Culture review by country

AMERICAS AND THE CARIBBEAN


  1. Antigua and Barbuda: Jamaica Kincaid, Lucy (1990)
  2. Argentina: Rojo, a film by Benjamín Naishtat (2019); artist Adrián Villar Rojas or Ad Minoliti; book by Samanta Schweblin, Fever Dream (2014/2017); book by Manuel Puig, Kiss of the Spider Woman (1976/1979)
  3. Bahamas: art by Tavares Strachan; K. A. Albury, Life on a Rock
  4. Barbados: art by Alberta Whittle
  5. Belize
  6. Bolivia
  7. Brazil: film, City of God or Bacurau; artist, Vik Muniz or Maria Nepomuceno or Marepe or Beatriz Milhazes or Ernesto Neto; Clarice Lispector, The Hour of the Star or Ellane Brum, The Collector of Leftover Souls: Dispatches from Brazil or Luiza Sauma, Flesh and Bone and Water; book by Ignacio de Loyola Brandao, Zero or Jorge Amado
  8. Canada: film, Incendies; artist Terence Koh? or Jeff Wall; Margaret Atwood, The Testaments (2019); Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient or Larry Tremblay
  9. Chile: artist Alfredo Jaar; film, Gloria Bell (2013); book by Isabel Allende, Paula/The House of the Spirits or Nona Fernandez, Space Invaders; book by Roberto Bollano
  10. Colombia: artist Maria Berrio/Ruby Rhumie/Doris Salcedo; film, Monos (2019); book by Margarita García Robayo, Holiday Heart; book by Juan Gabriel Vasquez, Reputations
  11. Costa Rica
  12. Cuba: artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres(?) or Jorge Pardo; book by Marcial Gala, The Black Cathedral or book by Carlos Manuel Alvarez, The Fallen
  13. Dominica: artist Denisse Ariana Perez; Jean Rhys, Good Morning Midnight
  14. Dominican Republic: Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
  15. Ecuador
  16. El Salvador
  17. Grenada: artist Denzil Forrester; book by Jacob Ross, The Bone Readers
  18. Guatemala: book by Rodrigo Rey Rosa, Severina
  19. Guyana: artist Frank Bowling; Alternative Anthem by John Agard or To Sir With Love by E. R. Braithwaite
  20. Haiti
  21. Honduras: book by Alberto Arce, Blood Barrios
  22. Jamaica: book by Christine Craig, Mint Tea and Other Stories (1993)
  23. Mexico: film The Chambermaid (2019); art by Margarita Cabrera; book by Brenda Lozano, Loop (2014/2019); book by Yuri Herrera, Signs Preceding the End of the World
  24. Nicaragua
  25. Palau
  26. Panama
  27. Paraguay
  28. Peru: book by Aurora Caceres, A Dead Rose; book by Mario Vargas Llosa
  29. St Kitts: Caryl Phillips
  30. St Lucia: Derek Walcott
  31. St Vincent & the Grenadines
  32. Suriname
  33. Trinidad and Tobago: book by Claire Adam, Golden Child (2019); book by Sam Selvon, The Lonely Londoners (1956)
  34. United States of America: film Little Women (2019); art by Edward Hopper; book by Jeanine Cummins, American Dirt (2020); book by Colson Whitehead, The Nickel Boys (2019)
  35. Uruguay: film by Alvaro Brechner; book by Armonía Somers, The Naked Woman; book by Mario Benedetti, Springtime in a Broken Mirror
  36. Venezuela: book by Ariana Neumann, When Time Stopped (2020); book by Alberto Barrera Tyszka, The Sickness (2006/2010)

