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Culture

Essays and videos on the arts, literature, travel, rituals and celebrations
The Rift | Aeon
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Deep time

The Rift

Splitting the African continent, it is the only place where our human story can be read continuously from the very start

Tristan McConnell

The immediate present | Aeon
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Art

At 95, an artist paints swiftly to capture the fugitive light

6 minutes

Our contaminated future | Aeon
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The environment

Our contaminated future

In Fukushima, communities are adapting to life in a time of permanent pollution: a glimpse of what’s to come for us all

Maxime Polleri

Home and the birdsong | Aeon
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Nature and landscape

Home and the birdsong

In the dark, sylvan villages of medieval England, people named places after the birds that filled the night with music

Michael J Warren

Ida western exile | Aeon
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Technology and the self

One woman prepares for the risky solitude of Georgia O’Keeffe’s American West

8 minutes

A touch of moss | Aeon
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Biology

A touch of moss

Inside a rainforest or on the city pavement, moss asks so little yet offers so much: a tactile encounter with time itself

Nikita Arora

Here’s to the aquapolis | Aeon
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The environment

Here’s to the aquapolis

Unkempt, beguiling and lacking conventional geometry, wetlands bring a roguish, raffish wildness to the city

Tom Blass

EXCLUSIVEAgainst the tide | Aeon
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Subcultures

Living off-grid on a remote Scottish island is a mix of rejection and acceptance

13 minutes

A God beyond logic | Aeon
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Philosophy of religion

A God beyond logic

The history of natural theology shows that Intelligent Design and New Atheism both got it wrong, in strangely similar ways

Adam R Shapiro

Good fire | Aeon
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Ecology and environmental sciences

To renew Yosemite, California should embrace a once-outlawed Indigenous practice

6 minutes

James Wines: nature’s revenge | Aeon
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Architecture

Why a sculptor pivoted from gallery installations to big-box stores design

9 minutes

John Ruskin: in awe of nature | Aeon
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Beauty and aesthetics

For Ruskin, words couldn’t capture nature’s palette. So here it is in black and white

6 minutes

Nature does not care | Aeon
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Nature and landscape

Nature does not care

Too many nature writers descend into poetic self-absorption instead of the sharp-eyed realism the natural world deserves

Richard Smyth

Pyrocene Park | Aeon
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Ecology and environmental sciences

Pyrocene Park

Fire is a planetary feature, not a biotic bug. What can we learn from Yosemite’s experiment to restore natural fire?

Stephen J Pyne

Dashing to nowhere | Aeon
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Travel

Dashing to nowhere

D H Lawrence’s restless travels in Sardinia were a quest for self-knowledge. The real island slipped beneath his notice

William Atkins

The painter who revolutionised landscapes | Aeon
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Beauty and aesthetics

Why Caspar David Friedrich pits nature’s grandeur against the humble human

7 minutes

Arctic summer | Aeon
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Ecology and environmental sciences

Life in one of Canada’s northernmost villages, where the land is sinking into the sea

24 minutes

Florent Vollant: I dream in Innu | Aeon
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Nature and landscape

Honouring the caribou, in dreams and memories from an Innu singer-songwriter

5 minutes

Phenomena: magnitudes | Aeon
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Biology

The astonishing resonances between patterns in nature, microscopic and cosmic

5 minutes

The diamond | Aeon
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Nature and landscape

An afternoon with hobbyist diamond miners in Arkansas is a thing of rare beauty

16 minutes

Acoustic naturalism | Aeon
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Architecture

Acoustic naturalism

Our movies and offices are engineered to sound natural based on what rang false in the theatres of 18th-century Paris

Joseph L Clarke

Komorebi | Aeon
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video

Beauty and aesthetics

Komorebi: ‘a dance of shadows emerging when sunlight filters through trees’

4 minutes

The peace of wild things | Aeon
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Nature and landscape

The poet Wendell Berry reflects on the sublime peace of escaping into wilderness

1 minute

The art of survival | Aeon
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Art

The art of survival

The Harrisons’ eco-art told stories about the apocalypse, pointing to a future where we’d all have to be survival artists

W Patrick McCray