Art that attacks the establishment is not new. The Dadaists in Berlin from 1919 held a series of events aimed at the ruling class — they hung from the ceiling carcasses of dead pigs dressed in the uniforms of generals of the German Imperial army; they released a herd of cows among the critics at one of their openings.
Just as the horror at the First World War led to Dada so the current state of Russia has given rise to an art fuelled by anger, Pussy Riot being the most famous.
When a group of us visited St Petersburg and Moscow last month to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution we were not expecting much by way of official commemoration. We were pleasantly surprised to find lots of exhibitions marking the anniversary and even more gratified to discover that many portray the revolution sympathetically.
The Tin Drum
Bristol Old Vic; Truro’s Hall for Cornwall and Shoreditch Town Hall in November
Gunther Grass’s classic postwar novel gets the musical treatment from Kneehigh theatre company. Three year old Oscar (portrayed here by a puppet) refuses to grow and communicates only by beating his drum as a protest against the turmoil in his family life and his home city of Danzig. Charles Hazlewood’s innovative score combines electronica with songs reminiscent of pre-war German cabaret.
You’ve got to hand it to Enter Shikari, these four friends from Hatfield. Few bands from the British alternative scene have managed to achieve such dizzying heights of acclaim and success while still maintaining such fresh ideas, social awareness and playful sense of humour.
Sathnam’s mum has found him a nice Sikh woman who she assures him looks just like Kylie Minogue. Or maybe he would like the one who allegedly resembles Cheryl Cole. Meanwhile, however, Sathnam is struggling to find the courage to tell his parents that he is planning to break with family tradition and marry a non-Sikh white woman.
Mudbound is a film about war, racism, brutality and change. It is also a film about family, love and work. With great performances from the cast which includes Carey Mulligan and Mary J Blige, the film beautifully weaves between World War Two and the post-war period in the US South.