Qantas urges rapper will.i.am to withdraw racism accusation against staffer

Black Eyed Peas rapper will.i.am said on Twitter he was racially targeted by a Qantas airline attendant. (Invision/AP)
Updated 18 November 2019

Qantas urges rapper will.i.am to withdraw racism accusation against staffer

  • Black Eyed Peas rapper will.i.am said on Twitter he was racially targeted by a Qantas airline attendant
  • Qantas, which called the incident a ‘misunderstanding,’ has requested the rapper to retract his statement

MELBOURNE: Australia’s flagship airline, Qantas, said on Monday it stood ready to offer legal assistance to a member of its flight crew named in a racism accusation by Black Eyed Peas rapper will.i.am on social media.
The US singer had taken a flight about 1-1/2-hours long to Sydney, Australia’s most populous city, from northeastern Brisbane to play at a concert on Saturday, but was met by Australian federal police at the arrival gate.
He said on Twitter he was racially targeted by an airline attendant, whom he identified by name, after failing to put away his laptop as the flight prepared to land, because he had put on noise-canceling headphones to “make beats.”
Qantas, which called the incident a “misunderstanding,” has requested the rapper to retract his statement.
“Absent a retraction, and if the crew member wanted to take the matter further, we’d certainly be willing to provide legal support for them to do this,” a spokesman told Reuters in a statement.
Police confirmed they spoke to crew and passengers at the airport, but said no further action was required. “The Australian Federal Police considers this matter finalized,” they said in a statement.
On Saturday, will.i.am said in a post on Twitter, “Is calling the police on a passenger for not hearing (the) P.A. due to wearing noise-canceling headphones appropriate?”
He added, “If didn’t put away my laptop ‘in a rapid 2min time’ I’d understand. I did comply quickly & politely, only to be greeted by police. I think I was targeted.”
As of Monday, will.i.am had not made any retraction on social media, even as other commenters pointed out that the crew member he identified had received threats on social media as a result.
He pointed out that if he were rude to a fan or journalist, he would be publicly named.
“This is what Twitter is for...we are supposed to call out wrongdoings so we can have a safer, more compassionate world,” will.i.am said.
Reuters was not able to contact the rapper through his agency, and he did not immediately respond to a request for comment on social media.


Different strokes: Saudi artist draws the line at cosmetic waste

Updated 15 December 2019

Different strokes: Saudi artist draws the line at cosmetic waste

  • 19-year-old student Aisha Javid Mir produces paintings that are both eye-catching and eco-friendly

JEDDAH: Using a technique all her own, one young Saudi artist is turning out artworks that not only light up a room — but also help save the planet. 

Instead of traditional oils, 19-year-old student Aisha Javid Mir uses discarded makeup and cosmetics to produce paintings that are both eye-catching and eco-friendly.

She describes the process as “beauty created out of beauty.”

Her project, Artientifique, has introduced the concept to a growing audience, drawing praise from around the Middle East and abroad.  

“The idea of using makeup to paint came to me when I was in my school,” Mir told Arab News. “One of my friends bought new cosmetics and changed her set, throwing the old cosmetics stock in the bin.” 

Mir set to work developing new painting techniques using waste cosmetics, inventing tools to help her paint.

“Makeup brushes wouldn’t work on canvas because they are designed for faces and makeup texture is different from traditional paint, so I had to think and work on it,” she said.

The idea of painting using old cosmetics sounds simpler than it was. “I worked for years to figure out how I could make a beautiful, durable, premium-quality paintings for art lovers by using waste,” she said.

“It shouldn’t ever look like it was created from trash.”

HIGHLIGHTS

• Aisha Mir has no preferences in terms of makeup products or brands.

• ‘When I collect waste stock, it is a mix of broken, sticky and old things,’ she said.

While practicing Mir introduced the idea to friends in the Middle East, India and abroad, and shared her paintings on social media, gaining positive feedback.

She said waste and poor disposal of cosmetics pose a threat to the planet through harmful chemicals and micro-plastics, with hormone disruption, genetic mutation and possible extinction of marine species among the most pressing concerns.

“I was trying to spread awareness about the harm caused by waste cosmetics. I knew what I was doing was on a small scale, but when people applauded, I realized what I was doing was great and beneficial. It motivated me to work harder,” Mir said.

The painter has been interested in art ever since she was a toddler. “I don’t remember a single day I came home in a clean uniform,” she said.

Now word of Mir’s work is spreading. She was featured in this year’s Misk Global Forum and has also collaborated with Maitreya Art, one of India’s best-known galleries.

Artientifique is helping to raise environmental awareness by allowing art lovers to buy paintings and support the initiative.

Mir said that in future she hopes to collaborate with art galleries, conduct makeup painting exhibitions and work with cosmetics brands to “convert waste into something exclusive.”