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· January, 2013

Stories about Arts & Culture from January, 2013

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The ‘Vishwaroopam’ Ban: Attack on Freedom of Speech?

  31 January 2013

The screening of Kamal Haasan's big budget Bollywood movie Vishwaroopam was banned in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu after Islamic organizations protested the depiction of the Muslim community. Actor-Director Haasan is fighting the matter in court and many have condemned the ban as an attack on freedom of speech.

Pakistan’s Forgotten Hindu Heritage

  31 January 2013

Shiraz Hassan recently visited dilapidated temples and gurdwaras of Rawalpindi and appeals that these old heritage sites, which depict the secular past of the country, need to be preserved. There are still more than 25,000 Hindus living in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

All Side by Side for the Future of São Tomé and Príncipe

  31 January 2013

Originally inspired by the style of the song “We Are the World“, renowned musicians from Sao Tome and Principe unite singing a theme by Kalú Mendes, titled “All Side by Side for the Future of Our Country.” The music covers all creole languages from the islands in order to enforce...

Bhutan: Security Taken For Granted

  30 January 2013

According to tourists Bhutan is a safe place. But ShyGuard at Writers Association Of Bhutan warns not to take it for granted. The blogger opines that Bhutanese should be more concerned about own security and be vigilant to stop unwanted incidents.

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Homosexuals – The Invisible Minority of Bangladesh

  28 January 2013

The LGBT communities in Bangladesh remain underground as they face discrimination, verbal abuse, physical abuse, social and legal challenges everyday. This invisible minority uses the internet and social networking to communicate between themselves and learn about the psychology and politics of sexual orientation.

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Russian Parliament Confronts Next Threat to Kids: “Homosexual Propaganda”

RuNet Echo  25 January 2013

The Russian parliament's effort to defend the nation's children continues. In the last year, Duma deputies have labored feverishly to shield Russia's youth from child pornography and online enticements to drug use and suicide, and—more recently—they passed a law to put an end to the scourge of American adoptions of Russian orphans. Law-makers have now zeroed in on the next heinous threat: "homosexual propaganda."

Parallels Between Religious and Copyright Wars

  24 January 2013

Rick Falkvinge, the founder of Pirate Party, reinterprets the wars of religion that devastated Western Europe in the XVI and XVII centuries in terms of the current struggle to control information through overbearing legislation related to copyright and freedom of expression: The religious wars were never about religion as such....

France: NGOs Condemn Privatisation of Public Domain

  24 January 2013

Seven European free culture associations issued a statement [fr] protesting against a public-private partnership between the French National Library BNF and Proquest database [fr], whose aim is to digitize a large amount of Public Domain works and privatize them with an exclusivity period of commercialization of ten years. Activist Philippe...

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Guyana: Literary Controversy

  24 January 2013

Writer Ruel Johnson has expressed concern at what he considers to be possible case of nepotism at Caribbean Press, a publishing company owned by the government of Guyana: When I saw the recent launch of young Ashley Anthony’s book Mysterious Association and the Virtu Gems [sic] I declined to publicly point out the...

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Decades-old Banned Song Inspires Many in Japan

  23 January 2013

The Annual New Year's Eve music show by the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) intrigued many because of a performance by Akihiro Miwa. He sang Yoitomake no Uta (Song for the Yoitomake) which had been banned from broadcasting in Japan for decades.

Guyana: Modern Architecture and the State of The Nation

  22 January 2013

Now why would the toga wearing Vitruvius have anything relevant to say about modern day Guyana architecture …until one considers the proliferation in this far away land of Roman columns. Guyana Mosquito thinks the trends in modern Guyanese architecture are indicative of the state of the country.

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China's Resistance Art Beyond Ai Weiwei

  22 January 2013

Social resistance in the form of action art is getting popular in China. This post introduces readers to an action art group - Made-in-J Town - which staged several body performance in Shandong in 2008, the year of the Beijing Olympic and the year when dissent voices faced the harshest repression.

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Cuban Filmmakers Take Over Digital Technologies

  22 January 2013

In Cuba, filmmakers and new directors have started to take over new technologies to keep down the costs of production of audiovisual effects, and to tell stories that would otherwise not have seen the light of day.

The Cultural Aspect of Wildlife Trade in China

  21 January 2013

Terroir from Beijing Cream criticizes professional photojournalist Patrick Brown's photographs series, Trading to Extinction for being over simplified in the explanation of wildlife trade in China as “naive” and “greed”: this is a way of life for some Chinese as well. It doesn’t mean it’s right – it just means...

Google CEO's Trip to North Korea, From Schmidt's Daughter's Blog

  21 January 2013

Google CEO Eric Schmidt visited North Korea last month and his daughter shared in her blog what the delegation saw in the hermit kingdom. Some of highlights from the blog: [describing the nation's top internet facility] Looks great, right? All this activity, all those monitors. […] One problem: No one was actually...

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