Modern slavery cases ‘in every large town and city’ in UK

A file picture of a teenager with mental health issues

Modern slavery and human trafficking are much more prevalent than previously thought, the National Crime Agency has said.

There are cases in “every large town and city in the country”, the NCA said, with the organisation currently assisting 300 live police operations targeting modern slavery.

The cases involve alleged victims as young as 12 being sold to families in the UK from Europe.

Will Kerr, NCA director of vulnerabilities, said: “The more that we look for modern slavery, the more we find evidence of the widespread abuse of the vulnerable.

“The growing body of evidence we are collecting points to the scale being far larger than anyone previously thought.

“This should not be acceptable in any way, shape or form.”

The NCA has launched an advertising campaign to raise awareness of the signs of modern slavery in everyday life.

[Source”indianexpress”]

‘Modern,Family’,Creator,Hints,At,How,And,When,The,Show,Will,End

If you think Modern Family’s been on for-freakin’-ever, you’re not wrong. The show already has eight seasons and was recently renewed by ABC for two more seasons after that. But even Emmy-winning shows must end someday, and according to Modern Family co-creator/executive producer Steve Levitan, the end is near. In an interview with Deadline, Levitan got candid about when and how Modern Family will end.

First, Levitan basically confirmed Modern Family will conclude after 10 seasons. He said a decade was not the original goal he and fellow co-creator Christopher Lloyd (no, not that one) had in mind — not until they realized it was possible, at least.

“Our original goal was to just stay on the air,” Levitan said. “But after awhile we though we may be in control our own fate, and 10 sounded like a nice round number.”

Ten seasons is certainly an impressive run. Other hit sitcoms like Friendsand Happy Days also capped off their success off at 10 seasons. Others. though, have kept going even longer — The Big Bang Theory is in its 11th season, and is already planning Season 12.

Of course, having children as some of the main characters on the show does put more of a timeline on things — this season Alex was off at college, and we have to assume Hayley, Luke, and Manny will also move out eventually.

NOLAN GOULD, RICO RODRIGUEZ, ARIEL WINTER, AUBREY ANDERSON-EMMON MODERN FAMILY – “The Graduates” – In the season finale, Manny's father, Javier (guest-star Benjamin Bratt), shows up for his graduation and takes him out on a wild night of celebration, and then Jay steps in to pick-up the pieces. Meanwhile, the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan is getting ready for Luke and Manny's big day and dealing with the emotions that come with seeing your kids grow up and leave the nest.

ABC/Richard Cartwright

Though he didn’t have specifics, Levitan did drop some hints on where the final season of Modern Family will leave the Dunphys and Pritchetts.

Levitan said,

We haven’t had that exact conversation yet how we want to end the show episode-wise. We’ve talked about areas that we want to go and tonally what we want to do. I think we will end the show the way we started it in the pilot, with a big family event.

He didn’t elaborate on what that “family event” might be. The family event in the pilot episode was Cameron and Mitchell introducing their newly adopted daughter, Lily, to the family, so it might be fitting to have the family come together around Lily again. But I’m just spit-balling here.

Levitan said he and Lloyd also considering ending the show on a death or a crazy twist, so let’s just all keep praying that doesn’t happen. I don’t think I could handle it if Jay dies.

[Source”cnbc”]

When to Get the Best Deals on TVs and Kitchen Appliances

You don’t need to be a data scientist to know that holiday sales are great opportunities for bargain shoppers—but to understand precisely when you can snag the best deals, a little bit of big data goes a long way.

That’s why Consumer Reports teamed up with Gap Intelligence, a market research company that specializes in pricing information, to study a year’s worth of product prices from key retailers. We examined four big-ticket product categories—ranges, dishwashers, refrigerators, and televisions—to help you navigate the sales between Labor Day and the end of the holiday season.

The steep discounts that occur around Black Friday demonstrate the magnitude of price fluctuation that exists during the course of a year. By November, the average price of a refrigerator, for instance, dropped almost $250 off the peak pricing we found in May. For the average price of a range, we found a $178 differential—or a 14 percent discount—between the high point in February and the low point in November.

Sometimes the big-picture data can hide some counterintuitive buying advice. Average TV prices peak as new products launch starting at the end of February, but that’s also one of the best times to get a great deal on the previous year’s hot sets.

MORE ON HOW TO SHOP SMARTER

Things got particularly interesting when we zoomed in on several high-performing models from our ratings. We found significant price fluctuation on certain models; others—especially at extreme low and high prices—barely budged.

So how can past pricing inform your purchasing decisions this fall? If you’re in the market for one of these products now (as in, your fridge is on the fritz), the data show that keeping an eye on a model’s price over a matter of weeks could save you hundreds of dollars.

In terms of 2017 sales events, Gap expects to see similar trends, especially when it comes to Black Friday. “That promotional period continues to get longer and longer,” says Christine Edwards, Gap’s senior market analyst for home appliances. On Black Friday, entry-level appliances might see a dramatic dip as retailers advertise these offers to entice people through the door.

But if you’re shopping for a midlevel or premium appliance, there’s no need to wait until the day after Thanksgiving. “The retail industry is now referring to November as ‘Black November,’ ” explains Debra Mednick, CR’s director of market trends and analysis. As 2016’s data confirm, if you’re after a new kitchen suite or television—and you can hold off—it pays to wait out Labor Day sales and shop come November.


To calculate the average price in the product categories below and track the price of specific models, we teamed up with Gap Intelligence, a market-data company that tracks pricing and promotional activity for in-store and online products selling in key national, regional, and online-exclusive retailers on a weekly basis. (For each category, we excluded extreme outliers, eliminating TVs costing more than $8,000 and ranges and refrigerators more than $10,000.)

A man walking out of an electronics store after getting the best deal on a TV

TVs

“Most TV models are replaced or refreshed every year, and their pricing tends to follow a fairly consistent 12-month curve,” says Deirdre Kennedy, senior analyst for TVs at Gap Intelligence.

