The Diary: Jeremy Hunt on Surrealism; photographing Chernobyl; Tate Gallery; Shelina Janmohamed; Haiti fundraising

In the Hunt for answer to Surrealism

A debate between the Culture Secretary, Ben Bradshaw MP, and his Tory Shadow, Jeremy Hunt MP at the RSA in central London took a peculiar turn when, amid the serious-minded discussions on free museum entry, concerns over future cuts in arts funding, and the Conservative policy to encourage museums and galleries to create endowment funds and a culture of philanthropy, Hunt confessed that he hadn't really got the hang of a recent exhibition on Surrealism at Tate Modern. The pair had come together to speak about 'The Future of the Arts' but Hunt appeared to go off-piste, saying: "I struggled [to understand some of the gallery's artwork]. It was quite hard work. Tate Modern got people to try to explain Surrealism, Dali and Bacon to me." The work, which his comments appear to relate to, are on Level 3 of Tate Modern in the display entitled 'Poetry and Dream, Surrealism and Beyond'. Bradshaw spoke about dancing so enthusiastically at last year's Big Chill music festival he had to have a knee operation to mend the damage.

A curious reaction

Hana Vojácková, the Czech artist who last year crept into the exclusion zone of the infamous Chernobyl site (an area which is not accessible to the public) to illicitly document the wasteland where the nuclear accident occurred in 1986, tells me it was actually not half as sinister as she had imagined it to be. In its immediate aftermath, its residents had 40 minutes to pack their worldly belongings and leave the Ukrainian city. Now, she says, it's actually rather peaceful. "It was really beautiful, like a calm city, falling asleep."

Food for thought

The Tate Gallery's research machine leaves no statistical stone unturned. To mark Tate Modern's tenth anniversary in May, it has amassed figures on how much has been eaten and drunk there. "Over the last ten years," the research states, "365,000 homemade scones have been baked (and) over six million cups of tea and coffee have been served." What's more, the "most popular dish in the Tate Modern Restaurant remains deep-fried Cornish haddock with chips, tartare sauce and mushy peas."

Insider's guide that lifts the veil

Shelina Janmohamed, who not long ago published her memoir, 'Love in a Headscarf', a comedic insight into life as a Muslim woman says such has been the response to her book that it has spawned a second, 'What Muslim Women Want', which is an insider's guide to Muslim women, "to what we want, and how we plan to get it. The war over Muslim women has never been so intense. France wants to ban the veil (again); Saudi Arabia wants to enforce it. The US wants to 'save' Afghan women, but has given away their rights and started talking to the Taliban. Muslim women are paradoxically a 'threat' to far right nationalist parties, but also they are oppressed and must be liberated." Yet, she says, there is one noticeable absence in this discussion – Muslim women.

New charity single for Haiti appeal

The Haiti earthquake disaster may be slipping off the radar, as far as the mainstream British media is concerned, but it is good to know that fundraising for the victims is still going strong in some quarters. More than 200 professional singers turned up at The Beatles' former music hub – Abbey Road studios in north London – to record the charity single "Somebody Please", out for release on 27 April 2010. Beverley Trotman, the gospel singer and 'X-Factor' finalist, right, will feature on the track.

Arts and Entertainment

Will Poulter will play the shape-shifting monsterfilm
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Paul Hollywood

'Whether he left is almost immaterial'TV
Arts and Entertainment

game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers

Arts and Entertainment
The original Star Wars trio of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

George Osborne confirms Star Wars 8 will film at Pinewood Studios in time for 4 May


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
    Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

    Flesh in Venice

    Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
    Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

    Juventus vs Real Madrid

    Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
    Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

    Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

    Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power