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Tag Archives: identity

…Living Through the Shock of Contrast and Difference: An Interview

Mustapha Abdu-Aguye comes from Zaria, Nigeria. He moved to Groningen, the Netherlands, 5 years ago to do a Master’s degree in Nanoscience. Currently, he’s half way though his PhD in Photophysics and Optoelectronics. Mustapha agreed to talk with Checks&Balances about the cultural differences between the Dutch and Nigerians, as well as discuss his personal growth. ‘I attained both my Bachelor ... Read More »

The Mountain of Men

Somewhere deep down in the second ‘leg’ of the peninsula of Chalkidiki, Greece, lays a mountain where only men live. Anyone wanting to see the stunning landscape surrounding Mount Athos, must be a man. A man, of course, in the sense of having the stereotypical features of what a man is supposed to be in our current social/societal understandings. Short ... Read More »

Move over the Donbass, new fault lines are in sight.

With the conflict in Eastern Ukraine lingering on into a ceasefire that does not really live up to its name, the international community should nevertheless take a broader view. As Russia seems to be on a path to reasserting a more dominant role in regional politics, a multitude of conflicts that have been “frozen” pretty much since the end of ... Read More »

Into the Deep Web: The Silk Road Marketplace

Hello again, Last week we took at look at the basics of the Deep Web, how it worked and how you can get access. But other than hiding your radical book club from the all-seeing eye of Google and Bing, what is the point of creating a Deep Web website, it won’t generate a lot of traffic since nobody can ... Read More »

Spain’s identity crisis

Like many countries, Spain experiences increasing pressure coming from right-wing parties due to the economic crisis. Minister Mariano Rajoy has introduced the tightening of abortion laws, meaning an almost total ban on abortion except in the case of rape or severe danger of the woman’s mental or physical state. This proposal comes from the Partido Popular, a conservative center-right party, ... Read More »

Study Abroad: Scotland

Checks&Balances is writing a series of blogs from IRIO students studying abroad. Sander des Tombe is currently studying in Aberdeen, Scotland. In a stroll through the city, I noticed the absence of sale signs and I came to understand that Aberdeen’s house prices have actually doubled over the last ten years. Along with London, Aberdeen is unique in the U.K. ... Read More »

Colonial Cloth or Cosmopolitan Creativity?

Did you know that Holland’s most famous export product in Africa is fashion? Although the average Beninese earns two dollars a day, many buy quality tissues of Wax hollandaise for as much as fifteen euros per meter. At the end of the 19th century, Dutch merchants industrialized these age-old Javanese patterns, known there as batik. Bypassing merchants and returning mercenaries ... Read More »