The Portals of Chandni Chowk

According to the Law that goes by many names, including Ganesha, every doorway requires something to be left behind and something new to be accepted. This is the human dilemma, and it is one that is not getting any easier as there are ever more of us in this world, all unsatisfied, desiring progress and […]

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Looking through the Chagall Windows

Properly called the America Windows, they are what everyone in Chicago has called the Chagall Windows for as long as I can remember, and I was born some years before they were installed in the Art Institute of Chicago in 1977. A tribute to a city and a nation from the great Russian-French-Jewish artist and […]

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Chicago stories

The skyline might have changed. Millennium Park certainly had not existed. But there still so many things I remember about my hometown, even after more than twenty years abroad. Returning awakens the memories of how the summertime smells of cut grass and coming rain. Pizza. Those cement sidewalk stamps at the corners just before the […]

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Book review: “Ema, the Captive” by César Aira

Argentina, 1800s. A nubile captive, together with her infant child, are government prisoners, taken on long caravan as part of the supplies needed at the military outpost of a sinister colonial world deprived of women. It is just the beginning of the adventurous captivity of Ema, a “white” woman of unknown origins who is bartered […]

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Cooking Mexican in India

The games continued, unfolding the birth of a new cuisine, in much the same way our ancestors had done on different continents.

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the 4th of July

Since I do not think there is anything to be gained by believing in mere coincidence, this book cover staring at me from my shelf this morning of the 4th of July was all the more startling. The words of Swami’s intro to the classic Ātmabodha by Śri Śankara reminded me that democracy isn’t just […]

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Congo Baroque | O Congo Barroco

The religious syncretism and the tradition of a culture, the simplicity in the details of the robes, the saturated contrasts of skin with the texture of  vibrant fabrics translated into an authentic aesthetic wealth | Foi o sincretismo religioso e a tradição de uma cultura, a simplicidade nos detalhes das vestes, os contrastes saturados de pele com as texturas dos tecidos pujantes me traduziram uma autêntica riqueza estética.

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The Stuccadore Peon

“Do you know why you do not like conceptual art? It is because you know how to solve problems with your hands. You have the means to create plastically, visually. If you only had concepts, you would write.”

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Khadi

If you have never worn khadi — the traditional handspun, hand-woven cotton, wool or silk cloth of India — not only will such comfort and durability go unbeknownst to you, but you might also miss out on its incredible history.

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Other Carnivals

The candombe tradition of Montevideo, Uruguay may not be so well-known as other Carnivals, but it might just be one of the most authentic.
photos and text by Nacho Hammad

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