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Hans-Ulrich Obrist, co-director of the Serpentine Gallery, about jet-setting garden sheds and the opening of the 15th summer pavilion in London’s Kensington Gardens.

„Art Review“ has called Hans-Ulrich Obrist the most influencial curator of today. The 46 year old Swiss has been Co-director of the Serpentine Gallery with Julia Peyton-Jones since 2006. Obrist is one of the most renowned experts on contemporary art, but he has another strong side, too: With seemingly endless energy he attracts sponsors to invest in his projects, artists and exhibitions.

The elections are over.

The elections are over.

David Cameron won a triumphant victory. The Tory leader will have to stand by his promise to hold an In-out-referendum by 2017. The danger of a Brexit from the European Union is growing.“This is the sweetest victory of all”, said David Cameron in the early morning hours in the Tory party headquarters. At that time it was not even clear how big his victory was going to be. Indeed: The 48 year old Prime Minister has won an astonishing and sensational victory. Was there ever talk of a hung parliament? On Friday at 12.35, when David Cameron had just sat down with the Queen in Buckingham Palace, the 326th mandate for the Conservatives was declared. Cameron lead the Tory party to an outright majority. He will not only return for a second term to 10 Downing Street. He will do so without the need for a coalition partner.


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The British election campaign has reached it's final phase. How to cut the deficit is the question at the forefront of the debate. Other hot topics: Will the Scots destroy the UK and should Great Britain reform or leave the EU?

1 The Incumbent – David Cameron recently ate a hot dog with fork and knife while attending a campaign barbecue. He clearly did not want to make the same mistake as his challenger Ed Miliband who was caught on camera biting heartily into a bacon sandwich. This would never happen to David Cameron. The British Prime Minister and leader of the conservative Tory-Party is too well educated, too experienced – and too well briefed.


So much for the No-go zone for Non-Muslims...

So much for the No-go zone for Non-Muslims...

Birmingham is a hotbed of Islamist extremism where xenophobic propaganda falls on fertile ground. Profil took a look at how immigration plays out in Great Britain’s second largest city before the British elections on May 7th.

Text: Tessa Szyszkowitz
Photos: Alex Schlacher

The Saddam Hussein mosque is a place of great joy. At least it was this last Thursday, when Sonia Akhtar and Ibrahim Mohammed got married in the presence of their respective clans. They are both Sunni Muslim, but the groom is from an Indian family while the bride has a Pakistani background. „Mixed marriages are completely normal here“, smiles Anwar Sheikh, manager of the mosque. Sonia and Ibrahim are 24 years old and have British citizenship.

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Even after the elections Yitzhak "Buji" Herzog needs nerves made from steel. The 54 year old leader of the Israeli Labour party teamed up with Tzipi Livini from "HaTnuah", a small centrist pro-peace party, to form the "Zionist Union" for the Israeli parliamentary elections on March 17. Together they won 24 seats. Herzog was one of the winners of these elections. But the narrow-shouldered bespectacled politician speaks with a squeaky voice - which he even made fun of himself by dubbing his own campaign ad with a deep voice over. Did he seem too intellectual for a country obsessed with security or did Israel simply like the right wing statements of the blustering Benjamin Netanyahu more? The Likud boss won over his contender by securing 30 seats and will probably form a coalition even more right wing than his previous one.

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Germany, Russia, and the rise of Geo-Economics by Stephen F. Szabo comes at the precise moment when the issue of Germany and Russia has become one of the hottest political topics in every living room between Berlin and Moscow – and perhaps in London and D.C. too. Tessa Szyszkowitz finds this timely study an important read for those who want to understand the background of the crisis in the Ukraine, which has thrown Russia and the West back into a new Cold War.

Book Review: Germany, Russia, and the rise of Geo-Economics. Stephen F. Szabo. London/New York, 2015. Bloomsbury.

Issa Freij on the roof of his house in the old city of Jerusalem

Issa Freij on the roof of his house in the old city of Jerusalem

Jerusalem, the “eternally united capital” of Israel, is more divided than ever: between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the Christians, Jews and Muslims, the religious and the secular. Profil visited Jerusalemites who are hurt by the situation and want to change it.

Text and photos: Tessa Szyszkowitz/Jerusalem

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Since the breakdown of the Oslo peace process, Israelis and Palestinians have started thinking about a bi-national solution in one state for both peoples.

Bashir Bashir, 38, teaches political theory at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The Palestinian professor with an Israeli passport is the co-initiator of “Rethinking the politics of Israel/Palestine. Partition and its Alternatives”, a project organized by the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue in Vienna. The project and book have been presented in Brussels and Vienna in February 2015. This is a longer English version of an interview published in the Austrian news magazine profil.

Martina Litvinenko and Tessa

Marina Litvinenko, widow of the former FSB officer Alexander who was poisoned in 2006, talks to profil about the inquiry into his death and who she thinks is responsible for it.

Marina Litvinenko walks covertly into Brasserie Balthazar in Covent Garden, a grey kashmir hat as camouflage. The slim 52 year old woman slips behind a stone table in a quiet corner of the back room, adjusts her hair and the Norwegian cardigan, and says with relief: „Good, nobody recognized me.“

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© 2018 Tessa Szyszkowitz