Our examination of the average price of a TV, as well as our study of four recommended 2016 models, shows that after new television models were introduced from early March to late May, prices began an immediate and steady decline. When Black Friday promotions began in November, prices dove across the board. We found many sets selling for as little as 50 percent of their original retail price.

Our analysis found another window for snaring a great deal starting a few weeks before the Super Bowl and running through March. During that time, average TV prices rose as new models entered the market, but prices on the preceding year’s TVs hit their low point as retailers worked to clear out old inventory and create shelf space for new arrivals.

Below, we compared the average price of a TV over the course of 2016 to four select models from our television ratings:

• Samsung UN65KS8500 TV
• LG 60UH8500 TV
• Samsung UN55KS8000 TV
• LG 49UH6100 TV

A chart that shows the average price of high-rated TVs for 2016

[Source”cnbc”]

Remek focuses on nurturing traditional arts, provides artisans with market access and visibility

Mumbai-based Remek is bringing unique and authentic handcrafted pieces from traditional artisans to young and urban Indians. It’s been six months, and the startup clocks 300 website visitors each day with a monthly run rate of Rs 50,000.

An old saying goes that India has a new culture every 30 kilometres. Almost every region has its own traditional form of arts and crafts, including paintings, embroideries, carvings, sarees and others. The craftsmen in these villages hold aloft the flag of culture, but sadly neglect is eating away at many of these arts and crafts.

So when three people who were passionate about travel and culture met, they decided to set up a company that would save traditional crafts by giving artisans access to a larger market.



The Remek founders.

Satya Dwivedi, Mandawi Verma and Madhavi Verma met through common friends at work. Satya had graduated from IIM-A, Mandawi was from IIM-C while Madhavi had a degree from IMT Ghaziabad. All three were working in the corporate sector before they decided to start Remek in July 2016.

“These age-old crafts, and the stories associated with them, are dying with time. With artisans facing economic hardship, these art forms are on the verge of extinction,” Mandawi says. She says these traditional artists have very little access to the market, and there are no visible platforms to tell the background stories associated with art.

Testing and adapting to the market

The trip quit their jobs by the end of 2015 and travelled extensively to many villages of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Bihar, West Bengal and north-eastern states to meet these artists. They lived among them, listened to their stories and jotted down local tales that the artisans depicted in their paintings. They procured some of the paintings and decided to test the market.

“Very quickly we realised that the market is very niche and most people do not appreciate the value of these paintings unless they know about the craft,” Satya says.

To provide continuous revenue to the artist, the company expanded beyond paintings, to include things that could be understood and bought by more customers.

“We expanded into home decor. Now we are expanding into clothing and jewellery,” Madhavi says.

After deep market research and the setup of a procurement cycle, the company launched its ecommerce brand Remek in July 2016.

Remek means “masterwork/masterpiece” and it is an effort to bring unique and authentic handcrafted pieces from traditional artisans in the hinterlands of India to young and urban Indians.

“We want to celebrate the diversity of our culture by depicting myths, legends and folklore of a tribe as interpreted by local traditional artisans,” Mandawi says. She says that by doing this they strive towards providing a sustainable life to artisans.

The company follows a collaborative business model, so that craftsmen are also important stakeholders. Ninety-five percent of their product development results from collaboration, where they provide the craftsmen with raw material. The creative team supplies contemporary design inputs and the artisans then finish and present their final products.

Remek initially used the inventory model where they procured products from artisans and stored as inventory.

“This was done to gain their trust,” Satya says. He adds that Remek is now slowly moving towards a consignment basis of sourcing, where they share the risk with artisans.

“We believe that unless the artisan is made a key stakeholder in the business model and is invested in the venture, the company will not be able to provide unique products,” Madhavi says.

What does the future hold?

Remek recently launched their B2B arm, catering to customers in segments like hotel chains, tourism departments, corporate gifting and interior decoration. In this segment, they are focusing on domestic and international markets. For this, they obtain orders from customers and provide products in agreed time spans.

The company is also looking to expand in the services sector. In this model, as a service, the artisans will paint walls or other items as required by end customers. The customers will be charged on an daily/hourly basis.

“We are also in the process of developing a mobile app to provide our ecommerce and service platform through smart phones,” Mandawi says.

In 6 months, the company is clocking 300 daily website visitors and a monthly run rate of Rs 50,000.

Based on their learnings over the year, Remek has a three-pronged strategy for scaling up in the next few months. The company is going to focus on:

  • Targeted marketing campaigns focused on specific target consumers
  • Increase the reach of Remek through larger platforms like Flipkart and Amazon
  • New category development with high demand focused categories

The results to their B2B arm have also been “pretty encouraging”.

“We already have one Maharashtra government department, one 5-star hotel and two renowned interior decorators in Mumbai as our customers,” Satya says.

Going forward, the company’s business development team will be specifically focused on B2B lead generation and initiatives.

According to IBEF, the Indian handicraft industry is potentially a $100-billion industry worldwide. The industry’s current sales are pegged at around $5.8 billion annually.

Remek’s two major competitors are Gaatha and Jaypore. Both of them focus extensively on clothing and jewellery while Remek has a broader focus on home décor, including lamps, lights, artifacts and kitchen ware.

Businesses that support Indian craft are big these days.

Titan has also jumped on to the bandwagon and aims to revive handloom weaving, one of the oldest occupations in India, and the saree, the oldest garment in the country, through its newest venture Taneira.

But Mohandas Pai, Managing Director of Aarin Capital, believes that any startup “must generate money fast and figure out a business model that can scale up”.

If the Tata Group can bet on 20 clusters of Indian saree making, why can’t a startup bet on traditional artifacts? Remek has the right mindset, for sure, but needs to start generating cash soon.

[Source”cnbc”]

Modern Family: Young cast of popular sitcom gets salary hike and renewal of contract

gets salary hike and renewal of contract

Los Angeles: Modern Family young stars Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter, Nolan Gould and Rico Rodriguez have been locked in for two more seasons with new contracts that include salary increase.

