Papasee by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei


The Pope is coming to Tirana and I won't be there. I am stationed for the semester in Singapore, but nevertheless I will attempt to continue to write about Albania even though my distance from the real events on the ground may impede a thorough understanding. But perhaps this distance is also refreshing. So the Pope is coming to Tirana, on Sunday.

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Tyranny Is a Growth Industry by Vladimir Savich and Zachary Bos


Tyranny is a growth industry. Each day brings exciting new developments. These events imprint themselves upon the world in the form of newspapers, magazines, books, blogs, dictionaries. In order to keep pace, language is constantly changing, evolving fresh forms to cover new forms of political degeneracy, stretching to describe...

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Keith Doubt on Serbia


Belgrade, Serbia. Photograph by Jamie Silva by Keith Doubt Guilt, Responsibility, and Denial: The Past at Stake in Post-Milošević Serbia, by Eric Gordy, University of Pennsylvania Press, 272 pp. The intellectual integrity of cultural anthropology is based largely on its commitment to cultural relativism as a principled notion. Cultural...

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In late July a professor of law at Bar Ilan University, Hanoch Sheinman, sent an email message to his students telling them that the examination period would be extended because of the war. He also expressed the hope that his message finds you in a safe place, and that you,...

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Try and Read This


Photograph by Olga From The New York Review of Books: Arriving in the small village of Quinzano, just outside Verona, Italy, thirty-three years ago, aged twenty-six, leaving friends and family behind in the UK, unpublished and unemployed, always anxious to know how the next London publisher would respond to...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: No Stopping


This Saturday, in the streaming rain, the Albanian LGBT community successfully held several events to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Like in 2012 and 2013, there was the Tirana Gay Ride, a "pride on bikes," which this year for the first time passed without any incident,...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: European Love


Albania is inching forward to the third attempt to gain EU candidate status in June. After the country was denied this status for the second time last December owing to a Dutch veto, it is making considerable efforts to meet the “standards” yet again. This is a slightly perverse...

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Rad NGOs

by Liam Barrington-Bush I call myself an anarchist. You might not use that word. But if you are skeptical of hierarchies, and are used to organising politically in more autonomous or horizontal groups, you too may have struggled with one of the most glaring contradictions we face in a...

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From Bottle Rocket, Columbia Pictures, 1996 From Oxford American: Back when Roger Miller was King of the Road, in the 1960s, he sang of rooms to let (“no phone, no pool, no pets”) for four bits, or fifty cents. I can’t beat that price, but I did once in...

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Hindu Nationalism’s Poster Boy

Photograph from Narendra Modi on Flickr. by Nikita Sub India’s Hindu Right is associated with the colour saffron. The saffron flag, or bhagwa dhwaj adorns the offices of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS or Sangh for short), which is at the core of the Hindu nationalist movement. The Sangh...

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Partia Demokratike e Shqipërisë Can Has Cheezburger? by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei


A new government also brings new protests. Now that the "Democratic" Party is in the opposition, it has tried at several moments in the past few months to use the momentum of seemingly unorganized and seemingly spontaneous protests to fire up a large popular movement against the recently installed...

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‘Germany will one day yield a crop of wits’

Ewald Brandner by George Eliot “Nothing,” says Goethe, “is more significant of men’s character than what they find laughable.” The truth of this observation would perhaps have been more apparent if he had said culture instead of character. The last thing in which the cultivated man can have community...

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Marcel Duchamp sat silent. He seemed far away, lost in reverie. Then, he spoke of the death of art, which he described as...

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Bobbi Lurie

But I was perplexed. Marcel Duchamp didn’t order a thing to eat at the café. I assumed it was because he was dead, requiring nothing...

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Earthquake metaphors have had strong currency, both political and journalistic, in the aftermath of May’s European Parliament (EP) elections. The most spectacular tremors were...

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Both Derrida and Ronell suggest that saying yes is “telephonic,” both in the sense that it resounds over a distance and therefore always is...

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Unless they lived in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or California – all former Mexican territories – most U.S. residents in the 1930s were unaware...

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The different tools used to capture the frame and the wild variety in terms of image quality, which is the way films are remembered...

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“We’ve got a problem,” says Andrew Shuta of Spork as he and Drew Burk guide me into a fancy conference room. Ron’s sitting across from...

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Many years ago, in an interview he did with Bill Moyers, Chinua Achebe was asked, “What would you want the West to do?” Achebe...

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Masha Tupitsyn

No one can love anymore because of an overabundance of reaction formation. No one wants to owe anything to their desire(s); to other people’s...

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How could a man born on a Greek island in 1850 be a household name in Japan today? The answer lies in the story...

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Jean Améry titled his renowned book on voluntary death, Hand an Sich Legen – To lay Hands on Oneself. Beyond the argument of Amery...

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Several months ago, I wrote a long letter by hand to a young woman I barely knew. That sounds pretty dubious, if not to...

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In a move that might strike readers as odd, Derrida spends most of these lectures not on the case made by death penalty proponents,...

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Although Charles Kenneth Scott Moncrieff’s translation of À la recherche du temps perdu is considered by many journalists and writers to be the best...

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