Day: June 19, 2020

Free Food, Free Speech and Free of Police: Inside Seattle’s ‘Autonomous Zone’

A gathering on Wednesday, June 10, 2020, in the Seattle neighborhood of Capitol Hill, where protesters have established an "autonomous zone." (Ruth Fremson/The New York Times)
A gathering on Wednesday, June 10, 2020, in the Seattle neighborhood of Capitol Hill, where protesters have established an “autonomous zone.” (Ruth Fremson/The New York Times)

SEATTLE — On the streets next to a police station in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, protesters and officers spent a week locked in a nightly cycle of standoffs, at times ending with clouds of tear gas.

But facing a growing backlash over its dispersal tactics in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, the Seattle Police Department this week offered a concession: Officers would abandon their building, board up the windows and let the protesters have free rein outside.

In a neighborhood that is the heart of the city’s art and culture — threatened these days as rising tech wealth brings in gentrification — protesters seized the moment. They reversed the barricades to shield the liberated streets and laid claim to several city

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a rare chance to gasp at Iran’s many splendours

Samira Ahmed by the Bridge of Shadirwan in Shushtar - BBC
Samira Ahmed by the Bridge of Shadirwan in Shushtar – BBC

Samira Ahmed was granted a rare opportunity to journey into the heart of Iran for BBC Four’s Art of Persia, and she didn’t waste it. At many points in this first of three instalments I found myself gasping at the sheer magnificence of the sites she was showing us, and the beauty of the objects found there. The vast, desert ziggurat at Chogha Zanbil, relic of a lost world; the ruins of Persepolis and the grand tomb of its ruler, Darius the Great. These are sights that few Westerners will get to see in real life.

A lesser presenter would have been content to make this into a travel programme, with the occasional observation about the Iranian people. But Ahmed is clever and curious, and you sense that this is one of the great projects of her career.

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Brazilian Pop Star Anitta Announces New Deal With Warner Music

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Brazilian singer-songwriter and actress Anitta has officially signed to Warner Records in the United States. In an announcement on Thursday, the multilingual superstar revealed that she is in the studio recording her U.S. debut, set for release later this year. The album will be executive produced by Ryan Tedder, the OneRepublic singer-songwriter turned producer behind Grammy-winning albums by Adele and Taylor Swift. 

“It’s the most important moment in my career,” Anitta said in a statement. “Now, I can show more about my art and culture to the world internationally. I can’t wait for everyone to hear all the new music I’ve been working on, which will be a fresh blend of both Spanish and English.”

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“We’re thrilled to partner with the global Warner Music Latin team to bring Anitta’s incredible music to the U.S. and beyond,” said Warner Records’

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Though COVID-19 tests our resilience, art and culture will keep us strong

The arts are taking it on the chin right now. As a recent headline in Andres Viglucci’s recent story “Miami’s arts and culture were flourishing. Now, of course, they’re being battered by the coronavirus” declared. Dennis Scholl, head of Oolite Arts, eloquently followed up in an April 12 oped, “Art will get us through this pandemic. Support the Miami artists who create it” with a call to come to the aid of local artists.

In that spirit, I write to say, Miami’s arts and culture will be resilient. Through this challenging moment, art is the one thing that we all will need to make sense of our time sheltering-in-place, “togetheralone” and working from home.

Books, films, music, videos of dancers, actors and performers, and live DJ sets on a variety of social media all are acts of creativity that bind us together and will get us through these traumatic times.

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