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Photo: doubichlou14 (flickr); Licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Our editor Isabell Wutz points you in the direction of a few articles guaranteed to make you ponder. Read about the hard choice between voting strategically and per your beliefs in the upcoming French elections, how social media influences our lives, and watch how and where human population developed over the last 200,000 years.

Published in Good Reads
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Photo: Nacho Rascón (flickr); Licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If 21 April 2002 is a date all French citizens remember as the historical breakthrough of the extreme-right Front National party, 23 April 2017 will be remembered as a turning point in French politics. The two parties which have structured and dominated the French political scene for the past decades have crumbled to pieces and have been washed away by a so-called “anti-system” wave.

Published in Sixth Sense
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Photo: duncan c (Flickr); Licence: CC BY-NC 2.0

Europe is on the edge. Brexit, the anti-democratic developments in Eastern Europe with authoritarian governments in Poland and Hungary, and the rise of the far-right in Germany with the AfD and Pegida movement as well as in France (Front National) anticipate the imminent collapse of the European Union as the biggest peace project in our common history. Nevertheless, in all the debates on which direction our continent and the world should take, the political elite ignores young people. They fail to recognise that they cannot set the course for the future without paying attention to those who will be most affected by today’s decisions.

The rise of the far-right is symptom of a lack of political alternatives with one big loser: young people.
Published in Sixth Sense
Saturday, 14 November 2015 18:58

A dark day for France and for Europe

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Photo: Barbara Urruspil (Flickr); Licence: Public Domain Mark 1.0

What happened last night was, as President Hollande put it in an emotional address to the nation, "une horreur". Our sincerest condolences go out to all those affected.

As the facts become clearer and we try to comprehend the who, the what, the why and the how, it is important to try and remain calm.

Nationalist groups across Europe are already using these terrible attacks as a political tool to whip up support for their cause. In particular, the link has been made between the ongoing refugee situation and the atrocities in the French capital. This is dangerously false – these are quite clearly the kind of violent thugs that people are so desperate to escape from.

The values that E&M stands for – tolerance, multiculturalism, fun – are under threat from both the terrorists behind these attacks and those promoting divisive solutions that only take us backwards. We must stand firm and stick to our ideals.

On an evening which risks tearing Europe apart, E&M prefers to take solace in the magnificent show of solidarity across the continent and beyond. There is much more that we share than which divides us. Let's remember that.

Pratchett
Photo: Meredith (Flickr); Licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Wise words from the master of fantasy or just a bit of a joke?

Another week, another selection of journalistic gems, compiled by one of the E&M editorial team: Frances Jackson on the death of Terry Pratchett, untold stories of those seeking asylum in Europe and a group of particularly determined French cycling enthusiasts.

Frances, Diaphragm / Baby editor

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A fond farewell

It is just over a month since one of the brightest literary lights of the last 30 years went out. Whether his most famous books took place for you in the Disque-monde, Zeměplocha, Scheibenwelt or Mundodisco, the magic of Terry Pratchett remains the same. His humour could be biting, but never caustic; the universe he created an escapist fantasy, and yet so very familiar; his stories simply unputdownable. 

The Discworld novels have been a part of my life for almost as long as I can remember. They were the audiobooks that alleviated boredom on long drives down France during the summer holidays, the increasingly care-worn paperbacks we passed back and forth amongst family and friends, the television adaptations we used to get so excited about as children. I don’t mind admitting that I got a little teary when I heard the news that Sir Terry's struggle with early-onset Alzheimer's was over. The loss, not just to the genre, but I think also perhaps to the world as a whole, is immense. The ranks of those rare few who have a real understanding of human nature, who recognise the follies of man, but have not lost their faith in humanity, are bereft of one of their finest standard-bearers.

Published in Good Reads
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