Berfrois

The Truth of Rama by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

The Truth of Rama by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

In October 2015, Endri Fuga, former co-founder of Mjaft and Propaganda Boss at the Office of Prime Minister Edi Rama announced the launch of a new governmental website, transparenca.al. According to Fuga, this “transparency website,” paid with taxpayers’ money, has as its sole purpose to deny “the slander of the opposition” and “the lies of certain media outlets.”

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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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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Prison in Albania

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Prison in Albania

The Albanian justice system is unable – for a variety of well-known and very human reasons – to process the fact that four innocent people were shot in broad daylight by the Republic Guards.

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The Hackney Hole

The Hackney Hole

They dig and the earth is sweet. The Hackney Hole is eight square metres, straight down through the lawn of a decommissioned rectory. This secret garden is separated from St Augustine’s Tower by a high wall of darkly weathered brick.

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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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