Berfrois

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Bitter Albania, Bitter Greece

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Bitter Albania, Bitter Greece

During the last few weeks, the overall silence, or, at most, one-sided coverage of the Albanian media vis-à-vis the national economic situation in relation to Greece's was contrasted by an echo chamber of "regular" EU media chastising Greece's "bad behavior" and empty calls to "get your act together."

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OXI, OXI, OXI

OXI, OXI, OXI

When I recently visited Berlin, it quickly became clear the extent to which Germany had created a fantasy story about Greece.

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Justin E.H. Smith has tremendous admiration for Soviet foreign-language pedagogy…

Justin E.H. Smith has tremendous admiration for Soviet foreign-language pedagogy…

by Justin E. H. Smith I’ve just completed the first lesson of L. N. Kharitonov’s Self-Teaching Manual of the Yakut Language (Third Edition, Moscow, 1987). What satisfaction! At this early stage the vocabulary is very similar to Turkish, though to be precise the true relation is the reverse: modern...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: LGBT Struggles in Albania

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: LGBT Struggles in Albania

This morning I woke up to a rather surprising headline: "first gay marriage in Tirana." The article referred to the marriage ceremony recently held in the residency of the UK Ambassador in Tirana, between Donald Holder and Michael Kane.

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Feroz Rather in Srinagar

Feroz Rather in Srinagar

Though the war was still going on, it was not a terribly sad time in my life; at least, I had the consolation of the possibility of dying at home.

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‘She said the earthquake parted them’

‘She said the earthquake parted them’

My grandmother’s house still stands. When she was born in the 1920s, the streets had no name. She said the earthquake parted them.

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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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En Liang Khong: Full Bloom

The cross-dressing Qiu Jin was emblematic of a revolutionary feminist current at the end of the Qing era, writing urgently on women’s emancipation: “While...

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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...

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Oscillation

We recognise oscillation to be the natural order of the world.

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Menachem Feuer: Body

While Sarah Silverman jokingly tells us that her Jewish identity has more to do with her body than with the “responsibilities and limitations” that...

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Jeremy Fernando: Pink

An offering that might well remain in its being offered.

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Rosie Clarke Chats to Amelia Gray

I get the impulse to look to the canon, but I think we should try and challenge and squash the canon, too.

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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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