Summer is just around the corner in Montreal; springtime is here, and with it the annual literary gathering known as the Blue Metropolis Festival, which recently welcomed to its stage renowned author, essayist and liberal activist Gore Vidal to set the tone for the literary happenings to come.
As the octogenarian was wheeled on to the dais, he paused, as if to announce himself to the crowd, and was overcome by the appreciative applause from the 600-plus crowd.
Before the night was over he was labelled as "cantankerous" by one young student, held up as the greatest U.S. president they never had by another, and would thoroughly entertain, if not enlighten, the congregated mass, though a dozen or so walked out before his talk had concluded.
Around last year's Superbowl, Dockers issued a "Man-ifesto" to promote its khaki line. "It's time to answer the call of manhood," Dockers insisted. "It's time to wear the pants." With safety razors seemingly having cornered the market on "revolution" in the west nowadays, perhaps it's no surprise that the most radical thing a middle-class man can do is buy a pair of beige trousers.
Beit Zatoun, the Toronto art space and cultural centre dedicated to Palestine, is a year old.
It opened its doors on January 30, 2010 for its first event, "Seven Days from a Gaza Diary," a performance for three female voices based on the diary kept by a young Palestinian woman during the invasion of Gaza, 12 months earlier in 2009. That night it was to be followed by piano improvisation by Toronto pianist, John Kameel Farah. And we -- the organizers -- held our breath, looking out our window mesmerized by the lights adorning our famous neighbour, Honest Ed's bargain store, wondering -- would anyone come to our evening? Could Beit Zatoun work?
Ghanaian sculptor Brahim El Anatsui's father was a master weaver who taught the tradition of strip-weaving Kente cloths to his sons. This textile technique has become a staple of El Anatsui's art: he amasses and refashions the debris from his community to create majestic, visual narratives that address his personal history and global issues like environmental sustainability. The North American premiere of his four-decade career retrospective When I Last Wrote to You About Africa is at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, having been extended to Feb. 27.