... Continue Reading →

Talent isn’t “in the testicles” – Leonora Carrington: Surrealist paintings and quotes

Her painting technique is a bit rougher, and her paintings overall are darker, but that isn't why we study Salvador Dali in school instead of another surrealist painter, Leonora Carrington. Dali once said "talent is in the balls" to explain why there were no female painters with the same stature as Michelangelo. He was part... Continue Reading →

Art that confronts imperialism

"There aren't poor and rich countries, there are countries that have been enriched thanks to the impoverishment of other countries," wrote Rafael del Castillo. But there is a shyness, today (along with a lot of denial) to talk about imperialism. Much of the mainstream media would prefer to see any wars, violence, poverty, and human... Continue Reading →

Against the odds: Kamala Ibrahim Ishaq

Being an artist, writer, musician, teacher, journalist, or other professions involves a lifetime of learning and a never-ending-journey. Perhaps no one understands this better than Kamala Ibrahim Ishaq, who graduated from the College of Fine Arts in Khartoum in 1963 and was a founding member of the Khartoum School, a modern art movement established in... Continue Reading →

A poem for when we watch injustice like a captive audience

We Lived Happily during the War And when they bombed other people’s houses, we protested but not enough, we opposed them but not enough. I was in my bed, around my bed America was falling: invisible house by invisible house by invisible house— I took a chair outside and watched the sun. In the sixth... Continue Reading →

Australian Aboriginal art resists and resists

Art is never just art in this ripped up mess of a world. Today's Aboriginal art is often an expression of cultural sovereignty and survival, in a country which oppresses Aboriginal people, but uses Aboriginal heritage and art as a commodity - as a highly profitable souvenir.  This post aims to celebrate various Aboriginal artists... Continue Reading →

3 brutal poems for women: Rare age, fairy tales, and a monster protest

The following three poems are hard and liberating. Read them out loud and with one fist clenched. Laura Passin is a writer and scholar specialising in contemporary US poetry and gender studies. I am not old - by Samantha Reynolds I am not old, she said I am rare I am the standing ovation at... Continue Reading →

Revolutionary gems on mothering, survival, rebellion, and war

I read Mai’a Williams' book like some one starved for word gems and insights. I want to cover this book for this blog because no one talks about mothers like they are the key protagonists in this world. They (and women and people of colour and people in poor countries and..) are portrayed as being... Continue Reading →

Think of Syria – poems by Farrah Akbik

Farrah Akbik is a British-Syrian poet based in London who writes to raise awareness of the hardships Syria and Syrian refugees are going through. Al Sham (*another name for Damascus) I want to lay my head in the lap of Ghouta, Dull my senses with pomegranate wine. Drift like Ophelia down the river Barada, Lose... Continue Reading →

Resistance words from Turkey

A Dead Sun - by Bejan Matur I peel night from the dead sun's flesh and like a scarf wrap it round my head The graves of children - by Bejan Matur So – we died. We flitted out of darkness. Beaches bore witness, as did the tiniest of stones. Night and stars streamed above us where... Continue Reading →

Pablo Neruda poems brought to life with video

"Tonight I can write the saddest lines ... " Pablo Nerudo says in the first of these videos which respectfully and beautifully bring his poems to life. Poema 20 Walking around Leaning into the afternoons Leaning into the afternoons I cast my sad nets towards your oceanic eyes. There in the highest blaze my solitude... Continue Reading →

Apathy in poems and quotes

Many of the wonderful ways that people have captured this most stifling of things: “We've forgotten much. How to struggle, how to rise to dizzy heights and sink to unparalleled depths. We no longer aspire to anything. Even the finer shades of despair are lost to us. We've ceased to be runners. We plod from... Continue Reading →

Naomi Shihab Nye – life poems

I love Nye's poetry because of the rich way it brings a new perspective to everyday things and the little things in life, while not shying away from the world's big horrors. Her first poem here is a great example of questioning the smallest things (and making them beautiful through that new way of seeing),... Continue Reading →

Aja Monet: “privilege is knowing there are parts of this earth occupied for your leisure”

I love how raw, strong, and to-the-point activist poetry usually is. There's no time to beat about the bush, no space to weave pleasantries into the systemic abuse. Aja Monet's poetry is like that. Her book, My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter was published last year. Below, a few snippets from it, followed by her... Continue Reading →

Nicanor Parra: “Solid-ground” poetry that is for everyone

“Estados Unidos: el país donde la libertad es una estatua.” (“United States: the country where liberty is a statue”) –Nicanor Parra Nicanor Parra, often described as an "anti-poet", died on Tuesday aged 103.  Parra was a Chilean artist and poet who rejected the formalisms of poetry and abstract, inaccessible, wankiness.  He was direct, blunt, unafraid,... Continue Reading →

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