The German Culture Council (Deutscher Kulturrat) is the umbrella organization of the German cultural
associations such as groups representing art galleries and TV companies. It is a political and lobbying association and is funded by taxpayers.
Olaf Zimmermann, the head of the powerful cultural body has called for the banning of the nation's multitude of political talkshows for a year, claiming that they have helped fuel the rise of the far right.
Zimmermann said that public broadcasters needed to step back and rethink a format that has helped cement gloom-ridden public attitudes towards refugees and Islam, and propelled the Alternative f3cr Deutschland party into parliament at last
September's election. He said:
I'd suggest for them, take a break for a year ... though the length of the intermission isn't the decisive factor. What is crucial is that they return with new talkshow concepts and try to come up with more suitable contents with regards to
social cohesion in our society.
He particularly singled out public broadcasters ARD and ZDF as being obsessed with refugee-related issues, often framing them negatively.
Last week, ARD's main talkshow Hart Aber Fair - Hard But Fair - led with the question: To what extent is it possible to integrate young men who have fled from war and archaic societies? How unsafe is Germany as a result of them? The
programme was triggered by the murder of a 14-year-old German girl whose body was discovered in Wiesbaden last week. An Iraqi man is set to face trial.
The Akal Takht, the highest seat of authority of Sikhism in India, has formed a 21-member film censor board and claimed that its
clearance will have to be taken before making any movie on the Sikh religion and culture. Giani Gurbachan Singh, the Akal Takht head claimed:
The decision was taken because of controversies over films on Sikh gurus and distortion of Sikh history in movies. Any film that plans to portray any sequence related to Sikh gurus, their kin and Sikh history will have to seek clearance from the
Sikh Film Censor Board.
Over the past few years, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee has been demanding that at least two of its members be included in the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), India's official film censor.
Unlike the CBFC, which comes into play after a film is complete and before its release, the Sikh board has said its approval will have to be taken for the script of any feature film, documentary, animation and play based on the Sikh religion.
The Hyderabad police have registered a case against Swathi Vadlamudi, a journalist working for an English daily, for
a cartoon she created in response to high profile rape cases in India.
A right wing online vigilante group called Hindu Sanghatan reported the cartoon to police after Vadlamudi posted it on her Facebook page.
Hindu Sanghatan describes itself on its website:
The intent of the Sanghatan is to find public posts, which ridicule and demean Hindus and take legal action against them.
There is a rise of pseudo-seculars and pseudo-liberals who are maligning Hindu religion in all protests. Hence we wanted to take legal action against those tainting Hindu religion.
Police registered a case against her under Section 295 (a) of the Indian Penal Code (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs).
The president of Hindu Sanghatan commented:
There is nothing wrong in expressing her anger at Kathua incident and in fact, we, too, share her feelings. But where is the need draw Hindu gods into the incident?
The first film screened in Saudi Arabia for 37 years was Black Panther albeit a little shorter than the
version playing in the rest of the world due to the censorship of a kiss at the end of the film.
Unsurprisingly movies screened in Saudi cinemas will be subject to approval by government censors. Still, it's a distinct improvement over a total cinema ban. Many Saudi clerics still view Western movies and even Arabic films made in Egypt and
Lebanon as sinful.
US-based AMC, one of the world's biggest movie theater operators, only two weeks earlier signed a deal with Prince Mohammed to operate the first cinema in the kingdom. AMC and its local partner hurriedly transformed a concert hall in the Saudi
capital, Riyadh, into a cinema complex for Wednesday's screening.The new movie theater also came equipped with prayer rooms to accommodate the daily Muslim prayer times.
Screenings are gender segregated in a manner customary at restaurants and cafes. Screenings will generally have a seating area for women who may be accompanied by male relatives, and another area for men only. Some screenings could be designated
as solely for woman+families or for men only.
The cinema won't open to the public for a few days as the first screenings are private, invitation-only events.
Two members of veteran Greek extreme metal band Rotting Christ were detained on terrorism charges ahead of show in Georgia last Thursday, after authorities accused them of practising satanism, their record label has said.
According to a statement from Season of Mist, frontman Sakis Tolis was detained alongside his brother, drummer Themis, after being arrested on arrival in Tbilisi on charges allegedly relating to their band name. Sakis explains:
After the regular document check at the border, my brother and I were stopped by the police on our way out from the airport. After some minutes, we were ordered to follow police to another area of the airport under the pretence of further
questioning before entering the country. Instead, we had our passports and mobile phones taken away and were led into a prison cell.
When we demanded to be told the reason for this arrest, we were simply told this information would be 'confidential'. Our lawyers informed us later that we are on a list of unwanted persons [regarded a threat to] national security that branded us
as satanists and therefore suspects of terrorism.
Sakis says the pair were locked in a small and rather dirty cell, and without being permitted any contact to the outside world or legal representation or our embassy for 12 hours, before the promoters of the RedRum event , Sweden's Terror Crew
Promotions and Georgia's Locomotive Promotion, intervened and the band were released without charge.
Due to the hard work of the local promoter, who involved legal experts, journalists, and activists in Georgia, we were finally released, he explains. We are extremely grateful to everybody involved in this process. In the end, we were even able to
perform our show and it turned out to be a fantastic night.