HFT Newsletter #3
Welcome to the third newsletter of Hummus For Thought, a monthly collection of thoughts and recommendations, curated by Joey Ayoub (hello) from Geneva, Switzerland. It comes out on every first Sunday of the month, 8:00 am Central European Time/West Africa Time.
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In this past month I have had some time to reflect on upcoming projects. We’d gone into another lockdown in Geneva lasting for most of November and my routine was disrupted. This may not be a big deal to many or most people but I have difficulties getting some things done, things that others wouldn’t have to think about, without certain structures that I put in place in my daily life. The idea isn’t necessarily that these routines must always be respected, but that I could fall back on them should I start feeling a bit, let’s say, agitated. So I must admit that this past month has been difficult, but overall it was okay.
I’m sure I’m not alone in being worried about what the future holds, although I’m also relieved that Cheetos Mussolini lost the US elections.
To me however this month has been about what was already lost. I started November with the news that my eldest dog, Yamcha, passed away.
It is of course very difficult to express what our furry loved ones mean to us and I won’t pretend to be able to do so here either. These are just a few words, perhaps the beginning to something longer in the future.
I don’t fully understand social norms beyond what I’ve had to learn to maintain a functional existence. This has always been the case, as far as I can remember. From an early age, I preferred the company of animals and books to that of other humans. It would be many years before this was given a name in my life, but that’s for another time.
Yamcha was nearly 15 years old when she died which means that I have shared almost exactly half my life with her. We got her when I was in my teens (her name comes from a character in Dragon Ball) and were inseparable for many years. Yamcha needed my physical presence to be present with me, and that meant a lot to a troubled teenager who had difficulties communicating with others. Yamcha couldn’t ‘take a hint’ when I was depressed and needed, or so I thought, to be left alone. She was there regardless, my only constant in my world of never-ending calculations.
Her passing hit me hard because it was in those long days of solitude that I understood that I was never actually alone, something that I only realized when I left Lebanon and was, for the first time in my life, without my dogs, without Yamcha. The image that I had of myself spending long hours watching films or reading books or learning languages on my own was both true and false. I did do these things, but I was never actually alone. It just felt that way because we were so inseparable that I sometimes forgot we were two different sentient creatures.
So that’s all I’ll write on Yamcha for now. If you’re lucky enough to have companions in your life, never forget to give them the attention they deserve.
The James Baldwin Corner
We start the Hummus For Thought newsletter with our monthly James Baldwin corner. Here’s a conversation between Baldwin and Maya Angelous, with whom he got quite close over the years.
From PBS: “James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket” is considered a classic. Without using narration, The Price of the Ticket allows Baldwin to tell his own story: exploring what it means to be born black, impoverished, gay and gifted – in a world that has yet to understand that “all men are brothers.” The film premiered on American Masters in 1989. Since then, repeated PBS broadcasts have reached millions of people. And it returns to PBS for a special re-broadcast on August 23, 2013 to help mark the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.”
The Fire These Times + other projects update
To mark the first 50 episodes of The Fire These Times I released an episode in which I reflected on these past few months as well as making some announcements about future projects.
What I’ve Written
A long written conversation I’ve had with Matt Dagher-Margosian of Asia Art Tours is now published. You can find part 1 and part 2 on his website (highly recommended). I also published it in full on my private blog.
I’ll include the quotes that Matt featured on his site as a sort of teaser. I hope you give it a read as I put a lot of myself in that one.
I have been defeated, and I think many others in Lebanon feel the same way, by the ruling establishment. To use a crap metaphor, I don’t know whether they will win the war, but they have absolutely won this battle. They have won it so thoroughly that seasoned activists in Lebanon are profoundly depressed and exhausted. Mental health struggles are so frequent that they have become the norm, worsened only by the fact that most of us still lack the vocabulary to discuss them.