NORTH AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST, CENTRAL ASIA AND THE SOUTH CAUCASUS


  1. Afghanistan: film Midnight Traveller (2019); book by Hamida Ghafour, The Sleeping Buddha; book by Atiq Rahimi, The Patience Stone
  2. Algeria: film Chronicle of the Years of Fire (1975); book by Assia Djebar, L’Amour, La Fantasia; book by Yasmina Khadra, The Attack (2005/2006)
  3. Armenia: Three Apples Fell from the Sky by Narine Abgaryan.
  4. Azerbaijan: Farewell Aylis by Akram Aylisli or Ali and Nino by Kurban Said
  5. Bahrain
  6. Chad: film The Screaming Man (2010)
  7. Cyprus: book The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (2019)
  8. Djibouti: book Harvest of Skulls by Abdourahman A. Waberi
  9. Egypt: film The Nightingale’s Prayer (1959); artist Mahmoud Khaled; book by Basma Abdel Aziz, The Queue; book by Najib Mahfouz, Autumn Quail or The Cairo Trilogy
  10. Eritrea: book by Hannah Pool, My Father’s Daughter
  11. Georgia: The Pear Field by Nana Ekvtimishvili (2015/2020)
  12. Iran: film, A Separation; artist Shirin Neshat or Tala Madani; book by Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis (2000-04)
  13. Iraq: artist Osman Ahmed (from Iraqi Kurdistan); book by Ahmed Saaawi, Frankenstein in Baghdad (2013/2018)
  14. Israel: film, Foxtrot; artist Oreet Ashery; book Pain by Zeruya Shalev; book by Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness or A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman
  15. Jordan
  16. Kazakhstan
  17. Kuwait: artist Monira Al Qadiri; book by Layla Alammar, The Pact We Made (2019)
  18. Kyrgyzstan: film by Aktan Abdykalykov;
  19. Lebanon: film, Capernaum (2018); art by Akram Zaatari/Walid Raad/Lawrence Abu Hamdan/Caline Aoun/Rayyane Tabet or Haig Evazian; book by Nathalie abi-Ezzi, A Girl Made of Dust (2008)
  20. Libya: Hisham Matar, A Month in Siena or by Kamal Ben Hameda, Under the Tripoli Sky
  21. Mali: film Yeelen (1987)
  22. Malta
  23. Mauritania
  24. Morocco: film, Much Loved by Nabil Ayouch; art by Yto Barrada(?) or Hicham Berrada; book by Leila Slimani, Chanson douce/Lullaby (2016/2018); book by Ahmed Bouanani, The Hospital or The Happy Marriage by Tahar Ben Jelloun 
  25. Nepal
  26. Niger: film The Wedding Ring
  27. Oman: Jokha Alharthi, Celestial Bodies
  28. Palestine: art by Mona Hatoum; book by Ibtisim Arzem, The Book of Disappearance; book by Khulud Khamis, Haifa Fragments
  29. Qatar: artist Sophia al-Maria
  30. Saudi Arabia: film Wadjda (2012)
  31. Somalia: book by Nadifa Mohamed, Black Mamba Boy; book by Nuruddin Farah, North of Dawn/Maps
  32. Sudan: film, Talking About Trees or Beats of the Antonov; book by Rania Mamoun, Thirteen Months of Sunrise (2009/2019); book by Tayeb Salih, Season of Migration to the North
  33. Syria: film For Sama (2019); artist Mohamad Hafez or Diana al-Hadid; book by Samar Yazbek, The Crossing/book by Shahla Ujayli, A Sky so Close to Us; book by Khaled Khalifa, Death is Hard Work
  34. Tajikistan
  35. Tunisia: film As I Open My Eyes (2015); artist Nidhal Chamekh; book by Colette Fellous, This Tilting World
  36. Turkey: film by Nuri Bilge Ceyln; Elif Shafak, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World (2019)
  37. Turkmenistan
  38. UAE: artist Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim
  39. Uzbekistan: Hamid Ismailov, The Devil’s Dance or The Dead Lake
  40. Yemen

