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Foreign Affairs

27 March 2014

It started at the back door. Police asked the sitters to leave; if they refused, they grabbed them by their necks and dragged them out. Several TV reporters were on the scene but turned away. Before running at the protesters, the riot force took off their badges so that their names would be hidden. More…

25 February 2014

The thing is, in their fight against a corrupt government and its oligarchs, the middle class, the bourgeoisie, the intellectuals, the students, the peasants, the migrant workers and the proletariat from Western and Central Ukraine are appealing to an even more powerful bourgeoisie and to a super-state that is, unlike Ukraine, a subject, rather than an object, of world-historical processes. More…

23 February 2014

The camera lingers until the medic says, “Don’t stand here!” “A person is dying!” another man says angrily. The camera retreats, ashamed. Wanting to be helpful, it approaches a young, fair-haired man spread-eagled on the muddy ground. It leans in close to his face. His eyes are closed. “Are you alive, brother?” The blond man doesn’t answer. More…

7 February 2014

In recent years Nemtsov had returned to the scene as a fearless critic of Putin. This was incongruous: Nemtsov liked to go skiing in France with his oligarch friends; he enjoyed the company of young ladies. Why rock the boat? And yet, year after year, his name appeared as the coauthor of reports denouncing the corruption of the Moscow mayor, or of the Putin administration. More…

17 December 2013

I work shifts in the Catholic cathedral where the medical emergency site is located. The wave of injuries is subsiding—now it’s just minor problems, small wounds. I take a break and think about finishing the bottle of alcohol we used to sterilize the camera—but then I simply wash my hands. I’m three weeks sober. It’s unreal, Lou Reed is dead, Mandela is dead, I am in an emergency medical station in my hometown. Is there God? And where is his helmet? More…

3 December 2013

The EU is not a metaphor; it is a vast bureaucracy that is facing serious difficulties itself. The EU alone can’t put an end to Ukraine’s rampant corruption, bring its decaying infrastructure, factories, and mines up to modern standards, or improve its health and education systems. As Greece, Spain, and Italy can attest, the EU won’t save Ukraine from economic crisis. More…

18 November 2013

As early as the summer of 1949, China’s revolutionary leaders, closely advised by Stalin, considered adopting a constitution to mitigate Western criticism of the new Communist government. The result was a startlingly liberal, egalitarian document. As with the infamous Soviet constitution of the Stalin years, its socialist promises simply existed to be broken. More…

15 November 2013

On Friday, November 15th, Interfax reported that Russian performance artist Petr Pavlensky has been charged with hooliganism. According to an unnamed source, Pavlensky may be facing up to five years in prison for his November 11th performance Nail, in which he nailed his scrotum to the cobblestones outside the Lenin Mausoleum in Red Square. The following is an interview with Pavlensky by Anya Aivazyan, from the Russian weekly Bolshoi Gorod, published on November 12th. More…

7 October 2013

Most Germans had relatively little awareness of the day-to-day in Greece before the crisis; conversely, most Greeks have enough to contend with without worrying about Germany. It goes without saying that neither nation’s press is particularly interested in remedying this problem, not when intractable cultural difference and nationalist appeals move so many newspapers. More…

23 September 2013

Cézanne is telling us, with great delicacy, that modernity in the nineteenth century is indistinguishable from nature; perhaps it is nature—in some ways, the culvert, which has emerged from the rock, seems more of its place than the mountain itself. The shadows etched under the arches are mysterious, like a womb’s darkness; and since Cézanne himself is a progeny of the modern, how can he not feel that it’s older and darker than the earth and the mountain? More…

1 August 2013

Everywhere—in schools, prisons and universities, at voting stations and sitting in front of the TV—we are taught to obey, to lie, to bite our tongues, to say “yes” when we want to say “no.” The great cause of our civilization is to foster in ourselves, our children and friends an antidote to this obedience—an obedience that eats people alive. More…

29 July 2013

A few milongas ago, I found myself dancing with the colonel again. We were doing OK, I thought, but just as I let my mind wander, he abruptly seized me by my elbows, gave me a sharp shake, and declared, “You don’t lead! I lead!” I had unwittingly tried to break the gender norms of this highly hetero-normative dance, the highest transgression in tango. More…

8 July 2013

Seeing the rapid construction of these expensive facilities as plans for new schools and hospitals are continually delayed has made it clear to many Brazilians that when the government wishes, things get accomplished. One poster outside the Confederations Cup read, “I want a hospital with the quality of a FIFA stadium.” More…

