Berfrois

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Mantua Blue

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Mantua Blue

Edi Rama, Blue Lunetta, public intervention, Mantua, Italy (2016). by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei Albania and Mantua, the latter a provincial city in northern Italy, the former a country still somehow pretending to be EU-worthy. No one would ever think that these two geographical entities would have any meaningful relation with each other. Yet…

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Keep Occupying Central!

Keep Occupying Central!

The city has decided to stand up and fight. And it has brought umbrellas. At times, I have been worried. I have never been so proud of Hong Kong. It has never been so determined.

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Fidesz’s Mix

Fidesz’s Mix

Photograph via EPP by Yudit Kiss Fidesz does not have any coherent ideology, but depending on the context, employs elements of various currents, mixing neo-conservative tropes (God, Patria, Family) with anti-globalization arguments (anti-corporation, anti-finance), classic populist slogans with anti-EU and anti-minority refrains echoed by extreme right groups. After Prime...

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Papasee by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

Papasee by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

The Pope is coming to Tirana and I won't be there. I am stationed for the semester in Singapore, but nevertheless I will attempt to continue to write about Albania even though my distance from the real events on the ground may impede a thorough understanding. But perhaps this...

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Keith Doubt on Serbia

Keith Doubt on Serbia

The intellectual integrity of cultural anthropology is based largely on its commitment to cultural relativism as a principled notion. Cultural relativism is the principle from which the discipline achieves its sense of empirical objectivity. Cultural differences are cherished as just that, cultural differences.

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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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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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