Kevin Childs
Kevin Childs has worked as a publisher, an actor, and a researcher. He has a doctoral degree in the history of art from the Courtauld Institute in London, looking at Michelangelo’s influence on his contemporaries, and is currently a freelance lecturer and writer. He has been a Fellow of institutions in Florence and Rome and is a member of the British Museum Graphic Arts Group.

He has written exhibition reviews and articles on Renaissance drawing, contemporary art, Anish Kapoor as a public sculptor, Leonardo da Vinci’s brush with the law over sodomy charges, and the reinvention of Michelangelo in the 19th century, amongst other topics. Kevin has travelled extensively in Europe, the Middle East, Southern Africa, and Central America. A new venture is a website dedicated to the culturally inquisitive traveller, 7-Wonders, to be launched in May 2012.

Entries by Kevin Childs

The Battle for Britain's Soul: Oscar Wilde, Socialism and Equality of Happiness

(0) Comments | Posted May 29, 2015 | 5:24 PM

What kind of country do we live in? This must be at the back of the minds of everyone listening to or reading the Queen's Speech, but is it the wrong question? Shouldn't we be asking what kind of world would bring us happiness? One premised on free-market capitalism where...

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Blood and Stone: Islamic State and the Fate of Palmyra

(1) Comments | Posted May 21, 2015 | 1:34 PM

Under cover of night a woman slipped through the lines of besieging troops who had surrounded the city of Palmyra in eastern Syria. The battles had been long and bloody. Many had fled before this point, but she had remained, only now persuaded to leave and live to fight on....

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A Queer Orthodoxy: Post-Soviet Russian Art Movement 'Club of Friends' Reunited in London

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 3:28 PM

Back in 1982, artists Timur Novikov and Ivan Sotnikov had themselves photographed grinning through an empty rectangular space at the first official show of the semi-underground group TEII. The fact of the exhibition says volumes, but these two were out to test the boundaries of even that totalitarian concession: "unofficial"...

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Derek Jarman Remembered: Will You Dance With Me? at London's BFI LGBT Film Festival

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 11:26 PM

There would have to be something miraculous about a new film by gay, British art-house director and artist Derek Jarman, but that's exactly what London's BFI Flare LGBT Film Festival offered last weekend. Jarman, who died 20 years ago, put together a VHS tape following people in a...

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Poets as Well as Plunderers: The British Museum's New Viking Exhibit Is a Hit And Miss Affair

(0) Comments | Posted March 7, 2014 | 1:18 PM

The problem with the British Museum's new show, Vikings: Life and Legend, isn't the, at times, lack-lustre exhibits, nor the repetitiveness of said exhibits - how many cloak pins and measuring weights do we have to see before we get the point - nor the, by now familiar...

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Persecuting Uganda's LGBT People Must Have Consequences: Target the Culprits Not the Population

(2) Comments | Posted March 4, 2014 | 11:19 AM

When they passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill last December, Uganda's legislators, or rather a rump of them, officially thanked the Parliament's Speaker Rebecca Kadaga. Two months later President Yoweri Museveni signed the Bill into law on February 24th, and sealed a bleak future for Uganda's already persecuted...

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Yelena Baturina is Changing the World Through Design, Apparently

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2014 | 4:25 PM

Yelena Baturina, construction billionaire and wife of the former Mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, left Russia two years ago and now divides her time between London and Austria. Amongst a number of other enterprises, last year she launched a new design think tank, BE OPEN. Other Russian oligarchs, finding themselves...

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Into the Heart Of Darkness? Uganda and Nigeria Pass Anti-Homosexuality Laws

(7) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 11:14 AM

On the same day that the Indian government asked its Supreme Court to review its decision on India's laws criminalizing homosexuality, the Ugandan Parliament has passed the infamous Anti-Homosexuality Bill and, as if in sync, the Nigerian Senate rubber-stamped the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill....

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A War in Time of Peace: 'Don't Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves' Revisited

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2013 | 1:18 PM

The last episode of Jonas Gardell's Swedish drama, Don't Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves, aired on BBC 4 on Monday night. Perhaps the most brutal part of this tale of love and loss among Stockholm's gay community during the early years of the AIDS crisis is the sad...