I am still deeply traumatised, but I know I’m healing, and that is already something. Being able to fix my own broken parts is what’s allowing me to focus more on our world’s broken parts. Our broken parts are also the world’s in the end. I do genuinely believe that whatever we can do to be kinder and fairer to ourselves is what we also need to be doing.
The notion of a ‘collective’ should be deconstructed as well here. I don’t believe everyone who experienced the explosion experienced it in the same way. Perhaps in the moment and its immediate aftermath that was true, but once the dust settled, so to speak, those who are already equipped with sectarian narratives simply used them to suit their purposes.
To paraphrase the queen of sci-fi, Ursula Le Guin, capitalism today has a similar allure to the divine right of kings. Using that example, so much of today’s discourse simply assumes that those kings and queens are where they are because they were appointed by some religious or natural law. I view the inability to imagine a world with no borders or a world without patriarchy or without nation states to be within that same tendency.
I mentioned ‘emergency mode’ above which is what I consider the necessary response to our problems, the sort of emergency mode that climate scientists are urging us to get into. This likely requires a mix of pragmatism and idealism, to be very grounded in the facts on the ground (knowing the facts on carbon emissions, deforestations etc) while rejecting their continuity when doing so leads to a catastrophe. In other words, we need to be accepting the reality of reality while actively rejecting it in favor of a better reality
I love Lebanon, I love its land and its mountains, I love the cedars that we’re murdering, I love the sea that we’re murdering, I love the incredible wildlife that we’ve almost completely exterminated. . . But I do not love the nation state of Lebanon, I have no sympathy for the Lebanese Republic, itself a barely-concealed lie maintained by mass murderers and oligarchs, and I do not believe that those who call themselves Lebanese in modern Lebanon deserve happiness and dignity more than those who do not call themselves Lebanese.
The language here is accidentally revealing too. Liquid fear. . . Isn’t it also liquid because those who are fleeing their homes are forced to take the sea as it is less treacherous than a land full of humans and their borders? Their fear is literally liquid, not just metaphorically. They fear the sea, and the land is deadlier. And isn’t it also liquid because global warming is causing rising sea levels which is making all of these even worse? God, or whatever she’s called, sure loves irony.
What I would say to people is that it’s not your fault for being born in capitalism, but it doesn’t mean we have no moral responsibilities. Create seemingly self-contradictory practices to counter this world’s problems, put your heart into doing this, fail a lot of times, and always try and be kind to yourself and others. This requires doing two things at the same time, to be critical while also giving yourself some time to breathe and recover.
Still trying to write that promised piece for Crimethinc on the one year+ mark since the October 2019 uprising started in Lebanon. Hopefully an update on that soon. I’m also still writing that anti-social media piece I mentioned in the 1st newsletter.
What I can semi-confirm is that an essay I’ve written about how fantastic and unproblematic Hezbollah is (this is sarcasm) will likely be published in December on a new independent magazine called Discontent, so watch that space.
Lebanese Film of the Month
Whispers (1980), by Maroun Baghdadi
Years ago, I had shared two videos on YouTube, one of which picked up some views. It shows a young woman dancing in the middle of a crowd. They seem to all be students, maybe recent graduates, roughly the same age, with a 30 year old Marcel Khalife playing the Oud for the crowd. It is a very weird feeling to watch this scene forty years later, given everything that has happened in Lebanon in the 1980s, and 1990s, and 2000s, and 2010s, and 2020..
In that same film, you’ll meet Haitham Haddad, a student at the American University of Beirut, who speaks to Tueni about how he’s coping with the war. It is also the last scene of Whispers so I guess watching it would count as a spoiler. Here it is for those who want (on the left).
Nadia Tueni would die three years later, in 1983. Among her many writings, one sentence always stuck with me: “I belong to a country that commits suicide every day while it is being assassinated.”
Where to find it: I got my Baghdadi collection in (pre-economic crisis) Beirut but I looked up potential avenues for those of you who wish to order his films online. It’s not on YouTube or Vimeo, although you can find the trailer there.
