Voices

These letters were published in the 26th December edition of the Independent

Broadcast exhibitions online to receive funding, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt tells art world

Arts bodies will have to broadcast performances and exhibitions live on a new digital arts “channel” in return for receiving government money, under a radical funding shake-up proposed by Jeremy Hunt.

Plans to redevelop Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's house blocked

A High Court challenge to a plan to redevelop the Victorian house where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote The Hound Of The Baskervilles has succeeded.

How Aharon Appelfeld chronicled the Holocaust

Blooms of Darkness by Aharon Appelfeld has won this year's Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. The Israeli author, who shares the £10,000 award with his translator Jeffrey M Green, is the first writer in Hebrew to take the leading British honour for fiction in translation and, 80 this year, he is also the oldest winner

John Peel music collection going online

Music fans will be able to rifle through the contents of John Peel's record collection as the late DJ's huge archive begins to be opened to the public from today.

Peel LP collection goes online

It is a record collection that any vinyl enthusiast would covet. From obscure German techno to Appalachian folk music, to the latest sounds in the rock and pop world; the thousands of carefully catalogued albums owned by the late DJ John Peel literally have something for everyone.

'Independent' Foreign Fiction Prize shortlist: A whole world in their words

It called for soul-searching and sacrifice but, after much impassioned debate, the shortlist for this year's Independent Foreign Fiction Prize took the shape that you see here. If anything, the panel of judges – Xiaolu Guo, Jon Cook, Nick Barley, Hephzibah Anderson and myself – had to contend with an embarrassment of riches. Whatever our perennial regrets about the limited quantity of fiction brought into English from other languages, the quality of translations felt as bold and bright as ever. In Britain, we owe so much of our view of global fiction to independent publishers of various shapes and sizes. Responsible for around two-thirds of all submissions for the Independent prize, they contribute five out of the six titles on this list – although I ought to stress that neither commercial nor geographical provenance ever sways the decision.

Shauna Richardson's Lionheart Project features three giant crocheted lions

Animal artist Shauna Richardson has roar talent

"When I tell people I crotchet animals they immediately lose interest," says Leicestershire-based artist Shauna Richardson. But in her hands, the quaint and grannyish technique of crochet is in no way dull. She calls her craft "crochetdermy", a mashing of words that neatly describes the knitting of life-size animal heads that can be mounted on walls.

Business Secretary Vince Cable enters charity tax relief row

Business Secretary Vince Cable today weighed into the increasingly bitter row over Chancellor George Osborne's controversial cap on tax relief for charitable donations.

How We Met: Sarah Hall & Owen Sheers

'We swim in the Cam, but only for 30 seconds, otherwise we'd go blue'

Geraint Bowen: Archdruid of Wales who campaigned against nuclear dumping and championed Welsh-language television

As Archdruid of Wales from 1979 to 1981, Geraint Bowen was renowned for his hard-hitting speeches from the Logan Stone in the ceremonies of the Assembly of Bards of the Isle of Britain (the Gorsedd). Not only did he speak out against the Anglicisation of Wales and in defence of the Welsh language, as Archdruids are expected to do, but also lent his authority to the campaign for a fourth television channel broadcasting in Welsh and against the burying of nuclear waste. In this he ran the risk of upsetting some of the more pusillanimous officers of the National Eisteddfod, to which the Gorsedd is closely affiliated.

A fringe outside the fringe

Pleasance Theatre is raising £1.5 million to directly support a theatre network that is currently not 'effective enough.'

Magnetic Man: The Hadron collision of dubstep

Skream, Benga and Artwork give the inside track on their meteoric rise at the Volvo Snowbombing festival in Austria.

The Week in Radio: Spring clean that's a bit short on seasonal treats

It's spring and everything is new, or at least the old stuff has been shuffled around a bit. Radcliffe and Maconie have gone to 6 Music, Fi Glover has left Saturday Live and the BBC has decided to make a virtue of déjà vu by rebranding BBC 7 as Radio 4 Extra. This new network is plainly designed to up the numbers listening on DAB, in which the BBC is heavily invested, but the mix makes you wonder exactly who it's for. Is it people who like Hancock and the Goons, in other words Prince Charles? But then I can't imagine Prince Charles tuning in for Arthur Smith's Balham Bash, amusing though it is, or indeed the strange melange of stories and interviews in The 4 O'Clock Show, which wants an "audience of all ages" – ie children. Then again the star of the new line-up is Ambridge Extra, which being focused on the junior Archers might suggest a bid for the youth vote. But as it turns out, existing Archers fans need not fear. The first episode, in which Alice and Chris's long-distance marriage starts to come unstuck and Kirsty tries to organise a fun run, is recognisably the same series. No one whinges like an Archer whinges, no matter what age they are.

From big names to fringe venues, cuts hit hundreds of arts bodies

Cultural institutions across the country have been "wiped off the map" by Arts Council England's funding cuts, announced yesterday. Regular funding to 206 arts organisations, from fringe theatres to poetry societies and renowned organisations in dance and art, has been axed.

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No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

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Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

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Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
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Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

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Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all