• Ama Ata Aidoo on Film

    "Love is dangerous. It is the sinfulest sweet, like the wine from a fresh palm tree.But when we need to count on human strength, love is nothing. Ah my lady, the last man any woman should think of marrying is the one she loves."

    Africa's most important writer and feminist extraordinaire, Ama Ata Aidoo is now on film.

  • A Second Look at Mexican Drug Gangs and ISIL

    This past week, Al Jazeera America published a piece by Musa al-Gharbi in which the author argues that Mexico’s drug gangs, who have effectively transformed parts of the country into a war zone, are a greater threat to international security than the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

  • Hamlet Gets In The Way of Haider

    When my brother, his partner, and I decided to catch a late night show of Haider, a film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet set in Kashmir, we made sure that we arrived a solid twenty minutes late. None of us wanted to endure the possible mandatory stand-and-salute to the national anthem which often plays in Indian cinemas at the start of films.

  • The Death of Klinghoffer

    On Monday, New York's Metropolitan Opera went ahead with its production of John Adams's The Death of Klinghoffer. The evening was met with protests from various conservative organizations outside and jeers from some audience members inside who denounced the opera and called for it to be banned from the stage, declaring that the work is a glorification of terrorism and a tool of anti-Semitism.

  • How Do You Write About Violent History?

    Violence is a key ingredient of human storytelling: from our first oral tales, violent acts have heightened audience attention and underlined the dangers of our world. What happens to a child who goes off alone? She is beset by ogres! Djinn! Child-eating witches! As different story traditions developed, most were rich in violence, which was often focused around a single enemy. This enemy could be battled (and tricked or beaten), offering the audience a psychological release.

  • The Palestinian Archipelago

    This October, Sweden became the first western European nation to formally recognize Palestine as a state. Whilst other eastern European countries such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland have made the declaration much earlier, this first acknowledgment from western Europe signals an important step forward in bringing popular legitimacy to the notion of Palestinian statehood.

  • Poem with Blue Agapanthus

    Editor's Introduction

    The 17th Century Kabbalist, Nathan of Gaza, speculated that before the world came into being, there were, in the endlessness of existence, two lights: the one, active, thinking, with the impetus to create; the other passive, concealed and full in itself. When the first light contracted itself to make room for creation, the second light resisted and remained unmoved.  It is this second light that became the force we think of as evil in the world.

  • Michel Foucault would have been 88 this week

    In celebration of what would have been legendary French philosopher Michel Foucault's 88th birthday this week, we would like to share The Lost Interview. Published on March 20, 2014 on YouTube.

  • On the Fringes of India’s Political and Moral Consciousness

    Tales of repression and subjugation are ubiquitous in the military-ruled northernmost borderland of India, the state of Jammu and Kashmir.  The Indian government appositely refers to it as “disturbed.” How else would anyone define a territory where the population’s collective memory wails of military and police excesses, where, invariably, every household has a painful story to share?— How else to describe a territory where the existence of its people and what becomes of their progeny is determined by the tragedies they associate with their land.