Gillian Orr

Gillian Orr is an arts and features writer for The Independent.

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Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo

KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults

Sudan, the last male northern white rhino

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. Gillian Orr charts the other species on the brink
On top of the world: Actress Cate Blanchett and author Richard Flanagan

From the Man Booker to the Oscars, Australian artists are turning culture upside down

If there was still a myth that antipodean artists lacked culture, then the latest Man Booker win for Richard Flanagan has put paid to that. And about time, too, says Gillian Orr

'Manicomio': 'Built in the late 1800s, this mental hospital served a wide area in Tuscany,' says Soden. 'At capacity, it had 5,000 patients. It was right up in the hills and the architect built the pavilions in a scattered village style. I used a smoke pellet to diffuse the sunlight coming through.'

The beauty of derelict buildings: Gina Soden

Photographer Gina Soden has broken into places all over Europe to capture their eerie attraction

Why do we tolerate pop stars when they behave like idiots?

Sliding into smack addiction will be romanticised by followers, and shagging around is shrugged off as a rite of passage for any rising star

Hafsat Abiola in 'The Supreme Price', a film by Joanna Lipper.

Hafsat Abiola: The death of her parents and her family's battle for democracy in Nigeria laid bare in new film

A critically acclaimed new documentary, The Supreme Price, tells the story of the Abiola family, which battled for gender equality and democracy in a nation where both have been repressed for decades

Marjorie Salvaterra: Looks like rain

Marjorie Salvaterra - Portfolio: Umbrellas at Venice Beach

Marjorie Salvaterra's black-and-white photography creates a playful, surreal world that explores the multiple roles that women play in their lives. Sometimes poignant, often absurd, her series "HER" expresses the highs and lows of what it means to be female.

A quick ask around proves that there’s a lot more to vodka these days than a bottle of Glen’s and a carton of Ocean Spray. (image: Rex Features)

How did boring old vodka become the spirit of the age?

Its appeal, of course, lies in its blandness.

Erasmus scheme: How students who are part of the EU cultural exchange programme are falling in love, left right and centre

A quarter of those who take part in the Erasmus programme meet their long-term amour while studying abroad

Nicola Okin Frioli's photographs reveal cosplaying is more than just dressing up

Cosplay (simply a portmanteau of costume and play) has been a popular global movement since the 1990s, and sees communities come together to role play

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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

Secrets of comedy couples

What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

The best swimwear for men

From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer
Mark Hix recipes: Our chef tries his hand at a spot of summer foraging

Mark Hix goes summer foraging

 A dinner party doesn't have to mean a trip to the supermarket
Ashes 2015: With an audacious flourish, home hero Ian Bell ends all debate

With an audacious flourish, the home hero ends all debate

Ian Bell advances to Trent Bridge next week almost as undroppable as Alastair Cook and Joe Root, a cornerstone of England's new thinking, says Kevin Garside
Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season

Aaron Ramsey interview

Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
Community Shield: Arsene Wenger needs to strike first blow in rivalry with Jose Mourinho

Community Shield gives Wenger chance to strike first blow in rivalry with Mourinho

As long as the Arsenal manager's run of games without a win over his Chelsea counterpart continues it will continue to dominate the narrative around the two men