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Analysis and Comment (20)

‘Won’t Star Trek do?’ Suzanne Plunkett/PA

What is a banker doing as the new Minister of Fun?

So we have a new Culture Secretary. I wonder how he rates Daenerys Targaryen’s chances of snagging the most coveted seat of all, the Iron Throne. And whether he thinks Darren Aronofsky has succeeded in…
A nod to the failed opening of the fifth ring in the opening ceremony featured in the closing ceremony … but the underlying cultural aspects are fascinating. ifindkarma/Flickr (cropped)

Sochi’s closing ceremony: the art, the circus and the spectacle

Tasked with winding down the over-exuberance of the build-up, Olympics closing ceremonies always have an anti-climactic tone. Terrorists from the Caucasus failed to disrupt the Sochi event, and the most…
It’s time to wake up to London’s cultural dominance. shutterstock

Hard Evidence: does London get too much arts funding?

London has 15.4%, one eighth, of the population of England. It is well known that London receives a disproportionate amount of UK arts subsidies, but perhaps not the vast extent of this. Our independently…
For some consumers, if it looks real, it is real. SimonQ錫濛譙

Is that real Prada? uFaker app makes IP detectives of us all

The age of the app has collided with the era of fake designer goods. Firms are now using social media and crowdsourcing to keep track of their intellectual property, but may still struggle in a world where…
Larkin about: the people of Hull celebrate their city’s victory. Anna Gowthorpe/PA

Larkin, Ronson and 26 reasons why Hull is UK City of Culture

Kingston-upon-Hull has been named the UK City of Culture for 2017; a spotlight has been thrown on a place that many people either don’t really know much about, sometimes falling prey to typical Home Counties…
Artist Alice Evans lies on the streets of Edinburgh, but she’s OK really. Danny Lawson/PA

Despite bad headlines, the arts in Britain aren’t dead yet

Playwright Mark Ravenhill’s provocative opening speech at this year’s Edinburgh Festival outlined a doomsday scenario where public funding for the arts disappeared and Britain descended into a cultural…
Culture is not only a good in itself but an ideal means for modern nations to deal with a series of complex issues. Image from shutterstock.com

Australia needs a super culture ministry – here’s why

Australia needs a cabinet-level portfolio dedicated to managing culture, one of the country’s leading cultural commentators, Julianne Schultz, said at a breakfast address in Sydney today. The Ministry…
Rule Britannia in the creative industries: but for how long? Yui Mok/PA

Politicians must recognise the UK’s creative capacity

The creative industries are an intriguing part of the UK economy - glitteringly successful, but difficult to pin down in terms of exact value and for some, maybe just too volatile to trust. Ever since…
The key to becoming the dominant species on the planet. Gabriel-Alexandre Decamps

What makes us human: genetics, culture or both?

In Kubrick’s masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey, a group of our ape-like ancestors encounter a towering black rectangle somewhere in an African desert. Something in them changes. A seed is sown. Everything…
Many non-western cultures recognise states of mind that look like mental illness but don’t fit DSM categories. Todd Huffman

Strange or just plain weird? Cultural variation in mental illness

MATTERS OF THE MIND – a series which examines the clinician’s bible for diagnosing mental disorders, the DSM, and the controversy surrounding the forthcoming fifth edition. There’s an old saying that psychology…
Germaine Greer is right: female genital mutilation and female genital cosmetic surgery are both “cultural” issues. bombhead

Female genital cosmetic surgery: a labial obsession

On last night’s Q&A, feminist campaigner Germaine Greer suggested a comparison between practices of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Africa and female genital cosmetic surgery (FGCS) in Western nations…
While FGC is common in Africa, the practice is illegal in many Western countries. Flickr/tlupic

Time for change: the harms of female genital cutting

Female genital cutting (FGC) – also known as female genital mutilation (FGM) or female circumcision – is widely practised in Africa and has been described by UNICEF “one of the worst violations of the…
The true value of art cannot be measured by economic standards. Flickr/TruShu

Game of funds: return of the culture wars?

In 2012, public debate over the value of art and culture has reignited as conservative state governments in Victoria and Queensland cut arts funding from their budgets. Queensland Premier Campbell Newman’s…
The length and width of countries might influence their cultural diversity … or not. byJoeLodge

Does the shape of countries shape their destiny?

Might the destiny of nations be controlled by the underlying shape of their geography? This is the subject of a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The authors…
“Hipsters” are mocked at the moment, but do we even know who they really are? Wikimedia Commons/Jack Newton

Looking beyond the parody to define the hipster

The term “hipster” has become increasingly prominent in Australia’s urban lexicon this year. Even the Sydney Morning Herald has caught on, writing about “Hipster Housing”, featuring a young bespectacled…

Columnists (2)

Eye on the prize

Prizes are a common feature on the cultural economy landscape. In Australia there is the famous Archibald Prize for portraiture, there are numerous prizes for literature and poetry, the AFI Awards in film…

The spectacle of play

This month I am trekking around Europe with my partner, and I had the good fortune to be in London on the night of the fifth Wild Rumpus event. In a gallery space in central London on a Saturday night…

Research and News (2)

Research Briefs (1)