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Observer/Burgess Prize shortlist - Ventriloquy of the Body Electric

Posted on Feb 28th 2015

The following piece was shortlisted for the 2014  Observer/Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism 

Ventriloquy of the Body Electric: Adrienne Truscott

Nudity in live performance, in these chilly British Isles, often deploys...   Read More

Malala and Miley

Posted on Oct 23rd 2013

What do I have in common with Shami Chakrabarti, Kathy Lette and Bianca Jagger? The prosaic answer is that we all had to join long, patient queues to check in our bags to the (almost) overwhelmed cloakroom at the Queen Elizabeth Hall last Sunday night, before joining the audience to hear Malala Yousafzai, possibly the most famous young woman on the planet right now. (Actually I’m not...   Read More

Sophia Gardiner’s ‘Feminislam’

Posted on Oct 10th 2013

On first viewing, Manchester artist Sophia Gardiner’s Feminislam   (2013, pictured below) led me rapidly through three stages of response. Firstly: wow, what a wonderful idea. Secondly, what a...   Read More

Getting yourself arrested

Posted on Aug 22nd 2013

Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP, was asked this week why she ‘got herself arrested’ at the anti-fracking protest in Balcombe, West Sussex. This is an intriguing question, as was highlighted by Lucas herself. It’s a bit like getting yourself pregnant, or getting yourself deported – it’s hard to achieve it without some degree of external...   Read More

Truncheons and beer bottles

Posted on Aug 08th 2013

The internet explosion of verbal violence towards women (hello Twitter) that is currently demanding attention across the media makes me think of the violence with which the Suffragette protests were met: different century, same idea, the deployment of threatened or real assault on women who insist on making their voices heard, with the brutally simple objective of shutting them up. One of...   Read More