Category Archives: culture

Striking snapshots of 1970’s New York

In 1970, Daniel Patrick Moynihan convinced the Nixon White House to support a policy of “benign neglect,” wherein basic government services were systemically denied to cities across the United States with large African-American and Latinx populations.

New York City quickly became the nation’s most famous victim of “urban blight” at the hands of the state. The city teetered on the edge of bankruptcy as manufacturers fled en masse, while landlords hired arsonists to torch their buildings knowing they could get more money from insurance than they could from resale. The city fell into desolate and desperate straits. Yet within this horrific landscape, New York maintained its dignity and strength, becoming the site for the most explosive cultural movements of the late 20th century.

The city’s landmark … Read the rest

Portraits of the East’s monks, pilgrims & wanderers

First published back in 2011, Steve McCurry’s Looking East is a breathtaking showcase of the photographer’s best portrait work. The images, which were shot during his extensive travels across Southeast Asia, focus on the region’s outsiders: from monks and children to pilgrims, wanderers and migrants.

Like much of McCurry’s work, the collection teeters between the edges of cutting-edge photojournalism and fine art – presenting people from all walks of life in a beautifully unified way, and breaking the boundaries between race, language and culture.

Now, the book is making a return, with Phaidon opting to publish it in paperback for the first time this week. “[Looking East is] regarded as one of the most iconic publications of contemporary documentary photography,” a spokesperson said of the … Read the rest

The complicated relationship between food & race in the UK

There’s no doubt that the food industry has a complicated relationship with race. Staples in kids of immigrants’ diets growing up in the West – like kimchi, turmeric and medjool dates – were once derided for being strange in school canteens. Yet now, they’ve been repackaged as trendy superfoods for the masses.

While foods that PoC once hid or swapped in favour of ‘acceptable’ Western dishes have now become wellness buzzwords, PoC still remain sidelined from the mainstream food industry. In one round-up of the most significant food books published in 2017, not one featured a non-white author. Meanwhile, back in 2015, people of colour were found to be paid 56 per cent less than their white counterparts in the U.S. restaurant industry.

The … Read the rest

Hattie Collins talks 15 years of following grime

Few know grime like Hattie Collins.

The journalist and author has been there since the first wave, covering the rise of Wiley, Dizzee Rascal et al at the turn of the millennium as its certified documenter-in-chief.

Over the past few years, as mainstream circles have fought to embrace Skepta and the likes, she’s remained one of its most trusted sources. Her 2016 book, This Is Grime, is the definitive text when it comes to chronicling the culture’s rise and rise.

In the latest episode of Joining the Dots with Don Letts, a new podcast from Spaces In-BetweenCollins sits down with the Rebel Dread to discuss a career spent following grime. Covering everything from the early raves to Boy Better Know’s takeover … Read the rest

Could the sea be destroying surfer’s immune systems?

In a day spent out on the waves, it’s nearly impossible not to swallow a mouthful of water – and while these salty gulps aren’t going to kill you, they may be laden with more than meets the eye. According to worrying new research, surfers are three times more likely to host antibiotic resistant bacteria in their guts than non-surfers, leaving them more susceptible to diseases that can no longer be treated with antibiotics.

Since they were first discovered in 1928, antibiotics have been used to kill bacterial infections like pneumonia, tuberculosis and other fatal diseases. Unfortunately, though, bacteria are highly adaptable, and can quickly develop immunities. The widespread use of antibiotics in medicine today worries the World Health Organisation and the UN environmental assembly, who … Read the rest

Neville Southall tackles… Britain’s immigration system

Imagine looking out of your window and seeing bombs falling all around you. You have a wife and three children, and the war has been raging for months. There is hardly any food or water, and if you stay it is only a matter of time before one of you might be killed. What should you do: stay and risk death or move on away from the war torn areas? I think most people, including you or I, would opt to move on. But where do you move to? The next town? The next city? The next country?

War, famine, disaster, prejudice has devastated your home country – your house will be ransacked and occupied by others, you will be attacked, hungry or lose everything. The … Read the rest

Anthony Van Engelen: ‘I still feel my best when I skate’

It’s 9am in Huntington Beach, California and Anthony Van Engelen is wide awake. “I’m usually up really early,” he explains. “I guess it just happened when I got older – and sober.”

For AVE, it’s certainly been quite the ride. Since turning pro back in 1999, the 39-year-old San Diegan has carved a space as one of skating’s most instantly recognisable figures. With his raw, unfiltered style and relentless, no bullshit approach, the 2015 Thrasher Skater of the Year is, to put it bluntly, one of the best.

As a face of Vans since 2005, you can catch him – along with the rest of their pro skate team – in the new Versa Hoodie DX. Pro-built for skateboarders, the heavyweight garment employs critical … Read the rest

Documenting the ‘afterparty’ culture of young Europeans

Gioia de Bruijn first started partying when she was 17 years old. The photographer had just moved to Amsterdam for university, and – like many students before her – had swiftly started to get acquainted with the hedonistic hotspots her new hometown had to offer.

After that, she packed up and headed to London to study at the Camberwell College of Art, before then moving briefly to Berlin. During this time, de Bruijn kept roots in all three cities, travelling between them to visit friends, socialise, and document the “festival and afterparty” culture of the local student scene. It was, according to her, a time of “letting go”, “getting high” and “sexual realism.”

These uninhibited adventures resulted in Weekend Warriors – a raw and intimate photography

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Why is our generation refusing to let go of The Simpsons?

When I was about 10 years old, my favourite thing to do on this earth was to eat a microwaved pizza cut into rectangular slices with ketchup and watch an old VHS tape of The Simpsons. Their neon-dipped universe was comforting and hilarious, and even though this video only had the same four grainy episodes, which I played over and over again, it never bored me. Even the familiar theme tune filled me with an easy happiness, like climbing into a freshly laundered bed, or taking a bite of perfectly buttered cheap white toast.

This is not an interesting or remarkable memory. In fact, I would guess that most people who grew up in the ’90s and ’00s have a similar one. The Simpsons, … Read the rest

New Yorkers protest homophobia by kissing in the rain

Uzbekistan’s consulate in New York is on 2nd Avenue, just a single block away from the world headquarters of the United Nations. It’s a geography that ordinarily makes sense – diplomats and politicians close by to the world’s foremost international organisation. But despite their proximity, there’s an uncomfortable reality being all too often ignored, according to the fifty or so people gathered in the rain on a Sunday afternoon at the consulate door.

Freelance Freelance

Organised by the RUSA LGBT and New York group “Voices 4” – a non-violent advocacy group committed to using direct action to achieve global queer liberation – campaigners held a rally and kiss in here this Sunday, hoping to draw attention to the state-sponsored violence against the LGBTQ+ communities of Uzbekistan, … Read the rest