13 May 2013

The curious position of queer rights in India is this: although it is opposed, it has no clear opponent. The severe social taboo is real enough, but its representatives, when they form up, usually appear as a motley bunch of eccentrics and stodgy clerical officials, shuffling through an unstudied brief against homosexuality. More…

3 May 2013

Sixteen million people in Cairo; I’m told the daytime population is actually more like twenty-two million, struggling to keep their footing on the congested, uneven pavement. A vision of our unsustainable future: too many people, not enough jobs; too many cars, not enough living space; too much refuse, not enough clean water. More…

Originally published in Issue 11: Dual Power

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4 March 2013

At the café in Huangjueping, Johnny Cash was playing on the stereo. Art students lingered in the glow of their laptop screens and older artists congregated around tables crowded with cigarette packs. The furniture was mismatched and worn, odd trinkets crowded the shelves. It might have been anywhere in the West—anywhere in the world. More…

25 January 2013

“We have enormous enterprises in our country. Often they monopolize their regions, and so a strike or simply a large industrial action could freeze an entire industry. And if you organize such an action, you risk running into a brutal response. From the owners and from the authorities. But it happens that milder measures don’t work. Then you need to choose: take a risk or keep your mouth shut.” More…

19 December 2012

But at my show there were posters that said, for example, “Let Us Free Russia from Putin,” and after seeing stuff like that the cops simply had to take us in. Nonetheless, I have to say I was happy with the police’s reaction to my work, how carefully they looked through the pieces, and how they asked me to leave them some posters as keepsakes.” More…

3 December 2012

On Saturday, November 24st, 2012, hundreds of prisoners at Penal Colony No.6 in Kopeisk, Russia walked out onto the roofs of the prison with banners in order to protest the horrific conditions inside. The signs, some of them allegedly written in blood, plead for help. The protest led to a violent confrontation between the police and the prisoners’ relatives gathered outside the prison gates. Three witnesses say what they saw. More…

31 August 2012

The events in Bangalore reveal new evidence that, in the parlance of social capital theory, electronic networking is more effective at producing “bonding” capital within groups than “bridging” capital between them. There’s nothing new about the use of the digital network to mobilize people. What’s new is using it to terrorize them. More…

24 July 2012

In comparison to monarchies and democracies, each in their own time, despotism has always seemed archaic. The gleaming military uniforms, Tolkienesque titles, and Orientalized imperial paraphernalia of modern dictators like Idi Amin, Pinochet, and Qaddafi evoke the 19th century; leaders who are truly modern are supposed to wear self-effacing suits. More…

21 June 2012

And at least the new president, as odious as he’ll be no matter who wins, will win by 51 percent, rather than 96 percent as in the Mubarak days.” But his wife Rasha Abd Elwahabb, a journalist, could find no reason for optimism. “I’m already getting more harassment for not wearing hijab,” she said. “Colleagues at the newspaper are making jokes about how all the women will have to stay home soon—they’re kidding, but it’s not funny.” More…

8 June 2012

Rajoy has so far responded to the growing crisis in two ways. First, he has implemented a series of public spending cuts vicious enough to make Angela Merkel blush. In the past few months alone, the minimum copayment for medication and medical services has risen to untenable levels for many patients, and all subsidized medical services for “irregular” immigrants have been eliminated. More…

18 April 2012

Each candidate was required to respond; those who were quick to react were immediately chastised, by those who were slower to the bit, for using tragedy for political purposes. This brings the sum total of politicians who will stand to benefit from the incident, whether by responding to it or affecting to defer their response, to every one of them. More…

12 April 2012

We thought we had signed an armistice with reality. Then it all started over. In Santiago, a group of art students go round and round the Moneda. They plan to keep this up for 1,800 hours, symbolic of the $1,800 million they think need to be injected into higher education. The street is taken over by Lady Gaga imitators, open-air nudity, and three thousand passionate kisses in front of the cathedral. More…

16 March 2012

Despite the enormous emotional impact of the unending stream of images from Greece, it would be a mistake to treat the Greek case as an anomaly. It is now obvious that the Greek crisis is nothing other than the most striking manifestation of a European economic and political crisis—and it is as much a crisis of democracy and governance as one of sovereign debt. More…

