News

A visual history of Benin City returns home

LAST month an extraordinary collection of photographs returned to Nigeria. Chief Solomon Osagie Alonge took pictures of the people of Benin City for over half a century, amassing an archive of more than 3,000 images. Spanning British rule and the early decades of independence, it is a visual record of …

News

The evolution of the ghost

The Ghost: A Cultural History. By Susan Owens.Tate Publishing; 288 pages; £19.99 and $29.95. KINGS, queens, horses, dogs, crows. A “whirling heap of hay”. A wronged lover, an old friend, a stillborn child, an atmospheric light. As Susan Owens highlights in her new cultural history of ghosts, phantasms and spirits have …

News

The Israelis and Palestinians are still haunted by their history

Enemies and Neighbours: Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017. By Ian Black.Atlantic Monthly Press; 608 pages; $30. Allen Lane; £25.  IN THE roster of new states established in the past century, the creation of Israel has been extraordinary. It is one of the Middle East’s rare functioning democracies, with …

News

“Stranger Things 2” is a triumphant return to Hawkins

ALMOST the instant “Stranger Things” was released last year, the baying of fans desperate for the next instalment was ear-splitting. Hopes are so high for the second season—all nine episodes of which were released on Netflix on October 27th—that disappointment seems almost inevitable. But fans can breathe easy: “Stranger Things …

News

How China’s artists made sense of their country

The artistry of the ambulance HANGING from the ceiling of the magnificent rotunda that Frank Lloyd Wright created for the Guggenheim Museum in 1959 is an undulating black dragon. Twenty-six metres (85 feet) long, it is made almost entirely of the inner tubes of bicycles. Its head is a sculptural …

News

A new biography of Muhammad Ali

Ali: A life.authorBy Jonathan Eig.Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 630 pages; $30. Simon & Schuster;. Buy from Amazon.co.uk (ISBN=unknown) HE OFTEN claimed to be the greatest of all time, and he was right. Only a handful of athletes reach the pinnacle of their discipline. A couple of those have done so with …

News

Zaryadye Park in Moscow is an architectural triumph

IT IS one of the largest architectural projects to be completed in Moscow since the fall of the Soviet Union, and the first major public park to open in the city in 50 years. Zaryadye Park, 13 hectares of green space in the heart of the Russian capital, opened to …

News

Not just another film about Jane Goodall

IN 1960 Jane Goodall moved to Tanzania to study chimpanzees. She was only 26 years old; her credentials consisted of a love of animals and a secretarial qualification. The first of “Leakey’s angels” (also known as “the trimates”)—Ms Goodall was one of three women encouraged by Louis Leakey, a renowned …

News

Annie Baker is a master of loaded silences

MOST playwrights are judged by their words—the swordplay of dialogue that animates their work. For Annie Baker, the drama is in her silences. Long stretches of charged silence fill her plays, lighting up the spaces between sentences. They make awkward moments ever so slightly more awkward; quiet moments more noisily …

News

Bosnia’s stand-ups jest about genocide

A SREBRENICA widow is asked to identify her husband’s body. It is not the most promising start to a joke, but Navid Bulbulija, sipping Coca-Cola outside a café in Sarajevo, less than two minutes’ walk from the city’s Srebrenica Massacre Memorial Museum, continues anyway. “The problem is that the mass …