TAITMAIL Tessa's touch

Tessa Jowell’s death last weekend came as a shock to many, even though it was not unexpected, and many of her friends and acquaintances have written and spoken publicly about her kindness, her diligence, her generosity and her achievements.

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From Croydon, for Africa

AI Profile        For most of his life Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp, the Croydon born son of a veterinary professor and a nurse, didn’t use his Yoruba middle name. Now, as the new director of the Africa Centre, it is who he is: an African in London

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RA opens £56m ‘golden age’

The Royal Academy is marking its 250thanniversary with the opening of a £56m second building. Simon Tait reports

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Southampton shouts out

The John Hansard contemporary art gallery has left its cloistered campus home after 30 years, and opens with Gerhard Richter on Saturday in a new building in Southampton’s city centre. Simon Tait reports

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Playhouse Rocks

The West Yorkshire Playhouse is planning a major redevelopment – but changes to the building are only part of the story, discovers Patrick Kelly

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Dickens - the scientist

 An exhibition opening next month at the Charles Dickens Museum reveals an unexpected new dimension to the great Victorian novelist. Simon Tait reports

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The artist, afloat on a Sea of Plastic

Tony Common, the graphic genius behind countless screen presentations, has brought his skills to create a disturbing body of work, Sea of Plastic, in the hope of helping to save wildlife from our waste. He talked to Simon Tait

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Brixton message to the Windrush descendents – abandon violence, seize your heritage

AI Profile                    Paul Reid, director, the Black Cultural Archive

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Giving China’s 21st century performers a place in London’s calendar

Was Debussy Chinese? No, of course not, but he might have been, thinks An-Ting Chang.

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Where are our monuments? History and the Windrush fiasco

The Black Cultural Archives, the nation’s only repository dedicated to the heritage of African and Caribbean heritage people, opened its centre in Windrush Square, Brixton, in 2014, but why the Windrush documents if no longer thought useful, were they not passed over to the archive?Here its director, Paul Reid, looks at the history behind the unfolding fiasco regarding for the Windrush generation - and sees a shameful lack of appreciation of the Black citizens who have helped create today’s Britain, creating a hostile environment for legal migrants

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Crossing the Narrow Water

A literary festival aims to bridge the gap between Northern Ireland and Scotland.

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THE WORD Art should lead the attack on the gender wall

The British Punjabi artist Chila Kumari Burman (main image), who explores Asian femininity in paintings and installations, photography and printmaking, and film, sees art as central to breaking the gender gap and widening the cultural gaze

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