Category Archives: Culture

Design/Culture: Monocle Magazine — June 2023 Issue

Monocle Magazine (May 2023 issue) – Ever dreamed of ditching the rat race for a life on the land? We meet the new Mediterranean farmers doing just that in the latest edition of Monocle.

Issue 164 also includes an Art Special that puts collectors, galleries and this year’s Art Basel in the frame.

Plus: a guide to the Venice Architecture Biennale and a rare venture into Syria.

Ever dreamed of ditching the rat race for a life on the land? 



Opens profile photo

France-Amérique Magazine – June 2023 – The issue explores the art world on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean! First, read how American sculptor Alexander Calder produced a mobile to support Free France during World War II – this is our cover story.


LYNN GUMPERT – “Paris Has Always Attracted American Artists”

By Guy Sorman

A book co-edited by Lynn Gumpert, director of the Grey Art Gallery at NYU, is shaking up preconceptions about the contribution of American artists in France following World War II. We asked her about this little-known period, when Paris was still as much a hub of artistic creativity as New York City.

Also in this issue, discover the little-known contribution of American artists in 1950s France; read our interview with Delphine de Canecaude of Chargeurs Museum Studio, the French company that has outfitted many of America’s largest museums; and enjoy our profiles of Clark Art Institute director Olivier Meslay and French-American graffiti legend John “JonOne” Perello.



By Guénola Pellen

“Every Museum Is an Incredible Adventure”

The dynamic fortysomething was hired to run Chargeurs Museum Studio in February. As the world leader in cultural engineering and production, the French company has designed the National Museum of the U.S. Army, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the new wing of the American Museum of Natural History, which recently opened in New York City.

Preview: New York Times Magazine – May 28, 2023



Welcome to Vienna, where a whopping 80 percent of residents qualify for public housing, and once you have a contract, it never expires, even if you get richer. What can America learn from a city that has largely avoided the housing crisis?

Imagine a Renters’ Utopia. It Might Look Like Vienna.

poster for video

Soaring real estate markets have created a worldwide housing crisis. What can we learn from a city that has largely avoided it?

Seeing Beyond the Beauty of a Vermeer

A detail of “The Milkmaid.” A woman is pouring milk into a bowl.

The violence of his era can be found in his serene masterpieces — if you know where to look.

The afternoon I discovered Vermeer, I was passing time by browsing the books and publications piled up on the shelves at home in Lagos. I was 14 or 15. Amid the relics of my parents’ college studies (Nigerian plays, French histories, business-management textbooks), I found something unfamiliar: the annual report for a multinational company. I don’t remember which company it was, but it must have had something to do with food or drink, because on the front cover was a painting of peasants in a rolling field and on the back was a painting of a woman pouring milk.

Sri Lanka Views: The Rise Of Women ‘Tuk-Tuk’ Drivers

DW Documentary (May 25, 2023) – Amidst the traffic chaos of Sri Lanka: the popular auto-rickshaws, or tuk-tuks. They’re traditionally driven by men. But increasingly, you’ll see a woman at the wheel – and this film is about three of them: Anulawathi, Thushari and Jega. Anulawathi, Thushari and Jega all do the same job: they’re auto rickshaw drivers in Sri Lanka, three women in a sector traditionally dominated by men.

Besides being a popular mode of transport, the three-wheeled tuk-tuk also provides these three women with a reliable source of income. All three were left by their husbands and had to find a way to feed themselves and their children. They were forced to challenge societal norms. After all, in Sri Lanka, men are traditioanally seen as the providers. Male tuk-tuk drivers view their female colleagues as rivals. But unsurprisingly, female customers love them. Thushari lives in the capital Colombo. She is a longtime parent and works to support herself and her two daughters.

Anuwalathi works in Kandy. She lived abroad for a few years and saved up enough money to buy her own tuk-tuk. Jega is also a single parent. She lives with her son and niece in the tourist resort of Hikkaduwa. All three women earn a steady income from the tuk-tuk business, which brings them closer to their eventual goal – independence and freedom.

French Culture: A Family Run Restaurant’s ‘Bistro To Michelin Star’ Journey

FRANCE 24 (May 25, 2023) – In a small village deep in central France, the same family has run the “La Promenade” restaurant for four generations. The story began in 1960, when Lucienne created a small bistro. Then Jacky, the son, took over and won the first Michelin star in 1989.

Today, the grandson Fabrice watches over this mecca of French gastronomy, and now his son Clément is studying for his chef’s diploma. “La Promenade” is a moving family story, whose finest pages are perhaps yet to be written.

Travel & Culture: Secrets Of Mont-Saint-Michel

FRANCE 24 (May 24, 2023) – Located in France’s Normandy region, the Mont-Saint-Michel is one of the most iconic and photographed places in the country. Every year, the site attracts some 2.5 million visitors.

Built 1,000 years ago, the tidal island and its abbey, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, have stood the test of time and survived through the centuries. Our France 2 colleagues report on some of its secrets, with FRANCE 24’s Guillaume Gougeon.

Politics: The Guardian Weekly – May 26, 2023


The Guardian Weekly (May 26, 2023) – Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s surprise turn at last weekend’s G7 meeting in Hiroshima was the climax of a round of shuttle diplomacy in which the Ukrainian president secured yet more funds and equipment from western nations. 

Patrick Wintour ponders the complex wider issues at stake for western leaders who realise that more constructive relations with the global south could also be the key to containing an increasingly belligerent China.

E-cigarettes have been seen as useful and less health-damaging devices for weaning smokers off tobacco. But there are growing international fears at the rise of disposable e-cigarettes, which are fuelling a boom in vaping among children. Michael Safi looks at how different countries are responding, from sales curbs to outright bans.

Travel: Inside A Datoga Tribe Village in Tanzania

Ella McKendrick Films (May 21, 2023) – A journey into a Datoga tribe village in the lake Eyasi region in northern Tanzania.

The Datoga tribe are pastoralists who originally journeyed to Tanzania from Sudan, chasing better grazing for their cattle. But finding their place in Tanzania was far from easy. They are also renowned for their blacksmith abilities, crafting jewelry, and arrowheads out of scrap metal.

Arts & Culture: The New Criterion — June 2023

The New Criterion – June 2023 issue:

The diversity myth  by Peter Thiel
Emperor of chaos  by Gary Saul Morson
Pfitzner & the conservative artist  by Adam Kirsch
Vermeer in Amsterdam  by Benjamin Riley

New poems  by Dylan Carpenter, Karl Kirchwey & John Barr

Japan Culture: How Five Ancient Crafts Survived

Insider Business (May 19, 2023) – These Japanese crafts are among the oldest in the world. But most of them are disappearing. In this video, we will tell you the stories of five artisans who are among the last to keep their ancient methods alive.

Video timeline: 00:36 Soy Sauce 08:16 Wagashi 19:27 Mochi 27:12 Bonsai Scissors 37:45 Black Vinegar

We saw how soy sauce is aged in century-old wooden barrels, how vinegar is fermented using an ancient method, and how sweets that only aristocrats and emperors could eat 400 years ago are prepared today.