Berfrois

Shimla-Wallahs

Shimla-Wallahs

The image of Shimla on film has evolved alongside film-making itself. The town’s journey across swatches of celluloid began as early as the first decade of the twentieth century, when films, chiefly propagandist in nature, began to be shot in India under the Raj.

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‘A pair of tights will do’

‘A pair of tights will do’

Photograph by Meghan Rutherford From Guernica: At times, disobedience is not even deliberate—it is something that seems to happen to you, rather than something you choose. The youngest journalist ever prosecuted, Sami Menteş, was doing his job—interviewing leftist activists just after the Taksim resistance—and he ended up in prison,...

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A Man, a Plan, a Book Van: Lisbon by Oliver Farry

A Man, a Plan, a Book Van: Lisbon by Oliver Farry

Francisco Antolin and Domingos Cruz, old schoolfriends in Lisbon, were having a drink once when a problem common to them came up in conversation. Namely, getting hold of copies of Portuguese novels in translation they had each recommended to foreign friends. Copies to actually hand to somebody or to...

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Is the Arab Spring dead?

Is the Arab Spring dead?

Photograph by Globovisión by Andrea Teti and Gennaro Gervasio The ‘Arab Spring’ is dead. The uprisings that began in Tunisia in December 2010 and spread throughout most of the Arab world were a dream, a beautiful dream, but a dream that has crashed onto the hard rocks of reality....

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Eric Schneider on Philadelphia’s unfortunate nickname

Eric Schneider on Philadelphia’s unfortunate nickname

Murder is nearly always understood as an individual event and the criminal justice system reinforces this notion: there is an artifact, a body, that needs accounting for, and the medical examiner measures, weighs, dissects and categorizes the body as to age, race, gender and cause of death. The police...

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Remembering Mandela

Remembering Mandela

Dear revisionists, Mandela will never, ever be your minstrel. Over the next few days you will try so, so hard to make him something he was not, and you will fail. You will try to smooth him, to sandblast him, to take away his Malcolm X. You will try...

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Remnants of a Residential Ruin

Remnants of a Residential Ruin

From a map of Epping Forest, c.1876 From 3:AM: The structure had called my attention on several occasions. On walks through the Snaresbrook suburb in which it sat I would often peer through the locked gates and contemplate its use and history. It was not, as one local account...

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Parallel

Parallel

In 2009, a couple days after I arrived, when Khaled’s English and my Arabic were at their worst, we had dinner at an outdoor café. We were eating chicken schwarma and drinking a kind of yogurt, sitting on plastic chairs, and a wedding party drove by with horns honking.

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Jenny Diski: August in Cambridge

Jenny Diski: August in Cambridge

Cambridge Market Square. Photograph by inkelv1122 by Jenny Diski August is the worst month to be living in Cambridge. It’s quite a small town, with a population of about 120,000, very small compared to Gothenburg with 510,000 inhabitants. It has local areas, but the centre is a functioning part...

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Youssef Rakha on Egypt

Youssef Rakha on Egypt

Two and a half years after the January 25, 2011 uprising, I’m with my friend Aboulliel in the room I still have at my parents’ house. We’re slurping Turkish coffee and dragging on Marlboros, absorbed in conversation, when suddenly it feels as if we’ve been on the same topic...

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Just Keep Driving

Just Keep Driving

Photograph by Krisztina Tordai From The American Scholar: The road was two-laned, the landscape dour, as gray as the skies. Belgrade was sophisticated, dense with promenaders, and large enough to confuse a driver. We had no idea where we were, and it was difficult to ask directions because of...

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John Crutchfield in Leipzig

John Crutchfield in Leipzig

The first time I visited Leipzig, Germany was late in the winter of 1992, not long after the much-hyped reunification. The East was still very much “The East,” and though money was pouring in from the federal government, no one really seemed to know what the rules were. Prices...

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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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Sebastian Normandin on Steven Pinker

“The great thinkers of the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment were scientists.” So begins Steven Pinker’s recent controversial essay on scientism and its...

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Oliver Farry on Michel Houellebecq

The peculiar circumstances surrounding the publication of Michel Houellebecq’s latest novel constitute a case study in how even the biggest literary news stories are,...

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McKenzie Wark
Information in Chains

“Information wants to be free, but is everywhere in chains.” The development of the forces of production took a qualitatively different turn when information...

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Bobbi Lurie
Bobbi Lurie: Organic Fortune

isis - ebola - obama hit by halal truck (where is duchamp?)

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Bharat Azad
Bharat Azad Meets Adair Turner

In a quiet office tucked away in Mayfair – over a long table so white I am hesitant to even place my fingers on...

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Andre Gerard: Light Here, Shadow There

The deeper one looks in To the Lighthouse the more one sees. The more one listens the more one hears. Homer, Shakespeare, Conrad and...

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