Would you accept a job knowing you had a probably life expectancy of six weeks? Me neither. Yet, during the Second World War many women did just that. Having been trained by undercover agencies, such as the Special Operations Executive (SOE), they were smuggled into countries occupied by the German Reich tasked to gather intelligence...
The big new exhibition at the Southbank Centre in London "History is Now" is meant to address British postwar history. It does not do so. As a Scot who voted 'No' in the referendum I found the experience of visiting this show profoundly depressing.
Do you devour history and historical fiction books? Then you're in for a feast in the next few months, as some of the most talented writers in these genres unveil their latest work.
The sexual nature of these books has aroused a storm of criticism and the eroticism is certainly problematic. Yet deciding where acceptable boundaries lie in this area is very difficult; after all, throughout history the Church has frequently found Song of Songs in the Bible to be too hot to handle.
The Serpentine Galleries have two new shows that each in their own way contemplate the abuse of power. Leon Golub is the elder statesman of this type of political art, though the phrase the Abuse of Power comes as no surprise is a well known Jenny Holzer work.
if mass popularism of BDSM is coming, some of our friends and acquaintances are going to get into it, or come out that they're already into it. Then, being supportive friends, it's going to impact our life too. With Fifty Shades of Grey as a point of reference, we'll get theme park BDSM.
In America, Tom Paine's writings spurred the revolution for independence. Or closer to our own time; consider how the Nazis burnt books of which that they were scared. It's easy to see that books have power if they are being fought over because of the ideas they contain.
When everybody is trying to understand today how Jihadi John made the transition from a shy nice kid to a cold merciless killer, music composer Purcell and playwriter John Dryden already attempted to grasp such a thorny issue in the late 1600s.
There's a rush on at Hobbycraft, Facebook is filled with kids in cardboard, and A&E is experiencing higher than average craft-glue related injuries. Yes folks it's World Book Day, the date circled red on every parent's calendar
I am aware that exams and qualifications are the currency of success these days; it is how it is. But that is the easy path is it not? We can coach, we can cram, we can meet the bright but reluctant working class scholar half-way by softening the questions. Then we can celebrate.
Apathy is a strange curse. I recently conversed with a friend over the diminishing motivation of my generation. It's not that we're lazy, nor are we disinterested in the workings of our planet, but there is a heightened degree of the 'It will never happen' attitude.
I recently had the good fortune to play the sole female character, 'Curley's Wife' in Steinbeck's classic Of Mice and Men at Birmingham Repertory Theatre.
No one says they want to get rid of the NHS. Everyone praises it, across all parties. It is about as powerful a symbol of goodness that we have, so it would be too dangerous not to. But for decades now, there has nevertheless been a systematic undermining of its core values.
Sukina (my band member) and I often joke about performing to new audiences and how it takes about three songs before they get over the shock of hijabis running across the stage, telling them to throw their peace signs up.
Human Rights, Human Wrongs at The Photographers' Gallery is a thought-provoking photography exhibition that examines the legacy of iconic images. Spanning the years from 1945 to the early 1990s, the exhibition reflects the major political upheavals, conflicts, wars and struggles against racism and colonisation that became particularly urgent after the Second World War...
My art practice is like a constantly evolving self-help course where I am as much the therapist as the client. The intent of this body of work was to expose myself to such extreme levels of sugar and junk food that I would no longer want to eat it again...