Category Archives: Politics

April 02

Shakespeare in Politics: Ustinov’s Romanoff and Juliet

On the 2nd of April 1956, German-Russian born director Peter Ustinov’s screenplay Romanoff and Juliet premiered as a theatrical performance in Manchester, England. A Broadway production followed and a Hollywood film adaptation, all starring and directed by Ustinov himself. An impressive cultural figurehead worldwide, Ustinov holds multiple awards for this work, such as the Tony, […]

April 01

Mechanisms of Totalitarianism in Kundera’s “The Joke”

On the 1st of April 1929, the Czech Republic’s most recognized living writer, and author of the highly acclaimed novel, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera was born in Brno, then Czechoslovakia. His books were banned in his country by the Communist authorities until the Velvet Revolution of 1989. The author himself, once a […]

March 30

Fortunato Depero’s Futurist Toy

On the 30th of March 1892, Italian Futurist artist Fortunato Depero was born in Fondo, Trentino. In his youth, he was apprentice to a marble worker, which may explain his future interest in shape, form and design. On a 1913 trip to Florence, he discovered a copy of Giovanni Papini’s periodical Lacerba, which prophesized the […]

March 15

Immigration and Racial Prejudice: The Chinese Exclusion Act

On the 15th of March 1879, Thomas Nast’s cartoon, A Matter of Taste, was published. In the cartoon, criticising the support of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Senator James G. Blaine, an active backer of the Act, is shown dining in ‘Kearney’s Senatorial Restaurant’ – a reference to Denis Kearney, the leader of a violent anti-Chinese […]

March 05

Durant Sihlali: Art and Apartheid

On the 5th of March 1935, the South African artist Durant Sihlali was born in Germiston, South Africa. He was “one of the few living South African artists whose career coincided with the entrenchment of formal apartheid (c. 1948), the formation of the “white” Republic of South Africa in 1962, the long years of apartheid repression […]

March 02

Dr. Seuss: Politics in Children’s Literature

On the 2nd of March 1904, the famous writer and illustrator Theodor Seuss Geisel, known as ‘Dr. Seuss’, was born in Footloose, Springfield, MA, USA. An Oxford University graduate, Geisel published 46 children’s books, characterized by imaginative characters and the use of anapestic meter – a breezy melodic rhythm for comic verse. His most celebrated books […]

December 02

Dickens’ Love and Hate for America

On the 2nd of December 1867, Charles Dickens gave his first public reading in the United States at the Tremont Temple, Boston where he read A Christmas Carol (1843) to an American audience for the first time. This was his second and final trip to the New World – three years later, after a long […]

November 07

Was Camus a Sisyphus or a Stranger?

On the 7th of November 1913, Albert Camus, a French Noble Prize winning author, philosopher and journalist, was born in Dréan, French Algeria. Known for literary landmarks, such as The Stranger, The Plague or The Fall, he is considered one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. Initially a close friend of Jean-Paul Sartre, Camus’ rejection […]

October 29

Goebbels, Reich and Art

On the 29th of October 1897,  Joseph Goebbels was born in Rheydt, Germany. He was one of the closest associates of Adolf Hitler and a zealously devoted propagandist of National Socialism in Nazi Germany. Between 1933 and 1945 he held the position of Reich Minister of Propaganda and contributed significantly to the initial success of […]

September 03

American Concentration Camps in Masumi Hayashi’s Photoramas

On the 3rd of September 1945, Japanese-American photographer Masumi Hayashi was born in Rivers, Arizona, in the Gila River War Relocation Camp, an internment camp built by the War Relocation Authority (WRA) for the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. Shortly after the end of the war, her family moved to Los Angeles, where she began her education, […]