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· July, 2020

Stories about Arts & Culture from July, 2020

Popular YouTube channel documents what it is like to be black in Japan

Popular YouTube channel and website The Black Experience Japan features interviews with dozens of Black residents of Japan.

Nigerians counteract COVID-19 denialism with social media campaigns

Nigerians directly confront coronavirus denial headlong with counter-narratives that use ordinary language in campaigns devoid of the usual mistrust between citizens and governments. 

Musicians with albinism defy social stigma and break new ground in Cameroon’s creative sector

Albinos in Cameroon have brushed aside stigma to participate in the country’s vibrant arts and cultural scene. "It wasn’t easy for me growing up as an albino," says Boy TAG.

How Balinese communities in Indonesia are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic

"COVID-19 mini-wikithons provide a safe space for people to talk in their native Balinese language about their challenges and coping strategies of the pandemic in Balinese communities."

Congolese journalist forced into exile for documentary on violent evictions

Congolese filmmaker Gaël Mpoyo and his family have been forced to live in exile, given the sensitive subject of his film and a climate of insecurity in South Kivu province.

Satirical comedy skit lands four Ugandan comedians in jail

The arrest of four comedians in Ugandan for a satirical comedy skit that went viral comes at a time when the government has passed regulations controlling the creative arts industry.

Rooftop cultural events allow Venezuelan residents to momentarily escape COVID-19 through art

"We want to dream. We are the generation that fights and loves its community, despite the social conflicts and inequalities, we live in a constant learning process."

In Turkey, 2.5m students sit university entry exam despite COVID-19 outbreak

This year's exam was embroiled in controversy -- and not just because of the pandemic.

In Georgia, cinema is the latest flashpoint in the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights

Months after its release, a film about a gay Georgian dancer continues to inflame heated debates about the place of the LGBTQ+ community in this conservative country.

Construction of first Hindu temple in Islamabad faces opposition

The construction of the first Hindu temple in Islamabad was stopped after protests from different quarters, but rights activists and minority politicians are hopeful that the temple will be built.

#BlackLivesMatter resonates in South Asia as Unilever drops ‘Fair’ from ‘Fair & Lovely’ cosmetic line

In the wake of the Black Lives Matters movement, Unilever announced that they would rebrand their leading skin care product ‘Fair & Lovely’ to 'Glow and Lovely'.

Through the Orientalist looking-glass: An interview with Moroccan artist Lalla Essaydi

"In my photography, I explore this [Orientalist] space, whether mental or physical, and interrogate its role in gender identity-making, while engaging with centuries of cultural heritage and artistic practices."

The Uyghur Meshrep: A traditional community gathering censored in China

While Uyghurs have for centuries celebrated male bonding and cultural transmission in a ritual of music and conversations, China is now banning the original concept of the tradition.

‘African art has nourished all civilizations': A Conversation with Algerian artist Rachid Koraichi

"We owe thanks to this wonderful continent that allows us not only to exist but also to give lessons, even if some people want to push us into the corner."

COVID-19 leads to closure of popular bookshops in Bangladesh

"There are so many second-hand books with probably no more copies in the world… many valuable documents of Bengali literary culture will be lost like this."

Uyghur emojis help spread message of cultural resistance over social media

Emojis representing Uyghur characters and culture are now available on the encrypted messenger platform Telegram in an effort by the Uyghur diaspora in Russian-speaking countries to raise visibility.

Milan Kundera's first Czech biography: Another public dressing-down in his homeland?

"An optimist can still hope there will be a time when the debate around Milan Kundera will overcome its long-lasting neurotic phase."

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