EUROPE


  1. Albania: artist Anri Sala; two books by Ismail Kadare, Broken April (1978/1990) and The Doll (2015/2020)
  2. Andorra: Virginia Woolf by Michèle Gazier, illustrated by Bernard Ciccolini (2011)
  3. Austria: artists Klimt and Schiele; film Goodnight Mommy or The Ground Beneath My Feet; book by Marlen Haushofer, The Wall (1963/1991); book by Stefan Zweig
  4. Belarus: book by Svetlana Alexievich, The Unwomanly Face of War/Secondhand Time
  5. Belgium: exhibition of work by Léon Spilliaert; book by Annelies Verbeke, Thirty Days
  6. Bosnia and Herzegovina: book by Velibor Čolić, The Uncannily Strange and Brief Life of Amedeo Modigliani (2000/2011)
  7. Bulgaria: artist Christo;
  8. Croatia
  9. Czech Republic: film, Daisies; book by Bohumil Hrabal, Too Loud a Solitude (1976/1990)
  10. Denmark: film The Guilty (2018); art exhibition of work by Olafur Eliasson, In Real Life (2019); book by Tove Ditlevsen, The Copenhagen Trilogy (1967-71/2019); 19th century stories by Hans Christian Andersen
  11. Estonia: film by Veiko Ounpuu
  12. Finland: art exhibition of work by Helene Schjerfbeck (2019); book by Tove Jansson, The True Deceiver (1982/2009); book by Asko Sahlberg, The Brothers or by Pajtim Statovci, My Cat Yugoslavia
  13. France: film by Olivier Assayas, Non-fiction (Double Vies) (2019); art exhibition of work by Dora Maar; book by Annie Ernaux, The Years; book by Gregoire Courtois, The Laws of the Skies
  14. Germany: film, The Lives of Others (2006); art exhibition of work by Käthe Kollwitz; book by Irmgard Keun, The Artificial Silk Girl (1932/33); book by W. G. Sebald, The Emigrants/Austerlitz or book by Alfred Döblin, Berlin Alexanderplatz or Portrait of the Mother as a Young Woman by Friedrich Christian Delius
  15. Greece: film, Dogtooth or film by Athina Tsangari; book by Margarita Liberaki, Three Summers;  book by Yanis Varoufakis, The Adults in the Room
  16. Hungary: film, Son of Saul, or film by Bela Tarr; art exhibition of work by Dora Maurer; book by Magda Szabó, The Door; book by Sandor Marai, Embers or book by László Krasznahorkai
  17. Iceland: artist Ragnar Kjartansson; book by book by Steinnun Sigurðarddottir, Yo Yo; book by Andri Snaer Magnason, On Time and Water.
  18. Ireland: artist Michael Mosse; book by Donal Ryan, This Spinning Heart; book by Edna O’Brien, The Little Red Chairs (2015)
  19. Italy: film, The Great Beauty (2013); book by Natalia Ginzburg, Family Lexicon; book by Claudio Morandini, Snow, Dog, Foot (2015/2020)
  20. Latvia: artist Ivars Gravlejs; book by Nora Ikstena, Soviet Milk
  21. Liechtenstein
  22. Lithuania: art Sun & Sea installation; book Shadows on the Tundra by Delija Valiukenas; book by Alvydas Slepikas, In the Shadow of Wolves
  23. Luxembourg
  24. Moldova
  25. Monaco
  26. Montenegro
  27. Netherlands: art exhibition of work by Rembrandt (2019); book The Discomfort of the Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld (2018/20); book by Hernan Koch, The Dinner (2014)
  28. North Macedonia: film, Honeyland (2019)
  29. Norway: art exhibition of work by Harald Sohlberg; book by Hanne Ørstavik, Love (1997/2018); book by Kenneth Moe, Restless (2015/2019)
  30. Poland: film, Cold War or Corpus Christii or Tricks (Sztuczki); artist Piotr Uklanski or Agnieszka Polska; book by Olga Tokarczuk, Drive your Plow over the Bones of the Dead; book by Andrzej Stasiuk, On the Road to Babadag: Travels in the Other Europe
  31. Portugal: artist Joana Vasconcelos; book by Joao Reis, The Translator’s Bride or by Jose Saramago, Blindness
  32. Romania: book by Herta Müller, The Land of Green Plums; book by Mircea Cărtărescu, Nostalgia
  33. Russia: Loveless, a film by Andrei Zvyagintsev (2017); book by Ludmila Ulitskaya, Jacob’s Ladder; book by Pavel Sanaev, Bury me Behind the Baseboard
  34. San Marino
  35. Serbia: artist Marina Abramovic; book by Srdjan Valjarevic, Lake Como
  36. Slovakia
  37. Slovenia: film by Jan Cvitkovic; artist Jasmina Cibic
  38. Spain: Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria), a film by Almodóvar (2019); artist Santiago Sierra or Salvador Dali; book by Maria Barbal, Stones in a Landslide; book by Andres Barba, Such Small Hands (2008/2017)
  39. Sweden: two films: Force Majeure and The Square (2014 and 2017); artist Nathalie Djurberg; book by Astrid Lindgren, A World Gone Mad: The Wartime Diaries; book by Frederik Backman, Anxious People
  40. Switzerland: film, Mario; art exhibition of work by Félix Vallotton (2019); book by Fleur Jaeggy, I am the Brother of XX or Why the Child is Cooking in the Polenta by Aglaja Veteranyi; book by Paul Nizon, My Year of Love/Martin Suter, Elefant
  41. Ukraine: book by Andrey Kurkov, Death and the Penguin
  42. United Kingdom: film, The Personal History of David Copperfield (2019); artist George Shaw; Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (1938); Atonement by Ian McEwan

