In the Show – 27th October 2009

Create a picture of a prosperous city in the modern world and it’s likely to be a mess of traffic, crowded streets, and pollution. Once upon a time in China, prosperity looked considerably more picturesque, as “The Prosperous Cities” an exhibition of paintings from China at the Museum of Art until the 22nd November, reveals.

In our regular film review, Gary Pollard talks to us about Stephen Soderbergh’s “The Informant!” in which Matt Damon plays Mark Whitacre, who works at an agribusiness firm. When he receives reports that someone is  sabotaging their work he’s asked to work with the FBI , but it turns out you can’t quite believe everything Mark Whitacre tells you.

Once, Iranian music was so highly regulated that you could not carry a musical instrument on the streets. In different periods, control over music has relaxed and intensified, but it continues to be a subject of political and religious debate. It is much easier for the musicians of percussion group Zarbang to perform outside Iran than it is in their home country, as they told us during a recent trip to Hong Kong .

In stark contrast to the distrust of sensuality in music exhibited in Iran, South American countries like Argentina and Uruguay do everything they can to celebrate passion and romance in the form of the tango. Both countries have been having a bit of a tiff about where the dance originated, but they did get together recently to propose to the United Nations that the dance be considered one of mankind’s great cultural treasures.

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