Hell: Is it possible to simultaneously touch on four major themes, such as sin and evil, the desire for knowledge and conquest, relationships and competition, or the fear of death itself? Let me try in this essay – about Thomas Hylland Eriksen and Dante.
In the ongoing conflict between Russia and the West in Ukraine, social democrats, social liberals and green politicians have been among the most ardent supporters of war and confrontational politics. And when "solidarity" becomes a tool for warmongers, the political right can become a strategic ally.
Biography: "He who is not mad in his own way must participate in the collective madness." This is one of Georg Johannesen's (1931–2005) most apt self-characteristics, writes Alfred Fidjestøl in a new biography of the poet, politician and professor of rhetoric.
The IS brides: Both victims of and renegade supporters of the terrorist organization IS claim that this "state" will rise again, and journalists and experts support the claim. But how many victims' stories are needed before IS loses its appeal to individuals? What about Aisha Shezadi Kausar?
SYRIA: Carsten Wieland uncovers a large number of mistakes in the Western donor countries' handling of the humanitarian crisis during the Syrian civil war. He also mentions how rebel forces have deliberately starved local people to attract aid: Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Rwanda.
FALCON: A few days after Italy marked the 30th anniversary of the massacres of Judge Giovanni Falcone and his entourage and Assistant Judge Paolo Borsellino, Italian author Roberto Saviano presents a novel about the case.
ECOLOGY: With the planet as an anchor point, various themes are highlighted here – growth and non-growth, the anthropocene and our understanding of nature, tipping points, disasters and possible futures, geoengineering, fabulous animals and biopolitics.
CARE: If you think reading 1800th-century British novels has little to do with the current political situation, you are wrong. Talia Schaffer shows how our thinking about care, help and health work already existed in the middle of the Victorian era.
SPIN DICTATOR: After dictators left their mark on the 20th century with indescribable crimes, it can be difficult to understand how the authoritarian forms of government have made an apparent return in our time.
MESSIAN THOUGHT OF VIOLENCE: From Jewish identity in New York to messianic racism in the West Bank: The controversial rabbi Meir Kahane, whose thoughts live on with certain radical settlers in the West Bank, is the subject of a new and thorough biography.
COVID19: SARS in 2003, bird flu in 2005, MERS in 2012, Ebola in 2014, combined with the financial crisis, massive refugee flows, and revolutions in the Middle East and Greta Thunberg's shrill doomsday voice, had largely immunized the population against something as abstract as Covid19.
WORK: Precarious working life is perhaps alluring with its freedom and flexibility. But with the precarious also comes the uncontrollable, the unpredictability and the lack of rights. Precarious work has become widespread in a subject such as journalism. Nevertheless, I am still tempted by the flexible tasks, by the sense of variability, freedom almost.
Moving from the countryside to the city has lifted many people out of poverty, particularly in developing countries. The city provides better access to work, services and freedom from inhibiting social norms. At the same time, life for the city's poor can be difficult.
Over a billion people, 24 percent of the world's urban population, are today considered slum dwellers. And most refugees do not end up in overcrowded camps in Europe, but as displaced migrants in medium-sized and small cities in Asia and Africa. Aid today has a reluctance to get involved in urban areas and urbanization issues.
Under the heat of the Israel lobby, The Bay Area Book Festival humiliated one of the most gifted and courageous writers in the United States, Alice Walker. Do you remember her writing The Color Purple, for which she received the prestigious Pulitzer Prize?
"Neutral" countries such as Sweden and Switzerland boasted of huge stolen gold revenues used by Hitler's Germany during World War II. The gold financed, among other things, the concentration camps' factories.
Bruce Weber: The Treasure of his Youth: the photographs of Paolo di Paolo It would be almost fifty years before Paolo di Paolo's daughter found the pictures his father had taken, and confronted him with his hitherto unknown past as a (Italian) celebrity photographer.
This year's Art Biennale in Venice feels like the end of a human-centered era, a time where man with his invulnerability, self-sufficiency, the white man as the center of the world is under attack. Now it is the woman's turn to ask the big questions, about the sanctity of life, about connectedness, about man and technology, about what comes after "man".
A study of the conservation potential of Oslo's non-protected buildings shows that 13 million tonnes of CO2 is tied up in Oslo's non-protected buildings. What about pragmatic protection, where, for example, a farm owner must be able to prove that the demolition of such existing buildings is the right decision – also from a climate perspective?
Full 100-page MODERN TIMES including the appendix Orientering and Modern Times Review comes out quarterly in early March, June, September and December) with international book reviews (non-fiction) and comments / essays. According to the physical newspaper (and PDF), the articles are published regularly online (see the newsletters).