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Love in a Cold Climate: Don't Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves and the AIDS Crisis

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2013 | 7:21 PM

There seems to be something universal about people's experiences of the early years of the AIDS crisis. As Larry Kramer wrote in The Normal Heart, "They are going to persecute us! Cancel our health insurance. Test our blood to see if we're pure. Lock us up. Stone us in the...

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Benjamin Britten: The Love and Death of a Gay Genius

(10) Comments | Posted November 22, 2013 | 11:24 AM

In 1974, just after he'd undergone heart surgery, the composer Benjamin Britten wrote to his lover and partner of 35 years, Peter Pears, "My darling heart (perhaps an unfortunate phrase, but I can't use any other) ... I do love you so terribly, not only glorious you, but...

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Propagating Hate: Russia's "Gay Propaganda" Laws Revisited

(4) Comments | Posted August 23, 2013 | 5:23 PM

The amendment to the Russian Federal Law, effectively banning the "propaganda" of same-sex sexual relations to minors, what are called "non-traditional sexual relations," makes for chilling reading. Stephen Fry's likening it to anti-Semitism may not be far wrong; it is aimed at invalidating LGBT people which, in turn,...

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Russia's Queer 'Genetic Code'

(15) Comments | Posted August 12, 2013 | 8:35 PM

Vladimir Putin insists that there is no anti-gay discrimination in Russia. Yet after Russia introduced some of the worst anti-gay laws in Europe (without actually criminalizing homosexuality, unless administrative fines count as a criminal penalty), we're now told that those laws will apply to athletes and spectators at...

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Maggie's Martyrs: Mapping Lady Thatcher's Legacy

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2013 | 4:18 PM

What is it about women and power? The furor around Lady Thatcher's death and funeral once again magnifies how we respond to powerful women. It's an age-old dilemma. Margaret Thatcher was the first woman leader in the Western World and at the time the longest-serving British prime minister...

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Lip Service To Celibacy In The Catholic Church

(1) Comments | Posted March 5, 2013 | 4:26 PM

A hypocrite, yes, but was it the strict rule on celibacy and sexual abstinence for the priesthood that was Cardinal Keith O'Brien's undoing? We all know the stories of clerical non-celibacy, from the ruthless progeny of the monstrous Borgia Pope Alexander VI to the peccadilloes of priests in...

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Love And Its Opponents: The Riddle of the Catholic Church's Stance On Gay Marriage

(0) Comments | Posted February 6, 2013 | 1:23 PM

There's a beautiful story in the Old Testament about two young men who meet and fall in love. Jonathan and David dedicate themselves to each other before their God in what is described as a covenant using words of great ceremony. Jonathan's father Saul is jealous of his son's lover...

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Redress, Persecution and Optimism: Welcome to the World of LGBT Rights in 2013

(7) Comments | Posted December 31, 2012 | 6:00 PM

In the week before the holidays Stephen Hawking and other top scientists published a letter to the UK Prime Minister asking that Alan Turing, the mathematician and Enigma code-breaker, be pardoned for his 1952 conviction for gross indecency (the then crime of consensual intimacy between men). It's an odd request....

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Call Me Kuchu: A Call for Tolerance and Understanding in Uganda

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2012 | 8:39 AM

The world has a new villain: of all the Leviticus-wielding, rights bruising, conscienceless crusaders in Catherine Fairfax Wright's and Malika Zouhali Worrall's inspirational new release Call Me Kuchu, Giles Muhame, Editor of the Ugandan newspaper Rolling Stone, stands out for his particular brand of foul play. What is his villainy?...

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Anglican Mainstream's Gay Myths Laid Bare

(21) Comments | Posted October 25, 2012 | 7:00 PM

At the recent Conservative Party Conference, Anglican Mainstream, which describes itself as an information resource for orthodox Anglicans, distributed leaflets attacking the Prime Minister's stand on gay marriage. This dishonest piece of graffiti, part of their campaign to promote what they call 'real marriage' by claiming to highlight certain 'gay...

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LGBTI Equality: The Lost Legacy of the London Games?

(47) Comments | Posted September 6, 2012 | 7:00 PM

The Australian diver Matthew Mitcham promised his fans on Twitter that, if he won gold in the London Olympics, he would skinny dive in the Aquatic Centre.

No medals for Mitcham this time round, but had he taken his nude plunge he would have been drawing on the...

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