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA


  1. Angola: artist Nastio Mosquito; book by José Eduardo Agualusa, A General Theory of Oblivion (2013/2015)
  2. Benin: film Divine Carcass (1988)
  3. Botswana
  4. Burkina Faso: film Borders (2017) or La nuit de la vérité by Fanta Régina Nacro 
  5. Burundi: film, Les Pieds et Les Mains; book by Roland Rugero, Baho! (2012/2016)
  6. Cabo Verde: book by Eileen Barbosa or Dina Salustio, The Madwoman of Serrano
  7. Cameroon: film Africa je te Plumerai (1992); book by Werewere Liking, La mémoire amputée; Behold the Dream by Imbolo Mbue
  8. Central African Republic
  9. the Comoros
  10. Congo (DR): art by sculptor Freddy Tsimba or by Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga; book by In Koli Jean Bofane, Congo Inc.: Bismarck’s Testament or Fiston Mwanza, Tram 83
  11. Congo (R): book by Alain Mabanckou, Broken Glass/Tomorrow I’ll be Twenty
  12. Cote d’Ivoire: artist Joana Choumali
  13. Equatorial Guinea: book by Trifonia Melibea Obono, La Bastarda; Obi’s Nightmare or Inongo-vi-Makomè’s Natives
  14. Eswatini
  15. Ethiopia: artist Tadesse Mesfin; book by Maaza Mengiste, The Shadow King (2020); book by Abraham Verghese, Cutting for Stone
  16. Gabon
  17. Gambia
  18. Ghana: artist Liz Johnsom Artur or Ibrahim Mahama or Godfried Donkor; book by Yaa Gyasi, Homegoing (2016); book by Meshack Asare, Sosu’s Call/Ayi Kwei Armah, The Beautiful Ones are not yet Born
  19. Guinea
  20. Guinea-Bissau: The Ultimate Tragedy by Abdulai Sila
  21. Kenya: film Something Necessary/Supa Modo; artist Wangechi Mutu; book by Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye, Coming to Birth; book by Ngugi wa Thiong’o, A Grain of Wheat/Weep Not, Child; Nairobi Echoes by Stanley Gazemba; One Day I’ll Write About This Place by Binyavanga Wainaina
  22. Lesotho: book by Thomas Nefolo, Chaka
  23. Liberia
  24. Madagascar
  25. Malawi: book by William Kamkwamba, The Boy who Harnessed the Wind or book by Jack Mapanje, Skipping Without Ropes
  26. Mauritius: film Waiting for Happiness (2002); book by Ananda Devi, Eve Out of Her Ruins
  27. Mozambique: book by Mia Couto, Sleepwalking Land
  28. Namibia: book Writing Namibia: Literature in Transition
  29. Nigeria: film The Wedding Party (2016); exhibition of a photo series by Jide Odukoya (2019); book by Oyinkan Braithwaite, My Sister, The Serial Killer (2019); book by Chinua Achebe, There was a Country; Looking For Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria by Noo Saro-Wiwa
  30. Rwanda: book by Scholastique Mukasonga, Our Lady of the Nile (2012/2014); book by Gael Faye, Small Country
  31. Sao Tome and Principe
  32. Senegal: film, Atlantics (2019); book by Mariama Ba, So Long a Letter (1979/1981); book by Boubacar Boris Diop
  33. Seychelles
  34. Sierra Leone: book by Aminatta Forna, The Devil that Danced on the Water; book by Ismail Beah, A Long Way Gone (2007)
  35. South Africa: film Skoonheid (Beauty) (2011)/Siembamba/Girl from Nowhere/Khumba; artist Zanele Muholi or artist Dineo Seshee Bopape; book by Lauren Beukes; book by Songeziwe Mahlangu, Penumbra; J. M. Coetzee.
  36. South Sudan
  37. Tanzania: artist Lubaina Himid or Sungi Mlengaya; book by Abdulrazak Gurnah (1994), Paradise
  38. Togo: book by Tété-Michel Kpomassie, An African in Greenland (1977/1981)
  39. Uganda: book by Glaydah Namukasa or book by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
  40. Zambia: film I Am Not a Witch (2017); The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell
  41. Zimbabwe: film, Cook Off (2017); artist Kudzanai-Violet Hwami; book by NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names (2014); book by Tendai Huchu or Dambudzo Marechera, House of Hunger or Chenjerai Hove, Shadows.

