The Likely Winners in the Race to Rebuild Syria

The Likely Winners in the Race to Rebuild Syria

Author Joseph Daher examines the Syrian government’s reconstruction strategy and warns that Assad will use rebuilding to reward foreign allies and consolidate power around a small core of Syrian elite. More»

Red Scare and Reality

Red Scare and Reality

Pick up the New York Times on any random day, and chances are there’s something about the “unprecedented foreign intervention in American democracy,” the “Russian information attack” on the 2016 election. More»

The Limits of Freedom

The Limits of Freedom

Irony can be a difficult tone to manage well. It can be even more difficult to visualize effectively. Jillian Tamaki is a skilled ironist whose new graphic story collection Boundless (Drawn & Quarterly) can absorb and reward repeated readings. More»

Latest entries
The Big Nothing

The Big Nothing

We seem to be living through a renaissance of American TV shows, from Twin Peaks to House of Cards. Some of us spend dozens of hours a week just sitting in front of our laptops working our way through episode after episode, season after season. This is the other side to the work day for a lot of people. More»

The Work of Art in the Age of Martin Shkreli

The Work of Art in the Age of Martin Shkreli

Two years ago, I wrote a piece for Souciant about the end of a well-intentioned but otherwise disastrous experiment carried out by the Wu-Tang Clan. At that time, the world renowned rap group was poised to buck virtually every commercial trend in the history of the music industry by releasing just one copy of its top-secret double album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. More»

Looking for Democracy in Idlib: Diary Entry

Looking for Democracy in Idlib: Diary Entry

After being forced to flee eastern Aleppo in December, Wissam Zarqa moved to Idlib. Although the insurgent-held province is not known as a bastion of democracy, Zarqa will always remember it as the place where he voted in his first democratic election. More»

The Trouble With It

The Trouble With It

I was ecstatic when I got the opportunity to view an advanced screening for the new film adaptation of Stephen King’s It. Although I’m aware of the novel’s faults — for one thing, the ending drags on too long, full of overwrought imagery — I still love the whole thing, even the “bad” bits. My love doesn’t center on the scares King is famous for, but the coming-of-age story that frames the horror. More»

Utopia Banished

Utopia Banished

It is hard to get away from the impression that we are epigones. This is not, or not merely, the case due to the carnage wrought by Mr. Trump and his various protégés on the none too august institutions of American liberal democracy. More»

Refugee Lives

Refugee Lives

Simply writing a personal or family memoir would be an easier task than producing an illustrated graphic memoir. It is not only that the work is more difficult technically, but so much more is at risk in the visualization of the narrative. Emotions about family members and their lives emerge in the pictures. Visual storytelling commits where words can remain ambiguous. More»

Love the Bomb

Love the Bomb

The argument for nuclear disarmament could not be better expressed than the words: Donald Trump versus Kim Jong-Un. You don’t have to take a side because your side has already taken you. You’ve been conscripted into a potential conflict no one can control. More»

Chasing the Children

Chasing the Children

President Donald Trump has ordered an end to the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which protects the nearly 800,000 people in the United States brought illegally into the country from deportation. More»

In Syria’s War, ‘Mental Health Is the Last Priority’

In Syria’s War, ‘Mental Health Is the Last Priority’

AFTER SIX YEARS of conflict and extended exposure to trauma, Syria is in the throes of a mental health crisis, according to Chicago-based physician Dr. Zaher Sahloul, a Syrian-American trauma specialist and former president of the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS). More»

Erdoğan is bad for everyone

Erdoğan is bad for everyone

He never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. So went the Abba Eban-penned 1973 slogan used to describe the late PLO chief, Yasser Arafat, who was routinely blamed for failing to secure peace with Israel. More»

The End of Music

The End of Music

The further we get into the millennium the more I suspect we’ll soon be looking back on the 1990s with more nostalgia, but to do so would be in bad faith. You might only do so if you think that history and politics ended at some point in the early 90s. The ethos of that decade can be summed up in one phrase: it’s all been done. More»

The Moroccan Jihadist Problem

The Moroccan Jihadist Problem

Last week, Moroccan asylum seeker Abderrahman Mechkah appeared in court on video from his hospital bed, where he was recovering after being shot in the leg by Finnish police. Mechkah pled guilty to stabbing two women to death in the coastal city of Turku, but argued that his rampage was not terrorism.  More»