In Venezuela, Dystopian Fiction Hits Close to Home

J.G. Ballard’s High-Rise Shows What Happens When a Liberal Democracy Crumbles and Its Worst Vices Take Over

There’s a certain absurdity that comes with trying to explain—in calm, simple, and objective words—a life that has become too strange to be real. At least, that’s how I feel when talking about my home country, Venezuela, where a small bottle of water has become more expensive than a barrel of gasoline, law enforcement officials are afraid to enter prisons that are ruled by criminal gangs, and the minimum wage is less than five American dollars per month.

Sometimes, when I try to put facts and events in order, I …

A Letter From Sweden, Which Deems Flax Seeds More Dangerous Than the Pandemic | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

A Letter From Sweden, Which Deems Flax Seeds More Dangerous Than the Pandemic

An Immigrant From America Fell for the 'Sensible, Progressive Attitude' and Caution of Her Adopted Country. Then COVID Hit

About a year ago, I hung upside down from my seatbelt in a small sedan. Thankfully, I was completely safe during the entire experience: It was part of the compulsory …

A New Wave of Anti-Asian Violence Demands New Answers | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

A New Wave of Anti-Asian Violence Demands New Answers

Fighting COVID-Inspired Racism Requires Solidarity, Legislation, and Protest

From smashed windows and racist graffiti to outright physical violence, approximately 2,700 incidents of hate have been documented against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders since the World Health Organization declared …

I Dream of Jetlag | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

I Dream of Jetlag

After 12 Years in the Sky, a Flight Attendant Braces for Furloughs and Adjusts to Life on the Ground

Last year, a time in history I want to mark as 2019 BC—that is, Before COVID—I was at the height of my flight attendant career. I had just reached the …

California, Where Whatever You Do, You Will Be Wrong | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

California, Where Whatever You Do, You Will Be Wrong

We're All in This Together—But Please, Keep Your Distance

Our politics may be paranoid, our society may be paralyzed, our police may be irredeemable, and our skies may be on fire, but don’t fear! At least we Californians can …

The Anticipatory Grief of Living Through a Pandemic | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Anticipatory Grief of Living Through a Pandemic

The Great Believers, a Novel of the AIDS Crisis, Reminds Us That ‘We Are the Memory-Keepers of This Moment’

To be a survivor of wars, of diseases, of earth-shattering moments is to be an inheritor. You inherit the grief that comes with loss; but you also inherit the memories, …