FAR EAST, SOUTH ASIA AND AUSTRALASIA


  1. Australia: book by Jane Harper, Force of Nature (2017); book by Ryan O’Neill, Their Brilliant Careers or Peter Allison, Whatever You Do, Don’t Run
  2. Bangladesh: artist Matthew Krishanu; book A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam
  3. Bhutan
  4. Brunei
  5. Cambodia: book by Vaddey Ratner, In the Shadow of the Banyan
  6. China: film The Farewell (2019); art by Ai WeiWei; book by Ling Ma, Severance
  7. Fiji: book by Satendra Nandan, Requiem for a Rainbow
  8. India: artist Anish Kapoor or Hema Upadhyay or Subodh Gupta or Raqib Shaw or Nalini Malani; two films: 3 Idiots and Like Stars on Earth (2009 and 2007); book by Kamala Markandays, The Nowhere Man/book by Meena Kandasamy, Exquisite Kadavers; book by Salman Rushdie, Quichotte (2019)
  9. Indonesia:
  10. Japan: film, Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989); artist Yayoi Kusama; book by Sayaka Murata, Convenience Store Woman (2016); book by Genki Kawamura, If Cats Disappeared from the World (2012/2018)
  11. Kiribati
  12. Laos
  13. Malaysia: book by Tan Twan Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists
  14. Maldives
  15. Marshall Islands
  16. Micronesia
  17. Mongolia
  18. Myanmar: book by Wendy Law-Yone, Golden Parasol: A Daughter’s Memoir; book by Pascal Khoo Thwe, From the Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey
  19. Nauru
  20. New Zealand: film Jojo Rabbit by Taika Waititi (2019); artist Simon Denny; stories by Katherine Mansfield and essay/memoir by Kirsty Gunn
  21. North Korea: film, King Jong II: Beauty is Added to the Country under the Great General’s Leadership; book by Lee Hyeon-seo, The Girl with Seven Names
  22. Pakistan: artist Rasheed Araeen; book by Kamila Shamsie, Burnt Shadows
  23. Papua New Guinea
  24. Philippines: artist David Medalla or Maria Taniguchi; book by Miguel Syjuco, Ilustrado
  25. Samoa: book by Sia Figiel, Where We Once Belonged
  26. Singapore: artist Heman Chong; Sharleen Teo, Ponti
  27. Solomon Islands
  28. South Korea: film, Parasite (2019); exhibition of work by Nam June Paik (2019); book by Hwang Sok-yong, At Dusk; book by Han Kang, Human Acts (2014/2016)
  29. Sri Lanka: book by Romesh Gunesekera, Suncatcher (2019)
  30. Thailand: film Shutter (2004); artist Udomsak Krisanamis or Rirkrit Tiravanija; book by Duanwad Pimwana, Arid Dreams (2014/2019)
  31. Timor-Leste
  32. Tonga
  33. Tuvalu
  34. Vanuatu
  35. Vietnam: artist Danh Vō; book by Ocean Vuong, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (2019)

Entries with links have already been reviewed. Others are forthcoming. Gaps mean I haven’t chosen books/films/artists yet, and am still looking for inspiration! I’d like to end up with four entries for each country: a male and female writer from each; a film (or even a TV show); and an artist/work of art.

Where two publication dates are given, the second refers to the date of publication of the translated edition.

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