If you’re in Lebanon you can probably just contact Nadi Lekol El Nas directly and ask them. They have two separate box sets of Baghdadi’s films: Documentaries and Fiction. It’s not exactly affordable (about 100-110$ per box) but it’s a pretty good collection if you’re into that kind of thing. I also found the boxes on BuyLebanese.com and Amazon. If you are outside of Lebanon you can also directly contact Nadi Lekol El Nas. I emailed them to confirm this.
Or, you can just watch it on Netflix! As I mentioned last month, Netflix has a Made in Lebanon collection now and Whispers is one of them. If you can afford it however, I recommend the boxes.
Here are some random scenes:
Have you seen this video of AfroDabke? No? Well watch it. Yes? Well watch it again.
It’s by the Popular Art Center in Al-Bireh, Palestine and features 130 Dancers from 5 Palestinian governorates. Dancers and contributors are: African Community Society (Jerusalem), Watan Dance Troupe (Gaza), Baladi Center for Culture & Arts (Bethlehem), El-Funoun Palestinian Popular Dance Troupe (Ramallah & El-Bireh), Naqsh Poplar Art Troupe (Jenin) and AfroDabke group/PAC (Ramallah & El-Bireh). It’s directed by Ashrafh Al-Nabali.
Thank me later.
Documentary of the Month
This 42-minute long documentary by DW is both heart-breaking and extremely well-done. It was written and directed by Dominic Streeter.
This is a documentary about the fentanyl epidemic in North America, focusing on Vancouver. It takes the view – which I 100% agree with – that hard drugs are a public and mental health issue, as opposed to the criminalisation route usually taken by most world governments. In it, you will learn from users and ex-users themselves how the system fails them, how the police is complicit in their oppression, and the often-misunderstood cost of gentrification. It is a tale of both urgency for these places and a warning for others.
Book of the Month
So my book recommendation for November 2020 is The Holocaust and the Nakba: A New Grammar of Trauma and History, released in 2019 by Columbia University Press. It is edited by Bashir Bashir and Amos Goldberg, includes a foreword by Lebanese writer Elias Khoury and an Afterword by British academic Jacqueline Rose. Authors include both Palestinian and Israeli writers (and I think other nationalities): Mark Levene, Gil Anidjar, Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, Honaida Ghanim, Nadim Khoury, Alon Confino, Mustafa Kabha, Yochi Fischer, Omer Bartov, Tal Ben-Zvi, Omri Ben-Yehuda, Hannan Hever, Refqa Abu-Remaileh, Raef Zreik and Yehouda Shenhav.
This book has had a deep impact on my way of thinking and even led me to include a section of my PhD for a comparative analysis based on it (and on few other books like Reconciliation in Global Context: Why it is Needed and how it Works, which I’ve reviewed for Al Jumhuriya last year, and The Holocaust, Rebirth, and the Nakba: Memory and Contemporary Israeli-Arab Relations by Yair Auron).
Bachir and Goldberg write in the introduction: “One trait common to both dominant historical narratives is that each relies – alongside the adoption of a foundational catastrophe – on the simultaneous and forceful negation (explicit or implicit) of the catastrophe of the other […] Each side is convinced that it is history’s ultimate victim, while denying or downplaying the suffering of the other side in order to validate its own claim […] the historical narration of these traumas should be empathically disrupted in order to de-fetishize the traditional redemptive national narrative”. (Please note that these are selected quotes and therefore can’t be representative of the entire intro, let alone the entire book and its multiple authors)
The book is divided into four parts: the first part is devoted to “identifying and examining the intellectual and conceptual resources that enable a new historical and political syntax in which the Holocaust and the Nakba can be thought together constructively”; the second part is devoted to “the challenges that bringing the Holocaust and Nakba together pose to dominant accounts of history and their celebrated methodologies and voices”; the third part is devoted to “the travel and deployment of traumatic signifiers and symbols in the connection between the Holocaust and the Nakba in literature, poetry and the arts”; and the fourth part is devoted to Elias Khoury’s recent novel Children of the Ghetto: My name is Adam, the first of a trilogy. “In this multilayered work, Khoury continues his thought-provoking and inspiring literary contribution on the entanglement of the Jewish and the Palestinian catastrophes.”