23 December 2011

For five days last month, Tahrir Square felt like a war zone. Half of the streetlights had stopped working, probably knocked out by projectiles launched by the riot police, making the side streets dark except for occasional blue flashes from an ambulance. The sound of protesters beating against sheet metal storefront shutters was pierced intermittently by the whistle . . . crash of fresh tear gas canisters. More…

9 December 2011

Berlusconi has resigned, Monti has taken his place, but the post-Berlusconi phase hasn’t yet begun. It’s not even close. In fact, the excessive power that Berlusconi enjoyed, incompatible with the basic principles of every liberal democracy and clearly in conflict with the Italian constitution that came out of the antifascist Resistance, was only partly related to his actually being in power. More…

6 December 2011

What happened today at Chistye Prudy was, unquestionably, a major event. There were five or six thousand people. Most of them were young. For many it was the first conscious political act of their lives. Of course, there were many familiar faces, the ones you see at all the opposition meetings. And of course we got the familiar, empty rhetoric of the old guard of liberal activists, More…

2 December 2011

Strange days here in Italy. In the newspapers and on television, they tell us that an era is ending. On the streets, as though hardly believing it ourselves, we tell each other that the dawn is finally breaking on this long, black night. Berlusconi and his empire of decadence have fallen, and we all hope that a glorious Renaissance will follow the Dark Ages to which his reign returned us. More…

29 November 2011

When I got there the signs were already up: “Paternoster Square is private land. Any licence to the public to enter or cross this land is revoked forthwith. There is no implied or express permission to enter any premises or any part. Any such entry will constitute a trespass.” The square itself was filled with police, a few of them on horses. Tourists drifted in and out. More…

2 November 2011

It is hard to settle on the precise moment the Irish hit rock bottom. Still, November 18, 2010—the day twelve men and women from the International Monetary Fund showed up in Dublin to address the Irish mess—stands out. Until that time, for all of the financial and emotional pain the crisis had caused, and all of the international concern it had engendered, the problem had been Ireland’s to solve. More…

30 September 2011

A year ago today was the first time I was apprised of important, developing news via Twitter. An attempted coup in Ecuador! The Tweeter was not an ideal messenger: he was Venezuela’s president Hugo Chávez, whose account I follow to see his scurrilous rhetoric comically confined to 140 characters. Here he was, tweeting about Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa. More…

26 August 2011

Daraa’ is a small, dusty town in southeast Syria, close to the Jordanian border. I visited in June 2010 for the first cultural festival there. Electronic Dabke music was the order of the night, with keyboard players and dancers flanked by images of Assad and his father, Hafez. Like the rest of rural Syria, it was generally seen as supportive of the Baath regime as a result of the support and subsidies it received. More…

11 August 2011

Cops shot a black man named Mark Duggan a few nights ago some ways north of where I live. For four nights there were riots and looting in neighborhoods like Tottenham, same, north of me, and Brixton, which is south of the Thames on the west side. (Brixton in Le Carre novels is where the Scalphunters are headquartered; they do assassinations and kidnappings, as opposed to Lamplighters, who do surveillance.) More…

11 August 2011

Shopkeepers and neighborhood residents have been thrown back on their own devices given the inability of the state to provide them any support at all. What we have seen, especially tonight as the smoke has started to clear, looks quite a bit like a major step back towards the Hobbesian ring of all against all and each for himself, or at least his own. More…

10 August 2011

Everywhere you go in central Athens, the contrast between private affluence and public squalor, between the immaculate self-presentation of individuals and an apparently dysfunctional society, is stark. It’s particularly glaring in the upmarket neighborhood of Kolonaki, where the American School is located, as well as many of the flats we excavators are living in for the summer. More…

26 July 2011

One aspect of the attack that has so far been greeted with silence is that it was a targeted attack on Europe’s left. Breivik did not choose to kill immigrants or torch mosques. Instead, he attacked the offices of Norway’s left-wing Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and went on a rampage against teenage supporters of the country’s Labour Party. More…

26 July 2011

As my dad often says when we discuss politics, Norway is a small country. The phrase can be used for praise or condemnation. Norway has a problem assimilating refugees and second-generation immigrants. “Norway is a small country.” Norway supports a Palestinian state. “Norway is a small country.” Norway voted twice against joining the EU and does not use the Euro. “Norway is a small country.” More…

