British Art Show 8 in Edinburgh

Edinburgh University Old College Quad quad, after refurbishment.

By Laurenci Dow & Paloma Ferreira

The British Art Show 8 is a touring exhibition that provides a vital overview of the most exciting contemporary art. This year it tours the work of over 40 artists to four cities across the UK, Edinburgh being one of the chosen UK cities. Three venues across Edinburgh will be housing different exhibitions with free admission to all of them. The show will be hosted in Edinburgh from the 13th of February to the 8th of May. The public is welcome to can access information regarding opening times and visitor information for each gallery from this website: http://britishartshow8.com/page/about-exhibition-1514.Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 15.02.50

Our art correspondent Laurenci Dow reports from the Talbot Rice Gallery, featuring the following artists: ÅbäkeLawrence Abu HamdanBenedict DrewRyan GanderMelanie GilliganHayley Tompkins and Eileen Simpson and Ben White.

Visit the gallery website for more information: Talbot Rice Gallery.

 

Public opinion in Edinburgh divided on Trump Petition

trump-gop-759[1]

By Laurenci Dow

Edinburgh locals show a clear divide in opinion on the petition to ban Donald Trump from the UK, while the petition continues to gain over half a million signatures.

Petitions with more than 100,000 signatures will be considered for debate in parliament and the Petitions Committee is expected to discuss this one on the 5th of January 2016.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Labour home affairs spokesman Jack Dromey have both backed the petition to ban Trump from entering the country under the ‘unacceptable behaviours or extremism policy.’

However, the petition, which is the most signed currently hosted  on the Parliament website, does not express the opinions of some of the locals from the Scottish capital.

Elijah Jones, an Edinburgh local businessman said he felt that Trump’s comments were ‘bold’ although he did not agree with them.

Mr Jones felt that it was contradictory for the UK to call for a ban on a person who themselves wants to ban people from their own country.

Mr Jones said: ‘I don’t think the petition is the best course of action, in my opinion it’s quite contradictory.’

A local Costa Coffee manager, Casper Van Eeden agreed with opinions expressed by Mr Jones saying he felt that the petition was an infringement on Trump’s freedom of speech.

Mr Van Eeden said: ‘I feel that people should be able to say what they want, I don’t agree with banning people for expressing an opinion.’

Jane Thompson, a student from Edinburgh Napier University said she agreed with Robert Gordon University stripping Trump of his honorary degree as she felt this showed the UK’s stance towards his ‘racist’ comments.

However, she said she would not sign the petition as she felt that it was another way for Trump to gain more attention.

Renay Clerk, a student from Edinburgh Heriot-Watt University said she agreed with the petition as she would not want someone who expresses ‘radical opinions’ in the UK.

She said Trump would have a ‘negative effect on the UK’  if he was to visit the country.

Suzanne Kelly, the Aberdeen woman who started the petition says: ‘The signatories will not show any support for Trump’s unacceptable behaviour.’

How Pistorius’s verdict reflects on South African legal system and what lies ahead for his sentencing

Yesterday morning, Pistorius’s culpable homicide conviction was replaced with murder, two legal experts give their opinion on the ruling and what lies ahead for his sentencing.

The South African Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruled that Pistorius should have foreseen the deadly impact his four bullets would have had in the small bathroom.

The new ruling over turns the decision made by Judge Masipa of the High Court.

Commenting  on the previous ruling Justice Eric Leach of the SCA called Masipa’s decision a “fundamental error.”

When asked how the change in verdict reflects on the South African justice system, Professor Penelope Andrews, Dean of the Law Faculty at the University of Cape Town said: “This should not be seen to be as an adverse comment upon Masipa’s  competence and ability.”

She went on to say: “Lots of judges decisions are over turned in the appeal process that’s why the process exists, the fact that a judge may not have applied the facts properly does not mean the South African criminal justice system is a mess.”

Commenting on the new verdict Prof. Andrews said: “The judges who dealt with the appeal at the Supreme Court were spot on, so I think that has shown how good our criminal justice system is and more importantly that it is fair.

“As an accused you know you can take the matter further or the state can, if there are sufficient grounds based on the law.”

