Culture & society

Andalusia’s Ambivalence: Between Convivencia and Islamophobia

Andalusia’s Ambivalence: Between Convivencia and Islamophobia

This article has previously been published by the Center for Intercultural Dialogue and is also available as PDF. The southern Spanish province of Andalusia is a much-invaded corner of Europe. Its history and culture have been shaped by peoples as distinctive as Iberians, Phoenicians, Celts, Greeks, Carthaginians, […]

Still(ed) waters: a very short history of Mexico City

Still(ed) waters: a very short history of Mexico City

How a lake turned into one of the largest cities in the world: this is the story of Mexico City. Before the Spanish conquest, Mexico City was a kind of Venice in the middle of a couple of connected lakes, surrounded by volcanoes. It was […]

Amritsar: conflict and harmony

Amritsar: conflict and harmony

This article has previously been published by the Center for Intercultural Dialogue. Amritsar is a medium-sized city in India serving as a tourist destination for two main reasons. First, it is the location of the holiest temple of the Sikh religion; second, it is the closest […]

On India, poverty and religion

On India, poverty and religion

On my second day in India, I almost teared up in the back of a tuk-tuk that was driving me past households of cardboard and rags. I was slightly surprised by and appreciative of my own sensitivity: it was not the first time I was […]

Islamic State: media and identity

Islamic State: media and identity

The influence of the so-called Islamic State reaches far beyond the physical territory of the self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq. Under a variety of names the terrorist organization has infiltrated every media diet and compelled many countries to take action in the form of […]

Movie: Silence by Martin Scorsese

Movie: Silence by Martin Scorsese

It is a mystery to me why Martin Scorsese’s last movie Silence, about Christian missionaries in Japan, premiered at the Vatican. Although Scorsese is Catholic and at some point in his life even wanted to become a priest, it seems that more than just offering […]

Field notes

Field notes

Report of a ‘field trip’ to Villa 31, a shantytown in the center of Buenos Aires, currently aim of an urbanization project. I. Descriptive content II. Reflective content I. Descriptive content  Sky cut into pieces by wires. Structures of bricks and concrete, with or without […]

In search of Buenos Aires

In search of Buenos Aires

-¡El Aleph! – repetí. -Sí, el lugar donde están, sin confundirse, todos los lugares del orbe, vistos desde todos los ángulos. Jorge Luis Borges – El Aleph Die Überschatzung der Frage, wo man sich befinde, stammt aus der Hordenzeit, wo man sich die Futterplätze merken […]

Identity and nationality in the Gulf

Identity and nationality in the Gulf

Few countries in the world have more foreigners than locals living within their borders. It is the case in the Arabian Gulf, where the majority of the population consists of immigrants: up to more than 85% in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Drawn to […]

The paradox of rape culture

The paradox of rape culture

Sexual violence is a problem many women around the world encounter in their lives: one in three have experienced it in one way or another. The situation in countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is in many cases worse, ranking Egypt at […]

Antithesis

Antithesis

Amid the chaos of the city that she was calling her home for a little while now, there were only two sights calm and peaceful: the surface of the river and the setting of the sun. On the bridge, people were gathering to welcome the […]

The Commuter

The Commuter

It was overwhelmingly hot and the metro was packed as usual. The agonizing heat and lack of space made the world as small as her own discomfort. The other passengers, covered in many bright layers of clothing yet used to extreme temperatures, nevertheless seemed fascinated […]