Arts & Culture

Fight the power: exploring the connections between music and politics

Music and politics have always had a strong relationship going back to the days of the Civil Rights Movement, the anti-war movement, and campaigns to combat racism. These days, artists such as Childish Gambino are pushing the boundaries visually and musically when it comes to using their art as a political vehicle. Sam Smith spoke with Patrycja Rozbicka about the intersection between music and politics.

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Why should we learn Te Reo Māori?

Stephen May outlines why it is important New Zealanders should learn Te Reo Māori in the wake of debate around whether the language should be made compulsory in schools.

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Is Netflix killing the cinema?

The rise in popularity of on-demand video streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime is increasingly seen as a threat to the 113-year-old ritual of going to a cinema to see a movie. James Robins spoke to Dr Karina Aveyard, Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, author of “Lure of the Big Screen: Cinema in Rural Australia and the United Kingdom” and co-editor of “Watching Films: New Perspectives on Movie-going, Exhibition and Reception,” about whether Netflix might kill the cinema.

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Conspiracy Clash: What’s behind it?

Flat Earthism and the idea that human activity is not responsible for climate change are two of the most prevalent conspiracy theories today. Both have been increasing in popularity since the late 20th century but what is behind this conspiracy clash?

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What is context? ▶

Associate Professor Mark Amsler from the School of Cultures, Languages and Linguistics at the University of Auckland talks about his big question, “What is context?”

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Are we living in an age of excess?

America has entered an age of excess, according to Jay Slosar. Driven by a maddening quest for perfection, technology, deregulation, and a superficial, and often inaccurate mass media, America’s national psychology has become increasingly narcissistic. Maria Armoudin discusses whether we are living in an age of excess with Slosar. 

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Who really was Martin Luther King Jr? 🔊

While much of the country remembers Martin Luther King, Jr. as primarily a leader of civil rights and a great orator, others say he stood for so much more. As America pays tribute to King fifty years after his death, many aspects of his life, legacy & philosophy remain either unknown or conveniently forgotten. Maria Armoudian discusses the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with David Garrow, Joshua Inwood, and Thomas Jackson.

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Does New Zealand’s history matter?

New Zealand historian Dr. Felicity Barnes takes exception to the idea that New Zealand’s past is somehow “too small, too parochial” to compete with bigger, global stories.

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History as battleground: How does memory shape today’s politics?

How people remember historical events helps to shape the future of the world. Some facts may be conveniently dropped, or information may be framed in a way that creates a different mythological memory of the past. In this way memory is itself a battlefield where competing narratives seek to become the official ones, and then they affect the politics and policies of the future. Several scholars have begun to study what they call memory entrepreneurs and how those entrepreneurs use historical memory to forward their political agendas.

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Is Google dangerous?

How has internet titan Google changed our knowledge, our politics, and our lives over the last two decades? Siva Vaidhyanathan argues that Google affects the information we gather, jeopardises our personal privacy, and hinders public projects.

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Has Black History Month had its intended impact? 🔊

As Black History Month ends for another year, has it had its intended impact? Maria Armoudian explores this question and revisits the 1920 founding of Black History Month and the pivotal civil rights campaign in Birmingham with V.P. Franklin.

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What was the relationship like between Presidents’ Eisenhower and Nixon? 🔊

Whatever closeness may develop between the President of the United States and their Vice-President rarely extends beyond their term in office. But President’s Eisenhower and Nixon seemed inexplicably bound to one another partly as a result of Nixon’s political tactics and also from the development of family ties. Jeffery Frank says it wasn’t a particularly good relationship, but it was a relationship that endured and shaped the United States politics and policy for decades to come.

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What are the differences between race and ethnicity? 🔊

What are the differences between race and ethnicity? How is race distinct from ethnicity? What has race and ethnicity meant in politics, education, and society? Maria Armoudian discusses the concepts of race and ethnicity with David Livingstone Smith and Garrett Albert Duncan.

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How has Hollywood influenced American politics? 🔊

In 1918 the leaders of the FBI William Burns and J Edgar Hoover expressed deep concern about the power of movie stars to affect politics. As a result, they began a surveillance program to watch over those they thought might be radicals. Since then it has long seemed the Hollywood crowd was ideologically left, however, Steven Ross says that is actually not true.

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