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Australia’s Ash BARTY wins French Open at Roland Garros: advances to World No 2 June 9, 2019

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A photo of Ash Barty as a young child has gone viral after her incredible triumph at the French Open.

The 23-year-old beat unseeded Czech Marketa Vondrousova 6-1 6-3 in Paris on Saturday to become Australia’s fourth French Open champion, and first in 46 years.

Barty, who only returned to tennis three years ago, was ruthlessly efficient against the 19-year-old as she became just the 17th Australian female player to win a grand slam.

“It’s remarkable,” Barty said.

“At the moment it’s a bit too much and a bit out there, really.

“But it’s amazing.We have done the work, and we tried to put ourselves in these positions. Now that we’re here, it’s just incredible.”

Barty’s success in Paris means she is the ninth different winner from the last 10 slams and a genuine contender for Wimbledon next month on her favourite surface of grass.

Five years after quitting the sport in despair, Barty has now joined Australian legends Margaret Court (1962, ’64, ’69, ’70, ’73), Evonne Goolagong Cawley (1971) and Lesley Bowrey (1963, ’65) on the Roland Garros honour roll.

“For the last fortnight, the stars have aligned for me,” she said.

“I have been able to play really good tennis when I’ve needed it.

Revelation Film Festival 2019 Photos Bohdan Warchomij May 30, 2019

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Revelation started life in 1997 as an ‘underground’ event in the back
room basement of the Greenwich Club, at the time Perth’s smoothest jazz and music venue. All works were screened purely on 16mm film and the festival also featured live music, poetry and guest presentations. Revelation was designed to showcase a range
of unique and progressive short, feature, documentary, archival and animated works which were at the forefront of contemporary underground filmmaking, at the same time contextualising these works through a variety of curated archival programs highlighting
pivotal points in independent filmmaking.

Richard Sowada Festival Director and Jack Sargeant Program Director

Rapidly outgrowing the intimate surrounds of the Greenwich Club, Revelation now spans venues across Perth and Fremantle and features some of the most acclaimed films from the international film festival scene and includes gallery and installation works, live performances, an academic conference and a unique seminar and masterclass series. Revelation’s market penetration is today at its most comprehensive ever, engaging new local, national and international audiences. More than 500 films are submitted each year for selection from local and international filmmakers, and the event’s screen conference component is fast becoming a huge draw for the world’s filmmaking community.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Revelation was invited to present the public screening component of the Australian International Documentary Conference as part of the Perth International Arts Festival in 2000 and 2001 and since then has seen itself as a stand-alone event.
The festival’s screen conference is expected to become an even larger draw for Australian and international filmmakers.

Organizers
Richard Sowada
FESTIVAL DIRECTOR
Suzanne Worner
GENERAL MANAGER
Jack Sargeant
PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Mari Katayama Japanese Photographer at the Venice Bienale May 27, 2019

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A dreamy, cinematic glamour pervades Japanese photographer Mari Katayama’s frames. She stages her self-portraits on the beach or in snow white bedding, among flowery fabrics, and in front of a glimmering painting. She wears her hair in a fashionable black bob. Her skin and red lipstick are pristine. It takes a moment for viewers to realize that her body diverges from those in the pin-up or fashion shots to which we’ve become accustomed—Katayama’s legs have been amputated, and she has a cleft left hand.It’s a surprise, but it shouldn’t be: While the media is expanding its conception of beauty, the concept is too often limited to the able-bodied.
Yet the young artist’s oeuvre is about much more than the condition—tibial hemimelia—which led to her to decide to amputate her legs at age 9, while she was growing up in Gunma prefecture. The photographs are celebrations of glittery, girlish making, and of traditional craft objects. They’re lush vehicles for all of Katayama’s creations: painting, sculpture, and of course, her own self-presentation. She creates a theatrical world in which she’s simultaneously the author, director, and star. The pictures’ confidence, and Katayama’s inclusion in the 58th edition of the Venice Biennale, augur an exciting career and a receptive international audience.
In one of the pictures on view in the Biennale’s central exhibition, “May You Live in Interesting Times,” at the Arsenale, Bystander #02 (2016), Katayama sits tall on a burgundy sofa with a floral pattern, flanked by pillows she sewed herself. The backdrop is sparkling, textured teal—part of one of her paintings. Stuffed, sewn arms studded with pearls wrap around her like a shawl. They feature lifelike fingers: She prints hands directly onto the material. Katayama appears like a queen from a fairy tale of her own making.
As a child, Katayama had to wear specially tailored clothes that her mother and grandmother sewed for her. She picked up the skill, as well as other creative outlets, to distract herself from her school, where bullies targeted her. She drew and played in a band. A fashion student named Tatsuya Shimada noticed her unique aesthetic when she was 16, and she became a model in his graduate catwalk show. Over the next decade, she continued making work and attended the Tokyo Art Institute.
A recent trip to Naoshima island inspired Katayama to make the stuffed appendages. There, she learned about naoshima onna bunraku, a traditional all-female style of Japanese puppet theater. She’s noted how the art form features dolls that don’t have any legs. In her series “bystander” (2016), her arms surround her while she lies on the beach, sometimes on her cellphone: She looks like a mermaid-cum-influencer, washed up from the sea.
In Venice, Katayama has found a more receptive audience than in Japan. In her home country, she struggles to communicate with viewers. “People tend to ask [me] to make [my work] crystal clear and explain too much,” she told me at the Biennale, via her translator. At the opening, she met curators and artists who appreciated the nuance in her photographs.
At the Arsenale, Katayama mounted an installation featuring the objects she uses throughout her photoshoots. Half prop closet, half three-dimensional mood board, the presentation further confirms her maximalist aesthetic. On top of a table, floral pillows commingle with beaded fabrics and stuffed legs with shells sewn into the material. Decorated boxes feature cut-out texts and pictures. One appears to be an article about Stan Douglas

