Interntional Film Festival Rotterdam (

Movies to watch while you sleep

Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul opened a 'Sleepcinemahotel' where audiences let their subconscious minds watch his movies as they fell asleep.
An Instagram post from Gerhard Richter’s exhibition at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art. Instagram/@gracie_yu

Instagram - changing the way we experience art

While it may have a reputation for narcissism, Instagram is being embraced by the art world, with Insta-friendly works and exhibitions.
Hugh Masekela performing during the 16th Cape Town International Jazz Festival. Esa Alexander/The Times

Remembering Hugh Masekela

South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela made an impact across the world during his decades-long musical career.
Political dressing is all the rage right now, but is it a fashion? A professor of fashion explains. (Twitter/@Mossimo)

Fashion’s potential to influence politics

Political statements through our clothing are all the rage right now. Could we say this is a new fashion? Prof. of fashion, Henry Navarro explains the recent phenomena.
“The Shape of Water” film is a beautiful allegory about accepting differences. James Jean

The Shape of Water leads Oscar nominations

The Shape of Water is an entertaining movie, but it also has a timely, allegorical message about the challenges we may face with new scientific discoveries, and our willingness to accept difference.
Tackling tough topics from racism and bullying to Indigenous identity and the holocaust, young adult fiction can challenge stereotypes and encourage critical thinking. Pictured here, an illustration from ‘Skim’ by Mariko Tamaki, the fictional diary of a depressed Japanese-Canadian girl. Handout.

Book reviews

Revolutionary young adult fiction for 2018

Five novels for young adults that boldly tackle tough issues - from racism, to Indigenous identity and the Holocaust - to cultivate critical thinking in the classroom and at home.
EPA/Sophia Juliane Lydolph

Sofia Helin and Sweden’s #MeToo movement

One of Sweden's foremost actor/producers, Helin also plays a leading role in the movement against harassment and discrimination. In this interview, she explains what needs to change.
Stranger Things 2 aims to raise political issues but misses the radical roots of rainbow coalition politics in episode seven and instead falls into mainstream Hollywood traps of centrist politics. (Courtesy of Netflix)

Stranger Things 2 relies on nostalgic race politics

The makers of the wildly popular Netflix show, Stranger Things, have a political message as they allude to Trump with their hairy, orange Shadow Monster. But what are their actual politics?
While improv comedy in the classroom might nurture your child’s stage talent, it’s also a highly effective way of teaching literacy. Pictured here, La Ligue d'Improvisation Montréalaise. (Wikipedia Commons)

How classroom comedy can promote literacy

In the elementary classroom, improv can nurture a collaborative and creative climate in which even reticent kids want to participate.
The northern lights dance across the sky in the Arctic. (Shutterstock)

I wrote a symphony about the Canadian Arctic

A voyage through the Arctic inspires a composer to create music that expresses wonder, loss, discovery and culture.
Champagne! Yi Wang/Flickr

Four myths about champagne

While Champagne seems eternal and unchanging, its fame is in fact the product of four founding myths. These have shaped its identity and the images now associated with its consumption.
Time’s up: we need to work towards improving gender inequality now. Here: Oprah giving her rousing speech about women’s rights at the 2018 Golden Globes. (HFPA)

Time’s up for injustice: What every woman wants in 2018

Time is up. Canadian women demand their rights. In 2018, human rights are women’s rights.
Once we see the scale of issues like the climate change crisis, it can be difficult to imagine solutions. Collective reflection and alternative storytelling is one way to begin. Here: Youth leaders at the Climate March in New York City. (The Shore Line Project)

A storybook for a sustainable future

Filmmaker Liz Miller discusses her collaborative, interactive documentary process and how storytelling might lead us to an alternative future through action and resistance.

Quote of the Day

The fashion industry has a solid record of co-opting political and countercultural movements, marginalized groups and non-Western cultures, then making a good profit out of it. There would be nothing wrong with making money this way, except that the aftermath of co-option by the fashion industry is cultural irrelevance. Henry Navarro Delgado Assistant Professor of Fashion, Ryerson University

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