Xenophobia

Corinne Goldenberg

Adam Curtis produced The Power of Nightmares (2004), a three part BBC series, right smack in the middle of George W. Bush’s “war on terror.” I recently re-discovered the documentary series, and have been wondering whether its message is still relevant, or whether the neoconservative agenda will gently fade into the memory of the turn of the millennium.

Emily Cody

In February 2011, rebellion spread to Libya. Muammar Gadaffi vowed to “cleanse Libya house by house,” allegedly recruiting black African mercenaries. There’s no doubt that social media has served the opposition well, but it’s also incited Libyans through implicit racial messaging, and revealed a darker side of social media that has condemned Africans trapped in Libya.

Kavitha Rajagopalan

What's the bigger crime: being an illegal immigrant or marginalizing those in search of a better life? In this sketch of the global im/migration scene, Kavitha Rajagopalan introduces many provocative questions. How societies view and use today’s immigrants, she argues, is a moral concern that cannot be ignored.

Michael J. Jordan

HEVES, Hungary—For ten years, Szabolc Szedlak toiled in a furniture store in Heves, Hungary, before deciding to chase the capitalist dream. He bought the store from his boss in 2005, but high taxes choked the life out of his business. It folded in June 2008. At the same time, his wife gave birth to their first child. With a second on the way, this spring he found a job as a maintenance man at a local kindergarten. Unable to afford their own place, the couple now lives with Szedlak’s parents.

Grace Kim

For Cape Town, South Africa, the World Cup may have come and gone, but some things never change. Fears of a resurgence in violence surfaced as soon as the Spaniards went home with their winning trophy. In that light, regular contributor Grace Kim revisits Patricia Schonstein Pinnock's novel Skyline, which tackles a persistent issue in South Africa: xenophobia.

Michael J. Jordan

Gyongyos, Hungary -- While running for a parliamentary seat in Hungary's April elections, far-right candidate Gabor Vona made one campaign promise that was controversial even by his standards: If voted into parliament, the 31-year-old extremist would report for duty wearing the insignia of his outlawed paramilitary organization, the "Hungarian Guard" -- a taboo symbol that, with its ancient, red-and-white-striped emblem, bears a striking resemblance to the flag of Hungary's Nazi-era fascist party, Arrow Cross.

Michael J. Jordan

BRATISLAVA – Slovakia, like its neighbors in Central Europe, has one of the tiniest percentages of Muslims in the entire European Union: an estimated 5,000 in a population of 5.4 million.

Yet that doesn’t mean off-the-beaten-path Slovakia isn’t worried by trends across the Western half of the continent.

Grace Kim

Xenophobia, AIDS, inner-city violence, immigration, and disillusionment. These are not light subjects, but when you live in Hillbrow, the inner-city section of Johannesburg, they're the stuff of everyday life. Regular contributor Grace Kim examines Phaswane Mpe's post-Apartheid novel, Welcome to Our Hillbrow, to find that the troubles for Hillbrowans may not be so different from those faced by everyone, everywhere.