Berfrois

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Mantua Blue

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Mantua Blue

Edi Rama, Blue Lunetta, public intervention, Mantua, Italy (2016). by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei Albania and Mantua, the latter a provincial city in northern Italy, the former a country still somehow pretending to be EU-worthy. No one would ever think that these two geographical entities would have any meaningful relation with each other. Yet…

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Expert Dreamers

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Expert Dreamers

I have always been interested in what other foreigners write, imagine, or fantasize about Albania, to offset my own ramblings.

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‘After June 4, everyone loved the renminbi’

‘After June 4, everyone loved the renminbi’

Before the Tiananmen Square massacre, I was a rebel poet, volatile and impulsive, who liked picking fights and telling tall tales. I’d won more than 20 state literary prizes, and I figured that one day I would earn international fame in the literary world.

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Winning

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Winning

Once upon a time a young man ventured to hold an exhibition in a museum. He offered the museum a curator, well-known artists, and a bag of foreign money.

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Tea for HDP; Lunch for AKP

Tea for HDP; Lunch for AKP

On a Sunday morning the trendy district of Cihangir rarely gets going before noon. Today, though, at 6am everyone seems to be up.

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Pissed and Dancing

Pissed and Dancing

We took our drinks to the front row of empty tables and wondered whether to stand or sit. It seemed impolite to sit. But maybe Exmouth is a such a cool place, and the standard of rock’n’roll there so high, that sitting down is how they take their pub...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei visits Spac

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei visits Spac

Sometimes one can feel disgust, revolt, despair. To be confronted with a situation that seems by any standard beyond reason, beyond purpose, where one looks into the toothless, rotting mouth of a political and economical system.

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Marcelo Cohen: Ripplestones

Marcelo Cohen: Ripplestones

The absence of a personal story would indicate a tendency to psychosis or immorality. At the same time, some philosophers like Galen Strawson argue with detailed reasons that these theses are false.

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Setsuko Adachi: Azalea Exuberance Strikes

Setsuko Adachi: Azalea Exuberance Strikes

In May, in the garden of the elevated house at the bottom of the hill, four shrubs of stunning azaleas come into full blossom. They protrude and hang out over the white oya stone walls and over the road. The azaleas break the rhythm of the march.

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DEATH SEX IS FOR LIFE

DEATH SEX IS FOR LIFE

I came here to swim in the highest pool in Europe, 52 floors above the station. The surface of this infinity pond, shivering with reflections like a Fun House mirror, memory-ripples of exercisers now taking their ease on Roman couches.

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Bunkers Mushroom

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Bunkers Mushroom

The militarization of the Albania territory that this bunker appears to imply is, at same time, a rather ominous reflection of the growing militarization of the entire EU in response to the Syrian refugee crisis.

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Edi Rama’s Bunker Mentality by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

Edi Rama’s Bunker Mentality by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

As many former Eastern Block countries in the EU display a hardly dissimulated form of racism and religious hatred, Albania, always a little behind with the most recent fad in international politics, has been profiling itself as a country of multicultural and multireligious tolerance.

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Nadav Samin on New York and Saudi Arabia

Nadav Samin on New York and Saudi Arabia

I wrote a book, Of Sand or Soil, on genealogy and social contestation in modern Saudi Arabia. It rests on two apparent falsehoods, both of which concern that “least sexy” discipline, philology.

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‘It’s legal to drink on the street in Louisiana’

‘It’s legal to drink on the street in Louisiana’

I wasn’t technically a food bank employee, but rather a “fellow.” Every two weeks I got $415 from the government program and about $100 from the food bank itself.

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Concrete Passion

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Concrete Passion

A bit over a year ago, while documenting the partisan monuments from the Albanian communist period, I got a phone call from the Ministry of Culture: whether I can send them a list of the twenty most important monuments to restore.

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By the time Yeltsin exited the Kremlin…

By the time Yeltsin exited the Kremlin…

In Yeltsin’s ascent, the hour of Russian nationalism appeared to have struck. But while his popular support on the way up depended on an appeal to it, once he was entrenched in power, his political base lay in an intelligentsia that backed him for other reasons.

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Rahul M Meets Aaraveeti Ramayogiah

Rahul M Meets Aaraveeti Ramayogiah

Ramayogiah, a sixty-five year old doctor with a thick white mustache and childlike glee in his face, has written over 27,000 postcards enumerating ways to prevent diseases to low-income people in India.

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What Hersh the Most

What Hersh the Most

The original plan had been to wait a week and then claim that a drone strike had killed bin Laden in the Hindu Kush mountains, just across the border in Afghanistan.

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Heritage

Heritage

It had been nine days since the young white supremacist Dylann Roof had massacred nine black churchgoers in Charleston, and Coates, whose great theme is the intractability of racial history, had helped to orient the debate.

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Aalooran Rahman Bora Meets Jessica Sequeira

Aalooran Rahman Bora Meets Jessica Sequeira

Those few lovely hours – of talking books, selecting books, buying books – consisted our brief encounter.

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