Regular NI contributor Anna Chen casts the second Stone.
2.6 billion people around the world don’t have a WC or any other kind of decent toilet. Because ‘faecal perils’ land up on hands, feet and lips, two million of them – mostly children – die of diarrhoeal disease every year. The toll in indignity and distress, especially among women, is less measurable but arguably far worse.
Out on the excretory frontier, toilet pioneers are strutting their stuff with goose-necks and waterseals, sanplats and the ecological approach. But they won’t get far unless people – rich and famous, poor and deprived – can be persuaded to confront the unmentionable and call a spade a spade.
This issue of New Internationalist looks at who and what are carrying the sanitary flame in the 21st century.
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Mari Marcel Thekaekara reflects on the state of the Indian nation in middle age.
A huge new scientific experiment plans to go looking for tiny particles in the middle of India’s oldest Biosphere Reserve, moving mountains of rock and earth as it goes. Tarsh Thekaekara has his doubts about what is being done in the name of pure science.
2008 is the International Year of Sanitation. Or, asks Maggie Black, is it the International Year of Silence and Embarrassment?
Bangladeshi photographer Shehzad Noorani exposes the damage done to the Buriganga River.
Women desperately want toilets – but not as a health aid. Libby Plumb reports.
Nelson Mandela gets a birthday present from the US, being repealed from the Terror Watch List!
Unbelievably, people still exist whose task in life is shovelling shit, as Mari Marcel Thekaekara explains.
Colombian activist Teófilo Acuña on the danger of confronting paramilitaries.
A conscientious objector from Istanbul was beaten with sticks until he passed out
Tanzanian authorities launch a crackdown on anti-albino witch doctors
Dominica is a small island both in population and size. Yet the island feels a lot bigger than this, with dozens of mountain peaks, waterfalls and some say a river for every day of the year.
This collection of prowling, lunfardo slang-inflected songs concentrates on an imagined lowlife of Buenos Aires.
The début album from the Israeli-born, London-based performance artist Anat Ben-David, is based on a grim paradox, leisure doesn’t exist – it’s virtual
Karen King-Aribisala’s debut novel, a dark and brooding meditation on the stories we tell and the effect they have on everyday life
Donna Dickensen’s fascinating overview of the complex world of medical ethics
A masterful piece of film-making that leaves the audience gasping at the injustice of a 99 year sentence for a Mexican ‘illegal’ migrant following the death of the child she was minding
Toilets have been around since the days of Elizabeth I. Systems old and new.
An explosive mix of politics, religion and sexuality explored through the life of a gay couple in Fiji
The horrors of the attitudes towards money of Los Angeles 12-16-year-olds
Science is coming up with ever more extraordinary proposals for combating climate change, from laying white plastic over deserts to locking up carbon dioxide in the oceans or shooting it into space. Should we take any of this seriously?
The story of one journalist who tirelessly exposed its horrors and manipulation by the Moscow political class.
David Satterthwaite speaks out in praise of sewers, and Mayling Simpson-Hébert retaliates on behalf of pits.
Toilet champions are not so rare a breed as you’d think. Here are some distinguished exemplars.
World Fiction Special
This issue of New Internationalist not only analyses these developments but also showcases four exquisite short stories as examples: ‘Fat’ by Krys Lee from South Korea; ‘In The Garden’ by FT Kola from South Africa; ‘Ghosts’ by the Cuban-American Ana Menéndez; and ‘The Lake Retba Murder’ by Efemia Chela from Zambia and Ghana.
A relic of a bygone era – or a billion-strong social movement fighting for workers’ rights everywhere?
The reality of trade unionism today falls somewhere in between. In the Western world, union-busting laws, globalization and internal conflicts have left many trade unions reeling. In some countries of the Global South, trade unionists face discrimination, danger and even death. Meanwhile, workers’ rights are being sacrificed on the altar of corporate greed gone mad: zero-contract hours, sub-contracting, privatization, outsourcing and special economic zones are all part of a ‘race to the bottom’ being run by transnationals concerned only about their profits.
Yet all is not lost. From Colombia to China, Bangladesh to Barcelona, workers are still fighting for their rights – and, sometimes, winning. This issue, New Internationalist looks at the state of the unions, how they need to adapt to the new reality for workers in the 21st century, and why they are more important than ever.
In a nutshell: the countries most recently featured in the New Internationalist magazine.
Sharp insights from an array of guest writers.
Personal stories from our own correspondents.
Interviews with inspirational people.
Reviews of the latest books, films and music.
Seeing the world through a Southern lens.
A regular column from some of the best writers of the South.
Taking aim at the rich and powerful.
If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.
– Emma Thompson –
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