—another biennale artist who similarly creates cinematic magic in his still photography. Foot braces rest at the back of the table, as does a tiny gold shoe. Katayama has mounted another self-portrait behind all these objects, featuring herself amid mannequins and mountains of materials. Blinking lights at the side offer additional radiance.

‘Your Move’: Graffiti On Putin Mural In Crimea Taunts FSB May 23, 2019

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SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — A mural in Crimea depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin has been defaced with a profane piece of graffiti calling the Federal Security Service (FSB) a “bitch.”

Painted stencil-style lettering appeared on the mural on an apartment building in the capital of the Russia-controlled Ukrainian region, Simferopol, on May 21.

The white lettering standing out from the blue naval uniform Putin is depicted wearing read “FSB, shall we play? E2 – E4. Now it’s your move, bitch.”

The site was cordoned off by police and what appeared to be plainclothes law enforcement officers.

E2 – E4 is a popular opening move in chess, and many in the former Soviet Union would recognize it as a reference to The Twelve Chairs, a 1928 satirical novel by authorial duo Ilf and Petrov.

Putin headed the FSB in 1998-99 and was a longtime officer of its predecessor, the Soviet KGB.

The graffiti also included the wording “Telegram-Party of Crimea’s Independence, Sovereign Crimea,” and the little-known group’s address on the social network Telegram. Its account was created in April.

People identifying themselves as representatives of the group contacted RFE/RL on Telegram and said that the 100-centimeter-by-150-centimeter graffito was painted on the mural on May 21.

They said that their final goal was Crimea’s independence from any country, and that they plan similar stunts in the future.

Russia seized control of Crimea in March 2014, sending in troops without insignia, securing key facilities, and staging a referendum deemed illegitimate by Ukraine and most other countries.

Rights groups and Western governments say Russia has conducted a persistent campaign of oppression targeting Crimean Tatars and other citizens who opposed Moscow’s takeover of the Black Sea peninsula.

Bob Hawke Prime Minister of Australia RIP May 17, 2019

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Bob Hawke, one of the nation’s greatest public figures and a hero of the Australian Labor Party, has died on the eve of an election the former prime minister just one day ago predicted would be won by the party he led for nearly a decade.

The Labor legend died on Thursday surrounded by family in his Sydney home, drawing to a close one of the most substantial chapters in Australian political history. He was 89.

“Today we lost Bob Hawke, a great Australian – many would say the greatest Australian of the post-war era,” his wife, Blanche d’Alpuget, said. She was also his biographer.

Paul Keating, who served as treasurer under Mr Hawke and defeated him in a leadership ballot to become prime minister in 1991, said the death also represented the passing of “a partnership we formed with the Australian people”.

 

“Bob possessed a moral framework for his important public life, both representing the workers of Australia and more broadly, the country at large,” Mr Keating said on Thursday night.

 

Eurovision 2019: Kate Miller-Heidke represents Australia at song contest’s first semi-final in Tel Aviv May 16, 2019

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Australia’s 2019 Eurovision Song Contest entrant, Kate Miller-Heidke, has made it through to the grand final after bringing glitz, glamour and spectacle to the stage in Tel Aviv.

