The Johannesburg Art Fair recently showcased the works of 400 African contemporary artists, attracting more than 10,000 visitors. Organizer Ross Douglas there had been an explosion of interest in African art in recent years.
“Africa has always had a strong tribal art and a strong craft component, and that will always stay,” he said.
“But that doesn’t mean there can’t be a contemporary market existing alongside that, and if you look in South Africa at the contemporary market in the last four or five years, it’s absolutely exploded. If you look at the number of young black artists doing well, making a living, it’s extraordinary. Five years ago it just didn’t exist,” Douglas said.
Read more from CNN.
Abhisit Vejjajiva, Thailand‘s prime minister, declared a state of emergency in Bangkok today, handing the army broad powers to restore order after anti-government protesters broke into a parliament building.
As a Black Hawk helicopter with five soldiers armed with M-16 rifles flew ministers to safety, other politicians scaled the compound’s walls to escape the most chaotic protest occurring in several weeks of demonstrations.
The protesters want Abhisit to dissolve the government and call elections within 15 days. Read more in the Guardian.
If you listen to climate scientists — and despite the relentless campaign to discredit their work, you should — it is long past time to do something about emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, economist Paul Krugman writes. If we continue with business as usual, they say, we are facing a rise in global temperatures that will be little short of apocalyptic. And to avoid that apocalypse, we have to wean our economy from the use of fossil fuels, coal above all.
But is it possible to make drastic cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions without destroying our economy?
In what follows, Nobel Prize-winner Krugman will offer a brief survey of the economics of climate change or, more precisely, the economics of lessening climate change. I’ll try to lay out the areas of broad agreement as well as those that remain in major dispute. Read more in The New York Times.
The United States spent billions on aid to Haiti in recent years, but found it difficult to show significant impact.
But a new $1 billion aid plan to be unveiled tomorrow at an international donor conference will demonstrate a new approach. The U.S. plans to build the capacity of the Haitian government, not just work around it.
The goal is to develop the framework of a modern state — helping to reconstruct the Haitian government, building new ministry offices, spending money to help Haiti create building codes, regulatory systems and anticorruption standards. U.S. funds would be used to train and pay Haitian officials.
“We are completely focused on how to build the capacity of the Haitian government effectively,” said Cheryl Mills, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff. “That is something everyone has recognized as being one of the failures of aid in the past.” Read more in The Washington Post.
For decades, British epidemiologist Richard Wilkinson has studied why some societies are healthier than others. He found that what the healthiest societies have in common is not that they have more—more income, more education, or more wealth—but that what they have is more equitably shared.
In fact, it turns out that not only disease, but a whole host of social problems ranging from mental illness to drug use are worse in unequal societies. Read more of the interview with Wilkinson in Yes!