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Q&A: MFA student Shirin Maleki talks thesis project '30/900'

(04/04/22 12:00pm)

The graduating class from Duke’s Master of Fine Arts in experimental and documentary arts program have begun showcasing their thesis projects in the program’s annual thesis exhibition, with student work on view across Duke and Durham at the Power Plant Gallery,  Full Frame Theater, Shadowbox Studio, The Fruit, Screen/Society and the Rubenstein Arts Center. The exhibition highlights the work of seven artists: Lily Frame, Emma Geiger, Taoyuan Jin, Emily MacDiarmid, Shirin Maleki, Ivy Nicole-Jonét and Nathan Borradaile Wright. 

“The Andy Baker Tape” is a powerful depiction of pandemic creativity

(03/14/22 1:00pm)

“The Andy Baker Tape” (2021) chronicles the first meetings between food blogger, Jeff Blake (Bret Lada) and half-brother Andy Baker (Dustin Fontaine). Utilizing guerilla filmmaking, a form of independent filmmaking that requires a bare-minimum crew, no or limited film permits and few props, in the pandemic, the film is a testament of the ability of the arts to persevere in spite of monumental limitations. 

From Hayti Heritage Center to Jeddah's Tea, here are four Black-owned local businesses to check out

(02/21/22 1:00pm)

Durham, North Carolina’s roots lie in its history as a beacon of diversity and economic prosperity. Following the 1898 Wilmington Massacre in which white nationalists attempted to regain control of Wilmington through the destruction of Black businesses, many Black residents retreated into Black neighborhoods. For Durham, this retreat signified the growth of Black industry. Its origins can be traced to the formation of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company and the Mechanics and Farmers Bank, among many others. Durham’s Parrish Street neighborhood soon became known as “Black Wall Street” and made Durham the “Capital of the Black Middle Class.”

Q&A: Concrete Hills founder Drew Frank on young entrepreneurship and collaborating with Lil Yachty

(02/14/22 2:00pm)

Taking the fashion industry by storm, Drew Frank is a Duke first-year who started clothing brand Concrete Hills during his sophomore year of high school with his younger brother, Jamie. Since then, the brand has been worn by celebrities like Lil Yachty, Meek Mill and Jalen Ramsey. When Frank started at Duke University in the fall, he decided to expand the brand beyond clothing. The brand is collaborating with Lil Yachty on an exclusive concert held Feb. 19 at The Fruit.

Center for Documentary Studies founder Alex Harris's new project 'Our Strange New World' blurs the line between fact and fiction

(02/14/22 2:00pm)

The “South” is an evolving concept with a seeming dichotomy of histories. In 1874, Atlanta Constitution editor Henry Grady coined the term “The New South,” attempting to distinguish the region from its roots. But with a history embedded in racist institutions and shaped by an unequal sense of progress, many Southerners have struggled to understand the place they call home. 

The case for returning the Parthenon Marbles

(01/24/22 1:00pm)

In many cases, museums are exhibits of the colonial enterprise. Looted artifacts are ripped from their rightful homes and taken to foreign nations that exotify, catalog and hoard. Recent news coverage of Biblical antiquities returned to Iraq from the Museum of the Bible provide proof of the continued threat of imperialism. What is to be done about the long history of goods stolen from other nations?

The feud between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones: Is it Real?

(10/25/21 6:00pm)

In a recent interview with David Remnick from the New Yorker, former Beatles frontman, Paul McCartney made the following comment: “I’m not sure I should say it, but they’re a blues cover band, that’s sort of what the Stones are. I think our net was cast a bit wider than theirs.” This statement follows a decades-long feud that has been given new fuel. Was the relationship between these two bands always rooted in competition? Or was this an imagined conflict forced into existence by the media and polarized fans?

Q&A: Rising synth-pop band Nation of Language talks new album and upcoming tour

(10/18/21 4:00am)

Nation of Language is transforming the indie-pop music scene with genre-bending pieces. The Brooklyn-based band is led by Ian Richard Devaney with his wife, Aidan Devaney, on synth and Michael Sue-Poi on bass. Their newest album, “A Way Forward,” inspired by the experimental Krautrock of the 1970s will be released Nov. 5.  

Q&A: Pauli Murray Center on new documentary "My Name is Pauli Murray"

(10/03/21 8:49pm)

Social activist, priest and attorney Pauli Murray has had a radical impact on modern notions of equality and social justice. Despite this, Durham native Murray is not the household name that Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks may be. But, the Pauli Murray Center and the new documentary, told in Murray’s own words, are trying to change that. 

Sagun and Carl Storm’s newest EP 'solitude' chronicles the challenges of artistry during a pandemic

(09/27/21 4:00am)

Many have expressed concern about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the arts. Yet, musicians Carl Storm and Sagun have shown the ways in which the pandemic can prompt new creations. Sept. 17, lo-fi Nepalese producer Sagun and Swedish artist Carl Storm released the four-track EP “solitude” coupled with an animated video featured on YouTube. Both artists worked on the EP remotely, separated by over 3,000 miles. Inspired by the distance, the video features Carl Storm in Sweden and Sagun in Nepal. Despite their separation, Storm and Sagun are united by their artistic collaboration, described in their press release as“sonically and lyrically intimate in nature.” 

SHEIN is She-Out: It’s time to question our consumption

(09/20/21 4:00am)

You know that brand? You know— the one that got into controversies over antisemitic and racist products, their use of child labor, their massively detrimental environmental impact, their general religious insensitivity and their repeated use of illegal reproductions of artists’ works for their products? Oh, wait: that doesn’t narrow it down.

Writing is the worst

(09/13/21 4:00am)

I hate writing. I hate the moment you look at a blank page, and suddenly, words are supposed to flow, as if by some magical force. I hate the emptiness staring back at me as nothing comes to mind. I hate the openness of writing, your inner thoughts suddenly being known. I hate being weighed down by ideas that cannot free themselves from my mind. I hate the feeling of imperfection, of being unable to find the right word to capture your feelings. I hate sitting in silence, typing random words just to fill the page and make some sort of progress. 

A history of murder in American media

(08/30/21 4:00am)

The United States has an obsession with murder. If you take a quick look at Netflix’s front page or any other streaming service, it becomes obvious from the most popular titles: “Making a Murderer,” “The Sons of Sam: A Descent into Darkness,” “Unabomber: In His Own Words,” “Night Stalker: A Hunt for a Serial Killer” and “The Ted Bundy Tapes” to name just a few.