Miller-Heidke, who performed atop a moving pole in a billowing white gown, sang Zero Gravity, a ballad about emerging from depression.

Her win, along with nine countries out of the other 16 that were also vying for a spot, secures Australia a spot in Sunday morning’s showdown.

 

Tamara Dean wins Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize with “Endangered” May 8, 2019

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Former Sydney Morning Herald photographer Tamara Dean has won the $50,000 Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize with a painterly image entitled Endangered.

The winning image, which shows a group of naked swimmers diving underwater, was part of a series made last year when Dean was invited to visit the Heron Island Research Station off the Queensland coast to learn about the effects of climate change.

 

“I feel incredibly fortunate because the level of entries this year is absolutely outstanding,” she said. “I was not confident I would be sitting in this position.”

One of the three judges, photographer Stephen Dupont, confirmed the final field of 30, which also included work by Herald photographers Nick Moir and James Brickwood, was unusually strong.

 

“There were a few photographs that all of us judges really loved in terms of a winner. It was not an easy decision,” he said.

“But at the end of the day, Tamara’s photograph was chosen purely because it was so powerful. We kept going back to it. It’s a renaissance-looking, unsynchronised ballet.”

Dean used volunteers from the Heron Island visitors and scientists for the series.

“It’s a photograph I have wanted to make for a while,” she said. “I’ve seen photographs of single figures under the water but I had never seen that kind of thing. It’s very difficult as a photographer to make images that haven’t been made before.”

The image represents Dean returning to the environmental concerns that dominated her early 20s when she was involved in forest campaigns.

“Going on the trip with the Climate Council really reminded me where I started and put a rocket under me to use my visual language to communicate how deeply I feel about the environment.

“I find the images I see of the destruction of the environment incredibly important but I feel people can easily switch off and turn away from problems they think are too hard to confront.

“I wanted to make images people want to look at and to show the beauty of humanity and the environment and show just how much we have to lose.”

The Moran Contemporary Photographic Exhibition, until June 2, Juniper Hall, Oxford St, Paddington

PATRICK BROWN Wins the 2019 FOTOEVIDENCE BOOK AWARD with WORLD PRESS PHOTO for his work NO PLACE ON EARTH (now available for sale on Amazon) April 28, 2019

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In NO PLACE ON EARTH award winning photojournalist Patrick Brown has documented the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis and one of the most rapid human displacements in recent history. Risking death at sea or on foot, more than 700,000 Rohingya fled the destruction of their homes and brutal persecution in the northern Rakhine State of Myanmar for neighboring Bangladesh. Arriving at makeshift camps, most refugees reported consistent stories of murder and rape, all of which testify to a deliberate campaign of eradication. NO PLACE ON EARTH includes personal testimony from survivors and provides a harrowing account of what they endured.Essays about the genocide by journalist Jason Motlagh and human rights campaigner Mathew Smith add description and depth to the Browns powerful photography. The book includes children’s drawings depicting helicopter gunships raining bombs and bullets on their burning villages. The drawing are accompanied by a short commentary from Peter Bouckaert, former emergencies director for Human Rights Watch.

Anzac Day: Perth 25 APRIL 2019 Photos Bohdan Warchomij April 25, 2019

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Thousands of people gathered in Perth this morning to honour service men and women past and present in the annual Anzac Day parade.

Young and old lined St George’s Terrace waving Australian flags and proudly displaying medals – their own or those of their relatives – applauding as the march passed them by.

A huge cross section of veterans from different communities contributed including Sikhs, Vietnamese, Greeks and many others honouring the contribution of brave soldiers, nursed, airmen and sailors.

At a commemorative ceremony at Perth Concert Hall, RSL WA president Peter Aspinall said Anzac Day was a time not only to commemorate but also to “count our blessings”.

“That we live in a freedom and that others fought and many died for those freedoms,” he said.

“I reflect on the turnout of thousands of people at the dawn service and the Anzac parade.

“In such reflections I am heartened and reminded that Anzac Day is about much more than veterans, it is about us as a community.

“It is all about all of us, our values and our freedom.”

