• Essay

    Now Entering Make-Believe Country

    Urbania, My Imaginary Land, Gave a Weird, Curious, and Somewhat Lonely Kid a Shorthand for the World at Large


    Last year, my friend Jesús passed away when he was hit by a car while riding his bike. He was one year older than me …

  • Essay

    When Music Became Therapy in Interwar France

    In the Face of Uncertainty, Trauma, and Extreme Isolation, Musicians Turned to Their Art

    by Jillian C. Rogers

    In March of 2020 I found myself alone (except for my two cats) in a small bungalow in Bloomington, Indiana ...

  • Sketchbook

    Jorge Verdin is a Pasadena-based designer, illustrator, and musician. Under the name Clorofila, he is known as a pioneer of the Nortec music style. The multidisciplinary artist has also created music and sound design ...


When Kazakhstan Turned Off the Internet

Did a Five-Day Crackdown and Flood of Misinformation Send a Message to Activists or Ignite a Movement for Political Reform?

by Colleen Wood and Sher Khashimov

This was no ordinary internet blackout. For five days, the ninth largest country in the world was a black box.
  On the evening of January 5, 2022, we set our respective alarms for 5:30 a.m. We wanted to get the earliest possible updates from our colleagues in Kazakhstan, who had been chronicling three days of demonstrations as they spread from the western oil-producing city of Zhanaozen to other urban centers across the Central Asian nation. Early morning on the East Coast was already late afternoon in Kazakhstan, yet when we woke up, nothing seemed to have changed. Our friends’ Instagram stories were 12 hours old ...

Where I Go

Where I Go: The Place Where Everybody Knows My Name

Writer Arvin Temkar Traveled to Arvin, California, in Search of the Arvin of It All

by Arvin Temkar

I used to wonder: Is there any place where people will know my name?
  I’ve always hated Arvin, my uncommon, easy-to-mangle name. For most of my life I didn’t even know where it came from. When I was a kid I asked my father, who is from India, what my name means. He told me, “beautiful face.”
  A skeptical child, I didn’t believe him. A recent Google search confirmed my suspicions, revealing no such translation and no correlation between my name and a predisposition to attractive features. So, not long ago, I asked my father again about the origins of my name. This time he had a different story. The common Indian name, he told me, is Arvind—with a “d.” My parents had decided ...

  • by Margaret Ray

    Wanda has moved beyond collisions and is looking ...

  • by Jessica Cuello

    The midwife kneeled beside me ...