Baku Is Vying To Become A Regional Arts Destination

There was a time when Baku – the capital of Azerbaijan – was famous for its cosmopolitan feel and its diverse art and culture scenes. While the breakup of the Soviet Union temporary shifted priorities to rebuilding Azerbaijan’s growing economy, there was little state support for contemporary, experimental arts. To complicate matters, the real estate boom that’s yet to cease in Baku, further squeezed young artists out of affordable art-studios. Although the situation is not unique, as similar pressures are also experienced by artists from San Francisco to Singapore, Azerbaijan’s leadership has vowed to support young and established talent.

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How Southern Food Has Finally Embraced Its Multicultural Soul

Oscar Diaz of the Cortez in Raleigh, N.C., which has become an exemplar of new Southern cuisine

The signs of a Nuevo South are impossible to miss at Jose and Sons, a buzzy restaurant inside a former train depot in downtown Raleigh, N.C. On a window on the side of a door, Hola Y’all flows in a jolly green script, while Hecho en Raleigh snakes across the bar in big block letters.

The slogans are a preview of a menu that seamlessly melds Southern and Mexican classics–think collard-green tamales, pork chops rubbed in al pastor spices, pimento cheese enlivened with chicharrones. “We’re not being ‘authentic’ Mexican, we’re not being ‘authentic’ Southern,” says the 32-year-old owner, Charlie Ibarra. “It’s just who we are.”

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“Kadir Nelson Creates New ‘Summertime City’ Illustration for ‘The New Yorker'”

Stunning!!

 

 

Kadir Nelson is a celebrated painter, illustrator, and writer who is widely known for his pieces that draw upon African-American culture and history. Nelson has produced works for the United States House of Representatives, Michael Jackson, Coca-Cola, Dreamworks, and created the album artwork for Drake’s Nothing Was The Same. The artist was recently commissioned by The New Yorker to create an illustration for the publication’s July issue.

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Educators reject censorship, encourage student exploration of ‘problematic’ literature of the past

This is an undated photo of author Samuel Clemens, better known by his pen-name Mark Twain.  (AP Photo)

From Confederate memorials to “problematic” literature in schools, communities across the country are wrestling with how to acknowledge the past and its imperfections without offending the sensibilities of modern schoolchildren and their teachers, with most solutions employing one of the three R’s: remove, rename, revise.

But some educators are encouraging another way. They are engaging with children in an exploration of values and culture to better understand the mores of the past and the present.

Continue @ Washington Times

What Is a Southern Writer, Anyway?

From time to time, a debate resurfaces in Southern literary circles about whether there can still be a recognizable literature of the South in an age of mass media and Walmart. The 21st-century South would be unrecognizable to the Agrarian poets, whose 1930 manifesto, “I’ll Take My Stand,” set out many of the principles that still cling like ticks to the term “Southern writer.” Far more urban, far more ethnically and culturally and politically diverse, the South is no longer a place defined by sweet tea and slamming screen doors, and its literature is changing, too. “It is damn hard to put a pipe-smoking granny or a pet possum into a novel these days and get away with it,” the novelist Lee Smith once said.

Continue @ New York Times