Digging for Chinese culture in Kenya

Jun 19th, 2010

Digging for Chinese culture in Kenya

Scientists from China are on the way to East Africa in June, to prepare for a massive archaeological excavation. The Chinese government is funding a three year search for Chinese cultural heritage on the coast of Kenya, in some half-dozen sites both underwater and on land. China is highlighting the ancient cultural ties between the two countries as its commercial power blossoms across the region. Matthew Brunwasser reports from Lamu, Kenya.

Turkey tense over house vote

Mar 3rd, 2010

Turkey tense over house vote

The US House Foreign Affairs Committee is voting tomorrow on whether to use the term “genocide” to describe the World War One-era killing of Armenians during the Turkish Ottoman Empire. The vote will be closely watched by many in Turkey. Correspondent Matthew Brunwasser reports from Istanbul.

istanbul – andres gonzalez

Mar 1st, 2010

Loud and Proud – Istanbul

Published in Monocle Issue 31 Vol 3 Journalism in Turkey has always been a political contact sport. Even so, the size of the tax penalty given to the Dogan Media Group – Turkey’s largest – had global reverberations. The conflict between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Dogan first surfaced when the papers dug into the allegations swirling around the premier of corruption. Erdogan publicly accused the group’s founder, 73-year-old Aydin Dogan, of blackmailing the government for policies favourable to his investments.

“Sweating Bullets” in Serbia

Jan 6th, 2010

“Sweating Bullets” in Serbia

Extra trivia points if you can identify the male television character pictured here. He is Nick Slaughter, from the show “Sweating Bullets.” The cheesy detective show, set in a Florida beach town, aired in the US from 1991 to 1993. Well, America may have forgotten Nick Slaughter. But Serbia hasn’t. In fact, the star of the show, actor Rob Stewart, recently discovered his enduring fame in Serbia. Now he’s making a documentary about his experience, called Slaughter Nick for President. From Belgrade, Matthew Brunwasser reports.

Crunch time for Romania’s ‘New Wave’

Jan 4th, 2010

Crunch time for Romania’s ‘New Wave’

From the hipsters of Williamsburg in Brooklyn to the cinephiles of France, Romanian cinema is developing a global cult-like following that in 2010 should make Romania famous for something far more meaningful than Dracula, Ceaucescu and Nadia Comaneci. The so-called “New Wave” Romanian cinema is producing film-lovers’ films. They tell stark, lonely stories of micro-human-scale dramas, in impressive defiance of all the mega trends and commercial might of the global film industry, which tends to favour big stories, grand, sweeping tales of heroes, wars and disasters and the great processes of history.

Romanians mark somber anniversary

Dec 22nd, 2009

Romanians mark somber anniversary

The people of Romania are marking the 20th anniversary of the 1989 revolution which brought down communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. Small commemorations have been held at cemeteries and sites associated with the revolution in several cities, including Bucharest and Timisoara. President Traian Basescu referred to more than 1,100 people who died during the revolution, as he was sworn in for a second term in office. Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, were executed by a three-man firing squad, after a trial at a military base lasting only two hours on Christmas Day 1989. Matthew Brunwasser looks at how Romanians have been dealing with their recent past

The Race is On – Bulgaria

Dec 1st, 2009

The Race is On – Bulgaria

An oddly fast-paced race is on to boost the global snail supply. Demand has been boosted by recent pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications for snail flesh and shells. Plus, the free-range snail population is decreasing and they are becoming harder to find.

Illegal letters in Turkey

Nov 25th, 2009

Illegal letters in Turkey

In Turkey, a law dating back to the 1920′s bans the use of the letters Q, W and X. The law was created for Turkey’s transition from the Arabic alphabet to the Latin one. But today, it’s used against Turkey’s ethnic Kurds. Matthew Brunwasser reports from Istanbul.

Dolapdere Big Gang

Nov 24th, 2009

Dolapdere Big Gang

Cover bands aren’t usually musical innovators. But Dolapdere Big Gang of Turkey might be the exception. Most of the group lives in Dolapdere, an Istanbul neighborhood with a rough reputation. This eight-piece band of young Roma musicians, plays Western pop hits in a traditional Turkish style. Matthew Brunwasser has the Global Hit.

The Boyko Borisov show

Nov 16th, 2009

The Boyko Borisov show

The Boyko Borisov show November 16, 2009 — Sofia Writer: Matthew Brunwasser The professional CV of the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov does not read like your standard head of government: firefighter, private security company owner, black belt in karate, trainer of the national karate team, bodyguard of the former Tsar Simeon II and communist dictator Todor Zhivkov and head of the national police.