Screen Capture via "photo-eye In-Print Photobook Video #32: The Enclave by Richard Mosse" by photo-eye (via Vimeo)

The ongoing Syrian refugee crisis has raised ethical concerns surrounding immigration, borders, and terrorism. However, one less-discussed ethical dilemma surrounding refugees is that of photojournalism and art. Irish photographer Richard Mosse made headlines last week after publishing photographs taken of refugee camps using cameras with military grade thermal radiation. The photographs are extremely detailed and might even portray a sense of voyeurism.

"Wormhole travel" by Les Bossinas is licensed under CC0 Public Domain (via Wikipedia)

Editor’s note: this article contains spoilers for Aurora. 

Aurora, the most recent novel by the science-fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson, focuses on the long-distance voyage of Earth’s first interstellar generation starship. A generation starship is a spaceship designed to sustain a small human population stuck on the ship for several generations. This generation ship is travelling 11.9 light years to the Tau Ceti system, a voyage that takes them roughly 200 years to complete. Thus, the inhabitants of the ship that we meet are not those individuals who signed up willingly for the expedition, but rather the descendants of their descendants.

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"Conductor" by Rob Swystun is licensed under Creative Commons license CC BY 2.0 (via Flickr)Sun Media Photo/Rob Swystun/Daily Graphic/16/12/08 Rei Hotoda conducts the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra at the William Glesby Centre in Portage la Prairie Tuesday as part of The Power Smart Holiday Express Tour 2008. Portagers filled the Glesby to see and hear the orchestra, which completely filled the stage at the performing arts centre.

Classical music has a long legacy of sexism, and the most evident reminder is often standing right in front of the orchestra. I’ve stared at this inequality for most of my own musical career. In twelve years, I’ve worked with only one professional female conductor, but countless males. And even in the world of instrumentalists, equality can be hard to see. I remember being in middle school band, shocked that there wasn’t a single boy in the flute section, but all the professionals my teachers told me to listen to were men.

Screen Capture from "Split Official Trailer 1 (2017) by Movieclips Trailers (via Youtube)

Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers for the film, Split. 

On January 20, Split, a film about three girls attempting to escape from Kevin Wendell Crumb’s 23 split personalities, was released in theaters. In the film, Crumb suffers from dissociative identity disorder (DID). Dissociative identity disorder, commonly known as multiple personality disorder, is a mental illness that creates one or more personalities within one individual. The disorder also pairs with memory loss; therefore, the individual is sometimes incapable of realizing their multiple personalities.  Normally, the disorder arises from some form of trauma during childhood.

"Hollywood" by Shinya Suzuki is licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-ND 2.0 (via Flickr)

Recently, we have seen some upward changes to the Hollywood film industry. For example, six Black actors from four movies were nominated for this year’s Oscar awards, unlike the past two #OscarsSoWhite years. These nominated movies are about, directed by and/or starred by Black people. The 68th Emmy Awards nominees and winners are also a diverse group of actors and actresses. But has the industry really become more inclusive?

Screen Capture of "Arrival Trailer (2016) by Paramount Pictures (via Youtube)

Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers for Arrival and Passengers.

If you were to see your life unfold ahead of you, with all of the triumphs but interspersed with the tragedies in all of their grittiness and grief, would you choose to experience it, in all of that detail? Not just in spite of the inconveniences and harms, not full of regrets, but could you wholeheartedly say “Yes!” to the life that will be, or has been, yours?

"Indian Ocean" by Sonara Arnav is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 (via Flickr)

The world only knows Indian music from Bollywood’s “filmy” ballads and cinematic love songs. Music in India seems to enter the world in few forms other than through the cinema industry.  However, Bollywood does an incomplete job of representing the music of India just as the iTunes charts would to Americarepresenting only the big, mainstream record artists. Under the wraps of a Bollywood-obsessed entertainment scene, there is a burgeoning independent Indian music industry that is teeming with life and passion. It is young, determined, and rebellious. This indie music industry surfaces many interesting questions about art’s longstanding struggle against capitalist values and the role of anti-establishment industries in societies like India’s.

"Public Enemy in Hamburg/Germany 2000" by MikaV is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)

Hip-hop music began in the 1980s, and was primarily a means for African American communities to express commentary and frustration related to politics, discrimination, and common struggles often related to race relations. Crucially, music was being used to give voice to a people that has traditionally been suppressed or discounted because of the effects of systemic racism in the American political institution. One of the most significant groups to pioneer this genre was Public Enemy, whose music focused largely on sociopolitical commentary.

"Opera House" by wikiImages is licensed under CC0 Public Domain (via Pixabay)

Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be a singer. I was that child who always told her friends and family that she was going to be on American Idol when she turned sixteen, but was actually talent-less, which usually fostered an encouraging pat on the back and an “oh, that’s nice, dear,” from amused adults. Thanks to several outstanding music educators, I fortunately grew into my voice in high school, and decided I wanted to pursue a career in opera.

"Obama Greets the cast and crew of Hamilton" by Pete Souza is licensed under CC0 Public Domain (via Wikimedia Commons)

Recently, Vice President-elect Mike Pence attended a performance of the smash Broadway musical, Hamilton. During closing curtain remarks, Pence was directly addressed by the cast of the musical. The address encouraged Pence and the rest of the Trump administration to uphold their promise to truly be an administration working toward the welfare of all Americans. The cast expressed that the diversity represented in their multi-ethnic retelling of the founding of America is a true representation of the American dream and that Trump’s administration should respect the diversity so cherished in American values. You can view the full video of the address here.