Speaking of books, I contributed a Lebanon chapter in a book called A region in revolt: Mapping the recent uprisings in North Africa and West Asia. I already mentioned this in Newsletter #2 (link) so I’ll just add that most of the authors and I had a chat on Sunday November 29th which you can find below. A shortened audio version of this will also be published as the 56th episode of The Fire These Times which will be out next week. That will be the last episode of 2020.
November 2020’s Recommended Webinars
Usual disclaimer: recommending webinars does not mean endorsing everything etc etc etc. I am just sharing what was interesting to watch.
(Feel free to add others below)
The Afterlives of Past Disquiet. Legacies, Unwritten Histories and Transnational Solidarity
December 7-10, 6–8pm CET
link | register on email@example.com to receive links
Saleem Haddad has an online masterclass on Global Queer Literature. Check it out here. I’ve registered for the January 2021 one.
I’ll also add that Saleem has been on The Fire These Times in May to talk about his movie Marco, his book Guapa and his love for the Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa.
The Fire These Times episodes of November 2020
Support Independent Journalism
Every month I’ll add an updated list of independent journalist outlets that I believe should be supported. If you know of any more, please send them to me by email at j[dot]ayoub26[at]gmail[dot]com.
- InkCap: Independent journalism on nature and conservation in the UK, run by Sophie Yeo. You can support InkCap with a monthly or yearly Substack support.
- The Public Source: Beirut-based independent media organization dedicated to reporting on socioeconomic and environmental crises afflicting Lebanon since the onset of neoliberal governance in the 90s, and providing political commentary on events unfolding since October 17th 2019. You can support The Public Source with one time donations or with a monthly Patreon support.
Disclaimer: I’m a Patreon supporter and I have interviewed Editor-in-Chief Lara Bitar (link), Contributing Editor Julia Choucair Vizoso (link) and Investigative Journalist Kareem Chehayeb (upcoming) individually on The Fire These Times.
- Southerly: an independent, non-profit media organization that covers the intersection of ecology, justice, and culture in the American South. You can support them with one time donations or with a monthly Trypico support.
Podcast episodes I’ve listened to recently
Instead of recommending podcasts as I’ve been doing so far I’ll just put a list of the podcast episodes that I’ve listened to recently. More specifically, the ones I’d recommend.
Although I’ve used their Spotify links to embed them, I actually use PocketCasts for my podcasts.
Articles I’ve read recently
Repeated Quick Pro-tip: I use Pocket to save and archive articles – no, I’m not being sponsored by them (if you work at Pocket and want to sponsor me I am, ahem, available) – and I had the amusing honor of reaching their top 1% of readers in 2018.
Repeated Disclaimer: me sharing an article does not mean I agree with everything that is written. It just means I find it interesting.
Important Note: I am subscribed to Uneven Earth’s monthly readings and a number of the climate change/green politics-related pieces recommended below came from them.
- Climate Change Closes In On Lebanon’s Iconic Cedar Trees
by Ruth Sherlock and Nada Homsi, November 22 2020, for NPR
- Will the Middle East Remain Habitable?
Interview with Olivia Lazard, November 19 2020, for Carnegie Middle East Center
- How one man’s philosophy of data and food science could help save the planet
by Adrienne Day, November 10 2020, for Grist
- Putting Ant Under the Microscope
Regulators may have called off Ant Group’s record IPO at the last minute, but there’s more at play here than just a simple battle between private entrepreneurs and the state.
by Zhang Lin, November 12 2020, for Sixth Tone
- ‘I began to lose hope’: the people living with post-Covid psychiatric disorders
by Nicola Davis, November 10 2020, for The Guardian
- Switzerland Is Choosing Austerity Over Life
Why Switzerland became one of the world’s worst coronavirus hotspots.
