Kenneth Clark – Looking for Civilisation at Tate Britain

This exhibition which goes on until 10th August 2014 is quite quirky and interesting for it encompasses paintings, sculpture, artefacts and leads you on a historical journey through the early twentieth century. You might combine a trip to this paid exhibition (http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/kenneth-clark-looking-civilisation) which a general mooch around the newly refurbished Tate Britain. Remember art galleries like Tate Britain usually have 2-3 paid exhibitions and all the rest are completely free.

Most intriguing was the period around WWII when Kenneth Clark was Director of the National Gallery and was massively involved in the recording of the war by contemporary artists. The exhibition explains how art from the National Gallery was hidden in Wales and how the building was used for classical music recitals to boost wartime morale. It also has some amazing artwork showing people cowering in underground stations to escape the Blitz and the destruction of towns such as Coventry and Bath by aerial bombings.

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Above as a Henry Moore painting called Pink and Green showing tow people asleep in a bomb shelter.

It is a paid exhibition but under 12s go free and there is a concession for children.

ShouldWe.org

I think lots of you will be interested in reading the debates on http://www.shouldwe.org which is a really clever way to show trending debates about social issues, government, the environment, education, and foreign affairs.

In other words if you want to keep up-to-date on issues which are likely to require opinions (yours and other people’s) on the Religious Studies course – this is the website for you! Below are a few examples of ShouldWe debates which fit into a RS course:

Unit 8 Section 3 http://www.shouldwe.org/issues/90 Should we withdraw UK forces from Afghanistan in 2014?

Unit 1 Section 2 http://www.shouldwe.org/issues/59 Should we specifically criminalise abortion on the basis of gender?

Unit 8 Section 2 http://www.shouldwe.org/issues/108 Should we ‘frack’ for shale gas?

Female doctor sentenced to death for converting to Christianity

This news stories has been making the British newspapers for the last month. Well today we find out that Meriam Ibrahim has given birth to a baby daughter whilst in prison awaiting her death penalty for marrying a Christian man and declaring herself a Christian rather than a Muslim. Read about the latest part of the story in the Daily Mail. Christian websites are also reporting on the story, and Amnesty International are campaigning ferociously against the death penalty being used.

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Where is this all taking place? Sudan in Africa. And it is unfolding now in 2014. It makes one wonder which articles from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are being denied. Have I missed any?

Article 16. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

Article 18. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Ouch- Fairtrade not so fair?

In Geography lessons we often learn about how Fairtrade is a better way of getting the farmer at the beginning of the process a fairer income for their crop. We’ve played Fairtrade Cocoa games so we can truly understand the advantages of Fairtrade.

Perhaps the new report by a UK government-sponsored study might need to make us question this assumption? It appears to show Fairtrade farmers sometimes doing worse that comparable non-Fairtrade farmers in a similar area. The Guardian reports:

Christopher Cramer, an economics professor at the University of London and one of the report’s authors, said: “Wages in other comparable areas and among comparable employers producing the same crops but where there was no Fairtrade certification were usually higher and working conditions better. In our research sites, Fairtrade has not been an effective mechanism for improving the lives of wage workers, the poorest rural people.

You can read more of the article on the Guardian in its article about Fairtrade failing Africans.

Pope Francis gets involved in Israel/Palestine conflict

As always, we learn something in class and voila it pops up in the news a few days later!

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During Pope Francis’ first visit to the Holy Land he spent a few moments in quiet prayer at the Israeli separation wall and made an appeal to both sides to finally end the conflict.

Whilst learning a unit about Pilgrimage students have been studying Jerusalem as a pilgrimage site for Christians, Muslims and Jews. We debated who had a greater right to the territory though recognising this is a topic which needed more than a couple of lessons for us to truly understand and hold opinions on. Banksy’s art work on the Israeli partition wall always raises interest…

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