Shaun Randol founded The Mantle in 2009. Today he is the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher. You can email him at shaun [at] themantle.net. Shaun is the co-editor of Gambit: Newer African Writing. He is also a member of the PEN American Center and serves on the boards of Nomadic Press, the Global Literature in Libraries Initiative, and Africa Book Link.
During the three month occupation of Zuccotti Park by Occupy Wall Street protesters last year, cameras were everywhere. News agencies, police, and demonstrators trained their cameras (high end and low tech) on each other for around the clock surveillance. And all of this streamed live on the Internet. In this collaborative essay, Shaun Randol discusses this all-seeing phenomenon side-by-side Ahmet Sibdial Sau's photographs of the occupation.
In 458 B.C.E., Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus—at the request of high ranking officials—came out of retirement to rule as Roman dictator. The Aequians, who lived in the central Appennines of Italy, were fighting for their independence from Rome. The capital was in danger of losing control.
The first draft of this letter (for the Romanian magazine Decât o Revistă) was written on November 14, 2011, one day before New York City's Occupy Wall Street encampment was raided. The second draft was finalized on November 22 while I was traveling in Nicaragua. The letter was translated into Romanian and publishd in January. To see how it appeared in the magazine (with accompanying photos by Ahmet Sibdial Sau), click here.
If melancholy can be sweet, then The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am (Dalkey, 2011) is just that. Kjersti A. Skomsvold’s debut novel, which won Norway’s Tarjei Vesaas's debutantpris (2009), provides a brief, sentimental glimpse into what it means to be lonely.
[continued from Part 3] And now, the conclusion of my take-away from my trip to Nicaragua. I’ve taken to calling this series “The Land of Echoes,” a play on Nicaragua’s nickname, the "Land of Lakes and Volcanoes," because in many ways, reverberations from the past continue to haunt and shape the Central American country as it moves into the 21st century.
[continued from Part 2] Despite the many good things in politics and society accomplished by the Sandinistas, one cannot claim that Nicaragua is a paragon of democracy and modernity—far from it.
[continued from Part 1] Which brings us to the victorious Sandinista Revolution, which had been simmering for many years. Not to put too fine of a point on it, but the Sandinistas had many grievances with the Somoza dictatorship. To name a few of the primary concerns: Corruption was rampant through all levels of governance.
It is impossible for me to vacation anywhere without having first conducted a little bit of research about the history and contemporary politics of the destination. The last thing I want to appear to be to locals is a bumbling, passing-through tourist with zero interest in the land and people who are hosting me. To be at least mildly informed is the least I can do. It was with this attitude and mindset that I approached my recent vacation in Nicaragua.