by Joseph de Weck, November 10 2020, for Foreign Policy
- ‘We have lost a limb’: Azu Nwagbogu, the visionary curator bringing African art home
From helping photographers capture the Nigerian protests to exhibiting during a pandemic, the director of LagosPhoto festival has had his work cut out. Now he wants to fight ‘afro-pessimism’ and the posturing around Black Lives Matter
by Sean O’Hagan, November 10 2020, for The Guardian
- 3 core myths about eating animals — and why food tech may vanquish them
Meat alternatives are tearing down the idea that eating animals is normal, natural, and necessary.
by Sigal Samuel and Byrd Pinkerton, November 10 2020, for Vox
- End of Trump era deals heavy blow to rightwing populist leaders worldwide
by Shaun Walker in Budapest, Tom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro and Jon Henley in Paris, November 11 2020, for The Guardian
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Biden’s Win, House Losses, and What’s Next for the Left
by Astead W. Herndon, November 7 2020, for The New York Times
- The Kafala is alive and kicking… migrants where it hurts most
by Vani Saraswathi, October 29 2020, for Migrant-Rights.org
- A man, and a murder, as big as Iraq
by Ammar Karim, August 4 2020, for AFP
- Mental health and hope
We have a choice about the sort of world we want to return to after the pandemic
by Sofie Jenkinson and Margaret Welsh, October 19 2020, for New Economics Foundation
- California and Australia look to Indigenous land management for fire help
by Anna Kusmer, September 7 2020, for The World
- Where loneliness can lead
Hannah Arendt enjoyed her solitude, but she believed that loneliness could make people susceptible to totalitarianism
by Samantha Rose Hill, October 16 2020, for Aeon.co
- One of the best climate solutions is giving Indigenous People their land back
On Indigenous People’s Day, we should remember that returning stolen land is a necessary step towards climate justice.
by Eric Holthaus, October 12 2020, for The Phoenix
- Degrowth and MMT: A thought experiment
by Jason Hickel, September 23 2020, for JasonHickel.org
- After Growth
For growth at any cost to become the only realistic basis for collective well-being, other forms of knowledge had to be suppressed or purged—recast as superstitious or irrational.
by Emily Callaci, Summer 2020, for Dissent Magazine
- ‘Agricultural Jihad’: A Hungry Lebanon Returns to Family Farms to Feed Itself
With a tanking economy, and imported food costs soaring, leaders are urging the Lebanese to wage a campaign of self-sufficiency. “I never thought I’d do this in my life, but I have to survive.”
by Vivian Yee, September 5 2020, for The New York Times
- On the #BeirutBlast and the Environmental Violence of Capital
by Mazen Labban, September 4 2020, for Capitalism Nature Socialism Journal
- To Build a Future Without Police and Prisons, We Have to Imagine It First
by Walidah Imarisha, October 22 2020, for OneZero
- An Indigenous Abolitionist Study Guide
by Toronto Abolition Convergence, August 10 2020, for Yellowhead Institute
- Ramlet Beirut
The expansion of Beirut towards its South-Western suburbs during the 1950s was justified by the desire to plan future urban development within the modernist ideals of geometric order and scientific ideals. In practice, however, the expansion also coincides with the growing role of Beirut as a beach-tourism magnet and a hub for the circulation of regional capital, both serving specific interests.
