Category: Culture

Hidden treasures on Sussex shelves – the joy of reading

Tom Serpell

Sussex is rich in literary heritage, having been home to some of the greats, like Henry James, Virginia Woolf, Rudyard Kipling and A.A.Milne. The pleasures of reading are extolled in Tom Serpell’s latest article, prompted by his grandson’s new love of books. He discusses the importance of libraries and independent bookshops where reading can be encouraged, as well as new online media platforms.

Festival of Europe comes to the Brighton Fringe

Tamsin Shasha

The Festival of Europe is coming to Brighton on Sunday 29 May, with an afternoon of debate, poetry and music. Local MP Caroline Lucas will chair a discussion about democracy under fire, and the event features live music by the Undead Musicians Club.

Growing up Catholic: the teenage years

Claire Hill

In the follow up to the account of her early Catholic childhood, Claire Hill looks back on her strict upbringing and recounts some anecdotes from her teenage years in the 1960s, when she tried, usually unsuccessfully, to go to parties against her father’s wishes.

Look again… at the legendary hawthorn tree

Ginny Smith

The familiar hawthorn tends to escape our attention except during a brief period in the spring when it is covered with brilliant white blossom and lightens a hedgerow with its flowers. But to ignore the hawthorn is to ignore the extraordinary weight of folklore, myth, history and literature linked to it.

Christmas Tales from Elsewhere

Various Writers

Among writers’ Christmas memories are a magical Brexit escape to Spain, an expat boy’s first experience of snow, a night on the tiles and Chistmas Day in a War Zone.

NEW WRITER

Fixing our faulty food system: how community food partnerships work

Ali Ghanimi
People cooking in Community Kitchen at Brighton & Hove Food Partnership

Across Sussex, local food partnerships are springing up to address the myriad problems stemming from the UK’s flawed food system that is not only making us ill, but also harming our planet. And our central government is lagging far behind these growing grassroots community groups…

Joni Mitchell’s Blue at 50 sparks memories of travelling and music

Vivienne Griffiths
Joni Mitchell's album "Blue" was released 50 years ago in 1971

When Joni Mitchell’s album Blue came out in June 1971, the author Vivienne Griffiths, herself then an aspiring folk singer, had not long returned to the UK from an exciting year of travels in the USA. “Even now,” she says, “I only have to hear the opening chords of the songs, with their haunting music and evocative lyrics, and it conjures up this memorable time in my life.”

Playing For England: Football and national identity

Mo Kanjilal
Image showing the England football team kneeling on the pitch with Priti Patel arriving in a tank and Boris Johnson streaking topless

The wonderful fact is that this team really does represent what it is to be English today. They represent Englishness and belonging. They inspire those of us from immigrant backgrounds to embrace being English and to be proud to support the team. Sport does have a way of doing that. And it is especially needed for a country that has been so divided in recent years.

Our Great British Seaside: a love affair celebrated in art

Rick Dillon

The British seaside is enjoying a renaissance this year due to Covid overseas travel curbs. Back in the day, far fewer holidaymakers went abroad, instead flocking to the nearest bit of coastline for fun regardless of sun, as can be seen in a new exhibition at Hastings Contemporary Seaside Modern featuring work by a range of 20th century artists span-ning 50 years, from the 1920s to the 1970s.

PODCAST

Pride podcast special with Brighton MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle

Sussex Bylines
Brighton Pride August 2019

In this week’s Bylines Network podcast, Chris Davis in Brighton and co-host Connor Lamb in Newcastle (North-East Bylines) have a lively and revealing discussion about what Pride means to them and share their personal experiences of growing up queer. They also interview the Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, who is only the second British MP to be open about living with HIV. Their conversation proves fascinating, covering everything from the history of Pride to its subsequent commercialisation, and the empty virtue signalling or “Pride-washing” that some corporations are now guilty of. And they don’t shy away from asking perhaps the most contentious question of them all: which Brighton Pride headliner was better – Kylie or Britney?

OUR FUTURE, OUR VOICES

Sussex Bylenses: Spotlight on new young photographer

David Holden
Photo of the Brighton beach by Ben Muir aged 12

Sussex Bylenses is pleased to showcase the work of 12-year-old Ben Muir, a young photographer from Steyning. Photo editor David Holden writes: “Ben’s composition and eye for detail demonstrate a natural talent usually only achieved after some years of practice.”

NEW WRITER

Bum note – does Johnson’s government hate choral singing?

Ruth McDermott
Photo of a Heathfield Choral Society concert from before Covid

Many activities that prolong exposure to heavy breathing have been given the go ahead for indoor activity, such as working out at the gym, laughing with mates down the pub or chatting over a meal at a local restaurant, not to mention thousands of fans gathering at a football stadium to watch a game, no doubt doing what fans will – hugging, celebrating, chanting and singing! So why has the Government banned all amateur choirs from rehearsing indoors?

What legacy do you want to leave?

Tom Serpell
An adoring grandfather holds up his infant grandchild, who is smiling back

A retired, lifelong left-of-centre activist ponders what constitutes a meaningful legacy, and worries his generation is failing to leave the next with the right kind of wealth…

OUR FUTURE, OUR VOICES

Brighton Fringe: performers raring to go

Alivia Arief
Mural in Brighton, titled 'Brighton Fringe'

Many actors, directors, producers and technicians have suffered at the hands of Covid-19 and the impact that the virus has had on the economy, but also owing to live performances being banned during lockdowns.

Ways I listen to music

Bruce Smeath

“Leave Spotify on and go live your life for a couple of hours. Then come back and see what Spotify has selected for you. 90% won’t do much for you but that other 10% … that could be life-changing.”

LONGER READ

Walking in the Downs – a lockdown odyssey

James Joughin
James Joughin and his dog Ringo on the South Downs, summer 2020

“After slouching around Preston Park a few times I was getting bored and it was then, with the startling visibility of those early lockdown weeks, that I noticed the distant peaks glistening on the horizon, and hatched a vague plan to head up there and ‘explore the South Downs Way’ as my tattered Brighton guidebook maintained I should.”

A Beleaguered British Corporation: the BBC under fire

Ginny Smith

The BBC is under threat as never before, as right-wing organisations and MPs work to lower its status in the eyes of the nation, while people in the younger age groups are switching off. Solutions for this problem exist – but who has the courage to implement them?

Dinners to comfort distraught Remainers

Ginny Foster

A group of East Sussex Remainers found a foodie way to not only beat the Brexit blues, but to continue to travel Europe even during lockdown. Ginny Foster reports on a Covid-secure idea to share good food, drink and company.

Creative adventures in lockdown

Tamsin Shasha

Theatre maker Tamsin Shasha is passionate about the power of story-telling through live performance. Here she talks about two theatrical adventures during lockdown, in Brighton and in Berlin.