Michael Jackson art show opens in Finland despite controversy

The exhibit is not a "celebration" of the singer. (AFP)
Updated 22 August 2019

Michael Jackson art show opens in Finland despite controversy

HELSINKI: An exhibition of art inspired by Michael Jackson opened this week in Helsinki with organizers insisting it was not a "celebration" of the singer, still dogged by abuse allegations a decade after his death.




Jackson's documentary in 2018 showed that he groomed and sexually assaulted children. (AFP)

"Michael Jackson: On the Wall" brings together old and new works depicting the iconic pop star and his impact on popular culture, by artists including Andy Warhol, American photographer David LaChapelle and British potter Grayson Perry.




"Michael Jackson: On the Wall" depicts the iconic pop star's impact on popular culture. (AFP) 

The show of 90 works first hung in London's National Portrait Gallery in 2018 to widespread critical acclaim. It then toured in Paris and Bonn before coming to Helsinki.




The exhibition of art inspired by Michael Jackson opened on Tuesday in Helsinki. (AFP)

The German and Finnish shows come after a new raft of allegations that Jackson groomed and sexually assaulted children, detailed in the 2018 documentary "Leaving Neverland.”




Michael Jackson: On the Wall exhibit in Finland. (AFP)

"We can't shy away from these difficult subjects and we of course condemn all kinds of abuse," Arja Miller, chief curator at Espoo Museum of Modern Art, told AFP. "This exhibition and these artists are not celebrating Michael Jackson, but analyzing his meaning in our culture.”


American singer/song writer John Legend speaks out against Palestinian suffering

John Legend has spoken out against the occupation of Palestine during a podcast. (AFP)
Updated 20 February 2020

American singer/song writer John Legend speaks out against Palestinian suffering

  • Legend spoke on Palestinian rights during a podcast with the online news platform The Intercept earlier this week

DUBAI: The American singer-song writer, John Legend, has spoken out against the occupation of Palestine during a podcast.

“That’s a baseline for human position,” Legend said on Palestinian rights during a podcast with the online news platform The Intercept earlier this week. 

The 41-year-old artist, according to the host Mehdi Hasan, is one of the few celebrities who has linked the fight for human rights, civil liberties, the fight against detention and mass incarceration in the US and in “the occupied Palestinian territories.” “How did you come to that position?” the host asked. 

“There should not be a whole group of people in a county, just because of their nationality or religion, being held in open-air prisons, denied freedom of movement and having their land annexed by settlers. That’s just a human position,” the “All of Me” singer replied. 

“I think, as someone who is observing what’s going on, and saying ‘This is right,’ or ‘This is wrong,’ clearly it’s wrong what is happening to the Palestinians, it’s so obvious,” he added. “Anybody who doesn’t believe that’s the case is being willfully blind, I believe.”

It is not the first time the award-winning star has spoken out in favor of Palestinian rights. 

Last year, Legend appeared on the political panel show “Real Time with Bill Maher,” in which he said: “As progressives, we should also speak up for human rights for Palestinians, and for too long, I think, it has been out of bounds for progressives to speak up for the rights of Palestinians.”