Actress, writer and broadcaster Kathy Owen assesses the rising spectre of racism in Spain, recounting her own battles as well as those of the African Boat People: "I no longer went to dinner parties just because I had been invited (so that they could scrutinize the Black souvenir the Spaniard picked up) – politeness wasn’t allowed to override my comfort."

Kathy Owen bemoans the media bias besetting Democratic candidate Brack Obama during the 2008 campaign for presidency of America; specifically the Economist's off-handed cover illustration relegating Obama to the status of Jack of Hearts, in its playing card analogy: "Now I’m no gambler but I could have bet that I wasn’t the only one who’d noticed the ‘subtle’ message that was being transmitted here."

Ishmael Annobil finally makes it to Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth, to pay homage to Marc Quinn's groundbraking sculpture: "Marc Quinn's decision to use Alison Lapper as his candidate for the contested fourth plinth does not surprise me. He, too, is of my generation; a generation traumatised by the images of unholy history making and processes; the sort of things that make a poet of everyone, in lieu of direct childhood trauma..".

Stieve Delance revisist Shiela Jeffrey's authoritative book on the oldest profession: "Jeffreys does indeed argue throughout the book that all prostitutes are victims and that all who say that it is their choice are either using it as a defence and self validation mechanism of the position they find themselves in or that they are being untruthful albeit unconsciously. However, it is the intellectual feminist argument that women in the sex industry are unable to intellectualise and self analyse their own circumstances." 

Pontus Kyander gives a retrospective view of Gustav Metzger: " Born 1926 to a Polish-Jewish family in the German city of Nuremberg, he was fascinated as a child by the spectacular Party Days that the Nazis organised there every year. He had an early interest in German art and culture, and has remained attached to the German language. Most of his family, including both parents and an older sister, perished in the Holocaust, while he and his brother Mendel escaped to England in 1939..."

Ishmael Annobil and George Keane review Radovan Kruguly's remarkably weighted and challenging exhibition. Hathor: Milky Way: "Kraguly's central theme in Hathor: Milky Way, was (is) the manipulation and consumption of animals by man. For the purposes of his discourse we were confronted by a recurring, ubiquitous COW hide motif, the cow being the archetypal victim of man, juxtaposed with sublime reminders of man's insidious power tools of exploitation."

Ishmael Annobil reviews Tapfuma Gutsa's gutsy exhibition at the October Gallery, London: Renje Sandanga (Vast Desert): "If, while roaming the Namibian Desert or the Ogaden, I happened upon a buffalo horn strapped to a rock, I would either fear cabalistic activity in the area or accept my delirium earlier than others. That said, I might ride that delirium till I could break the cipher, and then dare the heat to obstruct my flight into the ethereal light. And if I lived to tell the tale, I am sure I would be a Tapfuma Gutsa."

Nick Bryan dissects The West Wing, the hugely successful drama series about the inner workings of the White House: "By maintaining a delicate balance between drama and comedy, cynical realism and hopeless optimism, the show was never evasive about its desire to attract an audience who were willing to think as they watched, to accept that in the world of politics there is not always a black and white answer, and not every day will have a happy ending, but enough of them do to make it worth getting up in the morning."

Part parable, part fantasy novel, part laugh-out-loud satire, American Desert is the story of Theodore Street, a college professor on the brink of committing suicide. But then a car hits him and severs his head from his body, causing him to come to terms with himself. As reviewer Nick Bryan observes, "Percival Everett seems to be writing a down-to-earth, thoughtful exploration of what the fantastical scenario of returning from the dead would really be like."

"Comic books seem to be enjoying a real mainstream resurgence of late," Nick Bryan asserts. "Films like Sin City and Batman Begins are achieving both critical acclaim and real box office results, and copies of the original graphic novels are taking up shelf space in ‘proper’ grown-up shops like HMV....But most of the comic book community continues to be annoyed with the perception of their product as entirely devoted to men in tights punching the lights out of each other."  


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