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This week’s editor

“Sunny

Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Northern Ireland needs alternative visions of progressive, LGBTQ-inclusive peace

Many schools, workplaces, churches, and streets remain arenas of homophobic and transphobic discrimination and prejudice. Can there be peace without equality?

“For Madams Only”: Facebook groups and the politics of migrant domestic work in Egypt

Despite endless talk of its ‘democratising’ potential, Facebook does not automatically give “Maids” and “Madams” an equal voice.

Refugees, displacement and moving bodies: studying loss and the language of dance

Dance offers an avenue to communicate experiences of loss (for example of refugees, expelled ethno-religious or national minorities) beyond language barriers.

Birmingham and doing the work nobody else wants to do

The second of four excerpts from the forthcoming ‘Our City: Migrants and the Making of Modern Birmingham’: on the 3D jobs: dirty, dull or difficult.

Tough lessons in Transnistria

Poorly-funded state education is common enough in post-Soviet countries. But how do schoolchildren fare in a state that has gone unrecognised for 27 years? RU

Amnesia: a key feature of Belarusian memory

There isn’t much space in Belarus for public discussion about the country’s traumatic past (or authoritarian present). This theatre in Brest is doing what it can to involve people in public debate. RU

How evangelical gang leaders are bringing a Holy War to Brazil

The expression “evangelical drug trafficker” may sound incongruous, but in Rio de Janeiro, it is an increasingly familiar phenomenon. Attacks on Afro-Brazilian religions proliferate. Español

Appropriation and de-politicization: the uncomfortable discussion on Umm Kulthum in Berlin

An open letter about intellectual and artistic spaces being used to quash a side of the debate, to delegitimize voices and valid criticism instead of engaging in much needed intellectual debates.

BBC's Sir David Clementi or Channel Four's Charles Gurassa - Who will lead on tv diversity?

Why it seems likely, going into 2018, that we should expect more Ofcom reports saying “The BBC should be leading the way, but its performance is behind that of Channel 4”.

Yemen: 2017 in review

2017 has been a year of utter despair in light of countless human rights atrocities committed on multi-fronts.

Combatting loss: refugees, employment and social entrepreneurship in Turkey

Turkey, at the crossroads of refugee flows, hosts 3.4 million refugees, while not granting them refugee status but a state of exception. Hospitality and hostility go hand in hand.

Birmingham: a better city and a stronger economy

The first of four excerpts from the forthcoming ‘Our City: Migrants and the Making of Modern Birmingham’: on the move to white-collar jobs.

It’s time to reconsider the meaning of ‘animal welfare’

Current standards simply make us feel better about the continued exploitation of animals.

Reclaiming the right to life: hunger strikes and protests in Denmark’s deportation centres

This movement aims to make public the consequences of this politics of dehumanisation; politics that ‘kill slowly’ which are structurally produced and legitimized by law. 

Why can’t the United Nations bring peace to Yemen?

By 2011 the international community had concluded that the Saleh regime needed to be replaced by one which would both implement the neo-liberal economic agenda and focus on counter terrorism.

Western complicity is fuelling Yemen’s humanitarian crisis

A besieged and starved population has been pushed to the brink of famine. The UK, US and France need to re-evaluate their relationship with Saudi Arabia.

From territorial to functional sovereignty: the case of Amazon

As digital firms move to displace more government roles over time, from room-letting to transportation to commerce, citizens will be increasingly subject to corporate, rather than democratic, control.

Five economic issues to mobilise around in 2018

2018 is set to be a year of change. What are the key economic battlegrounds? 

 

Has rape become a weapon to silence atheists in Bangladesh?

“There is no place for me in Bangladesh," says a young woman blogger who fled the south Asian country in 2017 following a gang rape.

If freedom of the press is democracy, then what do you call this?

Defending media freedom has never been so important. Governments are becoming subtler in attempting to hide the truth. Journalists must become subtler too in uncovering it. Español

Why economists need to be taught how to speak

If the public don’t trust or understand the economics that is being communicated, how can they critically engage with the policies that affect their everyday lives?

Not a Saudi ‘Arab spring’: Mohammad Bin Salman, a threat not a reformer [Part 1]

Putting “Mohammad bin Salman” next to “Arab Spring” is either an oxymoron or an antithesis.

A declaration from North Africa: food sovereignty is a right

We stand against the plunder of peoples’ resources by multinationals and financial capital and against all forms of discrimination and racism.

Mapping a world from hell: how 76 countries became embroiled in Washington’s war on terror

More than 16 years after the 'liberation' of Afghanistan, the war on terror remains a remarkably global phenomenon. This complex set of intertwined conflicts is not over – not by a long shot. 

ISIS: the comeback

Iraq's depleted military and urban wreckage plant the seeds of an ISIS revival.

Why is the NHS in crisis?

Don't be fooled: the crisis in the NHS is the result of the Government's ideological crusade to squeeze public services. 

The strategic naiveté of Antifa

Why violent protest rarely works.

Are Kuczynski and Fujimori the new allies?

The political situation in Peru is serious. A new alliance has been formed. And it has come to be as Alberto Fujimori, the autocrat, has been pardoned. Spanish

How Italian women are organising against ‘obstetric violence’

This gender-based violence, perpetrated by health workers, is widespread In Italy. A recent survey said it impacts one in five mothers.

Are we living through a new “Weimar era”? Constructive resolutions for our future

It has been argued that progressives should drop the 1930’s analogy altogether, on the grounds that this risks identifying the threat posed to democratic societies as inherent in the very demos itself.