Bilal: A New Breed of Hero brings Emirati storytelling to animation

Animation, as have all movies and TV shows in the past few decades, has had to evolve its mindset in order to include more diverse voices and more diverse stories. Campaigns like #OscarsSoWhite have tackled more live-action fare, but with this year’s Coco (the incredibly successful Mexico-set Day of the Dead Disney film) and last year’s Moana (a pan-Polynesian island adventure), animation is starting to pick up on what the rest of the industry is moving towards. No film is more interesting in that regard than the upcoming Bilal: A New Breed of Hero, the first-ever animated feature from the United Arab Emirates. Continue reading “Bilal: A New Breed of Hero brings Emirati storytelling to animation”

The kids are all white: can US festivals live up to their ‘post-racial’ promise?

Festival issues, including diversity, run much deeper than just the performing lineup.

In the heady optimism of the early Obama years – which coincided with the stateside festival industry’s sixfold attendance boom – the phrase “post-racial” began to creep into the lexicon, and music festivals began promoting themselves as spaces where lofty ideals could be realized. On grassy fields and under big tops, differences of race, gender and sexual orientation are supposedly set aside in pursuit of a diverse, multicultural harmony-via-hedonism. In terms of race, this has proven to be a half-truth. O

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