Category Politics

The Turkey and the Red Herring: Losing Albania

My last visit to Albania in December was tough. Arriving into Tirana on the night bus from Athens early on a Saturday morning I was asleep with Bob Dylan in my ears. I woke up as the bus was turning into the main square of the city. The first thing I saw was the mosaic […]

We’re still here

The first of some reflections I am writing about a recent trip to Athens. This article goes through feelings of hope, disillusionment, and then (tentative) hope again for a country at the hard end of extreme austerity. I hope that I have managed to illuminate the state of things over there for folks in the […]

Predicaments: unresolved and overlapping (a response)

This article was published in South Leeds Life in response to Issue 10’s centrefold: Predicaments: unresolved and overlapping by South Leeds based artists Andrew Wilson and Toby Lloyd. The article references a struggle for retaining green space in the face of new housing development in the Garnets, South Leeds. HOUSING + CRISIS The housing crisis is […]

Self-Build IV – The Vernacular: Lammas eco-village

Lammas is a low impact, off grid eco-village in Pembrokeshire, South Wales, consisting of nine smallholdings on 76 acres of land, all self-built by individual families using a range of methods from cob, to standard timber frame homes, to roundhouses – many of which are still in the process of being built. Before visiting Lammas […]

Sustainability in the City of Flux

This is a short paper that was delivered at the symposium ‘Sustainability in the City of Flux’ at Newcastle University in November 2014. The focus for the workshop was how the city can be ever changing, impermanent and in constant flux, whilst also being sustainable. The day before yesterday I was at a book launch […]

Bathore: The spider-web city

“The foundation of the city: a net which serves as passage and as support.”  Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities   An article on my research published in Saturday’s Mapo (an Albanian national newspaper) has been met with a few negative comments about my favourable insights into Bathore and its residents, as well as criticisms regarding my […]

Self-build in a time of austerity

Image: Habitat for Humanity   From tent cities and beds in sheds to overflowing hostels, shelters and B&Bs, inadequate housing and homelessness is growing. The austerity economy is putting undue pressure on housing and in the UK the bedroom tax and benefit cap are exacerbating a deepening housing crisis. The recession is quickly becoming an […]

Question it and Act on it

In Solzhenitsyn’s Cancer Ward the main character, Oleg, in all his unnerving belligerence, asks “Why?!” He questions the motives of the man who, in a zoo in the middle of a stolen Asian Republic that is clinging onto the fringes of the USSR, threw tobacco in the Macaque-Rhesus monkey’s face, blinding him; a fatal act. […]

Minsk is online

I’m currently in Moscow having spent a week in Minsk, Belarus, which was a bit of an eye opener. I’m not sure what I expected when I first landed into Minsk 2 International Airport. I certainly wasn’t given the going over by the security officials that I had heard so much about. I had on […]