The position of the body is the same. The figure is prone on the beach, near the water’s edge. The head is face down in the sand, and the face is just visible. One arm is close to the body, palm upward. The knees are bent, the feet together. This is not Alan Kurdi (initially… Continue reading The Art of Dissidence and Diplomacy
In the 13th century, the Italian town of Lucera was a Muslim island in a sea of Christendom. Here Frederick II, the head of the Holy Roman Empire, established his own shadow cabinet of scholars and advisors from among the Arabs that he invited to live in this walled city near the eastern coast of… Continue reading Life in the Gray Zone
Charlie was a pretty good musician. He played guitar, composed songs. Dennis Wilson, the drummer and co-founder of the Beach Boys, befriended Charlie and tried to help him make it in the music industry. He arranged for the young man to make a studio album, which eventually came out in 1974. But before that, the… Continue reading Je Suis Encore Charlie?
IT HAS BEEN THE FATE of Central and Eastern Europe — that wedge of territory between what was once the Soviet Union to the east and the European Community to the west — to wrestle with its own “abnormality.” For nearly five decades, the region experienced varying degrees of Soviet-style Communism, from the relatively liberal… Continue reading Eastern Europe: Return to Normality?
Last week, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton gave a major foreign policy speechthat provided a glimpse of one possible post-Obama future. In many ways, it was not a pretty picture. But let’s first look at the good points. Clinton endorsed the Iran deal that just squeaked through Congress despite unanimous Republican opposition. “Either we move… Continue reading After Obama: Clinton vs. Sanders
Peter, a Sierra Leone migrant living in Hungary, is one of the lucky ones. He has a job. He has a supportive community of friends. After seven years in the country, the Hungarian government approved his application for asylum. He started a very successful NGO devoted to helping other migrants make a new life in… Continue reading The New Middle Passage
When I talked with Turkish photographer Attila Durak back in 2007, he was just finishing up a project documenting the country’s many ethnic groups. “Ask any intellectual here, ‘How many ethnic groups are living in Turkey?’ and they can’t list more than 12,” he told me. “Lots of photographers take photos of Anatolian people. But… Continue reading Multiculturalism Saves Turkey
Imagine an alternative universe in which the two major Cold War superpowers evolved into the United Soviet Socialist States. The conjoined entity, linked perhaps by a new Bering Straits land bridge, combines the optimal features of capitalism and collectivism. From Siberia to Sioux City, we’d all be living in one giant Sweden. It sounds like… Continue reading Why the World Is Becoming the Un-Sweden
BEFORE/AFTER Reading of a new play by John Feffer Part of the European Month of Culture Supported by the Delegation of the European Union to the United States 90 minutes Before/After is a multimedia portrait of the transformation of East-Central Europe told by the people who made it happen. Through words, pictures, video, and music, it tells… Continue reading Before/After
The fall of the Berlin Wall was one of the most dramatic events of the 20th century. It happened suddenly on the evening of November 9, 1989 when thousands of East Germans decided to take history into their own hands and pour over the border into the West. Although the Soviet Union wouldn’t disintegrate for… Continue reading Before/After