Arts, Culture & Media

A drought in Spain has dried up all the bubbly

One of the world’s most well-known and prestigious makers of sparkling wine — or cava, as it’s called in Catalan — is laying off 80% of its workforce. There’s plenty of demand for Spanish-German Freixenet’s bottled beverage, just not enough water to get the grapes to grow. They have shriveled on the vine as the lack of rain and restrictions on water use combine. The World’s Gerry Hadden reports from Sant Sadurní d’Ainoa, Spain.

‘This is the biggest thing that all Latvians wait for’: Summer solstice festivities begin in Latvia

Lacquerware artisans are still displaced by earthquake in Japan

New book explores the world of unbuilt architecture

How AI is helping to recreate childhood memories

Who was Toussaint L’Ouverture, the namesake behind Boston’s new Haitian cultural center?

The Toussaint L’Ouverture Cultural Center of Massachusetts, is set to celebrate its groundbreaking near TD Garden in Boston on May 20. It will act as a gathering place and resource center for local Haitians. And organizers hope it will also help the legacy of one of history’s great leaders live on. GBH’s Esteban Bustillos has the story.

"And this shall also pass II," by Nigerian artist Ngozi-Omeje Ezema, 2022, work from Kó gallery in Lagos, Nigeria.

After decades of being overlooked, African art gets its moment

African art served as an inspiration in the 19th century for some of the greatest European artists, like Picasso, Gaugin and Matisse. But artists from Africa have played a small part in the international art world — until now. Earlier this month, a gallery in New York City held one of the largest showings of African contemporary art in the world. 

Kalush Orchestra brings Ukrainian folk music to the world stage

Music

Kalush Orchestra has a unique sound that blends rap with traditional Ukrainian folk music. In 2022, the band, representing Ukraine, won Eurovision. The victory was a huge boost for a country at war and propelled the band to massive success. From Kyiv, The World’s Daniel Ofman speaks with the group’s flute player about how he went from folk music aficionado to arena rockstar.

Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi has been sentenced to death in Iran.

Iranian rapper receives death sentence for his work and support of human rights 

Justice

The work of 33-year-old Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi is as poetic as it is technically challenging — covering topics ranging from government corruption to the 2022 Mahsa Amini protests, he channels the voice of Iran’s disillusioned youth. This week, a revolutionary court in Isfahan overruled a previous court decision granting leniency for Salehi, and sentenced him to death.

EU threatens to shut down popular app that pays users to watch videos

Arts, Culture & Media

The European Commission is calling the new TikTok Lite app “toxic as cigarettes.” It’s a spin-off from the makers of the original TikTok, that pays people to watch videos. The EC says it was launched without regard for risks of addiction, or safeguards against children using it. Now they’re threatening to suspend it.