Books, Law

To Kill A Mockingbird

A black man, Tom Robinson, is wrongly charged with raping a white girl in a southern racist state in 1930s America. The town is convinced of his guilt purely because of the colour of his skin. A (white) lawyer, Atticus Finch, and a model of integrity, defends him whilst confronting injustice and prejudice. He exposes the girl at the trial as a liar, put up to perjure herself by her father. The all-male all-white racist jury, nevertheless, convict Tom of rape. The members of the black community observing the trial (corralled into the “coloured-only” seats on a balcony) stand as Atticus wearily leaves court to show their respect and gratitude. Tom is shot before his appeal is heard. Continue reading

Art, Books

Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?

The displays at the Musée de l”Homme in Paris are organised around these three questions from Gauguin’s famous painting. The museum has reopened this week after a six year closure and a 92 million-euro renovation. One of the key exhibits in the museum is the skull of the French philosopher René Descartes. Continue reading

Books, Miscellaneous

The Witch of Walkern

News from the education frontier.

Ipswich High School for Girls has cancelled a performance of Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s new play Jane Wenham: The Witch of Walkern. The play had its world premier very recently and is on tour. It was due to be staged there on October 13th but the school has cited concerns about the play’s language, in particular the swearing. The school justified the decision by assessing the play as (using that conformist, deadening, unarguable word) ‘inappropriate’. Continue reading