21 July 2011

The perennially indecisive character of European politics, which makes it nearly impossible for European policymakers to hold one another to account, allowed the Greek situation to get out of hand. For months it seemed the most that European leaders could manage was a muddle of bluffs, half-measures, and mixed-messages. And before long, what had begun as a bad debt problem in Greece had degenerated into a broad liquidity crisis for the Eurozone. More…

5 July 2011

Sarkozy’s was a Cinderella story of a young dynamic neo-liberal sweeping to power, overcoming a disorganized and outdated left. Many commentators were quick to point out that Sarko was a French conservative, and that came with a few caveats. Still, the predominant opinion was summed up by the title of a Financial Times editorial: “France braced for a swift dose of Thatcherism.” More…

1 June 2011

Election night marked a full week of literally unstinting protests in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and throughout the country, the prolonged howl of a youth movement that calls itself Democracia Real Ya (Real Democracy Now). The movement began with several thousand kids meeting in the Puerta del Sol, the central square in Madrid, after months of preparations on Facebook. More…

11 May 2011

The NDP is basically a European-style moderate left-wing party, socialist in all but name. It has been growing for years, but when this election was called no one expected the NDP to beat its previous high of forty-three seats, much less form the Official Opposition. They won 102 seats, exactly triple the Liberals’ number. More…

9 May 2011

The pattern of protest and crackdown settled into a rhythm early on. On Monday and Thursday mornings, Ugandans—opposition politicians, students, and regular citizens—would walk from their homes, and the police—regular, plainclothes, and military—would do their best to stop them. Crowds would defend the demonstrators with rocks, and the police would disperse them with tear gas and bullets. More…

7 March 2011

It’s just so crazy, in order to follow this incredibly rigorous public moral code you end up doing things that people don’t usually do, like sitting with a middle-aged Saudi man in a hotel room. The compromise we came up with was to sit in the hallway on my floor where there were armchairs. We did the interview. They were vacuuming the floors around us. More…

28 January 2011

No one knows how long the protests that began in Egypt on Tuesday will last, or how they will end. It isn’t clear how organized the protesters are, or how much violence the regime is willing to use against them now that the cameras are rolling and the posts are flying. What role the Muslim Brotherhood will play in the coming days is anyone’s guess. More…

3 January 2011

A few years ago, I visited my friend Z in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for a few days. Z was working on HIV prevention and AIDS care programs for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), defying Bush Administration directives whenever, wherever he could by unionizing sex workers. When I arrived, he was in the midst of trying to organize the “beer ladies.” More…

20 December 2010

Three weeks ago there was more bad news for the socialists in Spain, this time in Catalonia, where they lost badly in a round of legislative elections. But to read about this in El País you had to turn to page 24, a long way away, and in your path stood Wikileaks. For a full week the revelations came without any sign of stopping, and it was glorious, like reading a novel. More…

27 October 2010

Today, amid Argentina’s longest sustained period of free elections, it’s the half century from 1930 to 1983 that increasingly looks like the parenthesis, though a very long and ultimately grisly one. The consolidation of civil freedom and popular rule is probably the development that more than any other lies behind the overwhelming judgment of Argentinesthat the country is a better place at 200 than at 100. More…

14 October 2010

On the sloping peak of a coastal hill rising from the muddy banks of the Maule River, which cuts through the lower Chilean heartland and once marked the southernmost boundary of the Incan empire, a wildfire was vaulting through a dense thicket of pine trees. It was an arresting sight: a shock of red among the moody shades of green and brown that Chilean winters customarily color the south-central landscape. More…

4 October 2010

This past Wednesday, the 29th of September (or, as it is now called, “29-S”), Spain’s seventh general strike since the end of the Franco dictatorship was convoked by the country’s two major labor unions, the CCOO and the UGT. Its object—which is to say, that to which it was intended to object—was the recent set of labor reforms proposed by the current ruling party, known in English as the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, and in Spanish as the Partido Socialista Obrero Español, or PSOE. More…

18 August 2010

Kibuye Presbyterian Church is quaking. Wooden benches in every direction are filled with Rwandans shaking Bibles and swaying hips in tune to pulsing music. The singing of the choir echoes off the walls, swimming up to the open-shafted roof, as the kaleidoscopically dressed audience members clap their hands and pound their feet against the cement floor. American evangelist Rick Warren, the center of all this enthusiasm, joins the fervor, banging on a conga drum. More…

