The Palestinian director who earned a fatwa for her first film

When Maysaloun Hamoud first heard about her fatwa, she was shaken. The religious ruling – widely seen as a formalised “death sentence” – seemed like an extreme reaction for a woman who’d just released a Palestinian comedy. “It was pathetic,” the director says, remembering the moment she heard the news. “I wasn’t afraid, but I felt a kind of sorrow.”

The film at the centre of the furore was In Between. Hamoud’s first ever feature, it follows the story of three Israeli-Palestinian women as they attempt to share an apartment in Tel Aviv. It’s a raw and real portrayal of everyday womanhood, with each character struggling to navigate between family constraints, Islamic tradition, and cosmopolitan liberalism.

While it’s true that women’s stories are rarely – … Read the rest

Should we celebrate Uber losing its London licence?

Yes, be glad Uber is over – Abi Wilkinson

Without a doubt, the decision not to renew Uber’s license to operate in London was the right call. What other choice is there when the company shows such disregard for passenger safety and the rule of law, in the UK capital and across the world?

Revelations earlier this year that Uber used specially designed software to “greyball” law enforcement officials in cities where its service violated regulations – so that they weren’t able to hail a car during sting operations – were shocking but unsurprising. Like so many of Silicon Valley’s self-proclaimed “disruptors”, Uber executives seem to believe they’re above the jurisdiction of local and national governments. Technological innovation is part of the picture, sure, but they

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The street photographers blurring private and public

Rico Scagliola and Michael Meier have an unusual way of describing their dynamic.

If they were to put it in terms of movie characters, Michael would be Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and Rico would be Joan Crawford.

“Rico might have a tendency towards megalomania,” says one, “and Michael sometimes tends towards narrow-mindedness,” says the other. “Together we kinda level out these two extremes.”

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The pair met while studying photography at the University of the Arts Zürich in 2006. Michael focused on homeless people and prostitutes in the Langstrasse district, while Rico devoted himself to the city’s suburbs and inhabitants.

“We were inspired, impressed and depressed by each other’s’ work,” says Rico. “In 2008 we thought it might be a good idea to … Read the rest

Martin Parr opens gallery for UK documentary photographers

The Martin Parr Foundation, set up in 2014 to support and sustain the work of British documentary photographers, will open its brick and mortar location in Bristol next month. The architect-designed space in the Paintworks complex will be home to works from a wide range of British photographers – such as Keith Arnatt, Richard Billingham, Elaine Constantine, John Davies, Paul Graham, Ken Grant, and John Hinde – while also preserving the work of Parr himself, one of the most celebrated documentary photographers of the last 50 years.

The gallery’s first exhibition, Parr’s own Black Country Stories, will open on October 25 and run through to January 2018. That will be followed by Niall McDiarmid’s portraits project, Town to Town, before David Hurn’s Swaps – … Read the rest

Cutting the cost of a degree by a few grand won’t turn young people Tory

What could the Conservative Party do to get young people voting for them? That was the question Nick Ferrari – a right-wing presenter on talk radio station LBC asked me this morning live on his show. I was invited on following speculation that the Tories are toying with the idea of cutting the tuition fee cap by up to £1750 a year, meaning graduates could potentially be spat out into the working world by universities with just over £5000 less of student debt.

With students from the lowest income families currently left with £57k to pay back, it would be far from a transformative policy; one that neglects to reinstate maintenance grants scrapped by the Tories that were a lifeline for students without families to support … Read the rest

The endurance cyclist racing 20 hours a day in the wilderness

Lee Craigie has just scratched out of the Tour Divide, a 2,745-mile mountain bike race that starts in Canada and finishes at the Mexican border.

It requires covering around 20 hours and 140 miles a day with everything you need to eat or sleep strapped to the bike.

But one week into that challenge, Lee’s body began to swell up. “I noticed I was getting shorter and shorter of breath but I was like, ‘Come on, Lee. You’re just tired, push through it.’”

By the time she reached Wyoming, however, her lips were turning blue, her face grey. It was an inexplicable allergic reaction.

Determined not to let a year of preparation go to waste, she hitched a ride to the nearest hospital, took a rigorous … Read the rest