Arts and Culture

Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Ngugi wa Thiong’o — the renowned Kenyan author — believes African writers should write in their native language, not the colonial language of English or French. He says the best way to decolonize the mind is to reclaim native languages.More

 Practice dummy, Cryonics UK standby team training | Tim’s house, Sheffield, UK 2010

Photographer Murray Ballard says he expected a cryonics facility to look like something out of a sci-fi movie scene. But in visiting one, Ballard says he was intrigued by the contrast between such an ambitious endeavor and the somewhat unremarkable architecture and equipment.More

 Social gathering and sharing a meal during Russian Easter honoring the dead, Spring Valley, New Jersey, 1997

Between 1996 and 1998, Bastienne Schmidt and her husband Philippe Cheng traveled throughout the United States photographing the diverse services and ceremonies Americans use to mark the death of family members and friends. According to Cheng, one of the goals was to "show some of the poetry of death and dying in America."More

elderly woman

Nicholas Nixon has devoted a significant amount of his long career — which stretches back to the 1970s — to taking portraits of people who are sick and dying. He continues to work with people coming to the end of their lives, including those in palliative care and hospice.More

Children in Addis Ababa.

Dagmawi Woubshet and Julie Mehretu were both born in Addis Ababa and then moved to America. They wonder what the city's explosive growth will mean for its unique character — one rooted in Ethiopia's history as the only African nation never colonized.More

Girls in pink, boys in blue

Historian Jo Paoletti speaks with Shannon about gender's ever-changing relationship with fashion.More

agnés b

The most iconic designers have always done more than invent new looks — they help re-imagine our lives, our world. As Steve Paulson discovered when he met designer agnés b.More

Carolyn Smith

Could you trade the convenience of instant-purchase online clothing stores for a wardrobe you made yourself? Carolyn Smith went for an even bigger challenge: only wearing clothing she made by hand for a full year.More

Avery Trufelman

Avery Trufelman hosts "Articles of Interest," a six-part podcast from "99 Percent Invisible" about some iconic items of clothing — from blue jeans to Hawaiian shirts to pockets. Anne wanted to know how that work connects to what she wears every day.More

The many Angelo styles

Choosing what to put on your body is more than just taking something off a hanger and praying it fits. When you get dressed in the morning, you’re constructing an identity. That’s complicated, as producer Angelo Bautista discovered.More

Norwegian novelist Karl Ove Knausgaard has published six volumes of intensely personal descriptions of his daily life. But his “honesty” cost him some of his closest relationships, including his marriage.More

A Zoom holiday is just one option for re-thinking how you celebrate this year.

Priya Parker challenges us to question why we have certain traditions, and to be open to creating new ones that fit this unusual holiday time.More

Terese Marie Mailhot's brave and beautiful memoir about life on a Pacific Northwest reservation is making waves. She originally intended to tell her story as fiction, but ultimately made the difficult decision to write the whole, painful truth.
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Sondheim smoking

Stephen Sondheim is the reigning genius of musical theater, with credits ranging from "West Side Story" and "Gypsy" to "Sweeney Todd "and "Into the Woods." In this interview from 2013, Sondheim gives Steve Paulson a few pointers on how to write both music and lyrics.More

Sondheim smoking

Would Sondheim prefer to work on music or lyrics? What was it like to work on West Side Story? What's his take on musical critics? You can hear that — and a whole lot more — in this extended interview with him from 2013.More

an illustration of a knight in armor

Every year, at holiday time, "H is for Hawk" author Helen Macdonald reads this tale of a boy who finds out he's one of the "old ones," part of a series from author Susan Cooper. She says it reconnects her with a sense of wonder inspired by what might lurk beneath the surface of the seen world.More

Thank you notes for the nurses and doctors in Wuhan, China.

In Japan, there is a name for extreme gratitude — Naikan. Gregg Krech is dedicated to the practice, and he thinks holidays should be less about running around making everything perfect and more about inner reflection.More

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