Liberia's flourishing post-war art
Plus art on death row, Peru's scissor dancers and township fashion in South Africa.
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2009 16:39 GMT

Leslie Lumeh's life was turned upside down after he was forced to flee his home in 1997 at the height of Liberia's brutal civil war.

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His paintings depicting the atrocities of the conflict had made him unpopular with the regime of president Charles Taylor.

It was to be eight long years before Leslie was able to return home in 2005 and fulfill his dream to give local artists an opportunity to promote their works.

The opening of the country's first post-war art gallery is a sure sign that Liberia is well on its way to healing old wounds.

Peru's scissor brothers

In the shanty towns of Peru, an ancient Andean tradition designed to show mens' bravery, is still practiced.

Using two poles that take the shape of scissors men meet regularly on Sundays to compete against each other in a dangerous and colourful ritual to determine who is the most courageous.

Death row art

When a friend of hers told Nowrwegian artist about "la tricteuse" - women who would knit next to the guillotine during the French revolution - it began a fascination with the historical relationships between knitting and the death penalty.

The result was an ambitious and unique project to recreate the cell of one man on death row in the United States.

Two years ago Kjaersti met Carlton A Turner, awaitng execution in Texas, Artsworld charts the history of their fascinating and ambitous art collaboration.

Township fashion

Recently, the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, South Africa was abuzz with a new performance dance piece that brought the little known culture of the swenka’s  to the attention of the arts world.

In it's natural state, the swenka takes the form of a bizarre weekly fashion competition held at hostels for migrant workers.

But it is not couture only that decides the winner, as often the individual "swanking" style of the competitor goes a long way in winning the judge's vote.

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