Globe and Mail’s Journalist Mark McKinnon: Ukraine’s president-elect comes to office with a strong mandate but no clear plan April 24, 2019

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AREA OF EXPERTISE

International relations, Canada’s role in the world

Mark MacKinnon is currently based in London, where he is The Globe and Mail’s Senior International Correspondent. In that posting he has reported on the refugee crisis, the rise of Islamic State, the war in eastern Ukraine, and the Brexit referendum. He was internationally recognized for his 2016 story “The Graffiti Kids,” which followed the lives of the teenagers who inadvertently started the Syrian war.

Mark spent five years as the newspaper’s Beijing correspondent. There he won accolades for his investigations into the garment industry in Asia and for his reporting from the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan.

Mark has also been posted to the Middle East and Moscow for The Globe and Mail. He has covered the arrival of Canada’s troops in Afghanistan, the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, Russia’s war in Chechnya, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine and the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah conflict.

A seven-time National Newspaper Award winner, Mark is also the author of The New Cold War: Revolutions, Rigged Elections and Pipeline Politics - which was published in 2007 by Random House, and The China Diaries, an e-book of his train travels through the Middle Kingdom along with photographer John Lehmann.

He has interviewed many world leaders, including Shimon Peres, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

I first met and worked for Mark McKinnon in Ukraine in 2004 prior to and subsequently during  the Orange Revolution, the first protest by the Ukrainian nation to political corruption and electoral fraud. Our first assignment together was in the western based city of Lviv and we then spent three months together travelling the length and breadth of Ukraine covering the mounting protests throughout the country. From Lviv to Sevastapol to Karkiv to Kyiv I witnessed Mark McKinnon’s grasp of Ukrainian politics and his understanding of the Russian sphere of influence. MacKinnon’s first book, The New Cold War: Revolutions, Rigged Elections and Pipeline Politics in the Former Soviet Union was published in 2007 by Random House in Canada and later in the USA. (Bohdan Warchomij Photojournalist and author of PORTRAIT OF A REVOLUTION Published by Backpack Books in 2006, an account of Ukrainian independence from 1992 to the Orange  Revolution in 2004.)

GLOBE AND MAIL REPORT

All that’s clear, for now, about Volodymyr Zelensky, the comedian who is president-elect of Ukraine, is the size of his mandate. After his thumping win in Sunday’s election, Ukrainians, as well as the country’s neighbours, are waiting to see what Mr. Zelensky – who played a fictional president of Ukraine on television for three seasons – will do in real life.

Remarkably for a politician anywhere, he comes to office almost completely unburdened by commitments made on the campaign trail. While hammering away at the unpopular incumbent, Petro Poroshenko, Mr. Zelensky made only the vaguest of statements about what he would do if he had Mr. Poroshenko’s job.

Now that life is imitating art and Mr. Zelensky is set to become the leader of a country that is the front line of a confrontation between Russia and the West, the details of his plan – if he has one – will need to be quickly filled in.

There are high hopes, particularly among other anti-establishment politicians, that Mr. Zelensky – who has said he will consult with citizens about the problems they want his government to tackle then crowdsource the solutions – will shake up the region’s often-staid politics. But there are also deep concerns about who will be writing his scripts once he’s in power.

Western diplomats and business people, as well as officials in the outgoing government, told The Globe and Mail during the campaign that they were worried Mr. Zelensky would pull Ukraine off its pro-Western course in favour of closer relations with Moscow. Mr. Poroshenko helped advance that narrative with a series of bitter tweets Sunday night shortly after the scale of his defeat became clear.

“Just look at the celebrations in the Kremlin,” he wrote. “They believe that with a new inexperienced Ukrainian President Ukraine could be quickly returned to Russia’s orbit of influence.”

But while there’s little doubt that Russian President Vladimir Putin will be glad to see the ouster of Mr. Poroshenko – who helped hold Ukraine together after Russia annexed Crimea and stirred up a separatist rebellion in the Donbass region, rallying international support for punitive sanctions against Moscow – any victory parties in the Kremlin after Mr. Zelensky’s win were muted.

On Monday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev cautiously welcomed the election result, posting on his own Twitter account that “there is still a chance for Ukraine to improve its relations with Russia.” But Mr. Putin, who directly manages sensitive foreign files such as Ukraine, was silent, withholding official congratulations even as Mr. Zelensky took a phone call from U.S. President Donald Trump and received an invitation to visit Berlin from German Chancellor Angela Merkel. (In a statement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he looked forward to working with Mr. Zelensky in order to deepen the Canada-Ukraine relationship and “build a more secure, more prosperous future for people in both our countries.”)