by Chaghig Arzoumanian and Mona Fawaz, for Beirut Urban Lab
- ‘A backlash against a patriarchal culture’: How Polish protests go beyond abortion rights
Mass demonstrations have exposed underlying anger at political and religious interference in people’s everyday lives
by Jon Henley, November 6 2020, for The Guardian
- America’s Next Authoritarian Will Be Much More Competent
by Zeynep Tufekci, November 6 2020, for The Atlantic
- Without food, there can be no exit from the pandemic
by Máximo Torero, April 23 2020, for Nature.com
- Redirect military budgets to tackle climate change and pandemics
by Denise Garcia, August 20 2020, for Nature.com
- Why the US–China trade war spells disaster for the Amazon
by Richard Fuchs, Peter Alexander, Calum Brown, Frances Cossar, Roslyn C. Henry & Mark Rounsevell, March 27 2020, for Nature.com
- Shrinking Spaces: Report on Criminalisation of Solidarity in the Western Balkans
by Border Violence Monitoring Network, November 5 2020, for BorderViolence.eu
- Giving a voice back to the voiceless: a call to empower refugees
I’m tired of hearing celebrities saying they are “voices of the voiceless.” Unfortunately, I hear it often from celebrities with our pictures and stories, rather than from refugees themselves.
by Abdul Aziz Muhamat, November 7 2020, for GenevaSolutions.news
- Coastal Louisiana tribes team up with biologist to protect sacred sites from rising seas
by Christine Baniewicz, September 2 2020, for Southerly Mag
- Chuang (闯): On Strikes, Riots & Solidarity with China (Part 2)
by Matt Dagher-Margosian, November 9 2020, for Asia Art Tours
- Sisi Promised Egypt Better Health Care. Virus Exposed His True Priority.
by Declan Walsh, November 11 2020, for The New York Times
- The next big leap for fake meat
To give animal-based protein a run for its money, plant-based and lab-grown ‘meats’ will need help from a surprising place.
by Andrew Zaleski, January 21 2020, for Grist
- When Lebanon bids goodbye to its youth
Young Lebanese have experienced it all this past year: the euphoria of a revolution of which they were the beating heart, the hangover of the aftermath that hit them hard, the consequences of the financial crisis, and the feeling that they are left with no other choice but to leave. This is the story of a disillusioned youth in a country that has nothing left to offer them
by Julie Kebbi, November 10 2020, for L’Orient Today
- Can a Burger Help Solve Climate Change?
by Tad Friend, September 23 2020, for The New York Times
- Why refugees won’t return to Syria
by Akhin Ahmed, November 24 2020, for Al Monitor
- Out of Africa: Capital Flight
“The traditional thinking has always been that the West is pouring money into Africa through foreign aid and other private-sector flows, without receiving much in return. Actually, that logic is upside down – Africa has been a net creditor to the rest of the world for decades.”
by Ben Iorio, August 26 2019, for Global Financial Integrity
- Want to eat less meat? Take a page from these cultures that already do
by Kristen Rogers, May 21 2020, for CNN
- Why Reforming Islam to Fight Violent Extremism is a Bad Idea
by Dr Georges Fahmi, November 24 2020, for Chatham House
- All That Glitters is Not Gold: Turmoil in Zimbabwe’s Mining Sector
In 2019, killings by machete-wielding gangs at Zimbabwe’s gold mines jogged the government into preventive action. But police sweeps alone cannot make the sector safe. Harare should adopt reforms that allow more citizens to mine legally and head off disputes over the country’s mineral wealth.
by International Crisis Group, November 24 2020
- ‘Suffocating closeness’: US judge condemns ‘appalling conditions’ on industrial farms
by Barry Yeoman, November 20 2020, for The Guardian
- An Indispensible Diaspora
In an interview, Sevak Khatchadorian discusses how Armenians in the Arab world reacted to the Nagorno-Karabakh war.
by Michael Young, November 18 2020, for Carnegie Middle East Center
- A Song of Eyes and Fire: Battling the Blaze, Freezing Time
A firefighter-turned-photographer, Cheng Xueli’s images of the Sichuan Armed Police Forest Force on the job, published widely across China, offer a unique perspective from the front lines of first responders.
