Arts & Culture

We must make moral choices about how we relate to social media apps

The Social Dilemma/Netflix Dion Forster, Stellenbosch University Recently a South African radio show asked, “If you had to choose between your mobile phone and your pet, which would choose?” Think about that for a moment. Many callers responded they would choose their phone. I was shocked… But to be honest, I give more attention to my phone than to my …

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Netflix’s ‘Cuties’ ignites the wrong debate on young girls’ sexuality

The coming-of-age French indie film ‘Cuties’ sparked a backlash because of a poster that went viral. (Netflix/BAC Films)

The coming-of-age French indie film ‘Cuties’ sparked a backlash because of a poster that went viral. (Netflix/BAC Films) Rebecca Sullivan, University of Calgary The outrage over Cuties, the feature-length debut by Franco-Senegalese filmmaker Maïmouna Doucouré, says a lot about how poorly we discuss youth sexuality. The film, originally called Mignonnes in French, is meant as an indictment of the sexualization …

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One skill that doesn’t deteriorate with age

Reading and writing can prevent cognitive decline. AJP/Shutterstock.com

Reading and writing can prevent cognitive decline. AJP/Shutterstock.com Roger J. Kreuz, University of Memphis When Toni Morrison died on Aug. 5, the world lost one of its most influential literary voices. But Morrison wasn’t a literary wunderkind. “The Bluest Eye,” Morrison’s first novel, wasn’t published until she was 39. And her last, “God Help the Child,” appeared when she was …

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Why the Child’s Rights Act still doesn’t apply throughout Nigeria

Where children are concerned, all actions must be in their best interests. shutterstock

Where children are concerned, all actions must be in their best interests. shutterstock Usang Maria Assim, University of the Western Cape Nigeria adopted the Child’s Rights Act in 2003, giving legal consent to both the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. The country’s constitution states …

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How COVID-19 is changing the English language

The coronavirus forced the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary to break with tradition. Illustration by Anurag Papolu/The Conversation; dictionary photo by Spauln via Getty Images and model of COVID-19 by fpm/iStock via Getty Images , CC BY-SA

The coronavirus forced the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary to break with tradition. Illustration by Anurag Papolu/The Conversation; dictionary photo by Spauln via Getty Images and model of COVID-19 by fpm/iStock via Getty Images , CC BY-SA Roger J. Kreuz, University of Memphis In April, the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary did something unusual. For the previous 20 …

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Former Byzantine churches are being converted to mosques – this threatens Istanbul’s cosmopolitan identity

Hagia Sofia. Baucys/Shutterstock.com

Hagia Sofia. Baucys/Shutterstock.com Ilay Romain Ors, University of Oxford and Tugba Tanyeri Erdemir, University of Pittsburgh Two former Byzantine churches of Istanbul, the famed Hagia Sophia and the Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora, which served as museums for decades, have been converted to mosques in the space of a month. This has raised concerns. Istanbul’s Greek Orthodox community …

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Hudeide: a monumental musician who uplifted Somali life

Al Eyad/Flickr

Hudeide: a monumental musician who uplifted Somali life Al Eyad/Flickr Ahmed I Samatar, Macalester College There are many attributes that capture Somali identity, however none seem so deep and abiding as these two: constant hyper anxiety over scarce rainfall, and uncommon talent in poetic composition and artistic performance. The first underscores the ecological brittleness of the Sahel landscape; the latter …

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The poetic power of Idir, the artist who took Algerian music to the world

Salvatore di Nolfiepa/EFE/EPA

Salvatore di Nolfiepa/EFE/EPA Hugo Hadji, SOAS, University of London The death of Algerian icon Idir has brought an important chapter of Algerian music to a close. Through his brilliant career, Idir modernised and promoted the richness of Kabyle melodies and poetry, popularised North African culture, and advocated for unity and tolerance both in Algeria and in France. Looking at Idir’s …

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Three ancient cities to rival London, Paris and New York

Daviegunn/Wikimedia commons

Daviegunn/Wikimedia commons Zena Kamash, Royal Holloway London, Paris and New York are global cities: modern hubs for travel, technology and trade, their names and images echo around the globe, capturing our imaginations with their distinctive histories, famous residents and iconic landmarks. Cities, such as these, which connect with the wider world become mixing pots for a rich interplay of diverse …

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