Cultural Digest: Don't miss these events in Europe this week

A man wearing traditional Masai clothes walks under an installation, at the Biennale International Architecture exhibition, in Venice, Italy, Wednesday, May 17, 2023.
A man wearing traditional Masai clothes walks under an installation, at the Biennale International Architecture exhibition, in Venice, Italy, Wednesday, May 17, 2023. Copyright Antonio Calanni/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Jonny Walfisz
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For our weekly cultural digest, we list the top things you might have missed to look out for over the next week.



If this week’s passing of legendary Irish singer and musician Sinéad O'Connor aged just 56 has you wanting to revisit her impeccable back catalogue, we recommend the excellent documentary released last year charting her career between 1987 and 1993.

Nothing Compares starts with O’Connor’s brilliant first album, before taking viewers on an odyssey through her first three albums, the release of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ and the infamous moment she tore up a picture of the Pope on SNL in protest of the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal, years before it would become publicly accepted knowledge. For those in the UK, Nothing Compares will be available on 29 July on NOW.

Irish Pop-Rock singer Sinead O'Connor performs on the main stage during the opening day of the 17th Rock Oz'Arenes festival in Avenches, Switzerland, Saturday, Aug.16, 2008.ENNIO LEANZA/AP2008

Oh and we're guessing that you may be catching up with either Barbie or Oppenheimer now that the initial rush has been and gone. Or maybe you're heading for a re-watch. In case you missed it, here is our review of Barbenheimer


Britain’s most respected award in music, the Mercury Prize, has announced the shortlist for 2023. The winner of the Mercury Prize’s Album of the Year will be announced in a live ceremony on 7 September where all nominees will perform live.

As usual, the nominees range across genres to present an eclectic picture of the best music release in the UK and Ireland over the last year. The shortlisted nominees are:

  • Arctic Monkeys ‘The Car’
  • Ezra Collective ‘Where I'm Meant to Be’
  • Fred again.. ‘Actual Life 3 (January 1 - September 9 2022)’
  • J Hus ‘Beautiful And Brutal Yard’
  • Jessie Ware ‘That! Feels Good!’
  • Jockstrap ‘I Love You Jennifer B’
  • Lankum ‘False Lankum’
  • Loyle Carner ‘hugo’
  • Olivia Dean ‘Messy’
  • RAYE ‘My 21st Century Blues’
  • Shygirl ‘Nymph’
  • Young Fathers ‘Heavy Heavy’

Three of these albums have made it into our Best Albums of 2023... So Far ranking. We highly recommend you catch up on these releases. 

Arts Festivals

The second edition of A Dobradiça - Encontros contemporâneos, the Portuguese biennale celebrating multidisciplinary art in the town of Mação is currently in full tilt. After opening at the beginning of July, it will continue to 10 August, so there’s still plenty of time to check it out if you’re in Portugal.

The free biennale has taken a focus on nature this year. Public spaces and private houses have all been roped in to demonstrate art that interacts with “the body and the mind; with water, soil, plants, trees, heart beats, smells, and sounds, during the day and at night”. Artists on show include Alberto López Baena & Manuel Prados, Sara Bichão, Márcio Carvalho, Mikhail Karikis, Florence Lazar, Josèfa Ntjam, Uriel Orlow, Corinne Silva, Lawrence Smail, James Webb.

Manuel Prados
Alberto López Baena from the Spanish duo Alberto López Baena and Manuel PradosManuel Prados

Art Exhibition

Muzeum Susch, an extraordinary privately owned museum nestled in a serene Swiss mountain village, is paying homage to a hidden gem of Polish avant-garde art: Wanda Czełkowska. 

Euronews Culture's very own Theo Farrant went to the retrospective on the post-war contemporary Polish artist, whose brilliance has remained unjustly overlooked by art history until recent times.

For lovers of avant-garde and modern art, this exhibition is an absolute must-see. 'Wanda Czełkowska: Art is not Rest' is on now until 26 November 2023.

Music Festivals

Rock fans in Poland have something exciting to look forward to next week. There’s a free festival taking place at the former Czaplinek-Broczyno Airfield from 3-5 August. The site is in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship, one of the prettiest parts of Poland.

For the 29th edition of Pol'and'Rock Festival has some big names in the form of Napalm Death and Bullet for My Valentine. Expect sets from other exciting bands like Apollo 440, Spin Doctors, Biohazard, Carpenter Brut, Brodka, DRAIN, While She Sleeps, Zalewski, Royal Republic, Get The Shot, LemON, Rise Of The Northstar, The Rumjacks, Lady Pank, LUIKU and Hoffmaestro, among others.

Robb D. Cohen/Robb D. Cohen/Invision/AP
Matthew Tuck with Bullet for My ValentineRobb D. Cohen/Robb D. Cohen/Invision/AP


In case you missed it, the Venice Biennale is now in full swing. 

While the dance section of the multidisciplinary celebration of the arts has just ended, the architecture section is open to visitors with the film festival opening soon. Euronews Culture’s resident film critic David Mouriquand will be on the scene to bring you his first-glance reviews on the impressively stacked line-up of films at the end of the month, but if you’re hankering for some physical art, it’s worth heading down to the floating Italian city.

Curated by Lesley Lokko, the academic, educator and best-selling novelist has put together a showcase of sculpture, including the centrepiece exhibition ‘The Laboratory of the Future’. At this exhibition, 89 African and African diaspora artists have contributed to create incredible installations. There is also the annual display from the participating nations.

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