Cultural Reads 62: 10 Spiritual Books, Experience Barcelona & WITCH

Hi Everyone, 

Welcome to the Cultural Reads Newsletter with book, music, and movie recommendations worldwide.

I just returned from Barcelona after a trip with almost 90 university friends. Luckily, we didn’t make the news. It was also my first time ‘influencing’ at a great brunch place called Barcino

Now, onto the newsletter: 10 Spiritual Books, Discover Barcelona, Zambian Rock, French Blockbuster, Rest of the World & Ai Wei Wei.

☀️ A New Way of Experiencing Barcelona

A city trip to Barcelona is fun.

You drink beers, stroll around, and return home content. 

But did you get to know the city? 

In this post, I’ll share a new way of experiencing Barcelona.

I’ll take you on a spectacular adventure to help you relive the city’s history.

🙏 Best 10 Spiritual Books Worldwide

Why are we here? 
What’s the meaning of life? 
And what’s my role in all of this?

Many of us ask ourselves these questions. 

I hoped to find answers in Catholicism but only found more questions. 

Why would a religion be better than others, and why do we go to different heavens?

Instead of focusing on the differences, I shifted towards commonalities, hoping to find an absolute truth. 

This journey led me to discover many mind-blowing books from different religions.

Today, I’m sharing the best 10 spiritual books I found worldwide.

🎵 WITCH (Zambia)

If you like the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, James Brown, and African music, look no further!

The Zambian band WITCH – WIntend TCause Havoc – is what you need.

The group became a massive success in the 70s and recently started touring again with their new album after being rediscovered in Europe.

They also released a fantastic documentary where the energetic and charismatic 71-year-old lead singer says: “God will ask me. I gave you talent; what did you do with it?” The video above is your answer.

🍿 Anatomy of the Fall (France)

The Rolling Stone called this Palme d’Or-winning movie this year’s most gripping murder mystery. With almost an eight on IMDB, viewers seem to agree.

During a family ski trip, the 11-year-old Daniel finds his father dead on the ground after a short walk. His mum turns out to be the main witness, putting him in an impossible position as the main witness during a rollercoaster court case.

🗞️ Rest Of The World

Rest of World is a news platform about technology in places that are overlooked and underestimated. 

The website fights the term ‘Rest of World’ because it lumps together and disregards billions of people outside the West.

I love their newsletter with a focus on: 

  • Empowering 250+ local journalists 
  • Challenging stereotypes
  • Connecting the dots across borders

🎨 Ai Wei Wei (China)

This month, I visited an exhibition by Ai Wei Wei, a Chinese contemporary artist and activist who grew up in harsh conditions due to his father’s exile.

He is openly critical of many things despite the consequences like being deleted from the Chinese internet, an 81-day imprisonment, and more recently, the cancellation of his exhibition in the UK.

What I liked most was his balance between activism and beauty. His symbolisms are easy to grasp, but his courage and creativity are unlimited.

The recurring themes are social justice, his upbringing, and the contrast between China’s current mass production and rich cultural art history. My favorite works are his marble sunflower seeds and the backpack snake. I also recommend checking out his ten most iconic artworks.

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