Rupi Kaur reinvents poetry for the social media generation


RUPI KAUR made her name on Instagram by attacking Instagram, a fitting ascent for the provocative 24-year-old poet who releases her short verses onto the slippery, reactive sphere of social media. In 2015, she uploaded a picture of herself lying in bed on sheets stained with menstrual blood. The post was removed, and she promptly hit back. “I will not apologise for feeding the ego and pride of misogynist society that will have my body in underwear but will not be okay with a small leak,” she wrote on Facebook and Tumblr. Vitriol and death threats came in droves, but so did followers. Today’s count is 1.7m

Ms Kaur’s success is singular, but it is also a reflection of the times. Poetry is in the midst of a renaissance, and is being driven by a clutch of young, digitally-savvy “Instapoets”, so-called for their ability to package their work into concise, shareable posts. Taylor Knott Gregson, a best-selling poet, boasts nearly 600,000 followers on Instagram, where…Continue reading

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Redeeming Mary Magdalene

EVERY generation of artists has brought its own sensibilities and experiences to the depiction of canonical Christian stories. Giotto, an Italian painter, set Bible scenes in medieval Tuscany. Rembrandt gave his a hint of mercantile 17th-century Amsterdam. “Mary Magdalene” is similarly a retelling of some of the faith’s main events …

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FOR evidence that modern democracy has lost its pep, look back to the age of cheery campaign jingles. The art form dominated elections from America to the Philippines after the second world war. Australian political parties used them well into the 1980s. It is tempting to believe that melodious campaigns …

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