Berfrois

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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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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Hilal Khashan on Geneva II

Hilal Khashan on Geneva II

Events have shown that the Obama Administration never wanted to get directly involved in the Syrian armed conflict. Its publicity stunt about hurling a few tomahawk missiles to punish the Syrian regime revealed President Barack Obama’s embarrassment about drawing a red line in the sand regarding using chemical weapons...

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Gandhi and Ahmedabad

Gandhi and Ahmedabad

The field of South Asian urban history has a rich history of examining India’s major urban centers. Numerous astute studies of Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta, for example, have contributed to our understanding of not only the rapid urbanization (and later suburbanization, as explored in the remarkable collection of essays...

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The bulk of the middle class implicitly accept the graduated political system that the ANC has created…

The bulk of the middle class implicitly accept the graduated political system that the ANC has created…

Abahlali Assembly, Foreman Road Settlement by Richard Pithouse Cities have emerged as a key site of popular struggle in post-apartheid South Africa. But with the ANC responding to independent organisation in an increasingly violent and repressive manner the future of these struggles is deeply uncertain. On the 26th of...

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Wyjks

Wyjks

by Justin E. H. Smith The far-right National-Democratic Party of Germany has put up campaign signs in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern with the slogan ‘Ausländer raus’. In case you don’t believe me, I’ve provided photographic proof. On closer inspection, the signs in fact read ‘Kriminelle Ausländer raus’, but this is more a...

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A San Juan Connection

A San Juan Connection

Jacinta lives with her husband and six children in San Juan, a tiny and remote hamlet in the mountains of northern Argentina. My sons, Adrian, and Alexander, our guide, Facundo, and I had just arrived, after a long day of hiking. Because San Juan is off the grid, Facundo...

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Now See Here by Thomas Heise

Now See Here by Thomas Heise

Of the half million international tourists visiting Brazil for World Cup in 2014, several thousand will take the new gondolas, purchased from German company Doppelmayr, to Sugarloaf Mountain, and on the ride up and down will have a sweeping view of Rio de Janeiro’s notorious favelas. Laid out before...

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Eli Evans: PP OMG

Eli Evans: PP OMG

Keeping tabs on the so-called Bárcenas affair, Spain’s ongoing corruption scandal, has been a bit like watching the slow-motion replay of a calamity. We already knew what happened, more or less: the country’s real estate bubble was produced through a toxic combination of the large-scale reclassification of “rural” land...

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Francis Ghilès: Frontiers

Francis Ghilès: Frontiers

Democratic imperialism has long been the favourite foreign policy vision of American neoconservatives: foreign powers had the moral obligation to impose democratic institutions on people who, subject to authoritarian rule were in no position to determine their fate. The U.S., and many in France and the UK, argued they...

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Hilal Khashan on Bashar al-Assad

Hilal Khashan on Bashar al-Assad

The Syrian regime continues to celebrate its recent achievement in al-Qusayr, which it describes as a game-changing twist that will eventually awe the opposition into submission. Officials in Damascus wasted no time in announcing the beginning of the Northern Storm Operation to restore government control of Aleppo, Syria’s industrial...

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Who’s Gezi?

Who’s Gezi?

Turkey is living through remarkable days which will be long remembered. Many thousands of people have taken to the streets of Istanbul, Ankara and other big cities, braving the teargas liberally sprayed by riot-police. Their cause: the future of Turkish politics and society.

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Lauren Berlant
Lauren Berlant flies

Most of the writing we do is actually a performance of stuckness. It is a record of where we got stuck on a question...

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Robyn Ferrell on Balthus

The pitfalls of identification, hero-worship, envy and malice can beset the most patient writer in the throes of five hundred-plus pages of attention to...

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Michael Munro on Spinoza

Immanence is not philosophy, nor philosophy immanence. But there is in the passage from one to the other a modification of sense that is...

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David Beer
David Beer: Broadcastwerk

Writing at sometime around 1930 or 1931, Walter Benjamin suggested that the voice on the radio is a like a visitor in the home,...

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Rose Barnsley: Young, Gifted and Žižekian

At nineteen, it is easy to think that all you're missing is the right movement. But there is something about the young left wing...

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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...

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Playing the Percentages: Berfrois Interviews Danny Dorling

The portrait of the 1% in your book is one of sociopathic, power-hungry narcissists with a striking lack of empathy. This may seem antagonistic,...

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Joseph Spece
Joseph Spece: When Gamers Attack

Like many ugly controversies, the beginnings of #gamergate are linked to the end of love — well, the end of a relationship, at least....

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Lauren Berlant performs by clicking

Today I introduced Facebook to someone older than me and had a long conversation about what the point of networking amongst “friends” is. The...

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Tinder Times by Bibi Deitz

I am in bed with a man. He has to go home. He is not staying the night. So he pulls out his iPhone...

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Jenny Diski keeps up

Some things are best met with silence. If I were to proceed with this month’s column in an honest way, it would be a...

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From Fashion by Tracy O’Neill

The man who brought us a disembodied protagonist alluringly voiced by Scarlett Johansson has now issued a drama — starring apparel. Recently, Opening Ceremony...

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Philippe Theophanidis on Jean-Luc Godard

At one point near the end of his unfinished novel Jean Santeuil, Marcel Proust describes a painting by Claude Monet from 1897, titled “Bras...

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An Enigma Wrapped Inside an Enigma by Michael Munro

There is perhaps nothing more enigmatic in the history of philosophy than that which in the tradition is known as the active intellect (nous...

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