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Arts and Literature

Just the Facts: What is “Fact Checking” and Why is it Growing?

Journalism, at its best, is a search for truth. And identifying the truth involves getting the facts correct. But a movement known as “Fact Checking” is growing globally and takes what some consider standard journalism practice to new heights. Following the release of a new report on fact checking, we spoke with Jane Elizabeth from the American Press Institute about the findings and to learn more about the practice. She provides an overview in this edition of CONTEXT

A Retrospective: Gender and Politics in the Work of Shirin Neshat

Three authors and specialists on Iran discussed the achievements of artist Shirin Neshat and the political and social themes in her work.

Misty Copeland to Dance Swan Lake at DC’s Kennedy Center

History will be made at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater on the e

Book Talk: New Translation "Anna Karenina"

This talk explored the translation history of Anna Karenina, and the particular role played by Constance Garnett and Louise and Aylmer Maude in establishing Tolstoy’s reputation in the English-speaking world. This led to a discussion of some of the novel’s less well-known, but surprisingly revealing aspects, as seen from the grass-roots level of a contemporary translator, and, through a comparison of the fictional Anna with her real-life British contemporary Louise Jopling, a reconsideration of the novel’s relationship to the “woman question” in late 19th-century Russia.

Porgy & Bess at 80: Rethinking Russian Influence on American Culture

East European musical and theatrical masters arriving in the United States beginning in the 1890s immediately recognized and praised the contributions of African Americans to American culture.  Beginning with Czech composer Antonín Dvořák – who argued during the 1890s that “Negro melodies” would create a distinctive “American school” of operas, symphonies, art songs, and chamber works – and continuing through the early twentieth century, European immigrant musicians and theatrical performers such as – Dvořák, George Balanchine, Jerome Kern, and Kurt Weill -- s

The View from the Bus: Rethinking Cities through Performance


Revolution of Dignity Art Exhibit: Images from Ukraine's Maidan, 2013-2014

Nearly 40 works of art are on display, including pieces by Andriy Yermolenko, considered to be one of the most prominent painters of the Maidan, as well as Marian Luniv, Olena Golub, Oleksa Mann, Ivan Semesjuk, and artists from the Modern Art Research Institute of the National Academy of Arts of Ukraine (MARI): Andriy Sydorenko, Glib Vysheslavsky, and Oksana Chepelyk. Replicas of works about the Maidan are displayed for the first time in Washing

Film Screening: “Brothers in Arms: Stories from the Frontlines of the Russian-Ukrainian War”

In 2014, a team of filmmakers traveled to the front lines between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists to interview soldiers, commanders, local residents, and volunteers. Their goal was to understand what fuels the war and what the real cost is for everybody involved.

The presentation featured episodes from their film and provided the opportunity to interact with the filmmakers, who shared their personal experiences and observations from the war zone.

Theater and the Heart of a City: Moscow’s Teatr.doc’s Confrontation with Authority

On the evening of December 30, 2014 -- just as two dozen or so patrons were settling into their seats at a purposefully ramshackle basement theater in central Moscow to watch a film about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine -- police officials and a television crew entered the hall, declared a bomb threat, and asked everyone to evacuate.  Despite the declared urgency that a bomb might go off, the police checked and recorded the documents of everyone in the audience and requested that they wait in paddy wagons parked outside for their own protection.  When questioned about the wisdom of taking 4