It may not be British news exactly, but I have been gripped by a story this week that relates to much that I have discussed previously in this column, surrounding the recent "Facebook Revolutions" in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Prominent Chinese blogger Ran Yunfei, from the Southwest Sichuan province has been arrested and formally charged for "challenging the ruling party and inciting subversion of state power'. Chinese authorities have detained and questioned numerous lawyers, bloggers and dissidents in what has been reported as China's biggest recent crackdown on opposition. The ripple effect from the Middle East has prompted online callings for a "Jasmine revolution" according to Amnesty International, and many activists have been arrested, monitored and some have even disappeared in recent months. Just today, a United Nations human rights agency called for the immediate release of human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, amid claims that he's been subjected to rounds of torture during his one year detention.
Quoted in Reuters, Wang Yi, a Christian activist in Sichuan and friend of blogger Ran Yunfei encapsulated the opinions of many when he said "Basically, it's the crime of expressing your opinions."
'Peep Show' - part 3 of a retrospective of the more provocative works by legendary photographer Bob Carlos Clarke, who tragically committed suicide in 2006 after a long battle with clinical depression, will no doubt be causing a certain amount of controversy - not only as a result of his highly stylised erotic imagery, but also based upon the reactions following Parts 1 & 2! Clarke is now deemed to be one of Britain's most collectable photographers, and has won countless awards as a result of his genius. He is one of my personal favourites - and you can take a look for yourself at "The Little Black Gallery" on Park Walk in Chelsea from 30th March - 14th May 2011.
For more info: http://www.thelittleblackgallery.com/
Restaurant of the week: "Taqueria" in Notting Hills Westbourne Grove satisfies my longing for LA Mexican food better than any other establishment in town. I come here for the incredible margaritas and the only corn tortilla making machine in the UK (apparently!). Try it - you won't want to leave.
For more info: http://www.taqueria.co.uk/