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reportage

"Das letzte Jahr", German for "the last year" does not refer to our last year 2020, which is fortunate because we already have had enough of that. The year meant is 1990, a rather important year in Germany because it was the year in which the reunification of West and East Germany was hastily accomplished. And yet it fell into a collective oblivion. Everyone remembers 1989, when we danced on the Wall. But 1990 seems too scattered to grasp. ⁠ ⁠ The author Martin Gross tried at the time. He had an intuition of the significance of the year that marked the downfall and reshaping of the country. Living in the GDR for a year, he described how people made the transition from the old to the new system. He portrayed people as diverse as the guard of a former Stasi prison, the store manager of one of the new supermarkets, the stokers of a power station, the bodyguards of a minister and the cleaners of a government building.⁠ ⁠ The book was first published in 1992, but was soon forgotten. In 2019, Jan Wenzel came across it while researching for his book "1990 Freilegen" and took many of its notes. With a distance of 30 years, these notes were now perceived by critics as "clear-sighted", "precise", "stylistically brilliant" observations of the turning year. But the author himself could not be found. Fortunately, contact was finally made in June 2020 and a new edition of the title was planned.⁠ ⁠ And so here it is again, a book that describes a historical event, not through political steps, but through the impact it had on people's daily lives. Buy...

As the promises of liberalism in its Western shape have taken their toll on the Eastern front, the need for new narratives about reality has never been more pressing. This second issue of Kajet is based on the supposition that people in Eastern Europe have been “tricked into distrusting the existence of an alternative modernity”, hence the question of whether there’s still room for utopia after the utopia of the communist era. Idealism in mind, Kajet writers resurface the spirit of revolt, focusing on rebels, insurgency and visionaries in order to reintroduce a new face of utopianism. They explore the topic through the prism of time, architecture, imagination and futurism. Buy...

American Readers at Home is the lavishly designed outcome result of a 13000 miles long road-trip across America during and right after the presidential elections of 2016 which brought Donald Trump to the White House. These were highly contentious times in which American society was deeply polarised around all sorts of issues, from race and gender to immigration and employment. Swiss designer Ludovic Balland and his small team, were willing and able to navigate through the ongoing debates, running more than 200 interviews which draw an overview assessment of the electorate’s news consumption habits in this period. They investigated the role of the media in shaping opinions and documented key events such as the inauguration day and the Women’s Day march in Washington, capturing the gist of a defining moment in the history of the United State of America. Buy...