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
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey

film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat

Arts and Entertainment
Fake Banksy stencil given to artist Alex Jakob-Whitworth

art

Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is heading to Norwich for Radio 1's Big Weekend

music
Arts and Entertainment
Beer as folk: Vincent Franklin and Cyril Nri (centre) in ‘Cucumber’
tvReview: This slice of gay life in Manchester has universal appeal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
‘A Day at the Races’ still stands up well today
film
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tvAnd its producers have already announced a second season...
Arts and Entertainment
Kraftwerk performing at the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) museum in Berlin earlier this month
musicWhy a bunch of academics consider German electropoppers Kraftwerk worthy of their own symposium
Arts and Entertainment
Icelandic singer Bjork has been forced to release her album early after an online leak

music
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth as Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service

film
Arts and Entertainment
Brian Blessed as King Lear in the Guildford Shakespeare Company's performance of the play

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
In the picture: Anthony LaPaglia and Martin Freeman in 'The Eichmann Show'

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Kirkbride and Bill Roache as Deirdre and Ken Barlow in Coronation Street

tvThe actress has died aged 60
Arts and Entertainment
Marianne Jean-Baptiste defends Joe Miller in Broadchurch series two

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The frill of it all: Hattie Morahan in 'The Changeling'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny may reunite for The X Files

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
TV
News
A young woman punched a police officer after attending a gig by US rapper Snoop Dogg
people
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee