INSP Awards: finalists revealed for best cultural writing in street papers

Exclusive interviews with global music stars Taylor Swift and Johnny Rotten vie with fascinating features on Pixar, photo-journalism and a kung fu legend to be named the best cultural feature in street papers this year.

Our Best Cultural Feature award goes to the best feature, interview or story focusing on arts, entertainment and culture. Judges consider a range of elements including originality of approach, incisive interviews, and excellence in writing style.

The finalists for this category come from the hundreds of contributions we receive to our unique News Service. This free wire service allows street papers to share content with their international peers and makes hundreds of articles available for free to INSP’s member street papers.

The winner will be announced next week at the Global Street Paper Summit and, of course, right here. Keep an eye on #INSPAwards and #INSP2016 for more updates.

Check out our Best News Feature finalists here.

Credit: ©2015 Disney•Pixar

The Big Issue, UK

Pixar and the art of manipulation
By Steven MacKenzie

Joy. Sadness. Anger. Happiness. Disgust. The Big Issue’s Steven MacKenzie explores the evolution of emotion – from fear or flight to Pixar’s latest tearjerker, Inside Out. He speaks to the film’s director Ronnie Del Carmen psychology experts to discover how and why films alter our mood more dramatically than real-life experiences.

Read the full article here.

TBI Johnny Rotten

The Big Issue, UK

John Lydon: How I became Rotten
By Peter Ross

John Lydon, better known as Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten, is a self-proclaimed King of the Outsiders. He tells The Big Issue about the great outsiders and originals, from Gandhi to Mae West, who helped shaped his world.

Read the full interview here.

Taylor Swift poses with her copy of The Contributor Photo: Kevin Barbieux

The Contributor, USA

Oh! The impossible lightness of being Taylor Swift
By Holly Gleason

In the midst of her colossal world tour, global superstar Taylor Swift took some time out to speak to The Contributor’s Holly Gleason. In this exclusive interview, the multiple Grammy Award-winning artist discusses crossing over from country to pop in her smash hit album 1989 and her determination to stay true to herself, and her loyal legion of fans.

Read the interview here.

Credit: Eivind Stuevold

Sorgenfri, Norway

Master Diep: myths and truths behind a kung fu legend
By Trond Ola Tilseth

It’s been said that Vietnamese kung fu legend Master Diep can smash planks with his index finger and throw knives at tiny targets with pinpoint accuracy, while blindfolded. Norwegian street paper Sorgenfri paid a visit to Master Diep’s studio in Trondheim to meet the man behind the myths. They reveal the fascinating story of how he survived a perilous crossing of the Pacific Ocean from Vietnam over two decades ago to become a tough, no-nonsense coach in Norway.

Rex Hohlbein

Real Change, USA

Through images and art, Rex Hohlbein is changing perceptions of homelessness
By Aaron Burkhalter

Seattle-based architect, photo-journalist and community activist architect Rex Hohlbein built his non-profit, Facing Homelessness, on the back of a Facebook page called ‘Homeless in Seattle’. The page shares true stories of homelessness and has amassed more than 16,000 followers. Hohlbein presented an exhibition of his photographs at the Global Street Paper Summit in Seattle on 22 June. He spoke to Summit co-hosts Real Change about how his work grew from a personal Facebook project to a full non-profit that works to challenge negative perceptions of homelessness.