Will SoCal’s Barbie Doll or NorCal’s Bobby Oppenheimer Destroy the World First?

Forget the Big Box Office War of Summer 2023. Barbenheimer Is a Tale of Two Competing California Apocalypses

Which region is the greater threat to humanity: Northern California or Southern California?

That’s the most urgent question raised by 2023’s great cinematic contest between Oppenheimer and Barbie.

Sure, these are entertaining films about a physicist and a doll. But both movies are also, in no small part, California-based stories about global nightmares, about the Earth-altering threat of bombs and bombshells alike.

Embedded in those nightmares are warnings about the damage that Northern and Southern California can do when we send our ideas out into the world.

Oppenheimer is the Northern California nightmare. While …

Can Fiction Teach Us How to Live in a World Full of Suffering?

Reading and Writing Can Help Us Understand the Difficult Past and Imagine Better Futures

Any work of fiction is an investigation of aftermath, borne of the world that has already occurred. Fiction offers readers as well as writers the possibility to explore past transgressions …

The Journalist Who Photographed the Burning Monk

The Man Behind an Iconic Vietnam War Image Captured ‘the Ugliest Events of Our Time’

While President John F. Kennedy was talking by phone with his brother, U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, on the morning of Tuesday, June 12, 1963, he suddenly exclaimed: “Jesus …

What Sharing the Burden of War Could Look Like | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

What Sharing the Burden of War Could Look Like

A Military Chaplain on How Those Who Fought and Those Who Sent Them Can Hold This Weight Together

This spring, I walked into an old Quaker meeting house on Pocumtuck homeland, now Massachusetts. I had been invited by Ojibwa Elders Strong Oak and Grandmother Nancy to participate in …

Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova

Never Forget the Ideals of Your Youth

Nadya Tolokonnikova is a conceptual artist and political activist from Russia. A founding member of the feminist group Pussy Riot, she is also the co-creator of the independent news service …

Artist Gelare Khoshgozaran

The Sun Is Alienating to Me

Gelare Khoshgozaran is an artist and writer whose work engages with the legacies of imperial violence manifested in war and militarization, borders, and archives. Before joining us for this week’s Zócalo/The …