Berfrois

‘There were always more books than the small shelves could contain’

‘There were always more books than the small shelves could contain’

I grew up in the aftermath of Nasser’s Egypt, where public education was made free for all. For me, learning has always been remote…

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Sikkim’s Integration/Annexation/Merger

Sikkim’s Integration/Annexation/Merger

How the change came about is a story with multiple plots involving India’s greatest spymaster, a defiant king, his ambitious political rival, and two enigmatic foreign women...

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Where’s Ultima Thule?

Where’s Ultima Thule?

To approach Smøla by boat is potentially treacherous—much of the island’s coastline is studded by thousands of rocky islets, some as small as huts, that jut from the sea like mini icebergs...

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Soaring Above the Skylark

Soaring Above the Skylark

At the summit stood a stone Shinto gate framed by chestnut trees. I climbed the worn stone steps to find an overgrown shrine filled with moss-coated sculptures—images of Buddhist deities and elderly sages in flowing robes...

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Mask Sales Are Up

Mask Sales Are Up

It was 10 p.m. on a Tuesday, and I was watching footage of secret stockpiles of N95 masks

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Cabo Verdeans

Cabo Verdeans

We shared a Creole language and the open, relaxed customs, known as morabeza, that are unique to Cabo Verde; only we knew how to compose and sing morna music...

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Rainbow Drive-Ins

Rainbow Drive-Ins

To visit Hana, a small, remote town on the island of Maui, most people wake at the crack of dawn, hop in convertible Mustangs, and drive the 45 miles from the regional airport...

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A winsome anime North Korean leader?

A winsome anime North Korean leader?

The outpouring of prurient interest in Kim represents an intersection of these erotic fantasies with the potent force of Orientalism

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Kenya’s Indebted Class

Kenya’s Indebted Class

So worrying are the trends in Kenya that even proponents of digital lending are calling for caution. The Central Bank of Kenya has demanded borrowers are made aware of the apps’ terms and conditions...

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With each Modi pronouncement, an army of BJP activists floods social-media…

With each Modi pronouncement, an army of BJP activists floods social-media…

The lockdown has transferred the burden of the coronavirus pandemic almost entirely onto the shoulders of the poor and marginalised.

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In Russia, death becomes you

In Russia, death becomes you

Aleksandr Bogdanov, a prominent early Bolshevik and science fiction writer, investigated the rejuvenating properties of blood transfusions in the 1920s...

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Remembering SARS

Remembering SARS

The experience of SARS traumatized Hong Kong, and the memories have endured in the territory’s collective consciousness....

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Mumbai Diary by Medha Singh

Mumbai Diary by Medha Singh

It is November. I'm on a train through India. North to South. Delhi to Mumbai. 26 hours. I'm with a friend, Esther. She is falling in love.

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War on the War of Drugs?

War on the War of Drugs?

There are two key problems with books that attempt to be objective about illegal drugs.

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Protesting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act

Protesting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act

The BJP has long believed that its anti-Muslim project has two enemies: Muslims, and those non-Muslims who see Muslims as equal citizens under the constitution.

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The American government has again proved an ally of Iran’s hardliners…

The American government has again proved an ally of Iran’s hardliners…

The storming of the American embassy in Baghdad, only a few months after the Aramco attack, was clearly important: other than personal criticism – or the prospect of impeachment

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Marcelo Hoffman: The Workers’ Party and the Rise of Bolsonaro

Marcelo Hoffman: The Workers’ Party and the Rise of Bolsonaro

The title of Perry Anderson’s book certainly captures his gloss on the uniqueness of the Brazilian experience. It speaks to a multifaceted Brazil.

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What binds Hongkongers?

What binds Hongkongers?

What binds Hongkongers as a human collective to speak truth to power? Generations have experienced Hong Kong as a land of opportunities and refuge.

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Kashmir Cut Off

Kashmir Cut Off

In an unsettled world, amid violent wars and imperial occupations, with all norms ruthlessly cast aside, did Kashmir really have a chance to be free?

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After the Revolution

After the Revolution

If I could walk, I would go to the streets again”, Muna*, a 25-year-old Sudanese protester, told me over the phone recently. She was shot and severely injured by the army...

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Peacetime Protections

Peacetime Protections

Sexual and gender-based violence in war doesn't stop when peace comes.

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