Cast of Modern Family. Image via Facebook

Cast of Modern Family. Image via Facebook

The original children’s cast of the comedy show — Hyland, Winter, Gould and Rodriguez — who grew up with the show and are now adults got the pay hike after lengthy on-and off-negotiations, reports deadline.com.

The studio, 20th Century Fox TV, turned its attention to securing Hyland, Winter, Gould and Rodriguez after closing new two-year deals with stars Ed O’Neill, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara in May that paved the way for a two-year Modern Family renewal.

The older co-stars secured salary increases of over 40 per cent, from about $350,000 an episode in the most recent Season 8 to about $500,000 in Season 9.

According to deadline.com, the young actors scored significant pay increases that takes them over $100,000 an episode.

Production on Season 9 is slated to begin in early August. The show airs in India on Star World and Star World HD.

Modern Family revolves around the life of patriarch, Jay Pritchett (played by Ed O’Neill) and his family that further branches into three families comprising the above mentioned newcomers. The ABC sitcom has been awarded the coveted Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series five times and the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy in 2011.

 

[Source”timesofindia”]

I Have Anxiety, and This Household Activity Has Helped Me SO Much

“Clean house, clear head” rings so very true with me. As someone who is at a constant war with their anxiety, I’m always seeking healthy, straightforward ways to face my mental health head-on. My whole life, I’ve been what people jokingly called a “neat freak,” a trait that I got honestly from my mom. I’m the person people roll their eyes at when I genuinely say that I like to clean. Still, I never realized the value of cleaning beyond a spotless home until I skipped my Saturday morning ritual after a long week and discovered how off-balance I felt.

If you suffer from extreme anxiety, you know the feeling of panic that comes over you when things just don’t feel right and you don’t know how to fix them. It’s easy for your whole world to feel off-kilter if just one element of it is disrupted, but cleaning your home can actually help your mental state right itself and restore balance. When I clean my house from top to bottom, I go into a quiet (and private) zone where I let all of my anxieties take the back seat to the task at hand. It’s restorative for me, and best of all, I’m left with a sparkling house when all is said and done. Here’s how cleaning can help your anxiety.

Cleaning is like meditation.

Nothing helps clear my head of all my frantic thoughts more than putting on music to block everything out and allowing myself to get into the complete cleaning zone. By concentrating on a simple task, I’m able to drown out anxiety by doing something productive and basic. If you’re able to focus on your task and force all other negative thoughts out, cleaning can truly have a similar effect for some that meditation does.

It sets you up for a better day or week.

Coming home from a stressful day of work to house full of clutter, dirty dishes, and cat hair forming Texas-sized tumbleweeds of hair can cause me to feel like I may unravel completely. My home is my sanctuary and safe zone, so when I return to find it clean and clutter-free, my mind is more at peace. Spending time over the weekend to give your home a deep-clean can have a major effect on your anxiety, because it takes away a potential element of stress that may be the final straw on a particularly anxiety-ridden day.

It keeps you active.

Although exercise can help anxiety, it’s not always for everyone. Unfortunately for me, the more anxious I am, the less prone I’ll be to exercise, which can be a vicious cycle. However, cleaning your home is a way to do light exercise, keep your heart rate up, and allow your body to release endorphins, all without having to step foot in a gym.

It yields tangible results.

Anxiety can cause you to be completely overwhelmed. There are times when I feel like there is so much to do, I end up getting stuck on how to start, and I get even less done because of my inability to get past feeling like I’m drowning in unfinished tasks. Cleaning is a simple to solution to this problem. In scrubbing down the bathroom sink or vacuuming the floor, you’re able to see tangible results. The manifestation of your hard work is right before your eyes, and this physical evidence of your efforts can be an extreme comfort for an anxious mind.

[source:-popsugar]

‘GO INTO YOUR POLICE STATION AND TELL US YOU ARE ON HOLIDAY – BUT DON’T PUT IT ON FACEBOOK’

Police today urged householders to tell them when they’re on holiday — so officers can help keep an eye on their house

Story image for Door & Windows from NDTV

Ahead of the start of the trades fortnight, community officers are leading a crackdown on break-ins during the summer months — when those types of crimes peak.

PC Andy Caulfield, based at Longhaugh Police Station, is one of those heading up the campaign to halt the crooks.

And he says one option open to people who are heading off on holiday is to alert police to their absence.

He told the Tele: “Come into your local police station and let us know you’re away.

“We can include it in our patrol matrix and give it passing attention.

“And if you have a burglar alarm, please use it.

“Set it, and notify us of who you have left a key with in case it goes off in error and we need to gain access.

“We’re just trying to remind people to take those extra 30 seconds to make sure everything is secure before you leave and that way you are less at risk of being a victim of crime.

“The impact on people that have been a victim of a theft or a break-in is long-lasting.

“It stays with you forever.”

PC Caulfield says officers have dealt with “numerous” break-ins in recent weeks, with thieves looking for tell-tale signs that homes have been left unsecured.

He said: “There is more of an opportunity for thieves to take advantage of the good weather.

“People will unconsciously leave their possessions lying out in the open or leave doors or windows open – that increases the risk.

“Recently, some people had a bit of work done to the rear of their property.

“They left ground-floor windows open to the rear to air out fumes.

“They went out shopping, came back, and someone had been in through the window and gained access to the whole property.

“I believe it was an opportunist who made off with a laptop and iPod.”

Thieves tend to aim for items which are easy to conceal or carry in a bag that can be moved on quickly.

“They can be away without the neighbours seeing anything,” PC Caulfield said.

“It’s the idea that someone outwith your friends and family has been in your place of residence, your place of comfort, and that place can suddenly feel quite vulnerable.

“By simply locking windows and doors if you’re popping out, or nipping next door, you can make sure your property is properly secured.

“You can always open doors and windows later on for fresh air.”

