Documentary
The French Question

The French Question

France is lost. Or so it would appear if you read the country’s newspapers regularly. Marine Le Pen will be the next president. The Socialists can only give in to the banks. Racism is the new norm. Emergency powers have become permanent. The only alternative is fascism. More»

Alternative für Deutschland for Dummies

Alternative für Deutschland for Dummies

Nationalist parties are funny things. As convention would have it, they’re platforms for narcissism. Vote for us because we’re about your superiority, is their message. Particularly when it comes to ethnicity, and class. More»

Neukölln Defend Yourself!

Neukölln Defend Yourself!

The location is excellent. Many of the buildings are nice, albeit historic – meaning survived WWII. And, like the rest of Berlin, rents have largely been low. That is, until about five years ago, when the British and French began moving in. More»

Nazis in the Age of Neoliberalism

Nazis in the Age of Neoliberalism

Nobody understands Alternative für Deutschland. Okay, so they’re racist, and want to rehabilitate a lot of Nazi-era ideas. It’s legitimate to call them fascists, and criticize them for wanting to turn the clock back in Germany. More»

Turkey in Berlin

Turkey in Berlin

You might as well be in Istanbul. So thick is Berlin’s Turkish cultural overlay, you’d be forgiven for thinking there was nothing separating the Bosphorous from east Germany. In spite of its critics, Berlin’s decidedly Middle Eastern public sphere helps ward off what would otherwise be a more provincial, poverty stricken city still struggling to overcome the legacy of Communism, and the Nazi era. More»

A Way With Words

A Way With Words

While it might seem perverse to call someone who is constantly berated for his imprecision a master rhetorician, Donald Trump has demonstrated time and time again that he has the rare gift of being able to cast a spell over the media with his blend of hyberbole, bluster and hearsay. True, it might cost him the presidential election in November. More»

Welcome, With Reservations

Welcome, With Reservations

When Angel Merkel opened Germany’s borders last year, she performed an about face few could have predicted. Having just overseen the defeat of Syriza, in its quest to defy the Troika’s debt repayment demands, her policies were being heralded as a return to Germany’s dark past. Not quite Third Reich, but flirting with historical callousness. More»

Far Out, Man

Far Out, Man

On September 11th, the War on Terror will turn 15. Some would argue that it is in fact much older. Without a doubt, it has now outlasted WWII by a decade. Given how much that conflict transformed Europe, God forbid what this war has done to it. More»

The Promised Land

The Promised Land

The grass is always greener on the other side. As far as truisms go, there’s not much to argue with. The Promised Land was never promised to anyone, and there’s never enough milk or honey to go around once you get there. Yet, faith in the idea that the foreign is always better remains a constant. Just ask the million plus refugees from the Middle East that arrived in Germany last year. More»

Cops in Our Heads

Cops in Our Heads

The city is full of police. Armed police, bearing pistols, and a bewildering diversity of foreign machine guns. God forbid they get into a firefight and find they can’t exchange exchange ammunition with each other. Isn’t Belgium home to FN Herstal, one of the world’s biggest gun manufacturers? More»

Think Different

Think Different

It was the perfect slogan. Harkening back to the hippie era in personal computing, when PCs were synonymous with the ideals of peace and love, and rock music, Apple’s 1997 advertising campaign struck a distinctly generational chord. It was technology in opposition, the sort that promised revolution, but ended up more Whole Foods than Zapatista. More»

Neoliberal Berlin

Neoliberal Berlin

Cheap cities have their downsides. Aside from being, quite frequently, depressed, they’re gated communities in training. For every vintage building full of broke punks, there’s a real estate developer looking to transform it into over-priced live-work condos. It just takes the malcontents to scout them out, and make them livable again. Bohemians are, as it always turns out, the shock troops of the wealthy. More»