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The best things to do and see (or watch) in Europe this week

 Barbie exhibition opens at London's Design Museum
Barbie exhibition opens at London's Design Museum Copyright Design MuseumDesign Museum
Copyright Design Museum
By Garfield Myrie
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From tiny dolls with big personalities to a very modern take on the superhero genre and the historic bull-run in Spain, there's something for everyone in our round-up of the best cultural offerings for the week ahead.

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Some might say there's never been a bigger need for culture at a time when two of Europe's biggest countries are going through political upheaval.

For those seeking solace in sport and there are rich pickings on offer as Euro 2024 reaches its climax, not to mention Wimbledon or the second week of the Tour de France.

There's certainly no reason why you can't make your own pick 'n' mix from all the topics mentioned and add something a la carte from our menu of cultural offerings this week.

Design

Barbie®: The Exhibition at the Design Museum (London UK)

Barbie and astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti in the European Space Station
Barbie and astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti in the European Space StationESA/ESA

A major exhibition exploring the design evolution of one of the world’s most famous dolls: Barbie is now underway at London's Design Museum. Visitors can immersive themselves in the Barbie universe and discover more than 250 remarkable objects, with unique and innovative dolls dating from 1959 to the present day.

Rare exhibits including a one-of-a-kind Talking Barbie prototype, the best-selling Totally Hair Barbie, and an out-of-this-world Barbie, that spent time at the European Space Station with Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, will be on show for the first time.

London's Design Museum Barbie exhibition runs until 23 February 2025.

Exhibitions

Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition (London, UK)

Falling 1. Copper and fabric, 60 x 50 cm.
Falling 1. Copper and fabric, 60 x 50 cm. Courtesy of the artist: Permindar Kaur, Photo: Richard Davies

Art and architecture in every medium not only fill the Royal Academy of Arts galleries they spill out into the courtyard of the central London arts hub. The eclectic mix of work by established and amateur artists will inspire, delight, move and entertain.

If you fancy buying an artwork, most of the paintings, prints and sculptures will be available to buy, with a number of works available for less than £250, making this the perfect opportunity to start your art collection.

RA Summer Exhibition is on until 18 August

Les Rencontres d'Arles (Arles, France)

Old Fadama in Accra, Ghana, February 9, 2023. Working through the night, Latif Fuseini, a repairman, attempts to repair and reanimate end-of-life electric motors.
Old Fadama in Accra, Ghana, February 9, 2023. Working through the night, Latif Fuseini, a repairman, attempts to repair and reanimate end-of-life electric motors.Muntaka Chasant for Fondation Carmignac

Every summer since 1970, the Rencontres d'Arles international festival of Photography has been delighting visitors with a packed programme of exhibitions, night screenings and photography workshops.

According to the organisers, "tremors and turmoil, spirits, traces, parallel readings and re-readings all constitute new perspectives underlying the 2024 edition as photographers, artists and curators reveal their visions and stories

Now on until September 29th, 2024.

Free admission with the Rencontres d’Arles Pas; Full price €6

TV Series

Supacell (Netflix)

Supacell | Official Trailer | Netflix

Set in South London, Netflix's new superhero series Supacell provides a twist to the rather fatigued genre. The traditional superhero tropes are all there - human flight, super-strength, invisibility, but this time they're set against a backdrop of trendy eateries, urban graffiti and the vibrant streets of Peckham and Brixton.

No lycra, no cloaks, Supacell is more cool kicks and hoodies. Relatable characters - a delivery driver, a street hood, a dad down on his luck - all struggling to make their way through life while coping with the surprise arrival of power beyond comprehension and baddies from another dimension.

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Available on Netflix now.

Film

MaXXXine

MaXXXine is the everyday tale of a porn star with a dark past trying to break into the mainstream Hollywood film industry. In the background the infamous Night Stalker killer prowls the Californian streets in search of his next victim.

With a top-notch cast that includes The Crown star Elizabeth Debicki, Lily Collins, Giancarlo Esposito and Kevin Bacon, the film is sure to get pulses racing with a combination of 80's styling - think big hair, gas-guzzling cars and trousers just a little too tight - and a throwback soundtrack to get your feet tapping as the body count grows.

Festivals

Running of the bulls, (Pamplona, Spain)

Revelers run with fighting bulls during the running of the bulls at the San Fermin festival, in Pamplona, Spain, July 7, 2014
Revelers run with fighting bulls during the running of the bulls at the San Fermin festival, in Pamplona, Spain, July 7, 2014Daniel Ochoa de Olza/AP

The world's most famous bull running festival kicks off this weekend in Pamplona, Spain. The bull-run is the most well-known and controversial part of the annual Fiesta de San Fermín, which honours the city's first bishop and patron saint.

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At 8am everyday for a week when the doors of the Santo Domingo corral are open, hundreds of people run ahead of the bulls around the 848-metre route around the old town to the bullring.

Rockets are launched to notify runners of the stages of the running: the first when the corral gates are opened, the second when all the bulls have left, the third, in the arena when the bulls enter the bullring, and the fourth when they are in the bullpens and the running of the bulls is finished.

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