Christie's held the biggest art auction in history recently, selling $853 million worth of art, led by a pair of Andy Warhol works featuring Elvis Presley and Marlon Brando. The impressive haul beat Christie's high pre-sale estimate of $836 million. It was the fourth successive time since May 2013 that the auction house's post-war and contemporary sale broke the record for the highest-ever total of a single sale.
Islamic State commanders are liable for war crimes on a "massive scale" in northeast Syria where they spread terror by beheading, stoning and shooting civilians and captured fighters, the UN said. Experts told world powers to make sure that commanders guilty of war crimes were held accountable by the International Criminal Court. The latest report is based on interviews with more than 300 men, women and children who fled or still live in Islamic State's northeastern stronghold, including Aleppo.
When the Asian tsunami washed over Indian Ocean rim countries on Boxing Day 2004, it left a trail of destruction in its wake, including a death toll that touched 230,000. Millions lost their jobs, food security and traditional livelihoods and many have spent the last decade trying to pick up the pieces of their lives. But for a small tribe in southern India, the tsunami didn’t bring devastation; instead, it brought hope. IPS reports.
After four decades of on-off war, South Sudan gained independence from North Sudan in July 2011. But stability did not last long and violence erupted last December, and now the world’s newest sovereign state is battling to contain AIDS. IPS reports.
The fate and future of tent cities in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia have been the subject of heated debate all year. Over 200 campers were evicted from a tent city in Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park last month, four months after the first tents were pitched. Another, smaller group of campers remains in Abbotsford’s Jubilee Park while they fight for their right to camp in BC Supreme Court. Megaphone’s news editor Katie Hyslop looks to America for answers, focusing on Seattle and Portland’s established tent cities for possible solutions.
“It’s like waves against the rocks. It’s going to take a really long time for people to understand why they think that way about us,” Tanya Tagaq says. She is one of many young, boundary-pushing Indigenous artists across Canada who are breathing new life into ongoing conversations addressing colonial harms. Megaphone editor Jackie Wong looks at how artists are steering the conversation in new directions while trying to undo a legacy that spans centuries and generations.
“Buying my album for $12 doesn’t mean you can finger me,” Iggy Azalea told fans in an interview earlier this year. The singer revealed she had stopped crowd-surfing and put a barrier between herself and audiences at live shows because she was repeatedly sexually violated. Sexual harassment at music gigs is a problem many women face on a night out, says Antonia Charlesworth in a report for The Big Issue in the North.
Living in poverty-stricken Bangladesh can be challenging. But with help from a poet, Suralini Fernando has found her calling there.
Sarah Mirk decided to write her book “Sex From Scratch” because, in her own words, the majority of what she found in the dating section of her local bookstore “sucked.” Mirk set out to write a book that, rather than offering a series of rules to follow, offers insight and real experiences from people navigating different types of relationships. At 28, Mirk is the online editor for Bitch Media. She has faked pregnancy to get the inside scoop on Oregon pregnancy resource centers, shared Oregon’s lesser known history through a comic series and worked with female Guantanamo veterans. Mirk spoke to Street Roots.
In a powerful story about redemptive forgiveness, The Contributor interviews a woman who is reconciling her mother's death at the hands of her father. Amanda Haggard’s story explores the limits of forgiveness, and how one woman learned to let go of the most painful experience of her life.
English rock musician Billy Idol first came to prominence in the1980s as lead singer with punk band, Generation X, and later as a solo artist he had a string of massive hits including White Wedding and Rebel Yell. Idol still tours and he spoke to The Big Issue UK about The Sex Pistols, shaping the music video and being sent back in time to kill, John Connor.
"I have become one with the other guys. We have all become closer and more comfortable. We have all shown our true selves, and the goodness that lies within us. The goodness that just needed to be cultivated, " says Jerrawe, an inmate participating in a project to rehabilitate prisoners in the USA. Inmates participate in the the The Actors' Gang Prison Project program at the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco. The program was created in 2006 to teach prisoners how to develop empathy, express themselves in a positive manner and create healthy relationships. Every year The Actors' Gang conducts these workshops inside a prison system where eight out of ten inmates will return to prison within three years of release. Photographer Mario Anzuoni gained unique access for Reuters.
In Mexico City, six young women are getting ready to publish their country’s first ever street paper and, if they’re successful, it will be the first publication of its kind anywhere in the world to launch through crowdfunding. Inspired by The Big Issue in the UK and supported by INSP, the team is led by painter and social activist, Maria Portilla. They aim to launch Mi Valedor (My Pal, in Mexican slang) during INSP’s #VendorWeek at the start of February 2015. Exclusive - by Laura Kelly, INSP’s communications manager.
“When I started to see people coming back without their limbs, I felt compelled to say something. It wasn’t enough just to march in protest. The politicians weren’t listening to the people,” says Canadian rock star Bryan Adams. The famous singer and musician is also an award-winning photographer and he explains why he had to capture the brutal truth about war with images of British veterans. From The Big Issue UK.
Writer Lesley Mofokeng catches up with Claire Danes and her fellow Homeland cast members in Cape Town, South Africa. “I love being here. It’s one of the most beautiful places I have been to on the planet. I travel pretty extensively and it is breathtakingly beautiful,” Danes says. The Big Issue South Africa reports.
Ozzy Osborne is the Englishman who became famous as lead singer of heavy metal pioneers, Black Sabbath. In a letter to his younger self, Osborne says: “The teenage Ozzy would never believe, not in a million years, that he could have the life I've had. How did that kid get from living in Aston, Birmingham to a house in Beverly Hills, California? I don't understand it.” By The Big Issue UK.
Environmental problems, by their nature, don’t respect borders. Air and sea pollution often affect countries that had nothing to do with their production. Many extreme weather events, like typhoons, strike more than one country and climate change affects everyone. These environmental problems can aggravate existing conflicts among countries. But they can also bring countries together in joint efforts to find solutions. IPS reports on how fishing is helping ease tensions between two bitter enemies, North Korea and South Korea.
He’s survived a zombie apocalypse and taunted Gotham City, now Cillian Murphy is channeling his inner Don Corleone. The Big Issue UK speaks to the Irish actor who was the only villain to feature in all three of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Murphy’s new role is a feared gangster in a new television series by the British Broadcasting Corporation. By Andrew Burns.
World leaders will gather this month at the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia. The topic they should (but probably won’t) address is soaring inequality around the globe. Alan Attwood writes an opinion piece for The Big Issue Australia.
Even with significant government spending, the South African schooling system is failing learners, according to Dr Emma van der Vliet. In an opinion piece for the Big Issue South Africa, she explores the issue and says: “Despite high hopes for a “brave new world” of education in post-apartheid South Africa, our schooling standards have deteriorated. So much so, in fact, that local results are much weaker than those of our poorer neighbour, Zimbabwe. This seems baffling on the surface, but let’s try to make some sense of it. How? By seeing how South Africa fares in six key areas.”