Albania, Bahrain, and Autocratic Popular Geography

The Black Hole of Tirana The Albanian capital of Tirana will never be able to fully purge itself of totalitarian urban planning.  The city centre was designed by the Fascists during the Italian occupation of Albania in the 1930s, and they installed wide streets and open squares, perfect venues for holding military parades.  After the war, during the Communist period, this design was augmented with angular Stalinist constructions (the Palace of Culture and the National Museum) in the centre and high-rise concrete residence blocks in the outskirts.  Enver Hoxha [pronuncation] was a man who understood the propagandist potential of space: … Continue reading Albania, Bahrain, and Autocratic Popular Geography

Will I Ever Publish Another Post?

Do Western journalists understand the principle of cause and effect? I ask only because in the last few days I have seen a number of articles with the headline “Is the Arab Spring in danger?”, or thereabouts, generally about the upsurge of activity which took place this week.  Now, as I understand it, the main worry is that the revolutions will be betrayed by those who have been brought to power (such as Tantawi in Egypt).  Surely, then, the revolution was under far more threat before this week, when the protesters were not out in force, than it is now? … Continue reading Will I Ever Publish Another Post?