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· March, 2014

Stories about Arts & Culture from March, 2014

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Why Learning Italian Still Makes Sense

  31 March 2014

As Italian publishing company Alma Edizioni was busy organizing an event about the Italian language in Rome, they received an unexpected letter [it] from someone who defined himself as a “disappointed student”: Why? What's the point of studying Italian today? […] No one wants to study a language that no...

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Manga “1F” Takes You Inside Fukushima Nuclear Plant

  31 March 2014

A manga by artist going by the name Kazuto Tatsuta takes readers inside the crippled nuclear plant of Fukushima Dai-Ichi, or ichi efu (1F) – as insiders dubbed it – a place he himself worked in 2012, a decision he took in a period of financial struggle. The graphic novel...

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Documentaries from 29 Countries Are SIMA 2014 Finalists

  31 March 2014

These are films we want to watch! 37 powerful documentary films from 29 countries have been selected as finalists for the 2014 Social Impact Media Award (SIMA). The stories are from: South Africa, Switzerland, Zambia, the UK, Russia, India, Israel, Chile, Western Sahara, the US, Lebanon, Cambodia, Syria, Burkina Faso,...

South Korea: Royal Gate Restoration, Corruption and Suicide

  29 March 2014

In recent months, particularly murky allegations over the royal gate restoration have unfolded in South Korea. The project's ‘chief carpenter’ is accused not only of using substandard wood, but stealing donated wood. Moreover, several government officials involved in the project were also indicted on charges of bribery [ko], and a civilian investigator who...

The “Happy Voting” Project Encourages Young Europeans to Vote

  28 March 2014

Drawing on the Pharrell Williams worldwide hit “Happy” and the associated equally renown music video (over 143 million views on YouTube), the Brussels-based film company Full Tunes Production has recently launched on facebook an enthusiastic project  called “Happy Voting” that strives to encourage voting for the next European elections. The project...

Why Filipinos Became Early Adopters of Western Music

  26 March 2014

Le Minh Khai refers to the book of D. R. M. Irving in explaining the long history of Filipino musicians playing Western music: …there was a rich experience of musical contact and exchange between Spaniards and Filipinos that began not long after the Spaniards established their control over the Philippines...

750 Million People Expected to Speak French by 2050

  25 March 2014

Countering the assertion by John McWhorter at the New republic that learning French is pointless, Pascal Emmanuel Gobry  writes on his Forbes blog that French might just be the language of the future: French isn’t mostly spoken by French people, and hasn’t been for a long time now. The language is...

State of Literature in Post-Dictatorship Myanmar

  23 March 2014

Writing for The Dissident Blog, James Byrne reviews the status of Burmese literature in the post-dictatorship era in Myanmar: When I was in the country last year there were poems being read about the Arab Spring. There were others about the harsh treatment of Burmese farmers. There were satires about...

Hungarian Far-Right Group Protests Against Fashion Designer

  22 March 2014

A group of far-right extremists occupied the exhibition opening of a Hungarian fashion designer on Friday, Kettős Mérce blog reported [hu]. The designer in question Koby's new fashion line was first withdrawn [hu] from a Hungarian sports brand shop in January 2014, after nationalist criticism rose against the t-shirt designs featuring some of...

Tajikistan Celebrates the Beginning of Spring

  21 March 2014

On March 20-21, people in Tajikistan celebrate Navruz (Nowruz), an ancient festival that marks the beginning of spring and is often referred to as the “Persian New Year”.  Icekandar congratulates [ru] the readers of his blog: Here comes Navruz, the best and most cheerful holiday! This holiday is not like...

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