“Wind of Change”

by Lejda Toçi It is early evening. The timeworn buildings of Centro Havana inside an empty frame at sunset seem like ghosts in contrast to the stylish rooftop bar at La Guarida and the dressed-up foreigners sipping mojitos. Everything feels like a scene from a movie. Ironically, “Wind of Change” by the Scorpions starts playing…

Colorful, Diverse Morocco

by Laura Pelzmann “How much you want? How many camels?” The Kaftaned merchant gestured at my sister and me with an ingratiating smile.  My mother stared. We giggled, embarrassed. This was the third time this had happened. Was it a joke? We couldn’t be sure. But these two questions accompanied our entire journey through Moroccan…

Lisbon

by András Zágoni-Bogsch The afternoon Sun is setting on the broad Tagus River as a colorful array of passers-by cross the Praca do Comércio. This is one of Lisbon’s prestigious main squares, whose extensive marble-covered surface has served for centuries as a gateway for envoys, merchants and visitors. Looking at the proportions of this dazzling…

The Holy Land: That Obscure Object of Desire

by Laura Pelzmann As we land in Tel Aviv, the urge to get off the plane increases rapidly. In front of us is the Holy Land, place of legends shared by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike, where so many of the founding myths of Middle Eastern and European culture began. With a group of fellow…

Leaving the Tracks in Southern Africa

by Elisabeth Veit The dry green and brown shrubs of the northern Botswana savanna rush past the car windows like soldiers in camouflage. Eagerly they charge forward, then hesitate, stop. We drag the gear lever from ‘drive’ to ‘reverse’ and the soldiers beat a hasty retreat. Back to ‘drive’, the gear box grinding in protest.…

Salam and Khaste Nabashi from Tehran

by Anna Jonas  “We have started our final descent to Imam Khomeini International Airport, please return to your seats and fasten your seat belts.” It is October 2013 and I am on my flight from Istanbul to Tehran, Iran, to begin my internship at the Austrian Cultural Forum. As soon as the plane starts to…

A Latvian Midsummer Night’s Dream

  by Bavesh Moorthy Bavesh Moorthy and Kirsten McDowell attended a midsummer festival in Latvia and sang along with choruses from all over the world. The Latvian capital of Riga held one of the largest congregations of singers and dancers in the world for the 25th Latvian Song and Dance Festival this July. The Vispārējie Latviešu…

Burma’s Anachronistic & Orwellian Capital

by Matt Levy Matt traveled to work at an NGO in Burma and found himself in its new, very empty capital. All photographs by Matt Levy. One November morning in 2005, the world awoke to a great surprise – Burma had built a new capital. Naypyitaw, which translates to the City of Kings, had been…