Even windows on upper floors aren’t always safe from the crooks, with a recent reported case involving a criminal using a ladder from the side of a house to climb in through a first-floor window.

And even someone’s Facebook profile can leave an opportunity for someone to target a house.

PC Caulfield said: “If you state on social media that you’re going out, you’ve advertised that you won’t be in,” he said, “so make sure your home is secured.”

[Source”pcworld”]

Texas Senate readies to pass bathroom bill and others by end of week

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick presides over the Texas Senate on the second day of a special session ordered by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, July 19, 2017.Click through our gallery that details some of the things you should know about the 'bathroom bill'... Photo: Eric Gay, STF / The Advocate

An early morning start had the Texas Senate on track to pass out all 20 of Gov. Greg Abbott’s priority items by the end of the second week of the session.

After a rare midnight session Thursday and a weekend of around the clock committee meetings, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, had dozens of bills primed to be heard on the Senate floor over the next three days starting at 9 a.m. Monday. That includes bills dealing with highly controversial issues like abortion, transgender bathroom policies, school vouchers and tree ordinances.

DEBATE: 10 hours of public testimony in Austin over ‘Bathroom Bill’

But while the Senate plows through the agenda with Patrick’s promise to pass all of them by week’s end, the prospects of each in the House remains in doubt. House Speaker Joe Straus and the House met for less than 2 hours all of last week and have yet to pass out the one bill considered must pass — a bill reauthorizing the Texas Medical Board and four other agencies. That bill cleared the Senate early Thursday morning.

Though “bathroom bills” targeting transgender people fizzled in deep-red states across the U.S., the issue continues to be white hot in Texas. The Legislature is heading into special session prepared to revive it, and conservative groups are vowing revenge on Republican lawmakers who don’t approve it.

Media: WochIt Media

The Legislature’s regular session ended in May, but Abbott forced lawmakers back into a 30-day special session to restore the Texas Medical Board and the other boards. But he said last week that if he was going to call the lawmakers back, he was going to make it count.

OPPOSITION: Turner tells lawmakers ‘bathroom bill’ tries to solve non-existent problem

That has meant adding 19 other items to the special session call that are mostly celebrated by conservative groups, such as the bathroom bill, which would bar schools and local governments from enacting transgender bathroom policies and instead give the state full authority to set the rules. On Friday, a Senate committee overwhelming passed a bill that would require all people to use the bathroom of the sex that is listed on their birth certificates.

That legislation and other controversial items had hundreds of people filling the Texas Capitol over the last seven days, mostly in protest against the conservative agenda that Abbott has lined out.

[Source”pcworld”]

The Tate Modern and the Battle for London’s Soul

I recently found myself staring into a stranger’s living room, waiting for something beautiful to happen.

I was standing on the 10th-floor viewing terrace of the Tate Modern’s new wing, a twisting ziggurat of perforated brick and mortar that rises above the museum’s home in the old Bankside Power Station. The terrace allows for 360-degree views of the building frenzy that has consumed much of London’s skyline. Cranes dip and dive in every direction; to the east, the Shard, an overwhelming ice pick of a skyscraper, dwarfs the Victorian roofs of the surrounding neighborhood; to the west, the pregnant monolith of One Blackfriars, a 50-story mixed-used building, looms over the Thames like an alien mother ship. As is the case all over the city, many of its 4-million-pound apartments will be scooped up as investments, only to stand empty. Idle butlers will be forced to play solitaire ad infinitum. The future is a lonely place.

Directly across the street, at eye level, was NEO Bankside, three luxury condo towers, their facades crisscrossed in a metric of steel braces. In the nearest tower, no more than 200 feet from where we were standing, rose a series of angular glass living rooms, each meticulously furnished, each empty. In one, three white chairs stood in silent conference. In another, a telescope pointed reproachfully back at us. The only sign of life was a pair of slippers next to an uncomfortable-looking lime-green chaise longue.

I and my fellow observers were faced with a dilemma. A notice on the viewing terrace asked us to “Please respect our neighbours’ privacy,” yet for the rest of our museum experience we had been encouraged to look, to question, to interact. The takeaway from the Tate Modern’s new wing, which includes stunning subterranean spaces devoted to performance art, can be summed up as this: Art is not an object but an experience. A museum in the 21st century is no longer just a repository of work, but an active house of co-creation. The entire fifth floor of the new building is devoted to Tate Exchange, a flexible space for artists and the public “to collaborate, test ideas and discover new perspectives on life.”

Was the view of abandoned luxury also part of the museum? Did my strange mixture of emotions — the simultaneous curiosity and self-reproach of the voyeur — have a number on the audio tour? Guiltily, I leaned out over the terrace, staring at those slippers. I waited for some kind of performance to begin. I wanted to witness a murder, an affair, a revelation.

Continue reading the main story

This visual standoff offered a perfect distillation of the current battle for London’s soul. As more of these luxury towers spring up across the city, transforming neighborhoods into affluent ghost towns, Londoners are facing difficult questions: What kind of city do we want to live in? What do we want our streets to look like? What kind of public spaces are valuable to us? Part of the answer to these questions may lie in the entangled story of the Tate Modern and the Bankside neighborhood it helped spawn.

Continue reading the main story

Photo

Visitors enter the Tate Modern through the great void of Turbine Hall, the former engine house of the power station the museum used to be. The museum is in the Southwark section of London.CreditAndy Haslam for The New York Times

The museum may be the among the best-known examples of the now fashionable transformation of derelict factories into dynamic cultural space. Since its inception, the Tate Modern has never rested on its laurels, continuing to redefine itself as an institution of outreach, self-reflection and learning. The museum’s evolution over time provides a potential blueprint for how London, and indeed any city, can provide spaces that encourage its inhabitants to be collectively present. You cannot experience the Tate Modern through Facebook or a tweet; you must show up, with an open mind, surrounded by your fellow visitors.

