Category: Culture

Tibetan warrior turns to pop

Tibetan warrior turns to pop

After hauling a coffin from Bern to Geneva and starring in a documentary, musician and cartoonist Loten Namling has now turned to pop-rock to agitate for Tibet’s freedom. His powerful voice and sincerity make the first Tibetan-Swiss alternative rock group more than a stunt. Peter Hulm writes from the Swiss Alpine town of Leuk in the Valais. Loten Namling, star […]

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Local mayors – and Paris law – destroying French historic villages

Local mayors – and Paris law – destroying French historic villages

In France, they love their patrimoine, or cultural heritage — at least, that’s what they claim. Why, then, are developers being allowed to tear the heart out of historic villages. The following article by Edward Girardet – What’s French for Nimby? – was first published by the Sunday Times of London on May 15, 2016.  It has since received numerous comments, both […]

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La pression urbaine Suisse et la loi francaise sont en train de detruire des villages francais.

La pression urbaine Suisse et la loi francaise sont en train de detruire des villages francais.

(French version: Swiss urban pressure and Paris law destroying French villages. ) Par Edward Girardet et Christopher Woodburn. Cessy, France — De Versailles à Aix-en-Provence en passant par Bordeaux, la politique d’urbanisation Française permet aux promoteurs de remplacer, au lieu de rénover, des anciens bâtiments avec des édifices trop souvent insipides dont l’architecture a peu en commun avec le style et […]

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Morges Literary Festival 4-6 September, 2015

Morges Literary Festival 4-6 September, 2015

By Edward Girardet Geneva — Rapidly becoming one of Europe’s most renowned French-English language book festivals, the Swiss lakeside town of Morges will host its 6th annual event,  or Le Livre sur les Quais, at the end of this week featuring some 300 writers from all over the world. Held in tents along the waterfront overlooking Lake Geneva and the […]

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New construction promotion in St Genis, Pays de Gex, France

Swiss urban pressure and Paris law destroying French villages

Swiss reluctance to ruin its own idyllic countryside in the Lake Geneva region combined with French laws enabling unfettered urban development is leading to the rapid destruction of the historic centres of numerous villages in neighbouring France. Edward Girardet and Christopher Woodburn explore why Paris no longer seems interested in ‘Patrimoine”, once one of the most hallowed words of French […]

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Yale project explores the diverse ways we speak English

Yale project explores the diverse ways we speak English

The following article by Bess Connolly Martell was first published by Yale News. “Here’s you a piece of pizza” may sound like an alien way of speaking to some — unless of course you’re one of the linguists working on the Yale Grammatical Diversity Project, in which case, it’s just one of the “fascinating” variations of the English language that […]

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Post Runners, Aerogrammes and the Big E-Mail Challenge: Scenes from 135 years of Afghan postal service

Post Runners, Aerogrammes and the Big E-Mail Challenge: Scenes from 135 years of Afghan postal service

Thomas Ruttig, co-director of the Afghan Analysts Network, an independent non-profit research organization, wrote this piece for the AAN’s website on the Afghan postal service, which, despite years of war, still works – and is adapting to the modern age in its own way. He looks back 135 years of postal service, including a number of personal encounters he and colleagues have […]

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Nine writers from four countries awarded $150,000 Windham-Campbell Prizes

Nine writers from four countries awarded $150,000 Windham-Campbell Prizes

The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library has announced the winners of the 2015 Donald Windham-Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prizes at Yale. The writers, who hail from the United States, United Kingdom, Nigeria, and South Africa, were chosen confidentially in three categories — fiction, non-fiction, and drama. Honored for their literary achievements as well as their potential, the winners will […]

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Youth letter writing contest: the world they want

Youth letter writing contest: the world they want

As young people gather this week for the Youth Assembly at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, the Swiss-based Universal Postal Union (UPU) is asking budding writers to describe the world they envisage for the future as part of its 44th International Letter-Writing Competition for Young People. The Essential Edge urges parents to encourage their children to write letters so […]

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King Tom cemetery, the largest graveyard in Freetown, Sierra Leone, has expanded three times since May. Image by Amy Maxmen. Sierra Leone, 2014.

How Sierra Leone’s Fight Against Ebola Tested Cultural Traditions.

The following piece is written by Amy Maxmen, a science and medical journalist who travelled to Sierra Leone with a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. FREETOWN, Sierra Leone—A great quarrel followed the death of a pregnant Guinean woman in June. Mourners refused to allow a team of outsiders dressed in what looked like white space suits to […]

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