Cultural Reads 61: Blend With Me, Big Memories & World Music

Hi Everyone, 

And welcome to the Cultural Reads Newsletter with book, music, and movie recommendations from around the world.

In this week’s newsletter: Ethiopian Art, Let’s Blend, World Music, Beau is Afraid & The Naked Don’t Fear the Water.

🎨 Discover Ethiopian Art

Do you know any Ethiopian art?

I had the chance to talk to one of the most famous Ethiopian artists, Mezgebu Tesema.

After studying in Russia, he returned to teach Fine Arts at University in Addis Ababa.

He’s famous for a 10-meter canvas of the Ethiopian Orthodox church and hyperrealistic paintings about his rural childhood. 

In this interview, we discuss culture shocks in Russia, inspiration vs. discipline, and challenges of African artists.

🪇 Let's Blend!

Spotify has a new feature that creates a playlist by blending music from different users. 

You can search for ‘blend’ and invite up to 10 friends to collaborate on a playlist. 

Are you interested? Accept this invitation and blend with me.

If the blend is full already (since it’s max 10 people), you can reply to this email and I’ll share a new link.

📽️ Beau is Afraid (US)

I like weird movies because they make you think.

Beau is Afraid is one of those odd, rollercoaster adventures that will leave your brain active for hours.

It’s so different that many sites still determine if it should be classified as a thriller, comedy, drama, or horror movie. 

This new film by Ari Aster (known for the unusual horror movie Midsommar) depicts the story of Beau, a man who’s afraid to leave the house but forced to embark on a Kafkaesque odyssey after his manipulative mother dies.

It features one of my favorite actors: Joaquin Phoenix, who many know from the blockbuster movie The Joker

🎸 Discover New Music (World)

Le Guess Who is a fantastic world music festival in Utrecht. 

They feature artists like Zamrock band WITCH, Cuban DJ Cami Laye Okun, Afro-Brazilian collective Bixiga 70, and the Nigerien Desert Blues band Bombino

The entire playlist is here; it’s a great way to discover new artists! 

📕 The Naked Don't Fear the Water (Afghanistan)

After spending years working as a Canadian journalist in Afghanistan, Matthieu decides to embark on the most incredible adventure of his life.

He’ll risk his life to accompany his best friend, the Afghani Omar, on his migration as a refugee to Europe.

The Naked Don’t Fear the Water alternates between insights about politics and the situation in Afghanistan and the novelesque and dangerous adventures of the two friends, testing their faith and friendship.

I highly recommend it to anyone interested in personal accounts, the refugee crises, or brave and adventurous stories.

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