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Book review: Motherwell: a Girlhood by Deborah Orr

Motherwell: a Girlhood (2020), a memoir by journalist Deborah Orr (1962-2019) begins with a vivid depiction of the Ravenscraig steelworks‘: “denatured, slightly hell-like, hyper-mechanised” ... High industrial Gothic,”  Ravenscraig once dominated the landscape and lives of the residents of Motherwell,  the working class, industrial town where she grew up in Scotland’s Clyde Valley. Her…

Film review: Soul

What is the meaning of life? Soul, a new animated film from the Pixar Animation Studios explores this hefty question through the journey and experiences of the central protagonist Joe Gardner, a jazz musician from an African American background. Soul is the first Pixar film to feature an African American lead character. The film is co-written and directed by Pete Docter (Up and Inside Out) and Kemp…

Exhibition review: Evgenia Arbugaeva: Hyperborea - Stories from the Russian Arctic

As winter approaches and the days get shorter spare a thought for the individuals featured in Hyberborea: Stories from the Russian Arctic, a series of photographs by Evgenia Arbugaeva currently on exhibition at the Photographers’ Gallery. Of the subjects, some are indigenous to the remote and harsh environment (winter temperatures reaching -28 degrees Celsius) while others have moved to the Russian…

Review: Mrs America

TV miniseries, Mrs America created by Dahvi Waller for FX on Hulu productions, depicts real events that take place in 1971 when Richard Nixon was president of the United States. It focuses on Republican author and activist Phyllis Schlafly who from 1971 to 1982 coordinated a robust opposition to the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) championed by the Women’s Liberation Movement.

The…

Talk: Doris Derby at The Photographers' Gallery

A fortnight before “lockdown” people gathered for an event at The Photographers’ Gallery to hear photographer, teacher and activist Doris Derby talk about her life and work to artist Hannah Collins. Little did we know how much our world was about to change in the weeks to come: in hindsight the event was unique and well-timed. Derby’s pictures are part of the “We Will Walk: Art and Resistance in…