Everyone’s Talking About the Weather

“Everyone’s talking about the weather,” runs a loose translation of an old German political poster, “except us.” The slogan was used to parody a period railroad ad that trumpeted the Deutsche Bahn’s storm-resistant resilience, but it also attempted a deeper point: that meaningful politics is serious business, above the fray of such trivial, provincial preoccupations […]

Posted in: Politics, Society and Culture, United States, Video by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Everyone’s Talking About the Weather , , , , ,

This is Argentina Crying

“Everything you foreigners know about Argentina,” the older gentleman asserted, “you know from that Madonna movie.” We’re standing in Palermo Viejo, a trendy neighborhood miles away from the buildings and blocks that pencil in postcard Buenos Aires. If his statement — referencing Evita, the 1996 musical melodrama about Argentina’s most charismatic first lady — were […]

Posted in: Latin America, Politics, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on This is Argentina Crying , ,

Beirut: Signs of Postwar Politics

Posters along the former green line calling for “real change.” After years of foreign/militia rule, the Lebanese navy reasserts itself through this poster featuring a group of scowling teenage boys. “We’re back!” reads the caption in the lower left. Should we feel threatened or reassured?

Posted in: Africa and Middle East, Politics, Public Space by Patrick Donovan Comments Off on Beirut: Signs of Postwar Politics , , ,

Electoral Politics by Plop

I recently sat down to write an article about the municipal elections. I started reading up about the candidates, browsed their pages, explored some of the Montreal blogs. And the more I read the more depressed I became, to the point that the only way I was able to regain sanity was through a marathon […]

Forty Years Since Stonewall

“Freedom! I want freedom! Let me go!” The woman’s arms were flailing wildly, and she was shouting at a police officer standing guard at the intersection of Christopher and Greenwich Streets. Her gesticulations could have been mistaken for a political protest — she was, after all, among the hundreds pressed against the crowd control barriers, […]

Posted in: History, Politics, Society and Culture, United States by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Forty Years Since Stonewall , , ,

Tau Yat Piu! Throw a Vote!

It’s election time in Hong Kong. Today, hundreds of thousands of people headed to the polls to determine the makeup of the Legislative Council, a territorial legislature that meets in an old court building marked by a statue of Themis, the Greek goddess of justice. Half of the council’s 60 members represent geographical constituencies and […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Politics, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Tau Yat Piu! Throw a Vote! , , , ,

Long Live the King

Although Canada has a monarch, Britain’s queen retains very little presence in Canadian culture. The kind of curiosity and adulation that inspired thousands of Montrealers to flood the streets when King George VI visited in 1939 has long since vanished. It’s a bit of a shock, then, to visit Bangkok and realize the exent to […]

Will the United Nations Move to Montreal?

Last week, La Presse reported quite breathlessly that the federal government, which owns the Port of Montreal and much of the land along its waterfront, has been lobbying the United Nations to move its headquarters from New York to Montreal. The rationale, apparently, is that the UN’s current headquarters, housed in an iconic complex built […]

Posted in: Architecture, Canada, Politics by Christopher DeWolf 5 Comments , ,

Politicians, Slippery in More Ways than One

Quebeckers head to the polls today in a provincial election that might produce the first minority government in more than a century. Most of the snow has melted, but for most of February and March, the election provided for more than just news-hour entertainment: it made for great impromptu tobogganing for people who don’t have […]

The Motorcycles of the Pearl River Delta

The fast ferry between Hong Kong and Macau is disorienting. It is essentially a floating airline cabin, with neat rows of preassigned seats in which you are expected to remain for the duration of the trip. Roving attendants offer drinks and sandwiches. There is no outside deck on which you can stand and taste the […]

Ottawa Votes!

Although not big news outside of Ottawa, the municipal election this year is making daily headlines in the local papers. I’m not sure if this is a regular thing, as I’ve only been here for one previous, but based on my experience in Calgary I’d guess it isn’t. I’ve taken a collection of photos of […]