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Review

The Rise of a Distinctly African Speculative Fiction

Africa’s New Futures

For all its acclaim, Afrofuturism has been perceived among many native Africans as primarily catering to the diasporic concerns of African Americans. Now, distinctly African forms of science fiction and fantasy are emerging across the continent and beyond.

Remembering Sergei Parajanov, the Bard of the Caucasus

The Bard of the Caucasus

The revered Armenian cinema auteur Sergei Parajanov both embodied and sought to capture on celluloid the ethnic and cultural diversity of the Caucasus, inspired by the myths and folklore that bind the region together. Yet the world he cherished is now marked by closed borders, nationalist rancor and polarization.

Against Tyranny: Two Stories Told in Pictures Warn Us To Fight On

Against Tyranny: Two Stories Told in Pictures Warn Us To Fight On

Two recent graphic novels reveal the realities of daily life in Iran and Cuba, illustrating the common traits of authoritarian regimes. Marjane Satrapi’s “Woman, Life, Freedom” and Edel Rodriguez’s “Worm: A Cuban American Odyssey” lay out the political stakes and call on readers to defend global democracy.

Looking for the Roots of Today’s Germany

Looking for the Roots of Today’s Germany

At some point after 1945, a new, socially liberal and pacifist Germany emerged that appeared almost the antithesis of what came before. As three books published in 2023 make clear, it was a long and winding journey to get there — and one based on continuity as well as rupture.

‘Four Daughters’ Breaks the Mold To Give an Honest Picture of a Mother’s Loss

‘Four Daughters’ Breaks the Mold To Give an Honest Picture of a Mother’s Loss

Kaouther Ben Hania's newest documentary, “Four Daughters,” traces the life of Olfa Hamrouni, a Tunisian mother whose two eldest daughters joined the Islamic State group in 2016. Its innovative storytelling, mixing actors with real subjects, made a splash last year at Cannes and just scored an Oscar nomination.

Documenting Statelessness in Lebanon

Documenting Statelessness in Lebanon

Russian filmmaker Marie Surae’s documentary “I’m Not Lakit” follows Saleh, a stateless, abandoned child in Lebanon. Labeled a “lakit,” a derogatory term for those born out of wedlock, he faces social stigma on top of massive legal barriers as he embarks on adulthood.

In Life and Death, Libyan Poet Mustafa al-Trabelsi Sang the Song of Derna

In Life and Death, Libyan Poet Mustafa al-Trabelsi Sang the Song of Derna

The day Derna was washed out to sea, the poet Mustafa Trabelsi published a short poem on his Facebook page, titled “The Rain.” Its prediction of the coming devastation became an indictment of Libya’s corrupt political elite.