Dispatch from Turkey’s Communist Enclave

Yoldaş is the word communists in Turkey use to refer to one another. Roughly translated, it means “we are on the same road.” In a democratic and fiercely capitalistic country, that road is a lonely one. But there is one communist politician making the walk.

While the country’s political attention is almost solely focused on former Prime Minister, now President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a communist mayor has been able to slip through people’s notice. Continue reading

Day Of The Dead: From The Other Side

 

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Photo essay by Aliya Alwi. Article by Adriana Medina.

[Editor’s Note: While many celebrated  “Día de Muertos” by painting their faces and boozing it up in the aftermath of Halloween’s debauchery, the significance behind the tradition goes beyond the cultural appropriation we have witnessed in such cities as New York, London, and even Cairo. In some ways, it seemed like an excuse to continue the festivities from the night before. Yet, the tradition has long outlived its various appropriations throughout history and continues to be practiced as an indigenous ritual in Latin America where homage is paid to those who have passed away, whether by resurrecting their memory through dance as seen in Toronto, or from Quito’s cemeteries where families share their long-lost loved ones’ favorite dishes. Here we offer a more nuanced reflection on what “Day of the Dead” is with a photo essay by Aliya Alwi exploring the phenomenon in Quito along with a dispatch from Adriana Medina, who took part in the tradition in Toronto, away from Colombia, her home country.] Continue reading

500 Days Of Rage And Repression In Egypt

Five hundred days ago today, on July 3 the then head of the armed forces, now president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi took power in Egypt. The coup displaced Mohammed Morsi, who had won Egypt’s first competitive and credible elections one year earlier, in 2012.

The defining event of the early period of Sisi’s rule was the Rabaa Massacre on August 14, in which at least 817 people were killed according to Human Rights Watch. Other estimates reached much higher and even HRW noted that the number likely exceed 1000, comparing the event to other historical massacres such as Tianamen Square. In the first part of the video below survivor Mahmoud Bondok recounts his experiences: Continue reading

Russell Brand’s Revolution

 
When reviewing Revolution, by British comedian turned revolutionary Russell Brand, many fair-minded critics have allowed their writing to degenerate into ad hominems, portraying Brand as naive, hypocritical, or worse. Hadley Freeman for one should have her line, “all credit to the man for making politics seem sexy to teenagers,” carved in gold letters in a backhanded compliments hall of fame somewhere.

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Burning questions for the 2014/15 NBA season

The new NBA season has just begun and there are still so many questions to be answered. Will the Cavs gel right away? Do the Spurs have the motivation and legs to repeat? How many ill advised threes will Josh Smith take?
To answer some of the other, more pressing questions, ImportantCool has assembled it’s resident basketball crew, all fans with varying degrees of knowledge and one-eyedness. We have Kenny Laurie, a sports journalist of over half a decade’s experience and NBA junkie, John McCabe, a Boston Celtic fan of requisite dislikability who helped turn Kenny on to the NBA, and Stephon Barbour, our resident basketball fanatic from Kentucky.

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