The Fantasy of Ethical Capitalism

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By Laurian B. For many years, Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place was a staple text for my introductory course in cultural anthropology. A fast, and unsettling read for anyone who has traveled to the Caribbean with a beach vacation forefront on their minds, Kincaid peels the beauty of Antigua to deliver prescient critiques of the privatization-of-everything that continues to devour the few remaining public-enterprises in the world. Kincaid gut punches both natives and tour...
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Specters of a school’s closing

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By Beth U. For his installation reForm, artist Pepón Osorio relocated a classroom from the closed Fairhill Elementary School to another classroom – at Temple University's Tyler School of Art in North Philadelphia, a mile from Fairhill. To find reForm, you have to wander through Tyler’s occupied basement studios until, pushing through some double doors, you come across a row of cubbies from Fairhill. Jackets and bac...
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Accra Under Construction

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By Laurian B. As rural to urban migration continues to outpace housing in Accra, Ghana, I was unsurprised by the number of construction projects that took place during the summer of 2011. However, many of these building projects were not in the areas where they are needed most. Whenever I conduct research with migrants in Accra, there are recurrent conversations about the lack of affordable and sanitary housing. Rental fees can strip all earnings within a year for most tenants. Accra resident...
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Zielony’s Sails, A Review

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By Beth U. I recently went to see Vele (Sails), the photographic work of German artist Tobias Zielony at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Through stop motion video and a series of photographs, Zielony documents a desolate housing project in the outskirts of Naples known as “The Sails of Scampia.” In the 1960s, architect Francesco Di Salvo designed the complex to house working-class families and furnish them the fixings of ideal city living, such as parks and playing fields. Now, warri...
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