Category: Social Movements

Collective action is a life-changing experience

Image Credit: Joao Fereira This is another excellent piece from Zeynep Tufekci, answering the question as old as time itself: Do protests work? Protests sometimes look like failures in the short term, but much of the power of protests is in their long-term effects, on both the protesters themselves and the rest of society. […] Protests […]

The only way to survive

Shellie Zhang, The Only Way to Survive (2019). via Something I Saw For some reasons, sleep has always eluded me, but it’s been harder to catch a wink particularly in the time of Covid, and… everything else. There are the protests in America following the death of George Floyd, a black man who pleaded that […]

Listen to Black voices

Emory Douglas’ Black Panther poster, via Casual Archivist It’s incredibly upsetting to witness the state of the world as it is today, and it seemingly minuscule that here I was, in my unearned privilege as one of the ethnic majorities in Malaysia, to complain about being unable to put my thoughts into words. I have […]

How to lose a country

(First of all, FINALLY SUBMITTED MY THESIS!) Last week, I finished reading How to Lose a Country: The Seven Steps from Democracy to Dictatorship by a Turkish journalist and political thinker in exile, Ece Temelkuran, which is a brilliant memoir/nonfiction on how countries, regardless of geography or administration, can quickly slide into dictatorship once we […]

Make space

I’m very fascinated on yesterday’s discovery found through Alan Jacobs’ brilliant newsletter, Snakes and Ladders, about this very interesting institution during Safavid Iran called kitab-khana, literally ‘book-house’. I remember when libraries in Malay used to be called kutubkhanah, which I used to think was named after the Pole (of ‘kutub’ = North and South Pole) […]

Cathedrals we built

I think everyone who had any experiences working on any projects that are considered significant, in a way, must have experienced a mixture of excitement, relief, and not to mention anxiety in its culmination. At least that was how it felt the time I was writing the acknowledgements section for my thesis three months ago. […]

On building and sustaining

Men diving. Credit: Patchwork of Narratives I woke up Sunday morning wanting to read more about Lebanon. Two of my best friends from university are from Beirut, and the uninformed, almost selfish me at the time never got around to inquire them more about their beautiful country. I know that the country at the edge […]

The way your blood beats

There isn’t a day that doesn’t go by where I haven’t thought about the fate of my submitted thesis. How much headache my arguments have given my supervisor — especially that brevity isn’t my greatest strength when it comes to writing? Was I clear enough in articulating my arguments? Whose perspective that I have overlooked […]

RCaaS (Regime Change as a Service)

It feels like 2011 all over again, in a sense that multiple protests across the world are taking place at the same time — Hong Kong, Lebanon, Chile, Spain, Iraq, Algeria, Ecuador, Indonesia, and many more — an embodiment of the term informational cascade, where one protest will inspire another and more. At the same […]