London is perhaps the most international city in the world, but at its heart it has always been a local city, a series of low-slung villages. The expanded Tate Modern embraces this human scale even if its aspirations are more global than ever.

Given the real estate mania that has engulfed Bankside and the surrounding Borough of Southwark, it’s easy to forget what a bold decision it was to shift the center of London’s contemporary art world 17 years ago to a hulking abandoned power station south of the river. Ask any Londoner about wandering amid the postindustrial squalor of Southwark in the late 1980s and you will be regaled by stories of taking life into your own hands.

Everything changed in 2000, when the Tate Modern, the London Eye and the endearingly wobbly Millennium Footbridge all opened to wild, instantaneous acclaim. The Tate Modern received 5.25 million visitors in its introductory year alone. For the first time in years, people crossed the Thames and lingered. And lingered. Urban redevelopment is never a simple formula, but this triumvirate — a wheel, a bridge, a museum — proved an irresistible alchemy that led directly to the area’s renaissance over the next decade and a half.

CITY OF

LONDON

St. Paul’s Cathedral

London

CANNON ST.

Millennium

Bridge

BLACKFRIARS

BRIDGE

Shakespeare’s

Globe

Thames

One Blackfriars

Borough

Market

Tate

Modern

NEO Bankside

Hilton London Bankside

SOUTH-

WARK

Bunker

Theater

WATERLOO RD.

Old Union

Yard Arches

The Shard

Coca-Cola

London Eye

Marshalsea

Prison

If the contemporary city dweller — faced with skyrocketing property values and the scrubbed corporatization of High Street — spends much time feeling nostalgic for that grittier, more authentic time of low rents and urban blight, then Southwark offers a particularly long and glorious history to savor. Because of its location outside the city gates, Southwark functioned as a refuge for weary travelers of all persuasions. Theaters and playhouses flourished, most famously Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, as did brothels, bearbaiting pits and breweries. Charles Dickens’s father was jailed for unpaid debts in Marshalsea Prison, one of many notorious lockups in the area. Dickens himself lived for a time on Lant Street, and the sordidness of Southwark provided a rich backdrop for his novels “Little Dorrit” and “David Copperfield.

During the Industrial Revolution, Southwark became a nucleus of manufacturing because of its ample water, cheap land and cheap labor. Textile plants, breweries, a gasworks and coal and timber yards all led to astonishing levels of pollution. The Bankside Power Station, a giant brick sarcophagus bisected by an ominous chimney-spire, was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and began operations in 1952. The power station, across the Thames from St. Paul’s Cathedral like a shadow basilica of industrial consumption, chugged away, converting the oil in its great underground tanks into London’s electricity until 1981.

Perhaps even more unusual than the Tate Modern’s choice of an abandoned power station for a home was its approach to the building itself. In an architectural competition filled with overwrought interventions, Herzog & de Meuron’s winning design was most notable for its restraint: The plan left Scott’s brick shell largely untouched and drew out its industrial features rather than mask them. The architects have said that the smartest move of their careers was to make the great void of Turbine Hall, the former engine house, even bigger by dropping its floor to the basement level and allowing the visitor to enter down a long ramp.

My first encounter with Turbine Hall came in 2002, when I was living in London for the year, suffering from that very specific condition that often afflicts Americans if they spend any extended length of time in Britain, whereby everything feels both too familiar and too foreign. I remember the feeling of opening the door to the museum and drifting down that slope, confronted with the yawning mouth of a 10-story-high, red-rubber-Venus-fly-trap-cum-Victrola-horn. This maroon colossus, by the sculptor Anish Kapoor, dwarfed visitors and yet also managed to bring us together in mutual and gleeful bewilderment.

[Source”timesofindia”]

The Tate Modern and the Battle for London’s Soul

I recently found myself staring into a stranger’s living room, waiting for something beautiful to happen.

I was standing on the 10th-floor viewing terrace of the Tate Modern’s new wing, a twisting ziggurat of perforated brick and mortar that rises above the museum’s home in the old Bankside Power Station. The terrace allows for 360-degree views of the building frenzy that has consumed much of London’s skyline. Cranes dip and dive in every direction; to the east, the Shard, an overwhelming ice pick of a skyscraper, dwarfs the Victorian roofs of the surrounding neighborhood; to the west, the pregnant monolith of One Blackfriars, a 50-story mixed-used building, looms over the Thames like an alien mother ship. As is the case all over the city, many of its 4-million-pound apartments will be scooped up as investments, only to stand empty. Idle butlers will be forced to play solitaire ad infinitum. The future is a lonely place.

Directly across the street, at eye level, was NEO Bankside, three luxury condo towers, their facades crisscrossed in a metric of steel braces. In the nearest tower, no more than 200 feet from where we were standing, rose a series of angular glass living rooms, each meticulously furnished, each empty. In one, three white chairs stood in silent conference. In another, a telescope pointed reproachfully back at us. The only sign of life was a pair of slippers next to an uncomfortable-looking lime-green chaise longue.

I and my fellow observers were faced with a dilemma. A notice on the viewing terrace asked us to “Please respect our neighbours’ privacy,” yet for the rest of our museum experience we had been encouraged to look, to question, to interact. The takeaway from the Tate Modern’s new wing, which includes stunning subterranean spaces devoted to performance art, can be summed up as this: Art is not an object but an experience. A museum in the 21st century is no longer just a repository of work, but an active house of co-creation. The entire fifth floor of the new building is devoted to Tate Exchange, a flexible space for artists and the public “to collaborate, test ideas and discover new perspectives on life.”

Was the view of abandoned luxury also part of the museum? Did my strange mixture of emotions — the simultaneous curiosity and self-reproach of the voyeur — have a number on the audio tour? Guiltily, I leaned out over the terrace, staring at those slippers. I waited for some kind of performance to begin. I wanted to witness a murder, an affair, a revelation.

