Berfrois

Shimla-Wallahs

Shimla-Wallahs

The image of Shimla on film has evolved alongside film-making itself. The town’s journey across swatches of celluloid began as early as the first decade of the twentieth century, when films, chiefly propagandist in nature, began to be shot in India under the Raj.

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Municipal

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Municipal

Although there are also some independent candidates who may take a few votes here and there, the general opinion of the Tirana public and internationals "in-the-know" is that the municipal elections in Tirana will be a mere formality.

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Just Like Macondo

Just Like Macondo

We pulled off the main road and began to climb to the remote village in western Macedonia where I had been born.

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Elisa Veini: Erdha

Elisa Veini: Erdha

“The Valbona concept of time is non-existent. In Albanian, when someone calls you: ‘Hey, come here’, you answer: ‘Erdha’, which is past tense, ‘I came’, instead of: ‘I am coming’.

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A German Europe

A German Europe

Almost all EU regulations made in recent years show the hand of Germany – starting with the Lisbon Treaty, which remains the EU's primary law.

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Very Much Like a Whale by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

Very Much Like a Whale by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

They had obviously taken the pictures of the whale, and the group of people carrying it, out of curiosity. But still the images failed to produce any satisfactory explanation. Now we only knew how it had entered, but still not why.

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Amanda Gray: Beyond Good Coffee

Amanda Gray: Beyond Good Coffee

In countries like Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Macedonia, the coworking spaces aren’t simply jumping on a trend, but are rather looking at public space and sharing economies as a tool to administer community and social change.

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Don’t Mention the Dawn

Don’t Mention the Dawn

I had never seen a neo-Nazi before. On a cloudless Sunday morning in January, the day of the Greek elections, I was making my way through people holding cups of coffee and pushing strollers in a polling station.

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Meatloaf

Meatloaf

The waitress came over. I had made up my mind to try meatloaf, which sounded very American to my ears, and a pale lager.

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Communist Party, pamphlet, patriot, protest, Chinese, CCTV, mountains, freedom, education…

Communist Party, pamphlet, patriot, protest, Chinese, CCTV, mountains, freedom, education…

I meet Golog Jigme again in his large empty room at the Tibetan Refugee Reception Center. He serves me Chinese green tea from golden foil packets, pouring hot water over the leaves until I have a dark forest in the bottom of my cup.

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Edifices and Narratives

Edifices and Narratives

In the beginning there was not the city, but the resistant shard; not the organic community, but more or less the cumbersome fragments.

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Urban Politics

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Urban Politics

an important part of the image that the Rama government is intent on creating for Albania is based on his former accomplishments in urban development as Mayor of Tirana.

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London is in in danger of hitting a cultural dead-end…

London is in in danger of hitting a cultural dead-end…

Money, money, money. The city London ought to be – turbulent, chaotic, fantastically creative, brimming with a sense of freedom – is under threat.

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Prison in Albania

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Prison in Albania

The Albanian justice system is unable – for a variety of well-known and very human reasons – to process the fact that four innocent people were shot in broad daylight by the Republic Guards.

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The Hackney Hole

The Hackney Hole

They dig and the earth is sweet. The Hackney Hole is eight square metres, straight down through the lawn of a decommissioned rectory. This secret garden is separated from St Augustine’s Tower by a high wall of darkly weathered brick.

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As China has embraced a type of capitalism, original editions of the Little Red Book have become a scarce commodity…

As China has embraced a type of capitalism, original editions of the Little Red Book have become a scarce commodity…

In West Germany in the late 1960s, the Little Red Book “resembled simultaneously an accessory of the classical workers’ movement and a modish commodity of the educated elite”.

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Anthemic Molossia

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Anthemic Molossia

That Albania occupies a curious part of the global (or at least, American) pop-cultural imagination has been observed in this magazine and elsewhere, but sometimes I am still surprised at how this country and its history have certain transformational characteristics that very few other nations seem to have.

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Thomas Rath: Mexican Democracy

Thomas Rath: Mexican Democracy

I don't think Iguala means we should jettison the narrative of democratization entirely, at least if we want to understand how and why Mexico has changed in the last fifty years. Elections are contested by more parties than they used to be, and the Supreme Court has recently shown...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Albanian Poppies

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Albanian Poppies

Recently, historian Bernd Fischer claimed that in fact the last German left on December 4, which was in turn heavily contested by Paskal Milo, etcetera. Why the fact of the last German leaving ought to determine the symbolic date of national liberation is beyond me, but I'm sure it's...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Rama’s And

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Rama’s And

While local journalists were once again busy regurgitating worn-down, coma inducing positions about yet another spectral appearance of Enver Hoxha at the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Tirana, very few cared to analyze the rather remarkable speech of PM Edi Rama at the 6th Annual...

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Mario Carpo: Voice, Words, Memory

It all started with cellphones, a long time ago. No student, and few teachers, would make voice calls from class, but in the early...

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Remembrance of Translations Past

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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Colin Dickey: Time’s Resistless Stream

By now, we are all of us more or less apocalyptic. Our calendar is itself based on the apocalyptic return of Jesus Christ, counting...

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Mark Mordue: Curate. Content. Click.

Not that ‘the critic’ has ever been a greatly appreciated or understood figure. Some fat toad with a feather in his hat who thinks...

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Russell Bennetts
Street Fighter: Berfrois Interviews Tariq Ali

The extreme centre is a form of government that arose out of neoliberal economics and exists today in virtually the whole of Europe, North...

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John Crutchfield: Go West

Perhaps this is what finally draws me back to the Western. It is a fundamentally serious genre. It deals with serious questions, and it...

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Joel Gn on Henri Lefebvre

How may we speak of that which goes off the record in an age of digital colonisation?

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Volker M. Welter on Michael Graves

The designer Michael Graves, who passed away at the age of 80 on March 12th, was widely considered to be one of the founding...

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Sebastian Normandin on Steven Pinker

“The great thinkers of the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment were scientists.” So begins Steven Pinker’s recent controversial essay on scientism and its...

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Oliver Farry on Michel Houellebecq

The peculiar circumstances surrounding the publication of Michel Houellebecq’s latest novel constitute a case study in how even the biggest literary news stories are,...

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McKenzie Wark
Information in Chains

“Information wants to be free, but is everywhere in chains.” The development of the forces of production took a qualitatively different turn when information...

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Bobbi Lurie
Bobbi Lurie: Organic Fortune

isis - ebola - obama hit by halal truck (where is duchamp?)

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Bharat Azad
Bharat Azad Meets Adair Turner

In a quiet office tucked away in Mayfair – over a long table so white I am hesitant to even place my fingers on...

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Andre Gerard: Light Here, Shadow There

The deeper one looks in To the Lighthouse the more one sees. The more one listens the more one hears. Homer, Shakespeare, Conrad and...

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