Culture February 2015

Mexico. Wisdom of the mask-makers.

Every Mexican town usually has one or more artisans who make masks. All of them have two things in common: pride in their craft and enormous talent. Mask-makers must have a profound knowledge of their community’s traditional dances and each of the characters in them. They must be able to give a distinctive face to…

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Book review – The world’s most dangerous place

At a first glance, it may seem just another eye-catching headline, but it is not. The world’s most dangerous place – as the Edinburgh-based James Fergusson chose to title his book on Somalia – is a phrase that enshrines a well-articulated thesis, one that may be counter-argued, but has to be mulled over beforehand. After…

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Uganda. Karimojong. Akiriket – Joint Togetherness

According to the setting of the Karimojong social organization, an ethnic group of agro-pastoral herders living mainly in the north-east of Uganda, every neighbourhood has its own sacred ground, called akiriket. The assembly of initiated men takes its name from these places. Each generation-set has its special tree under which to sit in the assemblies,…

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Mexico. Carnival in Tetela de Ocampo. The unreal world.

They say the opposite of what they mean. It is a social game, everything under the fog. The fog is the main character in Tetela de Ocampo, a village in the mountains of Puebla, in East-Central Mexico. The streets, the bends in the roads, the landscape…all are made of fog. The inhabitants have become accustomed…

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10 Ways We Pretend War is Not a Crime.

Advocacy, more than economic interests, is about consciousness and knowledge. It is about building a strong democracy, holding those in power accountable. It is about…

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Why the Hippo lives in the Water.

Many years ago the hippopotamus, whose name was Isantim, was one of the biggest kings on the land; he was second only to the elephant. The…

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Youth & Mission

Saving the Planet and Ourselves.

Australia, Philippines, California and Central and South Africa have been recently hit by severe drought and endless forest fires.  Thousands are suffering. Plants and animals perish.…

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