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Cover for: Between tolerance and prohibition

Between tolerance and prohibition

Roma scrap metal collectors toiling outside Paris

Scrap metal collectors, working on the periphery of society, sustain the ground level operation of a lucrative global market. Bénédicte Florin and Pascal Garret’s immersive ethnographic study reveals the exploitation and illegitimacy yet resourcefulness of Roma and other marginalized workers in Paris, whose plight has worsened since COVID-19.

Abandoned cinema

Cancelling 21st century fossils

Roman Polanski's slow fall from grace

It took the film industry over four decades to oust Roman Polanski after he drugged and raped a child. The case, as well as other allegations, has long been known to the public, but a cultural shift was necessary for the director to face professional consequences.

Cover for: Putin’s reset

Russia’s popular vote approving the ‘zeroing’ of Putin’s terms has been hailed by the regime as a triumphant demonstration of trust. Putin’s uncontested status as supreme authority has indeed been reinforced. But will the legitimacy bought by the vote be enough to stem growing uncertainty among elites and declining support among urban constituencies?

Cover for: The house of Israel

The house of Israel

A divided society

Avraham Burg’s analogous take on current Israeli societal division posits some stark home truths. Conflict, fought along ideological, economic and constitutional lines, is questioned and reframed. The dubious justification for retaliation based on legitimized historic fear is presented as a condensed example of broader social disorder.

Cover for: Safer social scenes

Safer social scenes

Global lockdowns expose dangers of LGBTQ dating apps

Contact-tracing, legitimized by COVID-19 security risks, is already a dating app reality. The privacy of LGBTQ communities is particularly open to abuse. Jemimah Steinfeld calls for better protection of sexual identities, citing a new Index on Censorship global report.

Cover for: The weight of life

The weight of life

On the economy of human lives

In a rush to minimize the recession following COVID-19, some hold their economies dearer than the saving of lives. But prosperity isn’t the indefinite depletion of bodies and resources. It is through the satisfaction of basic needs that we will restore the dignity of all.

Cover for: Out of love for the South

We speak about the differences between North and South as though they explain everything. In the process, age-old prejudices again penetrate the European consciousness and shape how we think about the world.

Cover for: Housing as investment

Housing as investment

The critique of financialized rental investment in Vienna

Speculation is based on the belief that housing prices will keep increasing and there will always be a bigger fool willing to pay a higher price. Anita Aigner looks into the culture of responsibilization and the policies that turned real estate ownership into pure, abstract investment.

Cover for: Race-Class-Gender


Old axes of inequality and new concerns

Education under neoliberalism – a contradictory mix of competition and austerity promoting vaulted excellence over grounded learning. Cornelia Klinger highlights awards ceremonies appropriating the names of famous historic achievers as prime example of capitalist commodification masking old and new sociopolitical inequality and injustice.

Cover for: Meat is not a necessity

Does the comfort of the quarantined consumer outweigh the life and safety of the slaughterhouse workers who cannot afford to stay home? The recent coronavirus outbreaks in meat processing plants pose a dreadful question.

Cover for: Beware the magic of metrics

Coronavirus further intensified the fetishization of science. Experts are being cast as saviours; orderly lines of masked marketgoers mimic religious processions, and daily press conferences function as mass. But metrics have to be relieved from spiritual obligations.

Cover for: Why conspiracy theories soar in times of crises

From anti-vaxxers to terrorists, people often look for hidden causes which match the magnitude of the collapse they are facing. Uncertainty and public distrust are fertile ground for conspiracy theories. When used to legitimize violence, however, such narratives are more a strategy than psychopathology.

Cover for: Why we need a decolonial ecology

Why we need a decolonial ecology

An interview with Malcom Ferdinand

Environmental destruction and social oppression have always gone hand in hand. Colonialism and slavery are deeply connected to the ongoing ecological crisis, so to address it, Europe’s whitewashed past must be recast and the demands of the colonized taken seriously.

Cover for: Post-pandemic Russia

Vladimir Putin’s anger and jealousy has taken down many proactive leaders throughout Russia – and left the country vulnerable to crisis. The oil price war against Saudi Arabia backfired, and a recession was already in motion when coronavirus hit the country.

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