Turner Prize Winner Lubaina Himid Explores Black Identities In The Web Of Global Prejudice

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Zanzibar-born Lubaina Himid is the first black woman to ever win the Turner Prize. She’s also the oldest at age 63. Himid's artistic focus is the "forgotten creative legacies of the African diaspora", writes Vogue UK

The politically-charged images that comprise her Turner Prize exhibition drill deeply into prejudice. In 'Swallow Hard: The Lancaster Dinner Service' Lubaina takes the traditional British crockery of history’s elite and, by painting over it, reveals the mostly invisible stories of the servers. By leaving the intricate detailing of the original china around the edges, Himid reveals the complex framework of prejudice that Western society stands on cannot be erased. 

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In a piece with high-impact for AOC readers, 'Negative Positives' demonstrates how the media defines black identity. Using collaged pages from 'The Guardian', Himid exposes that even when black people like Jourdan Dunn receive positive coverage, they are surrounded by negativity. Dunn's image is embedded with race-related headlines like "Second police killing fuels US racial tensions." Ugandan midwives pose in a positive article, but next door on the front page "Gangs are getting younger and more violent, Met chief warns."

Both make for good headlines -- except they are visually and mentally intertwined, argues Lubaina. Unintentionally, just as slaves stood at the dinner table and were complicit in their captivity, today's culturally-celebrated black figures like Dunn participate unintentionally in their own corrupted image. 

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Alex Farquharson, director of Tate Britain and chair of the Turner Prize jury, said he believed Himid’s selection vindicated this year’s decision to lift the restriction on artists over 50 being nominated for the first time since 1991.

He said: “It reflects well on the motivation for lifting it which is an increasing sense that the work of older artists has been making considerable impact on what we’re looking at and how we’re thinking about art today.

“I think there is no longer an overwhelming focus on youth as equating to what’s innovative in contemporary art.”

Mad, Mad As Hell, & Madder Still: Hillary Women One Year Later Punch Our Way To The Voting Booths | Take Note, We Are Just Getting Started

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It's one year later -- one of the worst nights of my life. I drank more vodka than I want to admit. If Mika on Morning Joe opened her Bernie-loving trap on Nov. 9, I would throw a high heel at the TV and hopefully smash her away forever. 

Writing for Harper's Bazaar, Jennifer Wright reflects on that awful night a year later and the day after women hit the voting booths, inflicting serious pain on the Republican party in our first reckoning after Hillary's defeat. 

I watched as millions of women excitedly gathered in secret groups to support Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. There they talked about what an exciting moment in history this was. They did not venture out because their husbands might not like their vote, or Bernie voters might yell at them, or someone at their work might not like it. We saw at the time, I think, no contradiction in being posed on the edge of ultimate victory for womankind and also secreting ourselves away to make ourselves completely unobjectionable. We were always supposed to be unobjectionable.

So quietly, unobjectionably, we waited. We baked cakes, and chilled champagne, and put stickers on suffragettes graves. And so many of us thought how especially satisfying it would be to see a woman win against a man who was repeatedly accused of sexual harassment, who bragged about sexual assault, who seemed to embody the worst of what women encounter from men.

"It became clear that you can be the most qualified woman and still lose to the least qualified man."

On November 9, we woke up, and Donald Trump had been elected.

That was like a spell being broken. All across the land, women woke up and realized we were never going to get where we wanted to go by playing by the rules. Even if you walked the tightrope of acceptable feminine behavior perfectly, even if you managed to sidestep every trap laid for women, you would still never to get to the top. The bar for men was so low they could slither right over it.

And I think something inside us broke. Some dam within so many women that kept them quiet, that kept their anger tucked away, pent up all the times women smile politely when we feel like screaming. That dam burst.

And every furious moment we’d tried not to think about came flooding forth. We were awake, and we were righteously angry.

Audrey Azoulay Becomes First Jewish Head Of UNESCO As US & Israel Withdraw Support

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France's former culture minister Audrey Azoulay narrowly beat Qatar's frontrunner Hamad bin Abdoulaziz Al-Kawari to become UNESCO's first-ever Jewish director general. Her election came a day after the United States and Israel pulled out of the UN culture and education body, alleging anti-Israel bias. Azoulay grew up in Morocco and has family in Israel, writes The Israel Times

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley drew a hard line in announcing the US withdrawal from UNESCO on Thursday: “Its extreme politicization has become a chronic embarrassment,” she said, citing a “long line of foolish actions” including designating the Israeli-occupied ancient city of Hebron as a Palestinian world heritage site. Haley also criticized the organization for keeping Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad on a UNESCO human rights committee.

“U.S. taxpayers should no longer be on the hook to pay for policies that are hostile to our values and make a mockery of justice and common sense,” Haley said. The US currently is in arrears to the organization of about $500 million. 

UNESCO's outgoing director genera, Irina Bokova,commented to Foreign Policy in advance of Azoulay's election. 

“While I’m not entirely surprised by this move, I always thought something more was at stake,” Bokova said about the U.S. departure. She acknowledged that the U.S. departure, coupled with that of Israel, is “a blow to the organization. It will certainly take its toll.”

Rejecting the claim that UNESCO is anti-Israel, Bokova acknowledged that the US departure, with Israel, is "a blow to the organization. It will certainly take its toll."