10 May 2010

Was he too smart to succeed? That might be overstating it: there’s still room for very intelligent political leaders. Yet what unites the sharpest of them—Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Manmohan Singh—is a certain professorial detachment. They are all pragmatists, post-ideological to varying degrees, adept at compromise and unfailingly serene, in Obama’s case sometimes worryingly so. More…

24 March 2010

Vacation, to most people, means the freedom to regulate one’s own body temperature at will. People from all nations go in the water and sun-dry themselves ten times in a row. Then they take hot showers and sit in an air-conditioned room, then take some more sun, then wade into the water and repair again. More…

8 February 2010

In the weeks leading up to the final round of the 2010 Chilean presidential elections, Eduardo Frei, the candidate for the center-left Concertación coalition, ran a political advertisement in which an invisible hand scribbled words such as “ass” and “go to hell” on a white ballot. More…

2 December 2009

Obama and the State Department publicly and fiercely condemned the coup, in a manner one would not have expected from the coup-loving Bush administration (which supported the 2002 coup against Chavez, and the 2004 coup against Aristide in Haiti). This difference, however, was merely rhetorical. Privately—characteristically—Obama began to cave to Republican pressures. More…

10 November 2009

Old Berliners in the media complained that twenty years ago even the Wetter was better. In 1989, the stars apparently shone down on revelers dancing on the Brandenburger Tor as they tore the wall to pieces. And the next day, when the East Berliners chugged onto the Kurfürstendamm—then the main drag in West Berlin—in their gas-guzzling Trabbies, the sky was blue. More…

13 October 2009

Last Friday morning, the world turned its gaze toward Norway, the narrow, fjord-fringed country that Americans associate with all things un-American: a comprehensive cradle-to-grave welfare program; a devotion to universalistic foreign policy and international philanthropy; a taste for rotten fish and bitter aquavit. More…

1 September 2009

Late in 2007 I arranged a meeting in Arusha, Tanzania with an American in the travel business. Underneath a pile of titles and affiliations, this big gregarious dude, whom I’ll call Morgan, worked to bring tourists to desolate villages, a specialty sometimes called “poorism.” More…

25 August 2009

The stated purpose of Hamsun 2009, in the stilted, bureaucratic syntax of the jubilee year’s website, is “to care for, make visible, and utilize” Hamsun’s legacy, “complicated” as it may be. On the 57th anniversary of Hamsun’s death, I joined several hundred very cold Norwegians in the gray afternoon outside the granite portico of the National Theater for the mission statement’s first enactment. More…

8 April 2009

One of this novel’s minor but telling peculiarities is the narrator’s extreme reluctance to resort to proper names, and to describe the book in its own preferred style would be to avoid for as long as possible any mention of the author’s name or the title of his book. More…

14 February 2009

As soon as Donald Trump’s acquisition and plans were made public early in 2006, the controversy began. On one side the supporters range from Trump’s natural allies—millionaire builders, wealthier members of Chambers of Commerce—to those who believe, rightly or wrongly, that they may have something to gain from the development: local tradesmen, for instance, and the owners of the roadside bar who promptly put up signs welcoming Trump. More…

18 December 2008

Thomas Dörflein was so beloved in his home city that he could hardly leave his apartment without being swarmed by groupies, but the real celebrity was his animal charge, Knut, a polar bear cub born in the Berlin Zoo in December 2006. Under Dörflein’s care, the 810-gram whelp nonetheless became Berlin’s first Eisbär to survive infancy in over 30 years. More…

2 December 2008

A friend pointed out to me that I can’t call the place Bombay anymore—I’ve always insisted on it, against the weird, historically suspicious nationalism of the ’90s. But now these acts of terrorism have cemented the name in the world imagination. If I continue to refer to Bombay, people will wonder, “Hasn’t he been watching the news?” More…

27 July 2008

Instead of adhering to then ruling leftist practice of revolutionary change through violence and terror, Salvador Allende proposed an unprecedented democratic route to socialism, one where ballots would replace arms. It would be, in his words, “a revolution of empanadas and red wine“—socialism Chilean style. More…

6 June 2008

One recent afternoon, roughly three hundred marchers were setting up camp in a small, dust-layered town in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, a two-weeks’ walk northwest of Delhi. There were three or four Europeans among them, and the requisite bearded young Californian with a guitar, but the rest were Tibetans. More…

24 March 2008

A military dictatorship is a military dictatorship, and a democracy is a democracy. And the latter is always automatically better than the former. It is safer to agree with this statement and to look at every particular complex political situation through the lens of this cliché than to risk having one’s liberal-democratic credentials questioned. More…

