Tim Ochser

was born in London and currently lives in Riga, Latvia. Works as a culture editor for the Baltic Times and as a freelance journalist.


Ever since Nike exhorted us to “Just do it!”, the pronoun has been the vessel for a whole range of cultural suggestions. Tim Ochser finds that “It” is not all that it seems.

“Sport’s primitive allure provides a rare and necessary outlet for people desperate to rally behind a cause other than the national economy and making a living”, writes Tim Ochser, left cold by the spectacle of the Ice Hockey World Championships in Riga.

Commissioned by British television to set up interviews for a documentary on sex trafficking in Latvia, Tim Ochser finds himself an accomplice in the simplification of the phenomenon. To call sex trafficking “modern slavery” fails to see it as the consequence of the sexualization of culture. To get to the real story, he says, the documentary should have been about the men who use women as prostitutes.

In his look at the “genuineness” of pornography, Tim Ochser finds that in many ways, life has come to imitate pornography “in an almost grotesque parody”. Rather than judging pornography as good or bad, moral or immoral, Ochser focuses on the reasons pornography exists, what purpose it serves, and the effects it has on both viewers and non-viewers.

Plastic ferns, ABBA, and intoxicated Russians: over 50 grams of brandy, the seedy charms of the old-fashioned kafejnica seem infinitely preferable to Riga’s new generation of oh-so-trendy coffee houses, finds Tim Ochser.

A Riga suburb called Zolitude makes Tim Ochser reflect on the philosophical realities of a life in the labyrinth.

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