Notebook

homes ukraine

The enemy within — the Russians filling Ukrainian homes

It’s a pattern repeated in every conflict — displaced people permanently lose their homes to occupiers. But statistics and ‘integration initiatives’ barely hint at the raw human stories of grief and trauma that accompany such losses.

covid memorial

Why we don’t remember pandemics

While wars are endlessly memorialised in the West, the non-narrative and morally complex nature of a pandemic mean it is rare to come across a memorial to its victims, much less a monument recalling the heroism of health workers.

George Orwell Big Brother

George Orwell’s idea of technology

Orwell was no scientific illiterate, but his focus on the moral implications of surveillance society suggest a disinterest in the realities of technology.

ball game italy

Bat-and-ball-games — an Italian obsession

Italy today is synonymous with football, but it wasn’t always so — historically, a great variety of bat-and-ball games enjoyed huge success throughout the peninsula — and created famous champions in the process.

Kate Bush

Running Up That Hill: Origin Story

Kate Bush’s 1985 hit has been reborn as the song of summer, and is everywhere from TikTok to the top of the charts as it is discovered by a new generation. The story of how the extraordinary song came into being is fascinating.

croatia

The first Yugoslav

Amidst growing unease with Austrian-Hungarian political dominance in the nineteenth century, Ljudevit Gaj, a visionary 26-year old Croatian linguist and writer, laid the foundations for a vision of a single, united, Slavic group.

Kali

A little history of the Fierce Goddess

Many Indian philosophies are popular today, but Kali, the vital and existential goddess, stands in splendorous opposition to more placid religious traditions.

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