5 March 2008

Keiko Fujimori isn’t wearing sneakers or a suit today, but a jacket in her political party’s trademark bright orange, standing on a raised platform (also orange) before a crowd of some five thousand, in the heart of Lima. She is joined on stage by members of her party, her brother Kenyi Gerardo, her husband, (who, like Keiko, is always smiling) and some friends. More…

1 March 2008

Ahora, por ejemplo, Keiko Sofía se ha quitado las sobrias sandalias de taco que llevaba puestas y sacude las plantas de sus pequeños y redondeados pies. Es un miércoles de verano en Lima, marzo del 2007, un mediodía húmedo y pegajoso dentro de la camioneta de marca japonesa de la hija de Fujimori. More…

1 March 2008

You like her. Or rather, it’s hard to dislike Keiko Sofía Fujimori Higuchi, so you make an effort. Try it. Think about her father. Alberto Fujimori, the ex-president of Peru, currently standing trial, accused of corruption, of ordering extrajudicial assassinations, widely thought to have constructed during his ten year rule a country built to his sinister specifications More…

18 February 2008

The White House has been managing its relationship with Musharraf according to the logic of a specific class of economic game, which economists call the “Principal-Agent Problem.” You give your money to someone; how do you know they will manage it with your interests in mind? The answer is to make sure the incentives of the principle and the agents are aligned. More…

10 January 2008

Just before New Year’s, I attended a garden wedding in Nairobi, where the maid of honor, who flew in from California, greeted the guests in Kamba, Luo and English. The following Tuesday, I was glued to CNN back home in New York, watching the smoldering ruins of a church in Eldoret, a sanctuary to which members of one ethnic group had fled, in vain, to escape another. More…

17 March 2007

It is bit annoying always having to talk about the meaningless violence of the activists. Basically people were trying to get beyond the massive police forces to get back to the house. And the police fought back violently and this is how a battle starts. But why were people reacting and why were they angry enough to continue, despite the massive use of police force? More…

5 February 2007

I am a Turk. Hrant was an Armenian. I write for Agos. He was Agos. Hrant, Agos’s Turkish writers, and Agos itself risked everything for a cause: to cease the hostility between Turks and Armenians; to bring the resentment and hatred to an end. Hrant and Agos were a single flower blooming on the barren plains of Turkey. That flower was destroyed, torn from the ground. More…

8 October 2006

Soon I was drunk, and a blue-eyed man with a creased face stopped me to talk. Did I know that I was an Indigo Child, the harbinger of everything beautiful in the next world? Had I heard of synchronicity? He offered me a tab of Ecstasy. More…

24 April 2006

Around the end of March, hoping to provoke a debate, I asked my first-year students at Sciences-Po, some of whom had been protesting against the CPE, “Who are the casseurs?” The question gave way to silence and a smattering of uncomfortable giggles. I found myself trying to pry answers out of students who normally fall all over each other to speak. More…

31 October 2005

Here’s a thesis to try out on friends: The anti-war movement, in its current form, is an unwitting complement to US government policy, not an opposition to it. It will enable a cowardly premature withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, an event that will be a horrendous betrayal of the Iraqis we promised to “liberate” and a complete failure of political imagination, and which both the Bush administration and the anti-war movement will claim as a victory. More…

31 October 2005

Wilson knew Europe before the war, but his accounts are almost entirely free of nostalgia or even acknowledgment of the past. He wasn’t there to write a guidebook, and the guidebook genre makes a clumsy frame for what became a furious polemic against the English at the moment when only a few red rays of Empire remained. More…

21 May 2005

On Victory Day, I tried to go to the parade that Pani Nadia advertised, showing up on Khreshchatyk a mere fifteen minutes late on a drizzly, cold Monday morning. As I surveyed the slick, empty boulevard, I began to suspect that I had replicated a feat I often executed during the Orange Revolution: losing a crowd of thousands of people. More…

6 January 2005

Every time I’m in Kyiv, I go out to Poznyakyy to visit my relatives. Poznyakyy is a neighborhood on the right bank of the Dniper River. It’s a humbling mass of dilapidated Soviet-era buildings, with creaky elevators that barely work and long columns of rundown sunrooms that stretch up the sides of the buildings and seem on the verge of collapse. More…

Image: Jóvenes. Molly Young. 2009.