Canudos, the holy city. From the hills it had looked like a mirage. Fifty-two hundred mud huts and a handful of white-washed churches spread along a bend in the Vasa-Barris, where a few years before there had been only a ruined farmhouse and an old well. The walls of the houses were the same shade as the parched earth on which they stood, so you could barely see the town until you were already in it. For the last ten months of the city's life, it been bombarded by a full division of the Brazilian Army. Thousands of its defenders—the half-cowboy, half-bandit jagunços—were dead. They had been shelled by artillery [...]
The House of Terror opened in 2002. Since then, it's become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Budapest. It’s a museum, and it presents the last sixty years of Hungarian history through a mix of exhibits and multimedia displays. It’s also a memorial, dedicated to “the victims of both the Nazi and the Communist terror.” The building that houses it, an elegant 19th century villa, was once the headquarters of both the Arrow Cross, the Hungarian Fascist Party, which ruled Hungary for a few bloody months in 1944, and of the Communist Secret Police, up until the 1956 revolution. Thanks to the building’s history and to the dungeons [...]
Ahmad el Abed, a tailor. Saida, Lebanon, 1948-53. by Hashem el Madani. Collection: AIF/ Hashem el Madani. Copyright © Arab Image Foundation.
No product of human industry is infinite, but photography comes close. In 1976, John Szarkowski, the longtime curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art, announced, somewhat gnomically, that "the world now contains more photographs than bricks." As a metaphor of plenitude, Szarkowski’s phrase is wonderfully material, suggesting that photographs are just another object in the world, at once essential and interchangeable. As an estimate of quantity though, it now seems impossibly low. If digital photographs count (as by now they must), then the real figure [...]
Part of a month-long series on terrible trips, great journeys and getting lost.
Two weeks after getting shipwrecked, Robinson Crusoe decided to move out of his tent and into something more substantial. After a short search, he found himself a nice cliff side with a west-facing grotto and a sea view. He salvaged planks from the shipwreck, split them into stakes, and used them to build his palisade. Using sails and cables from the ship, he set up a double tent to keep all his provisions out of the rain. Then he hollowed out the grotto until it was a proper cave, gave up his hammock, and moved in: [...]