Documentary

Every photograph is a cliché. That is if you consume news every day. Whether it’s on your smartphone, or your laptop, a computer at work, or on TV, we are subject to an overwhelming barrage of programmed sameness. The same holds for social media. When a story goes viral, it has the same reach as a planned advertising campaign. The only difference is how it reaches us. (More…)

When you pay close attention to the way people use bumper stickers in the United States right now, it becomes apparent that they usually serve a countercultural purpose. Because the perception of which culture needs to be countered varies widely, however, it is emphatically not the case that a coherent counterculture, whether left or right-wing, can be discerned from them. (More…)

At least once a year, without fail, Middle Eastern news media run features on Israelis in Berlin. Whether the outlets are Arab or Israeli is immaterial. They both do it. There’s just something about the topic that won’t quit. (More…)

Prior to the arrival of Syrians in Berlin, the city’s most overrepresented Arab passport was Lebanese. Many, of course, are held by Palestinians, for whom the ID was a convenient ticket out of the country. But, all the same, a significant number of natives have followed them, for many of the same reasons: escaping the sectarian violence that has plagued the country for the better part of four decades. (More…)

Berlin is a thriving centre of the Palestinian Diaspora. This isn’t surprising and is a result of several important trends, including the large-scale migration (and business success) of Arabic speakers in Europe, and the uniquely friendly atmosphere that the German capital provides for Palestinian culture and politics.  (More…)

Stealing is bad. Or so we’re told. Theft, unfortunately, is relative. Losing your hard-earned cash to consumer spending is no different than being robbed. After all, it’s not about buying what you need, but what you want. There’s a big difference, particularly in terms of what motivated you to splurge in the first place. (More…)

Since the end of the Cold War, anti-capitalism has increasingly come to the fore as an antidote to the ills of social democracy. Given the predilection of mainstream socialist parties to give in to the logic of neoliberalism, it makes sense. François Hollande’s presidency is a great example. (More…)

Refugees have always been big business. Whether you’re a smuggler or a humanitarian aid worker, the amount of help they need is immense. These aren’t just passengers transiting between airports. Refugees are states or remnants thereof, which imploded. (More…)

In the dystopia that is the Mideast, Rojava stands out. Few regions of the world are more synonymous with hopelessness. But this tiny leftist enclave in Syria, where gender and social equality are co-equals, bucks the norm. And then some. (More…)

“Good thing it wasn’t Leila Khaled,” my father muttered, as the Carabinieri carted off an Arab-looking man in handcuffs, submachine guns pointed towards his back. “It was too easy.” (More…)

Margins still matter. If the flyers that litter inner city neighborhoods have any say on the issue. Promoting bands with political names. Written in languages other than the national. Being on the outside still has value. At least culturally speaking. (More…)

They weren’t supposed to hate Jews. Selectively anti-Semitic – meaning anti-Muslim, not Judeophobic – Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland party has finally aligned itself with pre-populist fascism, condemning the country’s culture of WW II guilt, and shame over the Holocaust. (More…)