As the U.S. grapples with what to do with Trump supporters who cheered the storming of the Capitol, the story of my German family reveals how little there is to be done.

My parents in their home near Munich. Photo by Julian Baumann.

One of my favorite stories about my mother is from a ski vacation we took in Italy around 10 years ago. She spotted a couple on the slopes who she had met the night before in the hotel sauna. She skied over and greeted them effusively. When the couple didn’t immediately recognize her, she said with a laugh: “We only know each other naked!”

I almost melted a hole in the snow with shame. Yet my mother never gets embarrassed. At my wedding around two years ago, she excitedly started telling others about how she had just met a Scientologist…

Let’s rethink this “normal” everybody wants to go back to.

When my husband’s restaurant was forced to close, when we lost childcare and life around us ground to a halt, I raged and I cried. Then I planted some seeds.

For weeks, I scrupulously watered my cardbord planters and watched as tiny green leaves sprouted from the dark soil, turning into small tomato plants and flowers that bent towards the morning sun. Some days I would just sit there and stare at them for minutes, as if I could actually watch them grow. I might have sat there for hours, had there not been two infants demanding attention.

Now, there…

Barcelona’s undocumented street vendors spent years running from the police. Then they launched a streetwear brand to fight for their rights. The message? “We belong.”

This story was first published in my newsletter, blue whale.

It all began with a panic attack.

Daouda Dieye was sleeping on his cousin’s sofa in Terrassa, a suburb of Barcelona. The immigrant from Senegal had recently lost his work permit. A former street vendor, he’d been working the harvest all over Spain and the owner of a farm in Jaén had agreed to employ him on contract to help him get his papers. But in 2011, a new government toughened immigration laws, rescinding Daouda’s permit. All attempts to get it back had failed. Now Daouda was again collecting scrap…

Attendants at the Aurora Dialogues in Berlin. Image by Aurora Prize

How attitudes in hosting countries influence refugee integration.

Today I attended an event called Aurora Dialogues, a one-day forum organised by the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative to bring together a small number of high-profile international humanitarians, academics and members or civil society to discuss the most pressing issues of the day — and currently that issue is, of course, migration.

I was there for work and only able to attend one session, but I wanted to share my notes from that session because I found it so relevant for politics and media. The panel dealt with attitudes towards migrants in host countries and how to change them, and especially…

Photo by Ina Niehoff for Monocle

An interview with Chris Dercon, the controversial new director of the Berlin Volksbühne, about the future of theatre, how to deal with criticism, and what constitutes a good place to live. And about Berlin, of course.

This interview was conducted for Monocle in June 2017 and appeared in an edited form under the title “In betweener” in the September 2017 issue of the magazine. To mark the 10 November opening of the Volksbühne under Dercon and the accompanying brouhaha in the media, I’m publishing a lightly edited transcript of our conversation that sheds more light on Dercon’s character and approach to theatre.

How did you come by all the art in your home?

“It’s mostly souvenirs. As the director of a museum I wasn’t allowed to buy art. It’s a conflict of interest. So I focussed…

“Find your people. No one can do this alone.”


This is from Anxy’s February 28th newsletter. Sign up now and never miss a story. We’ll email you every two weeks.


Dear Anxy Friends,

In the week before Donald Trump’s inauguration, the lawyer and activist Mirah Curzer published a blog post titled How To #StayOutraged Without Losing Your Mind, providing “self-care lessons for the resistance.” These included getting away from the news once in a while, focusing your efforts, making activism enjoyable, and, well, basic self-care.

This made us curious about the ways anger can both help and hinder activism, so we decided to ask one expert about…

Alright my friends, the Euro 2016 is coming to an end, and three weeks of scrupulous (and, let’s be honest about this tournament, pretty selfless) observation of players’ hair styles have borne fruit: I am ready to proclaim the European Champions of Hair.

I care about nuance — this isn’t football, after all — so winners are declared by category. Let’s kick off (sorry) with one of this year’s signature looks:

#1 Bulkiest Mo-coiffe

Neil Taylor (Wales) 1–3 Stephan El Shaarawy (Italy)

Let’s rank the Euro 2016 players by what really counts.

Hairdos are the most important means of expression in football right after goal celebrations and fouls. It might even be the most important, given that there are limits on free speech in both fouls and goal celebrations (FIFA bans players from taking off their shirts, meh) but not officially in hair — unless you count Sir Alex Ferguson making David Beckham shave off his mohawk in 2000.

Anyway. I find footballers’ hairdos highly entertaining, and since we can assume that their styles will be imitated by men across the world, I think it’s only fair to submit them to closer…

The most important thing I learned in 2015? That depression and social media do not go well together at all.

The first time I deleted the Facebook app from my phone was in October 2014. It wasn’t a considered decision. Rather, it felt like dumping a half-eaten tub of ice cream before I could gobble down the whole thing and feel sick, or deleting the number of a man who clearly doesn’t have my best interests at heart: a panicked intervention by reason to prevent my out-of-control animal instinct from doing further harm to myself.

That October I suffered my first bout of depression in over 10 years. Once I realised what was going (it took me a while), I…

Design immersively, build community, develop a voice and for god’s sake, slow down.

A slightly edited transcript of my talk at the MagCulture Modern Magazine conference in London on 29 October 2015. I recommend reading this only if you’re a bit of a media wonk.

I gave a similar talk to this one last February, at an editorial design conference in Munich. At the time I had just come back from New York where I’d been working with Matter, a magazine on Medium. They had hired me to help solve a conundrum: how to do short content that’s original, fast and, most importantly, magazine-y, but in a web magazine. …

Kati Krause

serial magazine maker and world’s smallest viking

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