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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Pro-Peace

Pro-Peace

In late July a professor of law at Bar Ilan University, Hanoch Sheinman, sent an email message to his students telling them that the examination period would be extended because of the war. He also expressed the hope that his message finds you in a safe place, and that you,...

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Jum

Try and Read This

Try and Read This

Photograph by Olga From The New York Review of Books: Arriving in the small village of Quinzano, just outside Verona, Italy, thirty-three years ago, aged twenty-six, leaving friends and family behind in the UK, unpublished and unemployed, always anxious to know how the next London publisher would respond to...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: No Stopping

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: No Stopping

This Saturday, in the streaming rain, the Albanian LGBT community successfully held several events to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Like in 2012 and 2013, there was the Tirana Gay Ride, a "pride on bikes," which this year for the first time passed without any incident,...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: European Love

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: European Love

Albania is inching forward to the third attempt to gain EU candidate status in June. After the country was denied this status for the second time last December owing to a Dutch veto, it is making considerable efforts to meet the “standards” yet again. This is a slightly perverse...

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Rad NGOs

Rad NGOs

I call myself an anarchist. You might not use that word. But if you are skeptical of hierarchies, and are used to organising politically in more autonomous or horizontal groups, you too may have struggled with one of the most glaring contradictions we face in a capitalist society: Jobs....

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MOTELS

MOTELS

From Bottle Rocket, Columbia Pictures, 1996 From Oxford American: Back when Roger Miller was King of the Road, in the 1960s, he sang of rooms to let (“no phone, no pool, no pets”) for four bits, or fifty cents. I can’t beat that price, but I did once in...

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Hindu Nationalism’s Poster Boy

Hindu Nationalism’s Poster Boy

Photograph from Narendra Modi on Flickr. by Nikita Sub India’s Hindu Right is associated with the colour saffron. The saffron flag, or bhagwa dhwaj adorns the offices of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS or Sangh for short), which is at the core of the Hindu nationalist movement. The Sangh...

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Partia Demokratike e Shqipërisë Can Has Cheezburger? by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

Partia Demokratike e Shqipërisë Can Has Cheezburger? by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

A new government also brings new protests. Now that the "Democratic" Party is in the opposition, it has tried at several moments in the past few months to use the momentum of seemingly unorganized and seemingly spontaneous protests to fire up a large popular movement against the recently installed...

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‘Germany will one day yield a crop of wits’

‘Germany will one day yield a crop of wits’

Ewald Brandner by George Eliot “Nothing,” says Goethe, “is more significant of men’s character than what they find laughable.” The truth of this observation would perhaps have been more apparent if he had said culture instead of character. The last thing in which the cultivated man can have community...

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“Does everybody live in north London?” Mary Kay-Wilmers asks herself…

“Does everybody live in north London?” Mary Kay-Wilmers asks herself…

Photograph by Kake Pugh From The Guardian: The magazine goes to press on Friday night and the staff are often there into the early hours. Until recently, they ordered in supper from a local Indian restaurant much favoured by Wilmers. But she went on holiday a few weeks ago...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei on Albania

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei on Albania

A while back I found an online edition of Anouck Durant and Gilles De Rapper's monograph Ylli: Les couleurs de la dictature.

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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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