‘This further reinforces a sense of opposition to the system, yet while French rap artists address burning social issues, they incorporate French regard for poetry and philosophy to achieve music more lyrical and subtle than that of their American counterparts.’
Eyewitness artists’ accounts of brutality in Nazi concentration camps are extremely rare. Sian Mackay describes her discovery of Rudolph von Ripper’s forgotten portfolio, work that deserves to stand alongside the art of his contemporaries Otto Dix, George Grosz and Käthe Kollwitz.
An artist’s eye-witness account of Hitler’s first concentration camp where academics, artists and political opponents of Nazism were imprisoned and tortured. An extract from Von Ripper’s Odyssey, Sian Mackay’s remarkable biography, gives a chilling insight into public acceptance of Hitler’s rise to power.
In Part 3 of his essay the author urges an end to utopian thinking: ‘Should we condone people like my father who yearn for Utopia and who believe we should give planned perfection one more try? No, these people are endlessly sailing their boats towards a non-existent goal and are making themselves and the rest of us unhappy.’
‘In this he follows those other utopian traditions of the French revolutionary great terror, the purges of Stalin and Mao. His walled island state now resembles North Korea. If he were to enforce his ideal of the human blank slate, then he would have arrived at Pol Pot’s ‘Year Zero’.’ Part 2 of the author’s essay on utopia(s)
‘Two years after the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s book, I see a resurgence in Utopian thinking in many countries and fear we could be on verge of taking a collective voyage to nowhere once again.’ Part One (of three) of an essay on utopia, millennialism, freedom, society, human nature – and Scotland.
“British racism has evolved. We no longer see gangs of racist folks roaming the streets. They now wear suits and ties
Some form political parties…” Benjamin Zephaniah’s poetic analysis of institutionalised racism has particular resonance in the aftermath of the Windrush scandal.
The smell of onions frying is in the air. In the evening there is a light in every window. There are people living in the glen again. Donald McPhillimy sees the future and it is a hut built of wood.
“Currently, we expend about 10 calories of fossil fuel to generate one calorie of food. This is unsustainable not just in a small way but to quite an alarming extent.” Scientist Ian Boyd sees hope in vertical farming but can Scotland retain its lead in this pioneering technology by scaling it up to “an industrial reality”?
‘I have loved the Rite of Spring since I first heard it, more than 30 years ago. Visceral, violent stuff. Spring, like human birth, does not deliver easily. Stravinsky delighted in the cracking ice that signalled the bursting of new life into Russia’s frozen landscape.’