Culture

The Turner Prize

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The Turner Prize is awarded every year to British artists. It’s organised by the Tate and traditionally the nominated artists’ work is displayed in Tate Britain in London. This year the exhibition is at the Turner Contemporary Gallery, Margate.

The four shortlisted artists are Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani.

Sorry We Missed You

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Ken Loach’s new film is a scrupulous investigation into the life of a delivery driver for the fictional Parcels Delivered Faster. Ricky, a Mancunian who has moved to Newcastle to build a life with his partner and young family, has been unable to get work in the construction industry. A friend suggests he gets into couriering and recommends him to the depot manager.

Ricky is partially sold on the myth of “self-employment” — really the idea that he will have more control over his work and therefore his life, on a decent wage.

Harriet

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Harriet Tubman became legendary in her lifetime as “Moses” who led so many of her people out of slavery to freedom. She was the leading “conductor” on the Underground Railroad escape route that ran in the 1850s.

Many risked their lives guiding or sheltering escaped slaves, but Tubman, who had escaped herself in 1849, went further — personally returning to Maryland to lead escape parties. She personally took at least 70 slaves out and gave instructions that allowed another 50 to escape.

Spotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History

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The first few episodes of this seven-part series, tracing the 30 years of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, lean heavily on sensational claims, such as Ian Paisley financing loyalist bombings in the late 1960s and rare film footage of Martin McGuinness handling weapons, not all of which are as dramatic as the filmmakers would like to suggest. A large part of the second episode was taken up with evidence that Gerry Adams was in the IRA, which will come as news to no-one.

Five things to do or see this month

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Top Boy
Season 3 on Netflix now
Six years after the second season ended on Channel 4, Netflix has brought back Top Boy, this time with added violence, intensity and politics. The east London-set drama follows Ashley Walters’ Dushane (lying low in Jamaica), and Sully (played by grime artist Kano), who is in prison awaiting his release. Dealing with drugs, racism, refugees and police violence, it is grim but powerful viewing.

Youth Without God

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A prolific playwright, Ödön von Horváth wrote his first novel Youth Without God in 1938, a year before his death. He remained in Germany for a few years after the Nazis gained power, but was a fierce anti-Nazi. Von Horváth had been involved in street fights with the fascists and at various times was in critical dialogue with the German Communist Party (KPD).

Hoodies All Summer

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East Ham’s grime pioneer, Kano fires back against a broken system, racism and wealth inequality in his sixth album – Hoodies All Summer. After the release of Made in the Manor in 2016, Kano once again has solidified his position as one of grime’s best.

Having recently featured in Ronan Bennet’s Top Boy on Netflix, all eyes have been on Kano. His emotional, passionate performance continues into the album, expressing the desperation people can feel as a result of the system they are born into.

Eve

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MC Rapsody’s third album follows Laila’s Wisdom, which was nominated for Best Rap Album at 2017’s Grammys, helping open doors for other female rappers who at the time had not won in this category since 1997. Rapsody continues to explore and critique the reasons for this in the feminist hip-hop experience that is Eve.

Eve is largely a commentary on the portrayal of black women, particularly in the rap industry, as well as the systems which have and continue to oppress black people. Permeating the album are strong themes of slavery and freedom, sexism, unity and sisterhood.

All too believable tale of trauma

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Unbelievable is a quietly devastating drama based on the true story of an 18 year old woman who in 2008 reported to police that she had been raped at knife-point by an intruder, only to be disbelieved and eventually even charged with wasting police time.

Unlike too many other crime dramas, there is no glamorisation of brutal sex crimes and serial predators here. Unbelievable focuses instead on the trauma suffered by the young woman, Marie Adler (played by Booksmart’s Kaitlyn Dever) and other victims of what turns out to be a serial rapist.

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