Notes From the Margins…
Posts by Matt
A Global ‘Hamsterdam’?

A Global ‘Hamsterdam’?

  • June 03, 2011
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One of the most compelling subplots in series four of HBO’s brilliant crime series  The Wire concerns the attempt by Major Howard ‘Bunny’ Colvin of the Baltimore police to implement a liberal drugs policy in the city, borrowed from the Dutch model.

Facing imminent retirement and disillusioned with a career spent in the futile and counterproductive...

In Memoriam: Syed Saleem Shahzad

  • June 02, 2011
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The murder of the Pakistani journalist  Syed Saleem Shahzad, bureau chief of the Asia Times Online,  is another indication of the rottenness at the heart of the Pakistani state.   Last year 44 journalists were killed in Pakistan, more than any other country in the world.

Shahzad was one of the most courageous, well-informed and reliable...

Julian Schnabel Says the Unsayable

  • May 31, 2011
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I’ve just watched Julian Schnabel’s ambitious epic about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict  Miral.  It’s not a great movie, and certainly doesn’t bear comparison with Schnabel’s brilliant cinematic rendition of  The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, but I felt that the dismissive and damning reviews that it received were unfair.  It’s true that some of the acting...

Muslims Wearing Things: An Antidote to Bigotry

  • May 29, 2011
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Question: What do these photographs have in common?

 

Answer:   All of them are pictures of Muslims, and they can be found on the wonderful website Pictures of Muslims Wearing Things – a brilliantly imaginative antidote to the obsession with Muslim dress codes that has become a staple of contemporary Islamophobia.  It was created last...

Guest post: Regueb, A town in revolt

  • May 27, 2011
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The civil war in Libya has tended to overshadow events in Tunisia, the country where the ‘Arab Spring’ began in January.   Amanda Sebestyen has just visited the Tunisian town of Regueb as a guest  of the World Social Forum.   This is what she found:

 

High on a hill a message in Arabic...

Science Fiction in the Present

  • May 24, 2011
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On Thursday I’m one of the participants in a workshop organized by the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at Newcastle University on the subject of Science Fiction in the Present: Military Technology and Contemporary Culture. I’ll be speaking about dystopian military futures – a subject I wrote about last year in an article for...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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