Politics & Society

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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Dying here is forbidden

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks,” Queen Gertrude dryly observes to her son Hamlet after watching a play he has staged about the murder of a king and the remarriage of his wife — a play meant to echo

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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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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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Gettin’ across

New Zealand is getting closer to building the final link in a regional walking and cycling network that has been split by the lack of a route across Auckland’s Harbour Bridge. Copeland Associates Architects were commissioned last year to design

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North Korea’s opportunity, South Korea’s long moment

Although most eyes are focused on Iran and Syria as the highest-risk areas for military conflict in the near term, North Korea remains worryingly close to the center of war planners’ desks. While the possession (and feared proliferation) of nuclear

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Our hopes, in limpid pastel

It is hard to pin down a mental image of what the intangible world of aspirations might look like for any one person — much less for a whole class or a country — but the airy and blossomed sky-houses

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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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Slums not as problems, but as solutions

Brazil’s pacification operation in the Rocinha and Vidigal favelas of Rio de Janeiro this past week made international headlines, involving as it did the dramatic occupation of the districts by 3,000 soldiers and police supported by helicopters, tanks, and snipers.

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Korea in China, illustrator in photographer

The ethnic Koreans of the Yanbian Autonomous Prefecture in north-eastern China, nestled against the North Korean border but at the same time increasingly assimilated by the dominant Han Chinese culture, are the subjects of a fascinating photo essay by British-born

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Innovation through imitation

Patent wars are breaking out all over the high-technology industry, the most high profile of which is the battle between Apple and Samsung. Apple initiated hostilities in April on behalf of its market-dominating iPad and has won a preliminary injunction

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