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We were in their way. “Excuse me,”  interjected the most assertive of the women. She looked anxious. Embarrassed, I let her by. Two Israeli men, deep in conversation, about money, had inadvertently blocked a group of young hijab-wearing Muslims from London’s Green Park tube station. I wanted to say something to my friend, but he beat me to it. (More…)

On September 17th, the day Occupy Wall Street commenced, I spent my morning in a federal courthouse in Brooklyn, completing the last step of the naturalization process: the oath of citizenship. This oath is not especially poetic, but it is important. Immigrants are repeatedly told that they will not become Americans until they have collectively uttered the oath, which includes pledging to take up arms if asked to do so. (More…)

If the Arab Spring has a soundtrack, it’s hip hop. Chalk it up to an online meme that went viral during the protests leading up to the Libyan War. Credit US public broadcaster National Public Radio with helping acquaint American audiences with it via the voices of Libya’s boisterous MCs, many of whom have not been heard from since. (More…)

Julia wanted to be a lawyer. But her family was poor. There was no money for university. So, in 2000, a few years after she’d finished high school in her native Russia, she applied to a company that promised overseas work. “They told me that after a year, I would be able to come back. They said I would have enough money to study and to buy a small apartment,” Julia says, speaking through a translator. (More…)

It’s been nearly 20 years since the Kopyright Liberation Front (KLF) committed suicide, twice. One incident involved a gun; the other had a furnace.  The pioneering group was at the top of their game. They had international hits. They made money. They wrote the book on ambient-techno in their 1990 masterpiece, Chill Out. And they imbued the notion of “trance techno” into British pop with their single, What Time is Love?  (More…)

My heart was pounding. Watching footage of Saturday’s rioting in Rome,  my worst fears had come true. The left had become so outraged, it was taking the easy way out. The way of violence. Not only was there the expected fighting between the Black Bloc and the cops. La Repubblica documented instances of hooded militants fighting with red flag-waving protestors as well. (More…)

To wear armor at all is to need protection, to fear wounds beyond what the body can sustain. So when that armor begins to fail, the resulting vulnerability is so much worse than an unguarded safety. On his sixth album under the Crooked Fingers name, Eric Bachmann takes a songwriting trip into a state of such startling vulnerability that it’s hard to count all the wounds contained in its 11 songs. (More…)

The grown ups weren’t happy. Following violent protests against university fee hikes in London last year, a screed against the musical tastes of the demonstrators was circulated on a number of prominent discussion lists. Not only was the music played at the demos unchallenging. There wasn’t that much of it either. What had happened to today’s youth? Were their iPods suddenly empty? (More…)

Milan is the last place you’d imagine being able to live under a left-wing city government. Even with Berlusconi’s people out of office, for the first time in eighteen years. However, that shouldn’t dissuade you from consuming revolutionary-themed food products. Or your kitty, for that matter. Let’s face it: when it comes to eating, we all redistribute calories. Esselunga, October 7.

This story was taken for Arthur Neslen’s book In Your Eyes a Sandstorm: Ways of Being Palestinian a collection of interviews about Palestinian identity. Sadly, for space reasons, it could not be published there. But Souciant is happy to give it a home. In Your Eyes a Sandstorm will be released next week. (More…)

Cancer sucks. I, too, mourn the passing of Steve Jobs. Not to mention a few notable, world changing people who passed away the same week as Apple’s co-founder.  I too appreciate the contributions to technology and design he made. Jobs sold things that people did not even know they needed until they held them. (More…)

Poland has not turned into Hungary. However, the country’s opposition leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, defeated in Sunday’s general election, told reporters on Sunday night that he still hoped to turn Warsaw into a second Budapest. To observers of Polish politics, such statements will hardly be surprising. (More…)