/stories

AS IF MY EXISTENCE DIDN’T HAPPEN

In Budapest, you can feel the pressure of a dictatorial, nationalist regime, who tries to alter the past to its own benefit. But there are activists who don’t give up on keeping alive the respect for the victims of the history of a country who seems to have forgotten its legacy. We stayed at a…

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WITHOUT FEAR THERE IS NO POWER

The Miljacka river, crossing the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, runs independently of what it witnesses. The low, blurred water, where hundreds of crows bathe, has seen the history of humanity take many turns on its shores. We woke up in Sarajevo. The basement turned improvised accommodation is located in the old part of town. We woke…

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TITUS MOLKENBUR

I watched Titus give a talk at the “Innovation Knows No Borders” conference at the Migration Hub, in Berlin, last September. With a spark in his eyes, he started by recalling how he and a group of young Europeans had decided to take it upon themselves to rescue refugees and migrants from drowning in the Mediterranean…

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THE SILENCE THAT FILLS MY DAYS

I was in the metro, (lost) in the silence of my thoughts, crossing that city so big that it makes me feel small and alone. In the silence, a lot about ourselves can be uncovered. We give space to dive deeper and let afloat of the calm waters what, out of shame, had been buried…

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PUNEH ALA’I

In 2013, Puneh Ala’i snuck inside of Syria, walking into a war zone with a backpack full of crayons and coloring books. She risked her own life to bring a bit of love and hope to those she felt were unseen, to show that someone cared. After that life-changing trip, she vowed to dedicate her…

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BERLIN IS A DRUG

Berlin is controversial. It’s big, messy and dirty. But it’s also full of life, art, and History. Berlin is bittersweet. It’s dark, but enlightening. It is haunted by the ghosts of the past, but lives reinless in the present. It’s creation, and it’s destruction. New constructions and bombed buildings. The skyscrapers in Potsdamer Platz and…

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WHY COLLEGE IS NOT A FAIR GAME

They say we are lost, but we will be found soon, and not thanks to the adults who treated me like a fool. We’re not playing a game of who’s faster at reaching some aim, which was imposed by people who supposed we only have one pain. The grades written in paper compare the youth…

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THE GLASS DOOR

“What will you be ashamed of 50 years from now?”   The day I saw my brother push my sister, I just froze behind the glass door. “Childish nonsense,” I thought later, but it didn’t feel quite right. I simply didn’t understand why. My sister was mad and defended herself with a teddy bear. My…

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VIOLENT DREAMS

Her paranoia woke up every time just before her, to make sure fear appeared intrinsic to her days. Like a ghost dragging a dusty cape, it would follow her every second so she’d be reminded of its existence. It would sweep along the untold words that, curled up, would clog her brain at night. Everyone…

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LET POWER, WEALTH AND FAME BURN!

“What will you be ashamed of 50 years from now?” Ooh la! Excellent question! I even dare to say that if we closed each day with a bit of time to answer the question “what did I do today that I am ashamed of?” that would bare great fruits! 50 years is a long time,…

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SCOTTISH CHRONICLE

It is very rare, in my travel fortune, that there isn’t a moment in which my brother and I taste, by ourselves, the place we’re visiting. With luck, it is at night the marching time, our favorite for such – as such, maybe in a silly curiosity, we appreciate being swallowed by the dark streets…

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DEAR GRANDCHILDREN

28th September 2067 Dear grandchildren, I am writing you because it’s already late, I don’t know what is awaiting me, or what I have left, and I feel there are things I would like you to know, things I don’t want you to repeat with the inconsequent recklessness of the young age of an imprudent…

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THE DAY I GOT ENGAGED

Growing up, I had a lot of friends. I was lucky enough to have people around me that filled in the holes that would have otherwise stayed empty forever. With my friends, I learned to share. I learned to trust and to be selfless. Each of them is important, and each of them has a…

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WAS IT REALLY THAT BAD?

I recently replied to a tweet about the reluctance of sexual assault victims to make police reports. In my reply, I mentioned that I’d been sexually assaulted three times in my lifetime, and that I had never reported any of my attackers. I felt no unease or discomfort in disclosing the fact that I’ve been…

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CAN A LOOK CHANGE THE WORLD?

As I entered barefoot in that room of tiled floor, I felt the world fall at my feet when I confronted that look. His great brown eyes could melt the coldest of hearts. His olive-toned skin spread the same Indian heat that was impregnated in our clothes and in the air. From time to time,…

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SALTY BLOOD

November 2016 I opened my car’s trunk to pack the backpack, in which I kept the oxygen bottle, and found my surfing wetsuit. I stood there, paralyzed, staring at him, as if I had ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen in years, and with whom I wanted to remember moments lived before, in…

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LESS IS NOT MORE

Brussels University, 1st year of Architecture. I am sitting alone in the big classroom, along with four hundred other students. The class: History of Architecture in the 20th century. The teacher is showing us The Barcelona Pavillon. A couple of months later, as I am discovering the Pavillon in real life, I recall and become…

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ALONE ≠ LONELY

Last week, I went to have a sunset drink at one of my favorite spots in Berlin, the Klunkerkranich rooftop. As I walked around to find a spot to sit among the crowd, I was surprised to see an art installation that wasn’t there the week before – a bunch of envelopes hanging from strings,…

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TO HELL WITH LEAVING THE COMFORT ZONE

To hell with leaving the comfort zone! To hell with comfort! Fuck the idea of discomfort. Doing freaking skydiving is not getting out of the comfort zone. Changing jobs is not getting out of the comfort zone. I’m not entitled to tell anyone to get out of the comfort zone, or even sure I know…

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TIMES OF LIGHT ARE COMING

Back in 2012, I remember being in Galicia, with water up to my knees, speaking with someone to whom I wished very well. We were agitating the water with our feet – the waters of the Galician sea are clear and let us see our bodies’ reflection. We argued about the theories of the end…

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