New Internationalist

Cover for May 2009 - Issue 422

May 2009's Issue

It was all about equality and respect – values few would have a problem with. So just when did multiculturalism become a dirty word? Was it about the same time as the ideas of respecting difference and embracing diversity began to be overtaken in the public mind by shrill religious fundamentalism and hectoring traditionalists?

This month’s NI sees a vibrant selection of contributors tackling these questions: British and Canadian cultural commentators Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and Haroon Siddiqui; Indian journalist Shoma Chaudhury who has met the country’s leading hate-mongers; and the Mauritian novelist Lindsey Collen, who looks behind her island nation’s image as a multicultural haven.

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Featured in issue 422

Who's Left?

Anna Chen wonders quite what the difference is between Right and Left.

Screenings in The Devil’s Garden: The Sahara Film Festival

For a week each May, a desolate refugee camp plays host to the Sahara International Film Festival, helping to raise awareness of the plight of ‘Africa’s last colony’. Stefan Simanowitz reports.

To craft a new society

A divided society needs new answers and new identities, argues Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.

Saturnina Quispe Choque

Bolivian feminist Saturnina Quispe Choque talks to Nadia Hausfather.


NATO is shrouded in military secrecy, but what we do know is bad enough.

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A corporate piñata

A corporate piñata, by Polyp.

Peace offerings

Members of citizens’ groups for peace that attempt to bridge the Israeli-Palestinian divide talk with Hadani Ditmars about why working together brings its own rewards.

Running scared

No reprieve for gay community living with 30 years of sharia law

Hanging together

Strategies for social cohesion

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May Day!

Montreal police out of line and in the courts

Upping the ante

Protesters raise the stakes as strikes sweep the French Caribbean

Shahadat Parvez

A Bangladeshi boy is inspired by a French footballer in Shahadat Parvez’s photograph.

Our Seeds: Seeds Blong Yumi

This is a rallying cry that shows the way in which people in many parts of the world are resisting seed privatization through actions big and small.

Easy Come, Easy Go

Subtitled ‘18 Songs for Music Lovers’, Easy Come, Easy Go is a double album containing a wide choice of songs: from Brian Eno’s ‘How Many Worlds’ to Dolly Parton’s ‘Down from Dover’

The Children's Hours

A collection of stories about childhood from a stellar cast of authors from around the world, with all royalties going to Save the Children. Edited by Richard Zimler and Rasa Sekulovic.

Into the vortex of identity

With Dinyar Godrej, whose personal journey as an immigrant reveals some of the faultlines of multiculturalism, making the case for looking beneath the smokescreen of ‘culture clash’.

Another side of paradise

Class or culture – which has caused Mauritius the most upset? Lindsey Collen looks back.

Havana Fever

Like the best, most haunting bolero, Havana Fever is liable to linger in the mind well after its final phrases.

Long Time Coming

Short Writings from Zimbabwe, edited by Jane Morris.

Better Times Will Come

An album loaded with the instrumentation - fiddle, steel guitar, banjo and mandolin - of American roots music.

Ripping up the rainbow

Shoma Chaudhury on the hate mongers intent on tearing up the very idea of India.

Ahlaam (Dreams)

This is the first Iraqi film about the American-led invasion. Written and directed by Mohamed Al-Daradji.

What's my identity?

Faith schools get a bashing even from committed multiculturalists. We talk to one supporter who currently teaches English at a secular school in Australia.

No room for bigots

Canadian multiculturalism is in rude health and has licked the kinds of problems that crop up in other countries. Haroon Siddiqui explains how.

Timor-Leste - Don’t Forget

Catherine Scott and Jo Barrett call on the international community to honour its obligations.

Cover of the World Fiction Special of New Internationalist

On Newsstands

World Fiction Special

World Fiction

Fiction has entered a new era. Writers of novels and short stories are no longer writing only for their own nation or even for readers speaking their own language but are breaking national boundaries and reaching a worldwide audience. In the process authors from Africa, Asia and Latin America are winning greater prominence – and a new phenomenon identified as ‘world writing’ has emerged.

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.


Online now

Trade unions

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.

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– Emma Thompson –

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