Commenting on his reaction to the verdict Dr. Mohamed Chiktay Senior Lecturer at WITS University School of Law (Johannesburg) said: “Masipa showed restraint and dealt with the case in a professional manner but at the end of the day when you look at the facts and the law, it is quite evident where she went off in the wrong direction.

“She incorrectly dealt with the concept of doulas intervenciones.”

Commenting on Pistorius’s re-sentencing  Dr.  Chiktay said: “Sentencing will be a difficult aspect of the case, the judge will have to be objective and balance all the factors that are relevant like his disability, age and the fact that he has no prior convictions.”

Prof. Andrews said: “Pistorius will have to supply a compelling reason as to why he should not be sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in jail, his disability should not affect his sentencing, one cannot give leniency to anyone who killed a person without any proof that they posed a real threat.”

This morning Barry Steenkamp, Reeva Steenkamp’s farther said: “We will have to wait and see what happens at sentencing but for now justice has prevailed and we can try get on with our lives for now.”

Edinburgh Christmas Market Opens Today

Laurenci Dow

The annual Edinburgh Christmas Market launches today at 5pm and visitors can expect brand new attractions including a celebrity visit to switch on the festive lights.

Britain’s Got Talent finalist Susan Boyle will be in Edinburgh this Saturday night to flick the switch tomorrow on Light Night.

The Christmas Market has been a staple in the Edinburgh calendar for the past 20 years. However, this is only the second year that the festival will span from the Mound, through Prince’s Street and around the Scots Monument.

Event coordinator Underbelly said in a press release that due to last year’s enormous success the market will see an expansion to other parts of the city centre and more free events for the public.

Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam of Underbelly said: “This Christmas is all about lighting up Edinburgh, we’re very excited to be bringing the Street to Light and extending the success of Edinburgh’s Christmas Market into the Old Town.

“It’s a free event for up to 5,000 people a show, 250,000 in all.

“We hope it will show one of Scotland’s most famous streets in a whole new light and bring the whole community together to celebrate Christmas.

“A newly anticipated event this year is the Virgin Money Street of Light that will launch on the 29th of this month to coincide with St Andrew’s Day.”

The Virgin Money Street of Light is an architectural installation of over 60,000 lights stretching from the Royal Mile, to City Chambers ending at Tron Kirk.

Andrew Nicholson, Head of Sponsorship Marketing at Virgin Money, said: “The Virgin Money Street of Light is set to wow both residents and visitors to the city of Edinburgh.

“It will be free of charge following on in the tradition of the Fringe Street Events and we expect over a quarter of a million people to enjoy the show, which opens on St Andrew’s Day and runs until Christmas Eve.”

This free public event will include 1,300 local performers and is expecting a crowd of over 20,000 people.

The show will run for 25 days with two shows per day, one at 6.30pm and 8.15 pm, which each show running about 20 minutes.

 

Halloween Events At The Scottish International Storytelling Festival

The director of Scotland’s Storytelling Festival last night hailed the event as “the greatest celebration of traditional storytelling in the world”.

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival is a 10-day celebration of live storytelling from a multitude of oral traditions.

Donald Smith, Festival Director said: “We are all able to connect through stories, it’s a fundamental part of being human they have the power to cross boundaries, transform perceptions and bridge division.”

In celebration of upcoming Halloween weekend the event Tree Trails will be taking place today and tomorrow at 13:30pm.

Visitors can enjoy the legends of Scotland’s indigenous trees – the oak, birch, pine and rowan – as the seasons change in the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Guests are welcomed to join storytellers Janis Mackay and David Campbell as they explore the myths of the landscape and ask the question, “What happens when the trees gather on Halloween?”

Ms Mackay said: “[Storytellers] truly make their stories come alive, the audience get to create a reality for themselves which is very different to a novel or a film.”

This year’s theme, Stories Without Borders, will explore global issues through the power of storytelling and brings together Scottish, European, Middle Eastern and North African storytellers celebrating the cultural diversity of oral customs.

The Festival takes place in and around Edinburgh, partner venues include the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Dovecot Studios, the National Library of Scotland and other cultural organisations.

 

 

 

 

 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 448 other followers