by Wu Huiyuan, November 19 2020, for Sixth Tone
- New Voices of Rebellion Rise in Cuba
A new generation of artists is keeping Cuba’s culture and desire for freedom alive, despite government crackdowns
by Michael Deibert, November 22 2020, for Newlines Magazine
- Jan Morris, a Distinctive Guide Who Took Readers Around the World
by Dwight Garner, November 21 2020, for The New York Times
- The British government’s first disaster of 2021? A food shortage
by Goerge Monbiot, November 17 2020, for The Guardian
- North-Caucasian republics become outsiders in ranking for child well-being
by Caucasian Knot, November 20 2020
- 9,000-Year-Old Burial of Female Hunter Upends Beliefs About Prehistoric Gender Roles
by George Dvorsky, November 4 2020, for Gizmodo
- Towards a Syrian “politics of life”
by Malek Rasamny, November 18 2020, for Al Jumhuriya
- Banking and slavery: Switzerland examines its colonial conscience
by Noele Illien, November 19 2020, for The Guardian
- How faith leaders organized to win two major environmental victories in Louisiana
by Sara Sneath, November 13 2020, for Southerly Mag
- ‘It gave me hope in democracy’: how French citizens are embracing people power
by Peter Yeung November 20 2020, for The Guardian
- The Wuhan I Know
by Laura Gao
- ‘Night of the beating’: details emerge of Riyadh Ritz-Carlton purge
by Martin Chulov, November 19 2020, for The Guardian
- May This Pandemic Help Us Abandon Ableist Language
by Khairani Barokka, November 18 2020, for Catapult
- “The static world these bureaucrats worship is slipping away. And that is good.”
Derek Gow on rewilding, farming, and what ‘New Nature’ means to him.
by InkCap newsletter, November 18 2020
- How the Circular Economy Can Help Realize the Sustainable Development Goals
by Patrick Schröder, November 2 2020, for CircularEconomy.Earth
- The Evangelical Reckoning Begins
Andy Stanley, the pastor of one of the largest megachurches in the country, ponders the future of an influential corner of American Christianity.
by Emma Green, November 15 2020, for The Atlantic
- Fears for militarisation of climate change: Should we be concerned?
by Planetary Security Initiative
- How to Evade Big Brother: An Artist’s Guide
Deng Yufeng dreams of walking the Chinese capital unwatched. But as he’s discovered, dodging the city’s surveillance cameras takes almost superhuman ingenuity and determination.
by Wang Xuandi, November 12 2020, for Sixth Tone
- ‘We did not speak, we only whispered’
by Arpi Bekaryan, October 24 2020, for OC Media
- Azerbaijani Security Services ‘threatened to kill’ activist and family
November 16 2020, for OC Media
- Jogging Has Always Excluded Black People
by Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, May 12 2020, for The New York Times
- Facebook reaches for balance
Can fresh data alter the belief that it’s a right-wing echo chamber?
by Casey Newton, November 12 2020, for The Platformer
- Troubled Waters: Documenting Pollution of Iraq’s Shatt Al-Arab River
by Wim Zwijnenburg, November 10 2020, for BellingCat
- Stop financing fossil fuel projects, UN chief tells development banks
by Kasmira Jefford, November 15 2020, for GenevaSolutions.news
- Shopkeepers Around the World, Photographed With Their Wares
by Vladimir Antaki, June 24 2019, for Wired
- ‘The rapist is you’: Feminists sing Bengali version of Chilean piece to protest Modi’s Kolkata visit
by Shoaib Daniyal, January 12 2020, for Scroll.in
- A Holocaust Survivor Lifts Neighbors in Dark Times
by Matina Stevis-Gridneff, November 20 2020, for The New York Times
- Why Amazon knows so much about you
by Leo Kelion, for The BBC
- It’s 1933, and Franklin Graham is German theologian Paul Althaus
by Björn Krondorfer, October 22 2020, for the Christian Century
- No-kill, lab-grown meat to go on sale for first time
by Damian Carrington, December 2 2020, for The Guardian
So this the third newsletter folks. The next one will be on the first Sunday of January 2021. If you want to get in touch please send me an email to j [dot] ayoub26 [at] gmail [dot] com.
Last point and this is the bit that no one really likes doing, but:
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