Visual

You and your sometime girlfriend are driving home to the city from a weekend at the estate of your wealthy new friend. She falls asleep between you in the back seat, still hungover from the previous night. You stop for a drink along the way while she rests. Your outdoor table is surrounded by locals enjoying the beautiful weather. The pastoral scene makes a pleasing backdrop for your conversation. (More…)

Frank Underwood is gone, and Claire has taken his place. The president is dead. Long live the president. (More…)

Few foreign leaders receive more attention from Berliners than Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A frequent visitor to Germany, Erdogan is routinely greeted by several weeks worth of political flyers and graffiti, disparaging his authoritarianism, and mistreatment of the Kurds. (More…)

Few cities are as hyped for their cosmopolitanism more than Berlin. Home to a bewildering array of nationalities, it caters to fantasies of a fully globalised space that could be designated capital of a world without borders.  (More…)

Most international tourists to Spain who make the detour to Bilbao—or Bilbo as it is spelt in Euskara, the Basque language—do so in order to visit the Guggenheim Museum, the Frank Gehry-designed titanium shipwreck that has loomed over the left bank of the Nervión estuary for the past twenty-one years. (More…)

Decades ago, in First Blood: Part II, the character John Rambo asked, “Do we get to win this time?” If the United States had won the war, Rambo would not have been invented to rescue fictional victory from real defeat. Because it lost, its filmmakers learned to profit from telling stories about successes that never happened. (More…)

The racists have it wrong. The invading hordes of migrants are neither Arab nor Muslim. The majority, in the two cities I work, Berlin and Turin, are African. Black African that is, many speaking indigenous languages, if not French or English. If they’re religious, generally the choice of faith is Evangelical Protestantism, not jihadist Islam. (More…)

They’re the only populist party that matters. Or at least did, until Italy’s far-right Lega (Nord) entered government in June, in a previously unimaginable coalition with the upstart Cinque Stelle (5 Star), well to the Lega’s left on most issues. Numerically speaking, Alternative für Deutschland polled far better in Germany’s 2017 elections but had no one similar to partner with. (More…)

Oren was frustrated. “You always end up living with jihadists,” he said. “Wherever you move in Europe, it’s always the same.” While I wouldn’t have chosen the J-word, he wasn’t entirely wrong. I’d made a habit of living in Muslim-heavy neighbourhoods in Milan and Berlin. (More…)

It’s hard to get the world interested in the realities of the war in eastern Ukraine. Frankly, it’s boring. (More…)

Like last summer’s widely lauded Get Out, Sorry To Bother You, the first film by hip-hop activist Boots Riley, is a rollicking bad time, every bit as fun as it is disturbing. And that’s surely the main reason that, like Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, it is doing well with audiences that don’t generally seek out left-wing multicultural art. Although less narratively “tight” than Get Out, (More…)

I’m standing outside in the rain. Not the savage sort we usually see during our summer Monsoon season here in the Sonoran Desert, but an impossible soft mist. There’s just enough of a breeze to set our wind chimes in motion, creating a soundscape that implores me to be completely in the moment. I hear myself saying, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood.” (More…)