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This visual standoff offered a perfect distillation of the current battle for London’s soul. As more of these luxury towers spring up across the city, transforming neighborhoods into affluent ghost towns, Londoners are facing difficult questions: What kind of city do we want to live in? What do we want our streets to look like? What kind of public spaces are valuable to us? Part of the answer to these questions may lie in the entangled story of the Tate Modern and the Bankside neighborhood it helped spawn.

The museum may be the among the best-known examples of the now fashionable transformation of derelict factories into dynamic cultural space. Since its inception, the Tate Modern has never rested on its laurels, continuing to redefine itself as an institution of outreach, self-reflection and learning. The museum’s evolution over time provides a potential blueprint for how London, and indeed any city, can provide spaces that encourage its inhabitants to be collectively present. You cannot experience the Tate Modern through Facebook or a tweet; you must show up, with an open mind, surrounded by your fellow visitors.

London is perhaps the most international city in the world, but at its heart it has always been a local city, a series of low-slung villages. The expanded Tate Modern embraces this human scale even if its aspirations are more global than ever.

Given the real estate mania that has engulfed Bankside and the surrounding Borough of Southwark, it’s easy to forget what a bold decision it was to shift the center of London’s contemporary art world 17 years ago to a hulking abandoned power station south of the river. Ask any Londoner about wandering amid the postindustrial squalor of Southwark in the late 1980s and you will be regaled by stories of taking life into your own hands.

Everything changed in 2000, when the Tate Modern, the London Eye and the endearingly wobbly Millennium Footbridge all opened to wild, instantaneous acclaim. The Tate Modern received 5.25 million visitors in its introductory year alone. For the first time in years, people crossed the Thames and lingered. And lingered. Urban redevelopment is never a simple formula, but this triumvirate — a wheel, a bridge, a museum — proved an irresistible alchemy that led directly to the area’s renaissance over the next decade and a half.

CITY OF

LONDON

St. Paul’s Cathedral

London

CANNON ST.

Millennium

Bridge

BLACKFRIARS

BRIDGE

Shakespeare’s

Globe

Thames

One Blackfriars

Borough

Market

Tate

Modern

NEO Bankside

Hilton London Bankside

SOUTH-

WARK

Bunker

Theater

WATERLOO RD.

Old Union

Yard Arches

The Shard

Coca-Cola

London Eye

Marshalsea

Prison

If the contemporary city dweller — faced with skyrocketing property values and the scrubbed corporatization of High Street — spends much time feeling nostalgic for that grittier, more authentic time of low rents and urban blight, then Southwark offers a particularly long and glorious history to savor. Because of its location outside the city gates, Southwark functioned as a refuge for weary travelers of all persuasions. Theaters and playhouses flourished, most famously Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, as did brothels, bearbaiting pits and breweries. Charles Dickens’s father was jailed for unpaid debts in Marshalsea Prison, one of many notorious lockups in the area. Dickens himself lived for a time on Lant Street, and the sordidness of Southwark provided a rich backdrop for his novels “Little Dorrit” and “David Copperfield.

During the Industrial Revolution, Southwark became a nucleus of manufacturing because of its ample water, cheap land and cheap labor. Textile plants, breweries, a gasworks and coal and timber yards all led to astonishing levels of pollution. The Bankside Power Station, a giant brick sarcophagus bisected by an ominous chimney-spire, was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and began operations in 1952. The power station, across the Thames from St. Paul’s Cathedral like a shadow basilica of industrial consumption, chugged away, converting the oil in its great underground tanks into London’s electricity until 1981.

Perhaps even more unusual than the Tate Modern’s choice of an abandoned power station for a home was its approach to the building itself. In an architectural competition filled with overwrought interventions, Herzog & de Meuron’s winning design was most notable for its restraint: The plan left Scott’s brick shell largely untouched and drew out its industrial features rather than mask them. The architects have said that the smartest move of their careers was to make the great void of Turbine Hall, the former engine house, even bigger by dropping its floor to the basement level and allowing the visitor to enter down a long ramp.

My first encounter with Turbine Hall came in 2002, when I was living in London for the year, suffering from that very specific condition that often afflicts Americans if they spend any extended length of time in Britain, whereby everything feels both too familiar and too foreign. I remember the feeling of opening the door to the museum and drifting down that slope, confronted with the yawning mouth of a 10-story-high, red-rubber-Venus-fly-trap-cum-Victrola-horn. This maroon colossus, by the sculptor Anish Kapoor, dwarfed visitors and yet also managed to bring us together in mutual and gleeful bewilderment.

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The Tate Modern’s new wing, the Blavatnik Building, was designed by Herzog & de Meuron, who also designed the original building. CreditAndy Haslam for The New York Times

Confronted with the unusual size and shape of Turbine Hall — it is taller than it is wide — I suddenly became aware of the possibilities of space. Space in all directions. People, unsure of how to react to such aesthetic sublimity, simply lay on the floor. I was witnessing firsthand how the monumental scale of Turbine Hall disrupted the quiet triangulation between the viewer’s body, the artwork and the gallery. It soon became clear that the normal rules of decorum for how one should act in a museum should not, could not, apply here.

Achim Borchardt-Hume, the director of exhibitions at the Tate Modern, describes Turbine Hall as a cross between “a covered street and a public park.” The “public” part of this equation is vital, for the museum is largely financed by the government and — crucially — does not charge admission. “It’s everyone’s collection,” Mr. Borchardt-Hume said.

Such openness also invites the whole range of behavior one might expect to see in a public park. This became particularly true during Olafur Eliasson’s 2003 Turbine Hall installation, “The Weather Project, in which a giant artificial sun glowed ethereally through a billowing mist.

I had a strange emotional reaction to the exhibition: I began to weep. I remember being embarrassed about it, but looking over and seeing the person beside me weeping as well. Maybe it was just allergies. To describe the work is wholly inadequate as the materials themselves were unimpressive, some lights, some mirrors, some mist.

