2016’s best bits_ why culture was crucial _ life and style _ the guardian

Finding the good news stories in a year in which the grim reaper more than overstayed his welcome in arts circles might seem like an unenviable task: 2016 did, after all, rob us of Victoria Wood, Leonard Cohen, Alan Rickman, Caroline Aherne, Ronnie Corbett, Harper Lee, Gene Wilder, Terry Wogan, Zaha Hadid, George Martin, and many more. Yoga poses for upper back pain relief There were also various puzzling new cultural dilemmas: how, for instance, could we appreciate a Solange Knowles album ( A Seat At The Table) interspersed with her father’s recollections of the Ku Klux Klan, when a KKK-backed candidate was soon to be installed in the White House? Was it possible to enjoy a baby ibex prancing up and down a mountain, as we witnessed in Planet Earth II, without fretting over the forecasts of impending ecological doom?

But culture is never more vital than during times of turbulence, whether acting as a shoulder to cry on, a rallying voice of dissent, or simply a form of blissful escapism.

So while the Tories heaped misery on society’s poorest, artists spoke up: Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake became the surprise winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes, thanks to its revealing portrait of a man trapped in Britain’s Kafka-esque benefits system.


Yoga relaxation breathing techniques Likewise the Brexit vote and its terrifying fallout informed Ali Smith’s swiftly written novel Autumn, which portrayed a country divided and opened with the cheery line: “It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times.” Tunbridge Wells punk duo Slaves surely cast a knowing glance at the Leave mantra with their Take Control album, and the short, snotty blasts of noise called Lies, or Rich Man, contained within. Karma yoga Brexit trod the boards, too: James Graham’s play A Strong Exit was written exclusively for the Guardian, while performance artist Scottee’s Putting Words In Your Mouth involved actors lip-synching to real interviews with LGBT people: just how tolerant would Brexit Britain be, it asked.

Fears over climate change produced thoughtful and moving responses: Nottingham artist Wolfgang Buttress created a meditative drone symphony using the collective buzz from 40,000 bees; he would later perform it live from within a giant metal beehive he erected in Kew Gardens. Best yoga practice for weight loss Elsewhere, statements in the art world were notable beyond the art itself: Helen Marten won the Turner prize and the Hepworth prize for sculpture this year, and announced she would be sharing the prize money for both with her fellow nominees. Yoga dot calm lawton ok Human rights lawyer Philippe Sands and author of East West Street also displayed generosity of spirit, giving his £30,000 Baillie Gifford prize money to charity.

As identity politics became the new battleground for culture wars across the Atlantic, that, too, spawned bold artistic statements: Paul Beatty became the first US winner of the Man Booker prize with The Sellout, which managed to somehow find humour in the notion of reinstating slavery, and got the acclaim it deserved after battling multiple rejection letters. Yoga for athletes Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight, released in the US last year and out in the UK in February, shone a moving light on the joy and sadness within gay black lives. Pure yoga east And Transparent, the hit HBO comedy, continued to clean up at the Emmys: its creator Jill Soloway used her winner’s speech to thank the trans community who inspired the show, before declaring: “Topple the patriarchy!”

In pop, movements such as Black Lives Matter were swept up into the US mainstream: Beyoncé’s chart-topping Lemonade was unafraid to sample Malcolm X, or feature the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown in her visual album concept. Easy yoga She was just one of several major black pop artists in the midst of a creative renaissance, each one pushing the boundaries of genre and ripping up expectations: Kanye West, Rihanna, Blood Orange and Frank Ocean all made dazzling musical statements, the latter’s stunning Blonde a fuzzy meditation on youth, drugs and relationships that eschewed explicit slogans yet seemed political just in its existence.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Planet Earth II: flamingos perform a courtship dance in a salt lake in the High Andes. Yoga hand symbols and meanings Photograph: Justin Anderson/BBC NHU

Elsewhere, British TV thrived thanks to serious drama such as War And Peace, The Crown, The Night Manager and National Treasure, which dared to examine the sexual abuse scandals that rocked the nation in the wake of Savile. Best yoga for weight loss in hindi Even if 2016 didn’t feel like a year in which there was much to joke about, there was plenty to make you laugh: UK comedy found humour in the bleakness of the everyday, with sadcoms such as Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag, or stresscoms such as Motherland, which starred Anna Maxwell Martin as a not-quite-coping mum drinking Jacob’s Creek for breakfast.

So there was plenty of good news, even if much of it was good news arising from bad news. Yoga tips for weight loss You only needed to look at this year’s Glastonbury to see how the two could interact: on paper, a bill featuring headline slots for Coldplay and Adele was not one to get the pulse racing. Free power yoga video download Yet staged in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote, both sets felt oddly fitting: Adele’s nervous, chatterbox routine mirrored many people’s own anxieties, and was as reassuring as a daft pub chat with your best mate. Gentle yoga youtube Nor was 2016 the year cynically to bemoan Chris Martin et al’s comfort-blanket tendencies: how could you, when a comfort blanket was what people were crying out for?

• Where did it all go right? For a more positive view of the world in 2017, follow the Guardian’s Half Full online series, with reports on innovative ideas and solutions to the challenges of the day. Yoga para iniciantes videos Wishing you all a happier new year. Nidra yoga for sleep Interactive

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