“It is too early to talk about President Putin offering his congratulations to Zelensky, as well as speaking about the possibilities of working together,” Mr. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters in Moscow. The Kremlin, Mr. Peskov made clear, was in wait-and-see mode regarding the president-elect. “It will only be possible to judge [him] by his actions.”

While Mr. Zelensky did take a more conciliatory line toward Russia than Mr. Poroshenko did during the campaign – saying he hoped to end the war in Donbass through a negotiated settlement with Mr. Putin, suggesting a willingness to consider a compromise over the status of Crimea and Donbass – it’s far from clear that he will bend to the Kremlin’s will.

If he is indeed a puppet – as some allege – the hand manipulating him is not Mr. Putin’s but that of Ihor Kolomoisky, a powerful Ukrainian oligarch. And while Mr. Kolomoisky’s aims may have coincided with those of Mr. Putin, in that they both wanted to be rid of Mr. Poroshenko (who ordered the seizure and nationalization of Ukraine’s largest bank amid accusations of fraud and mismanagement while it was owned by Mr. Kolomoisky), the oligarch also fought ferociously against Russian interference during the events of 2014, forming and funding a battalion of fighters that helped stop the separatist advance in eastern Ukraine.

Among the few hard commitments Mr. Zelensky did make on the campaign trail were promises to continue Ukraine’s drive for membership in the European Union and NATO, policies that are directly at odds with Mr. Putin’s ambition to pull Ukraine back into Russia’s sphere of influence.

But perhaps the most threatening thing of all about Mr. Zelensky, from the Kremlin’s point of view, is the size and nature of his election win. Mr. Putin, whose inner circle is also accused of massive corruption, will see little to admire in a political neophyte who comes from nowhere to upend the establishment.

Monday’s official count of the ballots confirmed the predictions of exit polls taken during the voting on Sunday, with Mr. Zelensky taking more than 73 per cent of the vote. Even more impressively, he claimed a majority in all but one of Ukraine’s 23 oblasts, or regions, where voting took place, winning over both the predominantly Russian-speaking east of the country and the Ukrainian-speaking west.

The campaign, which included an unpredictable first round that saw a field of 39 candidates narrowed down to Mr. Zelensky and Mr. Poroshenko after a first-round vote on March 31, as well as a head-to-head debate between the two finalists in the final days, was a breath of fresh air compared with the stagnant political scene in Moscow.

If he is indeed a puppet – as some allege – the hand manipulating him is not Mr. Putin’s but that of Ihor Kolomoisky, a powerful Ukrainian oligarch. And while Mr. Kolomoisky’s aims may have coincided with those of Mr. Putin, in that they both wanted to be rid of Mr. Poroshenko (who ordered the seizure and nationalization of Ukraine’s largest bank amid accusations of fraud and mismanagement while it was owned by Mr. Kolomoisky), the oligarch also fought ferociously against Russian interference during the events of 2014, forming and funding a battalion of fighters that helped stop the separatist advance in eastern Ukraine.

Among the few hard commitments Mr. Zelensky did make on the campaign trail were promises to continue Ukraine’s drive for membership in the European Union and NATO, policies that are directly at odds with Mr. Putin’s ambition to pull Ukraine back into Russia’s sphere of influence.

But perhaps the most threatening thing of all about Mr. Zelensky, from the Kremlin’s point of view, is the size and nature of his election win. Mr. Putin, whose inner circle is also accused of massive corruption, will see little to admire in a political neophyte who comes from nowhere to upend the establishment.

Monday’s official count of the ballots confirmed the predictions of exit polls taken during the voting on Sunday, with Mr. Zelensky taking more than 73 per cent of the vote. Even more impressively, he claimed a majority in all but one of Ukraine’s 23 oblasts, or regions, where voting took place, winning over both the predominantly Russian-speaking east of the country and the Ukrainian-speaking west.

The campaign, which included an unpredictable first round that saw a field of 39 candidates narrowed down to Mr. Zelensky and Mr. Poroshenko after a first-round vote on March 31, as well as a head-to-head debate between the two finalists in the final days, was a breath of fresh air compared with the stagnant political scene in Moscow.

Alexey Navalny, the most prominent member of Russia’s anti-Putin opposition, congratulated Ukraine for holding “honest elections – a rare thing in the territory of the former Soviet Union. Let Ukraine thrive, and Russia will be OK.”

In his acceptance speech Sunday night, Mr. Zelensky also suggested that Ukraine’s election could set an example for some of its neighbours. “To all post-Soviet countries: Look at us. Everything is possible.”