Articles by: Emma Hurt

The Freedom to Be Funny: Reflecting on France’s Tradition of Satire

In a 2012 Le Monde interview the late publishing director of Charlie Hebdo, Stéphane Charbonnier said these now iconic words: “I would rather die standing up than live on my knees.” (In fact the quote originates with Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata.) In the same article, another of the magazine’s cartoonists injured in the attack, Riss (a pen name), said, “We do not want to be afraid, but to laugh, to take life lightly.” Riss, who[Read More…]

Are the French as Cynical About Lobbying As Americans?

HOUSTON – In 2010, the movie Casino Jack premiered in theatres. For many, especially in America, this film was a first glimpse into Washington, DC lobbying. It is based on the true story of Jack Abramoff, former lobbyist and businessman who was found guilty in 2006 of extensive corruption, along with other political lobbyists, Members of Congress and White House staffers. Abramoff and others were accused of overbilling, pocketing the profits, and even secretly orchestrating[Read More…]

by October 29, 2014 0 comments Feature, Up To The Minute

Les Tondues: Remembering a Dark Chapter in French Liberation

The Liberation of France is usually associated with joy, relief, and celebration. Allied Forces stormed the beaches of Normandy in June of 1944 and had liberated Paris by August (70 years ago this month). Nazi German forces surrendered unconditionally in May of 1945, and the French people were free once again. Yet, the Liberation was also the scene of an obscure and grim chapter in French history. Between 1943 and the beginning of 1946, at[Read More…]

by August 25, 2014 0 comments Domestic, Feature, Up To The Minute

The Last Newspaper Vendor: an Unlikely Celebrity of Saint-Germain-des-Prés

PARIS – Seeing Ali Akbar selling Le Monde on the streets of Saint-Germain-des-Prés is startling. Not simply because he is often calling out his own headlines like, “Monica Lewinsky pregnant by Obama! She’s got twins!” or “Sarkozy converts to Islam!” But when was the last time you saw someone selling paper newspapers on foot in the street? Akbar admits, “it’s just me now.” When he began in Paris 42 years ago, he was one of[Read More…]

by July 29, 2014 0 comments Up To The Minute

Corsican Nationalist Group Trades Guns for Politics

LONDON – After the National Front for Corsican Independence (FNLC) was founded in 1976, it became known as a violent nationalist group prone to detonating bombs targeting French immigrants in Corsica and other sites on the French mainland. Their goal was French recognition of Corsican political independence and their group photos featured Corsican flags, black ski masks, and guns. The glory days occurred in the brief period during the 18th century when Corsica maintained pseudo-independence from[Read More…]

by July 15, 2014 0 comments Uncategorized