I dreamed of a day when I could get everything I need from one single online site -- all the art, film, music, culture and fun I crave constantly in one place, neatly. Then I discovered HiBROW.
Launched in 2012, HiBROW is a free, curatorial, digital arts platform based in London and currently visited by cultural online explorers from over 200 countries. UK filmmaker Don Boyd is HiBROW's creator and with his endeavor he's basically changing the game. If HiBROW succeeds in its mission -- to bring the wisdom of a wide range of established arts professional to international audiences far and wide -- then film festivals, arts exhibits, concerts and cultural gatherings become accessible to all, with only one prerequisite: Access to a computer.
So what distinguishes HiBROW from say, a museum's page on YouTube, or streaming a film on Hulu and the likes? Right off the bat, two things jump at me. One, its content is all original, created exclusively for HiBROW by a team of curators which include journalists, artists, creative directors and musicians. Two, everything on HiBROW is HD, high definition to the max. High quality content in every possible way is what one walks away from the site remembering. And thereafter craving.
A personal favorite on HiBROW is a focus series on the FESPACO festival, a cinematic and television event held in Burkina Faso every two years. Filmed in 2011 by the HiBROW team, the segments are introduced and curated by their resident film expert Dave Calhoun, and include interviews with renowned filmmakers Souleymane Cissé, Jihar El-Tahri and Jean-Pierre Bekolo. Think of the event as the African Cannes. To help us further understand the undeniable importance of cinema from the African continent, HiBROW has in the works a feature length celebration of African cinema, which will shortly be featured on the site.
Forging crucial technological collaborations with the likes of Ooyala, the leading US online supplier of personalized video experiences in the world, to provide HiBROW's unique video player, as well as Code Circus for their web design, HiBROW is introducing never before seen content. From Peter Capaldi to John le Carré, from dance company Protein to art gallery The TATE St Ives' artistic director Martin Clark, all the way to Mike Figgis in conversation with Richard Strange, it's a whole new world of culture for the taking.
In the slideshow below I've selected stills from a few favorites, with corresponding links. But also stay tuned for favorite Indian author Amit Chaudhuri's upcoming cinematic and musical essay "A Moment of Mishearing" which promises to both enchant and inspire.
"LOL" (Protein's "lots of love") Love and communication in the digital age. Luca Silvestrini, Artistic Director of multi award winning dance company Protein, takes everyday issues and subjects them to a deep, witty analysis through his very own idiosyncratic and distinctive dance theatre. The result is work of humour, pathos and invention that reflects the integrity and absurdity of its ingredients. HiBROW presents a full, multi camera feature capturing their production, "LOL", toured extensively to glowing reviews.
John le Carré reads from The Spy Who Came in from the Cold John Le Carré is one of the most celebrated writers of his generation. His novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, published in 1963, was the first of several books that established him as one of the great novelists of the twentieth century. His literary talent combined with his experiences working for the British Intelligence Services have contributed to his reputation as a definitive writer of spy fiction. In this extract from the inaugural World Book Night in Trafalgar Square, of which HiBROW was a sponsor, he reads from The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.
Mike Figgis, with Richard Strange - "A Mighty Big If" HiBROW captures a lively and informed encounter between the groundbreaking filmmaker and artist Mike Figgis and the raconteur and musician Richard Strange at the latter's salon event, "A Mighty Big If", at the House of St Barnabas in Soho, London.
TATE St Ives: "The Indiscipline of Painting" "The Indiscipline of Painting" is an exhibition of abstract painters at the Tate St Ives gallery in Cornwall, celebrated for its association with avant-garde artists. Here, Martin Clark, Artistic Director of Tate St Ives, takes HiBROW on a guided tour of the exhibition before opening the doors to the public.
Mahler's "Symphony No 5, Adagietto" - Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra HiBROW was granted unique access to an entire week of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra's work, which included rehearsals, two major concerts in their Mahler cycle, intimate interviews with leading members of the orchestra and a specially commissioned HiBROW documentary involving the great, late film director Ken Russell, who was a lifelong fan of the orchestra. Here, Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko, leads his orchestra through the celebrated slow movement of Mahler's "Fifth Symphony".
Peter Capaldi – A Mighty Big If (in conversation) HiBROW invites you to share in Peter Capaldi’s in depth talk to raconteur Richard Strange about his life and his work - a rare opportunity to meet the man behind the characters. This encounter was a part of Richard Strange's "A Mighty Big If" series, filmed at The House of St Barnabas with HiBROW.
All images courtesy of HiBROW, used with permission
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