Voices Call of the wild: An international conference in London next month will address elephant poaching

This year's charity appeal has raised more than £300,000 for our partner charity, Space for Giants, exceeding last year's total of around £250,000. We are within sight of breaking the record for a charity appeal by this newspaper – £356,000. So more donations would be appreciated.

VISUAL ARTS: EXIT POLL - Who will win the Turner Prize?


Anthony Van Dyck, meet Tracey Emin. You've got more in common than you might think

Today, as I was walking past the Royal Academy in Piccadilly thinking about Austin Powers and Tracey Emin, I remembered what John Tusa's new idea was about how critics should carry on: we must not praise something simply because it succeeds on its own terms or because we know a lot about it. Or because we think, Ha ha, I get it! For what are we, if we are critics, if not critical? Plus, how can anyone understand what we're saying if we don't call a spade a spade but instead take our hats off to relativism and show our bottoms to excellence? Or worse, hide behind a mask of irony? In an age of uncertainty, how about some certainty!

Punters fleeced in degree sale

EVERYTHING FOR sale was in the sheep currency. Not everyone got the hang of this at first, which was a bit of a problem for the organiser Gavin Turk, one of the better known Young British Artists.

Visual Arts: 'So near, so far away, so vulnerable, so human, so long'

Temple of Diana Blue Gallery, London Chatto pounds 25

No sensations in this art collection

ADMITTEDLY, DAMIEN Hirst's dissected cows, or Tracey Emin's accounts of her botched abortion might be a little much for the public rooms of Downing Street.

Comment: It's art, but is it worth it?

Money shapes people's attitudes to art, and it reminds us what to look at, whom to respect

War In The Balkans: Britpack draw on children's war effort

SOME MAY be more renowned for pickling sheep or making lists of everyone they have slept with, but a group of Britain's most talented artists have now turned to more child-friendly work.

Video wipes out painting as a way of winning Turner Prize

THE VIDEO installation was declared the artists' tool of the hour by the Turner Prize jury yesterday when it revealed the four nominees for this year's prize, three of whom use videos to show their work.

The Will Self interview: Tracey Emin, A slave to truth

Tracey Emin is famous - notorious even - for her unflinching honesty in art and in life. In their first two encounters, she publicly and humiliatingly upbraided Will Self. Come the third round, he'd learnt his lesson...

Art: The Independent Collector

John Windsor's Guide to Collecting Contemporary Art. This Week: Sarah Staton

event Turner prize announcement

It's Turner Prize time again and the four artists nibbling their nails in the wings, as fashion designer and gallery owner Agnes B prepares to hand over the pounds 20,000, are Cathy de Monchaux, Tacita Dean, Sam Taylor- Wood and, the hot favourite, Chris Ofili (left). In the absence of a K Foundation offering a parallel prize to the "worst artist", or the chance of a tired and emotional Tracey Emin taking part in the aftershow discussion, there's been an attempt to whip up controversy around the fact that Taylor- Wood has made videos for jury member Neil Tennant in the past. It's all grist to the publicity mill and, once the winner has been announced in co-sponsor Channel 4's live programme on Tuesday (8-9pm), punters can still see all the shortlisted artists' work at the Tate Gallery, London SW1 until 10 Jan and choose their own favourite.

Make us gawp and stretch our eyes

Since prizes can't get it right, they might at least recognise their obligation to provide entertainment

Edinburgh Festival: The simple bare necessities

A Family Outing; Krapp's Last Tape

Arts: Sober, but still sensational

She's been branded an exhibitionist and a drunkard, but Tracey Emin's early paintings reveal a more solemn nature. Michael Glover stumbled across the evidence

Preview: explore islington festival

Last year's Islington International Festival bagged a Glastonbury- tastic 120,000 visitors. Another strong line-up this year should accommodate at least as many revellers over the next two weeks. Topping the North London bill are Michael Nyman (right) who will be performing the world premiere of his latest solo piano work in the Highbury Fields' Spiegel Tent (17 Jun). Another global debut is Jah Wobble Brings the Studio to the Stage (Fri 26). Clare Martin and Ian Shaw do their thing next week (25 Jun), while the Frenetic Poetics count John Cooper Clarke and Salena Saliva among their wordy number for a gathering on 22 Jun. Other highlights include a Roger McGough reading at the Islington Museum and a biopic from artist Tracey Emin at the Screen on the Green. Complementing the event, in nearby Stoke Newington, is the Midsummer Festival (box office 0181- 356 5358), a celebration of "cutting- edge work of Hackney-based artists and performers". Sick of the World Cup yet? Well, don't say we didn't offer an alternative...
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little