Robben Island

For the past ten days, I haven’t been living where I’m living. I searched for Robben Island on the map, and I’ve been absorbed ever since. Area 5.07 km², pretty much flat, 12 km north-north-west of Cape Town in Table Bay. Roughly oval in shape, yet at first, I found it difficult to describe, from …

Poem to the Senkaku/Diaoyutai mole

There’s a photo-tagging war raging around the Senkaku / Diaoyu / Tiaoyutai Islands on Google Earth, and it’s hilarious. Many of the photographs are accompanied by messages more or less well parsed by machine translation, often with exclamation marks in full patriotic profusion. Images of Chinese rockets and torpedos, annotated with the words “To defend …

Out of place – or to return without returning

Eppure l’Italia è una parola aperta, piena d’aria. Erri de Luca, Solo andata (Nota di geografia) Map after map, we’re accustomed to seeing the Italian peninsula as a boot, perhaps for the catwalk, perhaps for the football pitch, or simply for hiking, even whilst staying put. Now and again the leg bends slightly at the …