Monthly Archives: August 2013

Lenin

Although his heart stopped ninety years ago, Lenin still resonates in the Russian Federation. He is everywhere. His legacy lives on in the lessons in political kitsch served up by Putin’s personality cult. His legacy lives on in the sacrifice … Continue reading

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The Shaman Capital of Siberia: Animism and Excess on Lake Baikal

Lake Baikal is the biggest fresh water lake on the planet. It is over one mile deep, holds a fifth of the earth’s fresh water and the sediment of decomposed organisms descends another one and a half miles. 1200 of … Continue reading

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The Normal Superior K-Hole of Paris

The Ecole Normale Supérieure is the most stupidly named university I have ever crossed paths with. How can you be both normal and superior at the same time? The simple answer is you can’t, and I don’t know why anyone … Continue reading

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Notre-Dame, Roma Gypsies and codeine on tap. Paris, je t’aime.

I live ten minutes from my favourite place in Paris and the protagonist of my favourite French novel- the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. In the book the building is alive, caring for Quasimodo when no one else does. Notre-Dame is a … Continue reading

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Yekaterinburg- Boris Yeltsin and Krokodil

There are lots of dead people’s heads in Yekaterinburg. Huge, clunky reconstructions of once famous craniums. Most of these heads have nothing to do with Yekaterinburg. A thousand miles east of Moscow, it’s a sad city trying to be something … Continue reading

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Moscow Round Two

Although Moscow is the capital of Russia, people say it’s not really Russian. Like most capital cities, it’s a repository for the country’s wealth and its aspirational provincials. In Russia the contrast between capital and provinces is particularly stark. Moscow … Continue reading

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