Posts By: Andrea Kurland

In the ring with London’s feminist punk-rock wrestlers

Meiko Satomura with strike on Sammii Jayne

It’s a sweltering summer’s afternoon in east London’s Bethnal Green – and it’s about to get even sweatier.  A sharp left down a narrow alleyway reveals my final destination, albeit an unlikely one. A floral pink banner, gaffer-taped to a graffitied blue door, marks the spot. The black lettering spells out a cryptic clue for… Read more »

The opera shining a spotlight on Trump’s travel ban

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British-Iranian composer Soosan Lolavar was preparing to return to Pittsburgh where she had been studying at the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University, when President Trump’s travel ban first kicked in. “I was shocked, scared, worried for my friends and family, and deeply concerned about what might come after a policy like this,” she remembers. Fortunately, her dual… Read more »

Coming of age in a country that doesn’t exist

Dima walks across a corn eld to weed his vegetable patch. He grew up in Hristovaia, mainly in the care
of his grandparents. His mother lives in Ukraine while his father lives in Israel – a fairly typical example of the labour migration that depopulates rural Transnistria. Dima is graduating a polytechnic college with plans to become a mechanic in Camenca, a small town 12 kilometres away.

On a narrow stretch of land between north-east Moldova and Ukraine lies a country that, according to the United Nations, doesn’t officially exist. Transnistria may have its own passport and currency, but they’re not valid anywhere else. The region declared its independence from Moldova in 1990, the same year that photographers Anton Polyakov and Anya… Read more »

What does it mean to be an Afropunk today?


This weekend, Afropunk returned to the UK for its second consecutive year. The Brooklyn-born arts festival has been celebrating black subcultures since its inception in 2005; sidestepping the music mainstream to venture into darker, less explored territory. Initially created as a way of unifying the black punk community, the festival has actually become much more inclusive… Read more »

How young Ukrainians are fighting for a better future


Ukraine is still healing. Following the shocking deaths of over 100 protesters in the Euromaidan uprising – a wave of protests triggered by frustrated citizens calling for European integration and an end to political corruption – Ukrainians are still processing the violence that ensued. After the bloodless Orange Revolution in 2005, many thought these protests… Read more »

Why are the G20 protesters being portrayed as ‘militants’?


Last weekend, Hamburg played host to the ninth G20 leader’s summit. With representatives from the world’s biggest economies congregating to discuss global economic growth, the backlash – like every year – was inevitable. Thousands of protesters, unhappy with the ruinous effects of capitalism, swept the city’s streets to make their voices heard. The reported result?… Read more »

Inside Grow Heathrow: the UK’s most famous protest camp


Matt, 30, was homeless when he first stumbled across Grow Heathrow – a four-acre protest camp built seven years ago to oppose the expansion of London’s busiest airport. Before that, the activist had been evicted from a “horrifically oppressive and violent” shelter, where he was caught trying to help other residents claim benefits instead of applying… Read more »

Self-appointed ‘King’ Macron is no antidote to Trump

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It’s inescapable: the President of France is behaving very strangely. ‘Democracy is not enough by itself,’ he pronounced in a new book. ‘In French politics, this absence is the presence of a King, a king whom, fundamentally, I don’t think the French people wanted dead.’ That king will, of course, be himself. Philosopher Bertrand Russell… Read more »