Gillian Orr

Gillian Orr writes about the arts for The Independent.

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On song:Conchita Wurst

Conchita Wurst: A great ambassador for gender diversity

Rise Like a Phoenix's triumph at Eurovision showed that the contest can still surprise us. But for the world's drag artists, it also struck a blow for gender tolerance, says Gillian Orr
Li's resumé is impressive: two critically adored albums, well over 100 million YouTube views of her videos and near-top billing at festivals

Swedish singer Lykke Li moves on to the final instalment of her acclaimed indie-pop trilogy

She has never heard a happy song she likes, longs to work with Lars von Trier and wears nothing but black (check out her forthcoming fashion line!). Meet Lykke Li, Swedish star of indie-pop and connoisseur of torment, sorrow and woe…

Still standing: the Plastics, including Gretchen (far right)

10 years of Mean Girls: How the film defined a generation - and gave it a new language

Gillian Orr talks to one of the stars of 'Mean Girls' about its lasting appeal
Simon the cat, on board HMS Amethyst

Man's bravest friends: a roll call of non-human heroes

A dog has been posthumously awarded the PDSA Dickin medal, the animals’ Victoria Cross. Gillian Orr looks at the animals that have been honoured

Why did Atari bury its E.T. video game?

The discovery of a hidden cache of E.T., the worst game ever made, confirms a 30-year rumour that Atari dumped them in the desert – but the mystery of why remains.

'Prosperity' by Karolin Klüppel
Ain't that a kick in the head: a still from Jared Frank's money-spinning video

Train Kick Selfie Guy is set to scoop up to $250,000 thanks to his viral video - so how can you cash in on your candid moments?

Canadian Jared Frank could receive anything between $30,000 (£17,800) to $250,000 (£149,000) for his misfortune - and that's just his cut of advertising revenue from being viewed on YouTube

Miley Cyrus performs onstage during her 'Bangerz' tour

Miley Cyrus studies? Not the gimmick it might sound

The pop star’s work may not be high art, but the US professor behind a new Cyrus syllabus believes it is a gateway to the analysis of race, class and gender

A Year In Development exhibition: Not all photographers are giving in to the lure of digital

The world has switched to digital cameras, right? Not so fast, says one exhibition, now in its third year, which celebrates the breathtaking work of a select band of photographers who continue to prefer the dark magic of the hand-printed photograph

How to sleep better

Understanding our bodies' rhythms can help us take control of our nights, banish fatigue – and even shape our dreams, according to psychologist Richard Wiseman

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?