Get curated editors’ picks, peeks behind the scenes, film recommendations and more.
With the overheated rhetoric around immigration dominating the political sphere, an imaginative, historically rooted perspective can be something of a tonic. This short video from Pedro M Cruz, a data-visualisation designer and assistant professor at Northeastern University in Boston, uses nearly two centuries of United States census data (1830-2015) to convey the country’s population growth through immigration. Cruz depicts these accumulating figures as an ageing tree trunk, with each new ring accounting for a decade of population growth, and each coloured cell representing 100 immigrants from a cultural-geographical region. According to Cruz, the tree metaphor ‘carries the idea that these marks in the past are immutable’ and it ‘embodies the concept that all cells contributed to the organism’s growth’. As with so many renderings of US history, indigenous populations are conspicuously absent from the tableau. Still, Cruz’s skilfully deployed data doubles as a resonant work of cultural commentary, offering a rich and often surprising look at the ever-evolving makeup of the country.
Art and Design: Pedro M Cruz, Steve Costa
Research: John Wihbey, Avni Ghael, Felipe Shibuya
Website: IPUMS USA
The ancient world
What did the Rosetta Stone’s inscription actually communicate?
The cast of ‘misfit toys’ who keep life on an idyllic tourist island afloat
Biography and memoir
What Akiko saw at the centre of the Hiroshima blast, and the indelible mark it left
To understand the limits of human senses, look to the wild world of animal cognition
Design and fashion
From sheep to sea – an ode to the iconic sweater that warms Cornish sailors
The revolutionary artist who propelled the Black Panther movement with imagery
The ancient world
Sappho’s homoerotic poetry was beloved in ancient Greece – and burned centuries later
Human rights and justice
Beyond ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ – could a range of verdict options be more just?
Food and drink
From set-up to close, a day at the farmers market is a whirlwind sensory feast