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A rather absurd, fragmented picture of the present

Ukraine: We bring here an essay on news fatigue by editor Olema Muhasko in the Ukrainian publication Gwara Media. Is there still room for stories that can challenge one's world view? Do we remember how fragile a peaceful life is?

A thorough breach of the norms

USA: Donald Trump broke down established norms and led democracy astray, but he would never have reached this far, if the groundwork had not been laid by others – this new tradition of imprecise wording, secrecy and dodgy methods.

The impossible place

Normality: Mark GE Kelly examines how norms affect important parts of life and our understanding of normality – with regard to sexuality, orientation, body image, identity, illness, death, individualism, hedonism, racism and white privilege.

Ideology critical spinal reflex

Literature: Criticism in literary studies is only a special case of criticism in society in general.

The exercise of violence in ourselves

Ecology: What does this overwhelming information maze of a book really say about ecofascism? Have we ended up in a downward argument that only leads us deeper into conflict-creating dichotomies – us/them, left/right and nice/naughty?

A treacherous saviour

India: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's staging of himself has been successful enough to keep him at the helm for years. Arundhati Roy delivers critique. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), founded in 1925, is the role model for Modi's ruling BJP party. The founders were inspired by German and Italian fascism.
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Your mortgage

LOAN: Do you know how much more expensive your mortgage has become since the first rate hike?

The greater forest biotope of interdependent species

Nature: What about the world's last five megaforests and the people who live in them? The intact forest landscapes are of inestimable importance for the climate.

Why there is something and not just nothing

Venice: 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".

Rabulist, literary researcher, politician and poet

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 periphery is being urbanised

The attachment: The articles in this appendix of ORIENTERING shows which problems are linked to cities and poverty, pandemic, war, conflict, energy, food, flight, floods and fear.

Female workers in the informal sector

WIEGO: The informal economy is often stigmatized as a "shadow economy" and characterized as illegal and unethical. Such generalization is unfair to the vast majority of two billion informal workers trying to earn a decent living.

Urban warfare and lack of social stability

Conflict: The fact that unemployed urban youth go into drug dealing, street gangs, militias and sectarian political organizations is not surprising. Yet something else may be more important than crime prevention and counter-terrorism.

Planetary urbanization

Globalization: Wilderness disappears; continents become more closely linked; the distinction between town and country becomes more blurred; and urban inequality is increasing.

The planet is urbanized

City and country:The number of countries with more than 90 percent of the population in urban areas has doubled from 16 to 32 since 1975. Today, urbanization is no longer limited to cities.

Is there a future for poor people in the city?

Urbanization: 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.

Who exactly is the transformation of Nikel being carried out for?

Russia: Historically speaking, Nikel is a "monotown" – a city created and run by a city-forming industrial company with one sole purpose: to exploit industrial labour.

Between housing and home

Trondheim: Transmigrants find themselves in a vulnerable work situation. The housing options available to transmigrants include dormitories, private homes converted into collectives, tents, vans and most popularly: barracks.

The consequences of urbanization for aid practice

Poverty: 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.

Are climate and poverty reduction the main goals of Norwegian aid?

Poverty: Norwegian Development Cooperation's weak urban efforts over 60 years – an average of five per cent of the annual aid budget – is difficult to understand. Because it is in the cities that the "billion at the bottom" live. Many are calling for measures in areas such as forests and climate, plastic and marine litter, transport, energy, food safety and regional planning.

Security and violence in Rocinha – a favela in Rio de Janeiro

Brazil: Security in Rio Janeiro is about much more than police operations. It is about the people who live there, outsiders and how they live in a society where they are denied public services.

Sustainability is no longer sustainable

Oslo: 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?

Five urbanists – urban developers

Urbanism: MODERN TIMES has asked five urbanists – all known to Norwegian urban developers – about some of the main themes in this supplement: global urbanization and the feminization of poverty, driving forces and counter-forces, new technology, and organization in the fight for a safer and more secure society.

From sustainability to a regenerative future

Nature: Will any government, institution or business still refer to "sustainability" in a few years be considered lagging behind?

The metropolis of Lagos: the damned of the earth

Housing: More than 70 percent of the city's population, approximately 15 million, live in Lagos' "informal settlements". Only 40 percent have legal residence and the right to use land. Here are many of the 2 million people in the world who are thrown out of their homes by force every year.