in Culture Digest | 24 NOV 17

Weekend Reading List

The problem with Apu, time-travelling with the sari and the Instagrammable moment’s predecessor: what to read this weekend

in Culture Digest | 24 NOV 17

Humphry Repton, Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening, 1795. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

  • Hua Hsu in the New Yorker writes about South Asian representation in the American imagination and the soft racism of Apu from The Simpsons: 'What’s worse, really: a guy doing a voice, or the haunting, suffocating sound of everyone else laughing along?’
     
  • How can wearing a sari – a garment which seems to live ‘in an ethnographic past’ – anticipate a future instead? Rajat Singh in Vestoj looks at the sari's potential for reinvention, and challenging the boundaries of who can wear it.
     
  • Worrying instances of censorship in Brazil point to an emboldened far right attacking the arts, queer identity and more – here at frieze, we asked artists, curators and writers to respond to these new threats.
     
  • ‘It’s not about nostalgia’. The Wire talks to the compiler of a major new Hyperdub collection of early Japanese video game music which celebrates its under-recognized influence on electronic music.
     
  • Don’t miss Samuel Earle writing in the TLS on the perils of Silicon Valley’s Big Five – Amazon, Apple, Alphabet Inc., Facebook and Microsoft – these companies talk about themselves as radical pioneers 'but in practice, this only veils the homogenizing effects of their services.’
     
  • And finally, Daniel Penny on ‘the Instagrammable’ and the older aesthetic of ‘the picturesque’ – by understanding how both are linked by 'shared bourgeois preoccupations with commodification and class identity’ we can better understand today’s anxieties over beauty, capitalism and authenticity.
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