california belongs to joan didion

For a writer to take ownership of a place, to stake out their position in its liminal spaces, they perpetuate their vision into art and popular culture, and in turn, our collective memory. When we read we are unrelentingly challenged to deconstruct writers' visions and how they shape our perspectives of familiar places. Together, as…

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poetry as untranslatable: gloria anzaldúa on straddling dual identity

"borders are set up to define the places that are safe and unsafe, to distinguish us from them"The Chicano movement - the extension of Mexican American civil rights movement during the 1940s and 60s - was a movement of working-class Americans born of a cultural and racial 'mixture' across the southern borders of the US,…

isolation, conflict and constraint: the coherency of jean rhys’ short stories

20th-century novelist Jean Rhys compels readers with her mesmerising narratives of exile, loneliness and distorting what it means to be a flâneur. As born and raised in Dominica with European ancestry, Rhys' writing speaks closely to her own upbringing and the complexities of her identity, accounts of being isolated and witnessing isolation in others. The…

synecdoche, new love: modern couples exhibition review

'Modern Couples presents a different way of looking at Modernism in art, as seen through the artist 'couple', an elastic term encompassing all manner of intimate relationships that the artists themselves grappled with, expanded, embraced or refuted.' - Exhibition Guide Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde is the newest exhibition at the Barbican Centre. Organised…

space, suburbia and architecture: constructing tension in film

“There is a distinct difference between "suspense" and "surprise," and yet many pictures continually confuse the two. I'll explain what I mean. We are now having a very innocent little chat. Let's suppose that there is a bomb underneath this table between us. Nothing happens, and then all of a sudden, "Boom!" There is an…

art and the everyday

If money were not object, my nursery would have been fitted with William Morris wallpaper. Strawberry Thief may have been chosen, or perhaps Seaweed or Honeysuckle. I'm sure their scrolling foliage and patterns of blossoming flowers, fruits and wildlife would have fascinated any young child. However, despite these designs not adorning my childhood walls, I…

eighteen years on: behind the scenes of almost famous (2000)

18 years on and Cameron Crowe's coming-of-age drama/comedy Almost Famous (2000) still deserves celebration (here, in the form of behind the scenes pictures, as shared by Crowe himself on twitter). Although these photos originally surfaced in 2015, they are still striking for their refusal to extract the viewer out of the universe of the film…