Culture

Five things to do or see this month

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BBC Proms
Royal Albert Hall and other venues, BBC iplayer,
13 July to 8 September
The two main themes of this year’s Proms concerts are 1918 and the celebration of women composers. Composers to look out for are Lili Boulanger (six works over four Proms) and singer songwriter Laura Mvula. Youssou Ndour & Le Super Étoile de Dakar bring a mix of Cuban rumba, Hip Hop, jazz and soul in a late night concert. Tickets from £6.

Luke Cage, season 2

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Harlem super hero Luke Cage (Mike Colter) has cleared his name, but is broke and wondering whether to accept a sponsorship deal from Nike as the show’s second season opens.

The first season came out before the film Black Panther with its largely black cast and concerns. In fact it links much more into the radical traditions of black nationalism, Malcolm X and the Panthers. Unlike Black Panther, Luke Cage is not rich. Another character says “just because you’re woke, you don’t have to be broke!”, advising him to become a “hero for hire”.

Translations

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How does empire work? It doesn’t just involve a physical seizure of territory, it also seeks to eliminate cultures and memories embodied in the people they are subjugating. Think of how the Turkish state is at war with the Kurdish culture and language. Or of how the Russian Stalinist regime — in total opposition to what Lenin had argued —outlawed minority languages. And if you’re looking for imperialists at work you can always be sure that Britain was in the frontline.

Generation Wealth

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Lauren Greenfield is an American photographer and filmmaker who documents culture on a global scale. Her previous films include The Queen of Versailles, about a billionaire’s scheme to create a vast mansion in Florida styled after the French palace; and Thin — following four young women being treated in a specialist eating disorders centre, again in Florida.

Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land

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Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land sidesteps reductionistic or didactic discourse, instead offering viewers concrete and politically engaged routes into a complex history. The British Library brings us a commendably detailed account of the history of what has become known as the Windrush Generation. It is an account which acknowledges this history as one defined by oppression, racism and resistance.

London 1938

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“We will from now on lead an unrelenting war of purification...against the last elements which have displaced our Art.” With these words mirroring his views on race, Adolf Hitler opened his exhibition Entartete Kunst or Degenerate Art in Munich in 1937. This was the centrepiece of his campaign against modernism, a movement which he loathed and regarded as undermining the Aryan values central to Nazi ideology.

Truth is in the eye of the editor

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A decade of austerity and political crisis has led to a revival of interest in documentary photography. The cynicism about photography’s ability to expose truths about society, prevalent in the 1980s and 1990s, has waned. In its place is a growing awareness of the power of socially engaged photographic practices.

Inevitably, past examples are looked to as models, and the photography of the depression era of the 1930s is perhaps the most significant.

Robert Indiana, 1928-2018

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The death has been announced of two of the bastions of the pop art movement, the artist Robert Indiana and the magazine Interview. Together they signal the final collapse of an art movement born from the detritus of commercial capitalism and, in some of its practitioners, a critique of capitalism using capital’s own techniques and tools. Its demise can be summed up in Robert Indiana’s own life story and how his art has been rewritten to suit the 21st century art market.

He was born Robert Clark in New Castle, Indiana, on

13 September 1928. After three years in the US

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