Berfrois

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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Orbán and Soros

Orbán and Soros

I recently returned from a three-month stay in Budapest, where I was a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study of the Central European University—a splendid graduate school of social sciences and philosophy founded by George Soros...

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Fantastic Voyages by Eric D. Lehman

Fantastic Voyages by Eric D. Lehman

A few years ago one of my rare bookworm students asked me for a list of suggestions for “adventure” reading. But when I gave it to her, she seemed disappointed...

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‘Much of South Wales and Northern Ireland will exist in a parallel economic universe to London’

‘Much of South Wales and Northern Ireland will exist in a parallel economic universe to London’

When historians examine Britain’s departure from the European Union, one of the things that will puzzle them is the behaviour of the Conservative Party.

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These west Balkan rivers have dark histories, not least because they so often serve as borders…

These west Balkan rivers have dark histories, not least because they so often serve as borders…

Just south of where we’re sitting this morning in Banja Luka’s restored Ottoman fortress, the River Vrbas enters a stunning, winding gorge on its way to join the Sava.

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You’re Interested in New Zealand

You’re Interested in New Zealand

If you’re interested in the end of the world, you’re interested in New Zealand. If you’re interested in how our current cultural anxieties...

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Memories of Hong Kong Beaches

Memories of Hong Kong Beaches

Chang was awarded a Taiwanese literary prize recognising a lifetime of work. She came to attention in China and Taiwan in the 1940s. She was in her early twenties and had begun publishing the bitter love stories and witty, erudite essays for which she’s now famous.

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Lital Khaikin: To Justify Land #5

Lital Khaikin: To Justify Land #5

In Evgenii Zamyatin’s novel We, written in 1921, life unravels within the idyllic metropolis of the One State. The totality of its governance absorbs all within itself, and everything is joyously contributing...

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Kam and Pir

Kam and Pir

The roar, filled with anger and a hot wrath, changed into a long, sad howl. My horror was quickly replaced by doubt, because that scream had sounded on a sunny summer day in Academgorodok...

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Talking of 1948 unifies Gazan families as they live under siege…

Talking of 1948 unifies Gazan families as they live under siege…

In Gaza more than 60 percent of the population is under the age of twenty-five, and it is among the young that the deepest despair often takes root.

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China and Its Nether Zones by Tammy Ho Lai-Ming

China and Its Nether Zones by Tammy Ho Lai-Ming

In the Twilight Zone episode “The Eye of the Beholder”, a patient, whom viewers have been led to believe is horrendously disfigured, sits surrounded by medical staff.

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Another social group who are persecuted in Chechnya…

Another social group who are persecuted in Chechnya…

Life isn’t easy for representatives of Russia’s LGBT community who don’t hide their sexual orientation. A 2013 law on “gay propaganda” has, in effect, legalised LGBT discrimination.

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Jessica Sequeira With a Quake

Jessica Sequeira With a Quake

During my visit to a library café, there was a quake. A little black dog hopped up on the platform and began to visit every table. The night before I’d been sitting on the grass below, just hanging out.

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Tip Every Day

Tip Every Day

I misplace an earring in my hotel room in Santiago, Chile. So I ask the head housekeeper, Patricia, if anyone has found it: a silver lotus leaf...

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‘Both of my parents had used drugs — opioids — since my childhood’

‘Both of my parents had used drugs — opioids — since my childhood’

I sat on a wrought iron daybed facing an open window, and a warm breeze was pooling in. It was the first day in my second foster home...

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The Chinese-Filipino Experience

The Chinese-Filipino Experience

I do not know what my first language is. It’s definitely not English, of that at least I’m sure. Sometimes I think it’s the Southern Min language, spoken in the southern province of Fujian in China.

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‘The illegal course of the independence movement cost Catalonia its biggest loss of autonomy in decades’

‘The illegal course of the independence movement cost Catalonia its biggest loss of autonomy in decades’

Opponents of independence pointed out the discomfort they feel when they express their views. I am sure that many people who favour secession think that a society where people are afraid to express democratic opinions...

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Everything Glowed With a Gleam

Everything Glowed With a Gleam

In Hardy’s “The Self-Unseeing,” he visits the remains of his childhood home and recalls where the door was, how the floor felt, how his mother sat...

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Postcards by Laurie Stone

Postcards by Laurie Stone

I am sitting beside a fountain off Broadway, designed like a waterfall. The sound of rushing water softens the heat. The buttery smell of pastries floats up from a nearby bakery.

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