History

Sovereigns, not settlers

In ethnically-diverse North America, there can be a fine line between a natural melding of cultures and cultural appropriation — a now-familiar battle cry that rings out each time Iggy Azalea releases a new track. But when people accuse one another of appropriating aspects of Indigenous culture in particular, argues Monika Siebert, they’re often missing a more important political point.

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Moscow’s future, Moscow’s past: a reluctant love story

The massive architectural heritage of the Soviet era has long been a source of mixed feelings for Moscow’s residents, and in the building boom of the last two decades, much of it has been lost to the developer’s shovel. Belatedly, the city has now begun to acknowledge, protect, and adapt these time-worn, daunting, romantic buildings.

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Convict cells, graves, and gift shops

Driven by pleasure-seeking and curiosity, over the past century and a half tourism has evolved from a pastime of the leisured rich to a trillion-dollar mass industry. But tourism is about much more than fun and money, historian Richard White tells SCOPE: looked at the right way, it offers an invaluable view into a society’s relationship with its own past, and with its present identity.

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Night lights

Paul Bogard’s scientific, literary, and philosophical account of why the end of night — driven by unremitting and ever-increasing light pollution around the world — should worry us all.

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Learning from Kigali

One of the fastest-growing cities in the world is Rwanda’s capital Kigali, and its challenges are as complex as any other urban centre’s. Guillaume Sardin explains how a new documentary research project led by his think tank and a team of Rwandan architecture students hopes to unveil the inner dynamics of one of its most diverse neighbourhoods.

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A new greatest Indian (after Gandhi)

India’s Outlook news magazine has released an Independence Day special issue on the legacy of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (1891-1956), who was recently voted by a wide margin to be the greatest Indian after Gandhi — significantly (and to many, surprisingly)

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Songs and the square

Although we last touched base with the 2011 Egyptian revolution only three months ago (see “A revolutionary/counter-revolutionary phrase book“, January 24), French broadcast services RFI and France 24 recently unveiled a remarkable web documentary on the music and musicians of

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Abstracting the particular

A graphic designer by trade, Delhi-based Sanjay Nanda is also a photographer of uncommon artistic vision. Fascinated by the interplay of colour, texture, and light, much of Nanda’s work focuses on the composition of abstract images found hiding in the

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A world of icons, not alphabets

Reviving a dead language is not normally a recommended practice in communications: road signs in Latin (say, NON DEXTER VICISSIM instead of “No Right Turn”) are certain to cause more accidents than not, and billboards written in runic Old Norse

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Before corporations were people

The protection of corporate “speech” has been a contentious subject in the United States, most recently so in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision of 2010, in which the U.S. Supreme Court used the First Amendment to prohibit

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A revolutionary/counter-revolutionary phrase book

Almost one year on from the start of the protests that would end up toppling the regime of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, a vocabulary of dissent, revolution, and counter-revolution has evolved, with each new label carrying a mixed payload of

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Footsteps of failed explorers

Retracing the steps of long-dead explorers has much to recommend it, both for those who take on the physical challenge of doing so in person and for those who choose the less exhausting route of reading such accounts: familiar territory

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