Tag Archives: politics

Schengen (non-)borders: if you like it then you shouldn’t put a ring on it!

I′d like to share a link to a collection of photos from Europe′s ′peaceful borders′.

Of course, let’s not forget that this comes at the expense of neighbors beyond Schengen area. But in any case, borderless life makes a huge difference. This was one thing I loved about living in Luxembourg – that there are no borders in any direction (my older articles in Lithuanian on this topic: about borderless travel in Scandinavia and in Luxembourg). Let′s hope these borders will stay that way.

My work for Cafe Babel

I am an active reporter and blogger for Cafe Babel, a multilingual European youth online magazine, since 2008. My profile with all articles and blog entries is here. You can follow my work on Twitter and Facebook.

I was the leader of Babel Lietuva, Cafe Babel’s Lithuanian branch, from 2011 to 2012. In 2010 and 2011 we hosted teams of international journalists in Vilnius under two “On the Ground” projects.

 

Political life of students in Istanbul (with Emmanuel Haddad, FR/EN, Cafe Babel, 16/11/2010)

Tomas Šileika: ‘We sing about what hurts in Lithuania’ (Cafe Babel, 23/05/2013)

LinkedIn Lithuania: crisis is catastrotunity for creative entrepreneurs (Cafe Babel, 10/04/2013)

Jerusalem Book Fair 2013 (Cafe Babel, 18/02/2013)

Post-revolution Egypt (Cafe Babel, 07/05/2011) Continue reading

Unexpected objects and sights in Paris in 2012

For various reasons, I visited Paris three times in 2013. I didn’t feel like blogging about it, because there’s not much I can say about Paris that people wouldn’t already know, and I blogged about it during my first visit there. But as I go through old travel photos in my computer and delete some, I will share a few interesting observations from my trips.

When I first visited Paris, I still had a journalist card, which was very useful in entering museums. Last year, without a journalist card, I visited only those that offered something for free or were super interesting.

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Street signs controversy

Are multiple languages in public space an issue? Not in many countries. But in Lithuania there is an ongoing battle over some buses and street signs, which, in addition to Lithuanian, give translations in Polish. A law in Lithuania obliges all public signs (streets, institutions, etc.) to be in Lithuanian. The mainstream interpretation is that this implies they have to be in Lithuanian only.

I have already written (the editors sort of spiced up my text :)) about the controversy of names and public signs. As someone who has been to Novi Sad, where most institutions indicate their names in some six languages, I am surprised, to say the least, at how offended people feel about signs in Polish in the regions where the Polish minority is large or even dominant. Delfi, the most popular news portal, reports on an investigation which they started after a reader sent photos of signs in Polish. The municipality did not wish to explain why they have not been enforcing the law on one and the only language. Continue reading

No peace for Abraham to rest

The ancient town of Hebron (West Bank) once looked very promising. Its ancient Jewish community, more or less continuously living in the city, which claims to host the tomb of Abraham (considered both the first Jew and the first Muslim in history), had many things to share with its Arab neighbors. For example, one prayer house, built by Herod, used to serve both.

Graffiti and other street art in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is a very colourful city with various spaces. Some of these spaces feel more bourgeois, others feel cosy and simple. Therefore the city is a good playground for people who like to make some kind of contribution to the way the city looks like. South Tel Aviv, where I live, is especially rich in street art.

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Post-conflict, multicultural and other landscapes in Novi Sad and Belgrade

I’m back from Serbia, where I went for my summer school (it was a part of the programme). We went there to study how various aid from international donors impacts (or not) media development. What we saw was, however, different than expected. Most of donor support went to Belgrade.

Many people we interviewed in the public radio never had any post-university training, except for the Hungarian service people, who were trained and given support from Hungary. Overall, I really loved Novi Sad. It reminds me of Pecs in Hungary actually. It’s small (everything is more or less within a walking distance), cosy and lively.

Houses Novi Sad

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Rock, punk and vegan cultures in Tokyo

I’m really fortunate that a friend of my friend B. introduced us to K., who is an activist in feminism, homeless issues and anti-consumerism. She suggested that we go to see a vegan cafe near Koenji station (after exiting the station, turn left immediately and take the first street from the left. The bar which hosts the vegan cafe is on the right, there is a sign saying “vegi [something]”. B. has read that the area around Koenji is famous for rock and punk culture. It is home for many bars and interesting shops. We went into a music store, which is on the left of the street. The person managing the store (I’m not sure if he works alone or with others) speaks perfect English and has interesting stories to tell. He told us that he used to study visual arts, but was drawn into music afterwards. It’s difficult in Japan for young and unrecognised musicians – they have to pay JPY 50,000 to rent a studio for practice for a week, and pay similar amounts for each show. There are, however, more and more clubs and bars who would host visual artists and musicians for free or for a symbolic fee. Continue reading