A short walk in Kurdistan

From Turkey to Iraq in the aftermath of the 1991 intifada.

A Uranian among Edwardians

Edward Carpenter’s visionary sexual radicalism

Bringing it all back home

The art of David Tremlett

A visit to Seydou’s studio

The spirit of light in the African Sahel

From the desert to the casbah

Paul Bowles discusses his work as a composer, writer
and translator—and why he never leaves Tangier.

What are friends for?

Love knows no laws; nor does friendship

Displaying 78 articles

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Zero Grazing

Seventy-four years ago a viral pandemic began in America, most likely on a pig farm in Iowa. Fifteen months later it had killed over eighteen million people, 1 per cent of the world’s population, as... more»

Why ants don’t play

It’s hard to love ants. Spiders and scorpions and cockroaches excepted, they are probably our least favourite insect. They give no honey; they do not brighten the air nor do they chirp in hedgerows. They... more»

What went wrong in Eritrea

In 1995, the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Movement celebrated its twentieth anniversary in Mekelle, a town in northern Ethiopia near the border with Eritrea. There were two guests of honour that day: Meles Zenawi, long-time leader... more»

What are friends for?

Love knows no laws, and nor does friendship. Sexual relations may be subject to legislation, but there is no society with laws to govern relations between friends—unless these involve sex. Although we speak of ties... more»

Violence and power in Brazil

How violent is Brazil? Is it more dangerous than other big, modernizing countries of the South? Or is this lurid picture the result of a lop-sided portrayal of the country in Brazilian and global media,... more»

Twilight on Everest

Climbing Everest is tough work—but not as tough as all that. Nearly a thousand people have done it. You or I could do it—probably—if we were fit, unusually determined, had a few weeks to spare... more»

Travellers ancient and modern

Amitav Ghosh, an Indian social anthropologist and novelist, lived in Lataifa, a village in Lower Egypt in the 1980s. His research took him from the village to the library of a synagogue in Cairo and... more»

Translating Caetano

In the late 1980s I was living in Salvador da Bahia, the old capital of Brazil, studying Portuguese. I didn’t spend much time in class. There was a beach at the end of the street. And... more»

Through a lens, darkly

A quarter of a century on, the mass killings in Cambodia still hold the world record for state terror. No government has murdered a greater proportion of its citizens: one in five of all Cambodians... more»

This year in Bhutan

I was walking in the mountains of western Bhutan, with a guide and two muleteers, along the high path that leads from Thimphu to Paro, from the capital of this pocket-sized Himalayan state to its only airport. ... more»