Posts tagged "Germany"
This is not Uganda

This is not Uganda

More than just a graphic novel, This is Not Uganda is like peeking over the shoulder of the artist, the Berlin-based Tine Fetz, and seeing everything she sees. The book, released late last year by German publisher Ja Ja Verlag, is a chronicle of the time that Fetz spent studying and traveling in Israel. More»

Someone Else's Problem

Someone Else’s Problem

Sometimes it’s easier to perceive a country’s most pressing problems when you don’t speak the language. It was August, 1986. I had only been in Germany a few weeks. All I could really say were sentences like “It is X” and “I am Y”. Understanding others was even harder. But I had already figured out that the words Obdachlosen and Asylanten were crucial for understanding the nation’s future. More»

The PEGIDA Problem

The PEGIDA Problem

The Nazis are back. So one would be inclined to believe, over the last few weeks, as Islamophobic demonstrations mushroomed across Germany. First catching the international media’s attention with a riot in Cologne, followed by a series of Monday night demonstrations in Dresden, Germany has been forced to acknowledge the growth of widespread sentiment against minorities, specifically Muslims. More»

Bullshitting UKIP

Bullshitting UKIP

The festive period has come early! UKIP has been forced out of its South London office due to activists from AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) dumping half a ton of fresh, steaming fertilizer on the doorstep of their London office on World AIDS Day. I’m trying to be sympathetic, and polite, but UKIP doesn’t make it easy for us.  More»

Orientalism For Dummies

Orientalism For Dummies

Most of the time, the point of education is to help us to distinguish between things, figuring out what does and doesn’t belong together. But there are times when it pays to remember what ignorance once conflated and confused. Prejudice may derive from misunderstanding, but that doesn’t make it any less real. And prejudice, more often than not, comes from a failure to recognize and respect distinctions. More»

Berlin at War

Berlin at War

Kein mensch ist illegal. Refugees welcome here. Few cities can claim as much pro-asylum messaging as that found in Berlin. Spray-painted on the sides of buildings, stickered inside public restrooms. It’s absolutely everywhere. Considering the diverse character of the city, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. The German capital is as much a global metropolis as it is a national one. More»

No Insurance

No Insurance

It took us a few seconds to figure out what was happening. One minute my host brothers had been hurling snowballs towards the roof of an apartment building, and the next we were being assaulted by a blur of a man, shirtless but a little sweaty despite the fierce cold. He landed one punch, missed another, then turned to charge at me. “I don’t have insurance,” I shouted in German, More»

Hating Remembrance Day in London

Hating Remembrance Day in London

I have never seen such an ahistorical marker of a historical event as Remembrance Day in London. Remembrance Day has never been about intellectual debates. It is a solemn holiday that is marked by macabre displays of poppies and moments of silence. More»

Missing in Berlin

Missing in Berlin

Newsstands aren’t what they used to be. Onetime indicators of high circulation periodicals, today, their selection tends towards a combination of promoted titles [think advertising placement, pushing readers online] and community newspapers. Berlin’s newsstands oftentimes lean towards the latter, offering titles in multiple languages, ranging from Albanian to Turkish. More»

Berlin as Jerusalem

Berlin as Jerusalem

Compared to other German cities or metropoles like Paris and London, Berlin has benefited from its lack of meaningful antiquity. Little more than a village prior to Prussia’s ascendancy in the 1700s and still not very impressive in Germany’s early years as a unified nation, it was free to develop as a fully modern city. Not only cartographically and architecturally, but ideologically. More»

Germany for Refugees

Germany for Refugees

Flags were flying everywhere. Kurdish, Turkish, Syrian, Palestinian. If you wanted to take inventory of where this neighborhood comes from, this would be the place to start. Police in riot gear milled through the crowd, taking stock of the situation, looking to be in place if things got out of hand. You could see the worry in their eyes. More»

Safe European Home?

Safe European Home?

Anti-Semitism in Europe has been growing for some time, most prominently in France, which not coincidentally has the continent’s largest Jewish population by a wide margin. Emigration to Israel is rising. But Germany is a notable exception, having become a destination for Jews in recent years. While there are several reasons for this, it’s hard to argue with the conclusion that education has played a key role. More»