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 →

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 →

Why non-plated food epitomises everything that is wrong with the world.

Non-plated food is lacking in imagination and a symptom of societal stupidity. In rich countries and the wealthier areas of poor countries it has become trendy for restaurants to serve food on cutting boards and slates, as well as “deconstructed” meals in cups, juice in watering cans, sausages in skulls and hanging from branches (seriously),... Continue Reading →

How creativity is killed in the Majority World

Watching a video of Jim Carrey painting, you can see he has a wonderful sense of play and colour, as he creates a range of giant paintings in his warehouse-sized studio. He bashfully covers a canvas double the size of my bedroom with paint, and he pours thick, luscious acrylic paint from cans in wonderful pink... Continue Reading →

Who Owns the Words?

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potty series, was asked by her publisher Barry Kunningham to use just her initials (she made up the K), as he thought boys might be wary of a book written by a woman. Many people assume that Harper Lee is a man, Charlotte Bronte originally published as Currer Bell... Continue Reading →

Tiny story: The amount of noise art makes

An abstract painting by a man with lots of time was on display at the national gallery and featured in television documentaries. It was heard loud and clear by lots of people: it had the loudness of a million people clapping. A first-world man's installations were featured in textbooks and in the state library. They... 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 →

The Traditional Publishing Industry Is Killing Books

The publishing industry’s focus on profits amounts to a censoring of a diversity of viewpoints and experience. Books are lives compressed, humanity summarized into screaming or striking stories. One would think the book world would be a safe haven from inequality, but instead the traditional publishing industry – the big corporate publishers - is perpetuating... Continue Reading →

Right-wing artists and writers hog the spotlight while few know about this brilliant refugee cartoonist

Right-wing cartoonist Bill Leak died recently. He had portrayed same-sex marriage campaigners wearing rainbow-coloured Nazi uniforms, Aboriginal fathers as neglectful and more. He also won nine Walkley awards and 20 Stanley awards, eight gold Cartoonists of the Year, and was twice the winner of News Corps' award for best cartoonist. Aussie same-sex marriage campaigner, and brilliant... Continue Reading →

Writing: For Love or Money? by Roberta Sykes

It's good to write for money, It's the only way to go, Forget starving in the attic. Who can afford attic anyhow? Let me prostitute my talents -be a martyr for the arts - 'Cause without the lovely greenbacks I'll just be another tart … Hawking rhythm up at King's Cross, Flogging poems and rhymes... Continue Reading →

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