Yet to experience the transformation of that space alongside another human, to witness our shared wonder, was profound. Here was our entire experience rendered inside a box. A moment frozen in time and yet a moment that was deeply ephemeral. Visitors knew they could not take the experience with them and so they stayed, they picnicked beneath a fake sun, they fell asleep, they dreamed, they wrote, cried, laughed, sang, danced. In short, they were present. Together.

In retrospect, perhaps the reason we all felt so alive in there was because the iPhone had not yet been invented. The Turbine Hall experience has developed and morphed over the years alongside our increasingly reiterative culture where, for many young people, an experience can no longer be processed — it must be captured, commented on and retweeted by a virtual chorus to gain any sort of existential traction. Solitude no longer exists.

At first glance, the agora of Turbine Hall cuts against the grain of such digital collectivism. It is inherently local, temporary and not easily reduced to an Instagram post or 140 characters. The Turbine Hall commission is not an object — it is a feeling, an experience, an encounter. You have to be there. And yet such ephemeral, circumscribed cultural events represent, in some ways, the epitome of our FOMO (fear of missing out) times: “Did you see the new Turbine Hall? #lifechanging” A show across an ocean that resists all descriptors becomes the ultimate get.

Philippe Parreno’s “Anywhen” exhibition, which closed in April, was such a show. #youhadtobethere. Yet here I go: “Anywhen” was composed of eight mobile screens, a large-scale projector, an amalgamation of video footage of ventriloquism, cuttlefish and cityscapes, a manic marquee sign, a graceful beacon lamp that slid the length of the space, a motley assortment of inflatable fish and a plethora of tiny speakers, all in constant flux, all working in concert to conjure a series of moods and theatrical experiences that changed throughout the day. No two moments were the same. And here was the kicker: This universe was controlled by a jar of yeast, the diegetic sounds of the building and an algorithm. Sound complicated? Good. It was.

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‘Anywhen’

“Anywhen,” by Philippe Parreno.

Photo by Tate Photography.

When I visited London in February, “Anywhen happened to be down for some “light technical repairs.” Upon hearing this, I suffered from a classic case of FOMO: I would not have the full, unadulterated “Anywhen” experience. I would not be awed and moved and delighted beside my fellow visitor. Instead, I spent my morning inside the exhibition’s control room in the back of the hall with one of its French operators, a miasma of computer screens, a school of half-deflated fish and the yeast in question. I asked the yeast a couple questions about the authenticity of performance art but received only vague answers.

Back out in the hall I noticed that even though the exhibition was down, people were still using the space, lounging on the carpets, pondering the ceiling, tweeting, sleeping. Nearby, a French school group collapsed into a scrum on the floor and began ululating nursery rhymes. Experience cannot be canceled.

“It’s funny to say, but one of the most important parts of ‘Anywhen’ is the carpet,” said Andrea Lissoni, a senior curator who worked on the show. “This thin little material offers a certain kind of permission.”

I found myself wondering what would happen if the carpet and its permissions were extended out the door of the museum to the sidewalks of Bankside. Whenever I wander through a neighborhood, I often think about Jane Jacobs, who envisioned pedestrian-oriented cities and foiled the plan of the mighty Robert Moses to extend a freeway through her Greenwich Village neighborhood in New York. For Jacobs, the life (and death) of a city was bound up in the thousands of small interactions — “sidewalk contact” she called it — between locals and strangers alike, each of whom contributed to the sense of public trust by playing various voluntary roles, keeping “eyes on the street,” and providing a collective network of accountability.

I think Jacobs would be worried but perhaps also mildly optimistic about the current state of Bankside. Like much of London, the neighborhood seems poised on a knife edge, balanced precariously between hyper-development and thoughtful urban planning. Indeed, the Tate Modern was forced to accelerate its expansion plans when the neighborhood it helped jump-start threatened to overwhelm its footprint. The area surrounding the museum is occupied by a ring of new commercial buildings; their ground floors feature the potpourri of corporate-cool restaurants common throughout London. There are the homemade ramen chain, the cold-pressed juice chain, the authentic Californian burrito chain. This kind of cloned proliferation represents a new form of urban blight of which Jacobs would not approve.

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Not far from the Tate, the Borough Market is a labyrinthine blending of the local and the global.CreditAndy Haslam for The New York Times

Farther afield, there are glimmers of hope. Borough Market is now one of the city’s premier food markets; in contrast to the corporate chains, it feels rooted in the place, a labyrinthine blending of the local and the global. To wander through its stalls is to encounter an ever-changing feast for the senses, featuring, among other entries, an Iberian charcuterie, vegan bakeries and seventh-generation fishmongers.

Here, tourists and locals rub shoulders as they settle down to a smorgasbord of pop-up street food including Ethiopian Flavours’s vegetable misir and injera crepes, or Kappacasein’s local Ogleshield cheese raclette. The market, in existence for over 1,000 years, has only recently become an everyday phenomenon, and its popularity has had a profound effect on this part of the city. I listened as a butcher described the history of meatpacking in the area to two Italian tourists. A resident walking his dog chimed in. The world expanded.

An organization called Better Bankside is trying to foster more space for contact like this in the neighborhood. Its goal is to combat the chokehold of vacant 4-million-pound oligarch flats through initiatives like the “Bankside Urban Forest,” which develops fallow space into pocket parks, pathways, plazas. Perhaps the most ambitious of these projects is the Low Line, a direct response to Manhattan’s High Line. Whereas the High Line is an urban footpath above the city on an abandoned railroad line, the Low Line seeks to clear old rights of way alongside the working railway viaducts that crisscross the area.

The plan is to create vibrant pedestrian zones that use the arched spaces beneath the rail lines, said Donald Hyslop, the chairman of Better Bankside and the director of Regeneration and Community Partnerships at the Tate Modern, as he walked with me along the proposed Low Line route. “Disused, dirty and derelict spaces,” he said, “will be transformed into an urban park where independent business can thrive and local communities can explore.”

