Berfrois

Tammy Ho Lai-Ming: Contemplating Existence

Tammy Ho Lai-Ming: Contemplating Existence

I imagine this concrete structure next to a row of outdoor dining tables in Tsim Sha Tsui to be a time machine, covered with fauna and largely forgotten.

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An Adventure in Spanish

An Adventure in Spanish

‘Ernest Hemingway’, illustrated by Ralph Barton, from Vanity Fair, c.1927 by Gregory Jusdanis My adventure in Spanish started a couple of years ago with a promise I threw out to the audience at the Universidad de Cartagena. Feeling elated that so many students had come to my talk, I...

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Silencing Irish

Silencing Irish

Galway bay. Photograph by Bhalash. by Patricia Palmer Anyone familiar with the story of language in Elizabethan Ireland can only feel impatience – if not despair – at the latter-day triumphalism of works like Melvyn Bragg’s best-selling The Adventure of English. I One late-September night, I was having a...

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The Example of Georgia

The Example of Georgia

by Irakli Zurab Kakabadze Naira Gelashvili is in her own right one of the leading Georgian writers and literary critics of last 40 years or so.  Her writings have been very popular and controversial through the last 25 years when she came out as one of the leaders of...

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For Austin

For Austin

Austin is the fastest-growing city in the United States. More than 150,000 people moved there in the last decade and the city now has almost 800,000 residents. The greater metro area added almost half a million people in the past ten years and now has a population of about...

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‘This is the violence of the rational sadist state at a loss for how to use its power’

‘This is the violence of the rational sadist state at a loss for how to use its power’

by Markha Valenta Desperate to eject some refugees it does not want, the Netherlands is refining the art of radical deprivation. No single step, no single decision, no single action in this process is horrible. Yet the cumulative effect is grotesque. Some months ago, a group of refugees from...

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“Then they drink again”

“Then they drink again”

Tuvia Tenenbom From Der Spiegel: “A book like mine, which outs the Germans as anti-Semites,” Tenenbom said with an indulgent smile, as he took a drag from his cigarette, “this sort of a book, as several people I know have assured me, should never have been published in Germany.”...

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Adding Value for Our Readers

Adding Value for Our Readers

Several opinion columns praising Russia and published in the last two years on CNBC’s web site and the Huffington Post were written by seemingly independent professionals but were placed on behalf of the Russian government by its public-relations firm, Ketchum.

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Interpreting Morsy

Interpreting Morsy

Sign reads:”Leave, Morsy. Egypt is too big for you”. Photograph by Hany Fakhry. by Andrea Teti, Vivienne Matthies-Boon, and Gennaro Gervasio Mohammed Morsy and the Muslim Brotherhood may have seriously overestimated the Islamist movement’s grip over Egyptians’ allegiances. Having passed a decree which awarded the presidency both legislative and...

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Who’s next for Prague Castle?

Who’s next for Prague Castle?

Vladimir Franz, one of the eleven candidates to run for the Czech presidency. Demotix/Frantisek Gela. All rights reserved. by Jan Hornát For the first time in their history, Czech citizens will directly elect their president next year, to replace the notoriously Eurosceptic incumbent Vaclav Klaus. The stakes are high...

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‘Such a dynasty’s days are numbered’

‘Such a dynasty’s days are numbered’

Liao Yiwu From Words Without Borders: A dynasty that is so degenerate that it massacres children and tortures the truth—such a dynasty’s days are numbered. Yet the shrewd tyrant Deng Xiaoping resorted to a trick: in the spring of 1992, he made a historical trip to Shenzhen in the...

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Democracy is more powerful than all those false Gods like Lenin, Stalin, Reagan…

Democracy is more powerful than all those false Gods like Lenin, Stalin, Reagan…

October 1st saw once again that liberalism does not equal democracy. The great and very skillful neoliberal autocrat Mikheil Saakashvili lost democratic elections to the opposition. This vote in Georgia was not so much a victory for the opposition, but a verdict to Georgian electoral autocracy.

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Mare Nostrum

Mare Nostrum

The Sea Battle of Navarino, Louis Ambroise Garneray, 1831 From Eurozine: A supranational construct of Europe that imposes boundaries but also makes them negotiable has contradiction built into its genetic code. Looking at maps of Europe at various times since antiquity, this hardly seems new – Europe’s external borders...

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Turkey and the Arab Spring

Turkey and the Arab Spring

The political upheavals of the Arab Spring and electoral victories of Islamist parties have brought a resurgence of talk about the ‘Turkish model’—a template that ‘effectively integrates Islam, democracy and vibrant economics’, according to a gushing New York Times article last year, which hailed Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as ‘perhaps...

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