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Orpheus in Japan

By Allston Mitchell in Arts and Culture, February 9, 2017

Handel in Bhutan, Monteverdi in Japan, Mozart in Cambodia…operatic performances that have defied all the odds by creating a fusion of culturally diverse musical, dance and theatrical traditions. JapanOrfeo was the latest project at the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura, conceived by Aaron Carpenè and Stefano Vizioli.

Lewis Lapham’s “Age of Folly”

By Allston Mitchell in Arts and Culture, February 8, 2017

A review of Lewis Lapham’s collection of essays tracing the decline in American democracy since 1990 to the present day. It is a vital read from a great literary stylist, humanist and old-school scholar. There is wit, intelligence and a grasp of essentials on every page.

Brazil’s locomotive has stopped

By Nicola Bilotta in Politics,

Oil production has been crucial in fostering not only economic but social growth in Brazil, but now the country is gripped by economic crisis and political instability.

Manipulation and lies threaten media and politicians

By Francis Ghilès in Features,

If America under Trump begins to look like the old Middle East and Russia, the risks of a crisis getting out of hand are huge.

Geronimo: The Warrior

By Edward Rielly in Features,

In 1906 Geronimo published his autobiography recounting the fascinating story of his life, from his years as a resistance fighter, to his capture and subsequent period of celebrity in which he appeared at the 1904 St Louis World Fair and met President Roosevelt.

Son House – Preachin’ the Blues

By Gary Burnett in Arts and Culture, February 7, 2017

Son House, the epitome of the Delta blues man, wavered all his life between doing the Lord’s work as a minister and playing the devil’s music. “Oh and I had religion Lord this very day. But the womens and the whiskey, well they would not let me pray.”

Zhou Youguang, the real hero of modern China

By Kerry Brown in Features, January 26, 2017

The architect of China’s literacy revolution maintained an open-minded curiosity well into his second century.

The deep troubles of Italian banks

By Mitja Stefancic in Economics and Finance,

At the moment, the general outlook for Italian banking is anything but encouraging. Bad loans in Italian banks totalled €360 billion in 2016.

John Berger, witness to the human condition

By Anthony Barnett in Features, January 17, 2017

He sought to protect and if necessary salvage humanity from the inhumanity of consumer capitalism. This gives all his work the quality of defiant resistance in the face of likely defeat.

The top rich in Europe since 1300

By Guido Alfani in Features, January 15, 2017

Recent research into the share of wealth owned by the richest households has given us important insights into trends in inequality. We can now estimate the share of wealth owned by the richest households in Europe, since 1300. The only significant declines in inequality were the result of the Black Death and the World Wars.