There are benefits to hosting the Olympics - but when it comes to culture, there's no mega-event like Carnival.
South Africa is taking a tough stance against the practice of abducting and forcing young girls into marriage that’s still rife in some parts of the country.
The reasons for the phenomenon of child marriage are complex and include the fact that in customary law, marriageable age was never reckoned as an actual number but depended on puberty.
Artworks by deceased South African artist Helen Martins. The cultural and creative industries are key for social and economic development.
South Africa is increasingly beginning to focus on the potential role cultural and creative industries can play in job creation and economic growth.
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Decluttering, spearheaded by Marie Kondo and Japanese minimalist consumerism, has taken on quasi-spiritual connotations. What are we actually trying to get rid of when we throw out all our stuff?
John James Audubon’s American Flamingo (1838).
A review of some of the top arts and culture stories from the past year.
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.
20th Century Fox
Film sagas like Star Wars transcend the screen, connecting viewers to their pasts, to one another and to the hero within.
John Legend poses with wife Chrissy Teigen after winning an Oscar at the 2015 Academy Awards.
When a pregnant celebrity announces "no hot nannies," what does it say about parenting, gender roles and our culture?
A particularly fruitful moment for technological innovation?
Viktor M Vasnetsov
Not all technologies are created equal. Researchers devised a new model to explain why, after eons of nothing much new, we sometimes see an explosion of innovation in the archaeological record.
The treacherous toilet.
Public 'restroom' is a euphemism of the highest order.
A Spanish street performer dressed as a cowboy. Europeans have long been fascinated with the American West.
A linguist explains how words get co-opted from one language to another.
Love complicates the complex marriage deals arranged by parents on the island of Tanna, though rarely with such profound ramifications as those depicted in the film.
The new Australian film Tanna, which won two awards at Venice Film Festival, is as much a tale about romance as it is globalisation.
Music notation itself has changed from the early modern period to the present day.
Provenance Online Project/flickr
Technological advances in music production have all but obliterated the need for popular music to be transcribed into musical notation. So why is musical literacy still important?
On the Banks of the Tigris is a story of culture triumphing over an oppressive regime.
Award-winning documentary film On the Banks of the Tigris explores the influence of Iraqi Jewish musicians in the cultural life of Iraq and paints a portrait of a country that was once a thriving multicultural centre.
What will the hipster come to symbolise about life in the early twenty-first century when historians of the future reflect on this era?
A number of IS videos feature the songs of Maher Mesh'al, who was killed over the summer in Syria.
Whether it's the Islamic State, the Ku Klux Klan – or, yes, even American political parties – groups use music in many of the same ways, for many of the same reasons.
Are women really each other’s worst enemies? Probably not.
Depictions of women bullying women are a mainstay of reality television shows, just as reports of Twitter fights between female celebrities are regular tabloid fare. It's a phenomenon with a long history.
A visualisation of the planned Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea.
Plans to build a new telescope on a Hawaiian mountain highlight the complexities and sensitivities that arise when science interacts with indigenous communities.
Not all elderly Chinese people live with their children.
China Stringer Network/Reuters
When you scrape below the surface it's not hard to see that 'culture' is the wrong answer to almost every question.
Violence against women is rife in South Africa.
South Africa is emblematic of why violence against women responses in Africa are failing. While good measures are being rolled out, it lacks a united, comprehensive, multi-disciplinary response.
Darwin's insights into life on Earth may have revolutionised biology, but scientists sometimes get carried away. It's not the only game in town.