‘Be yourself, live your dreams and’ – laughs Zoë Bestel – ‘try to make your audience cry’. The 17-year-old singer-songwriter sits before me in Edinburgh’s Bar One, bubbling with enthusiasm and snacking on Smarties.
The Sun is the UK’s most read newspaper. Since 1970, Page 3 has hosted a topless female model. The feature has been branded objectifying, misogynistic and damaging to men’s perceptions of women, and women’s perceptions of themselves. Finally society has said enough is enough. The ‘No More Page 3’ petition already has 184,000 signatures. Cafébabel spoke to Ceris Aston, founder of NMP3 Edinburgh
A horde of fur-clad Vikings clutching flaming torches proceed steadily through the starless night. They do not shrink against the cold, nor flinch as a fierce cross wind threatens to extinguish the fire. Instead, they sing lustily - of heroes, dragons and bygone battles. You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d been transported into an older, wilder time. Yet this is 2014 – at Shetland’s Up Helly Aa
In the romantically named Rose Street in Edinburgh's New Town we find a place where words weave themselves into the walls, bringing the area's poetic history back to life. The historic street is home to many bars and boasts a rich literary connection. This seems appropriate
In the many stories which Christmas has inspired, the theme of gift-giving is ubiquitous: from the three wise men bearing gifts for Jesus, to the reformed Ebenezer Scrooge gifting an enormous turkey to the Cratchit family. Yet today the overindulgence of the holiday can be wearing. Writers' collective '26' suggest poetry might be the perfect antidote.
On 2 October, the UK prime minister delivered his keynote speech at the conservative party annual conference. In between opposition labour party-bashing and self-congratulation, he proposed various worrying measures which a non-coalition conservative government would enact. Cameron’s brave new world is one which looks bleak for young people, as he proposes cutting all benefits for under-25s
1 October marks the ‘international day of older persons’. Between optimism, not being choosy about jobs, settling down (or not) and ambition, members of cafebabel's network asked their Italian, Polish, British, Slovenian and French sets of grandparents for their little pearls of wisdom
On the 28th of September, people assembled in cities around France for the Slutwalk, a rally against victim-blaming and slut-shaming which originated in Toronto in 2011. Now, people gather for Slutwalks around the world to march for the rights of women; ‘because we’ve had enough.’ The message: rape is never the victim’s fault and no means no. Gallery and interviews from Paris’ Marche des Salopes
In mid-September, Russia’s children’s ombudsman Pavel Astakhov argued that in order to protect innocent children from corruption, young Russians should look to the classics for sex education, to learn all that they need to about love and relationships, chastity and family values. From sadist France to Gothic Ireland, classic European literature has dubious pious pointers