Posts tagged "Germany"
The Paranoid Style

The Paranoid Style

There’s something of a cottage industry in the US, devoted to tying contemporary politics to their intellectual forebears. In some cases, it’s a matter of pure character assassination, as in the assertions from the far right that Barack Obama is some sort of  socialist. From the leftward side of the spectrum come claims that this or that politician is a devotee of the thought of that great seducer of the adolescent male mind, Ayn Rand. More»

Gaza Kids Hit Berlin

Gaza Kids Hit Berlin

Today, with the resumption of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, a group of Berliners disturbed by the high proportion of infant and child deaths took the names of the deceased and fly-postered them across the German capital. The action had three goals in mind. More»

Solidarity is Not a Cliché

Solidarity is Not a Cliché

Wheelchairs and rainbow flags blocked Berlin’s Kotbusser Damm.  Equal parts pride parade and disabled rights protest, the pairing made sense. This was an in-gathering of the margins, not normally linked at this level, considering the degree of recognition accorded gays and lesbians today. Their equalization was a strong reminder of the shared discrimination both communities could once claim in the Nazi era. More»

From Famines to Austerity

From Famines to Austerity

From Brussels to Turin, the flyers read the same. The 2008 economic crisis continues on, slowly but surely transforming the European Union’s weakest member states into Third World countries in all but name, quasi-colonial holdings of their wealthier neighbors, and the banks bailing them out. More»

Never Again for Whom?

Never Again for Whom?

The Berlin launch event for the Holocaust memorial project Never Again for Anyone was strange for me. This was partially because I was nervous about handling the film portion. It was also because I felt strange about how I would interact with the event as a Pakistani Muslim. More»

Gaza and the Holocaust Mentality

Gaza and the Holocaust Mentality

This month, as Germany accepted the mantle of World Cup Champions in football, my home town of Berlin was awash in both World Cup merriment and a sea of contradictions. On the news, pictures of the victorious German team ran alongside headlines about bombings in Gaza, creating an awkward clash of emotion, forcing me to wonder if anyone else was connecting the dots. More»

Certainty and Schizophrenia

Certainty and Schizophrenia

Demonstrators filled the Kurfürstendamm for miles, or so it seemed. From block to block, all one could see were hijab-clad Arab women, holding aloft yellow and green Hezbollah banners, punctuated by the furry hats of Neturei Karta ultra-orthodox.  For tourists, the sight was confounding. Terrorist sympathizers, walking arm-in-arm with religious Jews? In Germany’s capital? More»

La Nakba Française

La Nakba Française

On a warm summer night several years ago I found myself in a busy internet café on the Karl Marx Strasse in the Neukölln section of Berlin. Neukölln has one of the largest Turkish populations in the city, and rather a bad name both in Berlin, and in Germany more generally. More»

For the Syrian Revolution

For the Syrian Revolution

Should the West intervene in Syria? The answer is more than simply “yes” or “no.” The complex power struggles and aspirations that define the Syrian civil war almost mock those who think there is an easy solution.  More»

FIFA Girlfriends

FIFA Girlfriends

There are a few reasons to be annoyed that Germany won the World Cup, and one of them is the weird sexism that is coming out about the FIFA “WAGs” (wives and girlfriends.) An article about them in the Daily Mail is part of an internet trend that showcases them as the softer side of a robust national team. Basically, the angle is, “the men won the game, and then they went home with hot women.” More»

Anti-Colonial Germany

Anti-Colonial Germany

What makes graffiti endlessly fascinating is the way its implications can broaden and shift over time. Taggers actively comment on the work of those who have gone before them, collectively fashioning a palimpsest that turns the passage of time into spatial relationships. And sometimes world events conspire to commenton this commentary, imparting new layers of significance. More»

Weakness is a Virtue

Weakness is a Virtue

Vulnerability is their middle name. Whether they’re washing dishes, or sweeping floors, everything they do communicates helplessness. Blow in their direction, and they’ll fall over. They’re that fragile. Such is the situation of Europe’s migrants. Whether from Afghanistan or Romania, their situation is consistently the same. They come from one crisis, only to be greeted by another. More»