Berfrois

Nadav Samin on New York and Saudi Arabia

Nadav Samin on New York and Saudi Arabia

I wrote a book, Of Sand or Soil, on genealogy and social contestation in modern Saudi Arabia. It rests on two apparent falsehoods, both of which concern that “least sexy” discipline, philology.

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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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‘The right that makes us human is the right to love’

‘The right that makes us human is the right to love’

Varanasi, India. Photograph by Raghu Rai by Leila Seth My name is Leila Seth. I am eighty-three years old. I have been in a long and happy marriage of more than sixty years with my husband Premo, and am the mother of three children. The eldest, Vikram, is a...

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Jerry Moore: Feverish Rivers

Jerry Moore: Feverish Rivers

I learned that Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff had been a Nazi when I was in a Santa Marta supermarket. I had just stepped into the Exito Hypermarket when someone shout “Jerry! Jerry!” and I turned to see the archaeologist, Augusto Oyuela-Caycedo.

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Jerry Moore: Law of the Mother

Jerry Moore: Law of the Mother

Living in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in northern Colombia, the Kogi believe that the cosmos is shaped like an egg, and they build temples that replicate this egg-shaped multi-leveled cosmos. Kogi temples are circular buildings with walls of upright posts and capped by a thatched conical roof....

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Maidan

Maidan

Image of Kiev via @TheFunambulist From The New York Review of Books: The students were the first to protest against the regime of President Viktor Yanukovych on the Maidan, the central square in Kiev, last November. These were the Ukrainians with the most to lose, the young people who...

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Jerry Moore: Cosmos Like an Egg

Jerry Moore: Cosmos Like an Egg

The Kogi survived despite brutal onslaughts of Spanish colonialism and Colombian nationalism. For more than five centuries, there were campaigns to enslave the Kogi and other indigenous peoples and annihilate their culture and religion.

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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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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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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...

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Feroz Rather in Srinagar

Though the war was still going on, it was not a terribly sad time in my life; at least, I had the consolation of...

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Foucault’s Politics of Truth by Stuart Elden

The key figures are Cardinal Richelieu and Chancellor Séguier, and Foucault thinks it is important that he can discern the “first great deployment of...

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Menachem Feuer on Sarah Silverman and Lena Dunham

Elle called Silverman’s image of her wearing a shirt with several naked Lena Dunhams a “beautiful tribute.” Dunham, the article tells us, “seemed to...

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Mediamacro are very good at pretending…

A few weeks ago I was having dinner with David Cameron. Well, almost - we were at the same restaurant but on tables at...

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Tammy Ho Lai-Ming: One Little Room

A room with graffitied walls. Inside this room the dogs bark. A room cluttered with porcelain figurines. A room decorated with binary numbers.

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Jeremy Fernando
Jeremy Fernando on Tan Chui Mui

For, it is not as if films speak; nor are their filmmakers there—at the site where this alleged speaking to, speech, takes place —...

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David Beer
David Beer: Make Happy, Happy, Happy

As I read through William Davies’ engaging new book, I can’t help but wonder what Mad Men’s Don Draper would have made of John...

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Russell Bennetts: Coffee for 8 More

I might be the last person you should ask about St. Paul coffee in general. On an ordinary day I make do with drip...

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Emeline Edgewood
In X the Promise

X seems to want to be both the equivalent of The Giant and of Laura Palmer’s mother in Twin Peaks.

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Municipal

Although there are also some independent candidates who may take a few votes here and there, the general opinion of the Tirana public and...

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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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