How many Ether for that NFT? Speaking in tongues about art and craft

by Rashmee

Posted on February 26, 2021


/ LANGUAGE How many Ether for that NFT? In plain English, that’s a question about the price of modern art. How much you would pay in the Ethereum cryptocurrency for a non-fungible token? In even plainer English, a non-fungible token is a digital file. Morning Brew decoded it as follows: “A ‘Non-fungible token’ (non = … Continue reading “How many Ether for that NFT? Speaking in tongues about art and craft”

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Imagine what could happen if Africa were truly to celebrate its art (and philosophy)

by Rashmee

Posted on February 18, 2021


/ TAKE UP ONE IDEA No one can accuse the African Union (AU) of overpromising and under-delivering. At their annual summit (February 6-7), held virtually, Africa’s leaders set a goal that was bland and forgettable but also potentially transformative were it to be done correctly. The AU’s theme for 2021 is as follows: Arts, Culture … Continue reading “Imagine what could happen if Africa were truly to celebrate its art (and philosophy)”

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In Artemisia Gentileschi, we see the female gaze

by Rashmee

Posted on September 29, 2020


Take a good long look at the painting. It’s probably one the earliest portrayals in the western world of sexual predation. And it’s painted by a woman – Artemisia Gentileschi, who was born in Rome in 1593. Artemisia’s view of the emotions experienced by Susanna, a virtuous, beautiful young woman whose story is related in … Continue reading “In Artemisia Gentileschi, we see the female gaze”

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Why Muslim opinion started to tend towards aniconism

by Rashmee

Posted on September 7, 2020


The tendency towards aniconism and the erasure of the secular-religious distinction is a bit of a conundrum. Some scholars posit that it was part of a trend from before the rise of Islam. Indeed, even in the 6th century, before the coming of Islam, there was already starting to be a drift away from representational … Continue reading “Why Muslim opinion started to tend towards aniconism”

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Early Muslims’ attitude to art and creative expression

by Rashmee

Posted on September 4, 2020


  In the beginning, there was art. Lots of it, in fact, in the secular space. Consider this. Within 30 years of Prophet Muhammad’s death in 632, there was abundant art for the secular space. The palaces and bathhouses of the Umayyads, the first Muslim dynasty (661-750), were rich with exuberant figural art. Three Umayyad … Continue reading “Early Muslims’ attitude to art and creative expression”

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A birthday feast of Edvard Munch prints

by Rashmee

Posted on May 17, 2019


A birthday is a good time for reflection. As well as to see an exhibition dedicated to Edvard Munch’s inventive, angst-laden prints – drypoint, etched, lithographs. I was particularly taken by ‘Moonlight’, or ‘A Night in St. Cloud’. The figure at the window is Emanuel Goldstein, a Danish poet and housemate of Munch’s in Paris. … Continue reading “A birthday feast of Edvard Munch prints”

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Why 16th century Dutch still life painters were partial to a peeled lemon

by Rashmee

Posted on October 8, 2018


The lemon – half-peeled, glistening, “curling spirals of golden light” – caught our attention rightaway. Pieter Claesz’s massive 17th century banquet painting ‘Still Life with Peacock Pie’ featured a lemon. As did the Willem Kalf next to it. Painting after painting by Dutch still life artists of the 16th and 17th centuries featured a half-peeled … Continue reading “Why 16th century Dutch still life painters were partial to a peeled lemon”

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What is bias? Is it perspective? Say, the view that being brown is not disqualifying?

by Rashmee

Posted on August 31, 2018


Donald Trump denunciation of Google for “RIGGED” search results against him are an extreme sort of attack on perspective. As NYT columnist Michelle Goldberg wrote, “Essentially, conservatives want to create a world where objective information and right-wing disinformation are treated equally.” What that would mean is objective reality would be on a par with right-wing … Continue reading “What is bias? Is it perspective? Say, the view that being brown is not disqualifying?”

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Why the Dome of the Rock belongs to us all

by Rashmee

Posted on July 30, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


After a tense couple of weeks, the centrist Jerusalem Post wearily turned to understatement to describe the com­plex known to Jews as Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif. It is, the Post declared, “the most sensitive piece of real estate on the planet.” Quite. It is certainly one of, if not the most … Continue reading “Why the Dome of the Rock belongs to us all”

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Can cultural appropriation ever ease Syria’s suffering?

by Rashmee

Posted on June 1, 2017 / The National


This week, an unusual artistic performance in honour of Syria’s victims wrapped up its eight-day rollout across four cities on three continents. Starting in Tel Aviv on May 21 and successively moving through Vienna, London and Buenos Aires, native Arabic speakers slowly and deliberately read out the names of those killed in the Syrian conflict. … Continue reading “Can cultural appropriation ever ease Syria’s suffering?”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK