Tag: Arts and Culture

Still watching? Netflix shares plunge 13% as growth stalls
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Still watching? Netflix shares plunge 13% as growth stalls

The streaming service added just 3.98 million subscribers in the first quarter, missing Wall Street’s estimate of 6.29 million.The easing of pandemic lockdowns is taking a far more severe toll on Netflix Inc.’s growth than anticipated, sending its shares plunging as much as 13% on Tuesday. The streaming service added just 3.98 million subscribers in the first quarter, missing Wall Street’s estimate of 6.29 million and its own forecast of 6 million. The current quarter will be even more challenging, with Netflix predicting 1 million new customers — a fraction of the 4.44 million projected by analysts. Netflix has been warning for months that growth would slow after customers emerged from Covid hibernation, but few expected it to stall so dramatically. The first quarter of 2020 had been the...
Bridgerton and Normal People expose romance’s colonial hangover
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Bridgerton and Normal People expose romance’s colonial hangover

There are more than a few universally acknowledged truths when it comes to writing romance: the course of true love should not run smooth, lovers should be beautiful and readers generally prefer a Happily Ever After (‘HEA’ as it’s known in the romance community). While love stories are still routinely sidelined by some academics and critics, the politics of love, sex and desire, and the stories we tell about them, cannot be overestimated. There is absolutely nothing apolitical about love stories because our popular ideas of romance are a colonial hangover, steeped in the reactionary values of the imperial 19th century. At this point isn’t it worth asking: what’s universal about our modern idea of love? I’m talking here about the hegemony of white, Anglo-American culture established through...
Prince Philip’s car is now a Sri Lankan royal artefact
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Prince Philip’s car is now a Sri Lankan royal artefact

The Duke of Edinburgh was a car aficionado who bought the 1935 Standard Nine for 12 pounds when he was based in Colombo.An almost 90-year-old car that once belonged to Britain’s late Prince Philip is now the centrepiece of a seaside museum in Sri Lanka. The Duke of Edinburgh, whose funeral will be on Saturday, was a car aficionado who bought the 1935 Standard Nine for 12 pounds when he was based in Colombo with the British Navy in 1940. “When he came back in the early 1950s, he came and saw the car,” said Sanjeev Gardiner, who has kept the vehicle at his Galle Face Hotel in Colombo. “When he saw the car he said, ‘I hope the brakes work. They didn’t work then.'” According to Gardiner, the prince acknowledged that the Standard was the first car he bought. He also became a patron of the Stand...
Pricey pixel: Digital artist Pak’s NFTs auctioned off for $16.8M
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Pricey pixel: Digital artist Pak’s NFTs auctioned off for $16.8M

Among the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) up for auction by Sotheby’s was a work called The Pixel, an image of a single pixel that fetched $1.36m after a 90-minute bidding war.An online sale of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) by the digital artist Pak fetched a total of $16.8m at Sotheby’s, including an image of a single pixel which sold for $1.36 million, the auction house said on Wednesday. A non-fungible token is a form of blockchain-based digital asset which has exploded in popularity in 2021, with prices soaring as collectors and enthusiasts rush to buy the items which only exist in digital form. Last month, an NFT artwork sold for $69.3m at Christie’s, in the first sale ever by a major auction house of a piece of art that does not exist in physical form. The Sotheby’s sale, called The Fungible...
Egypt puts on a show as it moves royal mummies to new home
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Egypt puts on a show as it moves royal mummies to new home

Egypt has held a spectacular parade to celebrate the transport of 22 of its ancient royal mummies through the capital, Cairo, to their new home in the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation. Crowds on Saturday gathered to witness the multimillion-dollar spectacle of the 18 kings and four queens making the 7km journey (four miles) to their new resting place. Under heavy security, the mummified remains of the pharaohs and other royals were transported in climate-controlled cases loaded onto trucks decorated with wings and pharaonic design for the hour-long journey from their previous home in the older, Egyptian Museum. The vehicles were designed to appear like the ancient boats used to carry deceased pharaohs to their tombs. The made-for-TV spectacle was watched by people in Egypt and arou...
Egypt: 22 mummies move to new museum in grand parade
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Egypt: 22 mummies move to new museum in grand parade

The convoy will move 18 kings and four queens from the Egyptian Museum to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.A grand parade will see 22 ancient Egyptian royal mummies in specially designed capsules transported across the capital Cairo to a new museum home. The convoy will transport 18 kings and four queens on Saturday – mostly from the New Kingdom – from the Egyptian Museum in central Cairo’s Tahrir Square to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat, about 5km (3 miles) to the southeast. Authorities are shutting down roads along the Nile for the elaborate ceremony, designed to drum up interest in Egypt’s rich collections of antiquities when tourism has almost entirely stalled because of COVID-19-related restrictions. Each mummy will be placed in a special capsule fi...
In tourist-free Bali, artists persevere through ‘darkest moment’
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In tourist-free Bali, artists persevere through ‘darkest moment’

Bali, Indonesia – Sixty years ago, I Ketut Soki was the delighted recipient of his first painting kit – and since that day, he has rarely put his brushes down. “I still have the spirit to paint. I still have a lot of ideas,” he told Al Jazeera. “I paint to maintain the Balinese culture. I want to show people abroad about Bali. I paint the island … harvesting, paddy fields, cultivating.” The 72-year-old was one of the pioneers of the painting style known as Young Artist, known for its lively and colourful depictions of Balinese life. But the art scene on the island is different now  and many artists in the once-thriving cultural centre are struggling. Bali’s borders are closed to foreign tourists – and in their absence, the prospects for sales are limited. “Artists feel the impact,” Soki sa...
The actress defying cultural norms to tell new stories in Iraq
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The actress defying cultural norms to tell new stories in Iraq

Baghdad, Iraq – Zahraa Ghandour had been gone from Iraq for almost a decade when she touched down in Baghdad in 2011. Armed with grit, the then-20-year-old began her upward battle to carve out a niche for herself in the country’s male-dominated film industry. “I decided to work in this field when I was 12, and I always imagined it to be in Iraq, to tell stories from here,” she explains. “I left but [Iraq] stayed with me all the time.” Ghandour, 29, is one of countless young Iraqis born in the midst of catastrophic United Nations-imposed sanctions and whose early teenage years were marred by the violence that accompanied the 2003 United States-led invasion. By the time she was 13, Ghandour had lived through what most people do not experience in a lifetime, including exile. In 2004, a fast-d...