Swedish author and scholar Michael Azar weaves together a patchwork of narratives in which people matter just as much as the places in which they live; a practice that provides the key to the long overdue task of fashioning cities in accordance with human needs and hardships.
works at the Department for the History of Ideas at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. In 2000, he published the thesis
Western martyrdom and the politics of memory and death
What is the connection between the mediaeval hunt for relics and the idolization of Benno Ohnesorg? Or between Nietzsche and Oliver Cromwell? Outlining aspects of the history of western martyrdom and its ideologies, Michael Azar shows how to this day the dead are instrumentalized for the purposes of the living.
A postcolonial reading of Albert Camus
The purely existential themes of The Stranger hide Camus’ critique of the discriminatory nature of French rule in Algeria. Yet Camus never entirely renounced the civilizing premise of colonialism. The reason lies in his relation to his mother, writes Michael Azar.
B is for barbaric, bestial, and bombed. Michael Azar on Beirut, the city that was one day described as the Paris of the Middle East and the next lay bleeding on the ground. Out of necessity, the story of Beirut is also a story of power, memory, and statecraft.