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The Independent Culture

WOMEX 98 is the biggest world-music trade fair in existence. Hosted by different countries each year, the 1998 instalment comes from the current Cultural Capital of Europe: .

A major part of WOMEX are its showcases, which present musicians from around the world to the public and to media representatives. The 20 or so roots, folk, ethnic, traditional and local music acts this autumn will be performing at various venues within 's atmospheric Munchen Brewery complex.

The Swedish Concert Institute, Nybrokajen 11, , Sweden (00 46 8 407 1651/2) 29 Oct-1 Nov. SKR100-SKR150


"Lichtseiten" ("Sides of Light") is a major exhibition of photographic work collected over 20 years by the Berlinische Galerie. The 160 pieces on show are divided into two main parts: the first dedicated to narrative photography, covering established forms and subjects such as urban views, landscapes and photo-journalism; the second concentrating on more abstract subject matter, such as structure, design and shape. The pieces are gathered from a period ranging from the mid-19th century up till now, including many Bauhaus- and Surrealist-influenced examples from the Twenties and Thirties, and contributions from the likes of Heinrich Zille, Erich Salomon, Marianne Breslauer and Lszl Moholy-Nagy.

Kunstforum der Grundkreditbank, Budapester Strasse 35, Berlin (00 49 30 7890 2682) to 27 Dec. DM3


When Van Gogh decided to dedicate his life to painting, the artistic model he drew most inspiration from was Millet, whom he called his "spiritual father". Van Gogh was fired by Millet's courage in the face of rural poverty and lack of recognition from contemporaries as much as by his art, and laboured to render the "sublime, almost religious emotion" he saw in Millet's work. The exhibition "Millet/Van Gogh" explores the bond between these two essentially very different painters through their art, showing how Van Gogh mirrored Millet in his poetic and lyrical evocation of rural life, before finding his own unique style.

Musee d'Orsay, 62 rue de Lille, Paris (00 33 1 4049 4814) to 3 Jan, closed Mon. FF40, concs FF30


The first public library in Ireland hosts a wonderful display of early printed maps and atlases (above). Among the beautiful hand-coloured and exotic animal-laden items is the 11-volume Blaeu Atlas Major, printed in Amsterdam in 1662, as well as maps by famous cartographers Ortelius, Ptolemy and Mercator. You can also see a chart detailing the expeditions of Captain James Cook, and marvel at the examples of the often inadequate instruments used by the early explorers.

Archbishop Marsh's Library, St Patrick's Close, Dublin (00 353 1 454 3511) to April