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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Where does art end and politics begin?

February 20th, 2014
02:33 PM ET

A Florida artist says he’s sorry for intentionally smashing a vase by dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.  The work was valued at $1 million dollars.

Maximo Caminero faces charges of criminal mischief after dropping the vase.   Caminero says he broke the artwork as a protest against the gallery, for refusing to showcase local artists.

Ai Weiwei – who is photographed smashing an ancient Chinese vase in one of his own works – says he does not support artists destroying other artists work.

The case got us thinking about where the line is drawn between activism and artwork.  Becky went to London’s Brunei Gallery to find out more.

(And don’t worry – no real artwork or valuable vases were harmed in the making of this piece.)

Filed under:  Celebrity • Entertainment • United States • Video

'12 Years' a game changer for diversity

February 18th, 2014
01:45 PM ET

As '12 Years a Slave' took top honors at the BAFTA Awards, all eyes were on the film's black cast – and especially director Steve McQueen.  If he wins the Best Director prize at next month's Academy Awards, McQueen will become the first black director ever to win.

Atika Shubert spoke with John Akomfrah, a Former Governor of the British Film Institute.  She asked him what McQueen's BAFTA win meant for diversity in the film industry.

"I think Steve winning is confirmation of a trend taking place anyway," Akomfrah said.  "And by that I mean, for instance, 12 years ago, if you had a film called '12 Years a Slave,' the idea would be that it would go to a white director because it's big and so it's appropriate that it should go to a white director.  The fact that a major African diaspora story is done by a black director of black British heritage and descent is, I think, significant."

Atika also asked what Akomfrah would consider to be a true sign of diversity in cinema.

"If Steve's example became a trend, so that there were more people like Steve," he replied.  "If a range of black acting talent continues to be both affirmed and endorsed by both BAFTA and the Academy."

Filed under:  Analysis • Celebrity • Entertainment • History • Hollywood • London • Oscars • Video

Mexican skier: I'd only win best dressed

February 3rd, 2014
03:30 PM ET

With the Sochi Olympics just days away, the world's top athletes are converging on the Russian seaside resort.  Among them will be a Mexican skier, who's aiming to make a splash with style rather than sport.

55-year-old Prince Hubertus von Hohenlohe has been skiing for Mexico in the Olympics since 1984.  While he doesn't stand a chance against the world's best downhill racers, his custom-designed uniform is sure to make an impact.  His quirky suit is inspired by Mexico's mariachis, well known bands of folk musicians.  Max Foster asked him where his Olympic style inspiration came from.

"We thought we'll do this mariachi outfit which is a guy who likes to sing, who likes life and who likes to have a good time, but still is Mexican without a doubt," von Hohenlohe said.  "Style will be remembered long after results are forgotten."

Filed under:  Entertainment • Fashion • London • Olympics • Russia • Sochi • Sport • Video

John Ridley on depicting slavery in film

January 24th, 2014
02:10 PM ET

One of the year's most talked-about films revisits a dark chapter in American history.  '12 Years a Slave' tells the story of Solomon Northup – a man born free, but sold into slavery in 19th century America.  The film won big at the Golden Globes, and is nominated for nine Oscars, including Best Film and Best Director.

Becky spoke with John Ridley, the screenwriter behind '12 Years a Slave' – who himself is nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.  Ridley said that although writing the script was challenging, he had strong original material to work with – in the form of Solomon Northup's memoir.

"Solomon's memoir is a truly special document.  The way he speaks, the eloquence, the depth of reportage, at a time when many Americans were not familiar with the institution of slavery," Ridley said. 

Becky asked Ridley about one of the main criticisms of the film – its depiction of brutal violence.  Ridley says that response from viewers tells him the filmmakers have done their job in making audiences aware. "We had no idea what the system of slavery is like, and for a lot of us our recollection of slavery is 'Gone with the Wind.'  It's 'Song of the South.'  It's 'Birth of a Nation.  And for people to genuinely – not in a dismissive way – say 'this is powerful stuff' – it really sort of tells me that we as people have not done a very good job at educating ourselves on what it takes to enslave people."


Filed under:  Becky's Interviews • Entertainment • History • Oscars • United States • Video

Corey Feldman: 'I feel bad for Justin'

January 24th, 2014
01:41 PM ET

Pop star Justin Bieber is out on bail, after his arrest on charges of drunken driving, resisting arrest and driving without a valid license.

Becky spoke to a man who knows the pressure of being young, rich and famous – actor Corey Feldman.  The former teen heartthrob said he experienced the same pressures as a young star.

"Most kids have these problems," Feldman said.  "The only thing is that they're not in the spotlight, it's not focused on them.  It's not the whole world watching when somebody gets a hiccup in life."

Feldman advised Bieber to move on by acknowledging his mistakes and surrounding himself with a new group of people.  "If he's able to embrace the idea that now it's time to learn the next lesson in life and humble himself a bit, he'll be just fine."


Filed under:  Becky's Interviews • Drugs • Entertainment • United States • Video
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