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The Viewer • Hand-picked video recommendations to surprise and delight you

Crime, Titanic, Race, Greek, Tide

Earwitness testimony, an abandoned mansion, street races, Greek democracy, and French tides.

Meet Crime-Solving Artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan

Nowness | YouTube | 26th July 2021

Profile of a Jordanian "private ear" who has built a vast library of sound effects for his art exhibitions—but also to solve international crimes. (He won the 2019 Turner Prize for his work with Syrian prisoners.) "Earwitness testimony, as opposed to eyewitness testimony, as the most prevalent source of evidence. Why? Because sound leaks" (4m 22s)

Exploring An Abandoned Gilded-Age Mansion (With A Titanic Connection)

The Proper People | YouTube | 24th July 2021

Lynnewood Hall is a vast 110-room mansion built at the turn of the century for Peter Widener, an investor in the Titanic, who died of grief when his son and grandson went down along with the ship. The mansion subsequently fell into disrepair. Its eery ballrooms and dining halls evoke a long-gone era of American history (36m 37s)

How To Breathe In Kern County

Chris Filippone | Vimeo | 25th July 2021

As night falls in Kern County, California, hundreds gather for street races. Contrasting the dull, sweaty workday with the exhilaration of their automotive symposium brings out the intense catharsis of street racing. It is a reprieve from the difficulties of their lives. "The sound is frightening—it forms—it carves—the song of a world without work" (8m 53s)

How The Greeks Created The First European State

Kraut | YouTube | 29th July 2021

Portrait of a very different society, one primarily defined by cities—"loss of the city meant loss of the ancestors and a loss of one's gods"—and how it gradually evolved into a modern state. "Almost every man of Athens, at some point in his life, served as a politician, which worked as a counterweight to the noble family elite" (18m 35s, recommended start here)

Browser Interview Of The Week: Dan Wang

The Browser's Baiqu Gonkar sits down with Dan Wang, a Shanghai-based writer who covers technology at Gavekal Dragonomics, about understanding Xi Jinping, the development of cities in China and America, why Cosi Fan Tutte is Mozart's best Italian opera, the joys of Yunnan cooking, and what board games reveal about human nature (26m 14s, or transcript here).

Amazing Video Of The Week

A timelapse reveals the terrifying power of French coastal tides

Watch The Viewer's recommendations each week as a handy YouTube Playlist.

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Editor: Abe Callard. Comments? Suggestions? Write to us at

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