English

Day two: Trapped in hell

Day two: Trapped in hell

(Versión en español aquí) They are always there. On the road that goes from the monolith with a seahorse – the symbol of this city – to a mosque that the war left in ruins before it was even built. It is enough to greet any one of those who wait on the roadside for work in construction, cleaning, or […]

Day one: We have managed to enter Libya

Day one: We have managed to enter Libya

(Versión en español aquí) In Zuwarah the streets have no name. This is not a cliché, but a fact. It’s not that important, because nobody sends letters anymore, not there or here, and in Zuwarah they don’t receive bills. Somebody told me that, in 2012, a group of inspectors was created whose mission was to visit house by house and collect money for […]

A second meeting with the 14.000-year-old man

A second meeting with the 14.000-year-old man

(Versión en castellano aquí) For fans of the genre, the film “The Man from Earth”, released in 2007 is already one of the essential titles in the catalog of modern science fiction. Included in the circuits of independent cinema, and with a modest ticket office, it never reached the general public, and not even its twelve international awards managed to […]

Fabiola Gianotti: «Progress evolves smoothly based on the development and improvement of known technology»

Fabiola Gianotti: «Progress evolves smoothly based on the development and improvement of known technology»

Photography: Jorge Quiñoa Translation: Teresa Galarza (Versión en castellano aquí) If we had to describe Fabiola Gianotti in a single word that would be vocation. If we had two, we could add: magnetism. If we were granted a third, it would be, undoubtedly: flair. The first woman to hold the position of coordinator of one of the two major experiments of the LHC […]

The last photo of Lorena (left) and Verbena (right) together. © Verbena Bottini.

Afghanistan still exists

(Versión en castellano aquí) In memory of Lorena Enebral Pérez “The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways every day.” David Foster Wallace, This is water Part one: The law of […]

Day eigth: Inscrutable and, sometimes, wonderful roads

Day eigth: Inscrutable and, sometimes, wonderful roads

Translation: Teresa Galarza (Versión en español aquí) Shortcuts. On the shoulders of a country at war We were at the front of Raqqa, the capital of the Islamic State in Syria, when the terrible events of Barcelona took place. We found out when one of the fighters with whom we shared mess and a flat roof where we slept every […]

Day seven: Starry Night

Day seven: Starry Night

Translation: Teresa Galarza (Versión en español aquí) Shortcuts. On the shoulders of a country at war Like in the rearguard, in the front of Raqqa it is usual to sleep on the roofs of houses. You should take some basic precautions such as not smoking, lighting a flashlight or using a phone. Commander Botan repeats this to the eight men […]

Day six: a window to Raqqa

Day six: a window to Raqqa

Translation: Teresa Galarza (Versión en español aquí) Shortcuts. On the shoulders of a country at war Reaching a battlefront is much more complicated than it seems. Rarely, perhaps never, do we talk about the preliminary round after the bang-bang; the bureaucratic nightmare of special permits, photocopies, stamps, accreditations and meetings with those who are responsible for validating all documents. The […]

Day five: Hearts and minds

Day five: Hearts and minds

Translation: Teresa Galarza (Versión en español aquí) Shortcuts. On the shoulders of a country at war Some village in Raqqa. Clay houses cooking under the sun, a lot of sun, in the middle of nowhere. In Serran there are no sidewalks, no roads, no streets, no shops; just a donkey tied to a pole next to the remains of something […]

Day four: losing your head

Day four: losing your head

Translation: Teresa Galarza (Versión en español aquí) Shortcuts. On the shoulders of a country at war Two years have passed, but Amina remembers the day of the heads as if it was yesterday. Heads appeared punctured on garden trellises, traffic signs … There were also some in glass jars, up to a total of fifty that, they said, belonged to […]

Day three: Hotel Kobani

Day three: Hotel Kobani

Translation: Teresa Galarza (Versión en español aquí) Shortcuts. On the shoulders of a country at war The truth is that it’s not bad at all, twelve dollars a night for a room with a fan and a bathroom to yourself. We are the only guests of the only hotel in Kobani. The quintessential Kurdish “martyr” city is an obligatory stop […]

Day two: they go to war

Day two: they go to war

Translation: Teresa Galarza (Versión en español aquí) Shortcuts. On the shoulders of a country at war They are 1,500 men, between the ages of 18 and 30, who graduate after their 45-day training. Many have a moustache, others are not old enough to grow one. They are Arabs and Kurds about to be sent to fight against the Islamic State […]

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