A Bridge Between Europe and Africa

Brilliant BLDGBLOG post on the possibility of a bridge across the Strait of Gibraltar and it’s implications (i very much like the idea an underwater bridge): Bonus points for introducing a new currency.…

Beyond City Limits

Kimon pointed me to this impressive article by Parag Khanna in which he argues that (mega)cities are slowly emerging as the dominant international actors replacing nation states along the way. His article titled ‘Beyond City Limits’ is well worth a read and a refreshing take on the subject of urban growth. Ever since the publication of Mike Davis’ ‘Planet of Slums‘ in 2006 contributions to the discussion about this subject seem to have deteriorated to become a constant stream of repetitions of t…

A beach near the city of Syracuse

In november 2007 i added the following entry to the ‘meanwhile at the borders…‘ page on noborder.org: 29.Oct.07: The bodies of 12 migrants were pulled from the water at a beach near the city of Syracuse on Sicilys eastern coast. Seven survivors were found on shore and two others were considered missing. (Update: by 6 november 4 additional bodies had been found bringing the total dead count to 16 (source: reuters AlertNet) This month i spend a week of vacation on that same eastern east cost of Si…

Parallel infrastructures #3 (Torino revisited)

Have been spending the last 2 days in Torino for a succession of workshops and conferences, and have used my spare time to revisit some of the places that here we had planned to install the expertbase during the big torino biennial back in 2002 (before we were kicked out of the exhibition). Seems that those parts of the city that we were working in have remained relatively unchanged by the construction madness caused by the 2008 winter games. However it appears that there has been a change among…

Pirates vs ship-owners

Last friday’s edition (‘three baby camels‘) of the NPR planet money podcast contains a wonderful nugget about the economical aspects of how to determine the amount of ransom money that is to be paid to somalian pirates in order to get a hijacked ship back. The story is based on the negotiations a Danish shipping executive (Per Gullestrup) conducted with someone representing a gang of Somalian pirates (Mr. Ali). The problem both parties are facing is that there are no other buyers or sellers for…

Rain vs. the border (long live the rain!)

A storm washed away part of a wall designed to keep out illegal immigrants crossing into Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla on Sunday and heavy rains flooded many of the city’s streets (via reuters). Update from bbc news [27/10/2008]: As many as 30 African migrants have taken advantage of flood damage to cross into the Spanish enclave of Melilla, from neighbouring Morocco. Update from typicallyspanish.com [29/10/2008]: Three Guardia Civil were injured in Melilla yesterday when a…

From the comments (i am not a audio equipment salesperson)

Apparently there is a number of confused people reading this blog and checking my flicker account (or it some clever new form of comment spam that i am failing to understand). in any case these people seem to be (a) interested in audio equipment and (b) confusing me with the persons pictured in photos i have taken: Two weeks ago a certain Williams Robert from ‘Ghana West African’ left the following comment on a post containing this picture: Sir, Please let us know if you have any of these models…

Imagination of desperation (4): Euro2008 has a higher purpose

Looks like even the most eventless soccer game can have a higher purpose, especially when observed from the fringes of europe: On Sunday about 20 immigrants, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, attacked the Beni-Enzar border crossing, armed with sticks and stones as Italy and Spain were in the final stages of the quarterfinals of the Euro 2008 football tournament. Six illegal immigrants successfully crossed the border during the violence. [from adnkronos international, emphasis mine]…

Exceptional display of compassion...

… in todays Guardian: the last two paragraphs of an article which describes the death of two Tunisian men who stowed away on a german cargo ship traveling from sfax in tunesia to ayr in scotland actually treat the two deceased as human beings (plus the entire article does not label them as ‘illegal immigrants’ even once): Scott [the Conservative(!) MSP for Ayr] said: “This is tragic news, that these two men who appear to have stowed away, lost their lives in such desperate, lonely and sad circum…