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The upstairs area of Bala Baya, an Israeli-Bauhaus restaurant that serves small plates.CreditAndy Haslam for The New York Times

One such area is Old Union Yard Arches, made up of a collection of establishments, including the Africa Center, a Spanish theater company, an aerial fitness gym, a Genovese restaurant and Bala Baya, an Israeli-Bauhaus place that serves delicious small plates such as stuffed peppers with smoked freekeh and citrus yogurt, or chickpea and oxtail accompanied by the best tahini I have ever tasted. Whether this tahini will rescue the soul of Bankside remains to be seen, but I wouldn’t count it out.

Nearby, the new Hilton London Bankside on Great Suffolk Street has made an effort to inculcate itself into the neighborhood by bridging past and present. While its lobby and facade are standard contemporary faux-chic, its Victorian steampunk bar, the Distillery, is named after the old Stevenson & Howell fragrance factory that occupied the site in the 1800s. I ordered one of its fragrance-inspired cocktails, “Thus With a Kiss I Die,” a delicious amalgamation of mezcal, amaro, sweet vermouth and chocolate bitters combined by the bartender in front of me with a great flourish. The problem was drinking the thing. I sipped my potation in one section of the bar, only to be told that it was reserved for a corporate party. When I moved to another part of the bar I was informed that it was also reserved for a corporate party.

“Where can I sit?” I asked. The waiter sheepishly pointed to a lone chair in the corner. “There, I think, is O.K.,” he said. Next to me, I could feel the ghost of Jane Jacobs cringing.

That evening I attended a show in the Bunker Theater on Southwark Street called “Dear Home Office,” put on by eight young refugees and their caseworker, in which they enacted the intimate and harrowing story of applying for political asylum in Britain. The theater was packed, a wonderful buzz permeated the air. The actors were not professionals and their nervousness was palpable, but their performance felt authentic; the art was the assimilation. Afterward, as I wandered through the construction zones and semi-abandoned streets of Bankside’s commercial district, I recalled what my waiter at Bala Baya had said to me: that he often feels a refugee in his own city, a city he no longer recognizes, a city in which he can no longer afford to live.

I returned to London a month later, in March, the day after a terrorist attack in which a man had run down pedestrians with a car before fatally stabbing a police officer outside of Parliament. The mood of the city was defiant; business had not stopped. Regular life became both a form of resistance and mourning. When another attack occurred in June, this time in Southwark itself, at Borough Market, citizens were again unyielding in their adherence to life: Even fleeing from the scene, at least one Londoner insisted on carrying his overpriced pint with him.

For me, such cultural defiance did not come so easily. I had come to town to witness the Tate Modern’s first performance festival, the awkwardly titled “BMW Tate Live Exhibition: Ten Days Six Nights,” but found myself in a strange mood, mulling over the inherent sense of public trust upon which all cities depend. At a time like this, I couldn’t decide if my visit to a museum was an indulgent luxury or a reaffirmation of the city’s vital artistic humanism.

Most of the performances took place in the stunning underground Tanks beneath the Tate Modern’s new wing, formerly the Switch House and now christened the Blavatnik Building, after Sir Leonard Blavatnik, the recently knighted Anglo-Ukrainian billionaire. The museum smartly rehired Herzog & de Meuron to also design the expansion. Though constructing a tower was much different from the original renovation, the architects again used a light hand when it came to the Tanks, leaving the concrete caverns largely untouched from their original form, when they were filled with the oil that once powered the city.

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‘Occasion’

“Occasion,” by Isabel Lewis.

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For “Ten Days Six Nights,” the artist Isabel Lewis took over the subterranean foyer and one of the tanks with an immersive performance salon she called “Occasion.” The piece involved all five senses; my first impression of “Occasion” was of an earthy, loamy smell, as if I were entering a factory reclaimed by nature. Ms. Lewis had filled the foyer with couches and a veritable explosion of houseplants. Dirt had been strewn across the concrete floors as if to make it clear the containers could no longer contain what lay inside.

“These plants are a little too oversized,” Ms. Lewis later told me. “Maybe aggressive. They have their own agency. But it’s still this gesture of welcome.” Occasionally people chanted, sang, gathered, dispersed. At times, it was unclear who was part of the work and who was a visitor. I’m not sure the distinction mattered. This was sidewalk contact as performance art, an avant-garde rendition of “Jane Jacobs: The Musical!”

Perhaps the most moving and evocative work of the festival was FujikoNakaya’s luminous “London Fog,” which took place outside, in the new plaza directly above the Tanks. The soft architecture of Ms. Nakaya’s fog sculpture, gusting and shifting in the London wind, provided the perfect interface between museum and city, between human and environment. As in the organic yeast feedback loops of “Anywhen,” the pulsing light and soundscapes of “London Fog” reacted to the dance of the water vapor. The installation felt at once minimal and complex. There was wisdom in its simplicity, though this simplicity was deceiving, for the execution of such meteorological magic is a practice that Ms. Nakaya has been honing for five decades.

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‘London Fog’

“London Fog,” by Fujiko Nakaya.

Photo by Tate Photography.

“Many from this new generation of artists are inspired by Fujiko’s deep history of blending the technical and the organic,” said Catherine Wood, a curator of “Ten Days Six Nights.” “She’s this grande dame of the atmospheric installation scene.”

For being a grande dame, Ms. Nakaya is a quiet, modest woman with twinkling eyes. She has seen the winds come and go. When I talked with her on the terrace, surrounded by her creation, we got into a long conversation about the mechanics of her custom fog nozzles, about the weight of water, about purity, form, grandchildren. We grew damp from the condensation as delighted children ran through the billowing clouds, unaware they were experiencing art.

“This is third-generation London fog,” she said. “First was the fog of the Romantic poets and Turner’s landscapes, and then the smog of the industrial age, and now this.”

Around us, the fog was changing with the breeze. It rose up and twisted, obscuring the world beyond. For a moment we were trapped in a cocoon, completely transported, and then the mist broke and she and I were standing next to a museum inside a great and beautiful city.