Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev: “I am a pessimist who views the future with optimism.”

“Fortunately I do not speak a foreign language,” Andrey Zvyagintsev tells me (in Russian). “So I don’t know what they say about us or my films outside(...)

Mavis Arnold (centre) at the launch in 1987 of her booklet ‘Irishwomen into Focus’, with (left)  Thekla Beere, former chairwoman of the Commission on the Status of Women, and the then minister of State for women’s affairs, Nuala Fennell. Photograph: Paddy Whelan

After news broke that the political journalist Bruce Arnold’s home telephone had been tapped by An Garda Síochána, his wife Mavis couldn’t resist joki(...)

The ninth-century Tatev Monastry, an icon of the ancient Armenian Apostolic Church, reached by the world’s longest aerial tramway. Photograph: Hayk Melkonyan

“Whole generations have been lost. We are left without children and it means we are left without a future.” I remember those words vividly. They were (...)