Berfrois

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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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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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: NEVER

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: NEVER

As the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of Albania from the German and Italian fascist forces by the communist-led National Liberation Army is less than a month away, it seems that, except for a man pissing on Enver Hoxha's grave, no one is really concerned with what this liberation...

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Carolina Armenteros on Dominican Gagá

Carolina Armenteros on Dominican Gagá

The feast, for which around 100 people are present, takes place in the backyard of one of Bocachica’s poor homes, where a goat was killed that morning to honor the saint. On entering the yard, I walk past a cauldron containing the remains of the goat looking for Gambao,...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Two Fingers

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Two Fingers

The former “Obelisk of Democracy” a.k.a. “Monument with Two Fingers” in Kavajë by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei Being the son of a famed sculptor from the communist period who co-created, amongst many other works, the Independence Monument in Vlorë, and the Mother Albania statue on the National Martyrs’...

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“Another movement”

“Another movement”

On the eve of the publication of her new book, ‘This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate,’ Klein sat down with Liam Barrington-Bush. She reminds us that in a culture that treats people as consumers and relationships as transactions, ‘we’re not who we were told we were.’

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Keep Occupying Central!

Keep Occupying Central!

The city has decided to stand up and fight. And it has brought umbrellas. At times, I have been worried. I have never been so proud of Hong Kong. It has never been so determined.

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Fidesz’s Mix

Fidesz’s Mix

Photograph via EPP by Yudit Kiss Fidesz does not have any coherent ideology, but depending on the context, employs elements of various currents, mixing neo-conservative tropes (God, Patria, Family) with anti-globalization arguments (anti-corporation, anti-finance), classic populist slogans with anti-EU and anti-minority refrains echoed by extreme right groups. After Prime...

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Papasee by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

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...

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Keith Doubt on Serbia

Keith Doubt on Serbia

The intellectual integrity of cultural anthropology is based largely on its commitment to cultural relativism as a principled notion. Cultural relativism is the principle from which the discipline achieves its sense of empirical objectivity. Cultural differences are cherished as just that, cultural differences.

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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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